Yesterday, President Obama kicked off a two-day tour to highlight his administration’s energy strategy, which includes a stop in a small city called Cushing. If you aren’t from Oklahoma, you might not know about Cushing, or why it factors into the president’s energy plans. Ben Allen, a reporter from affiliate station KOSU in Oklahoma City, is here to explain. Carol O’Dell owned a ranch just outside Cushing, and she’s still a regular visitor to the town.
All this week we’re talking about incarceration in America. Yesterday we looked at juvenile justice, and whether life-without-parole sentences for teenage murder convicts violates the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Today, we’re talking about super-maximum-security prisons and the effects of solitary confinement.
By now, most of us have heard of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old African-American boy who was shot and killed while walking through a friend’s gated community in Sanford, Florida. The shooter was George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman who is not black, and who thought Martin looked suspicious. Martin had no weapons on him — only a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea.
On February 26th, Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old black high school student was visiting his father in Sanford, Florida and watching the NBA All-Star game at a house in a gated community. At halftime, he walked to 7-Eleven to buy Skittles and Arizona Ice Tea. He was on his way back to the house when a neighborhood crime watch volunteer named George Zimmerman noticed him. Zimmerman was patrolling the neighborhood in his SUV. He called 911 to report "a real suspicious guy," and then took off after Martin. The details of what happened next are unclear, but other 911 calls from neighbors record screams for help and a gunshot. Martin was discovered dead with a bullet to his chest.
When a violent crime is committed and reported, it's expected that investigators will collect evidence, process it, and use that evidence to track down the perpetrator. But in tens of thousands of rape cases, that is not what happens. Instead, the evidence collected is shelved and left unprocessed for years. In many cases, the rape kits are stored incorrectly so that contamination is likely to occur. In other cases, the kits have even been deliberately destroyed by the police.
In places like Los Angeles and New York, efforts have been made to change this. And now Detroit and Houston are taking steps to do the same.
As a complete U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan approaches, certain questions are receiving more attention. What challenges do our veterans face when they come home? And what are we doing to help or hurt their chances of integrating fully into civilian life?
This week, Movie Date is heading back to high school. And so are Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum as a couple of young-looking rookie cops in "21 Jump Street," a remake of the 80s TV show. Listen to find out what grade Kristen and Rafer give this revisited classic.
We have three big movie releases this week: "21 Jump Street," which is a reboot of the 1980s television series; "Casa De Mi Padre," which is a Spanish language telenovela for the big screen starring Will Ferrell; and "Jeff Who Lives at Home," a movie with a very self-explanatory title.
Adrien Brody has starred in a number of vastly different films, including "The Darjeeling Limited," "King Kong," "The Fantastic Mr. Fox," and even the explosive action film "Predators."
Today, his newest movie hits theaters. It’s called "Detachment," and in it Brody stars as Henry Barthes, a substitute teacher with a secret past who never stays anywhere long enough to form a bond with his students or colleagues.
"Detachment" features an all-star cast, including Lucy Liu, Marsha Gay Harden, Christina Hendricks, and Bryan Cranston. Tony Kaye, who’s most famous for "American History X" is the director.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the federal legislation aimed at ending violence against women and supporting victims of violence, is up for reauthorization this year. Senate Democrats plan to begin the push for reauthorization today. The original bill, passed in 1994, enjoyed strong support from both sides of the aisle. This year, Republican critics are voicing opposition, particularly to new programs included in this iteration of VAWA, including expanded programs for illegal immigrants to access visas by claiming domestic violence and support for victims in same-sex relationships. Democrats claim that this is the latest in Republicans' war on women. Republicans claim that federal money needs to be spent responsibly. What does this mean for the future of VAWA and for female voters in the 2012 election?
Every four years, the nation rallies around the presidential candidates, tuning into debates, taking in interviews, going to the polls, and, of course, spending money. But we’re not just talking about campaign donations.
From the old Goldwater Girl scarves to the current Santorum sweater, from freelance TV crews to the security staff that guard political rallies, campaign time means money and jobs for working Americans and cottage industries.
Most economic indicators point to America being on the upswing in 2012. The stock market is up. Unemployment is down. And the strains in the global financial markets have eased. Yet 59 percent of voters rate President Obama negatively when it comes to the economy, according to a new Washington Post/ABC poll.
Could it be because of the one economic indicator that’s stubbornly not improving: gas prices?
In recent weeks, the Republican Party has found itself entrenched in battles over women’s health and lifestyle issues; most notably, over access to contraception. At the same time, many female voters, regardless of party affiliation, are finding themselves disenchanted with the Republican candidates.
According to a new poll conducted by CBS and the New York Times, only about a third of the women polled said they would vote for Mitt Romney over President Obama. When asked if they would vote for Rick Santorum over Obama, the president held the same advantage. Do the Republicans have a serious female problem on their hands?
Small towns are shrinking across America, and along with them student populations. When a student population shrinks, so does a school’s state funding. But some rural and small town schools have found an inventive way to stay afloat by recruiting international students who pay up to $30,000 per year to attend an American public school — regardless of where in America that school is.
We’ve all seen the Girl Scouts selling their tagalongs and thin mints. More than a few of us used to sell those cookies ourselves. But the Girl Scouts, of course, are far more than cookies, badges and sashes. They’re an organization that’s had an impact on 50 million women. Eighty percent of female business owners are Girl Scout alumnae, as are 70 percent of all women in Congress, and nearly every female astronaut.
Today is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Girl Scouts, and we’re celebrating with the current CEO Anna Maria Chavez. Chavez joins us from the birthplace of the Girl Scouts, Savannah, Georgia.
Irene Saucedo is also here. Homeless her whole life, she joined a Girl Scout leadership development program called the Gamma Sigma Girls in high school. She is now a freshman at Texas State University.
Jennifer Westfeldt's "Friends with Kids" asks an important question: do I really have to have kids? When two single friends realize that all of their friends are parents, they ditch bachelor life to have a baby of their own. "Friends with Kids" has an all-star comedic cast, but it's also rife with some language you might not want your own kids to hear. As always, Movie Date is brought to you by Rafer Guzman, film critic for Newsday, and Kristen Meinzer, culture producer for the Takeaway.
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It’s the time of year when Alaskans proudly cheer, volunteer, and race in the annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Stretching 1,049 miles, the race features teams of 12 to 16 dogs, led by a musher. This year is the race’s 40th anniversary. Early this morning the first teams crossed the half-way point in the race.
Andy Angstman is a superfan of the Iditarod and a musher since childhood. He participated in the race in 2007. He joins us from Achorage, Alaska.
When we talk about the Vietnam War, we often talk about the draft, protestors, a no-win situation, and veterans’ rights. But something we don’t always give attention to is this question: Who or what is a Vietnam vet? It’s a question that’s haunted thousands of Hmong-Americans, who were trained, armed and paid by the CIA to fight for the U.S. in Vietnam. These soldiers, who hail primarily from Laos, consider themselves vets. But the law prevents them from being buried in national or state veterans’ cemeteries.
Remember those crazy parties in high school? Well, our Movie Date podcasters do. This week the Todd Phillips movie "Project X" rages into the movie theaters. The director of "Hangover" and "Old School" takes on teenage rebellion when three buddies decide to throw the party of their lives. As always we hear from Rafer Guzman, film critic for Newsday, and Kristen Meinzer, culture producer for the Takeaway.