89.1 WEMU

David Welna

More than 50 world leaders are attending a nuclear security summit in Washington this week. But Vladimir Putin is a no-show. And, as if on cue, North Korea fired a ballistic missile on Friday.

These biannual nuclear summits, aimed at locking down fissile material worldwide that could be used for doomsday weapons, were proposed by President Obama back in 2009, barely two months into his presidency.

"We must insure that terrorists never acquire a nuclear weapon," he declared, calling such a scenario "the most immediate and extreme threat to global security."

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Loose nukes and dirty bombs are the talk of Washington today as President Obama hosts a summit with more than 50 world leaders. They're here largely because of a challenge Obama issued in 2009 barely two months into his presidency.

As national security has come to dominate the 2016 presidential race, the GOP contenders in particular are being pushed to define where they stand on a contentious matter: how suspected terrorists should be interrogated. Specifically, they've been asked about the currently banned use of waterboarding — a simulated drowning technique the CIA used on at least three alleged terrorists.

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In this country, the Pentagon has been looking for new places to hold detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the prison President Obama wants too close. One possibility is Fremont County in southeastern Colorado. NPR's David Welna paid a visit.

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OK, so a big debate here over whether this committee is just after Hillary Clinton or asking serious and probing questions about a tragic event. Last week, Kansas Republican Mike Pompeo, who's on the committee, told us it is the latter.

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Obama's plan to leave 5,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan at the end of his term means he won't fulfill a promise to remove all American forces from that war zone. While he added the disclaimer, "I do not support the idea of endless war," he also said he's not disappointed.

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The only American military installation abroad that's unwelcome to its host government is the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. A treaty signed in 1934 leases Guantanamo to the United States in perpetuity, for about $4,000 a year. And the U.S. has no plans to leave, despite the two countries having just restored diplomatic ties.

In hopes that it can persuade Congress to drop its prohibition on transferring detainees in Guantanamo to American soil, the White House is hunting for a highly secure place in the U.S. for some 50 detainees. Labeled as "enemy combatants," they've been held for more than a decade without trial in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, at a camp President Obama has promised to close.

Unlike the 52 other captives at Guantanamo whose release can occur as soon as a country is found to take them, these detainees are considered too dangerous to release at all. They're known as "unreleasables."

When President Obama announced a year ago that he was authorizing new military operations in Iraq, he drew sharp limits on that action.

It would only comprise, he said, "targeted airstrikes to protect our American personnel, and a humanitarian effort to help save thousands of Iraqi civilians who are trapped on a mountain without food and water and facing almost certain death."

Airstrikes began the next day to rescue the Yazidi people who were trapped on Iraq's Mount Sinjar.

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Adm. Michael Rogers is among the American officials most likely to know which country perpetrated the Office of Personnel Management's massive data breach, possibly the biggest hack ever of the U.S. government. He's not only director of the National Security Agency, but also heads the U.S. Cyber Command.

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John Sopko, whose job is to watch over U.S. government spending in Afghanistan, says it's not his job to be a cheerleader — it's to speak truth to power.

"I am often the bringer of bad news to people. Or at least that's what some people think," he says.

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A clash between Muslim inmates and the female soldiers assigned to guard them has led to a standoff at the lockup in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

A judge has blocked female guards from shackling and escorting five Muslim men being tried for plotting the Sept. 11 attacks. Soldiers, in turn, have filed Equal Opportunity complaints against the judge.

Walter Ruiz is the lawyer for one of the Guantanamo detainees who object to being escorted by female guards.

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