Thanks. It was the installation of IO::SSL that caused the breakage in SMTP ( Default SSL_verify_mode deprecated ). I Googled around and found that if you replace that regex, it will fix SMTP, but it appears to have broken LWP.
I tried to get the debug info like you suggested, but when I added the envrionment variable (from shell and in a begin block in my script), nothing was output.
our $VERSION = '1.94';
$VERSION = "6.05";