Last night, at least nine suicide bombers stormed into the Intercontinental Hotel—one of the most premier hotels in Kabul, Afghanistan—in a six-hour attack that early reports say left at least 21 people dead. NATO forces ended the attack by killing three of the bombers. Alissa J. Rubin, a reporter for the New York Times, told us the attackers were anti-government insurgents.
The Takeaway spoke with freelance journalist Bette Dam, who was at the Intercontinental Hotel and spoke of the situation on the ground (her audio above and below). We also spoke with journalist Matthieu Aikins.
Freelance journalist Matthieu Aikins reports from Kabul:
Freelance journalist Bette Dam reports on the scene at the Intercontinental Hotel:
Ever wonder how a story on The Takeaway evolves? Our stories can start with everything from a tweet to a listener response phoned in during the morning's show, and move forward over the next hours as we interact with guests, put together radio segments, and blog on the subject at hand. This week, one of our stories began with a paper about student performance being impacted by unemployment rates. In the visual element below, you can see first hand how the story progressed, from our initial tweet and listener responses to a blog from Takeaway contributor Beth Kobliner.
What's your most or least favorite stretch of road? Everybody has one. Maybe it's two miles of straightaway splitting farming fields you drive with your truck, or a winding stretch through a forrest you traverse on your bicycle. Alternatively it could be a smog-choked creeping mass of metal along I-95, or a particularly harrowing entrance ramp to Highway 42 in Louisiana. As many Americans will be driving short and long distances this summer, hopefully to take some time off to relax, we want to see your picks for superlatives. Take a picture or send us a video...NOT while in the driver's seat. It can be of anything you want — technically even your driveway probably counts. We'll play your descriptions on the air and post them here to the website.
Yesterday, we asked our listeners via text and on Facebook some questions about texting and driving: Critics say texting while driving is deadly. Oprah is asking people to sign a "No Phone Zone Pledge," a promise not to text while driving. Is it as dangerous as some people say? Can you offer a solution? Do you do it? Be honest!
We received a good number of responses, representing communities from Palm Beach Fla. to Tacoma, Wash., displaying a broad spectrum of opinion and behavior. So we put them into a map.
It's World No Tobacco Day, and we've been talking about new questions on smoking, like whether or not vilifying smokers is as effective as finding healthier ways to give people their nicotine fix. We've also been hearing a lot from you on your own battles with smoking addiction: how you quit, or why you didn't. We're still getting responses, and in honor of the day, we wanted to post some more of your thoughts, along with a look at anti-smoking campaigns and commercials over the years. Take a look.
Headed to the beach? Going on vacation? As summer kicks into gear, so does our summer reading conversation.Over the next three months we're recommending beach reading for our listeners and then talking to the authors behind the books. In June we're having producers pick the books, followed by Celeste Headlee's picks during July and John Hockenberry's choices in August.
But what about you? Check out these Top Five reading lists from our guests, and add your own! You can also join the conversation with us on Twitter. Include "#TakeawayReads" as you tweet your lists and we'll publish your picks here.
Memorial Day is a holiday — we break out the grill, head to the beach, pack a picnic. But many people around the country are also focused on the holiday's genesis: honoring our men and women in uniform. This weekend some will throw parties for loved ones; others will visit graves of the deceased who served or gave the ultimate sacrifice. Still others will be visiting war memorials around the country.
We've been asking you: Who are you honoring this weekend, and how are you going about it? You've given us some powerful responses.
If you were to write a classic novel about the financial crisis and how it affects regular Americans, what would it be called?
A recent article from our partners at the BBC looked at literature from the Great Depression, and asked why there aren't more pieces of work — like Steinbeck's "The Gapes of Wrath" — being produced about the current economic downturn.
There are certainly compelling story lines in the news, from Bernie Madoff's fall to the heart-wrenching stories of families being forced out of their homes despite good financial standing. So we've been asking listeners to send us their title for a contemporary novel dealing with the great recession and its impact.
Michelle Obama is hosting a poetry program tonight at the White House, and her guest will be hop-hop artist, Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr., better known as, Common. Many conservatives are outraged by this decision, Fox News called the rapper, "vile." Conservatives are pointing to a set of lyrics from Common's "A Letter to the Law," where he says:"With that happening, why they messing with Saddam? Burn a Bush cos' for peace he no push no button. Killing over oil and grease, no weapons of destruction."
Early this morning, a few hundred people gathered in Times Square to celebrate the news that Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks and the most wanted man in the war on terror, is dead. Below, a video of the scene there.
While a large gathering at the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan featured cheers, tears, and even the popping of champagne, a somewhat smaller but still-jubilant gathering was happening in Times Square early in the morning.
A few hundred people, waving flags, chanting "USA" and even singing the song "Don't Stop Believing" by American power ballad band Journey packed into the middle of the street at 42nd, as onlookers and journalists on the periphery watched.
Watch the video and slideshow below:
They represent what may be the last great hope for a grand compromise on the budget crisis facing America. Their success or failure could mean either a new tone in Washington or a long fight to the finish of the 2012 elections. The fight also includes everything from raised retirement age and Medicare changes to higher taxes. But who are the Gang of Six? With the help of Todd Zwillich, The Takeaway's Washington correspondent, we take a closer look at six men in whose hands the fate of a giant policy resolution may rest.
As a government shutdown looms, we're asking listeners who they might hold accountable, and you've got a lot to say on the subject. After the announcement that even after a shutdown, some "essential" public jobs would remain, we've also been asking about how one defines essential jobs. When you think about your own job, do you think you're "essential"? Why or why not?
A new exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art features about 65 guitars handcrafted by masters living in New York City in the early part of the 20th Century. The show, called “Guitar Heroes,” embodies America’s nascent fascination, and ultimate adoption, of the European acoustic instrument. Jayson Kerr Dobney, associate curator of the Met’s Department of Musical Instruments discusses the show.
Radiohead is famous for for pushing the envelope in music, even as the band sells millions of records. But in recent years the group has also taken a hard look at the music industry itself, and made some very public bids for new ways for major bands to interact with fans in the music marketplace. The latest of these moves comes today, as the band releases its seventh proper studio album "The King of Limbs" directly to the masses. Fans can choose from four options, from a $10 digital download to a $53 custom package, including clear vinyl records and over 600 pieces of artwork. Are their efforts revolutionary, or run-of-the-mill?
Protests in Egypt have consistently shocked the region and the world in recent days, catching President Hosni Mubarak off guard with calls for his ousting. But President Mubarak wasn't the only one surprised by Egyptian activism; the U.S. leadership has also scrambled to adapt to a changing diplomatic situation, in a region where Egypt's stability is seen as incredibly important.
The incredibly long lineup for 2011's Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival was announced this week. A three-day festival in the desert of Indio, California that features some 150 bands, an annual bloom of tents and human civilization, Coachella is one of the biggest contemporary music festivals in America (last year the event drew 75,000 visitors each day). But it's also an event where people expect to see supergroups, up-and-comers, and some of the mainstream acts they've come to love. Does this year's event measure up?
This week, the list of performers at the giant Coachella music festival was released. The list of performers for 2011 include everyone from big names like platinum-selling Chicago-born rapper Kanye West to underground Rhode Island noise rock outfit Lightning Bolt.
But in the digital age, how visible is the line between the mainstream and underground? Arcade Fire, who headlines the festival on Saturday April 16, was just a few years ago an "indie" band — and perhaps one some would still argue represents something outside of the mainstream. Now they're headlining one of the largest outdoor music events in the country.
If you're a music fan, who in the lineup do you think is "mainstream," and who is "underground," and is that line blurring?
Not far away from New York City's famous ball dropping ceremony in Times Square, another bombastic New Year's celebration will occur: Sharon Jones will perform with her band the Dap-Kings at Best Buy Theater. The second of two nights, the performance is likely to be one of the night's best bets in the city — the group is recognized as one of the best soul-revival bands working and critically acclaimed for their magical ability to recreate the sound and soul of the 1960’s.
On tomorrow's show, we'll be talking about teachable moments in 2010. There's been a lot, from the Gulf Oil Spill to the WikiLeaks diplomatic cables leak. We'd like to hear from listeners.
Who taught you something in 2010, and what was the lesson?
Let us know your thoughts. Leave a comment or call us at877-8-MY-TAKE.