Today's Takeaway: Anwar al-Awlaki Killed in Yemen

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Friday, September 30, 2011

Anwar al-Awlaki Killed in Yemen; Bank of America to start Charging Debit Card Users; Unpaid Interns Sue 'Black Swan' Production Company; New Movies: '50/50' and 'What's Your Number"; What We Can Learn From the Brains of Babies; The Role of Ambassadors in the New Arab World; Twitter Study Tracks the World's Mood Swings; Elizabeth Warren on Her Bid for Massachussets Senate; Former NYPD Commisioner Bill Bratton on Combating Gang Violence

Top of the Hour: Anwar al-Awlaki Killed in Yemen, Morning Headlines

Leading Al Qaeda figure Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in Yemen, according to government officials in the country. Yemeni forces pursued al-Awlaki in the northern part of the country and he was killed along with a number of body guards. The American-born Al Qaeda leader was a target of an American operation for months although it is unclear if American forces were involved in the operation. U.S. officials did not have an immediate comment.

Comments [1]

Qaeda Leader Anwar al-Awlaki Killed in Yemen

Leading Al Qaeda figure Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in Yemen, according to government officials in the country. Al-Awlaki is connected with many plots against Americans including the failed Christmas Day bombing of 2009, the foiled Times Square car bombing, and the Fort Hood shootings. The American-born Al Qaeda leader was a target of an American operation for months although it is unclear if American forces were involved in the operation. U.S. officials did not have an immediate comment.

Comments [2]

Unpaid Interns Sue 'Black Swan' Production Company

Two men are suing Fox Searchlight, saying the company violated minimum wage and overtime laws when they employed the two as interns on the Academy Award-winning film "Black Swan." In these uncertain economic times, many film studios and other employers have been hiring more unpaid interns. For the company that hires interns, the benefit is a free worker, and for the intern the benefit is a learning experience, and possibly a paid job offer in the future. The federal labor department has a set list of rules that unpaid internships must follow: the position should benefit the intern, it should not displace other employees, and it should be educational. Did Fox Searchlight violate these rules?


Bank of America to Charge Debit Card Users

For years we've been moving away from using paper and coins to pay for goods, and toward a cashless society. Now many people use debit cards as a convenient way to shop. But news from the Bank of America yesterday could change the way people feel about that. The banking giant announced it would impose a new monthly fee of $5 for checking accounts that use debit cards. Other banks are likely to follow suit. Why are we seeing increased banking charges and what can consumers do about it?

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New Movies: '50/50' and 'What's Your Number"

It’s Friday, when we talk about new movies here on The Takeaway. This week, we're talking about "50/50," a comedy about a young guy with cancer, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen, and "What's Your Number?," another comedy — this one centers on dating and relationships — with Anna Faris.

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What We Can Learn From the Brains of Babies

Scientists have found that babies can become fluent in foreign languages at an extremely fast rate; one that begins to slow down by their first birthday. What is it about the make-up of their brains as newborns that gives them this ability? Could adults train their brains to be more like the brains of babies?

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Top of the Hour: Details Emerge on al-Awlaki, Morning Headlines

Leading Al Qaeda figure Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in Yemen, now confirmed by an Obama administration official. Yemeni forces said al-Awlaki was killed in the northern part of the country. The American-born Al Qaeda leader was a target of a U.S. operation for months. It is unclear if American forces were involved in the operation. Early reports say he may have been a target of a U.S. drone strike.


Al-Awlaki's Death and the War on Terror

Breaking this morning in the news of the death of U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. According to Yemen's Defense Ministry, a leading figure of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was killed early this morning in northern Yemen. Al-Awlaki is believed to have helped recruit the Nigerian man who tried to blow up a plane on Christmas Day in 2009. And to have been in contact with the Fort Hood shooter. The U.S. has long regarded al-Awlaki as the biggest threat to America's homeland security and added his name last year to the kill or capture list.


Anwar al-Awlaki's Death Puts Spotlight US-Yemeni Relations

Today's news of the killing of radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki sheds new light on the relations between the U.S. government and the embattled Yemeni government. As details come to light it is likely the operation was a joint effort involving forces from both countries, most likely with the assistance of U.S. drones. Joining us with more is Wendy Chamberlin, president of the Middle East Institute and former ambassador to Pakistan. Also joining us is Charles Dunbar, former U.S. ambassador to Yemen.


Elizabeth Warren on Her Bid for Massachusetts Senate

Elizabeth Warren announced her bid for the Massachusetts Senate seat currently occupied by Republican Scott Brown (and formerly by Democrat Edward Kennedy) just over two weeks ago. Since then, she's obtained widespread support from top Democrats and has created a moderately viral video.

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Twitter Study Tracks the World's Mood Swings

Two Cornell researchers used a large-scale study of posts on Twitter to track the world's mood shifts, and the discovered a pattern that transcends nationalities and climate. The study focused on Tweets from two million people, in 84 countries, posted at all times of day, month, and year. They found some fascinatingly similar patterns. Might their study have any implications for the way people do research going forward?


Former NYPD Commisioner Bill Bratton on Combating Gang Violence

Recently we spoke with David Kennedy about combating gang violence. Kennedy founded a project called Operation Ceasefire that helped reduce gang violence nationally. Today, we're speaking with a police officer who has also had success in reducing gang-related crime. Los Angeles police chief and former NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton joins us to share his experiences. During his tenure heading the two largest police departments in the U.S., Bratton has presided over precipitous drops in crime.


How Important was Anwar al-Awlaki?

He was perhaps the Obama Admnistration's most wanted terrorist figure. The CIA reportedly was given the green light to assassinate him, his death has been reported in the past at least twice, he some say he is linked in some way to terrorist attacks and attempts going back 10 years. And it appears this morning that the U.S. born Islamic cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki has finally met his end somewhere in the dusty wilderness of Yemen. A defense ministry official in Yemen confirmed his death early this morning.


Role of the CIA in Yemen

We continue our coverage of the death of Anwar Al-Awlaki, the U.S.-born cleric killed early this morning in northern Yemen. It is still not clear whether the operation was carried out by Yemeni forces or American intelligence but the CIA has had the greenlight to target the leading terrorist figure. Joining us is Eric Schmitt, terrorism correspondent for our partner The New York Times and co-author, along with The Times' Thom Shanker of the book "Counterstrike: the Untold Story of America's Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda".


Comments [2]

Angel from Miami, FL

Are John and Celeste having problems? When she's in, he is out and vice-versa. I miss their volley of bad puns and awkward pauses. Get back together, Joleste. Do it for the kids!

Sep. 30 2011 10:55 AM
Richard H from Miami

During the Friday Takeaway program, you did a piece on the new debit card charges that Bank of America announced. You had a female guest 'expert' (apologies for not having her name). The reporting/commentary went on about how these new fees will hit customers today and how other banks will soon follow. Your expert reported that these fees are likely a reaction to the Obama Administration's financial reform that restricts many of the hidden and unfair charges customers were being hit with in the past. At the close of the segment she said something to the effect; 'These charges are here to stay and Americans will just have to get used to paying more for banking'

I was waiting for your host to reply, but there was none. I'm suprised that you folks let that incorrect and slanted comment slide. The idea that 'banking just got more expensive as a reaction to Obama's reform' is 100% wrong. This guy (our President) can't get a break from the press anywhere I suppose. In FACT, banking and transactions are costing customers billions of dollars less due to the new regulations. Banks were routinely charging $25+ for every instance of an overdraft, or debit swipe that was above the balance. Many customers dealt with $100's of dollars of charges each year. A practice of hitting customers with huge charges that they didn't know about unless they read the very confusing small print. Now we are talking about $5 per month VS $100's and FULL transparency on the charge. This transparency gives customers the option of shopping around for another bank instead of being hit below the belt with the previously legal fee system.

It just hit me that to characterize BOA's new fees as a result of Obama's reform and that America should just 'get used' to paying more was not factual and quite misguided in the larger picture of things. The more correct editorial would have stated that customers will now know what is coming before it hits them, are better informed, and may pay a few dollars more each month instead of $100's in hidden charges as in the past thanks to the new regulations.

Many many listeners of this show will go away with the impression that 'yet again', Obama's socialist lefties have regulated corporate America and cost us more...

The big picture is your strong suit folks. This one didn't hit the mark.

Sep. 30 2011 10:12 AM

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