Alex Goldmark is a senior producer for Transportation Nation/WNYC.
He covers local issues from traffic safety to bike lane planning and national stories like high-speed rail, electric vehicles and auto innovations. He is an occasional contributor on business and social impact stories for Marketplace and NPR News programs. He teaches at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and occasionally writes for magazines such as GOOD and Fast Company. He’s on Twitter @alexgoldmark.
According to a spokesman for UN envoy Kofi Annan, Syria has accepted a United Nations plan to end bloodshed in the country. The plan includes a daily two-hour ceasefire by Syrian security forces to evacuate the injured and provide humanitarian aid. This plan comes as President Bashar al-Assad has traveled to the besieged Baba Amr neighborhood to inspect conditions. Michael Bristow is a correspondent for our partner the BBC.
Politicians from both sides of the Irish border will be in Washington tomorrow to help President Obama celebrate a belated St Patrick's Day. A symbol of the progress since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, but back home divisions still run deep. Few are willing to confess the role they might have played in past violence. But former Loyalist and Republican paramilitaries are looking for a way forward, a journey that's taken them to the townships of South Africa.
John Hockenberry joins us from London, where people are talking about fitness for police officers. After a survey found that 53 percent of officers were overweight and one in 100 was morbidly obese, new proposal in England and Wales would require officers to undergo an annual fitness test. Penalties could include paycuts for those who repeatedly fail -- all as a way to reportedly "rid the service of fat officers".
The Godfather defined a movie genre and defined the mafia criminal enterprise headed by a godfather who ruled like a pharoah, murdered his enemies and was a gentle grandpa to his family. That movie premiered 40 years ago today in New York, the city where it is largely set. From London John Hockenberry spoke with Federico Varese, professor of Criminology at Oxford University and author of "Mafia on the Move," about the accuracy of the mafia portrayal in the classic film.
After 244 years, the oldest continually published encyclopedia in the English language, the Encyclopedia Britannica, is going out of print. The encyclopedia will now be focused on its online edition and educational curricula for schools. John Hockenberry reports from London, where he spoke with the encyclopedia's managing editor Ian Grant.
John Hockenberry reports from London, where he visited the UK's National Design Museum to view the "design of the year" nominations on display. With more than 80 entries in seven categories, the designs included a life-size paper hearse and a plan for a hospital in Rwanda that benefits the community.
A year ago President Obama announced his plans for high speed rail lines and other cutting edge transportation for the nation. But after many defeats in Congress, including the de-funding of high-speed rail, the President’s transportation initiative suddenly seems less futuristic and more focused on rebuilding the old highways of the past.
Thursday marks the two-year anniversary of Haiti’s January 2010 earthquake. The 7.0 magnitude quake devastated the capital city, Port-au-Prince, and Haiti’s government estimates the death toll was more than 316,000 people. An international outpouring of support followed, with NGOs, human rights organizations, and the first mass text-based fundraising campaign bolstering the island nation. A little less than a year after the earthquake, an outbreak of cholera further devastated the country and set back relief efforts. So what has and hasn't been accomplished in the time since?
Protesters at Occupy Wall Street's encampment in Lower Manhattan were awakened by sound cannons overnight Tuesday as police in riot gear moved in to clear the park. After nearly two months occupying Zuccotti Park, protesters were ordered to leave the park and told they could return after it had been "cleared and restored." WNYC reporter Alex Goldmark has been in Lower Manhattan overnight observing what transpired.
This time last year, 33 miners who had been trapped underground for 68 days in Chile were finally rescued. People in Chile and around the world watched as their rescue played out on televisions, radio and the internet. The whole event raised many questions, about what it means to be Chilean, what it's like to be trapped in a mine, and where the miners would go from here.
Syria continued its violent crackdown on protesters this week and increased its escalation using navy vessels to go after the port city of Latakia on Sunday. At least 25 people are reportedly killed including three children, according to our partner The New York Times. Joining us is Anthony Shadid, Beirut bureau chief for The New York Times, whose been covering this story.
For more than one hundred and forty years the House of Reeves furniture store was a landmark in south London. On Tuesday night the family run business − which had survived two World World Wars, a Great Depression, and a Great Recession — was burnt to the ground by rioters. British Prime Minister David Cameron this morning announced that "the fightback has begun." This includes the painful cleanup at locations such as the House of Reeves store.
As unrest spreads in Syria the government continues to crack down on demonstrators. But President Bashar al-Assad's government seems to be weakening and losing nearly all of its international support. The United States has imposed sanctions on Syria's largest bank and mobile phone operator while calling on Assad to step down from power. Meanwhile within Syria, even members of the political and social elite are starting to back away from the Assad regime.
The sexual assault case against former International Monetary Fund head Dominique Strauss-Kahn is possibly on the verge of collapse this morning, according to an article from our partner The New York Times. The Times reports that the maid—who accused Strauss-Kahn of sexually assaulting her at a Manhattan hotel in May—may have lied about her asylum application, and may have been involved in drug dealing and money laundering. Strauss-Kahn is headed to court this morning, where his legal team is expected to ask for his bail conditions to be relaxed.
A new poll by CBS and our partner the New York Times shows that Americans are split on whether owning a home is a safe investment. 49 percent of those polled said it was, while 45 percent said that owning a home in this economic climate is risky. Despite that, nearly nine in ten Americans said that home ownership is vital to the American Dream. We asked Takeaway listeners whether or not they feel optimistic about buying a home right now, or if it's a smarter and safer bet to rent, and rounded up their responses.
The Souris River, which loops from Saskatchewan, Canada to North Dakota, has risen to record high levels and is spilling into the North Dakota city of Minot, causing more than 11,000 residents from there to evacuate for the second time this month. The flooding is said to have been caused by a heavy spring snow melt and heavy rains. The last major flood in the area occurred in 1969, which prompted the construction of levees. But this flood is five feet taller than the 1969 flood, and the levees are unable to contain it.
Only July 9, southern Sudan will secede from Northern Sudan, in compliance with the South's vote for independence in January. Oil accounts for nearly all of southern Sudan's income, but Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has threatened to shut pipelines carrying southern Sudan's oil, if the two sides of the northeastern African country cannot reach an agreement on oil by the July separation.
In a live national address this morning, Syrian president Bashar Assad accused "saboteurs" of trying to smear the world's image of the country, by protesting his rule for the past three months. Assad also made an appeal to the thousands of Syrians who have fled to the border of Syria and Turkey to return to their homes, saying that the biggest danger facing the country is the threat of an economic collapse. Anthony Shadid reports from Beirut for our partner, The New York Times. He speaks with us about President Assad's speech, and whether or not it will change the course of events in Syria.
Today the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a global body that coordinates internet names, voted to allow companies to apply for their own domain name extensions. Instead of choosing from the 22 existing top-level domain names, like dot com, dot org or dot net, websites will be able to apply for alternate URL endings—think dot takeaway or dot WNYC. At $185,000, the application fee is hefty and will likely limit the applicant pool to global business giants hoping to maximize their internet presence. ICANN will begin accepting applications on January 12, 2012. Mariko Oi, business reporter for our partner the BBC, speaks with us from Singapore, where ICANN met this morning.
About a thousand Syrians crossed the northern border of the country into Turkey overnight. They are fleeing a possible assault from the Syrian Army, which is believed to be led by Syrian President Bashar Assad's younger brother. The troops have surrounded the town of Jisr al-Shughour, close to the Turkish border, with heavy forces and tanks. The Turkish government has already built one camp to house the Syrian refugees, and is currently building another.