Al Qaeda flags now fly over Fallujah and Ramadi, two of the major conflict zones for American troops throughout the Iraq War. For U.S. veterans who fought in the region, that news is hard to hear. Marine Michael Zacchea suffered severe injuries in a fire-fight in 2004 during what is known as the second battle of Fallujah. Benjamin Busch served two combat tours in Iraq as a Marine Corps infantry officer. David Retske is a former UAV pilot who served in Iraq from 2004 to 2005. Together they reflect on Al Qaeda's resurgence.
One of the biggest challenges in American cinema has been bringing the stories of war to the civilian big screen. "Lone Survivor" is a new film by director Peter Berg that attempts to bring the story of a mission gone wrong in Afghanistan to a civilian audience. Donna Axelson's son, Matt, was one of the SEAL team members killed in the mission. She discusses what it was like to see her son portrayed on film and shares her thoughts on how and why filmmakers should attempt to bring the realities of war to a civilian screen.
In the annals of Jersey political history, in the myths and stories explored so well by the likes of Tony Soprano and Nucky Thompson, how does the Chris Christie Administration compare? "I am embarrassed and humiliated," Governor Christie told reporters on Thursday. The 108 minute press conference was just the start of the Governor's apology tour. Congressman Rush Holt, a Democrat representing New Jersey's twelfth Congressional district, puts Christie's latest scandal into perspective.
A series of traffic jams that took place over the summer in Fort Lee, NJ now appear to have implications for Gov. Chris Christie. Newly released emails show that after Fort Lee’s mayor failed to endorse Christie for re-election, a Christie aide pinged a top official with a simple request: "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee." Gabe Klein, former transportation commissioner for Chicago and Washington D.C., notes that it's not unusual for politicians to meddle with transportation.
The International Monitoring System is the world’s first planetary surveillance network. The system has picked up everything from the sounds of the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami to the sounds of whales near the Juan Fernandez islands and much more. Randy Bell, Director of the International Data Centre Division of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), explains how the nuclear detection system has yielded unexpected scientific discoveries.
The song that frames an Olympic figure skater's routine needs to have a variety of tempos. It needs to have emotional resonance and perhaps a little bit of edge. Most importantly, it needs to be something the skater can listen to over and over and over again. As competitors gear up for the 2014 Olympics, Kristi Yamaguchi, the 1992 Olympic Champion in ladies' singles, reflects on the kind of music that brings home medals.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects jobs in computer programming will grow by 12 percent from 2010 to 2020. Soon, we might all have to learn code—whether we want to or not. Manoush Zomorodi of WNYC's New Tech City explains why coding literacy is the way of the future. Ali Blackwell is one of the co-founder's of Decoded, which runs workshops to teach anyone to code. He discusses why coding is so important.
Big news for the world of drones came late last month when the FAA announced that it was authorizing sites in 10 states to carry out drone aircraft testing. One of the sites where testing will take place is Virginia Tech. Jon Greene is Interim Executive Director of the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership which is leading testing for Virginia Tech. He explains how his team is preparing drones for commercial use.
On March 8, 1971, a small group of activists calling themselves the Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI staged a break-in of FBI offices in Media, Pennsylvania. The files they discovered there revealed that J. Edgar Hoover had authorized the wide-scale surveillance and intimidation of anti-war protesters and other dissident groups. Retro Report producer Bonnie Bertram looks back on that break-in and its consequences.
The Senate is back in session today and the House returns tomorrow. Though it’s a new year, much of what’s on the agenda is last year’s business. At the top of the list is a vote to extend unemployment insurance for the 1.3 million jobless workers who lost those benefits just after Christmas. Todd Zwillich, Takeaway Washington Correspondent, provides a look ahead.
A winter storm settled in across the northeast and parts of the Midwest last night, affecting an estimated 100 million people nation wide. This nor'easter is also providing a test for some incoming and outgoing mayors. Joining The Takeaway to give an update on the storm from across the country are Andrea Bernstein, metro editor for WNYC; Phillip Martin, senior investigative reporter for our partner WGBH; and Quinn Klinefelter, senior news editor for WDET.
Fifty years ago, New York City was a very different place when it hosted visitors from around the world for the World's Fair of 1964-65. Joseph Tirella, author of “Tomorrow-Land: The 1964-65 World’s Fair and the Transformation of America,” examines how the 1964-65 World's Fair represented a changing United States, a country transfixed by technoogy and rapid transition.
In the fall of 2012, Colorado voters approved the use, possession, and sale of small amounts of marijuana for adults above the age of 21. Yesterday that new measure fully took effect with dozens of marijuana retailers opening their doors to recreational customers for the first time. Dennis Huspeni, staff writer at the Denver Business Journal, joins The Takeaway to explain what the first day of business was like.
Across Russia, heightened security measures are in place after twin bombings in the city of Volgograd killed at least 32 people earlier in the week. Meanwhile, around the world, Olympic athletes and fans and international official are wondering what implications, if any, those attacks might have on the Sochi winter Olympics.
In the months since Detroit filed for bankruptcy, there’s been a lot of discussion over who or what it would take to repair the city. A new nonprofit called Write A House has one novel idea: why not restore vacant houses and award them to low-income writers? Billy Collins, former United States poet laureate will be one of Write A House’s judges when the nonprofit starts accepting applications from working writers in the spring.
There are dozens of high-tech toys to pick from—battery-operated puppies, motorized wagons and so much more. But how do you actually pick out toys that have real educational value? Manoush Zomorodi, host and managing editor of WNYC's New Tech City, has a few ideas about how to get out of the iPad rut with tech toys. She shares her list of toys that teach, promote creativity, and build skills, while managing to be fun too.
This week, the U.S. Census Bureau released new data on median household income levels for every community across America. The Takeaway set out to find ordinary "median earners" from different Census tracts around the county—folks whose household income matches the median for their neighborhoods. Javes Cruthird of Florida; Tim Wood of Massachusetts; Margaret McGlynn of North Dakota; and Tanya Lundberg of Michigan, join The Takeaway to describe what it's like to live in the middle.
"The Luminaries" is the fascinating new novel written by Eleanor Catton, the 2013 Man Booker Prize winner. Described by the New York Times as "doing a Charlotte Bronte-Themed crossword puzzle while playing chess and Dance Dance Revolution on a Bongo Board," the novel is wildly unique. Catton is the youngest person to win the Prize and only the second to win from New Zealand, and she joins The Takeaway to discuss the wild wave of enthusiasm for her work.
After days of anti-government protests in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that his country would come to the aid of its neighbor to the tune of $15 billion. But the news of the deal was not enough to send protesters home. Borys Potapenko, Vice Chair of the International Conference in Support of Ukraine, has been closely monitoring the developments in Ukraine from Detroit.
If you had the good luck to play the S&P 500 absolutely perfectly, it would’ve been possible to transform a $1,000 investment into hundreds of billions of dollars in returns. How? David Yanofsky, reporter for Quartz, tells you how.