The Week Ahead with Marcus Mabry and Rob Watson

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Monday, August 31, 2009

The Week Ahead with Marcus Mabry and Rob Watson

For this week's agenda segment, we look ahead to President Obama returning to Washington and the developing plans for heath care reform, current economic numbers, and the elections in Japan. Joining us are Marcus Mabry, international business editor for our partner The New York Times, and Rob Watson, defense correspondent for our partner the BBC.


Alleged California Kidnapper Arraigned

An unsettling case keeps getting stranger. Phillip Gorrido of Antioch, California was arraigned last week for kidnapping then-11-year-old Jaycee Dugard, keeping her hostage in his backyard, and sexually assaulting her for 18 years. Police are now investigating whether Gorrido was involved in the murders of several prostitutes in the area during the 1990s. Here with more is Ravi Peruman, reporter for KGO radio in San Francisco.


How to Talk to Kids About Kidnappings

The story of Jaycee Dugard's abduction is disturbing enough for adults, but what about kids? How do you explain and interpret such a horrific and frightening story to a child? We're joined this morning by Linda Blair, a child psychologist and author of the book “Straight Talking."


New Orleans: Four Years After Katrina

Four years ago, Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the Gulf Coast, sending an enormous storm surge into the Mississippi river delta. By the time the winds died down, hundreds of thousands of residents of New Orleans were displaced and whole neighborhoods were destroyed. This week, we’ll be looking at New Orleans four years later. It’s now the fastest growing large city in America, and today we talk to three residents who are making new beginnings in the city.  

Clarence White was forced out of his Gentilly home during Hurrican Katrina. He was evacuated to Michigan, lived in a FEMA trailer for a time, and this month is finally planning to move back into his old house.
Allen Darnell is the COO of iSeatz, a software development company based in New Orleans. The company had to move to New York after the storm, but has now returned to New Orleans. 

Duke Bradley took over a failing public elementary school in the Ninth Ward and started Mays Prep Academy, a charter elementary school. This is the school’s first year, and he’s the principal.


Remembering the Lion

Friends, colleagues and extended family gathered on Saturday at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica in Roxbury, Massachusetts, to pay their respects at the passing of Senator Ted Kennedy.  We listen to some of the most notable moments.

Watch part of Ted Kennedy Jr.'s speech at his father's funeral at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica church in Boston.

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Dissolving an Adoption

It’s Monday, when we talk about family issues on The Takeaway. Takeaway contributor Lisa Belkin, who writes the parenting blog Motherlode for The New York Times, is here to talk with us about what happens when parents make the decision to dissolve an adoption. 

We also talk wtih Anita Tedaldi about this painful process. Tedaldi wrote an essay for Motherlode about her very personal experience of terminating an adoption. She had adopted a baby from an undisclosed country and after months of raising the baby, decided that she and her husband were not equipped to take care of him.

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Dick Cheney Speaks Out Against CIA Investigation

Former Vice President Dick Cheney spoke out on Fox News yesterday against the decision by Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate the alleged abuse of prisoners by CIA interrogators. Cheney said he was concerned what effect the investigation would have on morale in the CIA and called it "clearly a political move." We’re here this morning with Scott Shane, who covers intelligence for our partners The New York Times, to go over the details.

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Taliban Attacks, Pakistan Responds

In Pakistan, local and state authorities were challenged by a spate of attacks over the weekend. NATO oil tankers were set ablaze along the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan, and a suicide bomber struck a group of volunteer policemen in the Swat valley, leaving 17 dead, according to reports from Associated Press.  Pakistan's law enforcement say they've responded with a new offensive that has killed at least 30 members of the Taliban.

The border region is considered the main arterial route between Afghanistan and Pakistan. What can be discerned from these events about the ongoing fight against the Pakistani Taliban? Here to lay it out for us is Marvin Weinbaum, a scholar at the Middle East Institute and former State Department analyst on Afghanistan and Pakistan.


In Sports: Patriots' Brady Injured, U.S. Open Begins

Tom Brady sustained injuries during a game between the New England Patriots played a pre-season game against the Washington Redskins last Friday. Sports contributor Ibrahim Abdul-Matin talks with us about the game and the possible decline of Brady and the Patriots. We also talk to Ibrahim about the U.S. Open starting today. How will the Williams sisters fare, will the Bryan brothers sweep the doubles matches, and will Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal meet to battle it out?  

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Wildfires Blaze Around Los Angeles

Wildfires blazing around the Los Angeles area have threatened nearly 12,000 homes in their path. The fires killed two firefighters yesterday, destroyed at least 18 homes, and are now threatening the complex at the Mt. Wilson Observatory.  Mt. Wilson is both a historic space observatory and, with its high vantage point and many antennas, the effective telecommunications nerve center for Los Angeles.

We talk to Justin Seastrand, natural resources specialist for the U.S. Forest Service, on the latest news.


Fannie, Freddie Post Big Returns One Year Post-Takeover

Just a year ago, the government stepped in and took over struggling mortgage and loan security giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They were the first major companies deemed "too big to fail," although they would not be the last.  One year after the takeover, both Fannie and Freddie are reporting huge profits.  The times, to paraphrase Bob Dylan, might just be a-changin'.

Joining us to tell us where these gains are coming from and what we've learned in our year of nationalized mortgage lending is Louise Story, Wall Street and finance reporter for the New York Times.


Japan's Opposition Wins, Ending LDP's 54-Year Rule

A half century of single-party leadership came to an end in Japan over the weekend. The opposition Democratic Party won a resounding victory over the more conservative (and counterintuitively-named) Liberal Democratic Party. The LDP has dominated the Japanese parliament for nearly 54 years.

For more context, we're here with Bill Emmott. He's the former editor of the Economist and author of "Rivals: How the Power Struggle Between China, India and Japan will shape our next decade."


Obama Returns to D.C., Health Care Debate

President Barack Obama is back at work this week, and it's safe to say that health care reform will remain at the top of the president's agenda. Will President Obama still try to compromise with Republicans or will the president and Democrats go it alone, using procedural techniques to pass reform with a simple majority in the Senate? Here to help us understand the very difficult path to health care reform is Jay Newton-Small, Washington reporter for Time Magazine.


Wendell Pierce: Rebuilding New Orleans

Actor and New Orleans native Wendell Pierce is probably best known for his role as the cigar-smoking, hard-drinking detective William "Bunk" Moreland on HBO's critically acclaimed drama "The Wire." Since the end of that series, though, Pierce has been keeping busy: in between stage performances in New York City and his work on "Treme," a new HBO drama by David Simon, Pierce has been building affordable, eco-friendly, sustainable homes for a New Orleans neighborhood whose residents were displaced by Hurricane Katrina.


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