Domestic Arrest Reveals Terror Networks' Global Reach

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Domestic Arrest Reveals Terror Networks' Global Reach

David Coleman Headley, a 49-year-old Chicago man, was arrested two months ago in connection with a terrorist plot against the Danish newspaper Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten. The Copenhagen paper published cartoons of the prophet Muhammed back in 2005, angering Muslims around the world. Yesterday, it was revealed that Headley's terror connections go much deeper; he now faces charges for his involvement in the 2008 massacre in Mumbai that left over 150 people dead.

According to police, Headley was born Daood Gilani and changed his name to more easily cross international borders and, allegedly, serve as an advance scout for the terrorist network Lashkar-e-Taibi. These charges make Headley not just an impressive and well-timed arrest for the Justice Department but, perhaps more importantly, a stark reminder of the wide reach of terrorist networks. 

We are joined from Baghdad by Jane Arraf, correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor. We also speak with the Washington Post's national security correspondent, Carrie Johnson, and Art Keller, a former case officer for the CIA who served in Pakistan in 2006. 

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Takeouts: AOL, Subprime Charges, NFL

  • Media Takeout: Veteran media writer Johnnie L. Roberts explains how AOL is trying to reposition itself as a content creator, not on-ramp to the Internet, as it spins off from Time Warner.
  • Finance Takeout: The New York Times' Louise Story joins us with the latest on the Securities and Exchange Commission's case against three executives from the New Century Financial Corporation.
  • Sports Takeout: Our sports contributor, Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, looks at last night's Packers/Ravens matchup and looks ahead to the NFL playoffs.

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Abortion Funding Complicates Senate Health Negotiations

The issue of taxpayer money funding health plans that cover abortions is once again thoroughly complicating negotiations over health care reform in the Senate, despite the 33-year-old 'Hyde Amendment,' which bans the use of federal funds for abortions. To lay out the current positions in the debate, we speak with Jessica Arons, director for the Women's Health and Rights Program at the Center for American Progress, and our own Todd Zwillich, The Takeaway's Washington correspondent.

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From China, Watching Copenhagen

China faces a serious challenge as its representatives head to the Copenhagen climate talks: how to continue to urbanize and modernize while keeping carbon emissions in check. That tension is in stark relief in the southwestern city of Chongqing, China's largest city and one of the fastest growing. Every day, it adds 1,300 new residents – and their environmental impacts. We check in with the BBC’s Quentin Sommerville, who is watching the developments in Copenhagen from Chongqing.

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Office Holiday Parties Shrink in Economic Downturn

Holiday office parties used to be a chance to network, kick back with colleagues, and attempt to avoid the perils of inappropriate attire and too much booze. For some offices, this end-of-the-year standard is fast approaching. But with the economy still forcing companies to cut staff and cut hours, many offices are scaling back their office parties.

Kris Bashore is the executive vice president of human resources at the Caron Treatment Center, a drug and alcohol treatment center in Pennsylvania. Kris says her office used to have elaborate parties, but last year they started a new tradition: The money that used to be spent on the holiday party is now distributed evenly among employees and added to their end-of-year bonuses. We're also talking with our work contributor, Beth Kobliner, who says the number of offices having parties is down sharply since 2007.

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Temp Workers Find More Jobs In November

Temporary and contract workers may be the first to start feeling some relief as the recession ebbs. Temporary staffing companies found jobs for more than 52,000 workers in November, the most since 2004, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this week. For a deeper look at the freelance market, we speak with Sara Horowitz, founder and executive director of Freelancers Union. We also speak with University of Chicago Professor Susan Lambert.

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Takeouts: Pakistan, Listeners, EPA on Greenhouse Gasses

  • Washington Takeout: Todd Zwillich brings us yesterday's announcement from the Environmental Protection Agency, which says greenhouse gasses are harmful to humans and can be regulated without Congressional approval.
  • World Takeout: The BBC's Aleem Maqbool joins us from Islamabad to update us on recent bombings in the Punjabi city of Multan.
  • Listener Takeouts: We hear from our listeners about climate change and creative job hunting.

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Building Green in Boston's Southie

[Trailer for 'The Greening of Southie']

This morning we take a look at one way to reduce our impact on the environment ... green building. Commercial buildings use 36 percent of our electricity and produce 25 percent of our green house gases; residential buildings contribute a large share, too. So architecture is an area with a lot of potential for environmental improvement.

We talk with Curt Ellis, one of the filmmakers behind "The Greening of Southie," who spent nearly a year documenting the construction of Boston’s first L.E.E.D.–certified residential building, the Macallen Building. We're also joined by Yvan LaCroix, construction foreman on the Macallen Building.

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Iranian Students Still Protesting Government

Kelly Niknejad joins us this morning to update us on continued protests against the Iranian government. She is editor in chief of the Iranian news website The Tehran Bureau.

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Anika Noni Rose, Voice Star of 'The Princess and The Frog'

The Walt Disney Company has returned to its 2-D animated roots with the lavish and romantic musical fairytale "The Princess and the Frog." The movie follows the adventures of Tiana, Disney's first African-American princess. If early sales of the movie's merchandise are any indication, then "The Princess and the Frog" is poised to become a major success in a wide variety of markets. We're talking to Tony award–winning actress and singer Anika Noni Rose, who provides the voice of Princess Tiana, about her ground-breaking role.

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Drinking to Disaster?

It's a situation reminiscent of the old line: "Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink."  A new report from our partner, The New York Times, says that might be a fair description of some U.S. water supplies.  Since 2004, the water provided to more than 49 million Americans has contained illegal concentrations of chemicals like arsenic or uranium, as well as dangerous bacteria often found in sewage.

Charles Duhigg is a New York Times business reporter, and tells us what to be worried about, and why violations weren't caught sooner.

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