Farai Chideya

Political Contributor

Farai Chideya appears in the following:

Chronicle of a Persian wedding

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Marjan Tehrani is an Iranian-American director/producer whose forthcoming documentary chronicles her brother Alex's wedding to Heather, an American woman from California. The couple traveled to Iran for the wedding and discovered that U.S. - Iranian relations aren't only political, but often very personal as well. The Takeaway is joined by Marjan and Alex Tehrani to discuss the film.

The film Arusi Persian Wedding premiers on PBS' Independent Lens series tonight.

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Bankless in America

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

As 28 million Americans know, living without a bank out has its perks. For example, there are no overdraft fees, no worry about bouncing your rent check and there is no need to hunt all over town looking for YOUR banks ATM machine. But it also means it next to impossible to get a decent rate on a mortgage or get approved on a car loan. Frank Garcia, Chairman of the Hispanic Bronx Chamber of Commerce and also the owner of Millenium Recycled Toner walks us through the pros and cons of going bankless.

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Continent's smallest meat-eating dinosaur discovered!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

When you think of dinosaurs, what comes to mind? Hulking creature? Gargantuan teeth? What about something the size of a small house cat? In a story that everyone's inner child will love, researchers in Canada have found North America's smallest carnivorous dinosaur. Paleontologist Nick Longrich joins The Takeaway to talk dinos and break down what the continent's ecosystem looked like millions of years ago.

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Pope Benedict heads to Africa

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Cameroon today on his first trip to the African continent as Pope. Africa has seen an explosion in the number of Catholics in recent years and is home to an estimated 58 million Catholics. The BBC’s Rome correspondent and a veteran Vatican-watcher David Willey joins The Takeaway to offer his insight on this trip.

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Somalis in Minneosota report many cases of autism

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Somali immigrants living in Minneapolis, Minnesota are finding that an increasing number of their children have autism. Is it random coincidence, or evidence of a larger epidemic? New York Times global health reporter Donald McNeil joins The Takeaway to report.

Check out McNeil's story on the cases, An Outbreak of Autism, or a Statistical Fluke? in today's Science Times.

For more, watch this report and follow the story in The Huffington Post and in The MinnPost.

"There are hundreds of theories going around and everyone's terrified, because even the best medical authorities in the country can't answer the question: What gave your child this."
— New York Times reporter Donald McNeil on the rate of autism among Somalis in Minneapolis

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Seeking a solution, Sharia law in Pakistan causes problems

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

In an attempt to quell the fighting with Taliban militants, the government in Pakistan's embattled Swat Valley has agreed to allow the extremely conservative Sharia religious law to become the law of the land. When former Army Supply Sergeant Kristen L. Rouse heard that news she was very concerned. As someone who had served along the Afghan border and seen the brutality of the Taliban against people, even children, who violate the religious strictures she decided to speak out and write a letter to the New York Times. She joins us now as does Christine Fair, a senior political scientist at The Rand Corporation and an expert in Pakistan security issues, to discuss the latest developments in the Swat Valley.

Read Kristen L. Rouse's Op-Ed piece, The Children of Asadabad in today's New York Times.

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Charity as an ethical obligation

Monday, March 16, 2009

Wrapped up as we are in our current recession, it’s hard for many of us to think about giving to charity. But Professor Peter Singer says that it is our ethical duty to give to charity even, maybe especially, now. He joins us in studio to talk about his latest book, The Life You Can Save.

Watch Peter Singer discuss the country's foreign aid spending.

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AIG bonuses and the rule of law

Monday, March 16, 2009

AIG's bonus payments of $165 million to executives made no one happy. Well, the executives probably didn't mind them. From Ben Bernanke to Lawrence Summers, we're all mad at these guys. But what do we do next? How do we navigate the rule of law versus operating with the knowledge that we're compensating people for bad decisions? For more, The Takeaway talks to our friend Dan Ariely. Dan is the James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University and author of Predictably Irrational.

"There's such a huge loss over this thing that the few million dollars here and there don't matter. The reason we care, though, is that it's an outrage."
— Behavioral economics professor Dan Ariely on the AIG bonus payments


Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke discusses AIG.

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Another newspaper folds and Seattle bids farewell to the PI

Monday, March 16, 2009

This week the Hearst Corporation will announce if it will shutter the 146-year-old Seattle Post-Intelligencer or turn it into an online-only publication with a much reduced staff. This is only the latest in a seemingly endless list of newspapers that are threatened with closure. Jacqueline Banaszynski, who holds the Knight Chair in Editing at the Missouri School of Journalism, talks to Farai and John about what it means to a community to lose a newspaper.

"What's at risk is more than newspapers and newspaper jobs. What's at risk is the foundations of traditional journalism, which are the foundations of how we keep our democracy going."
— Jacqueline Banaszynski of the Missouri School of Journalism on the importance of saving newspapers

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Ahmed Rashid on what's next for Pakistan

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Pakistani government agreed early this morning to reinstate the former chief justice of the Supreme Court. Many see it as a major concession to opposition leader Nawaz Sharif, who was threatening to stage a mass protest after he broke free from alleged house arrest at his residence. Joining The Takeaway with analysis on what's next for Pakistan is Ahmed Rashid, a Pakistani journalist and author of Decent into Chaos: The U.S. and the Disaster in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia.

"We're going to see now the army playing a much more critical role in the domestic fabric of Pakistan, controlling foreign policy through the Prime Minister, controlling domestic policy through the Prime Minister, and isolating and weakening those areas further."
— Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid on new developments in Pakistan

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Washington D.C. HIV/AIDS infection rate hits 3%

Monday, March 16, 2009

A new report funded by the Center for Disease Control says the rate of HIV/AIDS infection in Washington D.C. has hit three percent. The rate is higher than in many West African countries and comes as a surprise to many who thought the disease was waning. For more on what those numbers mean, we turn to Jose Antonio Vargas, a reporter for The Washington Post who is covering this issue closely for the paper. We also chat with Dr. Helene Gayle, the president and CEO of CARE.

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The anniversary of the My Lai massacre

Monday, March 16, 2009

Today marks the anniversary of one of the most infamous events in U.S. military history. On this day in 1968, U.S. troops raped, tortured and murdered some 500 civilians at the Vietnamese village of My Lai. Using historical tape, The Takeaway remembers the My Lai massacre and its aftermath: from the journalists obsessed by the story, to the court martial of two ranking officers, to the conclusion that many still view as an outrage.

Here is part one of a fascinating series of interviews with American servicemen on the My Lai massacre:

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Pakistani government reinstates Supreme Court Chief Justice Chaudhry

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Pakistani government agreed early this morning to reinstate the former chief justice of the Supreme Court. Many view it as a major concession to the opposition leader Nawaz Sharif ahead of expected mass protests in Pakistan's capitol. For the latest, The Takeaway is joined by Ben Arnoldy, South Asia Bureau Chief for Christian Science Monitor.

"They want things like balance of powers and checks and balances. Things that James Madison talked about in the founding of our country."
— Ben Arnoldy of the Christian Science Monitor on Pakistan reinstating the former chief justice of the Supreme Court

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New routes for cocaine trafficking spur global conflict

Monday, March 16, 2009

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.

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The anatomy of cheating

Monday, March 16, 2009

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.

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The week ahead with Marcus Mabry

Monday, March 16, 2009

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.

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El Salvador heads to the polls

Monday, March 16, 2009

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.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates' take on the American dream

Friday, March 13, 2009

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.

Joining The Takeaway to sort through the trajectory of the African-American experience in pursuit of the American dream is Ta- Nehisi Coates. Coates is a contributing editor and blogger for The Atlantic, he’s also the author of “The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood”.

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A couple's love in black and white

Friday, March 13, 2009

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.

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Space debris nearly plunges into International Space Station

Friday, March 13, 2009

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.

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