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.
An estimated 10,000 people participated in the first day of an indefinite strike against the government on Monday. These protests were motivated by alleged corruption and the elimination of a subsidy that has sent fuel prices skyrocketing in Nigeria. Meanwhile, terrorist attacks by the radical Islamist group Boko Haram, who most recently claimed responsibility for a Christmas Day church bombing that killed 37 people and wounded 57, have reached a fever pitch.
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 Iowa caucus is a week away, and it seems that Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul are the front-runners for taking this crucial victory. Yet none of them have a distinct lead. Recently revealed newsletters that Paul published in the 80s and 90s contained racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-gay messages. Gingrich recently failed to qualify for the Republican primary in Virginia after he could not get the 10,000 valid signatures necessary to be placed on the ballot. And Romney, despite remaining near the top of the polls over the past few months, has never been able to distinguish himself as a front-runner.
The National Defense Authorization Act for next year has been met with criticism by civil liberties organizations for provisions that they say would allow American citizens suspected of terrorist activities to be detained indefinitely. As the House and Senate work on versions of the bill, President Obama has quietly withdrawn a veto threat for the legislation — something he campaigned on as a presidential candidate in 2008. A Gallup from August shows that 71 percent of Americans believe basic civil liberties should not be violated, even if doing so would prevent terrorist attacks.
Economic inequality is the primary motivation for the Occupy protests that began in New York and have since gone global. A clear-cut solution for restoring financial stability and easing public disgruntlement, stateside or in the burgeoning European debt crisis, is nowhere in sight. But one millionaire claims to have an answer.
The Republican candidates for the presidential nomination have been going through something of a public juggling act, with only Mitt Romney maintaining his place at the top of the field. The latest candidate to emerge as a front runner is Newt Gingrich, who received an endorsement from the New Hampshire Union Leader this past weekend.
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.
Tuesday night in New Hampshire, candidates for the Republican nomination for president sat around a table and traded visions of how to fix the ailing economy at a debate sponsored by Bloomberg. While the Republican presidential hopefuls were pillorying President Obama's response to the recession, their compatriots in the Senate were busy defeating the president's $447 billion jobs bill. Two Democrats also joined the majority. So where is the jobs bill going next? And what alternatives, if any, are the Republicans offering?
The latest Republican presidential debate was held in New Hampshire on Tuesday night. Perhaps it was the mahogany table's influence but, unlike some of the more recent GOP debates, the atmosphere was cordial. The candidates steered clear of some of the more contentious topics — religion, race, immigration — that have been roiling the field. Instead, they expressed dissatisfaction with the Federal Reserve and health care reform, among other subjects. But what, in a debate that focused primarily on the economy, did they offer to potential voters?
The Occupy Wall Street protest is still growing, and it's caught on in other cities across the country. Meanwhile, last week in Alabama the strictest anti-immigration bill in the country was again challenged by the Department of Justice. California passed a state Dream Act — the most lenient immigration bill legislation in the country. And, corporations will begin announcing their quarterly earnings results this week, which may briefly distract investors from the still-faltering European economy. Plus, The Washington Post and Bloomberg News are sponsoring a Republican debate on Tuesday night.
In the worst incident of violence in Egypt since President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in February, 24 people died, and more than 200 were wounded after a protest in Cairo turned violent on Sunday. Christians protesting a recent attack against a Coptic church in Aswan province were attacked by police. Thousands filled the streets chanting, "the people want to bring down the field marshal," in reference to Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi and the military council that has ruled Egypt since February.
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.
In spite of intense opposition from the United States, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to formally ask the United Nations Security Council to recognize Palestine as a full member of the U.N. today. The Palestinian bid for statehood has overshadowed nearly everything that has happened at the U.N. this week. In a speech on Wednesday, President Obama voiced his disapproval of the Palestinian plan, saying "Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the U.N." The U.S. has vowed to veto the move.