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Week In The News: State Of The Union, Yemen Crisis, ‘DeflateGate’47:09
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President Obama comes out swinging in his State of the Union. High level talks in Cuba. Japanese hostages. "American Sniper" controversy. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

A Cuban flag and an American flag stand in the press room during the second day of talks between U.S. and Cuban officials, in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015. (AP)
A Cuban flag and an American flag stand in the press room during the second day of talks between U.S. and Cuban officials, in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015. (AP)

A dead Saudi king, turmoil in Yemen, and a State of the Union challenge in the news this week.  The Arabian Peninsula, jammed with developments.  Royal succession in Riyadh.  Guns all over in Sanaa.  In Washington, President Obama comes out feisty in his State of the Union address saying help the middle class.  Republicans say “we’ll do it our way.”  Israel’s leader will address Congress without a White House invitation.  Republican women break ranks a bit on abortion.  We’ve got measles at Disneyland.  And Deflategate!  This hour On Point:  Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.
-- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Abederrahim Foukara, Washington, D.C. bureau chief for Al Jazeera. (@afoukara)

Kristen Welker, White House correspondent for NBC News. (@kwelkernbc)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst. (@JackBeattyNPR)

From Tom’s Reading List

Al Jazeera America: Houthi march on Yemen's capital a prelude to showdown with Al-Qaeda — "The presence of Houthis militiamen at the residence of U.S.- backed President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi prompted talk of a coup. Whether that was the intention of fighters has been debated, but nonetheless it appears to have initiated change. On Thursday, the country's government resigned, with Prime Minister Khaled Baha stating that he did not want to be dragged into an 'unconstructive' political maze. Shortly after, the president followed suit and stepped down, according to sources."

CNN: No word from ISIS on hostages as deadline draws nearer — "Japan says it has had no contact with ISIS as the Islamic militant group's deadline nears for Tokyo to pay a $200 million ransom to spare the lives of two hostages. Japanese officials have said they are doing their best to communicate with ISIS, which threatened in a video released Tuesday to kill two Japanese citizens it's holding within 72 hours if it doesn't receive the huge sum it's demanding."

Boston Globe: NFL finds that Patriots used underinflated footballs -- "According to a National Football League letter about the investigation into the controversy that was shared with the Globe, the Patriots were informed that the league’s initial findings indicated that the game balls did not meet specifications. The league inspected each of the Patriots’ 12 game balls twice at halftime, using different pressure gauges, and found footballs that were not properly inflated."

This program aired on January 23, 2015.

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