Streams

Arwa Gunja

Arwa Gunja appears in the following:

Study Finds Many Americans Uninformed About Religion

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

America is the most religious industrialized country in the world, but a new survey finds that few Americans are well-informed when it comes to religion. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life called more than 3,4000 Americans and asked them to answer 32 questions about the Bible, Christianity and other world religions and leaders. The study found that most Americans answered around half the questions incorrectly. The people that scored highest were agnostics and atheists, with Jews and Mormons following closely behind.

Take the Pew quiz »

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What Does it Mean to be a Middle Class American?

Monday, September 27, 2010

For many years, an integral part of the American dream has involved making it to the middle class. We associate the phrase with steady, secure work, home ownership and providing for a comfortable — if not lavish — lifestyle for our family. But has middle class America fundamentally changed since the Great Recession hit? Do people that once saw themselves as solidly middle class see themselves differently now?

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Combat Continues for US Troops Still in Iraq

Monday, September 27, 2010

On August 31, President Obama announced the end of combat operations in Iraq. "Operation Iraqi Freedom is over," he said from the Oval Office, as he ordered the withdrawal of all combat forces from the country. Now, only 50,000 troops remain, tasked with handing security operations over to the Iraqis.

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Daughter Tells Story of Great 'Southern' Migration

Monday, September 20, 2010

Last week we discussed the Great Migration, a time period between the 1910s and 1920s when six million black Americans left the South and headed to the North and West to pursue better opportunities. Among those migrants was the father of Takeaway listener Tina Collins. Tina’s father left his life of cotton picking to settle in Michigan. But now, Tina and her siblings are moving back down south, in what she calls the Great Southern Migration.

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Afghan Elections Marred by Violence, Fraud

Monday, September 20, 2010

Afghan voters went to the polls this weekend to cast their ballot in parliamentary elections. More than 2,500 candidates ran for 249 seats. According to reports from Afghanistan, many candidates tried to buy the election by paying voters for their ballots and busing crowds of people into polling stations. Meanwhile, election day quickly turned violent in some locations, with dozens of rocket attacks and violence at polling stations. The New York Times reported that more than 12 people were killed in election-related violence. Due to security concerns, some polling stations remained closed or had very little voter turnout.

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Is Peace Really Possible Between Israel and Palestine?

Friday, September 03, 2010

For the first time in 20 months, leaders from Israel and Palestine met at the negotiating table to try to broker a peace agreement. The leaders came together in Washington, D.C. to take part in talks mediated by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. As the U.S. representative, Secretary Clinton was clear in her message – the U.S. can bring the parties to the table, but it is up to Israeli and Palestinian leaders to find a solution. President Obama said, on Wednesday, that "the only path to lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians is direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians."

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Picturing the Human Cost of Unemployment

Friday, September 03, 2010

The Bureau of Labor Statistics will release a new jobs report this morning. Since the start of the economic downturn, the dire unemployment situation has been described in grim and abstract numbers: unemployment is at 9.5 percent; one in six Americans are receiving government assistance; and an estimated 8.5 million factory jobs have been lost since November 2007.

But behind the numbers are the human costs of unemployment. In a new book, “Closing: The Life and Death of an American Factory,” photographer Bill Bamberger and author Cathy N. Davidson capture the faces and stories behind the workers in Mebane, North Carolina, who lost their jobs when White Furniture Company closed its doors in 1993. The book and its gripping photos show tell the stories of personal loss and struggle for workers whose entire lives were turned upside down.

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Obama Cautiously Hopeful for Mideast Peace

Thursday, September 02, 2010

After a 20-month hiatus, leaders from Israel and Palestine have come together at the White House to engage in a new round of peace talks. President Obama met individually with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday. Obama said he is hopeful that a peace agreement can be reached in the next year, but the talks have already hit hurdles that may be difficult to overcome.

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The Ptarmigan: A 'Canary' for Climate Change?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Ptarmigan, a mountain bird known in Colorado for its camouflaged exterior, may be at risk due to climate change. Because the birds are limited to alpine habitats, scientists worry for their survival as temperatures rise and snow and ice melt. Last week, environmentalists began a campaign to designate the bird as a threatened species. If the designation is accepted and approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, it would require action to combat the threat of climate change, which could lead to legislation to reduce carbon emissions.

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Chilean Miners Remain Trapped; How Would You Survive Underground?

Monday, August 30, 2010

It is still unclear when the 33 Chilean miners trapped 700 meters below ground will be rescued. The Chilean mining minister says it will before Christmas, a shorter timeline than originally anticipated. The group received its first solid food from the surface today: ham sandwiches. Even if the miners are trapped for 60 days, rather than the previously announced 120 days, it is still a very long time to be trapped in a confined space with the same people. We've been asking our listeners: What would happen if you were trapped underground with your coworkers?

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Income Inequality May Have Big Costs For Economy, Country

Monday, August 30, 2010

A small group of economists are trying to study whether income inequality may have contributed to the economic collapse. The income gap in the years leading up to the recent recession, which is often compared to the Great Depression, has a striking resemblance to the income equality in 1928, when the top 10 percent of earners received nearly half of the total income. Finance reporter Louise Story wrote about this theory for The New York Times earlier in August, and we spoke with her about the income gap on The Takeaway last week.

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Afghan In-Flight Magazine Paints Grim Reality

Monday, August 23, 2010

On any ordinary U.S. airliner, you’re likely to find in the seat pocket in front you an in-flight magazine that romanticizes your destination city. Magazines tend to feature articles with titles like United Airline’s “Three Perfect Days: Denver” or US Airway’s “Endless Summer.”  But on Afghanistan’s Safi Airlines, the in-flight magazine paints a more realistic – albeit grim — reality of Afghanistan. The topics range from a piece on dog fighting to a profile of heroin addicts.

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US Increases Humanitarian Military Presence in Pakistan

Friday, August 20, 2010

To support relief efforts in Pakistan, the United States currently has 18 military and civilian aircraft in the country and three based in Afghanistan. American helicopters have evacuated nearly 6,000 people and delivered more than 717,000 pounds of relief supplies. And Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has just announced the U.S. will increase aid to Pakistan to $150 million.

But the context for the American military presence in Pakistan is more complicated than simply delivering humanitarian aid. Pakistan is home to militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, whose offshoot organizations have already become a visible force during this crisis. The Pakistani Taliban is already believed to be behind two attacks against security forces in Peshawar since the start of the flooding.

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BP Claimants Must Waive Right to Sue

Friday, August 20, 2010

Kenneth Feinberg officially took over the $20 billion fund allocated for those affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil gusher. BP, the company responsible for the crisis, has already paid $368 million to individuals and businesses who suffered financial losses. But thousands of claims are still left unresolved and will fall now on Feinberg's desk. 

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Museums Vie for Space Shuttles

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The space shuttle program will come to a close as of 2011, and NASA is preparing to retire the three remaining orbiters and find them new homes. Retiring each orbiter is an involved process that will cost $28.8 million. Twenty-one institutions across the country are competing for the rare honor of housing an orbiter. Plans are already in the works for Discovery to go to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, where Enterprise (a test shuttle) currently lives. Enterprise will likely be made available to another institution, along with Atlantis and Endeavour.

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Last Combat Brigade Leaves Iraq: Reflecting on War, Looking Ahead

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The last combat brigadee left Iraq, yesterday, marking the end of the active combat phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom. 50,000 troops still remain, but are tasked to non-combat operations. The Obama administration has pledged to withdraw all troops from Iraq by October 2011, at which point security operations are to be transferred to Iraqi forces. In a statement, President Barack Obama called this a "milestone in the Iraq war," and State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley labeled it "an historic moment."

But is it premature – yet again – to say, "mission accomplished?"

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Blagojevich Jury Hung on 23 Counts

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich may have dodged a bullet yesterday after a Chicago jury found him guilty on only count of lying to federal agents. The jury was hung on the other 23 charges against him. After the verdict was read, Blagojevich told reporters, "this jury just showed you ... that on every count except for one, on every charge except for one, they could not prove that I did anything wrong."

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US Basketball Team Preps for World Championship

Monday, August 16, 2010

The basketball World Championship is set to begin in Turkey at the end of the month. In an exhibition game this weekend, Team USA handedly defeated France 86-55. The team is playing out without basketball superstars like Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade and LeBron James, but there seems to be a new talent on the court: Kevin Durant. We talk with Takeaway sports contributor Ibrahim Abdul-Matin about how the team is shaping up.

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China Passes Japan as Second Largest Economy

Monday, August 16, 2010

China’s economy has been steadily growing over the past three decades, bypassing countries like Great Britian, Germany and France. And last night, the country took a major economic leap: China is now the world’s second largest economy, behind only the United States. The milestone was reached after Japan announced a slightly smaller second quarter value than China.

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Listeners Respond: Is Food a Human Right?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Last week on the program we discussed the idea of making access to food a basic legal right. This idea comes from India, a country that is home to one of the world's largest impoverished populations, with over 421 million of its citizens going hungry. India is now considering making access to food a right enshrined by the constitution. Takeaway listeners tell us whether they believe access to food should be a human and legal right.

On our Facebook page, Kathleen writes:

"Food is absolutely a human right. The fact that not every country can feed all its people right now is irrelevant to food being a human right. Governments - including ours - should be judged according to how quickly and effectively they are working to feed everyone."

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