Arwa Gunja, here on the evening shift.
Earlier today, the Supreme Court ruled on what many legal experts are calling the most significant decision on free speech in terrorism cases. In a 6-3 ruling, the Court said neither domestic organizations nor individuals can provide “material support” to foreign terrorist groups. It is still unclear what “material support” means and how far-reaching the implications of the ruling may be. Tomorrow morning we’ll talk with David Cole, who provided legal counsel for the Humanitarian Law Project, the plaintiff in the case.
In another court case that began today, a Connecticut judge will soon decide whether cheerleading classifies as a sport. In the case, the Quinnipiac University women’s volleyball team has sued the school for cutting its budget to fund the cheerleading squad. The volleyball team says that cheerleading is not a sport under Title IX, the civil rights law that requires schools to equally allocate resources to men’s and women’s sports teams. Linda Carpenter the author of “Title IX,” will explain how the groundbreaking law works, and whether cheerleading qualifies.
Speaking of higher education, tomorrow we’re asking, is graduate school really worth it? More than a quarter of people graduating with a Bachelors Degree this year will go on to pursue graduate degrees. But do graduate degrees increase your chances of finding a job and does the ratio of debt to salary cancel out of the benefits of the degree? Takeaway work contributor Beth Kobliner will weigh in, along with a former graduate student. What do you think? If you went to graduate school, was it worth it? And if you are currently unemployed, are you thinking about going back to school? To share your comments, call us at 877-8-MYTAKE or leave us a message here on our website.
According to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 980,000 people in the U.S. are addicted to some type of opiates: a sharp uptick in recent years. The number of emergency room visits linked to non-medical use of prescription pain relievers has more than doubled in recent years. The prescription painkillers being abused include oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone. And in six states—Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Utah and Vermont—accidental drug deaths due to use of anxiety medications increased 64 percent between 2004 and 2007.
Since Viagra hit the market in the 1990s, pharmaceutical companies have been racing to come up with an equivalent drug for women. And one German pharmaceutical company is hoping to win the race. Boehringer Ingelheim, a large German drug company, will go before the Food and Drug Administration today in hopes of gaining approval for a new pill they believe can increase the female libido. Citing hypoactive sexual desire, the company says their female version of that magic blue pill, can cure women of that disorder.
An FDA staff report on Wednesday argued against approval of the drug, saying it has not sufficiently proven to be successful. And many doctors say drug companies are creating pills for a disorder that does not exist.
Since winning the EuroCup in 2008, Spain has been nearly undefeated. Their only loss in two years and 48 games has been to the United States. But yesterday that changed when Switzerland defeated Spain 1-0. In a later game, South Africa took a beating on the field, losing to Uruguay 3-0. And the South Africa goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune received a red card for tackling a Uruguayan striker, leaving his team one man short.
At a time when we have a 9 percent unemployment rate, a new study shows we may soon face a shortage of 3 million qualified workers. There are plenty of people to fill those jobs, but there won't be enough educated people trained for the positions, according to the study published by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.
The report finds that by 2018, 63 percent of the jobs in the United States will require post-high school education. At the current rates of high school and college graduations, there will not be enough workers with higher education degrees. And colleges aren't doing enough to emphasize the importance of employability.
A new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine shows that medical students who graduate from Historically Black Colleges and Universities are more likely to practice primary care medicine in low-income communities, the exact area of care most needed in the country today. By 2020, six years after health care overhaul kicks in, there will be 35 million newly insured Americans, but a projected shortage of up to 100,000 primary care doctors. HBCUs like Morehouse, Howard and Meharry Medical College – the top ranked schools in the study – may be helping prevent the problem by training students to work in underserved communities upon graduation.
Puerto Rico has called upon 1,000 National Guard troops to help local police fight a rampant crime wave that has pushed the murder rate to a record high. In 2009 alone, 894 people were killed on the Caribbean island. The high rate of crime is being attributed to feuding between gangs battling for control of the cocaine and heroin trade. And the crime has not been restricted to metropolitan areas. There have also been reports of violence and murder in the mountain regions of Puerto Rico.
In 1979, an explosion on the Ixtoc 1 oil platform caused the world's worst accidental oil spill 50 miles off Mexico's Gulf Coast. 140 million gallons of oil gushed into the Gulf. It took more than nine months to cap the leak. The BBC has launched a series, "Oil and Water" in which they will explore the impacts of an oil-based economy in various locations around the world. As a part of the series, BBC reporters traveled to Mexico's beaches only to find the effects of the Ixtoc spill are still being felt today, more than thirty years after the explosion.
Arwa Gunja here on the night shift.
Tomorrow, we’re going to try to answer some looming questions over the big stories of the day.
First, to the Natalee Holloway case. The AP reported this week that Joran van der Sloot, the prime suspect in Holloway’s disappearance, was paid $15,000 by the FBI in a sting operation. Van der Sloot used the money to flee from Aruba to Peru where he is suspected of killing another young woman. So the question is, why did the FBI give van der Sloot money instead of arresting him when they had the chance? Tomorrow, Craig Dotlo, a former FBI agent will join the program to help explain the organization’s actions and the inner workings of the FBI when it comes to cases like this.
Next to the oil spill. There seems to be a lot of outrage, but not a lot of action, and many Americans, especially those along the Gulf Coast, want to know why there isn’t more of a push on Capitol Hill to stop offshore drilling. What are environmental groups doing? How about politicians and business leaders? Ted Nordhaus is the chairman of The Breakthrough Institute, and he’ll explain why environment groups aren’t being more vocal about ending offshore drilling. And Louise Story, finance and Wall Street reporter for our partner The New York Times, says a group of prominent business leaders actually have been outspoken and are urging Congress to triple its budget for investments in alternative energies.
And as always we want to hear from you. The World Cup officially kicks off this weekend. Tell us how you’ll be watching, what teams you’re rooting for and your predictions over the next month. Call our comment line at 877-8-MYTAKE or leave us a message here on our website.
For the first time in U.S. history, women have become the majority in the workforce. And Tuesday’s primary elections showed us that women can dominate in politics too. In California, Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman both won their Republican nominations for Senate and governor, respectively. Sen. Blanche Lincoln secured the Democratic ticket in Arkansas. Plus Nikki Haley was victorious in South Carolina. The Washington Post’s website is leading with a headline that suggests this may be the “year of the women.” Hanna Rosin wrote a piece for The Atlantic titled, "The End of Men." Politics aside, who has it easier in America today – men or women?
The Star-Spangled Banner is nearly as old as America itself. But how much do most Americans really know about the time-honored traditional song? The lyrics come from a poem dating back to 1814 and the music from an old British drinking song. The song wasn't officially chosen as the national anthem until 1931. Since then, some have criticized the choice, saying the lyrics are too hard to learn and the notes too high to hit.
Yesterday was the biggest primary day of the year so far, with closely watched races in California, Arkansas, South Carolina, New Jersey, Iowa, and Maine, among other states. The coast-to-coast campaigns for governors, Senate and House seats showed the strength of the Tea Party as well as the well-known power of money.
We take a closer look at races across the country. In California, Carly Fiorina beat out Congressman Tom Campbell for the Republican nomination and will now face Senator Barbara Boxer in the fall. A GOP victory would mark the first time California has sent a Republican to the Senate since 1988. In that state's governor's race, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman secured the Republican nomination and will go on to challenge Democrat Jerry Brown in the fall.
BP hit another bump in the road in its attempts to the cap the oil leak when a saw got suck in a riser pipe on Wednesday. This setback comes after many failed attempts to plug the well, including the first containment dome, the "top kill" approach and the "junk shot" technique. The current operation, known as the Lower Marine Riser Package, could capture most of the leaking oil but could allow for some to continue to escape along the margins of the apparatus.
With so many failed attempts, some are calling for a radical last-measure solution: using a nuclear explosive to destroy the well and stop the leak. The option would be politically and environmentally risky, but it may not be entirely out of the question. President Obama has already dispatched a team of five nuclear physicists to the Gulf, though there have been no mentions of considering a nuclear approach.
Two days after a raid by Israeli naval commandos left nine people dead aboard a flotilla of aid ships heading towards Gaza, the global community is still on edge about the incident. Turkey, Israel's biggest ally in the Muslim world, and several other European nations have recalled their ambassadors to Israel. The United Nations and the United States have also condemned the acts leading up the tragedy.
After many failed attempts at capping the oil leak in the Gulf, BP is now trying a new approach: another containment dome. But six weeks into the disaster, the public, government officials and BP are growing frustrated. And so are our listeners. We hear your responses and more questions about the oil leak.
Yesterday, BP temporarily halted its "top kill" approach to capping the leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico. According to reports, the drilling fluid was escaping into the water along with the crude oil. Drilling was expected to resume by midnight. We get an updated from Chris Kirkham, a reporter with the Times-Picayune in New Orleans.
Arwa Gunja here, with an update on tomorrow's show.
It’s a big political day. There may be enough votes needed to repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in both the House and in the Senate Armed Service Committee. Sen. Robert Byrd from the committee said he would support the repeal, and some say that brings the total yea votes to 16, one more than needed for passage. Democratic leadership says repeal of the 1993 law would be historic, though some key Republicans say the vote should be delayed until a military review of the repeal is complete. Tomorrow we have a great lineup of servicemen and women who say if the repeal passes, they will come out as openly gay.
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill may very well become the most costly environmental disaster in history. The total costs are still unknown but some estimate it could be in the billions of dollars. BP is already spending between $6 and $7 million a day on efforts to cap the leak and cleanup the spill. By comparison, the Exxon Valdez spill — which was less damaging than the Deepwater Horizon — cost Exxon $3.8 million in clean up and damage costs, and $500 million in punitive damages.
UPDATED 7:40 p.m.
We’re readjusting our plans for tomorrow’s show in response to a bunch of news that’s recently broken. First, BP says they will begin to implement a “top kill” approach first thing tomorrow morning. This is basically a technique where large amounts of heavy drilling mud and cement will be pumped through the ocean into the blowout preventer in hopes of capping the leak. It’s a risky approach that’s been done on land but never at 5,000 feet below water. And if it doesn’t go exactly right, it could make things worse. We’ll get an update from the ground and talk with an engineer about how exactly this technology works.
Then, just a couple of hours ago, we learned that President Obama will be sending up to 1,200 National Guard troops to the Southwest border, after demands from both Republicans and Democrats that the security along the border be tightened. Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich will join us in the morning to talk about the internal political dynamics that led to this decision.
And 100 years after Mark Twain’s death, his autobiography is set to be published this fall. Twain once wrote, “It is no use to keep private information which you can’t show off.” Soon his most private information will be made public. We’ll talk with the general editor of the Mark Twain Project and the publications editor at The Mark Twain House about what secrets we may soon learn about the literary legend.
Finally, at the end of the week, we’re hoping to answer listeners’ questions when it comes to the oil spill. We’ve gotten a slew of inquiries from Facebook, via text messages, on our website and through our phones lines (1-877-8-MYTAKE) asking a range of questions regarding the spill and cleanup efforts. We’re going to invite on an oil expert to help us sift through your comments and give you some answers. So continue sending your questions our way.
In March, a South Korean warship was torpedoed, killing 46 sailors and sinking the vessel. Recent evidence strongly implicates North Korea as the most likely power responsible for the attack, though Pyonyang denies any involvement. Now, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has said his country will boost its defense, sever all trade with North Korea and deny North Korean merchant ships access to their sea lanes. The U.S. has backed the South Korean stance.
But this is not the first time North Korea has taken a hostile maritime policy, nor is this the most explicit act of aggression by Pyongyang.