The Takeaway

  • Monday–Friday noon–1 p.m.

The Takeaway delivers the news and analysis you need to catch up, start your day, and prepare for what’s ahead. You’re invited to learn more and be part of the national conversation, on-air and online, on topics that are important to your life. The Takeaway is hosted by John Hockenberry.

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  • Oct 24

    'John Wick,' '23 Blast,' 'Citizenfour,' and Special Guest Jason Schwartzman

    It's a week when real men are being pushed to their limits, on the football field ("23 Blast"), on the world stage ("Citizenfour"), and in a universe where mobsters kill puppies ("John Wick").

    In addition to the new releases, Kristen and Rafer also weigh in on two picks you can watch at home, in their weekly Sweatpants segment.

    Plus, special guest Jason Schwartzman, of "Rushmore," "Grand Budapest Hotel," and "Saving Mister Banks" fame stops by to discuss his new film, "Listen Up, Philip."  

    And, as always, there's trivia!

    Subscribe to the Movie Date podcast, like Movie Date on Facebook, follow Kristen on Twitter, and leave a message for Rafer and Kristen anytime at 571-7MOVIES (571-766-8437).

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  • Oct 24

    MoMA Resurrects Lost Chapter of Black Film History

    Curators at the Museum of Modern Art recently restored the earliest known surviving footage of a feature length film with a black cast. The footage, shot in 1913 in Harlem, features Bert Williams and a number of other black performers.

    Today, an hour of the surviving footage premieres at the New York City Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) as part of an exhibition called "100 Years in Post-Production: Resurrecting a Lost Landmark of Black Film History." 

    Jacqueline Stewart, a professor of cinema and media studies at the University of Chicago, tells The Takeaway's John Hockenberry about the film's portrayal of African-American life in early 20th century New York, and why the footage is so important to understanding African-American cultural history of the era. 

    “This is an extraordinary find,” Stewart says. “Only a tiny fraction of silent films have survive at all, and the records that we have of black participation in the film industry during the silent period is miniscule. Having this moving document of black performers is really extraordinary and helps us to fill in a number of gaps that we have in the history of black performance on films.”

    The footage was acquired by the founder of the MoMA Film Library, Iris Barry, in the late 1930s and was housed in the museum’s archives for decades. Stewart says the film captures the Vaudeville era, which began in the 1880s and ran through the 1920s, and helps researchers advance their understanding of American silent filmmaking, and black performance in film.

    “The footage that we have here demonstrates a real kind of continuity between the live stage and film performance during this period,” she says. “The issue of how natural black performers are on film is a really interesting question during this time. Certainly these representations are structured by stereotypes.”

    During the time, black performers were expected adhere to the theatre conventions of the era, including blackface minstrelsy. Bert Williams was a central star of the Vaudeville period, and as a light-skinned black man, Stewart says he too had to don blackface.

    “[Williams] was a virtuoso performer who wore the blackface mask in his stage performances, and he does so in this footage,” she says. “It’s a convention that he’s using that demonstrates how influential minstrel performance was at the time, even for black actors.”

    The film obtained by MoMA is not complete, and Stewart says that the movie was never finished or released. The footage shows the actors doing multiple takes, and it reveals a great deal about the acting of the era.

    “What we can see is how the actors are calibrating their performances—improving things or making adjustments take to take,” she says. “There again is why I think it’s so interesting to study this footage. What we’re getting is not simply a continuation of what people did on stage, but a rethinking of how stage performances can be translated to film.”

    Bert Williams is the main character of the film, playing “a man about town” that’s trying to win the hand of the “local beauty” who is portrayed by Odessa Warren Grey, says Stewart.

    “My favorite scene in this footage is a kissing scene at the very end when Bert Williams does indeed win the hand of Odessa Grey,” she says. “We get multiple takes of the two of them kissing. It seems as if though the extended duration of the kiss is supposed to fade to black, but because this isn’t a finished film, we just get multiple takes of them with their lips touching.”

    During this early era of film, actors were beginning to evolve with technology—they came to understand the power of the close up, something that was never an issue during stage performances.

    “Another important thing to note about the closer framing that you get in this footage is that we can really see Bert Williams’ blackface as an application,” says Stewart. “This is not a naturalistic mode of costuming—you can see the edge of the wig that he is wearing.”

    Though stage audiences knew actors like Williams were in blackface, Stewart says the camera is able to show the costume in new ways.

    “To see [Williams] performing alongside all of these other actors who are not in blackface, it really de-naturalizes blackface,” she says. “It gets us to appreciate the range of performance types and visual styles that black performers could bring to their film performances.”

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  • Oct 24

    South Unbound: Mapping the Midterm Elections

    Next week, Takeaway Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich hits the road. He'll be traveling through the south—he'll start out in Washington, D.C. and make his way to Louisville, KY.

    Along the way, Todd is hoping to find out how folks down south are feeling just days ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.

    You can follow Todd's trip on Twitter and Instagram by checking out the hashtag #ToddTour. Check back with next week to see a detailed interactive map of his journey.

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  • Oct 24

    Actor Harry Shearer's New Series Shows a 'Twisted, Resentful, Paranoid' Nixon

    *Editor's Note: The audio portion of this interview contains language that some may find offensive.

    President Richard M. Nixon resigned in disgrace on August 9, 1974. He left behind nearly 3,700 hours of secret recordings, taped conversations in the White House between 1971 and 1973. 

    In an interview with The Takeaway's John Hockenberry, actor Harry Shearer describes the Nixon tapes as an "incredible gift." Shearer puts that gift to use, playing the president himself in the new web series, "Nixon's the One."

    In choosing his material from the thousands of hours of recordings, Shearer tells Hockenberry, "I decided to focus on these conversations that are not about Watergate, they're not about Vietnam; this is not about history or politics," he says. "This is conversations revealing of the character: This incredibly complex, twisted, resentful, paranoid character of this guy."

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  • Oct 24

    Thanks, Internet: Five Things You Had to See Online This Week

    Every Friday, Sean Rameswaram, a producer with Studio 360 and host of the Sideshow podcast, rounds up the week in internet phenomena. 

    This week in "Thanks, Internet," Sean talks to John Hockenberry about the online treasures you may have missed.

    1. NASA Joins The Cloud

    NASA joined SoundCloud this week, making a rich archive of iconic space recordings embeddable for all internetkind. The move looked like savvy social media strategy until Sean stumbled upon the account description:

    Here's a collection of NASA sounds from historic spaceflights and current missions. You can hear the roar of a space shuttle launch or Neil Armstrong's "One small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind" every time you get a phone call if you make our sounds your ringtone. Or, you can hear the memorable words "Houston, we've had a problem," every time you make an error on your computer.

    2. Sleater-Kinney & Miranda July

    In January, Sleater-Kinney will release its first album in a decade. This week, the band dropped No Cities to Love's first single, "Bury Our Friends." Sean says that it's an unrelenting mission statement from Carrie Brownstein, Corin Tucker, and Janet Weiss that's sure to find a legion of fans who didn't know the band in its first life. The Halloween-ready lyric video featuring peak Miranda July doesn't hurt. 

    3. Bradley Pitts Between Two Ferns

    Love or hate "Between Two Ferns," you have to give it up to whoever books these segments. Most recently, Zach Galifianakis has drawn the ire of President Barack Obama and spanked Justin Bieber. This week, he asks Brad Pitt about living in Angelina's shadow, reminds him about that one "Friend," and has Louis C.K. drop by. Just because he can. 

    4. Live From New York, It's Opening Credits

    SNL's new opening credits sequence

    When Saturday Night Live re-vamped its opening credits this season – its 40th on air, and its first without the late, lamented announcer Don Pardo – the team decided to go big. There are aerial helicopter shots of New York City, fancy lenses, and neon signs that float midair. In the great longread "How We Did It — SNL Title Sequence," director of photography Alex Buono reveals that some of the best tricks are remarkably lo-fi.  

    5. Episode X: The Return of The Goats

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  • Oct 24

    First Case of Ebola Reaches NYC

    The Ebola virus has touched down in another U.S. city: New York.

    Dr. Craig Spencer, a medical aid worker who recently volunteered in Guinea, has tested positive for Ebola, according to the New York City Health Department laboratory and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Dr. Spencer is currently in isolation at Bellevue Hospital in New York City—one of eight state hospitals that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has designated to treat Ebola patients.

    Medical detectives are now trying to retrace every step Dr. Spencer had taken over the past several days. On October 17th, Spencer returned through JFK Airport and participated in the enhanced screening protocols that all returning travelers from West Africa now undergo. He went through multiple layers of screening and did not have a fever or other symptoms of illness at the time.

    “As we learn about the first positive Ebola case in New York City, I want to assure New Yorkers that we are prepared,” Gov. Cuomo said in a statement. “Over the past few weeks, we have undertaken a thorough and coordinated effort alongside all relevant partners, from healthcare workers to the local and federal governments, in order to implement the appropriate precautions.”

    Before he developed symptoms, Dr. Spencer spent time at a Brooklyn bowling alley, rode the subway’s L and A lines, and travelled in a taxi from the outer borough back to Manhattan. State health officials have noted that Ebola is spread by directly touching the bodily fluids of an infected person—not through the air or by water, or simply by being near an infected person. Dr. Spencer's fiancée and two friends have also been quarantined.

    "We want to state at the outset that there is no reason for New Yorkers to be alarmed," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters Thursday. "Ebola is very difficult to contract. Being on the same subway car or living near a person with Ebola does not in itself put someone at risk."

    New York City hospitals and health workers have been preparing for a case of Ebola for the last several months and stress that there is very little chance the average New Yorker will contract the virus—Gov. Cuomo even plans to ride on the subway today to show New Yorkers it is safe. President Obama has reportedly spoken with both the governor and Mayor de Blasio.

    Weighing in on New York's response to the virus and the way forward is Dr. Emmanuel d'Harcourt, the senior health director at the International Rescue Committee. He heads a team of public health professionals who provide technical assistance to the IRC’s environmental health and primary health care programs in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Asia.

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  • Oct 24

    ISIS: More Manson Family Than Religious Movement

    ISIS may be more like the Manson Family than a religious movement—the extremist group courts disillusioned loners and those who dream of going out with a murderous bang. 

    The group lures in would-be extremists with the offer of guns, camaraderie, war, fame, a sympathetic comic book god, and access to social media. In many ways, this is an offer unstable members in societies all over the world may be find too tempting to refuse.

    Hussein Rashid, a professor of religion at Hofstra University, argues that extremism appeals to those with mental illness because of their perceived lack of control in their own lives. 

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  • Oct 24

    Today's Takeaways: Ebola Tests NYC, A Window Into Black Film History, and Nixon's Paranoia

    1. First Case of Ebola Tests NYC | 2. South Unbound: Mapping the Midterm Elections | 3. ISIS: More Manson Family Than Religious Movement | 4. Lost Chapter of Black History Resurrected | 5. New Series Shows a 'Twisted' & 'Paranoid' Nixon
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  • Oct 23

    How Alaska Became the Sexual Assault Capital of the U.S.

    Alaska has the country's highest rate of sexual assault. And for the first time in 55 years, domestic violence is one of the biggest issues of the campaign season.

    The state has a rape rate that is almost three times the national average. It's most prevalent in rural communities, where many are not connected to a road system. But even Anchorage and Fairbanks have the highest rates compared to other U.S. cities.

    Sara Bernard, a freelance writer and radio reporter, explains why Alaska has the such a high rate of domestic violence and why it's difficult to bring it down. 

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  • Oct 23

    Film Chronicles Glen Campbell's Alzheimer's Encore

    Glen Campbell has serenaded Americans for generations with hits like "Wichita Lineman," "Gentle on My Mind," "Rhinestone Cowboy," "Classical Gas," and others.

    Campbell has won five Grammy awards, seven Academy of Country Music awards, and three American Music awards, and sold over 50 million records worldwide.

    In 2011, before heading out on his "Farewell Tour," Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. At the time, he agreed to let filmmaker James Keach document the effects of his illness and it's impact on his music, his friendships, and those he loved most.  

    The new documentary,"Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me," opens in theaters this Friday. James Keach, the director and producer of Campbell's documentary who is also known for his work on the Johnny Cash biographical movie "Walk The Line," weighs in on the new film with Kim Campbell, the wife of Glen Campbell.

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  • Oct 23

    Attack in Ottawa Leaves Canada Reeling

    A gunman fatally wounded a Canadian soldier at the National War Memorial in Ottawa yesterday. The shooter then entered the capitol's Parliament building and opened fire before he was shot and killed.

    It was the second deadly attack against Canadian soldiers in three days—the nation raised its terror threat level on Monday after a Muslim convert murdered one soldier and injured another in a hit-and-run car crash, an incident that Canadian officials view as a terrorist attack. The driver, Martin Rouleau-Couture, reportedly became radicalized last year, but few details have emerged about why he ran over the two soldiers at a strip mall in Quebec.

    The assailant in the capital shooting has been identified as Canadian-born Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a man who changed his name from Michael Joseph Hall after converting to Islam.  Though details about the shooting are still unfolding in the Canadian capitol, Andrew Pinsent, reporter for 1310News, gives The Takeaway's John Hockenberry the latest news from Ottawa.

    So far, neither attack has been linked to the U.S.-led fight against the Islamic State, which Canada joined earlier this month.

    Islam is by far the fastest growing religion in Canada. Today, Muslims make up 3.2 percent of Canada's population, compared to under one percent in the U.S. 

    Karim H. Karim, director of the Centre for the Study of Islam at Carleton University in Ottawa, says that while Canadian Muslims have not had to face the kind of prejudice seen in the U.S. after the 9/11 attacks, stereotypes know no borders. He tells John Hockenberry that the latest attacks have some questioning what kind of outlets exist for Canadians who might turn to extremism.

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  • Oct 23

    How to Beat the 1 Percent at Politics

    The man who helped remake the British Conservative Party, Steve Hilton, is now applying his political savvy to new endeavor here in the United States.

    Hilton is the brains behind a new tech start-up that's billed as a sort of for politics. The site,, is designed to help match small donors with a candidate who best matches their views.

    The site takes a ton of information—everything from a candidate's votes, their statements, their own political donations and who's given to them—to create a score based on how liberal or conservative they are. It then allows a potential donor to select among 15 issues to find candidates who share their views and might be in tight races. In this way, small donors can put their money where it matters the most.

    Hilton is the CEO and co-founder of CrowdPac and a visiting professor at Stanford University. He says one way to change the dynamic of campaign finance is to just give regular people the information that big donors like the Koch brothers might have.

    “The thing that’s at the heart of [CrowdPac] is the research that we’ve carried out over the last six years,” Hilton says. “If you want to understand how a politician will behave in office, the best thing you can look at is their campaign contributions—it’s the most powerful predictor of their behavior in office.”

    CrowdPac has analyzed decades of campaign contributions, and scores candidates based on their records and donors. Based on these analyses, the site then determines where a candidate falls on the liberal to conservative political spectrum.

    “That scoring system gives people simple tools that they can use to get involved in politics,” says Hilton. “Depending on what issue you care about or the things in politics that matter to you, we can show you which candidates you might want to donate to.”

    Though many measures are being pushed to reform America’s campaign finance structure, Hilton points out that a better system doesn’t yet exist. CrowdPac allows everyday people play within the existing political structure.

    “This is something we can do today within the system that we have,” says Hilton. “It’s a practical way of fighting the stranglehold of big money donors and special interests on the political system, not by reducing the amount of big money in politics, but increasing the amount of small money.”

    Highly targeted campaign donations from several small donors can compete with the big money interests of a few individuals, Hilton argues. He says that this system can take power away from big donors.

    “It’s not so much the party system that’s the problem, it’s the system that’s developing outside of the parties,” he says. “That’s the phenomenon that people are concerned about—the idea that anyone with money can come in and literally buy a stake in the democratic process. That just doesn’t feel right in terms of how the system should work.”

    CrowdPac hopes to empower voters to work outside of their local political systems, too. Hilton says that the site can allow individuals to identify candidates across the nation that support issues that matter most to them.

    “As a regular member of the public, it’s very hard to really understand where your donation can be really effective,” says Hilton. “The targeting of the money is the crucial thing. People do have a strong sense of the issues that they care about and the outcomes that they want to see, but they haven’t had the information about where they can be effective and where they can put their money in order to really have an influence. Up until now, all of that information has been in the hands of the insiders.”


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  • Oct 23

    Language & Politics Divide Navajo Nation

    Chris Deschene seems like a great presidential candidate for the Navajo Nation except, like many young members of the tribe, he can't speak Navajo fluently.

    He was a leading candidate in the race until yesterday when the tribe's high council booted him off the ballot for failing the language test. The issue has divided the Navajo Nation, many of whom feel the law is discriminatory against the younger generations who didn't grow up with the language in the same way that elders have. 

    Navajo community activist and tribal liaison Jaynie Parrish says the issue is complicated. She says the tribe encourages young Navajos to go away from the reservation to get an education, work, and then use that experience to help the tribe. But that also means the absent young Navajos are not as immersed in the culture, and their language skills suffer from that.

    Parrish says there needs to be some protection for the language, but the younger generation "cannot be left out of the political process" even if it means letting non-fluent speakers serve in government.

    UPDATE 10/24/14 01:27 PM:  The audio portion of this interview incorrectly states that Chris Deschene and other young Navajos don't consider language fluency as important as other issues. Parrish says that young Navajos believe language fluency is as important as other issues in the Navajo culture. As of midnight, the tribe has decided to strike the language requirement from the presidency, allowing Deschene to be back on the ballot.

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  • Oct 23

    Valerie Plame on the New Age of National Security

    Valerie Plame never wanted to be famous. She joined the CIA in 1985 and quickly rose through the ranks to become a clandestine frontline officer specializing in nuclear proliferation.

    In 2002, the CIA asked Plame's husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson, to investigate claims that Iraq was trying to buy uranium ore for weapons of mass destruction. Wilson told the agency that the claims were "highly unlikely."

    Nevertheless, in his 2003 State of the Union Address, President Bush reiterated the claim that Saddam Hussein was attempting to buy uranium from contacts in Africa. Wilson accused the Bush Administration of lying to the American people to drum up support for the invasion of Iraq.

    A few months later, Plame's name—and her secret identity as a CIA officer—appeared in a column by Bush supporter Robert Novak. Plame and Wilson believe Novak leaked Plame's identity in retaliation, though a special prosecutor declined to prosecute federal officials for the crime, apart from charging Lewis Libby with obstruction of justice. 

    In an interview with The Takeaway's John Hockenberry, Plame reflects on the state of Iraq today. "Certainly, if we had not invaded Iraq on intelligence that was clearly manipulated and cherry picked, we would be in a different position today," she says.

    "There is no question that what we are seeing—the horrible advance of ISIS—goes back, if you will, to the original sin of the invasion of Iraq," Plame continues. "I think the Bush Administration was bound and determined on regime change, and we will be paying the price of that for some time to come."

    Today, Plame lives with her husband in New Mexico, where she channels her CIA training and nuclear expertise into fiction, in a series of novels starring a young CIA officer named Vanessa Pierson. The latest novel, "Burned," focuses on nuclear proliferation, with an enemy based on A.Q. Kahn, the former director of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program. 

    In terms of nuclear disarmament, Plame says that the world has come a long way since she joined the CIA. "At the height of the Cold War, in 1985, there were approximately 68,000 nuclear weapons. Now we're down to about 17,000 nuclear weapons, of which maybe 4,000 have active nuclear warheads," she explains.

    Finally, Plame comments on Edward Snowden's recent revelations. 

    "The question I like to ask is would you rather not know? Would you rather not know what the NSA has been doing in our name?" she says. "The question for the average citizen is, is this compatible with our values?" 

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  • Oct 23

    Today's Takeaways: A Gunman, A Spy, and A Fading Memory

    1. Attack in Ottawa Leaves Canada Reeling | 2. Valerie Plame on The New Age of National Security | 3. Film Chronicles Glen Campbell's Alzheimer's Encore
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  • Oct 22

    The News is Grim Until You Look at The Data

    Every week, stories about scandal, war, disease, climate change, income inequality, and a shaky economic recovery dominate the headlines. But a new website,, provides a much needed analysis about the good news out there.  

    Dr. Max Roser, an economist at the Institute for New Economic Thinking at Oxford University and creator of the Our World In Data website, says that it may seem like the world has gotten worse over time, but the data suggests otherwise.

    “To really understand how the world is changing, you have to look at the big picture,” says Dr. Roser. “You have to zoom out from the current events to understand in which direction the world is changing.”

    Here are some of the most optimistic trends Dr. Roser has analyzed:

    With wars raging in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, South Sudan and elsewhere, it's hard to believe that war deaths are actually declining at a rapid pace. Here's a look at how far we've come since World War II: 



    Malaria has taken a deadly toll on countries near the equator, but there's been some good new on that front over the last 10 years:


    Thanks to the industrial revolution and the surge in computers in the workplace people are working less than they used to.   


    The world is less poor than ever. But, as Dr. Roser notes, income inequality in the richest countries is rising.  


     A look at homicide rates shows the world used to be a much more dangerous place:  


    Here's a map of homicide rates today:  


    The world is also more democratic. 


    Here's a graph showing the number of people living in different political systems.


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  • Oct 22

    Following The Money in The War Against Ebola

    The World Health Organization's emergency committee on Ebola will convene today to review the scope of the outbreak and to determine what additional resources are needed. There have been significant developments since their last meeting—cases of Ebola have been reported in Spain and the United States, and the disease has been eliminated in Senegal and Nigeria.

    One persistent element setting the parameters of the war on Ebola has been money.

    The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimated that nearly a billion dollars would be required to tackle the disease in West Africa, but less than $400 million of that has been received thus far.

    As the virus continues to spread, it's been difficult to calculate the immense financial toll this disease will take on West Africa, which has already experienced forgone output, rising prices, lower incomes, and great poverty.

    Francisco Ferreira, the World Bank’s chief economist for Africa, examines the economic impact that the fight against Ebola is having on West Africa. Ashish Jha, a professor of health policy at the Harvard School of Public Health, explains how resources are allocated to the Ebola outbreak, and whether the money has been sufficient or effective.

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  • Oct 22

    Improvising with Jason Schwartzman

    Actor Jason Shwartzman was having quite the musical movie date moment with our own Kristen Meinzer the other day. He stopped by to discuss his upcoming film, "Listen Up Philip," with The Movie Date Podcast co-host and broke out into an improvised musical dream sequence.

    When he did wake up from his "dream," Schwartman weighed in on his new character.

    Both on screen and in real life, Schwartzman exudes nice-guy qualities. In some of his most famous works like "Bored to Death," "The Grand Budapest Hotel," and "Rushmore," Schwartzman plays quirky, often anxiety-riddled characters.

    But in his latest role in "Listen Up Philip," a film directed by Alex Ross Perry, Schwartzman plays an abrasive, self-loathing novelist who berates a student who comes into his office to ask for a letter of recommendation.

    "This guy basically is pretty positive, he knows who he is and doesn't care to learn anything because he knows everything, he thinks," Schwartzman tells Movie Date co-host Kristen Meinzer. "And that was fun to do."

    Schwartzman also talks with Kristen about the hugely important influence director Wes Anderson has had on his career, and reveals his favorite Wes Anderson role. 

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  • Oct 22

    Skewed Justice: Report Shows Campaign Ads Sway Judicial Decisions

    At least one important issue hasn't been getting a lot of air time this election season: The impact of Citizens United on state courts.

    "The Constitution tells our judges [that they're] supposed to decide cases one at a time based on the facts of the law, not based on political pressure, not based on campaign money you may have raised," Bert Brandenberg, executive director of Justice at Stake, told The Takeaway in August. "And even more chilling is the judges who are now trapped in the system, when they go out to raise the money, the people they go to are the parties that then appear before them.”

    Former Iowa State Supreme Court Justice David Baker also weighed in on the issue back in August.

    “I have a problem with this," said Baker. "Aside from this fundraising aspect, there's going to be the perception by those using the courts that the court system is not fair and impartial.”

    And it's that impartiality that is the subject of a new study called "Skewed Justice" that was released yesterday by Emory Law School and the American Constitution Society. The report reveals that television ads attacking state supreme court candidates for being "soft on crime" not only sway elections, but also sway judicial decisions.

    The study, which examined more than 3,000 criminal cases in 32 states with voter approval of judges, found that between 2008 and 2013, more televisions ads in the races equated to a greater likelihood that the judges would rule against criminal defendants.

    Caroline Fredrickson, the president of the American Constitution Society, explains how spending in judicial elections post-Citizens United affects criminal convictions.

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  • Oct 22

    Remembering The Legendary Journalist Ben Bradlee

    Legendary Washington Post Editor Ben Bradlee, the man who oversaw the paper's coverage of the Watergate scandal, died yesterday at the age of 93.

    After Watergate, Bradlee was a star in his own hometown, and no other man quite embodied the power of the press. He was an individual who faced down presidents, who trusted reporters by instinct—instincts that could fail him but rarely did.

    Jeff Himmelman, the author of "Yours In Truth: A Personal Portrait of Ben Bradlee," weighs in on the life and legacy of this trailblazing journalist.

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  • Oct 22

    Dr. Katz Will See You Now: A 90s Icon Makes a Comeback

    If you were a child or young adult of the 90s, Dr. Katz was probably your go-to therapist. The TV program "Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist" ran on Comedy Central in the mid-90s and is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. 

    Though creator Jonathan Katz is far from a therapist in real life, the Emmy-award winning comedian has now reprised that character in the new album, "Dr. Katz Live." Katz has been cited as the mentor of Louis C.K. and Ray Romano.

    Katz joins The Takeaway to talk about why he's enjoyed talking about his own problems in his make-believe therapy sessions. 

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  • Oct 22

    Today's Takeaways: Skewed Justice, Jason Schwartzman Improvising, and Following Ebola Money

    1. Campaign Ads Sway Judicial Decisions | 2. Following The Money in The War Against Ebola | 3. Improvising with Jason Schwartzman | 4. Dr. Katz Will See You Now: The Return of a 90s Icon | 5. Remembering The Legendary Ben Bradlee
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  • Oct 21

    It Could Take Another Watergate to Get Secret Money Out of Politics

    As Election Day approaches, voters have become inundated with expensive campaign ads and flyers, and outside political groups have spent more than $1 billion to sway citizens at the ballot box. But how did we got here? 

    A major event in the evolution of America's campaign finance system was the Watergate scandal in 1972. It wasn't just about the five men with ties to President Richard Nixon's campaign who broke into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. The burglary ultimately exposed a bigger issue: That Nixon's campaign committee had received tens of millions of dollars in secret campaign donations.

    The subsequent reform, the Federal Election Campaign Act passed in 1974, was meant to remedy the problem of secret money. But today money still plays a huge role in elections.

    Retro Report producer Scott Michels explains how history has come full circle 40 years after Watergate.

    Check out a video of Retro Report's findings below.

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  • Oct 21

    Giants Vs. Royals: A World Series Showdown

    The World Series starts today, and the Kansas City Royals are gearing up to play the San Francisco Giants.

    The Royals haven't been in the playoffs since the team won the 1985 World Series—their 29-year post-season drought is the longest for any city in the divisional era. While everyone loves a Cinderella story, many Takeaway fans are also rooting for the Giants, even if they just did win the 2012 World Series.

    Are you rootin' for the Royals, or gunning for the Giants? Let's play ball—who are you going to get behind and why? Check out what other listeners had to to say above and share your thoughts in the comments below or by taking our poll.


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  • Oct 21

    The Power of Curiosity: The True Story Behind the Mars Rover

    This week there was a close call for the Red Planet after a comet named Siding Spring came within 87,000 miles of Mars, just shaving past the planet's surface.

    But the way we understand and learn about Mars today is all just part of our own story with the Red Planet—from the first missions past Mars during the1960s to the 2012 launch of the Mars Curiosity rover, a robotic explorer that had to be far bigger than anything else that had landed before.

    Rob Manning is the former chief engineer for the Curiosity rover on Mars and co-author of "Mars Rover Curiosity: An Inside Account from Curiosity's Chief Engineer," which is out today and details the saga leading up to Curiosity's launch.

    If there's one lesson you can take from Rob it's that when it comes to space, never underestimate the importance of the engineer.

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  • Oct 21

    A Real-Life Spy Thriller: New Doc Chronicles The Story Behind Edward Snowden

    More than a year after NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden handed over a trove of documents that revealed the extent of the government's surveillance programs, a new documentary chronicles Snowden's story and his decision to put everything on the line in the name of protecting American freedoms.

    Journalist and documentarian Laura Poitras was first contacted by Snowden in early 2013. Poitras eventually teamed up with journalist Glenn Greenwald—together they flew to Hong Kong to meet Snowden and make his revelations public.

    Using footage from that trip to Hong Kong, Poitras created the new documentary, "CitizenFour." The film tells the intimate story behind these leaks and aims to provide a grander sense of scale and consequence of NSA programs.

    "I think that he's been very consistent in why he's done what he's done," Poitras says of Snowden. "He feels that these programs are a threat to democracy and that the public has a right to know what their government is doing. When we met in Hong Kong, the greatest sense we had was that he had made a decision that he knew would unravel his life but that he had done it because he felt that it was of great public importance."

    In the final scenes of the documentary there are two big reveals: First, Snowden and viewers both learn that Greenwald and Poitras have another government source, and that 1.2 million people are on an unspecified government watch list. The second: Snowden's girlfriend has joined him in Moscow. 

    "CitizenFour" opens in theaters October 24. Check out a trailer for the film below.

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  • Oct 21

    Ebola, Race and Disease: America's Dark History of Medical Apartheid

    Though Thomas Duncan is the only Ebola victim to have died in the United States, the disease has still become political fodder for candidates running in midterm elections across the country. 

    In an Arkansas television ad, Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor accused his Republican challenger, Tom Cotton, of cutting funds for disease research.

    "Tom Cotton voted against preparing America for pandemics for outbreaks like Ebola," says the commercial's narrator. 

    In an October 7th debate with North Carolina Democratic incumbent Senator Kay Hagan, Republican challenger Thom Tillis said, "The fact of the matter is that Senator Hagan has failed the people of North Carolina and the nation by not securing our border. Ladies and gentlemen, we have an Ebola outbreak, we have bad actors that can come across the border, we need to seal the border and secure it."

    From Typhoid Mary to the AIDS epidemic to the current Ebola crisis, the language of infestation and exclusion have a long history when it comes to fighting disease in the United States, says medical ethicist Harriet Washington.

    Washington, the author of "Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present," explores the cultural history of immigration, race and disease in America. 

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  • Oct 21

    Is the GOP Losing Its Lock on Kansas?

    Kansas has elected Republicans to the U.S. Senate in every race since 1939, but now the GOP's lock on the Sunflower State may be slipping: Independent Senate candidate Greg Orman is in a near-tie with incumbent Republican Senator Pat Roberts.

    In the governor's race, Republican incumbent Sam Brownback has just a slight lead over his Democratic challenger, Paul David. Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach is also neck-and-neck with his Democratic opponent, Jean Schodorf.

    Dave Helling, politics reporter for the Kansas City Star, gives The Takeaway the latest from the political battleground of Kansas.

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  • Oct 21

    How Nigeria Became 'Ebola Free'

    On Wednesday, President Obama's newly appointed Ebola Response Coordinator, Ron Klain, will officially become the point person heading up the federal government's response to the disease.

    Meanwhile in Texas, things already seem to be getting better.

    The two nurses who became infected with Ebola after treating Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who died of the virus at a Dallas hospital on October 8th, remain hospitalized but their conditions are improving. And now more than 40 people were taken off an Ebola watch list as the 21-day incubation period expired.

    There is also some good news from a part of the world that needs it most: The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday that Nigeria is now “Ebola free” after 42 days with no new cases.

    “This is a spectacular success story that shows to the world that Ebola can be contained,” Rui Gama Vaz, a WHO representative in Nigeria, told reporters Monday. “But we must be clear that we only won a battle—the war will only end when West Africa is also declared free of Ebola."

    What did Nigeria do right, and what can it teach other nations on how to cope with the crisis? For answers, we turn to Alexis Okeowo, a freelance journalist based in Lagos who has been covering Nigeria's response to the Ebola outbreak.

    “The lesson is that Nigeria really took charge from the get-go,” says Okeowo. “When the first patient with Ebola landed in Nigeria—a Liberian-American man—they initially thought it was Malaria. But, due to his symptoms, they quickly realized that it could be Ebola. They did rapid tests, they notified officials, and it was quickly declared an emergency.”

    Many have called the Nigerian government incompetent, especially when 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped this spring by terrorist group Boko Haram. But when it comes to Ebola, Nigerian officials have proved their critics wrong.

    “In Nigeria, there was even a level of surprise, and after that pride,” Okeowo says of the government’s response to Ebola. “Especially with the kidnapping of the girls last April, there was a sense that we really couldn’t trust our government to do much to protect us. But with Ebola, [the government] really turned things around and handled the crisis pretty well, unlike its neighbors. They surprised us and have given us some renewed faith.”

    The doctors that treated Nigeria’s first Ebola patient acted quickly, Okeowo says, adding that they wasted no time placing him in isolation.

    “The patient wanted to be released and to sort of walk around and be outside,” she says. “They prevented that, and many of them died. After that, officials here with the local and state governments sent out teams of health workers and volunteers who were really effective in visiting thousands of homes and educating thousands of families.”

    Okeowo adds that healthcare workers and volunteers in Nigeria tracked down almost 1,000 people who had contact with Ebola patients and monitored these individuals for 21 days.

    “If they did get sick, they were treated well and isolated,” she says. “It was really from the top down—from government officials to volunteers on the ground who were really vigilant. As a result, they made Nigerians more vigilant in the way we interacted with each other.”

    Over 100 Nigerian volunteers are now working to fight the Ebola virus in Liberia, a country that has lost more than 2,400 people to the disease.

    “It’s nice to hear that Nigeria is not just satisfied with having eradicated it from its own country, but it’s going to help its neighbors deal with the disease,” says Okeowo.

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  • Oct 21

    Today's Takeaways: A Real-Life Spy Thriller, Secret Money in Politics, and A Curious Space Trip to Mars

    1. Is the GOP Losing Its Lock on Kansas? | 2. A Real-Life Spy Thriller: New Doc Reveals The Story Behind Snowden | 3. It Could Take Another Watergate to Get Secret Money Out of Politics | 4. The Power of Curiosity: The True Story Behind the Mars Rover
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  • Oct 20

    An In-Depth Look at the Battle for the Senate

    It's election season in America again, and in just two weeks, voters from around the U.S. will turn out to cast their ballots in November's midterm elections. 

    There's quite a lot on the table in this election cycle—the U.S. Senate is up for grabs, and 36 states will be also electing governors. Voters will weigh in on some important judicial elections, and some game-changing ballot measures are also up for consideration, including the legalization of marijuana and labeling rules for GMOs.

    Whether Democratic Senator Harry Reid will continue to be majority leader in the U.S. Senate depends on the outcomes in just a few key states. Both the Democrats and the Republicans have poured time, energy, and money into battleground states in hopes of tipping the balance of power in the favor.

    Anna Greenberg, a Democratic strategist, and Kellyanne Conway, a Republican strategist, tell us which states their parties each need to win, and why.

    Midterm elections tend to favor the GOP, and the 2014 elections are no exception. Dante Chinni, director of the American Communities Project at American University, believes the math and demographics give the Republicans a distinct advantage this election cycle.

    In contrast to the 2012 election, when most of the battleground areas were in densely populated highly educated suburbs, the hotly contested areas in 2014 are full of exurbs—rural, loosely populated areas far outside of cities.

    Chinni explains what America’s political map looks like, and how recent population shifts will determine who makes it out the polls.

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  • Oct 20

    The Future of Politics Reflected in 2014 Midterms

    With a high number of retirements and vulnerable incumbents, the Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate hangs in the balance this election cycle. The Republicans are hoping to capitalize on Democratic vulnerability and seize control of Congress.

    Anna Greenberg and Kellyanne Conway, Democratic and Republican political strategists, explain how the 2014 midterm elections are representative of longer-term trends in American politics.

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  • Oct 20

    Money Talks: Outside Money Floods State Races

    The 2010 Citizens United ruling allowed unlimited contributions to political campaigns. Now, four years later, the amount of outside money has reached unprecedented levels in the 2014 election.

    Kytja Weir, project manager and reporter for "Who's Calling the Shots," a project of the Center for Public Integrity's state politics team, Consider the Source, explains where the money is coming from and how it is effecting elections across the country.

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  • Oct 20

    What a GOP Senate Means for President Obama

    Republicans have the opportunity to regain control of the Senate in this year's midterm elections, giving them majorities in both houses of Congress.

    But what would happen if Sen. Harry Reid hands over the majority leader gavel to Sen. Mitch McConnell? How would a Republican-controlled Senate change President Obama's final two years in office?

    Todd Zwillich, Takeaway Washington correspondent, sits down with political reporters Susan Davis of USA Today and Brian Beutler of The New Republic to discuss what to expect if the balance of power in the Senate changes.

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  • Oct 20

    The Country's Most Expensive Senate Race

    PACs, political parties and independent groups have spent more than $40 million on both sides of the 2014 North Carolina Senate race. Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan is facing off against Republican challenger Thom Tillis, now the Speaker of the North Carolina House. 

    Tom Bullock, money and influence reporter for WFAE in Charlotte, reports that the Hagan-Tillis race is the most expensive Senate campaign in the country. He notes that more than 71,000 television ads have aired in this fight alone.

    Four of the seven seats on the North Carolina Supreme Court are also up for grabs in this election. North Carolina judges used to receive public financing for elections, but the state legislature abolished that system last year. 

    Judge Cheri Beasley is running to retain her state Supreme Court seat. As she tells Bullock, "Any system we have that can only be successful based on how much money one raises and not raised on ones qualifications or experience, there’s something pretty outrageous about that." 

    Bullock finds that not all North Carolinians agree. John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation, a conservative political think tank, tells Bullock, "I’m not complaining about the end of taxpayer funding of campaigns, I’m celebrating it."

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  • Oct 21

    Secrets Revealed in the Race for Oregon Governor

    This November, Oregonians will decide whether to send Democratic Governor John Kitzhaber back to office for an unprecedented fourth term. He's running against state representative Dennis Richardson.

    As Chris Lehman, Salem correspondent for Oregon Public Broadcasting and the Northwest News Network, explains, many thought Kitzhaber should be the shoo-in in Oregon, a state that hasn't elected a Republican governor since 1982. 

    But new revelations about Oregon's First Lady Cylvia Hayes have thrown Kitzhaber's campaign into question. Hayes recently revealed that, in 1997, she married an 18-year-old Ethiopian college student who needed a Green Card. She received $5,000 for the marriage, which she used to buy a laptop computer and pay for other college expenses.

    Hayes issued a public apology for committing what she called an "illegal act," but the revelations came during a tumultuous campaign week, as Republicans accused Hayes of being a co-owner of an illicit marijuana farm in the 1990's, and of using her title to secure lucrative consulting gigs.

    For his part, Kitzhaber has dismissed the allegations against Hayes.

    Oregonians will also choose between incumbent Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley and Republican Monica Wehby, though Merkley is heavily favored to win. 

    The other major issue on the ballot, Lehman reports, is marijuana legalization. While Oregonians rejected a similar measure two years ago, the 2014 campaign is based on the successful measure in Washington state. 

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  • Oct 20

    Today's Takeaways: Your Complete Guide to The 2014 Midterm Elections

    This is a special edition of The Takeaway podcast that's devoted to the 2014 midterm elections.
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  • Oct 18

    Under Her Skin: Stories of Living With Breast Cancer

    In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we're delivering you a special podcast. Through audio diaries recorded over the course of six months, The Takeaway's series "Under Her Skin: Living With Breast Cancer" follows three African-American women diagnosed with the disease. 

    A recent study has found that African-American women with breast cancer are 40 percent more likely to die than their white counterparts. "Under Her Skin" features the stories behind these difficult survival statistics.

    Takeaway Host John Hockenberry explores the triumphs and struggles of three women living with the diease: Anita Coleman, age 55, from Los Angeles; Lisa Echols, age 47, from Memphis; and Crystal Miller, age 28, from New York City.

    Anita is all too familiar with breast cancer—last February marked her second diagnosis with the disease. She talks about fighting breast cancer for the second time; how her son, daughter and grandchildren, are coping; and her advice for relieving anxiety and the physical symptoms associated with breast cancer and breast cancer treatment.

    Lisa began her audio diaries as she recovered from a double mastectomy. She describes her recovery, her husband's response, and how her son and daughter have responded to her diagnosis. Lisa also discusses how her faith has helped her through this difficult period.

    As a nurse, Crystal has often cared for women with breast cancer, so she knew a great deal about the disease before her diagnosis. Many of the issues Crystal discusses relate to her age: At just 28-years-old, she describes her new attitudes toward dating, having children, and even mortality.

    All of the audio diaries recorded by Anita, Lisa, and Crystal are available at Hundreds of women have also joined the project's Facebook group to discuss their own triumphs and struggles of living with breast cancer.

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  • Oct 17

    'Dear White People,' 'The Best of Me,' 'Birdman,' 'Fury,' Movie Therapy, and Sweatpants

    It's a rage-filled week on the newest Movie Date podcast, as Rafer and Kristen delve into race relations, child abuse, career angst, and war.

    Up for review: "Dear White People," from first-time filmmaker Justin Simien; the newest Nicholas Sparks adaptation, "The Best of Me"; the comeback within a comeback film, "Birdman"; and the Brad Pitt-led World War II film, "Fury."

    But it's not all anger and rage this week. There's also Movie Therapy for a listener feeling the stress of home renovations. Plus, Rafer and Kristen present a brand new segment, Sweatpants, which features the best of what's on the small screen this week.

    And, as always, there's trivia!

    Subscribe to the Movie Date podcast, like Movie Date on Facebook, follow Kristen on Twitter, and leave a message for Rafer and Kristen anytime at 571-7MOVIES (571-766-8437).

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  • Oct 17

    You Don't Have Ebola. You're Not Going to Get It.

    Worries about Ebola may be contributing to the sliding stock market. But despite all of the fear and the media coverage, it is still highly unlikely that anyone in the U.S. will be infected with Ebola.

    Nevertheless, a Harvard poll found that almost 40 percent of adults think that they or an immediate family member will get sick from Ebola over the next year.

    And on Thursday, schools in Texas and Ohio were closed after officials discovered that students and an adult had either been on the flight with the nurse who contracted Ebola or had had contact with her.

    But the fact remains that there are more common diseases out there that can take you to a hospital and even cause death. So why are all so concerned about Ebola?

    Dan Ariely says stories about Ebola in the U.S. hit all of our psychological triggers. Ariely is a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University, and author of "Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions."

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  • Oct 17

    FBI Director Worries New Smartphones Too Smart

    The uncertain boundaries between personal privacy and public safety have been erased and redrawn for decades.

    But on Thursday, James Comey, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), made it clear that access to technology is a vital capability for authorities looking to prevent and solve crimes.

    “Some believe that law enforcement, and especially the FBI, has these phenomenal capabilities to access any information at any time," said Comey in a speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. "That we can get what we want when we want by flipping a switch. That is the problem with too much television."

    Tech companies like Google and Apple have already proven their encryption capabilities are strong and getting stronger. Just last month Apple said new encryption for the iPhone would prevent even Apple from gaining access to customer information.

    And that's a little thing Director Comey likes to call sales.

    “Encryption just isn't a technical feature, it's part of a marketing strategy," Comey said. "But it will have very serious consequences for law enforcement and national security agencies at all levels."

    But Susan Landau, a professor of cybersecurity policy at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and author of "Surveillance or Security?: The Risks Posed by New Wiretapping Technologies," says there is more at stake than the choice between crime and privacy.

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  • Oct 17

    America & The Growing Trade in Syria's Looted Art

    Syria, often referred to as the "cradle of civilization," is a country that has a deep world heritage and is rich with archaeological artifacts. But as ISIS becomes more organized, they've been using their power, equipment, and connections to smuggle ancient treasures out of the country.

    Aside from funding the terror group, the process of searching for loot can devastate important archaeological sites. Most museums have stopped buying smuggled artifacts from looters, and some have begun repatriating the art back to their home countries.

    Erin Thompson, a professor of art crime at John Jay College and author of the forthcoming book "To Own the Past: How Collectors Reveal, Shape, and Destroy History," argues that the U.S. should restrict imports of Syrian antiquities to reduce the looting that’s funding ISIS.

    “We can tell that looting has been happening by looking at satellite photographs,” says Thompson. “The same ancient sites from before the conflict and after the conflict show us something that looks like the surface of the moon—you’ll see looter pit after looter pit.”

    Thompson says that ISIS has been destroying pre-Islamic works of art to make a statement. Frequently, however, the extremist group is looting antiquities and smuggling them out of the country to turn a profit.

    Ironically, Thompson says these priceless objects are preserved when they are looted and sold, but something precious is also lost: “The archaeological context has now forever been destroyed,” she says.

    U.S. law does not prohibit the selling of smuggled goods unless there is an existing agreement with the country of source. The value of imported Syrian antiquities declared to U.S. Customs grew 166 percent between 2011 and 2013.

    “We need to shut down the demand for these antiquities,” says Thompson. “The United Kingdom recently passed an emergency measure to prohibit the import of any antiquities that look like they might be from Syria so as to not provide a market. I believe the U.S. should do the same.”

    It is extremely difficult, however, to show that any particular antiquite originated in Syria, Thompson says. She adds that a dealer would likely jump at the chance to purchase a rare item like a cylinder seal, which was used as a form of signature in ancient times.

    “People also wore them around their necks on strings as a form of personal talisman, so many people were buried with them,” Thompson says. “The tragedy for archaeologists is that looters will dig up hundreds of graves in a necropolis—an ancient cemetery—just to hopefully find one cylinder seal. They’re extremely easy to smuggle because they’re about the size of half of your pinky. A backpack full would be worth about $1 million.”

    Like Syria, Iraq has experienced looting for years due to the impact of war. In 2008, the U.S. banned ancient imports from Iraq, but it was perhaps too little, too late: Imports of looted goods began roughly in the year 1990.

    “In Iraq, the looting of archaeological sites has continued even after the restoration of some level of order,” Thompson says. “Once you disrupt the economic life of a people, they’re going to take any resource they can to make a living. So the looting has gone on.”

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  • Oct 17

    Oil Drops May Help at the Gas Pump, But Could Hurt in the Long Term

    When you fill up your car this weekend you'll notice that gas is cheaper, down 20 cents a gallon in the last month. Travel organization AAA reports there are now 10 states with gas prices below three dollars a gallon. That should leave you with some extra cash in your bank account as you head into the weekend.

    Driving the drop in gas prices is the price of oil, now below $85 dollars a barrel.

    Is this declining price of oil a short term trend, or is there some global coordination of the oil market designed to punish Vladimir Putin and Iran? Or are more people driving Tesla's?

    Here to help explain the volatility of black gold is Daniel Yergin, energy expert and Pulitzer Prize winning author. Yergin is also the vice chair of IHS, a global information company.

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  • Oct 17

    Disgraced: A Play About Faith, Family, and the Politics of Both

    If you've ever attended a dinner party gone bad then you can relate to the characters of "Disgraced," a new play opening on Broadway next week.

    The stage performance centers on two couples grappling over issues of faith, family, and the politics of both. The play focuses on Amir, a high powered Muslim-American attorney who has strayed from his roots and finds himself at odds with Islam. His character is juxtaposed by his nephew, Abe, who embraces Islam, and by the end grows sympathetic to radical ideas.

    But it's Amir's position on his spiritual identity that sparks a fight about religion and politics, and brings the characters, and the audience, to some pretty uncomfortable places.

    "I've been surprised the places it's pushed me—it does force you to reexamine your prejudices in some way," says actor Hari Dhillon, who plays Amir. "And I used to really think of myself as a highly evolved human being and I've had to re-examine that in myself in some way." 

    Gretchen Mol plays Amir's wife Emily, an altruistic artist who exhibits far more respect for Islam than her Muslim-born husband.

    The Takeaway sat down with Gretchen Mol, Hari Dhillon, and playwright Ayad Akhtar here in New York City.

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  • Oct 17

    Thanks, Internet: Five Things You Had to See Online This Week

    Every Friday, Sean Rameswaram, producer with Studio 360 and host of the podcast Sideshow, rounds up the week in internet phenomena. 

    This week in "Thanks, Internet," Sean talks to John Hockenberry about the online treasures you may have missed.

    1. Trent Reznor Score or Household Appliance?


     2. Conquering the Uncanny Valley 

    3. Stick Figure v. Animator

    4. David Bowie - Sue

    5. "Fun" with Jimmy Fallon

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  • Oct 17

    Today's Takeaways: The Fear of Ebola, The Politics of Oil, And a New Play About Family and Faith

    1. Oil Drops Help the Pump, But May Hurt Long Term | 2. You Don't Have Ebola. You're Not Going to Get It. | 3. FBI Director Worries New Smartphones Too Smart | 4. America & The Growing Trade in Syria's Looted Art | 5. 'Disgraced': A Play About Faith, Family, and the Politics of Both
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  • Oct 16

    Cool or Creepy? Kings of Tech Offer to Freeze Eggs for Female Workers

    Tech companies are known for their cushy employee perks: Free meals, massages, laundry services, yoga classes, and even nap rooms.

    Now two of Silicon Valley's most prominent firms are adding a new benefit for their female workers: Egg freezing.

    Last winter, Facebook began covering up to $20,000 for female employees to freeze their eggs. Apple will do the same starting in January. The procedure, which requires a woman to take hormones and undergo minor surgery, can give women more flexibility in planning their families.

    While some see the coverage as an additional perk, others question the companies' motives, and what they see as a widening class divide in women's healthcare and family leave policies.

    “I think it's dangerous—what should be happening is that there should be policies at workplaces that make it easier for women to have children when they want to,” says Hillary Frank, host of WNYC’s parenting podcast, The Longest Shortest Time.

    Frank says that instead of encouraging women to wait to have children, companies should offer things like additional paid leave, and flexible work hours that would allow parents to manage family life better.

    Naomi Cahn, a professor at the George Washington University School of Law and author of "Marriage Markets: How Inequality is Remaking the American Family," agrees with Frank and says these policies send mixed signals to employees.

    “What message does this send about the kind of workplaces we are constructing for workers?” says Cahn. “And what message does this send to women about the ability to overcome our biological clocks?”

    Cahn says company-sponsored egg freezing programs are only problematic if no other family planning programs are offered to employees. A comprehensive approach, she says, should include paid child care, paid parental leave, and “flex time” for parents with newborns.

    “But there’s a whole set of other issues,” she says. “Will [egg freezing] policies actually help women succeed once they have babies, or are we just deferring the inevitable motherhood penalty that hits women once they have babies?”

    Cahn says that statistics show that women and men who are childless tend to have fairly similar levels of pay, but that changes once a woman becomes a mother.

    “It’s actually sort of interesting that Apple and Facebook are out in front on this,” she says. “There have been rumors for years that other companies, including law firms and big banking companies, are doing this. But I think that they’ve been reluctant to come forward and admit this is a workplace benefit because they are quite worried that there will be assumptions that all they really care about is getting the most out of their employees.”

    In the business world, Cahn says there has been a reluctance to admit that this is a workplace benefit offered by employers, even though many companies now bill themselves as “family friendly.”

    Some worry that this policy serves to further increase the divide between the rich and poor. But Cahn says that it seems that all employees, regardless of skill level or position, are able to take advantage of the egg freezing policies at companies like Facebook or Apple.

    “In one sense, this democratizes the workforce,” she says. “On the other hand, we know that the age of marriage and the age of childbearing is going up for the college educated. But for women who haven’t completed college or completed high school, the age of childbearing is much lower and hasn’t changed much—it’s not going up. It’s unclear how much of a benefit this is to women who, by the time they turn 23 or 24, already have one or two children. Will they be interested in [freezing their eggs and] having more? Perhaps not.”

    Cahn adds that this policy seems to mainly benefit women who may be just starting their careers around the age of 25 after they have completed college and/or graduate school. Additionally, she points out that these policies tend to genderize parenting.

    “One of the things egg freezing does is it focuses on women’s biological clocks and on a woman’s ability to have it all,” she says. “We can’t forget about men who want to be fathers, about men who need parental leave, and who need support in the workplace to take that parental leave.”

    While she sees a bit of a divide with egg freezing policies, she does say that there are positive aspects to such benefit plans, but adds they need to go step further.

    “The opportunity to freeze eggs really can be empowering, so that could certainly be one component of a family-friendly workplace,” says Cahn. “But a family-friendly workplace doesn’t just include child care benefits and flexible time. It also includes paying a living wage to both men and women. And then once men and women do have children, making sure to support the families that they have.”

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  • Oct 16

    Billions of Lost Funds Haunt Iraq

    To understand the situation in Iraq today, start by examining the country's recent past.

    Shortly after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, a new financial chapter began in the region. Hundreds of millions of Iraqi government dollars were funneled into a development fund—the Bush administration planned for the funds to be managed by the Coalition Provisional Authority with the goal of rebuilding the country's infrastructure and strengthening its collapsed economy.

    But Stuart Bowen, who was tapped by President Bush to be special inspector general for Iraq's reconstruction, quickly discovered that much of the money was not meeting it's final destination.

    According to Bowen, over a billion dollars has been stolen from Iraq over the last 10 years by various means. Bowen ended his role as inspector general in 2013 and he now serves as senior adviser to the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

    He explains why these lost funds continue to haunt Iraq.

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  • Oct 16

    National Politics Take Shape in Florida Governor's Race

    In the swing state of Florida, the race for the governor's mansion is starting to look more and more like a referendum on the big political issues facing the United States.

    Incumbent Governor Rick Scott, who is running for re-election against former Republican Governor Charlie Christ, campaigned on his opposition to the plan in 2010. Crist, who was the governor at the time, also opposed Obamacare back in 2010. Fast forward a few years, and both candidates are signing a different tune.

    While most of the chatter around last night's debate focused on a dispute over the use of fans on stage, Scott and Crist, who is now running as a Democrat, are debating a range of issues, from the minimum wage to gay marriage.

    The Miami Herald's Marc Caputo explains the ins and outs of this race.

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  • Oct 16

    Ebola: The 2014 October Election Surprise

    With midterm elections less than three weeks away, the Ebola virus has emerged as an October political surprise. Politicians, Super PACs, and advocacy groups aren't afraid to push Ebola fears to win votes.

    The Agenda Project, a liberal advocacy group, released the below ad featuring scary images of hazmat suits, body bags, and corpses. The images are placed alongside clips from Republicans demanding healthcare cuts, and clips from officials at the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health discussing the ways budget cuts have impacted their agencies. 

    The ad riled up Republicans and has ignited a firestorm of angry denunciations from Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and others.

    While there have been budget cuts to the CDC and the NIH, The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler gave the ad four Pinocchio's, calling it a 'whopper.'  

    Democrats have ran ads suggesting that their Republican opponents have voted for cuts to public health agencies, and Republicans have started calling for sealed borders, a West African travel ban, and blaming Obama Administration incompetency for spreading the Ebola crisis. 

    Todd Zwillich takes a look at how the politics of Ebola is playing out in the thick of October's heated midterm elections.

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  • Oct 16

    Who Has The Power To Stop Ebola?

    The Ebola virus continues to strengthen its grip overseas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total number of Ebola cases in West Africa could reach 1.4 million in just four months.

    At home in the United States, President Obama canceled campaign plans to meet with several top cabinet members to coordinate the American government's response to the Ebola outbreak.

    After nearly a month in Liberia, American troops have constructed a 25-bed medical facility to treat healthcare workers who have come in contact with Ebola. This weekend, the head of the 101st Airborne Division and 700 of its service members will arrive in Liberia to take over the U.S. mission there. 

    Dr. Emmanuel d'Harcourt is the senior health director for the International Rescue Committee. He returned from Liberia three weeks ago, where he was working with a team of healthcare workers to fight the Ebola epidemic.

    Dr. d'Harcourt says the problem is deeper than just a need for more international coordination among aid groups and governments—he says coordination is needed at the local level. Organizations need to reach out to the community and work with them to design and implement the Ebola response, because it's the community that has the real power to end the epidemic.

    But that's easier said than done. Dr. d'Harcourt says some of the people in affected West African countries like Liberia or Sierra Leone distrust aid groups, which can complicate co-operation.

    On the whole, Dr. d'Harcourt says there's more collaboration on the Ebola response than he's ever seen in an emergency—but there needs to be more, and it needs to be better.

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  • Oct 16

    Taking the Giant Leap Into Commercial Space Travel

    Ten years ago this month, a private space aircraft, SpaceShipOne, won the $10 million Ansari X Prize when it left the Earth’s atmosphere and touched the edge of space.

    At the time, many thought the age of commercial space travel was before us. Yet here we are, a decade later, and no paying passengers have flown Virgin Galactic, as the company is now called.

    Two women, however, are hopeful for the giant leap of commercial space travel. One woman mortgaged her home to buy the $200,000 ticket to space. Another decided never to have children so she could accept an opportunity for space travel at a moment's notice, even a one way ticket. 

    Manoush Zomorodi, host of WNYC's New Tech City, interviewed these two women and weighs in on the next chapter of commercial space travel.

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  • Oct 16

    You're Not Alone Bono: Here Are 6 'Good' Music Ideas Gone Really Bad

    It seemed like a good idea at the time. When Apple announced the newest iPhone last month, iTunes users around the world were treated to (or invaded by!) a free U2 album that automatically downloaded to their music library.

    The Twitterverse exploded with rage, and Apple created a site detailing how people could remove the album from their iPhone.

    Why did U2 do it? Bono claims the band's new record probably wouldn't have been heard without the stunt. The apology came during a Facebook video Q & A—audience participant Harriett Madeline Johnson asked Bono: "Can you please never release an album on iTunes that automatically downloads to people's playlists ever again? It's really rude!"

    "Oops. I'm sorry about that. I had this beautiful idea and we got carried away with ourselves," Bon said (full video below). "Artists are prone to that kind of thing. Drop of megalomania, touch of generosity, dash of self-promotion and deep fear that these songs that we poured our life into the last few years might not be heard."

    Post by U2.

    So what other music disaster's are out there that seemed like a good idea at the time but, just failed miserably? Check out our list below and leave your own suggestions in the comments.

    1. Pat Boone's "In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy."

    There's Pat Boone's 1997 album, "In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy." He covers "Paradise City" by Guns N' Roses. Boone's covers are hilarious and vocally spot on, so maybe this was a bad idea that turned out to be good?

    2. Michael Jackson "The Girl is Mine" Featuring Paul McCartney 

    Jackson's 1983 "Thriller" album sold over 65 million copies worldwide and included hits "Billie Jean," "Thriller," "Beat It" and what seemed like a good idea at the time, a special appearance by Paul McCartney on "The Girl is Mine."

    3. Garth Brooks as Chris Gaines

    Garth Brooks put on eye liner and grew an emo haircut under the guise of alter ego Chris Gaines. For Brooks fans it was mystifying. For the rest of us, we got a jazzy, R&B sounding Trent Reznor look alike. It turned out OK for Garth Brooks—his hit "Lost in You" became his only top 40 pop hit. Fans thought he had lost his mind as he appeared as Gaines in the VH1 documentary series "Behind the Music" and as a music guest on SNL. Perhaps his creativity needed an alter ego to explore a darker, more soulful Brooks.

    4. The Prince Name Change

    In 1993, Prince was in a bitter dispute with Warner Brothers, and he decided that the only way to reclaim his creativity was to change his name—Prince said he wanted to emancipate himself from "the chains that bind me to Warner Brothers." Prince, as spelled and pronounced in the English language, changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol dubbed "Love symbol #2." he was often referred to as "the artist formerly known as Prince" or "The Artist."

     5. Puff Daddy and Jimmy Page

    The late nineties exuded a special kind of innocence. It was an age before 9/11, hackers, and financial meltdowns. Sure there were Bill Clinton's Oval Office shenanigans and mad cow, but who could forget the 1998 remake of "Godzilla" and it's soundtrack featuring Puff Daddy's collaboration with Jimmy Page? The song "Come with Me," a recreation of Led Zepplin's "Kashmir," did surprisingly well, hitting #4 on the U.S. pop charts.

    6. Metallica and Lou Reed

    It could have been epic. Two years before his death, an ailing sounding Lou Reed and Metallica recorded the album "Lulu." The lyrics on this album were based on the German plays about a prostitute by Frank Wedekind, which is why most of the lyrics in this album are ridiculously explicit. Fans of Lou Reed and Metallica agreed—this is possibly the worst thing they've ever heard.


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  • Oct 16

    Today's Takeaways: The Politics of Ebola, Medicaid, and Space Travel

    1. Who Has The Power To Stop Ebola? | 2. Ebola: The 2014 October Election Surprise | 3. Medicaid Used as Pawn in Florida Governor's Race | 4. The Giant Leap Into Commercial Space Travel | 5. Billions of Lost Funds Haunt Iraq
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  • Oct 15

    A Harmful Secret: Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons

    A new report reveals that Iraq still has some secrets.

    Back in 2003, following the September 11th terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush announced the start of the American war in Iraq. The stated goal of the conflict was to find and destroy weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).

    Years later, the public learned that government's intelligence was wrong—there were no WMDs in Iraq. But now, in a major investigation by our partner The New York Times, Foreign Correspondent C.J. Chivers uncovered a whole new layer to this story.

    According to Chivers' report, there were in fact chemical weapons in Iraq, which both the FBI and the United Nations Office of Disarmament categorize as weapons of mass destruction. In all, U.S. troops reported finding roughly 5,000 chemical aviation bombs, shells, or warheads.

    At numerous points during the occupation, American and Iraqi forces came into contact with these weapons—and some were even wounded by these chemical agents. But these weapons were not the ones American intelligence expected, and troops were neither notified nor prepared for what to do.

    “What we found when we started looking at this a long time ago was that, in fact, there were a fairly large number of abandoned chemical weapons in Iraq after the invasion,” says Chivers.

    These chemical weapons stem from the remnants of long-abandoned programs that were built in close collaboration with the West.

    “These were old shells and warheads; many of them had been buried, and a lot of them were pitted and rusted,” Chivers says. “They turned up as a feature of what the war became.”

    Soldiers that we principally responsible for countering explosive devices and makeshift bombs often found these chemical weapons while digging through enemy caches or old stockpiles of weapons.

    Army Specialist Andrew Goldman told Chivers that he still suffers headaches, fatigue, and shortness of breath after being exposed to a leaking shell that tested positive for sulfur mustard.

    “As I'm handing a round up, there's this oily, reddish substance that just kind of pours out of the round,” says Goldman. “As I’m handing it up to my teammate, Sargent Duling said, ‘Hold on just a minute’ as a precautionary measure. We already had one scare that day...It was already on our minds. He went to truck and got some more M8 paper, and when I tested it, this time it was an obvious positive.”

    Chivers says that many of the soldiers that were exposed to these abandoned chemical agents suffered from a mix of inhalation injuries and burns.

    “The burns tended to cluster on the upper legs, the shins, and the hands,” he says. “The reason for that is pretty simple: These shells are big. They’re about 40 inches long, and 90 or 100 pounds. When they were picking them up to move them, they were usually not even aware that they were chemical shells.”

    Soldiers that were picking up these large shells, Chivers says, would frequently use their hands and lower extremities to help them pick up the shells. In doing so, some these American troops would have the chemical agent pressed against their bodies and they would frequently inhale some of the toxins.

    “They suffer shortness of breath, and in one case there was nasal bleeding and scarring,” he says of the effects from these chemical agents. “Blisters would pop up usually within hours or the next day on their legs or their hands.”

    Dr. Dave Edmond Lounsbury, a former Army colonel, told Chivers that there was extensive government secrecy surrounding the troops that were wounded by these chemical weapons.

    “If the allies had found WMDs, and more to the point if Americans had been injured by them, it strikes me that might be you'd make a big deal about,” he says. “These patients would have been celebrities in their own right because they were chemical casualties. But there was no such report.”

    Government secrecy surrounding these chemical weapons, says Chivers, prevented these troops from getting the proper treatment they so desperately needed.

    “Had all this information been released and made public in real time, if it weren’t for this mix of habitual and reflective secrecy, then these troops would have been treated well,” he says. “Their doctors might have been expecting them and not trying to talk them out of their wounds when they showed up at the aid stations and medical clinics. This whole investigation that we had to do wouldn’t have been necessary.”

    Chivers speculates that this information was kept hidden for a very simple reason: The military’s culture of secrecy.

    “I think it was kept quiet mostly out of habit,” he says. “You’re talking about a government that will classify a weather report when it’s in a combat theater. It’s an enormous game of ‘keep away’ with information. This information was withheld not just from and not just from you, but from other people inside the military that needed it in real time.”

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  • Oct 15

    Protesters in St. Louis Grapple with Generational Divide

    Some 50 people have been taken into custody after four days of protests in St. Louis and Ferguson—demonstrators are calling for racial justice and for police accountability.

    The demonstrations grew out of protests that began two months ago, when Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, was shot and killed by Darren Wilson, a white a police officer. A grand jury is reviewing the case, but charges have not been filed against Wilson yet. Meanwhile, the outrage over Brown's death has not yet died down. 

    In nearby St. Louis, tensions between residents and law enforcement officers bursted into the streets once again after an off-duty police officer shot and killed a young black man on October 8th.

    Jelani Cobb, a contributor to The New Yorker who writes frequently about race, politics, history, and culture, was in Ferguson for the protests. He’s also the director of Africana studies at the University of Connecticut.

    Cobb says that older generations of protesters are clashing with younger demonstrators in Ferguson and St. Louis because each group maintains a different vision of how to bring about changes in local race relations.

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  • Oct 15

    Amidst Dire Global Predictions, Ebola Spreads in the United States

    The Ebola virus has reached yet another American, the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital confirmed Wednesday morning. According to officials, a health worker that provided care for the first Ebola patient, Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the disease.

    The news comes just days after the Centers for Disease Control confirmed that Nina Pham, a 26-year-old nurse working at the Dallas hospital, contracted Ebola and was placed into isolation. Pham had been one of at least 76 hospital employees caring for Duncan, who died of the disease on October 8th.

    “Health officials have interviewed the latest patient to quickly identify any contacts or potential exposures, and those people will be monitored," a statement from the Texas Department of State Health Services said. "The type of monitoring depends on the nature of their interactions and the potential they were exposed to the virus."

    A world away in West Africa, the Ebola virus continues to spread—the World Health Organization now says that 70 percent of those infected are dying of the disease. The organization also predicts that there will be 10,000 new Ebola patients per week by December. 

    The news comes as Spain reports its first Ebola patients, and as Germany copes with its first death from Ebola. 

    Weighing in on these difficult statistics is Dr. Kent Sepkowitz, an infectious disease expert at Memorial Sloan Kettering and a Daily Beast contributor.

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  • Oct 15

    Divisions Remain as Ukrainian Election Nears

    Later this month, Ukraine will be holding its first legislative elections since the ouster former president Viktor Yanukovych in February. It will be an important referendum on the leadership of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

    On Tuesday, Ukraine saw some of the biggest anti-governments protests since those organized against Yanukovych. Ultranationalists threw smoke canisters and stones in clashes with police over whether the parliament should recognize the contributions of a World War II nationalist group.

    Fighting also continues in eastern Ukraine. Despite a September ceasefire agreement, over 300 Ukrainian soldiers and civilians have died. Many districts in the region will not be electing representatives—separatist leaders in Donestk and Luhansk say they will hold their elections in November. 

    Kiev-based reporter Andriy Kulykov with Public Radio Ukraine explains the importance of the upcoming parliamentary elections.

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  • Oct 15

    Supreme Court Hands Partial Victory to Texas Abortion Clinics

    Nearly two weeks ago, a Texas court upheld a law that effectively closes 13 abortion clinics in the Lone Star State. But yesterday, the United States Supreme Court stepped in and reversed that decision.

    The justices blocked the state law, which imposes stricter requirements on abortion providers. It's another step in an emotional and highly politicized legal battle that is far from over.

    Adam Liptak, Supreme Court reporter for our partner The New York Times, explains the details of this case.

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  • Oct 15

    Bound by Debt: The Relentless Grip of the Foreclosure Crisis Continues

    When the American economy crashed in 2008, foreclosure filings set a new record in the United States, surpassing 3 million that year.

    The foreclosure crisis was financially and emotionally devastating for the millions of Americans who lost their in 2008 and the years that followed the crisis.

    But the nightmare didn't end there. A legal maneuver called "deficiency judgment," permitted in Washington, D.C. and 40 other states, allows financial institutions to recoup remaining debt on a mortgage from the former owners.

    And debtors can find themselves being hounded by collectors decades after they've shut the door and foreclosed.

    While no one is keeping tabs nationally, Geoff Walsh, staff attorney with the National Consumer Law Center, says he's heard anecdotally from more than one attorney around the country that deficiency judgments are on the rise.

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  • Oct 15

    'Reckoning' with the Past Through Civil Rights Trials

    This year marks the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer, a civil rights project that brought hundreds of mostly-white college students from the North to volunteer in Mississippi to register black voters.

    On June 21, 1964, a white civil rights worker named Mickey Schwerner and two Freedom Summer volunteers—Andrew Goodman, a white New Yorker; and James Chaney, a black Mississippian—went missing, in the town of Philadelphia, Mississippi.

    Rita, Schwerner's wife and fellow civil rights worker, refused sympathy, telling the press, "I personally suspect that if Mr. Chaney, who is a native Mississipipan Negro, had been alone, that this case, like so many others that had come before, would have gone completely unnoticed." 

    The FBI found the bodies of Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman 44 days later, on August 4, 1964. An all-white jury and judge convicted only a few of the men responsible for their murder, and none of the perpetrators served more than six years in prison. 

    In the late 1990s and in the early years of this century, prosecutors throughout the South decided to re-open many civil rights-era murder cases—cases with victims that, because of the racist juries and judges that presided throughout the South, rarely saw equal justice under the law.

    Along with the Schwerner, Chaney, and Goodman case, prosecutors re-opened the Birmingham Church bombing case that killed four black girls in 1963, and the 1966 Natchez, Mississippi murder of Ben Chester White, a farmer killed by three white men who had hoped to lure Martin Luther King to the area, hoping to assassinate him.

    These cases and the complex reasons for re-opening them are the subject of "Racial Reckoning," a new book by Renee Romano, a professor of history at Oberlin College.

    As Romano tells The Takeaway's John Hockenberry, the murders took place within a Southern society that, at best, looked the other way when racist crimes were committed, and at worst, aided and abetted those crimes.

    "What we see is that, while most of the crimes were committed by a small group of men, often members of groups like the Ku Klux Klan, they were able to continue in their terror campaign because they had the tacit and sometimes open support of politicians, of the police, of law enforcement, and juries that acquitted them, if they even went to trial," she says.

    These present-day trials provide a specific type of narrative, she says, one conducive to a "redemptive" narrative in Southern politics. These trials aim to serve as proof that the Southern justice system has changed, that it's now colorblind and no restitution for past crimes that have led to present-day problems is needed. In sum, Romano says, these communities hoped that "by putting one old man in jail, we are free from this history."

    But Romano tells Hockenberry that the historical evidence supports a different narrative, one in which Southern society was at least somewhat complicit in these civil rights-era crimes.

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  • Oct 15

    Today's Takeaways: Abortion in America, Civil Rights Reckoning, and The Untold Story of the Iraq War

    1. Supreme Court Hands Partial Victory to Texas Abortion Clinics | 2. Divisions Remain as Ukrainian Election Nears | 3. Protesters in St. Louis Face Generational Divide | 4. 'Reckoning' with the Past Through Civil Rights Trials | 5. Forget What You Know: Report Exposes Chilling WMD Revelations in Iraq
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  • Oct 14

    Ebola Protocols: Sensible or Fear-Mongering?

    In the wake of the latest Ebola outbreak in Dallas, Texas, the Obama Administration has announced additional screenings at five major airports, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is calling on hospitals to step up their efforts to monitor for the virus.

    “Every hospital in this country needs to think about the possibility of Ebola in anyone with a fever, and other symptoms that might be consistent with Ebola, who’s traveled to any of the three countries—Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea—in the previous 21 days,” CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said during a press briefing yesterday.

    While the CDC is calling for additional monitoring practices, others are calling for an all out travel ban for passengers coming from West Africa.

    But is our hyper-vigilance producing more fear-mongering among the public than needed? And are the measures being put in place a misutilization of resources?

    Jeremy Faust, an emergency medicine resident physician in a New York City hospital, recently wrote about the public health system's role in fueling Ebola hysteria for Slate.

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  • Oct 14

    All Eyes on Kentucky as Midterms Inch Closer

    With midterm elections just three weeks away, there is perhaps no other race that is being watched more closely than the campaign for U.S. Senate in Kentucky.

    In the first and only debate between Senate candidates in Kentucky, the two candidates sparred over jobs, energy, and their support of President Barack Obama.

    Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes was pushed again on whether she voted for the president in 2012, and incumbent Senator Mitch McConnell, who has a slight lead in the polls, reminded voters that if he is re-elected, he'll very likely become Senate Majority Leader—a position that could benefit the state.

    For a closer look at this tight Senate race, The Takeaway turns to Phillip Bailey, a freelance reporter based in Kentucky.

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  • Oct 14

    Science Enables Parents to Choose a Child Without Alzheimer's

    Yesterday the public was made aware of a new breakthrough in the fight against Alzheimer's after doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston successfully replicated the disease in a petri dish.

    Alzheimer's currently effects more than 5 million Americans, and by the year 2050, almost two thirds of people age 85 or older are expected to have some form of the disease. But today, scientists have taken another large step forward in their efforts to fight against the debilitating illness.

    Using a procedure called preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), doctors in Chicago can now allow parents to choose a child without Alzheimer's. Under the PGD procedure, doctors can prevent a woman with a family history of early onset Alzheimer's disease from passing on any chromosomes that could be Alzheimer's carriers onto her child.

    Dr. Lana Rechitsky is a PGD and IVF lab director at Reproductive Genetic Innovations in Northbrook, Illinois which has been driving this research. 

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  • Oct 14

    Turkey's Reluctant Fight Against ISIS

    U.S. and coalition partners are pressing Turkish officials for permission to launch air strikes from an American air base in southern Turkey. Known as Incirlik, the air base is currently used for drone surveillance flights to monitor ISIS positions in Syria and Iraq.

    On Sunday, U.S. Defense officials said Turkey had approved use of the bases, but late yesterday Turkey denied that, saying negotiations are ongoing.

    All of this happens as the situation in the besieged Syrian city of Kobani, a largely Kurdish enclave on the Turkish border, continues to deteriorate, despite several days of U.S. air strikes on ISIS positions.

    The stakes for Turkey are high. Turkey is a member of NATO, a longtime U.S. ally, and is seeking membership in the European Union. But domestic politics and a 40-year long conflict with Kurdish separatists have complicated its relationship with longtime allies.

    David L. Phillips is the director of the Program on Peace-building and Rights at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights. He has served as a senior adviser to the U.S. State Department, and has recently visited the Turkish border with Iraq.

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  • Oct 14

    My Brother, The Terrorist

    Extremist Islamic groups know the powerful symbolism that comes with recruiting foreign fighters to their ranks, especially if those fighters are from the United States or Europe.

    All of this is evident in the videos released by ISIS that show the brutal killings of American journalist James Foley and British aid worker Alan Henning. Both men were killed at the hands of an ISIS militant apparently with a British accent.

    But how do young men and women from the West get caught up in radical Islamic movements overseas? These are far from rhetorical questions for filmmaker Robb Leech.

    Over the past few years, Leech has been documenting the conversion of his white British stepbrother into in a radical Muslim, and ultimately a convicted terrorist. Last year Leech’s stepbrother, Richard Dart, was jailed in the U.K. for his role in preparing acts of terrorism.

    Leech’s latest film for the BBC is called “My Brother the Terrorist."


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  • Oct 14

    Could a 21st-Century Catholic Church Be on The Horizon?

    Nearly 30 percent of Catholics that have ever been married have divorced at some point. More than half of American Catholics support same-sex marriage.

    Yet, these statistics have not been reflected in the Catholic Church's teachings. But many say that a new report from an ongoing meeting, or synod, of Church bishops signals a possible change in outlook on these issues.

    new document released yesterday by the Vatican calls for serious reflection in regards to questions of divorce and homosexuality, and included strong language on both topics. Catholic News Service said “the statement represents a marked shift in tone on the subject for an official Vatican document.”

    “Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community,” the Vatican’s document says. “Are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities?”

    Additionally, on the issue of divorce, the synod called for the Church to treat divorced followers who have remarried with respect by “avoiding any language or behavior that might make them feel discriminated against.”

    When it comes to the question of divorce and communion—one of the most essential sacraments of the faith—the Vatican report left the issue open for further debate. Historically, Catholics who have divorced and remarried without first seeking an annulment, in addition to gay Catholics, have been denied communion by the Church.

    But George Weigel, author of "Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the 21st-Century Church" and a distinguished senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, says that the world shouldn’t look too much into this report from the first week of the synod.

    “It’s not a statement, it’s not the conclusion of anything, it’s not the culmination of anything,” Weigel says of the report. “It’s an interim report on themes that have been discussed at this synod in Rome for the past 10 days. It reflects a broad range of views that were expressed at the synod, and it has absolutely no legislative value whatsoever.”

    This initial report has been criticized by Catholics and others, Weigel says, adding that many are “overreacting” and overanalyzing this document. When it comes to the issue of communion for gay and divorced followers, Weigel says the Church's current policy is unlikely to evolve.

    “I don’t see it [changing] right now because from the Church’s point of view, those are relationships that are not in full communion with the teachings of the Church,” he says. “The point of the pope is to invite people to a deeper apprehension of truth—including moral truth. Communion is not a reward for good behavior.”

    Weigel says that with this document, Pope Francis is hoping to push the Catholic Church to become more accessible and compassionate towards all those who live in “sin” without completely changing the doctrine of the Church.

    According to Weigel, Pope Francis “is asking all of us to find ways to invite others to a deeper conversion and deeper appreciation of Catholic truth.”

    While some argue that the Catholic Church is moving very quickly towards a more liberal doctrine, Weigel says that individuals are placing their own interpretations of the new approaches taken by the pope.

    “Pope Francis has become an enormous Rorschach blot into which people read whatever they want,” he says. “Pope Francis is putting items on the agenda of Catholic discussion that have, frankly, been talked about for a long time behind the scenes. But he’s now willing to talk about it openly.”

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  • Oct 14

    Today's Takeaways: Ebola Panic, The Catholic Church, and Turkey's Fight Against ISIS

    1. Ebola Protocols: Sensible or Fear-Mongering? | 2. Could a 21st-Century Catholic Church Be on The Horizon? | 3. All Eyes on Kentucky as Midterms Inch Closer | 4. Turkey's Reluctant Fight Against ISIS
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  • Oct 13

    Ebola Fears Follow American Doctor Home from Liberia

    Despite aggressive precautions, a Dallas healthcare worker has become the first American to contract the Ebola virus within the United States.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control, the newly-infected nurse had extensive interactions with Liberian Ebola patient Thomas Duncan, who died of the disease on Wednesday. It is believed that the disease spread because the rules of quarantine and isolation were not closely followed—something Dr. Adam C. Levine has been warning the world about for weeks.

    Dr. Levine has been chronicling his experience fighting Ebola in West Africa for The Takeaway over the last several weeks. In his many audio diaries, Dr. Levine has been trying to convey, above all else, the raw bravery it takes to treat people with Ebola.

    “There’s just so much stigma associated with the disease,” he said in a recent Takeaway audio diary. “The fact that these healthcare workers, many of whom have colleagues who have fallen ill or died from the disease, are still here working is really impressive.”

    After more than a month working in an Ebola treatment unit in Bong County, Liberia, Dr. Levine, an emergency medical physician at the Rhode Island Hospital and an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Brown University, has come home to the United States. Though he’s back home, he still has a few more days until he'll know if he’s officially cleared of the virus by CDC standards.

    Dr. Levine says that he's not too worried, but he is frustrated with the Ebola hysteria in the United States. He says that eradicating Ebola worldwide starts with increasing the focus in the worst hit areas of West Africa.

    “From a humanitarian perspective, all of our focus really needs to be on West Africa—that’s where thousands of people are dying right now from Ebola,” Dr. Levine says. “In fact, even for our own personal protection here in America, the best way to stop cases in the future from coming to the U.S. is to eradicate this epidemic right now in West Africa.”

    Dr. Levine says that aggressively focusing resources on the fight against Ebola in West Africa can not only end the epidemic, but eradicate the disease entirely. Since the latest outbreak began in March 2014, the virus has killed more than 4,000 people in seven countries.

    While in Liberia, Dr. Levine got to work closely with many local nurses, physician assistants, hygienists, and burial team members—individuals that are still grappling with the daily struggle to fight the virus.

    “Our local staff working in the Ebola treatment unit often framed it as their fight, their war against Ebola,” he says. “All of them saw themselves, in many ways, as the soldiers on the frontlines of that battle.”

    Ebola has killed more than 2,000 people in Liberia alone. International Medical Corps, the organization Dr. Levine was working with in Liberia, takes several steps to ensure the safety of both healthcare workers on the ground and patients fighting the disease.

    But, Dr. Levine says, the risk of the virus is always there, no matter how many precautions are taken.

    “You can minimize the risk, but you can never minimize it to zero,” he says. “It is a risk that you do take, and it can be scary at times. Even after returning back here to the United States, there are still 21 days of fear where I’m monitoring my temperature—there are 45 seconds of panic every time I put the thermometer in my mouth before it beeps and tells me that I don’t have a fever.”

    Unlike other diseases, Dr. Levine says that the Ebola virus presents a large risk to the medical community.

    “This is a disease that really does almost preferentially target healthcare workers,” he says. “As a healthcare worker, we usually have this divide between us and our patients—they’re the ones that are sick and we’re the ones that are healthy; we’re the ones that are strong and we’re the ones that are taking care of them. For so many healthcare workers to be getting infected and to be getting this disease is very unusual compared to most other conditions.”

    The Ebola virus has wreaked havoc on many of the weak healthcare systems of West Africa, Dr. Levine says.

    “When you have a healthcare system where there are already very few doctors and very few nurses and just a few of them fall ill, it can cause the entire healthcare system to become paralyzed and collapse,” he says.

    Like the healthcare workers in Liberia, at home in the United States Dr. Levine is feeling the stigma of Ebola, adding that he feels like he’s “half hero, half pariah.”

    “It’s this strange dichotomy, especially during this 21-day [monitoring] period,” he says. “There are some folks not wanting to see me or be around me, while at the same time I’m getting more media requests that I can possibly respond to.”

    While Dr. Levine waits out the next 21 days, he is also waiting out the psychological effects of the Ebola virus.

    “This is a disease that generates a lot of fear,” he says. “I’ve called it an epidemic of fear because, in many ways, that’s what it is.”


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  • Oct 13

    The New Offering from The Budos Band

    It's hard to describe The Budos Band. They're a New York-based nine-piece instrumental musical act with a brassy, horn-heavy sound all their own.

    Influenced by West African jazz, funk, and heavy metal, The Budos Band got their start as high schoolers in Staten Island, but have gone on to tour the world. This month they're back in New York City for the upcoming release of their first new album in four years called "Burnt Offering."

    Today, seven of the nine members of The Budos Band—Tom Brenneck, Jared Tankel, Brian Profilio, Bobby Chupete, Dan Foder, Mike Deller, and Andy Greenjoin The Takeaway for a performance in-studio and to discuss their new album. 

    Check out some photos from their time in the studio below.

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  • Oct 13

    Celebrating Indigenous People Instead of Columbus

    President Franklin D. Roosevelt first marked Columbus Day in 1937, and President Richard Nixon officially established it as a federal holiday in 1972.

    But many Native Americans balk at the idea of celebrating Christopher Columbus' "discovery" of a land they had already called home for centuries—and of dedicating a holiday to a man who sparked what they call a genocide.

    "This was the moment in history that began all of this hurt," says Daniel Yang, the director of Organizing and Community Building at the Native American Community Development Institute. "The beginning of disease, of rape, of murder."

    That's certainly not much to celebrate, so activists like Yang and Peggy Flanagan pushed their home city of Minneapolis to recognize the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples Day. It worked, and this year Minneapolis will join places like Seattle, Portland, and the state of South Dakota in rebranding the holiday.

    "It's a day to celebrate indigenous people, the native people, the native folks who are here in this country and in the city of Minneapolis," says Flanagan, who's a board member of the Native American Community Development Institute and an enrolled member of the White Earth Band of the Ojibwa nation.

    The mayor of Minneapolis and Sen. Al Franken were scheduled to join "hundreds of community members celebrating who we are as indigenous people and the fact that we are still here, we weren't 'discovered,' and just acknowledging our community," she says.

    But does acknowledging that community take away from others? Many Italian Americans treat Columbus Day as a celebration of their own heritage; Italian immigrants and their descendants were instrumental in having the holiday established at all.

    Italian American leaders in Seattle say they're gearing up for "an aggressive pushback program," as one activist told the Seattle Times, and the Italian ambassador even wrote to the city's mayor in protest.

    "While trying to valorize—and rightly so—the dignity of indigenous peoples, the city is poised to strip the Italian community of a celebration that has become, over time, a heartfelt expression of its identity and pride,” wrote Ambassador Claudio Bisognierto last week.

    But Flanagan says the conversations she's had in Minneapolis have been positive. "I don't necessarily think that this takes away from Italian Americans," she says. And she points out there are plenty of others to honor.

    "There are certainly other folk from Italy—and descendants of—that should be celebrated versus someone who, frankly, started, in many senses, the genocide of a people," she says. "So we think there are probably things in the community that should be lifted up a little more, and this is just a great way to honor folks who have been here for generations."


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  • Oct 13

    New Study Reveals Breakthrough For Alzheimer's Treatment

    Alzheimer's disease is a devastating illness that is quickly turning into a national health crisis—by 2050, almost two thirds of people age 85 or older are expected to have some form of the disease.

    One real barrier to progress is the difficulty of testing treatments without using human subjects. But a new report reveals that this barrier may have been surmounted by replicating Alzheimer’s in a petri dish. At Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, doctors have been able to reproduce Alzheimer's disease in a controlled environment for the first time.

    Murali Doraiswamy, the author of "The Alzheimer's Action Plan" and a professor of psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center, joins The Takeaway to explain.

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  • Oct 13

    Ebola: A Critical Test For Dallas

    The city of Dallas, Texas has again found itself at the center of an epidemic that once seemed a world away.

    Over the weekend, a nurse at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital became the first person to contract Ebola within the United States after extensive interaction with the Liberian patient Thomas Duncan, the Centers for Disease Control reported.

    The Dallas community has reacted with an onslaught of questions and concerns, wondering how a healthcare worker could contract the disease, and who remains at risk. Joining The Takeaway to weigh in from Dallas is Melissa Repko, staff reporter for the Dallas Morning News.

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  • Oct 13

    The Strange Story Behind Coney Island's Lost Tribe

    Today when we're looking to satisfy our curiosity about members of our own species we turn to on our computers or our televisions. But a hundred some years ago, before the advent of the internet and reality TV, the place to get your fill of the strange and unusual was at a freakshow.

    In 1905, New York City saw the display of a particularly unusual human attraction: A tribe of scantily clad Filipino natives who traveled halfway around the world to amuse visitors to Coney Island's Luna Park.

    The showman behind the act was a man by the name of Truman Hunt. The story of how he came to exhibit an entire tribe is the subject of Claire Prentice's new book, "The Lost Tribe of Coney Island: Headhunters, Luna Park, and the Man who Pulled off the Spectacle of the Century." The book chronicles the journey of the head-hunting Igorrote tribe to and across America. 

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  • Oct 13

    'Good Karma' Isn't How Women Get Ahead in Tech

    What's the best way for women to get ahead? It's a big question, and one that a generation of women in male-dominated industries like technology are thinking a lot about these days.

    Last week, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told an audience of women in the tech industry that the best way to get ahead is to have "faith that the system will give you the right raise." He added that women who don't ask for a raise have "good karma," implying that silence on the issue will yield a desired pay increase.

    "That’s the kind of person I want to trust," he added. "That’s the kind of person that I want to give more responsibility to."

    Nadella's statements were greeted by a fairly shocked audience at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference in Phoenix, Arizona. Maria Klawe, president of Harvey Mudd College, was sitting up on the stage with Nadella when he made those statements, and she quickly countered.

    Today on The Takeaway, Klawe, a celebrated mathematician and computer scientist, weighs in on Nadella's advice, and shares her own tips for women trying to enter and get ahead in the tech industry.

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  • Oct 13

    Today's Takeaways: Fighting Ebola at Home & Abroad, Celebrating Indigenous People, and Women in Tech

    SPECIAL EPISODE: The Budos Band performed in The Takeaway studios for an entire hour! This episode of The Takeaway podcast features their studio performance throughout each segment. Here are the stories you'll find in today's show: 1. Ebola: A Critical Test For Dallas | 2. Ebola Fears Follow Doctor Home from Liberia | 3. 'Good Karma' Isn't How Women Get Ahead in Tech | 4. A Breakthrough for Alzheimer's Treatment | 5. Celebrating Indigenous People Instead of Columbus | 6. The Lost Tribe of Coney Island | 7. The New Offering from The Budos Band
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  • Oct 11

    'St. Vincent,' 'Kill The Messenger,' 'The Judge,' and Special Guest Damien Chazelle, Writer/Director of 'Whiplash'

    This week, Robert Downey, Jr. and Robert Duvall team up as a dysfunctional father and son in "The Judge." Bill Murray reminds us of why he's a lousy babysitter in "St. Vincent." And Jeremy Renner reminds us not to "Kill The Messenger."

    If that's not enough miserable jerkiness for you, we also talk abusive teachers - both real and fictional - with Damien Chazelle, writer and director of the new film, "Whiplash." 

    Stick around long enough, and you'll also be treated to some angry voices in this week's trivia question.

    Get out the's a miserable Movie Date!

    Subscribe to the Movie Date podcast, like Movie Date on Facebook, follow Kristen on Twitter, and leave a message for Rafer and Kristen anytime at 571-7MOVIES (571-766-8437).

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  • Oct 10

    News Quiz | Week of Oct. 10, 2014

    Are you a newsie? Do you know what's happening from Washington to Hollywood to Pyongyang? Be smarter than your pals. Prep your dinner party factoids. Gauge your knowledge about what happened this week, as heard on The Takeaway.

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  • Oct 10

    Thanks, Internet: Five Things You Had to See Online This Week

    Every Friday, Sean Rameswaram, producer with Studio 360 and and host of the podcast Sideshow, rounds up the week in internet phenomena. 

    This week in "Thanks, Internet," Sean talks to John Hockenberry about the online treasures you may have missed.

    1. BBC Children in Need - God Only Knows 


    2. Hong Kong protest sketches

    Illustrating protests in Hong Kong


    3. Honest trailer for Transformers 4

    4. The 12 Labors of Vladimir Putin

    Vladimir Putin vs. The World

    5. Musicless Music Video for "Singin' in the Rain"

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  • Oct 10

    The Elusive Peace: Steven Pinker Explains Why Violence Has Declined

    Today's announcement that activists Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi are dual recipients of the 2014 Nobel Peace prize got us thinking about the ideals behind the prize. What is the meaning of peace? And how do we achieve it in a world where armed conflicts now largely involve non-state actors?

    The Nobel prizes were established in the will of Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite—a man who made a fortune from making explosives. 

    His will provided that much of his wealth should be used for a prize, one of which should go to someone "who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies, and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

    Nobel's idea of peace went beyond the mere absence of armed conflict—he hoped the future would hold some kind of fundamental trust between nations.

    And we have largely achieved that, says Steven Pinker, professor of psychology at Harvard University. He notes that there has been an absence of big interstate wars since 1946, and that there's been an overall reduction of violence since ancient times. Pinker is the author of "The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined."

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  • Oct 10

    Courage in The Face of Cancer: Life, Death, and The Simple Joy of Peach Cobbler

    Anita Coleman might be going through cancer for the second time, but nothing was going to stop her from taking a trip to New York City earlier this month.

    It was Anita's first time in New York City. She flew in from Los Angeles, and she was in town to celebrate the birthday of the mother of her best friend, Doris. It was to be a surprise 85th birthday, and Anita saw it not as her last chance to visit New York—she's just finished chemotherapy and is beginning radiation treatment.

    Anita is one of the three women we're following in our series on breast cancer "Under Her Skin: Living with Breast Cancer." She just celebrated a birthday herself, and at 55, Anita is a portrait of a woman who knows herself inside and out.

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  • Oct 10

    From Schools to Prisons: Juvenile Justice in West Virginia

    In the late 1990s, the United States started to rethink the country's juvenile justice system and the nation's process of rehabilitating troubled kids.

    As a result, the national youth incarceration rate has dropped dramatically in nearly every state over the last 15 years—except West Virginia.

    While the nation has cut the juvenile incarceration rate by half, the Mountain State incarcerates juveniles at a rate 42 percent higher than the rest of the country. West Virginia has had the largest increase in youth incarceration since 2001.

    Journalist Dana Goldstein wanted to find out why. She's the author of "The Teacher Wars: A History of America's Most Embattled Profession" and a staff writer for The Marshall Project, where she covers the school-to-prison pipeline.

    Her new investigation, "No Country for Young Men," tells the story of Junior Smith, a young man from Philippi, West Virginia who got caught up in the juvenile detention system at the age of 17.

    As Goldstein tells The Takeaway's John Hockenberry, the rural nature of West Virginia leaves parents of troubled kids, and the judges who see those kids in their courts, with few options for treatment or therapy in the community. Instead, these teenagers are often incarcerated so that they can receive the help they need.

    “A few different things are happening in West Virginia,” says Goldstein. “The state has looked very carefully at truancy—kids cutting school. To address that, they’ve put police officers within middle school and high schools.”

    Having more police officers within the school system means that students have more contact with law enforcement officers. As a result, students like Junior Smith often face harsher consequences for minor infractions.

    “A violent fight between two young men is going to be a problem at any school,” says Goldstein. “But what I saw in West Virginia as I worked on this story over the course of several months is that the schools have, in many cases, just outsourced discipline to these county police officers. When that happens, a type of scuffle between two young men that a principle might deal within another setting, can sometimes get referred straight to a judge.”

    Goldstein says that Smith first came into contact with law enforcement officials after he was caught drinking alcohol while he was a middle school student. Many of Smith’s problems, which Goldstein characterizes as minor infractions, were driven by substance abuse.

    “The most serious thing that happened to him was that he walked into the unlocked garage of a neighbor,” she says. “He said that he was looking for a six pack of beer. He didn’t find one and he didn’t actually enter the house. But after this, he did get put into a court supervision period.”

    While Smith was under court supervision, Goldstein says he got into a “scuffle” with another boy in school. She says there was no lasting injury to either person, but the incident was reported to the judge involved in Smith’s case.

    “He was at that point incarcerated,” she says. “He waited three months for a hearing—not the sort of due process that we’re used to in the adult system. When he finally did have a hearing, he was sentenced at age 17 to be incarcerated until the age of 21. Ultimately, after his mom became an advocate and he showed good behavior within the juvenile facility, he was let out after 13 months.”

    Goldstein says Smith lacked a school support system—after initially committing some minor offenses, the boy did not receive family therapy, substance abuse treatment, or other counseling services that may have helped him stay out of the justice system and in school.

    “His parents were very eager to help him straighten out,” she says. “What they found is that in their very remote and rural part of West Virginia, there could be a three-month waiting period for an out-patient drug treatment program.”

    Kathy Smith, Junior’s mother and a nurse in West Virginia, decided to take action after she saw what happened to her child.

    “She was just stunned that her son was incarcerated for 13 months and was given, actually, a nearly four-year sentence for what she saw as a string of petty misbehaviors,” says Goldstein. “Her child was never put on probation. Probation is a period of time in West Virginia and many other states where a juvenile might receive services to help them get back on track in school and life.”

    Goldstein says that West Virginia’s strict anti-truancy laws have overloaded the system—if a student in the state misses five days of school in a given year, they are put on probation. Since absentee students often compile a large majority of probation programs, students like Junior that may be struggling with substance abuse issues are pushed out.

    Additionally, West Virginia is one of the most mountainous and remote states in the nation, and it’s also one of the poorest, which places yet another hurdle between at-risk youths and the vital programs designed to help them.

    “It definitely has a small workforce that’s qualified to deliver these services to kids,” says Goldstein. “But places like Ohio and Georgia, they’re paying service providers to bring these services to kids within their homes. That is a very promising model for a rural state.”

    Goldstein adds that probationary services not only help at-risk students, but it’s also beneficial to taxpayers.

    “It costs $80,000 to $100,000 per year to incarcerate a kid like Junior,” she says. “It’s maybe $33,000 per year, research shows, to give him the services that are going to be more effective in preventing him from becoming an adult offender down the line.”

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  • Oct 10

    In St. Louis, Another Officer Shooting Shakes Community

    In St. Louis, Missouri, tensions between residents and law enforcement officers have burst into the streets once again.

    On Wednesday night, an off-duty police officer in St. Louis shot and killed a young black man while working his second job as a security officer.

    The shooting came almost exactly two months after the death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown's death sparked nation-wide outrage and days of protests.

    Rachel Lippmann, a reporter for St. Louis Public Radio, has been following the story.

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  • Oct 10

    A Symbol of Hope: Malala Yousafzai Wins Nobel Peace Prize

    In a world where wars rage and oppression flourishes, one young woman stands out as a symbol of peace: Malala Yousafzai. At just 17-years-old, Malala has been awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, an accolade to be shared with Indian human rights activist Kailash Satyarthi. 

    Almost two years ago she was shot by The Taliban—on October 9th, 2012, then-15-year-old Malala was left for dead by her attackers. She had been shot in the head on her way home from school in Pakistan.

    Malala was targeted by The Taliban for promoting education for girls, and that's the very reason she's been recognized with this global humanitarian award.

    "The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014 is to be awarded to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education," a statement from the Committee says.

    "Despite her youth, Malala Yousafzai has already fought for several years for the right of girls to education, and has shown by example that children and young people, too, can contribute to improving their own situations," the Nobel Committee continued. "This she has done under the most dangerous circumstances. Through her heroic struggle she has become a leading spokesperson for girls’ rights to education."

    Kalish Satyarthi, more than 40 years Malala's senior, once had a career as an electrical engineer, a profession he decided to abandon for the greater cause of helping millions of Indian children who are forced into slave labor. He is the leader of the Global March Against Child Labor, an organization representing 2000 social welfare groups and trade unions in 140 countries.

    Today, there are about 168 million child laborers worldwide.

    "Showing great personal courage, Kailash Satyarthi, maintaining Gandhi’s tradition, has headed various forms of protests and demonstrations, all peaceful, focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain," the Nobel Committee said in a statement. "He has also contributed to the development of important international conventions on children’s rights."

    Joining The Takeaway to discuss the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize is Syed Irfan Ashraf. He worked in the Swat Valley and produced "Class Dismissed," a documentary focusing on the story and work of Malala.

    Check out a video of Malala's speech at the United Nations below.

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  • Oct 10

    Today's Takeaways: Striving for World Peace, Justice, and Courage

    1. A Symbol of Hope: Malala Yousafzai Wins Nobel Peace Prize | 2. Another Officer-Involved Shooting Shakes St. Louis | 3. West Virginia's School to Prison Pipeline | 4. The Elusive Peace: Steven Pinker Explains Why Violence Has Declined
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  • Oct 09

    ISIS Uses Water As a Weapon in Iraq

    Water is political in the Middle East. Whoever controls the scarce resource has a lot of power in desert countries like Iraq, where much of the population depends on farming to make their living.

    The Islamic State is well aware of the water politics in the area: They've been targeting Iraqi dams and flooding small villages to bolster their control of the region.

    Michael Stephens, deputy director of the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies, Qatar, examines ISIS's water control tactics, and explains how the Islamic State is using a scarce resource as a weapon. 

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  • Oct 09

    78 is the New 20: Why The Golden Years Are Now Our Best

    New forecasts from the government find that Americans can now expect to live longer than ever. For a child born in America in 2012,  the average life expectancy is 78.8-years-old.

    But for some people, 78 is just the beginning—78-year-old Tom Choate became the oldest person to reach the summit of Mount McKinley in June of 2013.

    American folk artist Anna Mary Robertson Moses, better known as Grandma Moses, was discovered at age 78 when a New York art dealer saw her paintings displayed in a drug store in Hoosick Fall, New York.

    And alongside today's Nobel Prize win, Andre Gide won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1947 at the golden age of 78.

    Marilyn Maye has surpassed 78. At 86, the American cabarets singer is still singing strong.

    And she has a lifetime of success behind her. In 1965 she received a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist, and throughout the course of her career she appeared on "The Tonight Show" 76 times. Johnny Carson even dubbed her the "super singer."

    Marilyn Maye shares her secret to aging with flair.

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  • Oct 09

    Rumors Fly As Kim Jong-Un Remains AWOL

    Where is Kim Jong-un? The head of North Korea hasn't been seen in public in at least five weeks, and many are reporting that he's gone missing.

    Some of the speculation has been fantastical, with suggestions that there may have been a coup. There are also reports that the young leader has eaten one too many cheeseburgers and is suffering from a bad case of gout.

    National Security Correspondent David Sanger has been looking into all of this for our partner The New York Times.

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  • Oct 09

    A Banjo Star Returns To The Roots of Bluegrass

    Noam Pikelny has been considered one of the best banjo players in the world by Steve Martin, who awarded Pikelny the first annual Steve Martin Prize for Banjo and Bluegrass in 2010.

    Last week, Noam Pikelny came away from the 25th International Bluegrass Music Awards with the Banjo Player of the Year trophy and the Album of the Year award for his 2013 album, "Noam Pikelny Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe."

    The album is the first banjo adaptation of Kenny Baker's album "Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe." Pikelny draws a direct line from himself back to Bill Monroe, the "father of bluegrass," which is a curious choice for a musician who has described his career as "on the far fringes of bluegrass music."

    The Grammy-nominated banjo plucker does more than just return to the roots of bluegrass music. The Washington Post describes the album as a reinvention of these bluegrass classics. Here, Noam Pikelny sits down to talk about bluegrass music and his new album with our host, John Hockenberry.

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  • Oct 09

    French Author Patrick Modiano Wins The 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature

    Early this morning, the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to the French author Patrick Modiano.

    The Nobel Committee issued a statement saying they selected Modiano "for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation."

    Born in July 1945 in a suburb of Paris, Modiano is the 11th Nobel Laureate in Literature from France. Modiano’s works often centers on the themes of memory, oblivion, identity, and guilt. The city of Paris is often present in the text and can almost be considered a creative participant in the works.

    The odds had favored Japanese writer Haruki Murakami, Kenyan Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, or Belarussian investigative journalist Svetlana Alexievich. 

    Modiano made his debut in 1968 with the novel "La Place de l'Étoile." Some of his notable works that have been translated into English include "Night Rounds," "Ring Roads," "A Trace of Malice," "Dora Bruder," "The Search Warrant," and many others.

    Carolyn Kellogg writes about books for the Los Angeles Times.  She's also the vice president of the National Book Critics Circle, and she joins The Takeaway to discuss this year's winner.

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  • Oct 09

    When Life Ends at The Beginning: America's Infant Mortality Problem

    The United States spends more money on healthcare than any other nation in the world, yet America also has one of the highest rates of infant deaths.

    The latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the United States is the worst among developed nations when it comes to infant mortality rates: There are 6.1 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in the United States, compared to Finland, which had only 2.3, or Greece with 3.8. per 1,000 live births.

    Part of the reason for America's poor showing may be about the ways the U.S. tallies the infant mortality rate. But a bigger reason, says Emily Oster, an economist who helped calculate these figures, is the high number of deaths among babies born to low-income women, specifically during the early stages of an infant's life.

    “Some of it is about statistics and how this is reported, and what we count as a live birth,” says Oster, a visiting associate professor of economics at Brown University. “When we crunched the numbers, it looked like 40 percent of the difference between the U.S. and somewhere like Finland, which has a very low infant mortality rate, is accounted for by this difference in reporting. But even with that, the U.S. is doing much worse.”

    In America, babies who are extremely premature might be counted as stillbirths or miscarriages. But aside from the ways that infant mortality statistics are calculated, Oster says that poverty is a big contributing factor to the U.S. infant mortality rate.

    “One of the things we see in the data is actually conditional on birth weight, which is a good measure of how well an infant is doing when they’re born, and we in the U.S. are doing very well in [this area in] the first week or month,” she says.

    Oster says that early life medical interventions for premature babies, like neo-natal intensive care, seem to be working in the United States, regardless of income level. But after babies leave the hospital, problems often arise that contribute to infant mortality.

    “It’s the period after a month of life—a month to 12 months—where the U.S. is really doing worse,” she says. “Much of the death rate in that period is not really about medical interventions, it’s about things that are happening in the home.”

    Oster says that a lack of support and resources in the United States, specifically for those living in poverty, is contributing to the nation’s high infant mortality rate.

    “We see this reflected in higher death rates throughout childhood in these populations,” she says. “This is not ending at a year, though that’s a particularly vulnerable time. If you look at death rates for two-year-olds or five-year-olds, you see the same kind of thing. It does suggest that we’re failing these populations in some way.”

    To correct the alarming problem of U.S. infant mortality, Oster says that health officials are now considering a variety of remedies, including targeted support for low-income women that are giving birth.

    One model being considered is similar to what many European nation’s already employ: Maternity nurses that visit the home to check in on infants and parents.

    “These kinds of projects are very common in Europe, and we don’t have as much of it in the U.S.,” says Oster. “I think people have thought of [these strategies] as a possible way to combat some of these issues.”

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  • Oct 10

    Banjos and Ballots: Mike Doughty Jams With John Hockenberry

    Former lead singer of Soul Coughing, Mike Doughty, came into the studio of WNYC Radio to jam with Takeaway Host John Hockenberry (videos below).

    They also took a break to chat about politics before getting back to their 5-string picking. Doughty talks about debating politics with his conservative family and his liberal friends and what that's like for him. He grew up in a conservative military family but identifies as a "liberal, liberal, liberal."  For him, both sides tend to be a bit intractable and narrow-minded no matter what their education level.

    But at least the banjo doesn't take sides. Mike Doughty's first solo album in the last three years jumps into hip hop, opening with the twinkling sounds of a banjo. The new album, Stellar Motelis produced with hip hop producer Good Goose and features a number of hip hop artists, including MC Frontalot, Miss Eaves, and the female rap trio Hand Job Academy. 

    Check out some videos from Mike's time in studio below.

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  • Oct 09

    Today's Takeaways: Infant Mortality, Jamming on a Banjo, and Living Well Until 78

    1. When Life Ends at The Beginning: America's Infant Mortality Problem | 2. French Author Patrick Modiano Wins The 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature | 3. ISIS Uses Water As a Weapon in Iraq | 4. Banjos and Ballots: Mike Doughty Jams With John Hockenberry | 5. 78 is the New 20: Why The Golden Years Are Now Our Best
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  • Oct 08

    Dallas Ebola Patient Loses Life in Battle With the Virus

    The Ebola virus has killed more than 3,500 people in West Africa, and the deadly disease has now taken the life of at least one person in the United States: Ebola patient Thomas Duncan has died in Dallas, hospital officials confirmed Wednesday.

    Duncan, a Liberian national, arrived in the United States on September 20th. Though he showed no symptoms of the disease when he touched down in Texas, he fell ill a few days later and went to the hospital to seek treatment.

    Though it was known that Duncan had traveled from West Africa, hospital staff in Dallas sent him home after an initial visit to the emergency room. On September 28th, Duncan was taken back to the hospital and has been quarantined ever since.

    Eric Aasen, a reporter at KERA in Dallas, weighs in on the situation on the ground. 

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  • Oct 08

    Fears of Ebola Touch Liberians in U.S.

    The death of Ebola patient Thomas Duncan in Dallas is reverberating across communities in West Africa and the United States. Communities of Liberians, as well as people from Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Guinea, and other so called "hotspots," have been on alert since the Ebola crisis began.

    Though they might be a world away, West African expatriates in the U.S. are not immune from the tragedy of Ebola. Many have stories that are not unlike the story of Thomas Duncan—part of his family in America, and part back home in Liberia.

    And now Liberian-Americans see the possibility of the Ebola crisis coming to their doorstep as it has in Dallas.

    Solomon Reeves came to the U.S. from Liberia in 1988. He now lives in Staten Island, which is home to one of the largest Liberian populations outside of Africa. He recently lost a cousin back in Liberia to Ebola, and he joins The Takeaway to talk about how his community has been affected by concerns about the disease.

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  • Oct 08

    Call Me Crazy: The Secret to Becoming an Entrepreneur

    There's one booth you won't find at the local job fair, and that's because there's no one path to becoming an entrepreneur.

    But Linda Rottenberg, the CEO and co-founder of the global-non profit Endeavor, says that many entrepreneurs have a certain set of traits. She says that when it comes to dreaming up earthshaking ideas, entrepreneurs must give themselves permission to really go crazy.

    In her new book "Crazy is a Compliment: The Power of Zigging when Everyone Else Zags," Rottenberg throws out the buzzy entrepreneurial lingo in favor of the risks and personal initiative that define success.

    “The problem isn’t about coming up with the idea, it’s about giving yourself permission to pursue your dream—that’s where people get stuck,” says Rottenberg. “It’s not an absence of ideas or business techniques, it’s the absences of courage to actually be willing to put yourself on the line and maybe even be called crazy.”

    Rottenberg has worked with over 1,000 entrepreneurs in over 20 countries around the globe. She says that for many of these individuals, the main obstacles to success aren’t financial, but psychological and emotional.

    “What I tell people is they over think and over plan sometimes,” she says. “People sometimes hide between the PowerPoint and the ‘perfect’ plans. Really what they need to do is get out there, take the leap of faith, and give themselves permission to pursue something that might even be called outlandish.”

    There is no one “right way” to be an entrepreneur, but Rottenberg says that in her eyes, the profession is more about taking a risk.

    “There are always some things that are going to be out of your control, but chaos is the friend of the entrepreneur,” she says. “Stability favors the status quo. The times of disruption and the times of economic upheaval are actually some of the best times to start new companies.”

    Rottenberg says that entrepreneurs shouldn’t wait for venture capital funding to start their businesses, adding that financial restrictions can discourages innovation.

    “Most of the companies I’ve worked with—1,000 of them—about 80 percent didn’t have business plans,” she says. “They just see a pain point, they start solving the problem, they start getting real-life customers and getting that feedback. That’s what propels them forward.”

    Entrepreneurship is always changing, and Rottenberg says the market now spans far beyond the young, Silicon Valley techie in a hoodie.

    “I’ve worked with two women in Rio that started a hair care company out of their basement,” she says. “Today, that business, Beleza Natural, has $80 million in revenue and serves 100,000 clients.”

    Rottenberg says that entrepreneurs don’t have to “go all in” during the early stages of their business—often entrepreneurs keep their day jobs for a period of time while they’re testing their business models and they take “baby steps” before they commit to it full time.

    “Every dreamer I know has been called crazy at some point—whether it was Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, Sara Blakely of Spanx, or Jack Ma who took Alibaba, the Chinese company, public,” she says. “So to me, yes, crazy is a compliment.”

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  • Oct 08

    The Family Secrets of the AIDS Epidemic

    In just 20 years, America has come a long way when it comes to gay rights, openness about homosexuality, conversations about safe sex and the threat, prevention, and treatment of HIV.

    But in 1994, it was a very different world. That year AIDS was the leading cause of death for all Americans ages 25 to 44. Whitney Joiner's father, Joe, was just one victim of the AIDS crisis.

    Joe Joiner died of HIV in 1992, when Whitney was just 13-years-old. For years, Whitney knew her father was sick, but was left in the dark about his diagnosis. After he died, her family decided to keep Joe's story a secret because her father was overcome with shame and anger.

    But for Whitney, many unanswered questions remained, including how he contacted the virus and whether her father was gay.

    Now, as an adult, Whitney is trying to uncover these family secrets and learn the truth about her father's story. Along the way, she's encountered other children who lots parents to the AIDS epidemic with similar stories. The experience led her to co-found The Recollectors, a project that collects stories from children about their parents who died of AIDS.

    Reporter and host Anna Sale profiles Whitney story in the latest episode of WNYC's Death, Sex & Money.

    See Also: Listeners Respond: Family Secrets Revealed 

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  • Oct 08

    Listeners Respond: Family Secrets Revealed

    As children, we see the world through innocent eyes. Often, the adults around us are impenetrable forces that speak only the truth and feel no pain. But as we grow up, of course, we see these adults as they really are—human.

    Today on The Takeaway, we asked you about family secrets that came to light later in life. What did your family hide from you?

    "I never knew that I had a brother, and that my mother had a child before she was married and that she was forced to give it up for adoption,” Melissa from Chicago, Illinois called in to tell us.

    "I didn't know my father's mother was born a slave. It seems amazing to me that I'm only two generations away from American slavery," Dr. Walter Howard, a Charlotte-based pastor, called to tell us.

    For the children left to pick up the pieces of their broken lives after losing a parent to the AIDS epidemic, the fear of stigma has caused many to fight to reveal family secrets taken to the grave. That fight is something Anna Sale, host of WNYC's Death, Sex & Money podcast, explores this week with us here at The Takeaway.

    What's something you never knew about your family until you were an adult? Share your story below, on Facebook or Twitter, or give us a call at 1-877-869-8253.

    See Also: The Family Secrets of The Aids Epidemic


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  • Oct 08

    Despite U.S. Airpower, ISIS Advances on Turkish Border Town

    In Syria, the Turkish border town of Kobani remains under siege from ISIS militants, and many believe the community will soon fall under Islamic State control.

    "They have been defending themselves with great courage. But they are now very close to not being able to do so," said Staffan de Mistura, the U.N. special envoy for Syria.

    U.S.-led airstrikes failed to deter the militant group's advance on Tuesday, even as attack helicopters provided assistance for the first time in the region. These low-flying Army Apache helicopters were formerly in place to protect diplomatic facilities, but have now acquired a new role.

    Is this the equivalent of boots in the air? Jeffrey White, a defense fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a former senior Defense Intelligence Agency analyst, explains how these Apache helicopters operate.

    American troops and NATO forces worry that Kobani may soon fall to ISIS fighters, and on the other side of the fence, Turkey has said their forces will not get more deeply involved in the conflict—a position that's frustrating many in Washington.

    Eric Schmitt, national security correspondent for our partner The New York Times, explains Turkey's position in this conflict, and the response from Washington.

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  • Oct 08

    America's Next Debt Crisis: Medical Costs

    Credit card debt, student debt, housing debt—they've all lead to bankruptcies for millions of Americans and have wreaked havoc on financial markets. But there's growing concern among financial regulators about the amount of medical debt consumers are taking on.

    According to a new report from NerdWallet, a start-up content company focused on providing consumers with easy-to-digest financial information, one in five Americans will be contacted by medical debt collectors this year.

    Why is there so much debt from medical expenses? Wasn't the Affordable Care Act supposed to help Americans lower their medical expenses?

    According to Christina LaMontagne, General Manager for Health at NerdWallet, having a larger pool of people covered by health insurance will help with catastrophic expenses, but it's the smaller expenses on medical bills that really get people in to trouble.

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  • Oct 08

    Today's Takeaways: Ebola Claims Life of Dallas Patient, ISIS Advances Near Turkey, and Family Secrets Revealed

    1. Dallas Ebola Patient Loses Life to Virus | 2. Fears of Ebola Touch Liberians in U.S. | 3. ISIS Makes Swift Advance on Turkish Border Town | 4. Listeners Respond: Family Secrets Revealed | 5. The Family Secrets of the AIDS Epidemic
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  • Oct 07

    Sen. Schumer: Ebola Screenings Needed Now at U.S. Airports

    Though the U.S. government is taking steps to control the virus, Ebola remains a top national security priority, especially for lawmakers like U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

    Ebola has now claimed the lives of more than 3,400 people and there are an estimated 7,500 active infection cases. And the disease has begun to spread outside of West Africa—first to Dallas, TX and now to Spain.

    And now Sen. Schumer is calling for increased measures to fight the disease both at home and abroad.

    "When people come from one of the Ebola hotspots in West Africa to America, [officials] ought to do two things,” says Sen. Schumer. “One, they ought to take their temperature. They’re doing that in the West African Ebola hotspots, but it may not be reliable.”

    Sen. Schumer says that screening a person that is traveling from an “Ebola hotspot” (places like Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and other nations in the region) once they arrive in America is important because that individual may develop symptoms during their journey. A screening upon arrival, he says, would allow U.S. officials to spot the disease early on if symptoms appear en route.

    “More importantly, we ask that they do extensive screenings,” he says. “The CDC is very good at sitting down with someone and going through a list of all the people they’ve seen, who they’ve met. But they may not realize they’ve been in contact with the Ebola virus, or they may be deceptive about it.”

    He continues: “If in Africa they simply ask them, ‘Have you contacted anyone with Ebola?,’ they might say no—either because they want to come or they’re not sure if they did.”

    Sen. Schumer says officials should be asking arrivals from “Ebola hotspots” a series of questions once they arrive in the United States, and he also recommends that these individuals have their body temperature recorded—information that would be stored for a short period and then destroyed to maintain a person's privacy.

    “It’s not a large number,” Sen. Schumer says of those arriving from these areas. “Almost anyone who comes from West Africa lands in one of four airports so the focus can be on those.”

    Individuals traveling from West African nations are asked to fill out a form about where they started traveling from, if they stopped in another place along the way, and where they are headed once they are cleared to enter the United States.

    Sen. Schumer says he supports extensive question for arrivals and temperature monitoring because of the situation playing out in Texas.

    “One person with Ebola came into Dallas and the whole area was sort of paralyzed and almost panicked,” he says. “I want to underscore that panic is not necessary here—the CDC does a very good job. But when it comes to something like Ebola, both because it’s such a horrible disease and a hard to cure disease once you have it, and because it’s spreading such fear, you can’t be too careful. An extra layer of caution makes sense.”

    Though Sen. Schumer is calling for additional measures, he stops short of endorsing a travel ban for all West African nations.

    “Some have called for a ban on travel, but the experts all tell us that would be counterproductive,” he says. “Not a single expert has said that what we’ve proposed would be counterproductive—they all agree it would help. The question is how much it would help and how much it would cost. Given that it’s a small number of people coming from Ebola hotspots to the United States, given that it would be at a limited number of airports that already take care of international travelers, the costs are rather small and the benefit is significant.”

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  • Oct 07

    You Can't Get Ebola from a Doorknob

    In terms of fear, the Ebola virus is a menacing infectious disease. The virus has now claimed the lives of more than 3,400 and there are an estimated 7,500 active infection cases. Thousands more who have not reported to a medical clinic may still be infected. 

    Yesterday, a Spanish nurse became the first person to contract the deadly Ebola virus outside of West Africa after treating Spanish missionary priests who later died. Hospital staff say the nurse contracted the virus due to a failure of protective clothing, but investigators say they are still looking for what if anything went wrong.

    The nurse is currently being hospitalized and at least 30 people she has been in contact with are being sought for possible quarantine.

    The news came right on the heels of announcement by President Obama that called for more help from other international players. The president said that while some countries are working to beat the virus, others need to put in more effort.

    But as the Ebola virus entered the United States, new questions are being raised about our own public health system. How equipped are we to deal with the virus? What can communities do to prepare for an outbreak? Is Ebola a more severe risk than SARS or the Avian Flu?

    Dr. Helene Gayle, worked with the Centers for Disease Control for 20 years as an epidemic intelligence officer, with a special focus in HIV/AIDS. She is now the president and CEO of CARE USA, a leading humanitarian aid organization. 

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  • Oct 07

    Close Shave for the Constitution in Arkansas

    Today the Supreme Court hears Holt v. Hobbs, a case with potentially far-reaching consequences for prisoners' rights and religious freedom in the United States.

    The plaintiff is Gregory Holt, a 38-year-old man serving a life sentence for burglary and domestic battery in Arkansas state prison. Holt, who converted to Islam and took the name Abdul Maalik Muhammad, believes that his religion requires him to grow a half-inch beard, but the Arkansas prison system prohibits inmates from growing such facial hair.

    As Sarah Barringer Gordon, a professor of law, history and religion at the University of Pennsylvania, explains, Holt's case has drawn some parallels to the Hobby Lobby case, decided by the Court last June.

    This time, the justices will decide whether the Arkansas prison system's policy places an "substantial burden" on Holt's religious beliefs. If the policy does, then the Court must decide if the state has a "compelling reason" to do so.

    Today on The Takeaway, Gordon examines previous cases regarding religious practices in public life, and discusses the legal issues at play in Holt v. Hobbs.

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  • Oct 07

    After the Battlefield, a Veteran Finds Hope on the Football Field

    At 26-years-old, Daniel Rodriguez has arguably lived more than someone twice his age, and he hasn't exactly followed the traditional order.

    Rodriguez is a U.S. veteran—just weeks after finishing high school, he enrolled in the U.S. Army and has since served tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Over an 18 month period, he was involved in a variety of operations, including one of the bloodiest battles of the Afghan war: The Battle of Kamdesh.

    But today he's also a Division I athlete. Rodriguez is a star junior receiver on the Clemson University's football team, the college he chose to attend after his service through the G.I. Bill.

    Daniel Rodriguez chronicles his story in a new book, "Rise: An Epic Story of A Soldier, His Dream, and a Promise Kept," which is also being made into a movie with the help of Sony's TriStar Productions. But Rodriguez says playing the game is all about serving the memory of his fallen friends.

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  • Oct 07

    The Epic Return of a Cult Classic: 'Twin Peaks'

    To the delight of its cult followers, "Twin Peaks" is returning to television in 2016 with a nine-episode run on Showtime.

    Created by David Lynch and Mark Frost, "Twin Peaks" first aired in 1990. The series tells the story of Dale Cooper, an FBI agent sent to the fictional town of Twin Peaks to investigate the murder of high school student Laura Palmer.

    Groundbreaking for its time, "Twin Peaks" pushed the boundaries of cinematic storytelling on television and took viewers into weird, often-twisted, subplots. Despite a strong and highly-acclaimed first season, the show tapered off and was cancelled after 30 episodes.

    For more on the revival of "Twin Peaks," we talk with superfan Jennifer K. Stuller, a pop culture historian who said she nearly cried when she first heard the show was coming back to TV. 

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  • Oct 07

    We The People: When Corporations Trump Human Dignity

    As the Supreme Court grapples over questions surrounding the religious rights of American inmates, a federal judge is also addressing questions focusing on the basic rights of detainees at the Guantánamo Bay detention center.

    The court is now hearing its first legal challenge to the U.S. military's practice of force feeding Guantánamo Bay detainees that were on a hunger strike. 

    For more than a decade, Eric L. Lewis, the chairman of the legal non-profit Reprieve U.S., has represented prisoners held at Guantánamo.

    Over the weekend, he wrote an op-ed for our partner The New York Times entitled, "Who Are 'We the People'?" In his piece, Lewis questions who, under the current Supreme Court, qualifies for human rights and why corporations seem to be more protected than individuals. 

    In his op-ed, Lewis cites Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby, other bans on religious freedoms in American prisons, and an appeal on whether the clothing seller Abercrombie & Fitch can fire employees from wearing religious headscarves.

    Eric L. Lewis joins The Takeaway to discuss what it means to be a person in America.

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  • Oct 07

    Report: ISIS Weaponry Originated in U.S., China

    A new report finds that the much of the ammunition and weaponry used by the Islamic State has its origins in the United States, China, and Russia.

    The report, authored by Conflict Armament Research, a public-private partnership funded by the European Union and private donors, found that more than 80 percent of the ammunition they analyzed between mid-July and mid-August of this year came from the U.S., China, Serbia, and Russia (both USSR-era Russia and present-day).

    The Conflict Armament Research (CAR) works with the Kurdistan regional government in Iraq and Kurdish forces known as the Peshmerga. Kudish fighters have overrun some ISIS strongholds, and CAR Director James Bevan and his researchers have collected and analyzed the ammunition and weaponry ISIS fighters have left behind. 

    Much of ISIS's ammunition and weaponry has been captured by Iraqi and Syrian forces aided by the U.S. and other international partners, Bevan explains. But he believes that his organization's report should raise concerns about the American strategy in the fight against ISIS.

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  • Oct 07

    California Water Officials Flout Their Own Advice on Conservation

    California is suffering from the worst drought the state has seen in decades, and 2014 has been the hottest year on record. 

    In the midst of this crisis, state officials have prodded local water agencies to enact regulations. Many cities agreed to do so, including the Southern California community of Riverside: Last July, the Riverside City Council passed mandatory conservation restrictions.

    As a member of the Riverside City Council, Mike Soubirous voted for those restrictions. A new investigation from the Center for Investigative Reporting finds that he is one of many local officials around the state who does not practice what he preaches when it comes to water use.

    In an analysis of state officials' water bills obtained through California Public Records Act requests, Lance Williams, a senior reporter focusing on money and politics at CIR, and his co-reporter Katharine Mieszkowski, found that Soubirous uses more than one million gallons of water per year. A 2011 study from the California Department of Water Resources found that a single family home in the state uses, on average, 132,000 gallons a year.

    "I live in an area where the wind kind of comes up and it dries out my yard very quickly," Soubirous told Williams. "And so do I just abandon my yard and devalue my property? I don’t know."

    As Williams tells The Takeaway's John Hockenberry, nearly half of the California water officials who oversee the state's biggest water agencies used more water than the average California household. He also found that 60 percent these same officials used more water in 2013 than in 2012, as drought conditions persisted and worsened.

    In sum, Williams explains, "They ignore the very water regulations they're promoting."

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  • Oct 07

    Today's Takeaways: Religious Freedom, California's Drought, and A Vet's Trip From the Battlefield to the Football Field

    1. Close Shave for the Constitution in Arkansas | 2. Sen. Schumer: Ebola Screenings Needed Now at U.S. Airports | 3. Despite Drought, California Officials Ignore Water Regulations | 4. After Battlefield, Vet Finds Hope on Football Fields
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  • Oct 06

    Supreme Court Not Going to Intervene in Gay Marriage Cases

    The October term for the U.S. Supreme Court has a wide range of cases, including racial gerrymandering of Congressional districts in Alabama, a Facebook post that was either a threat or a joke, religious facial hair and Abercrombie and Fitch's dress code.

    The court has denied review in all five pending same-sex marriage cases thereby permitting marriages in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

    Marcia Coyle, chief Washington correspondent for the National Law Journal, says election law might be up to the plate next when it comes to historic changes.

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  • Oct 06

    'Humans of New York' Goes Global

    In 2010, after losing his job as a bond trader, Brandon Stanton turned to a very different profession - photography. His portraits and short stories of everyday people on the photoblog Humans of New York went on to gain millions of fans online.

    It is that storytelling ability that the United Nations hopes will draw attention to the causes of eradicating poverty, hunger and child mortality.

    The United Nations invited Brandon to go on a two-month long tour across the world in order to raise awareness for the U.N.'s Millennium Development Goals.

    After traveling through Kenya, Jordan, Iraq, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, among others, Brandon is now back in New York. He is also the author of a new book, "Little Humans of New York." 


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  • Oct 06

    How We Got to Now: Quest for Light and Cleanliness

    For most of human history, dark was dark. If you wanted light, you had to wait until morning. It was also filthy, people lived with their waste and if it got dirty, you just moved. But with the growth of cities, the dark got darker and the filth got filthier.

    As science and technology writer Steven Johnson explains that once inventions were made to give us more light and more clean, people realized how enslaved we had been by dark and dirt. 

    Johnson explores the story behind simple ideas that changed the world in his new book and PBS series "How We Got To Now." In the second part of our interview with him, we talk about our quest for getting light and getting clean. 


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  • Oct 06

    Vatican Meets to Discuss Family Issues

    Over the weekend, a global meeting of Catholic bishops, a synod, convened in Rome to address the issues of modern family life. 

    It will be a chance for bishops to openly discuss the meaning of something Pope Francis did a few weeks ago, when he performed 20 weddings for couples who would traditionally have been considered unfit to wed by the Catholic Church. This included some who had lived together before marriage in some cases for years and others who had children out of wedlock.

    Is this synod likely to be historic? Reverend James Bretzke, professor of moral theology at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, tells us what we can expect. 

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  • Oct 06

    Federal Court Reviews Forced Feeding of Guantanamo Detainee

    The first legal challenge to the U.S. practice of forced feeding Guantanamo detainees will be heard in federal court today. And despite the Justice Department's efforts - it will be open to the public.

    It's a major event in the long-running debate over a civilian court's authority to review the conditions at the military prison.

    One hundred and forty-nine captives are still held at Guantanamo, even though half of them had been approved for release years ago.

    One of those approved for release is a Syrian detainee, Abu Wa'el Dhiab. Dhiab has been held without charge at Guantanamo since 2002 and is challenging the U.S. military's practice of forcibly feeding him.

    Miami Herald reporter Carol Rosenberg tells us about the case.

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  • Oct 06

    Retro Report: MLB Player Curt Flood Paved the Way for Free Agency

    This week, the Retro Report team looks back at the legacy of St. Louis Cardinals player Curt Flood.

    Flood was a three-time All-Star, and by 1969 he had helped lead the Cardinals to three World Series in six years. But that year, after his relationship with the Cardinals' management soured, Flood was abruptly traded to the Phillies.

    Technically, Flood was a victim of Major League Baseball player's "reserve clause," a strict rule which limited a player's ability to decide where he played.

    Flood was struck by the flat-out unfairness of the abrupt decision. Mr. Flood, an African-American, observed, “A well-paid slave is, nonetheless, a slave.” So he filed a lawsuit against the MLB, challenging the "reserve clause."

    Matt Spolar, producer at Retro Report, explains that despite losing the legal battle, Flood helped make free agency - and the Lebron James empire - possible.

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  • Oct 06

    ISIS Surrounds Syrian Town Near Turkish Border

    Despite U.S. and allied air strikes, ISIS continued to advance over the weekend surrounding the Kurdish town of Kobani, Syria - very close to the Turkish border.

    BBC World Affairs Correspondent Paul Adams says the ISIS flag is flying over Kobani. He adds, "There are real fears for the lives of those left in the city." He and his crew were tear-gassed by Turkish police as they left protests by Kurds angry that Turkish forces have not done more. 

    Kurdish fighters are trying to hold back an advance by Islamic State militants - the fighting is fierce.

    Adams joins The Takeaway from the Turkish/Syrian border and explains that the entire border area is not safe. 

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  • Oct 06

    Today's Takeaways: ISIS Surrounds Syrian Town, Forced Feeding on Trial, and 'Humans of New York' Goes Global

    1. ISIS Surrounds Syrian Town Near Turkish Border | 2. Federal Court Reviews Forced Feeding of Guantanamo Detainee | 3. Vatican Meets to Discuss Family Issues | 4. How We Got to Now: the Quest for Light and Cleanliness | 5. HONY Photographer Captures World Beyond New York

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  • Oct 04

    The Takeaway Weekender: Home-Cooking, Hollywood Horror, and Great Ideas

    1. Home-Cooking: A Family Tradition Out of Reach? | 2. The Horror Movie That Changed Film: 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' | 3. Thanks, Internet: Five Things You Had to See Online This Week | 4. How We Got to Now: A Guide to Great Ideas
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  • Oct 03

    'Gone Girl,' 'Left Behind,' 'Annabelle,' 'Men Women & Children' and Movie Therapy

    There's a lot to be afraid of this week: the rapture, homicidal husbands, the internet, and, of course, dolls. That's because, Rafer and Kristen and are reviewing "Left Behind," "Gone Girl," "Men Women & Children," and "Annabelle." They also help a listener who loves watching Halloween movies in the lead-up to Halloween...but needs suggestions of films where Halloween actually factors into the story line. And, as always, there's trivia!

    28 Halloween Movies for our Movie Therapy Patient

    Movies in Which Halloween is Central to the Plot

    • It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, 1966
    • The Nightmare Before Christmas, 1993
    • Tower of Terror, 1997
    • The Crow, 1994
    • Halloween, 1978
    • Halloween II, 1981
    • Halloween III: Season of the Witch, 1982 
    • Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, 1988
    • Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, 1989
    • Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers,1995
    • Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, 1998
    • Halloween: Resurrection, 2002
    • Halloween, 2007
    • Halloween II, 2009

    Movies with Notable Trick-or-Treating Scenes

    • Meet Me in St. Louis, 1944
    • E.T., 1982
    • American Splendor, 2003
    • We Need to Talk About Kevin, 2011
    • Ed Wood, 1994

    Movies in which Pivotal Moments Happen on Halloween

    • The Karate Kid, 1984
    • The Guest, 2014
    • To Kill A Mockingbird, 1962
    • Donnie Darko, 2001
    • Cinderella Story, 2004
    • Mean Girls, 2004
    • Casper, 1995
    • Practical Magic, 1998
    • Twin Falls, Idaho, 1999 

    Subscribe to the Movie Date podcast, like Movie Date on Facebook, follow Kristen on Twitter, and leave a message for Rafer and Kristen anytime at 571-7MOVIES (571-766-8437).


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  • Oct 03

    News Quiz | Week of Oct. 3, 2014

    Are you a newsie? Do you know what's happening from Washington to Hollywood to Pyongyang? Be smarter than your pals. Prep your dinner party factoids. Gauge your knowledge about what happened this week, as heard on The Takeaway.

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  • Oct 03

    As Ebola Spreads, New Drug Offers Hope

    On Wednesday, The World Health Organization announced that the Ebola virus has now killed more than 3,330 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea as of September 28th. The virus has also infected more than 7,000 people in West Africa.

    But there is some good news in the fight against the deadly virus: A promising new Ebola-treatment drug made with the help of genetically engineered tobacco plants is on the horizon. 

    Earlier this week, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation made its largest humanitarian pledge ever—$50 million—to help fight against the spread of disease. And part of that donation will go to investing in the production of ZMapp, a drug that was first tested on two American Ebola patients in August, both of whom wound up recovering from the disease.

    Takeaway Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich sat down with Dr. Sue Desmond-Hellmann, chief executive officer of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, who has a background in biotechnology, to talk about the promise of ZMapp and the foundation's larger goals in combating the disease.

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  • Oct 03

    Dallas Mayor Faces Tough Questions Over Ebola

    In Dallas, health officials now believe Ebola patient Thomas Duncan came into contact with up to 100 people before he was hospitalized and quarantined. And new revelations show that there has been a delay in cleaning and sanitizing the apartment where Duncan stayed for four days before he went to the hospital.

    The lapse highlights the difficulties of coordinating efforts among different health agencies, the federal Centers for Disease Control and state and local health officials.

    Joining The Takeaway to discuss clean up operations, monitoring protocols, and other precautions the city is taking is Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings.

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  • Oct 03

    'Fishing Without Nets': Somali Piracy, from the Pirates' Perspective

    "Captain Phillips," the Tom Hanks film based on the true story of one ship’s takeover by Somali pirates, earned accolades for its attention to the pirates’ plight, the underlying reasons why piracy has become an attractive option for so many Somalis.

    But the film still focused most of its attention on the American protagonists pleading for their safety. 

    A new film "Fishing Without Nets" tells the story of Somali piracy from the perspective of the pirates themselves.

    Directed by Cutter Hodierne, the film centers on Abdi, a Somali fisherman living in desperate poverty, with few options for his wife and small son. He turns to piracy, and Hodierne follows his story, exploring why young men would risk their lives for such a cause.

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  • Oct 03

    How We Got to Now: A Guide to Great Ideas

    Over the course of human history our lives have been changed by ordinary people who get an idea and turn it into an extraordinary thing. A small invention can go on to have transformative effect on other often unrelated areas of life.

    As science and technology writer Steven Johnson explains, for a number of inventors throughout history, those ideas can sometimes come in the simplest of places. 

    For example, an invention as mundane as the air conditioner completely transformed the demographics of the United States, Johnson explains. Once consumers could buy affordable, mass-market, window-unit air conditioners, "Tucson, Arizona grows 400 percent in 10 years; Phoenix, 300 percent. Tampa, Dallas, Houston and Atlanta, populations double, triple... [the] invention is circulating people as well as air."

    As he tells The Takeaway's John Hockenberry, as inventors and tinkerers develop new gadgets and ideas to correct a narrow problem, their impact reverberates, oftentimes shaping "the course of human history."

    Johnson explores this theme in his new book and PBS series "How We Got To Now." In the first part of our interview with him, we talk about our quest for cold and keeping time. 

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  • Oct 03

    Hong Kong Leaders Open to Talks with Protestors

    After a week of protests and sit-ins, the struggle for democracy continues in Hong Kong. 

    "I think Hong Kong people are all very fed up with Beijing's broken promise," said Ray Yep Kin-Man, a professor of public policy at City University of Hong Kong. "Not only just this time, but over the last 30 years. They keep saying democracy will come. We have been very patient, b ut I think they break their promises again and again and again,. Hong Kong people can't take it, and we have to make our voices heard."

    But now the protests appear to be at a new critical juncture. Just before midnight on Thursday, after hours of escalating tension, the Being-appointed leader of Hong Kong, Leung Chung-yin announced that while he would not be stepping down from his position.

    But as a concession, Chung-yin did announce that government leaders were willing to negotiate with protest leaders. Matthew Bell, a reporter for the BBC and PRI's The World, is on the ground in Hong Kong and explains how protesters are reacting and where the movement is headed.

    Read full post

  • Oct 03

    Thanks, Internet: Five Things You Had to See Online This Week

    Every Friday, Sean Rameswaram, producer with Studio 360 and and host of the podcast Sideshow, rounds up the week in internet phenomena. 

    This week in "Thanks, Internet," Sean talks to John Hockenberry about the online treasures you may have missed.

    1. Aretha Covering Adele


    2. An Animated Cover

    Christoph Neimann's latest 'New Yorker' cover

    Christoph Niemann wins again! An illustrator for the New Yorker, Niemann's cover was made into ane animated GIF just in time for a rainy New York introduction to October. 

    3. Noah's World

    You might remember Noah Ritter from the "Apparently" video. And "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" extended the shelf life of the viral video star by turning Ritter into a special correspondent. 

    4. A Squirrel's Guide To The Universe

    The Missing Scarf was one of the unexpected thrills of the program of Oscar-nominated shorts that screened in (a few) theaters early this year. The only problem was, you couldn't really watch it anywhere. That changed this week when Eoin Duffy posted her existential epic to Vimeo.

    5. Every Horror Movie on TV This October

    Wednesday, October 1

    12:00 a.m. Jurassic Park III, AMC

    1:50 a.m. Red Dragon, HBO Signature

    2:35 a.m. Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight, HBO Comedy

    3:00 a.m. In Their Skin, HBO2

    2:00 p.m. Godzilla, AMC

    2:00 p.m. The Dead, SYFY

    3:00 p.m. Candyman III, Chiller

    4:30 p.m. Dead Season, SYFY

    5:00 p.m. Cravings, Chiller

    5:25 p.m. The Last Exorcism Part II, Showtime

    5:55 p.m. Constantine, HBO Zone

    6:30 p.m. Halloween II (2009), SYFY

    6:30 p.m. Death Proof, IFC

    7:00 p.m. Absentia, Chiller

    8:00 p.m. Planet Terror, IFC

    9:00 p.m. Freddy vs. Jason, SYFY

    9:00 p.m. Laid to Rest, Chiller

    11:15 p.m. Death Proof, IFC


    Thursday, October 2

    1:25 a.m. Stoker, HBO Signature

    2:00 a.m. The Faculty, HBO2

    5:30 a.m. Poltergeist III, HBO Zone

    10:45 a.m. Dance of the Dead, IFC

    1:30 p.m. Night of the Demons, SYFY

    1:50 p.m. Fallen, HBO Zone

    2:10 p.m. The Witches, HBO Family

    3:00 p.m. Chasing Sleep, Chiller

    3:30 p.m. Halloween II (2009), SYFY

    5:00 p.m. Waxwork II: Lost in Time, Chiller

    5:20 p.m. Warm Bodies, HBO Comedy

    6:00 p.m. Freddy vs. Jason, SYFY

    7:00 p.m. Pumpkinhead 2, Chiller

    9:00 p.m. Waxwork, Chiller

    10:00 p.m. Aliens, Sundance

    11:30 p.m. The Canterville Ghost, TCM


    Friday, October 3

    1:00 a.m. The Dead Zone, Sundance

    1:30 a.m. A Place of One’s Own, TCM

    2:00 a.m. The Purge, HBO

    3:00 a.m. Red Dragon, HBO2

    7:00 a.m. Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight, HBO Comedy

    8:00 a.m. Ginger Snaps, Chiller

    10:00 a.m. Aliens, Sundance

    10:30 a.m. Cloned: The Recreator Chronicles, Chiller

    11:55 a.m. The Conjuring, HBO Signature

    12:00 p.m. The Bleeding, SYFY

    12:30 p.m. The Visitors, Chiller

    2:00 p.m. My Bloody Valentine, SYFY

    3:00 p.m. The Last Exorcism, Chiller

    3:45 p.m. 28 Weeks Later, IFC

    4:00 p.m. Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines, SYFY

    4:10 p.m. Red Dragon, HBO Zone

    5:00 p.m. Candyman III, Chiller

    6:00 p.m. Resident Evil: Extinction, SYFY

    6:15 p.m. Seven Faces of Dr. Lao, TCM

    7:00 p.m. Paintball, Chiller

    8:00 p.m. Van Helsing, AMC

    9:00 p.m. Grave Encounters 2, Chiller

    11:00 p.m. Warm Bodies, HBO2


    Saturday, October 4

    1:05 a.m. Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines, SYFY

    1:30 a.m. Van Helsing, AMC

    1:45 a.m. Teeth, HBO Signature

    3:13 a.m. The Hills Have Eyes (2006), HBO2

    5:05 a.m. Cry Wolf, HBO Signature

    7:00 a.m. Monster House, Chiller

    9:00 a.m. Christine, Chiller

    11:00 a.m. Day of the Dead 2: Contagium, Chiller

    12:00 p.m. The Mummy (1959), TCM

    12:00 p.m. The Last Exorcism Part II, Showtime

    1:00 p.m. Dead Before Dawn, Chiller

    3:00 p.m. Resurrection County, Chiller

    3:00 p.m. Peeping Tom, TCM

    4:10 p.m. Constantine, HBO Zone

    5:00 p.m. Hidden, Chiller

    5:00 p.m. Resident Evil: Extinction, SYFY

    7:00 p.m. Soul Survivors, Chiller

    7:00 p.m. The Reaping, SYFY

    9:00 p.m. Urban Legend, Chiller

    11:00 p.m. Heavy Metal, Chiller


    Sunday, October 5

    1:00 a.m. Heavy Metal 2000, Chiller

    2:35 a.m. The Conjuring, HBO

    9:00 a.m. The Cursed, SYFY

    11:00 a.m. Stephen King’s Rose Red, SYFY

    11:30 a.m. Warm Bodies, HBO2

    2:00 p.m. Trollhunter, Chiller

    2:25 p.m. Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight, HBO Comedy

    4:30 p.m. Elsewhere, Chiller

    5:00 p.m. The Reaping, SYFY

    5:50 p.m. Red Dragon, HBO Zone

    7:00 p.m. Terror Trap, Chiller

    9:00 p.m. Shutter, SYFY

    9:00 p.m. The Second Arrival, Chiller


    Monday, October 6

    9:00 a.m. Stephen King’s Rose Red, SYFY

    10:45 a.m. The Children, IFC

    12:30 p.m. The Eye, IFC

    3:00 p.m. Psychosis, SYFY

    3:00 p.m. The Thaw, Chiller

    5:00 p.m. Death and Cremation, Chiller

    5:25 p.m. The Witches, HBO Family

    6:20 p.m. Warm Bodies, HBO Zone

    7:00 p.m. Shutter, SYFY

    7:00 p.m. Hush, Chiller

    9:00 p.m. American Psycho, Chiller

    11:00 p.m. My Soul to Take, SYFY


    Tuesday, October 7

    8:00 a.m. My Soul to Take, SYFY

    2:30 a.m. Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight, HBO Zone

    3:00 p.m. Razortooth, Chiller

    5:00 p.m. Spiders 2: Breeding Ground, Chiller

    7:00 p.m. The Arrival, Chiller

    7:45 p.m. The Dead Zone, Sundance

    9:00 p.m. Zombie Strippers, IFC

    9:00 p.m. Black Cadillac, Chiller


    Wednesday, October 8

    12:20 a.m. The Hills Have Eyes (2006), HBO Zone

    3:50 a.m. Poltergeist III, HBO Zone

    7:25 a.m. Cry Wolf, HBO Signature

    9:00 a.m. Hollow Man, AMC

    11:30 a.m. Deep Blue Sea (1999), AMC

    12:00 p.m. The Dead Zone, Sundance

    2:00 p.m. Snakes on a Plane, AMC

    3:00 p.m. Vile, Chiller

    4:00 p.m. Van Helsing, AMC

    5:00 p.m. Junkyard Dog, Chiller

    7:00 p.m. The Monkey’s Paw, Chiller

    8:00 p.m. Warm Bodies, HBO Comedy

    9:00 p.m. Madison County, Chiller


    Thursday, October 9

    12:00 a.m. Hostel, Showtime

    1:50 a.m. Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight, HBO Comedy

    2:10 a.m. Deep Blue Sea (1999), AMC

    9:00 a.m. Snakes on a Plane, AMC

    9:55 a.m. Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight, HBO Zone

    11:00 a.m. Van Helsing, AMC

    3:00 p.m. Bram Stoker’s Dracula’s Guest, Chiller

    3:00 p.m. The Conjuring, HBO Signature

    5:00 p.m. Headspace, Chiller

    6:00 p.m. The Uninvited, SYFY

    7:00 p.m. Hideaway, Chiller

    9:00 p.m. Flatliners, Chiller

    10:30 p.m. The Conjuring, HBO Signature


    Friday, October 10

    12:15 a.m. Constantine, HBO 2

    1:25 p.m. Tales from the Crypt Presents: Bordello of Blood, HBO Comedy

    3:00 a.m. Manhunter, Showtime

    7:00 a.m. The Monitor, Chiller

    9:00 a.m. Paranormal Entity, Chiller

    11:00 a.m. Descendants, Chiller

    1:00 p.m. Devil’s Playground, Chiller

    3:00 p.m. Ghostmaker, Chiller

    4:00 p.m. The Uninvited, SYFY

    5:00 p.m. Bad Kids Go to Hell, Chiller

    5:55 p.m. Constantine, HBO Zone

    6:00 p.m. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), SYFY

    6:30 p.m. The Last Exorcism Part II, Showtime

    7:00 p.m. My Bloody Valentine, Chiller

    7:15 p.m. Warm Bodies, HBO2

    9:00 p.m. Animal, Chiller

    9:30 p.m. Hostel, Showtime


    Saturday, October 11

    2:00 a.m. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), SYFY

    5:50 a.m. Poltergeist III, HBO Zone

    6:00 a.m. ABCs of Death, Chiller

    8:30 a.m. Gacy, Chiller

    9:00 a.m. Aliens, Sundance

    10:30 a.m. Vanishing on 7th Street, Chiller

    12:00 p.m. The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb, TCM

    12:30 p.m. The City of Lost Children, Chiller

    2:05 p.m. The Witches, HBO Family

    2:30 p.m. Chernobyl Diaries, SYFY

    3:00 p.m. Tormented, Chiller

    3:30 p.m. Red Dragon, HBO Zone

    4:40 p.m. Halloween II (2009), SYFY

    5:00 p.m. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Chiller

    5:45 p.m. Fallen, HBO Zone

    7:00 p.m. Freddy vs. Jason, SYFY

    7:00 p.m. Open House, Chiller

    9:00 p.m. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), SYFY

    9:00 p.m. Vacancy, Chiller

    11:00 p.m. Hostel, Part II, SYFY


    Sunday, October 12

    1:00 a.m. Chernobyl Diaries, SYFY

    2:15 a.m. Blacula, TCM

    2:30 a.m. Aliens, Sundance

    3:00 a.m. Teeth, HBO Signature

    3:00 a.m. The Bleeding, SYFY

    3:25 a.m. The Hills Have Eyes (2006), HBO Zone

    4:00 a.m. Scream, Blacula Scream, TCM

    4:35 a.m. Cry Wolf, HBO Signature

    5:25 a.m. Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight, HBO Comedy

    9:00 p.m. Stoker, HBO Signature

    10:30 a.m. Night of the Demons, SYFY

    12:30 p.m. Halloween II (2009), SYFY

    2:00 p.m. The Lost, Chiller

    3:00 p.m. Stir of Echoes, Sundance

    3:00 p.m. Hostel Part II, SYFY

    4:30 p.m. The Woman, Chiller

    5:00 p.m. Freddy vs. Jason, SYFY

    5:15 p.m. They Live, Sundance

    7:00 p.m. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), SYFY

    7:00 p.m. Seventh Moon, Chiller

    9:00 p.m. The Fog (2005) SYFY

    9:00 p.m. 13 Eerie, Chiller

    9:45 p.m. Warm Bodies, HBO Comedy


    Monday, October 13

    1:00 a.m. They Live, Sundance

    1:00 a.m. The Haunting in Connecticut, SYFY

    3:00 a.m. Dead Like Me, SYFY

    4:25 a.m. Tales from the Hood, HBO Zone

    11:00 a.m. Dracula 2000, SYFY

    12:00 p.m. Warm Bodies, HBO2

    3:00 p.m. Monster House, Chiller

    5:00 p.m. The Haunting in Connecticut, SYFY

    5:00 p.m. Blood and Donuts, Chiller

    7:00 p.m. The Fog (2005), SYFY

    7:00 p.m. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), IFC

    7:00 p.m. Banshee!!!, Chiller

    8:10 a.m. Cry Wolf, HBO Signature

    9:00 p.m. The Conjuring, HBO Signature

    9:00 p.m. The Wolfman (2010), SYFY

    9:00 p.m. The Exorcist, IFC

    9:00 p.m. Frankenstein (2004), Chiller

    11:00 p.m. Freddy vs. Jason, SYFY

    11:45 p.m. The Last Exorcism, IFC


    Tuesday, October 14

    1:00 a.m. The Wolfman (2010), SYFY

    1:30 a.m. The Faculty, HBO2

    3:25 a.m. Saw II, Showtime

    5:15 a.m. Fallen, HBO Zone

    10:00 a.m. Freddy vs. Jason, SYFY

    3:00 p.m. Last Night, Chiller

    5:00 p.m. House Hunting, Chiller

    7:00 p.m. Watermen, Chiller

    9:00 a.m. Gangsters, Guns, and Zombies, Chiller


    Wednesday, October 15

    2:00 a.m. The Hills Have Eyes (2006), HBO Zone

    2:00 a.m. Hybrid, SYFY

    5:25 a.m. Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight, HBO Zone

    7:30 a.m. Warm Bodies, HBO Comedy

    10:30 a.m. Cry Wolf, HBO

    1:30 p.m. Manhunter, Showtime

    3:00 p.m. Cravings, Chiller

    5:00 p.m. Shattered Lives, Chiller

    7:00 p.m. Vacancy 2: The First Cut, Chiller

    9:00 p.m. Bloodwork, Chiller

    11:45 p.m. Zombie Strippers, IFC


    Thursday, October 16

    3:10 a.m. Blade, HBO

    7:05 p.m. Red Dragon, HBO Zone

    3:00 p.m. A Little Bit Zombie, Chiller

    3:40 p.m. Constantine, HBO Zone

    5:00 p.m. Dead Before Dawn, Chiller


    Friday, October 17

    1:00 a.m. Needful Things, AMC

    3:30 a.m. Graveyard Shift (1990), AMC

    4:10 a.m. War Wolves, SYFY

    8:00 a.m. Nine Miles Down, Chiller

    9:00 a.m. Graveyard Shift (1990), AMC

    9:30 a.m. Dracula 2000, SYFY

    10:00 a.m. Wolf Town, Chiller

    11:00 a.m. Silver Bullet, AMC

    11:30 a.m. Wes Craven Presents: Dracula II Ascension, SYFY

    12:00 a.m. Trollhunter, Chiller

    1:00 p.m. Thinner, AMC

    2:30 p.m. Dance of the Dead, IFC

    2:30 p.m. Let the Right One In, Chiller

    3:00 p.m. Cujo, AMC

    5:00 p.m. Dreamcatcher, AMC

    5:00 p.m. Truth or Die, Chiller

    6:00 p.m. Drive Angry, SYFY

    7:00 p.m. Nailbiter, Chiller

    8:00 p.m. Firestarter, AMC

    9:00 p.m. Lovely Molly, Chiller

    10:30 p.m. Children of the Corn, AMC


    Saturday, October 18

    1:00 a.m. Stoker, HBO Signature

    1:00 a.m. Dracula 2000, SYFY

    2:30 a.m. Riding the Bullet, AMC

    2:50 a.m. Warm Bodies, HBO Comedy

    3:00 a.m. Wes Craven Presents: Dracula II Ascension, SYFY

    6:00 a.m. Cujo, AMC

    7:00 a.m. Chasing Sleep, Chiller

    8:00 a.m. Children of the Corn, AMC

    9:00 a.m. Stephen King’s Rose Red, SYFY

    9:00 a.m. Lord of Darkness, Chiller

    10:00 a.m. Tremors, AMC

    11:00 a.m. Vile, Chiller

    12:00 p.m. Tremors 2: Aftershocks, AMC

    12:00 p.m. The Mummy’s Shroud, TCM

    1:00 p.m. Pumpkinhead 2, Chiller

    2:15 p.m. Tremors 3: Back to Perfection, AMC

    3:00 p.m. The Reaping, SYFY

    3:00 p.m. 388 Arletta Ave., Chiller

    4:45 p.m. Tremors 4: The Legend Begins, AMC

    5:00 p.m. The Fog (2005), SYFY

    5:00 p.m. Black Water, Chiller

    6:16 p.m. Warm Bodies, HBO2

    7:00 p.m. The Thaw, Chiller

    7:15 p.m. Tremors, AMC

    9:00 p.m. The Messengers, Chiller

    9:15 p.m. Tremors 2: Aftershocks, AMC

    11:00 p.m. The Fog (2005), SYFY

    11:30 p.m. Tremors 3: Back to Perfection, AMC


    Sunday, October 19

    12:45 a.m. Tales from the Crypt Presents: Bordello of Blood, HBO Comedy

    2:00 a.m. Tremors 4: The Legend Begins, AMC

    2:20 a.m. Constantine, HBO 2

    3:25 a.m. Teeth, HBO Zone

    5:00 a.m. Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh, AMC

    8:00 a.m. The Howling, AMC

    10:00 a.m. Pumpkinhead, AMC

    10:15 a.m. The Conjuring, HBO Signature

    10:30 a.m. The Uninvited, SYFY

    12:00 p.m. Child’s Play 2, AMC

    12:30 p.m. The Reaping, SYFY

    2:00 p.m. Child’s Play 3, AMC

    2:30 p.m. Let Me In, SYFY

    3:00 p.m. Dead Genesis, Chiller

    4:00 p.m. Bride of Chucky, AMC

    5:00 p.m. Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, SYFY

    5:00 p.m. Spores, Chiller

    6:00 p.m. Seed of Chucky, AMC

    7:00 p.m. Re-Animator, Chiller

    8:00 p.m. Army of Darkness, IFC

    9:00 p.m. Lost Souls, SYFY

    9:00 p.m. Day of the Dead, Chiller

    9:45 p.m. 28 Weeks Later, IFC

    10:00 p.m. Aliens, Sundance

    11:00 p.m. The Revenant, SYFY

    11:35 p.m. The Conjuring, HBO Signature


    Monday, October 20

    1:00 a.m. Aliens, Sundance

    1:30 a.m. Lost Souls, SYFY

    2:00 a.m. The Hills Have Eyes (2006), HBO2

    3:30 a.m. The Uninvited, SYFY

    3:45 a.m. Idle Hands, HBO Comedy

    3:50 a.m. Fallen, HBO 2

    9:00 a.m. Friday the 13th (1980), AMC

    10:45 a.m. Army of Darkness, IFC

    11:00 a.m. Friday the 13th, Part 2, AMC

    12:30 p.m. ATM, IFC

    1:00 p.m. Friday the 13th - Part III, AMC

    1:00 p.m. Manhunter, Showtime

    2:10 p.m. Warm Bodies, HBO Comedy

    2:30 p.m. The Revenant, SYFY

    2:30 p.m. An American Haunting, IFC

    3:00 p.m. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, AMC

    3:00 p.m. Open House, Chiller

    4:30 p.m. Stir of Echoes: The Homecoming, IFC

    5:00 p.m. Friday the 13th, AMC

    5:00 p.m. Hostel Part II, SYFY

    5:00 p.m. Horsemen, Chiller

    6:30 p.m. Halloween (2007), IFC

    7:00 p.m. Friday the 13th, Part 2, AMC

    7:00 p.m. Saw VII, SYFY

    7:00 p.m. The Moth Diaries, Chiller

    9:00 p.m. Friday the 13th - Part III, AMC

    9:00 p.m. Starve, SYFY

    9:00 p.m. Zombie Strippers, IFC

    9:00 p.m. After Dusk They Come, Chiller

    11:00 p.m. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, AMC

    11:15 p.m. Halloween (2007), IFC


    Tuesday, October 21

    12:00 a.m. Hostel, Showtime

    1:00 a.m. Friday the 13th — A New Beginning, AMC

    2:25 a.m. Teeth, HBO Signature

    3:00 a.m. Friday the 13th, Part VI: Jason Lives, AMC

    5:00 a.m. War of the Colossal Beast, AMC

    6:00 a.m. Cry Wolf, HBO

    7:40 a.m. Fallen, HBO Zone

    9:00 a.m. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, AMC

    11:00 a.m. Friday the 13th — A New Beginning, AMC

    11:00 a.m. The Witches, HBO Family

    1:00 p.m. Friday the 13th, Part VI: Jason Lives, AMC

    3:00 p.m. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, AMC

    3:00 p.m. Resurrection County, Chiller

    3:30 p.m. Warm Bodies, HBO2

    5:00 p.m. Deadwood, Chiller

    5:15 p.m. Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, AMC

    7:00 p.m. Days of Darkness, Chiller

    7:00 p.m. The Witches, HBO Family

    7:15 p.m. Jason X, AMC

    9:00 p.m. Rise: Blood Hunter, Chiller

    9:15 p.m. Friday the 13th (2009), AMC

    10:00 p.m. Stir of Echoes, Sundance

    11:15 p.m. Friday the 13th (1980), AMC


    Wednesday, October 22

    12:00 a.m. Constantine, HBO Zone

    1:15 a.m. Friday the 13th, Part 2, AMC

    1:25 a.m. Red Dragon, HBO 2

    1:30 a.m. Tales from the Crypt Presents: Bordello of Blood, HBO Comedy

    2:00 a.m. My Bloody Valentine, SYFY

    3:15 a.m. Friday the 13th - Part III, AMC

    4:00 a.m. The Transparent Man, TCM

    5:15 a.m. Violent Midnight, AMC

    5:30 a.m. Corridors of Blood, AMC

    9:00 a.m. Slaughter of the Vampires, AMC

    9:30 a.m. How to Make a Monster, AMC

    9:45 a.m. The Funhouse, AMC

    12:00 p.m. Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, AMC

    2:00 p.m. The Fog (1980), AMC

    3:00 p.m. Soul Survivors, Chiller

    4:00 p.m. Survival of the Dead, AMC

    5:00 p.m. Nine Miles Down, Chiller

    6:00 p.m. Land of the Dead, AMC

    7:00 p.m. A House in the Hills, Chiller

    8:00 p.m. Lake Placid, AMC

    9:00 p.m. Beneath, Chiller

    9:30 p.m. Stoker, HBO Signature

    10:00 p.m. House on Haunted Hill (1999), AMC


    Thursday, October 23

    12:00 a.m. Return to House on Haunted Hill, AMC

    1:00 a.m. Pulse, SYFY

    1:45 a.m. An American Werewolf in Paris, AMC

    2:15 a.m. The Fog, TCM

    3:00 a.m. Psychosis, SYFY

    4:00 a.m. Puppet Master, AMC

    4:15 a.m. Sleepy Hollow, HBO

    6:00 a.m. Night of the Lepus, TCM

    8:00 a.m. Pulse, SYFY

    9:00 a.m. Eight Legged Freaks, AMC

    10:00 a.m. The Haunting in Connecticut, SYFY

    11:30 a.m. Lake Placid, AMC

    12:00 p.m. Stephen King’s Rose Red, SYFY

    12:50 p.m. Warm Bodies, HBO Zone

    1:30 p.m. Cujo, AMC

    3:00 p.m. The New Kids, Chiller

    3:30 p.m. I Know What You Did Last Summer, AMC

    3:45 p.m. Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight, HBO Comedy

    5:00 p.m. Christine, Chiller

    6:00 p.m. Thirteen Ghosts, AMC

    6:00 p.m. Lost Souls, SYFY

    7:00 p.m. Children of the Living Dead, Chiller

    8:00 p.m. A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010), AMC

    8:00 p.m. The Innocents, TCM

    8:15 p.m. Warm Bodies, HBO Zone

    9:00 p.m. 976-Evil, Chiller

    10:00 p.m. The Uninvited, TCM

    10:00 p.m. Ghost Ship, AMC


    Friday, October 24

    12:00 a.m. Scream 3, AMC

    12:10 a.m. Lost Souls, SYFY

    2:00 a.m. Night of Dark Shadows, TCM

    2:10 a.m. The Haunting in Connecticut, SYFY

    2:30 a.m. Deep Blue Sea, AMC

    4:00 a.m. The Others, TCM

    4:10 a.m. Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines, SYFY

    7:00 a.m. Bled, Chiller

    9:00 a.m. Scream 3, AMC

    9:00 a.m. Paintball, Chiller

    9:30 a.m. Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines, SYFY

    11:00 a.m. House Hunting, Chiller

    11:30 a.m. The Dead, SYFY

    11:30 a.m. Ghost Ship, AMC

    1:00 p.m. Seventh Moon, Chiller

    1:30 p.m. Firestarter, AMC

    1:45 p.m. Constantine, HBO Zone

    3:00 p.m. Headspace, Chiller

    3:30 p.m. Cry Wolf, HBO

    4:00 p.m. The Omen (1976), AMC

    5:00 p.m. Take Shelter, Chiller

    6:30 p.m. Damien: Omen II, AMC

    7:00 p.m. Red Mist, Chiller

    9:00 p.m. Omen III: The Final Conflict, AMC

    9:00 p.m. Acolytes, Chiller


    Saturday, October 25

    1:00 a.m. Tales from the Crypt Presents Bordello of Blood, HBO2

    1:30 a.m. Hide and Seek (2005), AMC

    2:05 a.m. The Hills Have Eyes (2006), HBO Zone

    3:00 a.m. Dead Season, SYFY

    6:00 a.m. Graveyard Shift, AMC

    7:00 a.m. Razortooth, Chiller

    7:15 a.m. Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight, HBO Zone

    8:00 a.m. Christine, AMC

    9:00 a.m. Dead Season, SYFY

    9:00 a.m. Priest, Chiller

    10:00 a.m. Friday the 13th (2009), AMC

    11:00 a.m. Cravings, Chiller

    12:00 p.m. A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010), AMC

    12:15 p.m. Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb, TCM

    1:00 p.m. The Bunnyman Massacre, Chiller

    1:30 p.m. Warm Bodies, HBO Comedy

    2:00 p.m. Child’s Play 2, AMC

    3:00 p.m. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), SYFY

    3:00 p.m. The Crazies (1973), Chiller

    4:00 p.m. Child’s Play 3, AMC

    4:30 p.m. Mad Love, TCM

    5:00 p.m. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), SYFY

    5:00 p.m. Ghostmaker, Chiller

    5:45 p.m. The Birds, TCM

    6:00 p.m. Bride of Chucky, AMC

    7:00 p.m. The Conjuring, HBO Signature

    7:00 p.m. Battle of the Damned, SYFY

    7:00 p.m. Candyman III, Chiller

    8:00 p.m. Seed of Chucky, AMC

    8:00 p.m. The Haunting, TCM

    9:00 p.m. They Live, Sundance

    9:00 p.m. Resident Evil: Extinction, SYFY

    9:00 p.m. Wicked Little Things, Chiller

    10:00 p.m. Child’s Play 2, AMC

    10:00 p.m. The Village of the Damned, TCM

    11:00 p.m. Stoker, HBO Signature

    11:00 p.m. The Dead Zone, Sundance

    11:00 p.m. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), SYFY

    11:30 p.m. The Curse of Frankenstein, TCM


    Sunday, October 26

    12:00 a.m. Child’s Play 3, AMC

    1:00 a.m. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), SYFY

    1:15 a.m. They Live, Sundance

    2:00 a.m. Bride of Chucky, AMC

    2:10 p.m. The Witches, HBO Family

    3:15 a.m. The Dead Zone, Sundance

    4:00 a.m. Seed of Chucky, AMC

    7:45 a.m. Tremors, AMC

    9:45 a.m. Tremors 2: Aftershocks, AMC

    10:30 a.m. 30 Days of Night, SYFY

    12:00 p.m. Tremors 3: Back to Perfection, AMC

    1:00 p.m. 30 Days of Night: Dark Days, SYFY

    2:10 p.m. The Witches, HBO Family

    2:30 p.m. Tremors 4: The Legend Begins, AMC

    3:00 p.m. Battle of the Damned, SYFY

    3:00 p.m. Dark Mirror, Chiller

    5:00 p.m. Tremors, AMC

    5:00 p.m. The Reaping, SYFY

    5:00 p.m. Scary or Die, Chiller

    6:20 p.m. Warm Bodies, HBO Zone

    7:00 p.m. Resident Evil: Extinction, SYFY

    7:00 p.m. Paranormal Entity, Chiller

    8:00 p.m. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, TCM

    9:00 p.m. The Happening, SYFY

    9:00 p.m. Let the Right One In, Chiller

    11:00 p.m. The Fog, SYFY


    Monday, October 27

    12:45 a.m. The Monster, TCM

    1:00 a.m. 30 Days of Night, SYFY

    1:15 a.m. Constantine, HBO2

    2:25 a.m. Fallen, HBO Zone

    3:30 a.m. 30 Days of Night: Dark Days, SYFY

    4:50 a.m. Tales from the Crypt Presents: Bordello of Blood, HBO Comedy

    6:05 a.m. Constantine, HBO Zone

    8:00 a.m. Fallen, HBO2

    9:00 a.m. War of the Colossal Beast, AMC

    10:00 a.m. Riding the Bullet, AMC

    11:00 a.m. The Cursed, SYFY

    12:00 p.m. Dreamcatcher, AMC

    3:00 p.m. Ghost Ship, AMC

    3:00 p.m. The Reaping, SYFY

    3:00 p.m. Gacy, Chiller

    5:00 p.m. House on Haunted Hill (1999), AMC

    5:00 p.m. The Fog (2005), SYFY

    5:00 p.m. Episode 50, Chiller

    6:30 p.m. The Last Exorcism Part II, Showtime

    7:00 p.m. Halloween (1978), AMC

    7:00 p.m. The Happening, SYFY

    7:00 p.m. Playback, Chiller

    9:00 p.m. Halloween II (1981), AMC

    9:00 p.m. The Crazies (2010), SYFY

    9:00 p.m. Open House, Chiller

    11:00 p.m. Halloween (1978), AMC

    11:00 p.m. Lost Souls, SYFY


    Tuesday, October 28

    1:00 a.m. Thirteen Ghosts, AMC

    1:00 a.m. The Cursed, SYFY

    1:10 a.m. Poltergeist III, HBO Zone

    3:00 a.m. Dreamcatcher, AMC

    6:00 a.m. Nosferatu, TCM

    7:45 a.m. The Vampire Bat, TCM

    8:30 a.m. Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight, HBO Comedy

    9:00 a.m. Thinner, AMC

    9:00 a.m. Dead Men Walk, TCM

    10:15 a.m. Isle of the Dead, TCM

    11:00 a.m. Lake Placid, AMC

    11:45 a.m. The Return of the Vampire, TCM

    1:00 p.m. Friday the 13th (2009), AMC

    1:00 p.m. House Of Dark Shadows, TCM

    3:00 p.m. Tremors, AMC

    3:00 p.m. Horror of Dracula, TCM

    3:00 p.m. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Chiller

    3:15 p.m. Warm Bodies, HBO Comedy

    4:30 p.m. Dracula, Prince of Darkness, TCM

    5:00 p.m. Pumpkinhead, AMC

    5:00 p.m. Wolf Moon, Chiller

    6:15 p.m. Dracula Has Risen from the Grave, TCM

    7:00 p.m. Halloween II (1981),  AMC

    7:00 p.m. Twisted Sisters, Chiller

    8:00 p.m. Dead of Night, TCM

    9:00 p.m. Halloween III: Season of the Witch, AMC

    9:00 p.m. Left for Dead, Chiller

    10:00 p.m. Twice-Told Tales, TCM

    11:00 p.m. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, AMC

    11:15 p.m. Red Dragon, HBO Zone

    11:55 p.m. The Conjuring, HBO Signature


    Wednesday, October 29

    12:15 a.m. Kwaidan, TCM

    1:00 a.m. Child’s Play 2, AMC

    2:00 a.m. Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines, SYFY

    3:00 a.m. Child’s Play 3, AMC

    3:00 a.m. The House That Dripped Blood, TCM

    3:30 a.m. The Hills Have Eyes (2006), HBO Zone

    4:50 a.m. Idle Hands, HBO Comedy

    5:00 a.m. Torture Garden, TCM

    9:00 a.m. Swamp Thing, AMC

    11:00 a.m. A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010), AMC

    1:00 p.m. Children of the Corn, AMC

    3:00 p.m. Bride of Chucky, AMC

    3:00 p.m. Vanishing on 7th Street, Chiller

    4:00 p.m. Cry Wolf, HBO

    5:00 p.m. Seed of Chucky, AMC

    5:00 p.m. Cold Storage, Chiller

    7:00 p.m. Aliens, Sundance

    7:00 p.m. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, AMC

    7:00 p.m. American Psycho 2, Chiller

    8:00 p.m. Psycho, TCM

    9:00 p.m. Day of the Dead 2: Contagium, Chiller


    Thursday, October 30

    9:00 a.m. Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight, HBO Zone

    9:00 a.m. Halloween (1978), AMC

    11:00 a.m. Halloween II (1981), AMC

    1:00 p.m. Halloween: Season of the Witch, AMC

    2:15 p.m. Warm Bodies, HBO2

    3:00 p.m. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, AMC

    3:00 p.m. Hidden, Chiller

    4:00 p.m. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), SYFY

    5:00 p.m. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, AMC

    5:00 p.m. Mischief Night, Chiller

    6:00 p.m. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), SYFY

    7:00 p.m. Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers, AMC

    7:00 p.m. Urban Legends: Bloody Mary, Chiller

    8:00 p.m. House on Haunted Hill, TCM

    9:00 a.m. Halloween (1978), AMC

    9:00 p.m. Happy Birthday to Me, Chiller

    9:30 p.m. The Legend of Hell House, TCM

    11:00 p.m. Halloween II (1981), AMC

    11:15 p.m. 13 Ghosts, TCM


    Friday, October 31

    12:10 a.m. Saw VII, SYFY

    1:00 a.m. Halloween III: Season of the Witch, AMC

    1:00 a.m. The Haunting, TCM

    1:30 a.m. Hostel, Showtime

    2:10 a.m. Hostel Part II, SYFY

    3:00 a.m. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, AMC

    3:00 a.m. Burnt Offerings, TCM

    7:00 a.m. Mark of the Vampire, TCM

    7:00 a.m. Troll 2, Chiller

    8:15 a.m. The Devil-Doll, TCM

    9:00 a.m. Christine, Chiller

    9:00 a.m. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, AMC

    9:45 a.m. I Walked With a Zombie, TCM

    11:00 a.m. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, AMC

    11:00 a.m. 30 Days of Night , SYFY

    11:00 a.m. Vacancy, Chiller

    11:00 a.m. The Witches, HBO Family

    12:15 p.m. The Tingler, TCM

    1:00 p.m. Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers, AMC

    1:00 p.m. Vacancy 2: The First Cut, Chiller

    1:30 p.m. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), SYFY

    3:00 p.m. Waxwork, Chiller

    3:00 p.m. Halloween (1978), AMC

    3:15 p.m. Dementia 13, TCM

    3:30 p.m. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), SYFY

    4:45 p.m. Carnival of Souls, TCM

    5:00 p.m. Flatliners, Chiller

    5:00 p.m. Halloween II (1981), AMC

    5:30 p.m. Halloween II (2009), SYFY

    6:15 p.m. Repulsion, TCM

    7:00 p.m. Halloween III: Season of the Witch, AMC

    7:00 p.m. Urban Legend, Chiller

    7:00 p.m. The Witches, HBO Family

    8:00 p.m. Night of the Living Dead, TCM

    8:30 p.m. Warm Bodies, HBO Comedy

    9:00 p.m. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, AMC

    9:00 p.m. The Conjuring, HBO

    9:00 p.m. Urban Legends: Final Cut

    10:00 p.m. Curse of the Living Demon, TCM

    10:15 p.m. Tales from the Crypt Presents: Bordello of Blood, HBO Comedy

    11:00 p.m. Vacancy, Chiller

    11:00 p.m. The Hills Have Eyes (2006), HBO Zone

    11:45 p.m. Idle Hands, HBO Comedy

    11:45 p.m. House of Wax, TCM


    Saturday, November 1

    1:00 a.m. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, AMC

    1:00 a.m. Halloween II (2009), SYFY

    1:00 p.m. Christine, Chiller

    1:30 a.m. Poltergeist, TCM

    3:00 a.m. Waxwork, Chiller

    3:00 p.m. Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers, AMC

    3:30 a.m. 30 Days of Night, SYFY

    3:30 a.m. Strait-Jacket, TCM

    5:15 a.m. Eyes Without a Face, TCM

    6:45 a.m. Doctor X, TCM

    8:15 a.m. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, TCM

    HT The Atlantic

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  • Oct 03

    Today's Takeaways: Challenges in Dallas Response to Ebola, Small Inventions with Major Impacts, and Five Things to See Online

    1. As Ebola Spreads, New Drug Offers Hope | 2. Thanks, Internet: Five Things You Had to See Online This Week | 3. Reviews of This Week's Movies | 4. 'Fishing Without Nets': Somali Piracy, from the Pirates' Perspective | 5. How We Got to Now: A Guide to Great Ideas
    Read full post

  • Oct 02

    Call of Duty Creator Advises on Real Warfare

    The realism of war is something that can be experienced in a game or on the battlefield, and soldiers today often experience both. 

    The popularity of the video game Call of Duty: Black Ops among military officers and infantry is one reason the game's creator is now a real life adviser for a prominent policy think tank.

    Dave Anthony is the writer and director of Call of Duty and a strategic adviser to the The Art of Future War Project at the Atlantic Council. He explains how video games like Call of Duty can help the U.S. better prepare for the dangers that new technologies and forms of attack pose to national security.

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  • Oct 02

    Scandals Cause Shake-Up at Secret Service

    Julia Pierson, the first female head of the Secret Service and a three-decade veteran of the agency who was appointed in March 2013, resigned on Wednesday after the details of a severe security breach at the White House became public. 

    The breach occurred on September 19th, when intruder Omar J. Gonzalez jumped over the White House fence with a knife and managed to gain entry to the building. Pierson underwent brutal questioning about the incident during a bipartisan hearing on Capitol Hill.

    Just hours after she was questioned by lawmakers, a new revelation surfaced and revealed that, unbeknownst to Secret Service agents, President Obama rode in an elevator with an armed man at the Centers for Disease Control last month.

    “Over the last several days, we've seen recent and accumulating reports raising questions about the performance of the agency," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said at a briefing yesterday. "And the president concluded that new leadership of that agency was required.”

    Many had hoped that Pierson, a three decade veteran of the agency, would clean up the Service after a series of prostitution and drinking scandals. Now, as Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich explains, Joseph Clancy former head of the agency’s presidential protection division until 2011, will serve as interim director.

    But Clancy's record is far from spotless, as he presided over presidential detail the night of President Obama's first state dinner, when television personalities Michaele and Tareq Salahi crashed the party. 

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  • Oct 02

    Dallas Ebola Patient Came in Contact With 80 People

    In Dallas, Texas, the case of an Ebola patient has sparked broader scrutiny over the handling of his case at the local hospital, which has potentially put up to 80 people at risk.

    Thomas E. Duncan is a Liberian national who flew to the United States from his home country a few days ago to visit family in Dallas. Before he left, he had helped transport a pregnant woman infected with Ebola to the hospital and then back home where she died.

    He first went to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital last Friday with a fever and told hospital officials he had traveled from West Africa. But that detail was overlooked, and he was sent home. It wasn't until Sunday that he was admitted for treatment, and, in those two days in between, he came in contact with several people, including five children and the medics who transported him to the hospital.

    Officials are stressing that there is no need for panic. They want to remind the public that Ebola is not airborne—it can only be spread by coming into contact with bodily fluids of a patient who exhibits symptoms. All those who came into close contact with the patient are being monitored.

    “This case is serious,” Governor Rick Perry of Texas said at a news conference at the Texas Health Presbyterian on Wednesday. “This is all hands on deck.”

    For a look now at how the community is reacting, we're joined by Doualy Xaykaothao, senior reporter for public radio station KERA in Dallas, Texas, and Superintendent Mike Miles of the Dallas Independent School District.

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  • Oct 02

    Trial of Former Bosnian Serb Leader Radovan Karadzic Closes

    Almost 20 years after the genocide at Srebrenica, former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic still thinks of himself as a victim of the media, a falsely accused hero who was only trying to save his country.

    That's the argument by Karadzic, whose five-year trial for war crimes comes to a dramatic end this week at the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague. 

    His capture and trial is profoundly meaningful for the millions of Bosnian Serbs who lived through the terror of the civil war. Karadzic has been charged with 11 war crimes, including ordering the genocide at Srebrenica, a massacre of more than 7,500 Bosnian Muslims in 1995. Prosecutors are asking for the maximum sentence—life in prison.

    Joining The Takeaway to weigh in on the trial is Martin Bell, a former BBC correspondent who covered the war in Bosnia and provided evidence in the criminal case against Karadzic.

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  • Oct 02

    Mecca: More Manhattan Than Ancient

    The hajj—the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca—begins this week, but many will struggle to find the remnants of the city that the Prophet Muhammad knew. 

    For hundreds of years Mecca, has been the city where Muslims around the world turn to in their daily prayers.

    But the dominant architectural feature in today's Mecca isn't the Grand Mosque, it's the Makkah Royal Clock Tower—a 2,000-foot structure filled with hotels and restaurants that was built in 2012. The Royal Clock Tower was built on top of hundreds of historic sites, including some of the few remaining millennium-old buildings—a sign of the changing times and of religious battles over what shape the holy city should take.

    Joining The Takeaway to talk about the debate about preserving Muslim heritage is Akbar Ahmed, chair of Islamic Studies at American University and Pakistan's former ambassador to the United Kingdom.

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  • Oct 02

    The Future of Warfare & The Creation of Robot Armies

    *Editor's Note: Check back for an updated version of the audio portion of this interview. 

    If software algorithms can create meaningful simulations of modern warfare in popular video games like "Call of Duty," can they contribute to the Pentagon's military combat strategy?

    More sophisticated electronic war machines are on the horizon. Things like helicopters and drones that can figure out how and where to land on their own are in development, and military research is moving towards creating robot war fighters that would take on all the responsibilities of human soldiers. That includes deciding when to kill and when to stand down. 

    But how can a robot make that decision? Even humans struggle with that question on and off the battlefield. Would it even be legal under current international law to have a robot that could these kinds of decisions?

    Reporter Thomas Reintjes covered this story in Germany and worked with WNYC's New Tech City team to produce it for English-speaking audiences. Here, New Tech City Host and Managing Editor Manoush Zomorodi sits down with Takeaway Host John Hockenberry to talk about some of the troubles of creating robot armies. 

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  • Oct 02

    New Series Explores America's Rapidly Changing Demographics

    Demographics in the United States are changing rapidly. By the year 2043, we will be living in a majority non-white nation, according to projections by the U.S. Census Bureau. The impact of the major shifts underway in our country’s racial and ethnic makeup is explored in a new documentary series called “America by the Numbers.”

    “The whole premise of [this series] is the numbers,” says Maria Hinojosa, the anchor and executive producer of the series. “At this point I’ve visited all 50 states and two territories, so I’ve been seeing this ‘diversity’ everywhere. People talk about the tipping point for becoming a majority non-white country in America in 2043. It’s actually happening sooner—it’s happening now.”

    The series parses through the data behind this historic shift to reveal a variety of changing communities.

    “The South actually has experienced the most intense multi-cultural growth in the past decade—more than any other place in the country,” says Hinojosa. “We found, by the numbers, the most diverse square mile in the South. It is in Clarkston, Georgia, about 10 minutes south of Atlanta.”

    Clarkston was once a meeting place for members of the Ku Klux Klan, but now it is home to residents from around the globe, including thousands of former refugees who moved there as part of a resettlement program.

    “It’s like the future of America on steroids,” says Hinojosa. “There are people from 60 countries, there are dozens of languages, religious backgrounds, and experiences.”

    But not everyone is happy about the city's transformation. Graham Thomas, a longtime resident of Clarkston, told Hinojosa that he thought that “people that came up through Ellis Island were some what more educated and ready to fit the society."

    "I think what we’re getting with the refugee program is people that are not ready to fit in,” Thomas added. “They haven’t got an education, they don’t have a trade, and they have a lot of kids. That’s the talk of the town.”

    “He feels really left out—he doesn’t understand it all,” says Hinojosa. “We understand that. Change is hard. On the other hand, three former refugees decided to run for office. We documented the first-ever Bhutanese-American in the history of the United States to ever run for anything. He lost by just over a dozen votes.”

    About 30 years ago, Clarkston had a population that was about 90 percent white. Today, that figure sits at about 20 percent, which is why individuals like Ibrahim Sufi, the Bhutanese-American mayoral candidate, are taking to city politics.

    “City government hasn’t built the relationships with the community. They haven’t tried, and if they’ve tried it hasn’t worked,” he said.

    Sufi is not the only one—two other refugees ran for city office, and Somali-American Ahmed Hassan was even elected to the Clarkston City Council.

    Despite their differences, Hinojosa says people in the community are getting along with each other and are growing through this experience.

    “The people of Clarkston are realizing that they have a pretty amazing and unique American story,” says Hinojosa. “What’s fascinating about Clarkston is the number of people who are actually involved. They go to the town hall meetings, they go to the city council meetings, and this past election we saw the highest voter turnout.”

    And this trend isn’t new, Hinojosa says. She points out that during the first 10 years of the 21st century, the U.S. population grew by 9.7 percent, and people of color accounted for 91.7 percent of that growth.

    “In a mainstream American media that is in and of itself not diverse, then the story of change and diversity is told through a certain perspective,” she says. “I think sometimes that perspective is, ‘Uhoh. This is scary.’”

    Hinojosa adds that the American people shouldn't fear a new country that is changing,

    “That America is already here,” she says.

    “America by the Numbers” debuts tonight on the WORLD channel which is produced and distributed by our partner WGBH. The series will also air on PBS beginning Saturday, October 4th (check local listings).


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  • Oct 02

    Today's Takeaways: Dallas Fights Ebola, Robot Armies, and America by The Numbers

    1. Dallas Ebola Patient Came in Contact With 80 People | 2. Mecca: More Manhattan Than Ancient | 3. The 'Call of Duty' Creator Now Advises on Real Warfare | 4. The Struggles of Greeting a New America
    Read full post

  • Oct 01

    Audio Diary: A Doctor's Hope for West Africa

    While officials in the United States scramble to contain the Ebola virus, the same challenges are facing medical professionals a world away in Bong County, Liberia.

    Dr. Adam Levine, a Rhode Island Hospital emergency medicine physician and volunteer with the International Medical Corps, has been keeping an audio diary to chronicle the grueling threat the Ebola virus presents in West Africa.

    Here, Dr. Levine shares his hopes West Africa.

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  • Oct 01

    The Horror Movie That Changed Film: 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre'

    It's been 40 years since the horror film "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" debuted. The 1974 classic inspired more than just thousands of horror movies—entire franchises, comic books, video games, and other works have leaped from the artistic foundation that "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" laid down.

    In many ways, this iconic film changed Hollywood horror—and perhaps even American culture—forever.

    Yet reception for the horror classic hasn't always been so rosy. When the movie first came out several countries actually banned it for its violent content, and one movie critic called the film "despicable." 

    Here to talk about "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and the lasting influence of the film as we gear up for Halloween is Movie Date Podcast Co-host Kristen Meinzer.

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  • Oct 01

    Home-Cooking: A Family Tradition Out of Reach?

    In recent years, home cooking has been lauded as the key to curbing the obesity epidemic in this country. Family meals have also been praised as social experiences that strengthen families and engender good habits.

    But when it comes to actually getting a hot meal on the table for a family of two or four—or more—it's often easier said than done.

    A team of sociologists at North Carolina State University recently spent 18 months following nearly 200 low- and middle-income families to see how they got food into hungry mouths. And they found that feeding a family from scratch was often stressful, tiring, expensive, and sometimes even impossible, particularly for families with conflicting schedules and long work days.

    Sarah Bowen, a researcher on the study and associate professor of sociology at North Carolina State University, explains the obstacles to home-cooking in modern culture.

    Below you'll find five tips to make home-cooked meals easier, faster, and more efficient from Jenny Rosenstrach, author of "Dinner: The Playbook," and a contributor to our partner The New York Times.

    1. Don't Be Too Ambitious

    Rosenstrach says her most important tip is to not be too ambitious. She says it's extremely important for home cooks to have a couple of meal ideas in your back pocket that you can make on autopilot without a recipe. A complex dish that requires multiple pots and pans means you'll be doing a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to cleaning up—and if there's a lot of cleaning up, that means you are probably less likely to do it all again the next night. Rosenstrach says that home-cooking is a marathon, not a sprint—pace yourself psychologically and cook good, simple food.

    2. Menu Plan in Advance

    Rosenstrach recommends coming up with a meal plan for the week and then shop for everything you need on the weekend. It makes you more prepared and you'll walk in from work with everything you waiting for you in your refrigerator. Rosenstrach says menu planning takes "the think work" out of dinner, which can sometimes be the hardest part of cooking—coming up with the idea for what to make. "You're much more likely to cook what you plan to make when you walk in the door on a crazy night," she says.

    3. Utilize The Weekends

    Use the weekends to do more than shop for groceries. Rosenstrach says she's a big fan of making a batch of something on the weekend that she can put in the freezer and use at some point during the week. "I call that a money in the bank recipe," she says. Rosenstrach recommends making things like homemade turkey bolognese sauce, chili, or pulled chicken ahead of time so that she can put a meal together within 15 minutes of walking in the door from work. "Make ahead on the weekend—that's a big one," she says.

    4. Enlist The Whole Family

    According to Rosenstrach, it's really important to enlist the whole family in the dinner effort—shouldering the burden of dinner time is easier when the whole family's involved the and invested. When it becomes a group project, families are more likely to help out and your household is more likely to get something out of it. And just because you don't know how to cook doesn't mean you can't be involved in making dinner happen—have different members of your family set the table, come up with ideas for what to make, go shopping, or just pour some milk. There are many ways to make dinner a group effort.

    5. Promise Yourself

    Rosenstrach recommends marinating something in the morning, which will mean you'll be more likely to stick to your dinner plan in the evening. "I can't tell you how happy it makes me to be sitting at work knowing that some chicken is marinating in buttermilk and mustard and herbs that I can bake later on that day," she says. "All of this is basically just making myself a promise in the morning. If I'm marinating something at 8:00 in the morning, later when I come home from work I will close the deal—I promise you I will have dinner."

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  • Oct 01

    California Says Goodbye to Plastic Bags

    This week, Governor Jerry Brown signed a ban on single-use plastic bags, making California the first state in the nation to insist that shoppers use reusable bags, or pay a 10 cent fee for the paper variety.

    It's a victory for the environmental movement, but what does it mean for consumers who will no longer be able to request a plastic bag at the check out line?

    Scott Detrow, Sacramento bureau chief for KQED Public Radio, explains how the ban arrived on Governor Brown's desk, and how the measure will impact consumer.

    “These [plastic] bags end up in waterways and they end up in the ground,” Detrow says. “This was really an effort to try and curb a large source of pollution in the eyes of the people who are trying to push this.”

    This ban, which was already in effect for more than 100 municipalities across the state, signals a huge victory for environmentalists who were pushing for the measure for years.

    “Up until this year, they had failed over and over and over again,” says Detrow. “They were able to make some key concessions with the business community, got this to the governor’s desk, and Governor Jerry Brown signed it this year.”

    While other cities across the U.S. like Chicago, Austin, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. have instituted similar bans, California is the first to introduce such a measure as a statewide law.

    But not all are supportive of the plastic bag ban, including industry associations like the American Progressive Bag Alliance (APBA) and others, which vowed to overturn the law shortly after it was signed by Gov. Brown.

    “[Opponents] had fought against this measure really hard in the past,” says Detrow.

    According to the APBA’s website, plastic bag manufacturers employed at least 30,800 people in 349 communities across the U.S in 2010.

    “One of the concessions to get this to the finish line was a couple million dollars in job training grants that the state will make available so that people who work in these kinds of manufacturing plants making plastic bags out of petroleum offshoots would be able to get job training for other careers,” says Detrow.

    Under the new system, shoppers will either have to bring their own bags with them to the checkout counter or pay a 10 cent fee per paper bag.

    “Some criticism came up because...that fee doesn’t go to the state or a recycling fund or an environmental cleanup fund like it does in other places like D.C.,” Detrow adds. “The stores that sell you the product get to keep the revenue for themselves under this system. They’re supposed to use this for job training, but a lot of questions were raised about what exactly they’ll be doing with this money and how much local stores will be profiting off of this bag fee.”

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  • Oct 01

    As Ebola Reaches U.S. Shores, Will the Virus Spread Across America?

    Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that Ebola has reached the shores of the United States. A Liberian man who traveled from his home country to visit relatives in Dallas, Texas late last month has been diagnosed with the deadly virus.

    The patient landed in the United States on September 20th and started developing symptoms a few days later. He’s now being treated at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, and the CDC has dispatched a team to trace his footsteps since he arrived in the U.S., in case anyone else has become infected.

    “I have no doubt that we will control this importation or this case of Ebola so that it does not spread widely in this country," Dr. Tom Frieden of the CDC told CNN yesterday. "It is certainly possible that someone who had contact with this individual, a family member or other individual, could develop Ebola in the coming weeks. But there is no doubt in my mind that we will stop it here.”

    Laurie Garrett, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, explains how likely the virus is to spread, and how the CDC and the WHO are handling the outbreak.

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  • Oct 01

    Courtroom Drama: Former AIG Exec Challenges Legality of Bailout

    A real life courtroom drama is playing out week. Six years after the government bailed out the nation's largest banks, a trial challenging the legal justification for the bailout is finally underway. 

    Between 104,383 companies that declared bankruptcy in 2008 and 2009. But thanks to a government bailout, the American International Group, or AIG, wasn't among them. 

    Now, Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, a former AIG executive who is still a major stakeholder in the company, is suing the U.S. government for $40 billion. 

    For the first time in the U.S. court system, the case of Starr International Corp vs. USA is looking at whether the bailout of AIG was even legal. And no matter what the trial’s outcome is, it is expected to shed new light on the highly secretive bailout process.

    Noam Scheiber, senior editor at The New Republic and the author of “The Escape Artists: How Obama’s Team Fumbled the Recovery," explains the details of the case.

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  • Oct 01

    Bond King's Departure Shakes Up Market

    In 1971, a young investment analyst named Bill Gross founded the Pacific Investment Management Company and changed the face of finance.

    The company, known as Pimco, now runs the largest bond fund in the world. The firm manages $1.97 trillion, but the last few years have not been kind to the Bond King.

    Pimco suffered in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, and while Gross remained optimistic about the company's future for a number of years, he finally announced that he was leaving the firm last Friday.

    Since his departure, Pimco's outflows have ballooned to $10 billion in just the last few days. The rating company Morningstar downgraded the company's largest fund from "gold" to "bronze" this week. 

    Heidi Moore, Finance and Economics editor for The Guardian U.S., examines Gross's role in the history of the bond market, and what his departure means for the market's future. 

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  • Oct 01

    Today's Takeaways: Ebola Reaches America, The Horror Movie That Changed Film, and The Challenges of Home-Cooking

    1. Halting the Spread of Ebola in the U.S. | 2. Bond King's Departure Shakes Up Market | 3. The Horror Movie That Changed Film: 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' | 4. Home-Cooking: A Family Tradition Out of Reach?
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  • Sep 30

    The Rhinestone Cowboy's Final Recording

    Today, it looks like the last recording of American Country Music Hall of Famer Glen Campbell will be released.

    Written alongside producer Julian Raymond in January of 2013, the recording was made for "I'll Be Me," a documentary out later this month that chronicles Campbell's final tour as he battles Alzheimer's.

    Joining The Takeaway to review the Rhinestone Cowboy's final single is John Schaefer, host of "Soundcheck" and "New Sounds" on our partner station WNYC.

    Check out a trailer for the film below. 

    *Correction: The audio portion of this interview incorrectly states that Glen Campbell wrote "Gentle on My Mind." It was written by John Hartford and preformed by Glen Campbell.

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  • Sep 30

    MacArthur Genius Fellow Battles Black Carbon

    Black carbon, also known as soot or smoke, comes from burning fossil fuels like coal and diesel, and from forest fires and cooking stoves. Scientists believe black carbon is second only to carbon dioxide as a contributor to climate change.

    Tami Bond is an environmental engineer and a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Earlier this month, she was named a MacArthur Fellow for her research that unravels the effects of carbon emissions.

    According to the MacArthur Foundation, Bond’s work "has the potential to unlock the role of energy in our climate system and to help millions breathe cleaner air."

    According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), black carbon can contribute to complications with asthma and other respiratory problems, and reducing black carbon emissions may help slow climate change.

    “Like most other particles, it floats through the atmosphere, it interacts with clouds, and because it’s black it absorbs sunlight,” says Bond. “That radiation turns into heat that then heats the atmosphere.”

    While many may associate soot with industrialized nations, black carbon is a global problem, Bond says, adding that her research aims to track and quantify its sources, among other things.

    “When you start making global models of soot or black carbon, you have to look at everything,” she says. “A lot of studies on emissions that have been done were focused in the industrialized world because they’re large there. When we started asking questions about where exactly does this material come from, we realized that there were a lot of things that had never been measured because they’re not here.”

    Bond and her team have traveled the globe to measure the black carbon being emitted from cooking stoves, brick kilns, and diesel engines.

    “As it turns out, the largest sources of black carbon right now are in the developing world,” she says. “They have not yet gone through this fantastic transition that the U.S. did decades ago.”

    Fixing the black carbon issue in the developing world is both technical and non-technical.

    “There are solutions—in the developed world we call them clean fuels,” says Bond. “There are also things you can do to make brick kilns burn cleaner. I don’t think there is a magic silver bullet. The interesting thing about this challenge is there are many solutions—we have to look at each situation and figure out which one is appropriate.”

    According to Bond, designing solutions begins with understanding the specific needs of a community and working with individuals on the ground to implement new systems.

    “There are things that we know about combustion that simply need to be taught to the people that are designing stoves in these countries,” she says. “There’s also a component of bringing cleaner fuels farther out to rural areas. That’s how we solve the problem.”

    Each MacArthur fellow receives a no-strings-attached $500,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. At this point, Bond says she is still deciding how she will spend her new source of funding.

    “Everyone wants to know what I’m going to do with the money, including myself,” says Bond. “One of the things I want to do is engage in a little more in listening because it opens up a space to not do just technical work. When I’m actually in these countries, [I want] to hear what’s going on. I think as an engineer, one of the things we need in order to get better solutions is to really understand the constraints and limitations.”

    Many researchers are limited by the time they have on the ground, but Bond is hoping the grant money will allow her to expand the time she has in the communities that she focuses on.

    “I realized [the grant] is an incredible gift and it’s an incredible responsibility,” she says.

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  • Sep 30

    'Yes Means Yes': Redefining Rape on Campus

    This week, California became the first state in the nation to adopt an affirmative consent standard for sexual assault cases on university and college campuses. 

    The standard, known as "yes means yes," applies to all public universities and private colleges that receive state funding. The law requires "an affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity," and mandates training for all administrators and professors involved in the campus sexual assault adjudication process.

    Sofie Karasek, a senior at the University of California at Berkeley and a co-founder of End Rape on Campus, worked with California legislators to pass the bill. As Karasek tells The Takeaway's John Hockenberry, she became an activist on this issue after being sexual assaulted during her freshman year of college. 

    Michele Dauber, professor of law and sociology at Stanford University, explains how the standard operates in university settings. Dauber helped write Stanford’s "yes means yes" sexual assault policy, and she says that the mandated training is necessary to ensure that cases are properly adjudicated under an affirmative consent standard.

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  • Sep 30

    Trouble at Home: Hong Kong's Path to Democracy

    Today marks the 5th day of protests in Hong Kong, where tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators are demanding electoral reforms and more autonomy for the region.

    Louisa Lim grew up in Hong Kong and spent years living in Beijing researching the 1989 Tienanmen Square protests. She's now a visiting professor of journalism at the University of Michigan, and the author of "The People’s Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen  Revisited.

    She recently wrote an opinion piece for our partner The New York Times about what it's been like to watch the street where she grew up erupt in chaos almost overnight.

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  • Sep 30

    SCOTUS Issues Blow to Early Voting

    Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court delayed the start of early voting in Ohio.

    Early voting was due to start today but it will now begin October 7th, narrowing the voting window by 30 percent fewer hours.

    It's a 5-4 ruling that could have implications for early voting in other states, including North Carolina, Wisconsin, Texas, and Arkansas.

    Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center and professor at George Washington University Law School, explains the details of the ruling.

    The Takeaway contacted the Ohio Attorney General's office and received the following statement:

    "The Ohio Attorney General’s Office is pleased that a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with our arguments that a last minute federal court change to Ohio’s generous early voting schedule, adopted by both the Ohio General Assembly and Secretary of State, was improper. This was an important ruling for protecting all Ohioans’ rights through their elected representatives to determine the state’s voting schedule rather than have the federal courts determine that schedule for them."

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  • Sep 30

    Student Radio Project Captures the Voice of a Community

    For the past 20 years, Illinois Public Media has teamed up with students at the University of Illinois Laboratory High School to reflect the voices of the community in the form of radio documentaries.

    The students have covered everything from the evolution of the American military, to Champaign-Urbana counterculture in the late 1960s, to the modern fight for gender equality in the eastern part of the state.

    Their newest documentary, which will air on WILL when it's completed, focuses on the experiences of people in the region living with intellectual disabilities, from the 1940s to the present.

    Fourteen advocates, parents and policy makers were interviewed for this documentary, titled "A Place in the Community: Rallying for the Rights for People with Intellectual Disabilities."

    “People with intellectual and developmental disabilities have had to face a variety of challenges from mistreatment and neglect in institutions, to fighting for job and income inequality," says University High student Lara Orlandic in the opening to the upcoming documentary. Lara is one of three main student co-producers of the piece.

    With the help of WILL, Lara and her classmates will wrap up the finishing touches on their one-hour documentary in the next few months, and it's all happening under the instruction of Janet Morford, who heads the social studies department at University Laboratory High School and is the faculty sponsor in the partnership with University High and WILL.


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  • Sep 30

    Kansas City Royals Are Coming Back For the Crown

    The Kansas City Royals experienced dismal season after dismal season ever since their triumphant win over the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1985 World Series. Now the Royals are finally coming back to the playoffs for the first time in 29 years.

    Die-hard fans who watched their team lose their entire adult lives are so excited that they crashed an online ticket vendor in the rush to secure playoff seats.

    One of lifelong Royals fan, Scott Jarboe, was only 12-years-old when the Royals won the World Series in 1985—his father took him to the game as birthday present. Scott lives in Cardinals territory with kids of his own now, but he's going home to Kansas City this week to watch his team play.

    This time, he's treating his father to the game. Scott joins us today to talk about the team and what it's been like to be a loyal fan rooting for the underdog team for nearly three decades. 

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  • Sep 30

    Today's Takeaways: The Rhinestone Cowboy, A Super Fan's Dream, and a MacArthur Genius

    1. Trouble at Home: Hong Kong's Path to Democracy | 2. The Long-Awaited Kansas City Royals Comeback | 3. The Rhinestone Cowboy's Final Recording | 4. Student Radio Project Gives Voice to a Community | 5. MacArthur Genius Fellow Battles Black Carbon
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  • Sep 29

    Retro Report: The Mystery of Colony Collapse Disorder

    Our friends at the Retro Report documentary team are looking back at a mystery that began seven years ago.

    This week, Retro Report explores the mystery of Colony Collapse Disorder, which pushed honeybees into the public eye back in 2006.

    At the time, beekeepers began to report that the adult bee populations within a colony would suddenly disappear. In all cases, few if any adult bees were found in or near the dead colonies.

    While worker bees would disappear in the face of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), the queen and young bees would remain in the hive, which was left with, in many cases, an abundance of honey and pollen reserves.

    But hives cannot sustain themselves without worker bees. As Retro Report’s findings show, the disorder—and its impact—is much more complicated than meets the eye.

    “Bees have this behavior called altruistic suicide,” former Pennsylvania State Apiarist Dennis vanEngelsdorp tells Retro Report. “What happens is a bee somehow knows she is sick and flies away so she doesn't infect her nest mates. So we think that explains this behavior of collapse—why we're not finding dead bees and why we see this quick spiral down in population."

    Though scientists have been studying CCD for the last several years, it continues to be a mystery.

    “There’s not any one particular thing we can pin it on,” says Joshua Fisher, a Retro Report producer. “That was the idea early on—that there was some sort of novel pathogen out there that might be causing this mysterious disappearance. But [the conclusion] scientists have really come to is that it’s lots of different factors working together in ways that they still don’t entirely understand.”

    According to Jeffrey Pettis, a bee research scientist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), there are a variety of reasons that we are losing colonies, and it’s not just CCD.

    “We haven't seen as much CCD over the past few years, and the classic symptoms of CCD have changed or disappeared, but we're still losing a lot of colonies,” Pettis tells Retro Report. “That can be for a variety of reasons—parasitic varroa mite, pesticide exposure, poor nutrition, nutritional stress, and in particular we’ve been seeing a lot of queen loss.”

    Pettis says that the USDA is conducting research on queen bees that may help shed light on CCD and other ailments impact bee populations.

    “The varroa mite is definitely probably the biggest issue facing beekeepers today, but that does not necessarily mean that it’s the cause of the colony collapse,” says Fisher. “There’s been a lot of confusion...It’s kind of became this catch all phrase referring to any time a bee colony died.”

    Fisher adds that CCD is a very specific kind of death, adding that a death from an infestation of the varroa mite parasite is extremely different. For many beekeepers, CCD has presented extremely difficult challenges.

    “We're buying bees to keep our heads above water,” Dave Hackenberg, a commercial beekeeper, tells Retro Report. “It's not the basic beekeeping that I remember as a kid and as a young guy running bees. There’s a whole lot of things that have changed. There's a lot of days I'd like to pull the plug and walk away. But I like what I’m doing—it's something that gets in your system and doesn't go away.”

    Check out a video of Retro Report's findings below.

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  • Sep 29

    Uighur Leader Sentenced to Life in Prison

    Last week, Uighur leader Ilham Tohti was sentenced to life in prison by the Chinese government, which found him guilty of separatism and inciting violence.

    Tohti was an economics professor in Beijing and a prominent voice for the Muslim ethnic minority. Amnesty International called his sentence "deplorable."

    Andrew Jacobs, reporter in Beijing for our partner The New York Times, sat down with Tohti for a series of interviews back in 2010, and he says that Uighurs have now lost the voice of a movement.

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  • Sep 29

    Hong Kong's Democratic Awakening

    Thousands in Hong Kong are stepping up to demand democracy. Over the weekend, protesters as young as 12-years-old took to the streets to demand that Beijing make good on the promise of open elections in the race for Chief Executive, the head of the quasi autonomous Hong Kong government.

    Students boycotted classes and after three days of unrest and sit-ins, demonstrations were met with tear gas, pepper spray and batons. But this is just the latest protest in a string of demonstrations that have unfolded in recent months.  

    The former British colony of Hong Kong was handed over to the Chinese in 1997, and Beijing agreed that the island could maintain its freedoms—universal suffrage was the ultimate aim.

    David Pilling, Financial Times Asia Editor and author of "Beyond Adversity: Japan and the Art of Survival," says the stakes are high on the ground in Hong Kong.

    Benny Tai is one of the leaders of the pro-democracy activist group Occupy Central, which is planning to stage a sit-in on October 1. He's also a law professor at the University of Hong Kong, and he explains why pro-democracy supporters are likely to reject Beijing's plan. 

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  • Sep 29

    What's The Best Way to Combat Terrorism?

    The U.S.-led coalition against the radical militant group ISIS has grown, as Britain, Belgium, and Denmark joined the ranks on Friday. But as air strikes continue in Syria, it seems that the international fight against ISIS is likely helping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the process.

    On Sunday evening, President Obama told CBS News that U.S. intelligence did not respond quickly enough to the growth of ISIS in the Middle East. In a "60 Minutes" interview the president said that despite coming late to the conflict, he has managed to mobilize the world against the self proclaimed Islamic State.  

    But is global mobilization going to work in the Middle East?  This delicate balance—trying to eliminate a terrorist organization without lending a hand to a brutal dictator—has led terrorism expert Louise Shelley, author of “Dirty Entanglements: Corruption, Crime, and Terrorism,” to rethink the U.S.'s approach to combating terrorism.

    Shelley, the executive director of the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center at George Mason University, says the the U.S. and the international community needs to respond to terrorism in terms of state-sponsored crime and corruption.

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  • Sep 29

    The Takeaway Job Fair: So You Want a Career in Tech?

    In the final installment of The Takeaway Job Fair, we turn our attention to the tech field.

    By the year 2022, there are expected to be some 1.2 million computing jobs up for grabs in the United States, but the National Center for Women and Information Technology estimates that only 39 percent of these jobs will be filled by U.S. undergraduates.

    How can students get ready for successful future careers in the competitive tech industry? We put that question to Maria Klawe, a celebrated mathematician and computer scientist and president of Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California.

    Klawe is especially passionate about encouraging women to pursue majors in computer science, and she knows a thing or two about motivating and helping students prepare for competitive careers in tech.


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  • Sep 29

    India's Controversial Leader Gets Rock Star Treatment in U.S.

    This weekend, an  international celebrity—a global star with a Twitter following of more than 6.6 million—took the stage at Madison Square Garden to the sound of a cheering, sold-out crowd.

    It wasn't Lady Gaga or Paul McCartney.  It was the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi. He took to one of the world's most iconic stages to kick off a five-day visit to the U.S.

    It's a victory lap of sorts for the country's new leader. While in the United States, he'll be meeting with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. 

    His schedule also includes a United Nations General Assembly address, breakfast with executives from Google, Pepsi, MasterCard, IBM, Boeing and others, a jaunt through Central Park, plus dinner with President Obama, meetings with House Speaker John Boehner, and more. 

    But it's an awkward trip, too. For nearly a decade, Modi was banned from setting foot in the country for his alleged involvement in violent, anti-Muslim riots in the state of Gujarat, where he was chief minister in 2002.

    And while the Obama Administration does it's best to welcome the new prime minister, other branches of the government are sending different signals. 

    Last week, a federal court in New York issued a summons for Modi to respond to a lawsuit that accuses him of human rights abuses in connection the 2002 Gujarat riots. 

    Arvind Rajagopal, sociologist and media theorist at New York University, explains how Modi has managed to craft a public-image that's so popular among Indian-Americans abroad, despite his controversial track record on human rights issues.

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  • Sep 29

    Illinois Governor's Race May Turn Blue State Red

    Across the nation, voters in 36 states will cast their ballots in gubernatorial elections this November, and the race for the governor of Illinois is turning out to be one of the most competitive in the nation.

    Republican businessman Bruce Rauner, a multi-millionaire who earned his fortune in private equity firms, is challenging Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn. Quinn, who took office after former Governor Rod Blagojevich was impeached in 2008, is deeply unpopular due to his handling of the state's financial woes. 

    WUIS Illinois Public Radio Reporter and State Bureau Chief, Amanda Vinicky, explains why the traditionally blue state may go red.

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  • Sep 29

    Today's Takeaways: Demanding Democracy, Disappearing Bees, and Careers in Tech

    1. Hong Kong's Democratic Awakening | 2. What's The Best Way to Combat Terrorism? | 3. The Mystery of Colony Collapse Disorder | 4. The Takeaway Job Fair: So You Want a Career in Tech?
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  • Sep 27

    The Weekender: How The Takeaway is Made

    Have you ever wondered how The Takeaway is made? Now's your chance to find out.

    We're delivering a special edition of The Takeaway Weekender podcast to give you an up close look at how we create the program. Since the show launched in April 2008, two critical members of The Takeaway family have been around for almost every episode—Jay Cowit, The Takeaway's technical director, and Vince Fairchild, our broadcast engineer.

    Here, different members of The Takeaway staff weigh in on their good days and bad, their triumphs and struggles, to provide you with a candid portrait of how the program is made.

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  • Sep 26

    'The Equalizer,' 'Boxtrolls,' 'The Two Faces of January,' and Movie Therapy

    Rafer and Kristen never could have imagined 1980s TV shows like "The Equalizer" being made into feature films. What's next? "Simon and Simon"? "Three's Company"? But they try their best to approach the new Denzel Washington film with open minds.

    Also up for review: "Boxtrolls," the new children's movie about small creatures trying to survive in a world that doesn't want them and "The Two Faces of January," a thriller starring Viggo Mortenson, Kirsten Dunst, and Oscar Isaac. 

    Dan Pashman, host of The Sporkful, also makes an appearance on this week's podcast, seeking Movie Therapy for people who prefer movie and a dinner over dinner and a movie. Be sure to check out Dan's delicious podcast, which Kristen has spent the past six months helping to launch with WNYC.

    And, last but not least, don't miss this week's Movie Trivia!

    Subscribe to the Movie Date podcast, like Movie Date on Facebook, follow Kristen on Twitter, and leave a message for Rafer and Kristen anytime at 571-7MOVIES (571-766-8437).

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  • Sep 26

    News Quiz | Week of Sept. 26, 2014

    Are you a newsie? Do you know what's happening from Washington to Hollywood to Pyongyang? Be smarter than your pals. Prep your dinner party factoids. Gauge your knowledge about what happened this week, as heard on The Takeaway.

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  • Sep 26

    The Iron Road: Riding and Writing Across America

    There's something familiar and appealing about the safe, upholstered compartments of a train cabin as it barrels down an iron track.

    For decades, writers have found the human energy of a train car the perfect place to write. Langston Hughes wrote "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" while on a train ride to Mexico to visit his father.

    And when novelist Alexander Chee revealed in an interview last December that the train was his favorite place to write, Amtrak took him for his word and opened up applications for an Amtrak Residency.

    On Wednesday, the train company named 24 writers to their program and two of those writers are good friends of The Takeaway—Farai Chideya, the host and producer of the podcast "One With Farai," and Marco Werman, host of PRI's "The World." 

    Farai and Marco, along with the other 22 writers in the program, get a free long-distance train trip with a sleeping compartment, free meals, and access to the observation car. Today on The Takeaway, they explain why trains are such magical places for creative thought.

    What train trip do you most remember? Where were you going and why does the memory linger? Comment below or give us a call at 1-877-869-8253.

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  • Sep 26

    The Complex Legacy of Eric Holder

    After six years in office, Attorney General Eric Holder announced his resignation on Thursday afternoon, set amidst praise by President Obama for his “deep and abiding fidelity” to equality under the law.

    As the first African-American to hold the office of attorney general, Eric Holder held a unique position, with an ambitious agenda and an eye keenly focused on civil rights.

    This was particularly true after the shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri last month. While some criticized President Obama's response, many applauded Holder's candid handling of the tragedy and subsequent unrest.

    But Holder's tenure was not without flaws—he failed to follow through on some of the more ambitious goals he set, including the closure of the Guantánamo Bay prison.

    Laura Beth Nielsen, professor of sociology and legal studies at Northwestern University, joins The Takeaway to assess the attorney general as the nation's top lawyer.

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  • Sep 26

    Amazon's New Shows - and Deals - Could Change the Future of Television

    Today, Amazon launches all 10 episodes of a new, highly anticipated show called "Transparent," which tells the story of a transgender parent struggling to come out to her family.

    The new show stars actor Jeffrey Tambor, and chronicles his character's transition from "Mort" to "Maura." In one scene, Maura addresses a support group about this struggle.

    "I made a commitment here last week that I would come out to my kids and I didn't do it. Because it just wasn't time; you know? But I will. And it will be soon. And I promise you. I promise you. I promise you," Maura says.

    The debut of "Transparent" comes just days after AT&T announced a new package with Amazon: For $39 a month, new subscribers get broadband internet, HBO and HBO Go, Amazon Prime, and a variety of new, Amazon-exclusive programs like "Transparent."

    The package is designed to appeal to a young demographic, but will it be a business success? What will it take to make an internet audience used to pirating TV shows actually pay for content? We put that question to Takeaway listeners on social media and got at least one pointed response:

    Brian Stelter, CNN's senior media correspondent and host of “Reliable Sources,” explains how Amazon's innovative television model is changing the entertainment business.

    “It feels like this could be Amazon’s ‘House of Cards’ moment,” says Stelter. “What I mean by that is, about 18 months ago Netflix was put on the map with original programming thanks to ‘House of Cards.’”

    While Netflix has rolled out other streaming-specific content like “Orange Is The New Black” and “Lilyhammer,” Stelter says that “House of Cards” catapulted Netflix’s popularity among audiences of all ages.

    “This could be that moment for Amazon too,” he says. “Rarely have I ever seen so many universally positive reviews for a series. Critics are not just saying that [Transparent] is the best show on Amazon, I’ve heard a lot of critics say that it’s the best show on all of TV this fall, it just happens to not to be on traditional TV.”

    In many ways, Stetler says that Amazon’s new model is even more unusual than Netflix.

    “To go from DVDs to streaming is one thing,” he says. “But to go from an online store for books to a television studio and distribution system is an even stranger thing. The same place I get my toilet paper I can also get ‘Transparent.’”

    The new approach being taken by Amazon is reflective of changing media consumption habits that have rocked the entertainment world.

    “There’s a lot of experimentation going on right now with trying to get new people to subscribe to some form of cable by offering a slightly less expensive package with a smaller number of channels,” says Stelter. “By including something like Amazon or Netflix in that bundle, these distributors are acknowledging the new world—and it is a much more on-demand style world where people people want programming as they can have it.”

    But, as mentioned earlier, this new deal being rolled out by Amazon doesn’t just include television content. Several other services are also bundled in, including internet access, discounted shipping, and deals on books and magazines through Amazon Prime, among other things.

    Stelter says Amazon’s new move is designed to put it in direct competition with other media and tech giants like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple.

    “When you’re playing in that big of a league, you want to have as many different services and be competing in as many possible ways as you can,” he says. “To have this kind of forward facing television approach is, in some ways, sort of old fashioned. But I understand why they’re doing it—they’re going to get a lot of attention.”

    Stelter says that because critics are offering so many positive reviews of “Transparent,” new individuals may be drawn to Amazon in a way that they never have before.

    “When you have critics saying that it’s the best new show of the fall, that’s going to motivate a lot of people to go online for the first time and look at Amazon Prime,” he says. “Maybe once they watch ‘Transparent,’ they’re going to stick around and buy some more toilet paper.”

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  • Sep 26

    USAID Steps Up to Fight Ebola

    On Thursday, President Obama took the stage at the United Nations General Assembly to talk about the United States's plans to fight Ebola.

    "The courageous men and women fighting on the front lines of this disease have told us what they need," he said. "They need more beds. They need more supplies. They need more health workers, and they need all of this as fast as possible.”

    Those remarks came as Secretary of State John Kerry announced the appointment of an "Ebola Coordinator," Nancy Powell, a former U.S. Ambassador to India. And like the battles elsewhere, the President says America needs more support from more countries. 

    In recent days, The Takeaway has gotten a close-up view of the on-the-ground effort to treat Ebola patients from Dr. Adam Levine, an emergency physician from Rhode Island and a volunteer with the International Medical Corps. He's been filing daily diaries for the show, and his latest reflections focus on the emotional impact of the disease on local healthcare workers. 

    Nancy Lindborg, assistant administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), explains how the Agency is fighting against the disease. 

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  • Sep 26

    Thanks, Internet: Five Things You Had to See Online This Week

    Every Friday, Sean Rameswaram, producer with Studio 360 and and host of the podcast Sideshow, rounds up the week in internet phenomena. 

    This week in "Thanks, Internet," Sean talks to John Hockenberry about the online treasures you may have missed.

    1) Rapper Kendrick Lamar's new song, "i"

    *Warning: This song contains language that some may find offensive.

    2) Comedy duo Key & Peele's "Gay Wedding Advice" skit

    3) Kirsten Dunst's take on celebrity selfies

    ASPIRATIONAL from Matthew Frost on Vimeo.

    4) Anders Nielson's "Explaining My Relationship to the Totality of the Universe"

    5) John Malkovich's appearances in iconic photographs.

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  • Sep 26

    Today's Takeaways: The Future of TV, The Best of the Internet, & Traveling an Iron Road

    1. USAID Steps Up to Fight Ebola | 2. Five Things You Had to See Online This Week | 3. Amazon Wants to Win Over the People Pirating TV Shows | 4. New Movie Releases of The Week | 5. The Iron Road: Riding & Writing Across America
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  • Sep 25

    Richard Armitage on ISIS: U.S. Needs to 'Take a Deep Breath'

    How does the man who helped organize the run-up to the Iraq War view the situation now?

    Richard Armitage served as Deputy Secretary of State under President George W. Bush, and as Assistant Secretary of Defense for international security affairs under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. During his long career in government service, Armitage has witnessed a host of foreign threats to the United States, from the former Soviet Union to Saddam Hussein in the first Gulf War. 

    In an interview with Takeaway Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich, Armitage says that when it comes to the fighting ISIS, the U.S. needs to slow down and "take a deep breath."

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  • Sep 25

    The GMO Debate: Your Response

    No topic seems to inspire more debate than genetically modified organisms.

    Supporters of GMOs claim they are essential to feeding a planet that will soon have more than 9 billion people. Opponents says GMOs destroy traditional farms and have led to toxic contamination.

    This week, The Takeaway brought two voices into this debate from opposite sides of the spectrum.

    Dr. Vandana Shiva, the voice leading the crusade against GMOs, weighed inDr. Robert Fraley, Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of Monsanto—a multinational agriculture corporation long at the center of the GMO debate—also added his voice to the conversation.

    Everyday, The Takeaway team strives to make sure your voice is included in our discussions. We got tons of comments, tweets, and calls in response to our segments with Dr. Shiva and Dr. Fraley. Check out the audio clip above to hear listeners like you weigh in on the discussion.

    What do you think of GMOs? Take our poll and leave a comment below, connect with us on Facebook or Twitter, or give us a call at 1-877-869-8253.


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  • Sep 25

    World Acts Together to Face Down ISIS

    On Wednesday at the United Nations, President Obama continued to rally support in the fight against ISIS. He argued that denying extremists a safe place to seek new recruits and generate funding may be the best way to combat terrorist organizations worldwide. 

    The 13 presidents and prime ministers of the United Nations Security Council agreed—they voted unanimously to approve a legally binding resolution requiring countries to monitor and prevent the movements of would-be terrorists within their borders. 

    While the meeting was monumental in its unified support, President Obama cautioned that action must match diction.

    "Resolutions alone will not be enough," President Obama said. "Promises on paper cannot keep us safe. Lofty rhetoric and good intentions will not stop a single terrorist attack. The words spoken here today must be matched and translated into action, deeds. Concrete action within nations and between them. Not just in the days ahead, but for years to come."

    One potentially concrete action came from more than 100 Muslim clerics from around the world. The letter in classical Arabic was addressed to Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, the purported leader of the Islamic State headquartered in the Syrian city of Raqqa.

    “This so-called Islamic State is not a state and does not represent anything that is Islamic,” said one of the leaders, Oussama Jammal, the Secretary General of the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations. “None of their actions pass any litmus test to show that they have a sound understanding of Islamic ideas.”

    Oussama Jammal, along with  Alexander Evans, the coordinator of an United Nations Security Council Expert Monitoring Team, explain how global support may translate into action.

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  • Sep 25

    Not Your Bubbe's Cooking: Rethinking Rosh Hashanah Recipes

    Tonight, millions of families will gather around dining tables for the second night of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

    We know the staples—brisket, kugel, maybe the prerequisite slice of challah. It might be a centuries-old celebration, but we here at The Takeaway are looking for some new recipes to try.

    Traditionalist Dan Pashman feels otherwise. Dan is the host of WNYC’s Sporkful food podcast, and author of the new book "Eat More Better: How to Make Every Bite More Delicious." He shares some of the best modern variations on the classic staples of the Jewish New Year.

    "I'm interested in the idea of leaving brisket behind because I'm not the biggest fan of Jewish-style brisket," says Pashman. "Whenever I eat Jewish-style brisket, I just keep thinking about the fact that I wish it was a Texas smoked brisket. I'm endorsing the growing movement to replace brisket with short ribs."

    Pashman says that savory short ribs will pair nicely with Rosh Hashanah's traditional apples and honey. He recommends this short rib recipe from Martha Stewart.

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  • Sep 25

    Apple's Latest Mess: The Bending iPhone

    It's been a rotten month for Apple: First the iCloud was hacked, and then there were problems with the latest iOS 8 update. Apple sold 10 million new iPhone 6s in recent days, but early reviews of the phone note that it doesn't take much for the ultra-thin device to bend and crack.

    Despite the iPhone 6 being the most-sold phone in the history of smartphones, people are wondering: Is it worth shelling out hundreds of dollars for a phone that bends just from being in your pocket?

    Bridget Carey, senior editor at CNET and host of the daily news show CNET Update, tells us about troubles with Apple’s new ultra-thin phone.

    “Apple always makes their iPhones thinner and lighter, and with this larger one, maybe it’s too thin and too light,” says Carey. “It’s made of aluminum, and unlike a plastic phone, it’s not going to bounce back.”

    Several iPhone 6 Plus owners have reported that their devices have a certain amount of unwanted flexibility. After sitting with down with the phone in a front or back pants pocket, the iPhone 6 Plus comes out a bit warped.

    It doesn’t look like it takes much to bend the device, as this YouTube video with more than 22 million views shows.

    “When people are putting it in their pockets and it’s happening, I kind of look at that and think, why would you want a phone that’s even more breakable?” says Carey. “We’re always worried about having a phone that we can accidentally smash, now it’s about being fragile?”

    While Apple is still a favorite among many consumers, Carey says this latest episode may tarnish the revered brand’s reputation a bit.

    “Not only do you have this phone, but now you have a problem with the operating system ruining some new iPhone 6s,” she says. “If they downloaded the iOS 8 update that happened the other day, they lost the phone part of their phone—it turned into an iPod basically.”

    Though videos online showing the flexibility of the new iPhone seem to be all in fun, Carey points out there are some risks to a bendable device.

    “It’s not a joke,” she says. “When you’re really trying to bend a phone, if you mess with the battery, there are warnings that it could explode.”

    Carey points out that another similiar phone is made with aluminum—the HTC One M8—but it doesn’t appear to bend with the same amount of force.

    “It’ll be interesting if Apple, on the next try, changes something,” she says. “There is actually a part of the new iPhone that’s a weak spot: The Apple logo itself.”

    Carey says that the aluminum backing coupled with the cut out of the Apple logo has created a sort of “sweet spot where it is more susceptible to being bent.”

    Though America’s social media feeds are currently overrun with posts and pictures of bending iPhones, Carey believes that it likely won’t hurt the company too much in the long run—she says consumers and Apple fanatics will get over “bendgate.”

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  • Sep 25

    Childhood Trauma as a Medical Problem: One Doctor's Crusade

    When she first opened her pediatric practice in the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood of San Francisco, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris realized that her patients' needs went far beyond routine childhood vaccinations and check-ups. 

    According to the 2010 Census, approximately 30 percent of Bayview-Hunters Point's children live in poverty. Many suffer from the problems that often go along with poverty: abuse, neglect, uncertainty about food and housing.

    The clinic, now known as the Center for Youth Wellness, opened in 2007 in the midst of great strides in neuroscience research. As Dr. Burke Harris tells The Takeaway's John Hockenberry, this research demonstrates that childhood trauma—what Burke Harris's team calls "toxic stress"—dramatically influences future brain development and future medical health. 

    "Exposure to high degrees of adversity, such as living in poverty or, for example, being exposed to abuse or neglect, can dramatically affect brain architecture, which is brain structure and function," she explains. 

    With this research in mind, Dr. Burke Harris decided to transform her practice from one that focuses on traditional pediatric care, to one that sees childhood adversity as a medical problem, an issue that affects mental as well as physical health. 

    "In my patients I actually see that when we intervene early, they do so much better," she says.

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  • Sep 25

    The Challenges of a Youth Complicated by Poverty

    High school student Jairo Gomez didn't always think his family was poor.

    “I used to think of my family as middle class," said Jairo. "We used to go out to eat sometimes and I could ask for clothes. But after my parents split up, my mom had four more kids and that all stopped."

    As part of a recent reporting project with WNYC's Radio Rookies program, Jairo looked a bit closer at his family's finances and discovered that his family's annual income was $15,000 below the poverty line.

    That realization scared him.

    “I've seen articles posted on Facebook on how likely it is to get out of poverty—how poor people usually stay poor," said Jairo. "If I don't get an education, I'll be stuck like my parents. But I haven't always been able to make school a a priority. When I was younger I felt like a robot. All I did was go home, help babysit, and help clean.”

    And the babysitting wasn't just after-hours. Sometimes, it got in the way of attending school altogether—Jairo's schooling took a back-seat to survival. It's a sacrifice for his family that's now put his own future in question, something Jairo recently confronted his mother about.

    Daniel Cardinali is president of Communities in Schools, a federated network of nonprofits that are locally controlled, locally financed, and aim to bring case workers and resources to at-risk students and communities that need it most.

    And he argues that to help students like Jairo, education policy makers need to change some of their assumptions about how school works.

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  • Sep 25

    Today's Takeaways: World Unites to Fight ISIS, Childhood Trauma and Health, and Modern Rosh Hashanah Recipes

    1. World Acts Together to Face Down ISIS | 2. Richard Armitage on ISIS: 'Take a Deep Breath' | 3. Apple's Latest Mess: The Bending iPhone | 4. Not Your Bubbe's Cooking: Rethinking Rosh Hashanah Recipes | 5. The Challenges of a Youth Complicated by Poverty
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