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Washington Week With Gwen Ifill And National Journal

Airs Fridays at 8 p.m. & Sundays at 10:30 a.m. on KPBS TV

Above: WASHINGTON WEEK features Washington's top journalists analyzing the week's top news stories and their effect on the lives of all Americans. Gwen Ifill (pictured) hosts.

WASHINGTON WEEK, PBS' longest-running public affairs series, features Washington's top journalists analyzing the week's top news stories and their effect on the lives of all Americans. Gwen Ifill hosts.


If you miss the program or want to hear it a second time, download the podcast and listen to both the show and the Webcast Extra.

Meet The Panelists

Get to know the panelists who join Gwen around the table each week.

Topics for May 22 (encore May 24):

As Congress prepares to leaves town for the Memorial Day recess, lawmakers have several contentious bills left to debate including fast-track trade authority for the president, reauthorization of the NSA’s data collection program and money for transportation programs. Charles Babington of the Associated Press will have an update on the debates, the hurdles and the likelihood of passage on all these items.

Islamic State forces have made significant headway in both Iraq & Syria this past week including capturing Ramadi, a city just 70 miles from Baghdad. With ISIS now controlling half of Syria, the U.S. continues to recalibrate its plan to fight back. Yochi Dreazen of Foreign Policy reports on the recent gains made by ISIS and how there is consensus among U.S. leaders that more needs to be done, but no consensus on what to do.

Dan Balz of The Washington Post and Molly Ball of The Atlantic will analyze the week in politics from the latest on Hillary Clinton's emails to a preview of two new Republican candidates who will officially launch their campaigns next week.

Check out Gwen’s advice to the Class of 2015 at Utica College during her commencement address last weekend.

And don’t forget you can follow WASHINGTON WEEK on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with daily developments. Past episodes of WASHINGTON WEEK are available for online viewing.

Senate Compromises on Trade Bill

Senate leaders compromised on a deal to fast-track President Barack Obama’s trade initiative after Senate Democrats rejected the president’s original proposal. Manu Raju of POLITICO explains how the compromise came together.

Court Rules Against NSA Data Collection

A federal appeals court ruled hat the NSA bulk collection of telephone call information is illegal. The court said that information can only be gathered when there is something specific to investigate.

Justice in Baltimore for Freddie Gray

The death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old Baltimore resident who suffered fatal spinal injuries while in police custody, was ruled a homicide Friday, and six Baltimore police officers involved in his arrest would indicted on felony charges. All week, street protests have brought national attention to the issues of poverty, race relations and policing in urban communities.

Al Qaeda Captives Killed in Drone Strike

President Obama apologized after an American and an Italian citizen being held captive by al Qaeda were among the people killed in a U.S. counterterrorism operation in Pakistan. Two other Americans who had joined al Qaeda were also killed.

Congressional Review of Iran Deal

Lawmakers reached an agreement this week that allows Congressional review of any Iran nuclear agreement. POLITICO's Manu Raju explains how Congress reached the bipartisan deal, and The New York Times' Peter Baker explains why President Obama agreed.

Immigration Crisis, Middle East Tensions, U.S.-Germany Spyin

President Obama proposed a $3.7 billion plan to address the surge of illegal immigrants, the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas, and Germany's decision to expel a CIA station chief in Berlin in response to more cases of U.S. Joining Gwen Ifill: Ed O'Keefe, Washington Post; Fawn Johnson, National Journal; Mark Mazetti, New York Times; Indira Lakshmanan, Bloomberg News

Three Candidates Jump Into 2016 Race

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul became the second official 2016 candidate this week, but how is he distinguishing himself as a different kind of Republican as he tries to win the GOP presidential nomination? With two other candidates set to join the race in the coming days -- Democrat Hillary Clinton on Sunday and Republican Marco Rubio on Monday, how is the 2016 field taking shape?

Iran Nuclear Agreement, NJ Senator Charged with Corruption

After weeks of marathon talks in Switzerland, world leaders reached a preliminary agreement on the future shape of Iran's nuclear program. Indira Lakshmanan of Bloomberg News just returned from the talks and debriefs on the terms of the deal that include limitations on Iran's nuclear capabilities and a lifting of economic sanctions.

Harry Reid Announces Retirement, U.S. Troop Drawdown

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid made a surprise announcement Friday that he will not run for re-election in Nevada in 2016 which set off discussions inside the Democratic leadership about who will replace the long-time leader. Also this week, President Obama met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and announced that 9,800 U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan through the end of the year.


Netanyahu Re-Elected in Israel, Nuclear Talks with Iran

Above: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pulled off a strong victory in his re-election bid this week. POLITICO's Michael Crowley reports on Netanyahu's win and the impact on Palestianian peace talks and Obama's fractured relationship with Netanyahu. Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry continued negotiations with Iran over the nation's nuclear program.


Secret Service Security Breaches, Hillary Clinton's Email

Above: In the latest embarrassment for the agency tasked with protecting the president, two Secret Service agents are being investigated for driving a vehicle into a White House security barricade while under the influence of alcohol. The agents allegedly drove into an active bomb investigation, nearly missing a suspicious package.

DOJ's Ferguson Report; Supreme Court's Obamacare Challenge

The Justice Department released a “scathing” report on the systemic racial bias of the Ferguson Police Department. One person has already been fired, but what lasting changes will be made? At the Supreme Court, the justices are once again considering a challenge to the Affordable Care Act. This challenge centers are just 4 words but could impact millions of Americans.

Homeland Security Funding Fight in Congress

In the hours before funding for the Department of Homeland Security was set to run out, the House of Representatives failed to pass a 3-week stopgap measure. CNBC's John Harwood and NPR's Juana Summers explain the Congressional holdup. Meanwhile, Republican presidential hopefuls converged outside Washington for the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.

Countering Violent Extremism as ISIS Threat Expands

This Week, ISIS expanded its reach to North Africa where 21 Egyptian Christians were beheaded. At the same time, the White House held a violent extremism summit where President Obama rejected calling the group “Islamic.” The Daily Beast's Nancy Youssef and POLITICO's Michael Crowley report on the group's expansion and why the words used to describe ISIS fighters really matters.