Today's Takeaway: New Year's Resolutions

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Monday, January 02, 2012

The Week's Agenda: Iowa Caucus; Country Music Reflects America's Struggles; A Journey From Black to White; Flash Forward: What's in store for 2012 and beyond?; Civil War: Still a Difficult Race Issue; A Place to Call Home; Pain, Music and Destiny: Bob Dylan; Asking Others to Make New Year's Resolutions for You

Todd Zwillich guest hosts with Celeste.

Top of the Hour: South Korea Open to Nuclear Talks With North, Morning Headlines

South Korea says it is willing to reopen nuclear talks with North Korea. South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said aid-for-nuclear-disarmament talks could resume if North Korea stopped its nuclear development.

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The Week's Agenda: Iowa Caucus

The first week of the new year holds a lot of potential change. The widely-hyped Iowa caucuses will be held Tuesday. The same day Palestinian and Israeli negotiators will meet in Jordan to revive peace talks. And four Nigerian states declared a state of emergency.

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Country Music Reflects America's Struggles

Country music has enjoyed a long tradition of reflecting the everyday concerns of working men and women, good times and bad times. With 14 million Americans currently out of work, a crippling national debt, and a record number of people living below the poverty line, country music may be going through a sea change. Call it an indicator of economic times but in the time it took pickup trucks to go from stripped down working class boxes of mud and steel to plush seated luxury vehicles, country music went from the folksy tinny common man voice of Woody Guthrie to the likes of Tim McGraw singing about the perils of being rich.

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A Journey From Black to White

The narrative of African Americans "passing" into white culture has long persisted. These stories are often tragic and filled with shame, secrecy, and the abandonment of home and family. In his new book, "The Invisible Line," Daniel Sharfstein looks at three families that were once identified as black and are now viewed as white. These stories are ones of pride as white families reconnect with their African-American roots.

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Weekend NFL Rundown

Takeaway sports contributor Ibrahim Abdul-Matin looks back at the last 17 weeks of the NFL season and gives his analysis of this weekend's games.

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Flash Forward: How Will 2012 Change the World?

2011 was a year in flux. The Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, the ongoing financial crisis, the turmoil in the European Union brought the world to the brink of major changes. The old rules no longer apply, and the world finds itself in a period of extended transition. Heading into the new year, the question on everyone's mind is, "What comes next?"

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Top of the Hour: Police Detain 'Person of Interest' in LA Arson, Morning Headlines

On Monday, Los Angeles police apprehended a "person of interest" in a series of car arson fires that have been going on since Thursday. At least 42 separate fires have been reported over the says since.

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GOP Makes Final Push in Iowa

The Republican presidential hopefuls spent their New Year's weekend trying to differentiate themselves from each other and convince Iowans to caucus for them on Tuesday. Front-runner Mitt Romney tried to fend off a new challenge from Rick Santorum, who has surged in recent days to the top of the polls. Ron Paul, who spent his New Year at home in Texas, also stands to make a strong showing in Tuesday's caucuses. The Democratic Party has stepped up efforts in Iowa as well, targeting Romney for his record of laying off workers while CEO of private equity firm Bain Capital.

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The Civil War: Celeste Headlee's Story

It's the 150th anniversary of The Civil War and the effects are still with us. Celeste Headlee reflects on her family's role in the Civil War; the branches of her family tree include both slaves and owners. The Civil War is over, but the fight continues; we still argue over whether to fly the Confederate flag and how to teach the history of the war.

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Abraham Verghese: A Place to Call Home

Dr. Abraham Verghese first joined The Takeaway as part of the "My America" series. Verghese was raised in Ethiopia, by parents from India. He immigrated to the U.S. in the 1980s for a medical residency, and then to rural Tennessee treat gay men afflicted with HIV. Later, he became a professor at Stanford University Medical School and the author of the best-sellers, "My Own Country" and "Cutting for Stone."

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Pain, Music and Destiny: Bob Dylan

Some might joke that his vocal chords are indeed much older, but celebrated folk legend Bob Dylan turned 70-years-old last year. Recently audio has surfaced from 1966, in which the singer speaks to a good friend during a flight from Nebraska to Colorado about struggling with addiction and contemplating suicide. It's the latest in a long narrative about a truly singular singer whose mysteries are still being revealed. We take a listen to some of the audio in question, and music that made Dylan a force of musical nature.

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Asking Others to Make New Year's Resolutions for You

Many people made New Year’s resolutions this weekend, but four out of five will break their resolution, and a third of them will forget their intent entirely by February. While the reasons for not carrying out a resolution are diverse, one proven strategy to successfully following through is having a friend or loved one make resolutions for you.

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