In the aftermath of last week’s Houla massacre, Syria appears on the brink. The threat of a full-scale, open civil war looms and fears are growing around the country’s violence spilling out across the Middle East. A first-time filmmaker whose debut documentary, “U.N. Me,” traces and critiques the history of the U.N., discusses how the organization should act in Syria.
Yesterday, The Takeaway spoke with Kaylin Andres, a 23-year-old diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer who uses comedy as her coping mechanism. And the conversation led to more questions: How have others used comedy and laughter to get through tough times?
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced last week that he will defy a federal ban on sports gambling and that he hopes to let New Jersey residents legally bet on sporting events by fall of this year. His chances of success seem slim, but his outspokenness has reinvigorated national debate on the topic. Sports gambling: should it be legal?
Right now, we’re at the crucial phase in the general election season where both leading candidates for president are looking to define themselves and the presidential race before their opponent does it for them. So where do we stand on presidential campaign definitions? Molly Ball, staff writer for The Atlantic, and Ron Christie, Takeaway contributor and Republican strategist, break it down.
An arrest has been made in the 1979 disappearance of six-year-old Etan Patz, who went missing on his way to school 33 years ago today. The arrest may bring the cold case that first got America talking about missing children to a close. Lisa Cohen, journalist and author of “After Etan: The Missing Child Case that Held America Captive,” discusses the case's development.
The Olympic Games are intended to be a celebration of athletics with politics set aside. But over the years, the Olympics have served as a political forum as much as they’ve served as an athletic arena. And this year, at least one person is calling on the London Games to continue in this tradition and go political: Mark Stephens calls for the 2012 Olympics to serve as a forum for the promotion of LGBT rights.
Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi, who helped the CIA hunt down Osama Bin Laden, was convicted of treason yesterday by a tribal court in northwestern Pakistan. He has been sentenced to 33 years in prison. Hassan Abbas, a former Pakistani government official, and P.J. Crowley, former Department of State spokesperson, discuss how the sentencing is sure to add new strains to an already troubled U.S.-Pakistan relationship.
Secret Service director Mark Sullivan appeared before Congress yesterday for the first time since his agency’s Colombian prostitution scandal came to light. Sullivan was testifying before the Senate Homeland Security Committee and insisted time and time again that the incident was an isolated event and that it was not indicative of larger problems within the Secret Service. Takeaway Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich sat in on the hearing.
History will be made in Egypt today and the country’s political future will be determined. Egyptians are heading to the polls to elect a new president after an extraordinary 15 months that saw revolution, violence, and upheaval. Noel King, a freelance journalist in Egypt, joins to talk about the country's youth vote.
The United States, Russia, Japan, the European Union, and SpaceX: what do they all have in common? If all goes smoothly over the next few days, each entity will have successfully brought a vessel to the International Space Station. Yesterday, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and its unmanned Dragon capsule lifted off en route to the International Space Station, marking the first ever flight for a commercial spacecraft bound for the space station. Michael Lopez-Alegria, former NASA astronaut and current president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, and Miles O'Brien, science correspondent for PBS NewsHour, discuss the future of space travel.
At least 96 people were killed in the capital city of Yemen yesterday, after a suicide bomber disguised as a Yemeni soldier blew himself up during a military parade rehearsal near the presidential palace in Sana. The bombing was the country's most devastating terrorism attack in years, and the Al Qaeda affiliate that operates within the state has claimed responsibility for the mass killings. Yemen expert Charles Schmitz discusses the country's future.
A Chinese conglomerate is set to become the largest movie theater operator in the United States. The Wanda Group, a Chinese company with extensive interests in the entertainment business, has agreed to acquire AMC Entertainment and its 5,000 movie screens across North America. Phil Levy discusses the acquisition's implications on the American entertainment industry and talks about whether other American industries are preparing for significant Chinese investments.
The annual NATO summit opened yesterday afternoon in Chicago, bringing leaders from around the world to President Obama’s former home to confront questions surrounding the future of a post-conflict Afghanistan. As the two-day summit continues today, Western leaders will try to further define their path out of Afghanistan. Hassina Sherjan is the founder and country director of Aid Afghanistan for Education. David Sanger is the chief Washington correspondent for our partner, The New York Times.
Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the only person convicted in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing which killed 270 people, including 189 Americans, died yesterday in Libya, at the age of 60. His death comes nearly three years after Scotland released him from prison on humanitarian grounds, and eleven years his conviction for planting a bomb on Pan Am Flight 103 in December 1988. John Ashton is Megrahi’s biographer and the author of "Megrahi: You Are My Jury," and Eileen Monetti's 20-year-old son Rick was returning from an academic semester abroad on Pan Am 103.
The NATO Summit spurs protests in Chicago all week, while European leaders continue talks that began at the G-8 conference over the weekend. The insider trading case against former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta begins this week in New York, as the Senate Banking Committee starts a round of Dodd-Frank hearings. Also, just a few weeks after President Obama declared his support for gay marriage, the NAACP followed suit. The impact on African-American voters remains to be seen. Molly Ball, staff writer covering politics for The Atlantic, and Charlie Herman, business and economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC, explain the stories of the week.
Fenway Park, the Boston Red Sox’s storied ballpark, celebrated it’s 100th birthday late last month. And in honor of the centennial, moments in Red Sox history were remembered and relived like the "Curse of the Bambino." But today, we’re talking about one element of Fenway’s history that is rarely spoken of: it’s troubled racial past.
Every Friday, The Takeaway convenes a panel to look back at the week's big stories. This week's panel includes Ron Christie, Takeaway contributor and Republican political strategist, Jeff Yang, columnist for the Wall Street Journal and blogger for WNYC's It's a Free Country, and Farai Chideya, journalist and fellow at Harvard University's Institute of Politics. They'll cover Facebook’s step into public life, developments in the Senate and House showdown over the Violence Against Women Act, and new developments in the death of Trayvon Martin.
Amid harsh pushback from Democrats and women’s groups claiming a “war on women,” and in the face of a White House veto threat, the Republican-led House voted yesterday to approve a GOP measure reauthorizing the expired Violence Against Women Act. Todd Zwillich, Takeaway Washington correspondent, talks about the latest out of Washington.
This week, a 17-member advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration voted unanimously to recommend the approval of the first-ever completely in-home HIV test. But Art Caplan, professor of bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, sees some major ethical dilemmas facing this major medical development.
You’ve probably heard of Alcoholics Anonymous. Maybe you’ve heard of Narcotics Anonymous, or Gamblers Anonymous. But have you ever heard about Clutterers Anonymous? Or Online Gamers Anonymous? Probably not. For Genevieve Smith, the twelve-step program in her life was another one of these lesser-known groups: Underearners Anonymous.