Mexico's War on Drugs, which President Felipe Calderón declared in January of 2007, has already resulted in the deaths of some 40,000 Mexicans, according to the Congressional Research Service. The epicenter of the violence is Ciudad Juárez, a city in northern Mexico less than five miles from El Paso, Texas. Last year, over 4,500 federal police began patrolling there, replacing army units that had been stationed there previously. Today, those police will leave the city.
It’s back to school season, so The Takeaway is doing a special series on educational issues in America. Many school districts are facing deep budget cuts, while also feeling the pressure to raise student achievement. That puts a lot of pressure on teachers, students, and administrators alike. Today, two students whose school choir lost funding due to budget cuts last year are speaking out. Rather than throw in the towel, the students went to great lengths to try saving the choir — as well as several other extra-curricular programs at their school.
From "Harvey" to "Being There" to "Forrest Gump," one of Hollywood's favorite stock characters is "the wise fool" — the genial dunce who bequeaths life lessons to those characters who have forgotten the simple pleasure of existence. One of this weekend's new releases, "Our Idiot Brother" continues this tradition with star Paul Rudd as an affable stoner who upends his type-A sisters' lives after being arrested for selling marijuana. Rafer and Kristen look back at the history of "the wise fool" in Hollywood movies, and discuss whether "Our Idiot Brother" lives up to its forebearers.
Historically black colleges and universities were established prior to the establishment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which made previously established "separate but equal" racial segregation laws null. The schools were intended to provide higher education to the black community, at a time when black students weren't permitted to attend many institutions. Today, 105 historically black colleges and universities still exist in America, but many of them are now actively looking to enroll non-black students. Why is this? And how will this initiative change historically black colleges?
Historically speaking, when we think of revolutions we think of youth. And in the case of the Arab spring, this is certainly true — one half of the Islamic world is people under thirty, and they are at the forefront of sweeping change. How are their values and religious beliefs similar to (and different from) their elders? And what do they want the future to look like?
For residents and tourists, New York’s Central Park is a much-loved haven from the noise of the concrete jungle. Thirty-five million people visit the park each year, but few of them know about Seneca Village, a community of African-Americans and Irish immigrants who lived there before the city created the park in 1857. This summer, New York City gave a team of archaeologists, students and historians permission to excavate parts of the park and uncover artifacts from the lives of the Seneca Village residents. Today, if you're lucky enough to be in New York, you can attend an open house at the site.
After months of rebel uprisings and NATO air assaults on Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s regime in Libya, rebel forces reached a major breakthrough this weekend. Advancing to just seventeen miles outside Tripoli, the rebels pushed through the city’s outer defense lines, flooded into the capital and battled with Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi loyalists last night. The rebels captured two of Gadhafi's sons, including Seif al-Islam, the assumed heir-apparent, and civilians celebrated in the streets over what may be the end of Quaddafi's 42 years in power of Libya. Does this spell the end for him?
Ahh...so many little moments are packed into the day. Moments where you're eating lunch or reading the paper, and moments when you're falling in love. The latter is the basis for new film "One Day," which is the latest film looked at in Kristen and Rafer's podcast. For one of our movie reviewers, this is a "good time, I'd go out again" date, for another, it's a "I probably won't call you again" kind of date. Take a listen.
In the past month and a half, a $200,000 Picasso sketch titled "Tete de Femme" was stolen from a San Francisco gallery, a $350,000 Fernand Léger was lifted from a New York gallery, and eleven paintings valued at $387,000 were stolen from a gallery in Toronto. High profile arts heists are on the rise around the world and, according to the FBI, the international black market for art and cultural property is now worth $6 billion annually. How does one go about stealing a great work of art, and how did art become such a commodity?
When Barack Obama was elected into office three years ago, a popular sentiment began to take America by hold: that America had matured into a post-racial society. But not everyone agrees with that thought.
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Kristen and Rafer talk about "The Help," which tells the story of African-American domestic workers in 1960s Mississippi and the white women they work for. While it's not the summer's best film, both of our intrepid critics have decided that "The Help" is a good date. To find out why, you'll have to take a listen!
Every Friday we talk about new movies here at The Takeaway. This weekend’s big releases are “The Help,” which centers on black domestic workers in Mississippi in the 1960s and the white women they work for; “30 Minutes or Less,” a bank-robbery action film; and “The Guard,” an Irish indie cop film, featuring Don Cheadle as an American FBI agent.
This week, millions of eager fans will be flocking to see the film “The Help.” Based on the best-selling novel by Kathryn Stockett, “The Help” is about African-American domestic workers in Mississippi during the 1960s. As an act of civil disobedience, the women tell their stories to a young, white editor in their community, who goes on to publish them.
Nearly two months after their last debate, the Republican presidential candidates gathered on stage at Iowa State University in Ames last night, for another national televised debate. Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Governor Tim Pawlenty, both from Minnesota, sparred about their records. Who dominated? And who stumbled?
Many Americans were frustrated with Congress's inability to agree on a debt reduction plan up until the final moments before the August 2 deadline. As Congressional Democrats and Republicans refused to cooperate, their in-fighting was threatening the economy and holding the American public hostage, helpless to take action. We wondered if there were any parallels between the situation on Capitol Hill and the Stanford Prison Experiment, a simulation study on the psychology of imprisonment that took place at Stanford University in the summer of 1971. So we consulted some of the people involved in that experiment.
In this week's Movie Date Podcast, Kristen and Rafer discuss the latest "Planet of the Apes" movie, and why it's far from your daddy's Charlton Heston flick. They also talk about motion capture animation, and how the technology can offer cinema magic or a bit of an empty feeling. As far as whether the film was a good or bad date, you'll have to listen to find out!
"Beware the beast Man, for he is the Devil’s pawn." That’s a quote from the 1968 classic science fiction film, "Planet of the Apes." The movie starred Charlton Heston, and imagined a post-nuclear world ruled by powerful apes. The film spawned a media franchise of sequels, and television series. But "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," which debuts this weekend, contemplates how the primates might take power today.
Every Friday, Movie Date podcast co-hosts Kristen Meinzer and Rafer Guzman talk about the weekend's new releases. The biggest debut this weekend is a remake of a film that comes from a long line of remakes: "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" opens today. (The movie’s director and unconventional star, Andy Serkis will appear later this morning on the program.) Also opening this weekend is "The Change-Up" a new bro-mance starring Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds, and "Magic Trip," a documentary about Ken Kesey and the Merry Prankster’s drug-filled road trip in 1964.
International celebrity culture often feels like a very modern phenomenon, but the concept was not foreign to society in the 1860s, when there was one couple everybody wanted to meet: General Tom Thumb and his wife, Lavinia Warren. Both were famous because of their short stature — Lavinia was just 32 inches tall — and they toured the country as "curiosities." Their wedding in 1863 caused a national sensation that extended as far as the White House, where President Abraham Lincoln hosted a reception in their honor. Tom Thumb is now a household name, though most people have never heard of Lavinia.
The federal government plans to release new unemployment figures on Friday. Will July's numbers be as dismal as June's? All week, The Takeaway is speaking with experts, employers, and out-of-work Americans about unemployment-related issues. Today, we're discussing foreign workers. With unemployment hovering around 9.2 percent, why do so many seasonal employers choose to hire workers from outside the U.S.?