Today's Takeaway: A Day of Service on Martin Luther King Day

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. recieves the city's Medallion of Honor from Mayor Wagner (Image courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives)

Santorum Selected at Evangelical Summit; Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Legacy; The Agenda: South Carolina GOP Debates, Congress Returns from Recess, Earnings Reports; Golden Globe Winners The Takeaway; One Year After Tunisia's Revolution; Returning to Dr. King's Message With Community Service; Giants and Packers; Is Syria Poised for Civil War?; Tensions Between Israel's Ultra-Orthodox and Women

Top of the Hour: Huntsman is Out of the Race, Morning Headlines

Republican Jon Huntsman is dropping his White House bid and throwing support to Mitt Romney. The news comes less than a week after a disappointing third place finish in the New Hampshire primary, which Huntsman's campaign viewed as "must win

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Jon Huntsman Drops Out, Rick Santorum Picks Up Evangelical Support

This seems to be the race of late deciders, sudden reversals, and surprising distractions. And perhaps the biggest surprise of the weekend was that it wasn't Rick Perry who dropped out of the race. Instead, former Utah governor Jon Huntsman will announce today that he is ending his candidacy and endorsing Romney.

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Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Legacy

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, people across the country will honor the civil rights leader's memory and legacy in myriad ways. However, this is the first year when crowds seeking to give tribute can gather around the new Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in the National Mall. The 30-foot tall statue has been controversial because of the labor used to construct it and for its use of a paraphrased quote from Dr. King.

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The Agenda: South Carolina GOP Debates, Congress Returns from Recess, Earnings Reports

This week Congress returns from recess and Republican presidential hopefuls step up campaigning in South Carolina. Google, Microsoft, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, along with other major companies, will announce earning reports. Myrtle Beach's visitors bureau welcomes the six GOP candidates for a debate with a 525-ton sand sculpture of their likenesses; meanwhile, Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert mulls throwing his hat into the ring.

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Golden Globes: 'Descendants,' Claire Danes, and Ricky Gervais

Last night was the 69th annual Golden Globe Awards and once again Ricky Gervais played host. Gervais did what he does, a little more gently this time around. The stars were out, well Winner Woody Allen didn't show, but it was a party as usual. Here to weigh in are our Movie Date team, Rafer Guzman, who's also movie critic for Newsday and his co-host Kristen Meinzer, who's also culture producer for the Takeaway.

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A Year After Tunisia's Revolution, Where Does the Country Stand?

This past Saturday, Tunisians returned to the streets to celebrate the first anniversary of the ouster of President Ben Ali. Tunisia's current, democratically-elected leader, President Marzouki, declared January 14 a national holiday and granted pardons to 9,000 prisoners and commuted 122 death sentences. The series of protests that ended Ben Ali's 23-year reign, largely motivated by widespread unemployment and large gaps between the rich and poor, also inaugurated the Arab Revolution.

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Top of the Hour: Deadly Cruise Ship Accident, Morning Headlines

New developments out of Italy this morning and what exactly caused a deadly cruise ship accident. Costa Cruises says "human error" at the hands of the captain is to blame. The company's CEO says the captain made unapproved, unauthorized maneuvers to change the ship's programmed course. Italian officials have detained and questioned the captain while accusing him of manslaughter and abandoning the ship.

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Returning to Dr. King's Message With Community Service

Since 1986, Martin Luther King Jr. Day has been celebrated as a federal holiday. Yet, even from the start, the day was met with controversy: senators Jesse Helms and John McCain fought against the creation of the holiday, and more recently, some major figures —such as Cornel West — have started a campaign against what West called the “Santa-Claus-ification” of Dr. King. Harris Wofford also perceives Dr. King's message as becoming warped over the years, and now advocates for Americans to spending the holiday donating their service instead of just taking off of work.

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NFL Playoffs: Giants Pummel Packers, Tebow Gets Hammered

Time is short in the 2011/2012 NFL season, but this past weekend certainly left behind some incredible moments. The New York Giants pulled off a huge upset by pummeling the Green Bay Packers. And speaking of a pummeling, that is exactly what Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow received from the New England Patriots as his offensive line could not hold.

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Jon Huntsman Exits the GOP Race

And then there were five. Jon Huntsman is expected to announce today that he is ending his bid for the White House and will endorse Mitt Romney. Huntsman pinned his hopes on a strong showing in the New Hampshire primary where he finished a soft third last week. What does this mean for the rest of the campaign? Joining the show is Jim Rutenberg, reporter for our partner The New York Times and Ron Christie, Republican political strategist, CEO of Christie Strategies, and former special assistant to President George W. Bush.

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Is Syria Poised for Civil War?

The standoff between President Bashar al-Assad and Syria's opposition seems poised to spiral into a full-fledged civil war. In the wake of a failed intervention by the Arab League, protests have spread from Homs and Hama to the capital, Damascus. In a televised speech last week, al-Assad said "We will defeat this conspiracy without any doubt." There have also been reports of Russia supplying arms to the Syrian government

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A Religious War Inside Israel

Tensions between ultra-Orthodox Haredim and more secular Israelis have been growing over the past year. With strict codes in regards to clothing, observance of the Sabbath, and male-female interactions, this 1 million-strong segment of the population has become increasingly vocal about its displeasure with what it perceives as an insufficiently observant state. Specifically, the majority of this animosity has been focused on women.

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