Presidential Elections in Iran, Daniel Ellsberg Discusses Snowden, Mozart's Violin Visits The Takeaway

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Friday, June 14, 2013

iran, pollution, tehran, skyline A bird flying in front of buildings in the Iranian capital Tehran. (Atta Kenare/Getty)

Daniel Ellsberg Discusses Snowden N.S.A. Leak | Ambivalence Among Iranian Voters Ahead of Elections | Mozart Never Made it to the U.S., but his Violin Finally Has | Patents On Genes Ruled Unconstitutional | New Movie Releases: "The Bling Ring," "This is the End," "Man of Steel" | Chemical Weapons Confirmed in Syria | Lessons Learned From Losing a Father

Chemical Weapons Confirmed in Syria

The United Nations now estimates that nearly 100,000 people have died in the Syrian civil war. Weeks ago, the White House announced that chemical weapons were likely being used by the regime of Bashar Al Assad against Syrian rebels, but the Obama administration stated that they needed further confirmation. That confirmation came late yesterday afternoon from U.S. and European officials. Amr Al Azm, a member of the Syrian opposition and a professor at Shawnee State University, weighs in on the developments.

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Ambivalence Among Iranian Voters Ahead of Elections

Four years ago this week, Iranians took to the streets of Tehran in protest of the presidential elections. This year, the mood and sounds of the city are very different. Reza Marashi is Research Director at the National Iranian American Council. He explains whether there is any real choice in this election. Reese Erlich, correspondent for GlobalPost is in Tehran, gives an update on the situation there.

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Daniel Ellsberg Discusses Snowden N.S.A. Leak

In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg was a military analyst working for the Department of Defense. He leaked what became known as the "The Pentagon Papers," which exposed that the US public had been misled about the war in Vietnam.

Ellsberg explains his support for Edward Snowden, who leaked of the NSA's internet and phone data collection; he also examines the similarities between his own leaking of state secrets over 40 years ago and Snowden's actions this week.

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New Movie Releases: 'This is the End,' 'Man of Steel'

Movie fans have two wide releases to choose from this weekend: "This is the End," an apocalyptic comedy directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg; and Christopher Nolan's “Man of Steel”, a reboot of DC Comics hero Superman.

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Patents On Genes Ruled Unconstitutional

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that human genes cannot be patented, but synthetic DNA is still patentable. The case was brought against Myriad Genetics, which owned patents on two naturally occurring genes associated with breast and ovarian cancer. Those patents allowed the company to exclusively administer breast cancer tests and set the price. According to the plaintiffs, they set that price too high.

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Mozart Never Made it to the U.S., but his Violin Finally Has

Earlier in the week, Mozart’s prized violin and viola made it to the U.S. for the first time. On Monday they were played at Jordon Hall in Boston. Tonight the violin will be played at the Austrian Cultural Form in New York. And today, for the first time ever, Mozart’s violin is going to be played in a U.S. radio studio: The Takeaway studio.

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Lessons Learned From Losing a Father

Ahead of Father's Day, writer Stephen Marche reflects on the different ways the loss of his own father pushed him into maturity as a man—and as a parent. He writes about the experience in a essay called "Why Fatherhood Matters," which appears in the latest issue of Esquire.

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