The summer has arrived. Our kids have been let out of school. The sun still hangs low in the sky when we leave work. Our heavy sweaters and thick coats have been pushed aside for sleeveless shirts, shorts, and airy dresses. We seek refuge from the heat under the shade of trees in the park, or by the ocean at the beach. The smell of grass permeates the air. The familiar sound of the ice cream truck never seems to be that far away during the day, replaced at night by the songs of crickets.
Summer is all of these things and so much more. We want to know, what sights and sounds mean summer to you? Download the Takeaway iPhone App to send us photographs, video, and audio of the things that signify the summer to you. We'll play the audio on air, and post your videos and photos to our website.
Father's Day is coming up this Sunday, and we want to hear stories about your dad. What's the best — or worst — piece of fatherly advice your dad gave to you? Leave your answer in the comment section, or call us at 877-8-MY-TAKE, and we might play your stories on air on Friday's show.
Security forces in Syrian tanks opened fire on civilians and killed at least 9 people Sunday, fueling speculation that the country is engaging in even more brazen efforts to quell the rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad. Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, analyzes the events in Syria. "This revolt has settled into a stalemate," says Landis, while the government maintains the upperhand as it continues to shoot at protesters.
Gil Scott-Heron, a Chicago-born poet who many called the "Godfather of Rap," died Friday, at the age of 62. Scott-Heron was a musical innovator, whose spoken-word-over-jazz 1970 debut album "Small Talk at 125th and Lenox," is often credited as year zero of rap music. The record featured songs like "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," which, along with many other Scott-Heron compositions, became heavily sampled and referenced in music that came afterward. The musician and writer often said the accolades were misguided, and preferred to call himself a "bluesologist."
Sunday, President Obama visited Joplin, Missouri to assure tornado victims that their country would not forget them. The giant tornado killed as many as 136 and destroyed the homes of many more. The president spoke to the people of Joplin during a memorial service for the dead. Truck driver and Joplin resident, Kenneth Irvin shares his impressions of the president's visit and updates us on how he is coping with the damage.
A new peer-to-peer payment system called bitcoins allow people to use currency online without being taxed, tracked, or subject to the regulation of governments or banks. Internet entrepreneur and host of the "This Week in Startups" podcast Jason Calacanis says they are "the most dangerous open-source project ever created," and that they threaten to "change the world unless governments ban them with harsh penalties."
Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana announced over the weekend that he would not be seeking the Republican nomination for president, telling the Indianapolis Star, “I love my country, but I love my family more.” A popular governor with significant experience in the private sector who is known as an intellectual heavyweight on fiscal reform issues, Daniels was considered a favorite of many conservative pundits. Among a relatively weak field of potential Republican candidates, Daniels stood out as someone who could both appeal to the party’s conservative base, and the political center in a general election.
Average gas prices around the nation have soared to around $4 a gallon. Last time prices were this high was three years ago in May 2008, right during the worst of the recession. Then Americans began to drive less, buy more fuel efficient cars, and take public transportation more often. But according to new projections from AAA, 34.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more next week for the Memorial Day weekend.
A new investigation confirms that the Mubarak regime was behind the violence carried out against protesters during the revolution in Egypt. Egypt’s transitional government carried out the investigation and found that at least 846 people were killed during the three-week-long revolution that resulted in the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak. The new death toll is more than double previous estimates by the Egyptian government. The results come from a panel of judges and are based in part on interviews with 17,000 government officials and witnesses and over 800 video clips.
Yesterday, North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue's office released its newest figures on the loss of life and property suffered after 25 tornadoes touched down across the state on Saturday. According to the latest assessment, 24 people died and more than 130 were injured. As far as property damage goes, 430 homes were destroyed and over 6,000 homes have suffered damage. Two thousand people are estimated to be out of work because of the storms.
One of President Obama's signature policy initiatives has been to connect 80 percent of Americans to high speed rail within 25 years. However, the 2011 budget allocates no further funding to high speed rail projects. Furthermore, in states like Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin, Republican governors have returned money for high speed rail projects, which was given to them as part of the stimulus. Is high speed rail dead?
After another incident of an air traffic controller falling asleep while on the job alone, the FAA announced yesterday that it will now post an extra staffer on overnight shifts in 27 control towers across the country. The incident in Nevada early Wednesday morning is the sixth time this year an air traffic controller has fallen asleep while working alone during a night shift.
In 2008, much was made about how the Obama campaign’s mastery of social media helped catapult a young, relatively unknown senator into the White House. But three years later, voters are harnessing the power of social media not to put candidates into office, but to "throw the bums out." Recall elections have gone viral, and angry voters throughout the country are using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to drive recall efforts against unpopular politicians.
It’s only been a few days since lawmakers in Washington agreed on a budget for the next fiscal year, but Democrats and Republicans are already gearing up for the next big budgetary showdown: raising the nation's debt ceiling. In the coming months, Congress will have vote on whether to raise the debt ceiling, something Tea Party Republicans say they won't support in hopes of forcing President Obama and Congress to cut spending. But for every dollar the government spends, it has to borrow forty cents. In February, Fed Chair Ben Bernanke said that the economic results of not raising the debt ceiling and defaulting would be "catastrophic"
A dead body found in a Missouri field, murdered, apparently, by a blow to the head. No witnesses, no murder weapon, and no apparent motive. The only evidence: two notes in the victim's pocket with a mysterious code scrawled upon them. Twelve years later, the case remains unsolved.
It's not the description of the opening scene from latest episode of "Cold Case," it's the true story of the murder of Ricky McCormick. An eccentric 41-year-old high school drop-out who had a passion for making encrypted notes, McCormick had last been seen five days before his murder in St. Louis, where he was undergoing treatment for heart and lung problems in June 1999. Investigators came to believe that the coded messages found in McCormick's pocket would point them in the direction of his murderer. But McCormick's code has proven to be too indecipherable for even the FBI, so after twelve years, the Bureau's Cryptanalysis and Racketerring Unit, in collaboration with the American Cryptogram Association, is turning to the internet for the answers.
Yesterday the first U.S. government-chartered flight left Japan for Taipei, carrying about 100 family members of American diplomats. The State Department has urged American citizens to leave Japan due to the worsening situation at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Pentagon spokesperson Colonel Dave Lapan said, "these measures are temporary and dependents will return when the situation is resolved."
Yesterday we asked listeners: What do you want to know about the ongoing crisis in Japan? You gave us plenty to work with, and now we're going to have some of your best questions answered by our expert guest, David Biello, associate editor of environment and energy for Scientific American.
"This belongs to the Egyptian youth," declared Wael Ghonim in an interview with Egypt's most popular talk show. Ghonim, the internet activist who became a symbol of the repression that characterizes the Mubarak regime when he was released from captivity after nearly two weeks, was of course talking about the now sixteen-day-old pro-democracy movement that has shaken Egypt to its foundation.
Looking at the multitude of young faces in the many powerful images of anti-government protesters that have streamed out of Egypt since the uprising began, there is no doubt that the youth of this country are the ones propelling this revolt. Their numbers are vast. The median age of Egypt's population of 80 million is just 24. As Ghonim said, perhaps as a reminder to non-Egyptians who are dubious of their revolution, it was not the Muslim Brotherhood who took to the streets demanding a better life, but the "'Facebook youth' who went out in the tens of thousands on January 25."
He thinks of himself as just another body among the faceless masses gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square, demanding a new era in his nation's politics, and a better future for all the people of Egypt. Yet, it was a heartbreaking interview with Wael Ghonim, broadcast on one of Egypt's satellite channels last night, that drove thousands of Egyptians to march on their Parliament for the first time, refueling Egypt's two-week-old pro-democracy movement.
Ghonim, a marketing executive at Google, has become the face of the internet-based youth movement calling for the ouster of Egypt's autocratic leader, Hosni Mubarak. Using social networking tools like YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, Ghonim helped inspire the protests that have brought a government thought to be stable to its knees, and became a symbol of that government's repression when he disappeared for twelve days.
As the tides of democracy have swirled in Egypt over the past 14 days, many questions have been raised over what the role of the nation's Army will be as Egypt transitions out of a three decade long era of autocratic rule. Widely credited with providing some semblance of order amid the chaos of the last two weeks, Egypt's Army has been portrayed as deeply respected and popular in a country with few credible institutions.
At numerous times throughout Egypt's revolution, the anti-government protesters and the Army have declared their affections for each other. However, deep inside this hallowed institution, a more complicated picture emerges. A significant divide along generational lines in Egypt's military threatens to rankle the evolving nation's future stability.