UPDATED 7:30 p.m.
Alex Goldmark here on the night shift, shifting the show around as the sun sets.
In addition to our planned coverage of the flotilla fall out (see below) around Gaza and Israel, we're also following up on statements from the White House today about possible criminal charges against BP. Would the threat of jail time be a better incentive to prevent catastrophe, or is that placing an unfair burden on individuals within a corporation? And how would it work anyway. So we should have the answers by the morning.
We're also going to hear from the Mayor of Mexico City, a potential presidential candidate, about how he would stop the drug violence and what he sees in store for immigration reform from south of the border.
And finally, for you city dwellers, we'll have recipes for healthy eating from the corner store. Find out how to stay fit and slim on the road, at gas station depots or just when you find Whole Foods is too expensive.
Anna Sale here on the day shift.
First, in case you missed it, be sure to listen to these remembrances from veterans and active duty service members on this Memorial Day. It's a nice reminder about the meaning behind this holiday.
We woke up to news this morning of violence in the Middle East. At least ten activists were killed in an Israeli raid on a supply fleet traveling from Turkey to Gaza, in violation of Israel's blockade of the region. Then came news that Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu canceled plans to meet with President Obama in Washington. We are following reaction in Israel, Gaza, and around the Middle East, and tomorrow, we will look more broadly at how this affects the United States' relationship with Israel.
Anna Sale here on the day shift.
We are continuing to watch the Gulf Coast today, monitoring when and if BP's next attempt to plug the well leak — a process called "top kill" which involves plugging the leak with fluids — will happen. Tomorrow, President Obama will hold a press conference to announce new oil development regulations and he'll travel to the Gulf Coast on Friday. We're reaching out to experts and economists today to get a sense of how this disaster affects the economics of energy development. We're asking what the balance sheets for energy development would look like if these worst case scenarios and non-market expenses were accounted for up-front. We're also asking you what you still need to know. It's been more than a month since oil started gushing out of a well in the Gulf Coast, and we've been covering it ever since. What questions do you still have about its long-term effects and the effort to contain the damage?
UPDATED 7:40 p.m.
We’re readjusting our plans for tomorrow’s show in response to a bunch of news that’s recently broken. First, BP says they will begin to implement a “top kill” approach first thing tomorrow morning. This is basically a technique where large amounts of heavy drilling mud and cement will be pumped through the ocean into the blowout preventer in hopes of capping the leak. It’s a risky approach that’s been done on land but never at 5,000 feet below water. And if it doesn’t go exactly right, it could make things worse. We’ll get an update from the ground and talk with an engineer about how exactly this technology works.
Then, just a couple of hours ago, we learned that President Obama will be sending up to 1,200 National Guard troops to the Southwest border, after demands from both Republicans and Democrats that the security along the border be tightened. Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich will join us in the morning to talk about the internal political dynamics that led to this decision.
And 100 years after Mark Twain’s death, his autobiography is set to be published this fall. Twain once wrote, “It is no use to keep private information which you can’t show off.” Soon his most private information will be made public. We’ll talk with the general editor of the Mark Twain Project and the publications editor at The Mark Twain House about what secrets we may soon learn about the literary legend.
Finally, at the end of the week, we’re hoping to answer listeners’ questions when it comes to the oil spill. We’ve gotten a slew of inquiries from Facebook, via text messages, on our website and through our phones lines (1-877-8-MYTAKE) asking a range of questions regarding the spill and cleanup efforts. We’re going to invite on an oil expert to help us sift through your comments and give you some answers. So continue sending your questions our way.
UPDATED: 5:15 p.m. Alex Goldmark here as night editor for today.
All of the fine work Anna laid out below is still leading our show tomorrow. Here's how we've rounded out the mix.
A macabre but fascinating case out of Minnesota makes its way to court tomorrow, years late some would say; and it raises chilling questions about freedom of speech on the internet, and culpability in assisted suicide. William F. Melchert-Dinkel allegedly posed as a sympathetic nurse online in suicide-related chat rooms and encouraged people to end their own lives. At least two did. Is he liable? Did he "aid a suicide," a crime in Minnesota? Is there a way to stop this kind of act without limiting free speech? We'll hear from a legal thinker and a crusading grandmother who set out to stop Dinkel.
As words continue to heat up around the Korean peninsula in the wake of the sinking of a South Korean warship, we'll bring some context to the escalations. This current case reminded us of the USS Pueblo Affair so we'll have a little historical discussion on that naval brouhaha.
And in addition to our Gulf oil spill topics listed below, we'll hear from someone who is training to clean oil off of animals.
Barack Obama decided on the night he won the presidency to make comprehensive health care legislation his first priority. Not all of his aides agreed. "I begged him not to do this," his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, later told Jonathan Alter for his book, "The Promise: President Obama, Year One."
Anna Sale here on the day shift.
We are following the breaking news out of the Northeast about the F.B.I. raids in connection to the investigation of the attempted Times Square bombing on May 1. Three people have been taken into custody. A law enforcement official told The New York Times that these raids were in connection to the investigation into the financing of the plot. We are watching to see how much we learn today and will bring you the latest in the morning.
We're starting into the evening after a slightly intense afternoon. (Adam Hirsch, here, on the evening shift.)
From the "Politics Makes For Strange Bedfellows" file, we found out that Conservative David Cameron will be the U.K.'s next Prime Minister, after his center-right party and the lefty Liberal Democrats formed a coalition, leaving the center-left Labor party to lick its wounds after the last election. We'll be getting voices from the BBC and here in the U.S. to explain how this unusual configuration came about, and what each party is trading.
It's traditional for Supreme Court nominees (and their friends, and their associates) to clam up to the media in the period between their gracious acceptance speech and facing the harsh lights of a Senate confirmation hearing ... and it's just as traditional for the rest of the country to be very, very curious about who the person is who might sit on the highest court in the land for the rest of their lives. So there's been a tension for us in the press as we report on details about Solicitor General Elena Kagan. We'll talk with two former associates of Kagan's tomorrow morning.
We'll also have an intriguing story about approaches to immigration in a southwestern state that isn't Arizona. After the last several weeks, we were shocked – shocked, we say! – to discover that Arizona isn't the only state in the union to have concerns over illegal immigration ... but we'll hear about a very different response to it. Tune in!
Updated 5pm EST
Arwa Gunja here on the night shift.
Do you feel like Facebook is becoming too invasive? Some users are complaining that the social networking site’s latest expansion shares too much personal information. Our own Jim Colgan will explain how the “like” system works and why so many are up in arms about it.
And as Anna mentioned earlier, we’ll be closely reporting on the nomination of Elena Kagan and how her appointment would affect the diversity of the nation’s highest court. We’ll also examine her own record when it comes to diversity. The Root reported today that, “of the 29 law professors hired by Professor Kagan, only one was a professor of color. None were African-American or Latino. Only seven were women.” Earlier today we started a conversation here on our website asking listeners what they think is most important attribute in a Supreme Court nominee. Give us your take by commenting below or calling us at 1-877-8-MYTAKE.
And across the pond, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced he would resign within months as the leader of the Labour Party. Last week’s general elections there resulted in a hung parliament where no single party won a majority. Brown says he accepts the results as a “judgment” on himself and is stepping aside. We’ll bring you the latest on that story tomorrow morning.
Updated 5:30pm EST
The show has taken a bit of turn as The Dow Jones industrial average plunged more than 550 points in five minutes and a total of nearly 1,000 in total. Then as quickly as it fell, it came back up. The Wall Street roller coaster ride today also pushed the euro to its lowest level in over a year. Meanwhile in Greece, the Parliament passed a package of austerity measures in hopes of preventing an economic collapse. Thousands in Greece are protesting the government and the rioting turned violent on Wednesday when protesters set fire to a bank, killing three workers. What would make you take to the streets here in the US in protest of the government? Call our comment line at 877-8-MYTAKE or leave us a message here on our website.
To help explain how Greece’s economy may have impacted the markets today, we’ll talk with Charlie Herman, The Takeaway and WNYC economics editor. And later in the morning, new unemployment numbers come out. We’ll be watching that closely to bring you the latest.
UPDATED 6:45 p.m.
Executives from the various companies with a hand in the Deepwater Horizon disaster told members of Congress today that a worst-case scenario could conceivably mean crude oil gushing from the well 8 times faster than it is now. We're keeping an eye on the day-to-day changes on the southeastern coast, but tomorrow we're planning to talk about other gargantuan oil disasters and what, if anything, we can learn from them.
Information about the alleged Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad, has kept rolling in over the afternoon; we've been considering a couple of ways to go with the story. Obviously Shahzad is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and just as obviously, there was an awful lot of very quick work involved in law enforcement agencies tracking him to a taxiing plane before getting out of the country. We'll be looking at where Shahzad's been in recent years and try to understand his history.
UPDATED 5:30 p.m.
Alex Goldmark here picking up the evening duties.
The big thing we have our eye on right now is the anonymously sourced reports from The Washington Post that the Times Square bomb plot may have international links. So far our sources (and most sources) are saying they can't confirm that, nor even comment on it. But as soon as more information becomes available, we'll be ready to share it with you. In the meantime, on the bomb plot, we're also looking into the elaborate CSI style investigation underway by the NYPD an FBI.
Another segment in the works is likely to get you talking, well, at work. Do you know how much your co-workers make? Do you want to find out how you stack up to them? Well, stop wondering, because its only going to lead to heartbreak and frustration according to Beth Kobliner if you start to ask around. Luckily, there are other ways of find out your worth at work. So tune in tomorrow for that.
Buried below the banner headlines of oil disasters and bomb plots is the tragic deluge in the American south. Tennessee has been hit terribly hard by rain in the past few days. We're going to find out the extent of the damage of the other environmental disaster in American right now.
Oh, and we'll look back at the 40th anniversary of the Kent State shootings with archival audio.
UPDATED 7:20 PM
Noel King, here on the night shift.
Not much has changed since Anna’s update, but we’ve discovered some Presidential trivia that may excite history buffs. President Obama is scheduled to give the commencement address at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on Saturday morning. Our guest, Jake Smilovitz, editor of student-run The Michigan Daily, reminds us that the campus has seen its share of Presidential history. During the 1960 presidential campaign, then-candidate John Fitzgerald Kennedy set the stage for the formation of the Peace Corps. In an impromptu 2 AM speech, he asked students if they’d be willing to volunteer in undeveloped nations. Two weeks later, in San Francisco, Kennedy used the term “Peace Corps” for the first time. And in 1964 President Lyndon Johnson gave his Great Society Speech at U Mich. Smilovitz weighs in on what the class of 2010 wants to hear from Obama.
Anna Sale here on the day shift.
As the Senate starts debate on a financial regulation package, we'll get into the nitty-gritty tomorrow. Elizabeth Warren, the chairwoman of the oversight panel for the bank bailout funds, will join us. So will Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), who made headlines this week with his pointed, sometimes salty, questioning of Goldman Sachs officials. We recorded our interview with Elizabeth Warren today, so check back on the website to hear a preview.
Arwa Gunja here, on the evening shift.
It looks pretty certain that tomorrow, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist will officially announce that he will leave the GOP to run as an independent in a race for a U.S. Senate seat. We’ll ask tomorrow what this means for the future of the GOP and if the Tea Party movement is helping or hurting Republican chances of securing elections. With the governor's announcement, the race in Florida will become a three-way contest, between Crist on the Independent ticket, the charismatic Marc Rubio on the Republican ticket and likely Democratic nominee Congressman Kendrick Meek, making this one of the most exciting races to watch for in the country.
We’ll also be talking about America’s obesity epidemic tomorrow morning, asking whether both corporations and citizens are truly willing to change food habits to make Americans healthier. We’ll talk with Marc Ambinder, who just wrote an extensive article on this for The Atlantic.
And tomorrow, co-host Celeste Headlee broadcasts from member station WDET in Detroit, Michigan. As Anna mentioned earlier, she’ll be speaking with Jeffrey Eugenides about leaving Detroit, a city that has played a critical role in his identity and writings. And we want to ask you, have you ever had to leave a city that you call home? Tell us about that experience. You can leave us a comment here on our website, or give us a call at 1-877-8-MYTAKE.
UPDATED 5:45 p.m.
Alex Goldmark here, excited about tomorrows show a full 12+ hours ahead of time. Here's why...
We had a good show going already (see below re: Detroit week, Supreme Court fun, and some exotic lunch plans) but we've added some solid international coverage. Former Ambassador to Iraq and Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, will join us to look back on five years of democratic governance in Iraq, and to look ahead on the prospects for the intensifying war in Afghanistan.
Our other international news highlight for tomorrow also has to do with repercussions of decisions made under the George W. Bush administration. At Guantanamo Bay, an Army judge will hear the case of the Canadian man Omar Khadr, who claimed he was tortured by U.S. interrogators. The hearings could establish a precedent of the admissibility of confessions by detainees. We'll get an update from a reporter at the detention facility tomorrow morning.
UPDATED 7:15 p.m.
Alex Goldmark here on the evening shift.
All is well here with a few changes from Anna's post earlier.
For one, police have seized the computers of the Gizmodo blogger who published reports of a "lost" next generation iPhone. And the legal implications of this for journalists, including shield laws, have us debating way more aspects of this case over the cubicle walls than we'll have time for tomorrow.
We're adding another angle to our coverage of Arizona's new immigration law. We'll hear from law professors who will explain how the presumption of innocence and the burden of proof have evolved over time, and where this new law fits. It won't be the first time a class of free and legal Americans will have to be able to prove their status in order to walk the streets of their city.
And our man in DC, Todd Zwillich, is walking the halls of the Capitol right now, mic in hand, monitoring the preliminary votes and opening shenanigans in the financial regulation reform debate in the Senate.
Arwa Gunja here, on the night shift.
Our partners over at The New York Times are working on an exclusive story about the mine explosion in West Virginia that left 29 people dead. The story will shed new light on what exactly went so wrong and the different safety violations that led to the tragedy. National correspondent Ian Urbina joins us in the morning to share his reporting.
Today, President Obama visited Wall Street to push for greater oversight of the financial industry. This got us wondering whether oversight is enough to stop dirty dealings. Do we behave differently if we know we are being watched? Tomorrow we’ll talk with Dan Ariely, a professor of behavioral economics at Duke University. And we want to ask you, our listeners, if you spend your money differently when there is someone monitoring your spending. If you share a credit card bill or bank account with a spouse or loved one, how does that affect the choices you make a shopping mall, for example? Call us at 1-877-8-MYTAKE or leave us a comment here on our website.
Arwa Gunja here, on the night shift.
Who owns our genetic makeup? We’ve talked about this on The Takeaway before, when a Federal District Court in Manhattan ruled that a biopharmaceutical company could no longer hold the patent on several genes. But this topic is resurfacing this week in a very different context. The Havasupai Indians gave their DNA to Arizona State University so researchers could find out why there is such a high rate of diabetes in the tribe. But, tribal members claim the university used their genetic makeup for much more, including looking at mental illness and tracing the tribe’s geographic origins, which contradict their own traditional stories. Now the university has settled with the Havasupai Indians at the price of $700,000, the first time individuals have been paid after claims their DNA was misused. We’ll take a look at the ethics of testing DNA and ask whether vulnerable communities in particular are taken advantage of when it comes to medical research.
We’re also having a two-part conversation about the role of Google after the company made public censorship requests from different governments. Tomorrow we’ll talk with Jeff Rosen, a law professor at George Washington University, about whether Google has its own foreign policy agenda, much like a nation would. Then on Friday we’ll talk with Nicole Wong. If Google were a country, Wong would be their secretary of state.
And the NFL draft starts tomorrow night. Even if you support a losing team, is the draft a time when hope springs eternal? The St. Louis Rams get the first pick, and we’ll talk with an ardent fan.
UPDATE 6:45 p.m.
Alex Goldmark here with the evening update as the sun sets and the news settles in.
As the day rolled on we began to see more and more fertile ground for great conversation in the legacies of historic events (see original post below re: Mariel Boat lift and Dorothy Height). So we will explore how younger generations take lessons from the legacies of these past events. How soon is history forgotten and how does it live on in ways we don't always recognize.
And our partners WGBH along with The Christian Science Monitor have completed an investigative report on carbon offset programs. If you pay a company to plant a tree for you to offset the pollution caused by your lifestyle, you might want to tune in and hear how some offsetting operations aren't what they claim.
And as Louise Story continues her downright outstanding investigative reporting on the suspect dealings at Goldman Sachs for our partner The New York Times and joins us tomorrow to discuss Goldman's earnings and its reaction to allegations of fraud. Good, hard news times as always, on The Takeaway.
Anna Sale here on the day shift.
This ash cloud story continues to have us talking around here. We talked this morning about the impact on the economy and global shipping, but we're also interested in how this transportation disruption has affected the way we understand the world. For starters, is this changing the way we perceive distance and time? We're also looking back in history at other times Mother Nature reared her head and caused large-scale disruptions to the normal course of civilization.