T. Boone Pickens is an unlikely environmentalist. The native Oklahoman made his fortune in the oil business, and then, in 2008, shifted his focus to America's energy future. The result is the Pickens Plan, an energy policy to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil through alternative energy and natural gas. Pickens will detail his plan at the TED Conference in Long Beach, California, this week, where John Hockenberry is also speaking.
Less than two weeks ago, Anthony Shadid, a foreign correspondent for The New York Times, died in Syria from an acute asthma attack. Shadid covered nearly two decades of Middle East conflict, won the Pulitzer Prize twice, and authored three books. "House of Stone," his final book, goes on sale today.
An estimated one-quarter of the world currently lives without electricity. Liberia, among others, is fighting to change this: after the second of two civil wars in the last 25 years ended in 2003, the country's electrical grid had been destroyed. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected in 2006 in part on a platform to return widespread electricity to the country, and she has recently claimed that, by 2015, 30 percent of the country's urban population and 15 percent of its rural population will be restored to the national grid.
After Rick Santorum swept the caucuses in Minnesota and Colorado, as well as the non-binding primary in Missouri, many started to wonder if Santorum could unseat Romney's seemingly inexorable path to the nomination. The field of Republican candidates for president is once again unsettled. But is Santorum really the favorite among conservative voters?
Ten years ago today, President George W. Bush signed a two-page memorandum called "Humane Treatment of Taliban and al Qaeda Detainees." The memorandum, drafted in part by John Yoo, is now best known as the first of the so-called "terror memos." It argued that the government was exempt from the Geneva Conventions in any war on terror-related investigations, as, the document asserts, the treaty refers only to "High Contracting Parties."
Mayors from across the nation are meeting this week to discuss unemployment and other economic issues hitting their respective cities. The United States Conference of Mayors, who is hosting the event, claims that nearly 80 of the country’s metro areas will not reach pre-recession levels of employment for at least five years. Mayor Steve Benjamin, an attendee of the conference, discusses his own struggles as mayor of Columbia, SC and the hardships other cities face presently in the United States.
Wednesday marks the tenth anniversary of the United States opening a detention camp in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The past decade has seen no shortage of controversy about the base, both on legal and moral terms. Barack Obama campaigned for president on the promise to close the base, but signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act on December 31, which includes a provision allowing indefinite military detention without trial. There are currently 171 prisoners being held there, and no signs of shutting the facility down in the near future.
In September, artist and graphic designer Megan Flood came on The Takeaway to discuss her senior project at the University of Michigan. Through audio and photographs, Living Without Doorknobs documents life in an Ann Arbor, Michigan homeless tent community called Camp Take Notice. One of the homeless men living in Camp Take Notice, Joe Gill, was a major focus of Flood's work, and his photographs of the tent community became an integral part of her project.
The Department of Justice announced on Tuesday that a labyrinthine plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States had been conceived and funded by "high-up officials" in Iran. Attorney General Eric Holder vowed that "the United States is committed to holding Iran accountable for its actions." Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that the U.S. was considering means by which to "send a strong message to Iran and further isolate it from the international community." Iran, in turn, claimed that the whole thing was cooked up by the U.S. to distract Americans from the state of the economy.
After Steve Jobs died on Wednesday, many reflected on his innovations, and how they changed what the world has come to expect from technology. His intuitive understanding of design and human psychology helped him to create a user-friendly approach to high-tech computing which, in turn, made Apple one of the most popular brands in the world.
The Takeaway has been focusing on education this week, as students have been heading back to school across the country. Today, a look at one school, Detroit's Catherine Ferguson Academy. With a $327 million deficit and huge cuts in funding and employment, the public school system in Detroit has entered worrisome times. Catherine Ferguson Academy, a unique school that caters specifically to young mothers and pregnant teenagers, was almost closed as a result of the deficit, but students, teachers, politicians, and advocates rallied to save it.
It almost didn’t happen, but there will indeed be an NFL season this year. It all begins in just a few weeks but already, the season may be off to a rocky start. Seven former players have filed a lawsuit against the NFL, claiming the league fails to properly treat them for concussions and deliberately trying to conceal links between football and brain injuries. It could become the first potential class-action case of its kind.
Every Friday we talk about new movies here on The Takeaway. Today, we'll be discussing the latest "Conan the Barbarian" iteration — this version is available in 3D and without Arnold Schwarzenegger — and "One Day," the latest Anne Hathaway vehicle — that this time she's brought an English accent with her.
Early next month President Obama will offer a plan intended to spur the U.S. economy, with a focus on job creation and deficit reduction. Some of its proposals have been made clear: he intends to continue a two-percent payroll tax cut for workers and renew unemployment benefits. But what else might be in there? And, for that matter, what should be in there?