The war against drugs coming over the U.S. border is well documented, but what is rarely talked about is the impact of the U.S. war on drug routes. Turns out that cocaine is now being routed from Colombia across the Atlantic through Africa rather than face turmoil in Central America. This is turning the African nation of Guinea-Bissau into a new narco-state. The Takeaway is joined by Ed Vulliamy, a journalist for The Observer, who has written a three-part series on the new drug trade.
In the last few weeks we’ve witnessed some high-profile duplicity: From Bernie Madoff’s masterminding of a $65 billion swindle or the tax lapses of the Obama cabinet nominees (Daschle, we're looking at you). But high stakes cheating is actually not nearly as common or collectively damaging as the petty crimes of dishonesty that most of us perpetuate daily. Joining us to talk about the human nature of cheating and the consequences of overlooking the common charlatan is Dan Ariely. Dan Ariely is James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University and author of Predictably Irrational.
Watch master poker cheats at work in the video below.
Each Monday morning The Takeaway invites a person-in-the-know to look into their crystal ball and tell us about the events of the coming week. Today we're joined by Marcus Mabry, the international business editor of the New York Times, for a look at this week's economic numbers, Europe's involvement in closing Guantanamo Bay, what may be ahead for Pakistan, and maybe the winning lottery numbers.
Large numbers of El Salvadorans voted yesterday in a tense election that could put a leftist in the presidency for the first time in this nation's history. The election is seen as so crucial that thousands of Salvadorans reportedly returned from the United States to vote in their home country. Sara Llana, Latin American Bureau Chief for the Christian Science Monitor, joins The Takeaway for the latest.
In Post-World War II America, when the American Dream was in full bloom, African-Americans were systematically written out of the narrative. Key programs of FDR’s New Deal consciously excluded African-Americans and reinforced patterns of racial segregation. Today as we see the dream dwindling, a new Pew study reports that African-Americans are the most optimistic group about their economic future. An upbeat vision that persists even though unemployment among African-Americans is at 13.4 percent; a rate that surpasses the nationwide average.
Former Secretary of Defense, William S. Cohen and his wife Janet Langhart wrote the book “Love in Black and White: A Memoir of Race, Religion, and Romance,” published in 2007, about their marriage and life together as an interracial couple living in the United States. They met in 1974 and married on Valentine's Day, 1996. They are hosting the 2nd annual Race and Reconciliation in America conference in Washington D.C. Both join The Takeaway to talk about race in America.
Watch William S. Cohen and Janet Langhart discuss their book and their marriage in the video below.
Three astronauts on board the International Space Station had a bit of a scare when space debris whizzed by the space station at 21,000 miles per hour. The crew took refuge in the Soyuz capsule, an attached Russian spacecraft. This incident happened a month after two satellites collided in space.
To talk about the space junk orbiting the earth is Ben Baseley-Walker, a legal and policy consultant at the Secure World Foundation.
It's no doubt that part of the economic crisis is rooted in fear. People are holding back on spending even if their financial situation hasn't changed because of their anxiety about the future. Two companies are trying to address that fear as a way to increase sales. JetBlue and Hyundai are both offering refunds to people who lose their jobs.
John Krafcik, CEO of Hyundai North America Motors, and Dave Barger, CEO of JetBlue Airlines, join The Takeaway to explain their companies' refund programs for the involuntarily jobless.
"We can't predict the future, but we can certainly try to take maybe some of the unknown out of the future." — JetBlue CEO Dave Barger on giving refunds to unemployed people
Jennifer Baszile grew up black in the affluent, predominantly white suburb of Palos Verdes Estates, California in the 1970s and 1980s. She was part of the first generation of Americans born after official segregation came to an end. The experience of growing up African-American in that context hasn't been chronicled much, and now Baszile has written a book, "The Black Girl Next Door," to fill the gap. She shares her story with John and Farai.
"Every woman's life begins in girlhood, and so many of these defining experiences happen to us when we have the least control over our lives." — Author Jennifer Baszile on her book "The Black Girl Next Door"
Laid-off workers across the country are building business plans instead of sending out resumes. Economists say that when the economy takes a dive, it's common for people to turn to their inner entrepreneur to start their own businesses.
Alex Andon in San Francisco and Lucy Aponte in the Bronx join The Takeaway to talk about their bright ideas. Also weighing in on the conversation is Stephen Key, co-founder of InventRight , a company dedicated to educating investors about how to pursue their ideas. He offers advice to these budding entrepreneurs.
"Now is the perfect time for inventors, or anybody with an idea, to get those ideas out." — Stephen Key of InventRight on the importance of innovation
Each year, 10 billion animals are raised for consumption in the U.S. and most spend their lives on industrialized farms that aren't federally mandated to treat animals humanely. An activist and investigator that goes by the name of "Pete" went undercover at factory farms to document abuses towards animals. A vegan, Pete worked undercover at a farm in Ohio and took footage of how farm animals are treated for the new HBO documentary, “Death on a Factory Farm." He joins The Takeaway to talk about his experience.
Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said today that he's worried about the safety of the the U.S. Treasury Department's large holdings and other debt. He noted nearly half of China's $2 trillion in currency reserves are invested in U.S. treasuries making China the largest creditor to the U.S. Joining The Takeaway to discuss the prime minister's remarks is BBC correspondent James Reynolds in Beijing.
"The fate of China relies on decisions which will be made by consumers where you are in the United States. If people in America stop buying things that are made in China, people in China get unemployed." — BBC correspondent James Reynolds on the connection between the economies of the U.S. and China
First Lady Michelle Obama visited Fort Bragg in North Carolina yesterday and asked people to embrace the military families in their communities. With an expected surge in U.S. forces to Afghanistan later this year—approximately 17,000 new troops will be deployed there—her message comes at an important time.
In the op-ed piece, How to Leave Afghanistan from the New York Times, Leslie H. Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C. says the U.S. should pull out of Afghanistan altogether.
How has the notion of the American dream changed for the new generation of Mexicans in the United States? The Takeaway talks to Gustavo Arellano, who writes the syndicated "Ask A Mexican" column, and is a contributing editor for the Los Angeles Times opinion page.
Ants do it. (says E.O. Wilson)
Octopuses do it.
Humans...mmmm, not so much.
There's talk going around about the science of P-L-A-Y, and specifically, about what play means, how it lights up our brains, and why we feel like automatrons when we don't play. Today's prescription is written by Dr Stuart Brown, co-author of the new book, "Play," and founder of the National Institute for Play. He joins The Takeaway for a break from the real world.
In light of the anticipated guilty plea from Bernard L. Madoff, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gave a public speech this week about his take on how to prevent another Madoff scheme. On The Takeaway, Oliver Ellsworth, a law professor at the University of Connecticut and a white collar criminal specialist, provides a legal perspective on Bernanke's speech.
A growing number of states are suffering double-digit unemployment rates, fueling fears that the national jobless rate could hit 10 percent by the end of the year. In January, jobless rates rose in almost every state and the District of Columbia. Two of the states that received the highest rates of unemployment were Oregon and South Carolina.
Joining The Takeaway to discuss their concerns are Ethan Lindsey, reporter for Oregon Public Broadcasting, and Noelle Phillips, an economics and business reporter for The State newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina.
"A lot of industries were hanging on to see if things were going to turn around, and when it didn't look like that was going to happen, the axe fell." — Oregon Public Broadcasting reporter Ethan Lindsey on the drastic rise in unemployment in Oregon
Legendary trader, Bernie Madoff is expected to plead guilty to 11 felony charges for allegedly pulling off what could be the largest Ponzi scheme in history. The billions of dollars that he supposedly swindled is estimated to be within $50 to $65 billion. Whether or not his victims will ever see that money remains unknown. But supposing that they would be compensated, how would that money be distributed?
Joining The Takeaway to explain what it would take to financially compensate those caught up in Madoff’s investment web is Ken Feinberg, a Washington attorney who served as special master of the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund, which awarded over $7 billion to some 5,300 victims and their families.
Utah and Oklahoma have the highest rate of households that replaced landlines for cell phones; at least 26 percent as opposed to 20 percent in nine other states. Ivan Zatkovich, a consultant for various telecommunication companies, including Verizon and Deutsch Telecom, explains why these two states boast the highest cellphone-only usage while New York, for instance, is at a low 11 percent.