How important is appearance when it comes to the ability to serve? When Major Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi, an American Sikh, was told by the Army that he would be required to give up the beard, knee-length hair and turban that symbolize his religion, he refused. Instead, he fought for the right to serve while still wearing the symbols that honor his religious tradition. In 2009, the Army granted him a special exception. He joins The Takeaway to discuss his efforts to change the military's policy.
Are American retailers that operate in Bangladesh doing enough to improve safety conditions at Bangladeshi factories? U.S. Senator Robert Menendez has been calling for better labor conditions and safety standards for workers in Bangladesh. Safina Rahman, the director of Lakshma Sweaters, an apparel production factory in Bangladesh's capital, responds to the senator's proposal. They join The Takeaway to take us through his plan and how it might impact the garment industry at home and abroad.
The American South holds 37 percent of the U.S. population, but over half of all new HIV diagnoses occur there. A new documentary called "deepsouth" sheds light on the people living in the most quiet corners of the region. The film's director, Lisa Biagiotti, joins The Takeaway to discuss her film and why the South is the leading geographic region for HIV/AIDS.
In Egypt, the man tasked with bringing a semblance of stability to an unstable situation is the nation's Chief Justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court, Adli Mansour. But he’s being called a mystery man and an unknown quantity. Mona El-Naggar is a documentary filmmaker, journalist and former Cairo reporter for our partner The New York Times. She recently helped profile Mansour for the Times and fills us in on who he is and what he might be able to do.
In the days following the ouster of Egypt's first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, a mix of celebrations in support of the change, and demonstrations against it, have filled the streets. Joining us to discuss the situation on the ground and the way forward for Egypt is Mona Makram-Ebeid, a political science professor at the American University in Cairo and a former member of parliament in Egypt—a position she resigned on Saturday. Also on the program is Shadi Hamid, director of research at the Brookings Doha Center.
You would never guess that the newspaper business was struggling, at least not if you were at an auction in New York City last week where a newspaper printing was sold for $550,000. But this isn't just any newspaper printing. It's a rare edition of the first newspaper printing of the Declaration of Independence. Seth Kaller is a leading expert in acquiring, authenticating and appraising American historic documents and artifacts. He partnered with the Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries to auction off this rare piece of American history. Seth Kaller joins us on the program to talk about this rare document and its significance.
In 1978, William H. Gray III won a seat in Congress, a position he would hold until 1991. Representing Philadelphia, PA, he eventually climbed his way to the top, becoming the highest-ranking black lawmaker in the United States. He died at the age of 71 on Monday. Joining us to discuss his legacy is Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA).
When Union and Confederate soldiers clashed at the Battle of Gettysburg, 150 years ago today, The Saturday Evening Post sent reporters to cover the fighting. Today, the Post is one of the few remaining publications that covered the Civil War, as the magazine began printing in 1821. Jeff Nilsson, director of archives for The Saturday Evening Post, remembers the battle and its legacy.
In a landmark decision, the United States Supreme Court has struck down the U.S. Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on the grounds that it violates the equal protection clause. The ruling says same-sex spouses are entitled to the same federal benefits and protections as opposite-sex couples. The case, United States Vs. Windsor, invalidates the act with a 5-4 decision. "DOMA’s principal effect is to identify a subset of state-sanctioned marriages and make them unequal," writes Justice Anthony Kennedy in the majority opinion.
The Supreme Court will soon issue its decisions in the two same-sex marriage cases the Justices heard this term, but same-sex marriage has long divided the African-American community, a fact filmmaker Yoruba Richen explores in her new documentary, "The New Black." She joins us today to discuss her film that examines the history and future of same-sex marriage in the black community and the black church.
In a 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling on Tuesday that strikes down key parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Section 4 was struck down, which had established a formula to identify states that may require extra scrutiny by the federal government and Justice Department when it comes to changing its voting laws.
Kambiz Hosseini has been called the Jon Stewart of Iran. In his weekly persian-language podcast, "Five in the Afternoon," he satirizes the politics and culture of his home country, highlighting the often-tragic issues facing Iran with humor. Hosseini weighs in on the Iranian presidential elections last week and what the loss of Ahmadinejad will mean for his comedy.
Change could be coming to Iran. Reform candidate Hassan Rouhani has won more than 50% of the vote in the Iranian presidential election to replace Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It was a surprise result, but is it a rebuke—or even a challenge—to religious authorities who hold the real power in Iran? Reza Marashi, research director at the National Iranian American Council, weighs in on the victory of this reformist candidate.
Ahead of Father's Day, writer Stephen Marche reflects on the different ways the loss of his own father pushed him into maturity as a man—and as a parent. He writes about the experience in a essay called "Why Fatherhood Matters," which appears in the latest issue of Esquire.
According to President Obama, even if you didn't know about the N.S.A.'s phone-and-Internet data collection programs your Congressman did. Takeaway Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich has been making the rounds on the Hill to find out who knew and who says they didn't know about the program.
On May 18th, Raha Moharrak, a university graduate from Saudi Arabia made history as the first Saudi woman, as well as the youngest Arab to have scaled the summit of Mount Everest. She accomplished this feat at the age of 25, despite the familial and social pressures of a country where women's sports are still actively dissuaded by government policy.
For families that decide to leave Mexico and take their chances in the United States, there is a calculation to be made: What is the price of pursing a dream? As we discovered earlier this month in the little town of Malinalco, about an hour outside of Mexico City, it is a cost that seems to be borne unfairly by the children of migrant families. Jill Replogle from KPBS San Diego's Fronteras Desk says children caught in the system enter a legal limbo where it can be almost impossible for parents to put their families back together again.
The civil war in Syria is increasingly becoming a sectarian conflict between Sunnis and Shiites, particularly with the recent involvement of Hezbollah. But it didn't start out that way. In a recent op-ed for our partner The New York Times, Journalist and civil rights lawyer Alia Malek argues that sectarian strife is in the interest of many players, including Bashar al-Assad.
In the small Mexican town of Malinalco, Takeaway host John Hockenberry met Hermelinda Medina Millan. In April, 1997 when she and her husband first decided to migrate north, cross the border, and enter the United States illegally. The story of Hermelinda and Anselmo's migration to the United States, his subsequent deportation, and then death, is a story of a family's separation and sacrifices-- all to chase the American dream.
Mexico City is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, with close to 20 million people living within its borders. For its residents, it is also an incredibly polluted place to live.But as the population, and the pollution, grow, we ask: Will Mexico City, and all major global cities, survive the centuries? In recent years, there has been a push to make Mexico City a greener and more sustainable place to live.