Streams

Farai Chideya

Political Contributor

Farai Chideya appears in the following:

South Africa: HIV Infections May Be Declining At Last

Friday, June 12, 2009

The news out of South Africa this week indicates there's something for the HIV-stricken country to celebrate. A new report says that HIV infections among young teens are down. In addition, the Western Cape is seeing fewer transmissions because more males are using condoms, and in the last three years the number of HIV infections has stabilized. Is the march of HIV slowing down?

The Takeaway is joined by Dr. Ernest Darkoh, a global health expert known for revolutionizing Botswana's HIV treatment program, to deconstruct the data. Click through for the full transcript of the interview.

Also, check out some intriguing data visualizations of HIV infection rates plotted against life expectancy, from gapminder.org.

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Social Media in Iran Elections

Friday, June 12, 2009

Iran’s media operate under the tight control of a special government court. But many Iranian voters are turning to social media technology to express their views and debate political ideas.

Pooria Jafereh, a journalist with BBC Monitoring, a service of the BBC that listens to media in different countries, joins The Takeaway with a look at the influence of media on this election. We also speak to Afshin Molavi, Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation and author of “Soul of Iran: A Nation’s Journey to Freedom." Also joining the discussion is Shappi Khorsandi, a stand-up comedian and author of "A Beginner's Guide to Acting English," to talk about the comedic aspects of Iranian politics.

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In Australia, a Rise in Attacks on Indian Students

Friday, June 12, 2009

Demonstrators are protesting in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, where dozens of assaults against Indian students have been reported in the past year. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says any racist attacks are “deplorable.” Gautam Gupta, a student who was attacked, says the authorities have been too slow to respond, so he’s set up the Federation of Indian Students of Australia to protect Indian students. He joins The Takeaway from Melbourne to talk about the rise in ethnic tensions.

Watch footage from the protests below.

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Summer Movies: "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3"

Friday, June 12, 2009

The latest summer blockbuster, which opens today, features a train in a starring role. It’s a remake of the 1974 film "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three," which starred Walter Matthau and the New York City subway. The New York Times film critic A.O. Scott offers his takeaway on the 2009 remake of "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3." (This one stars Denzel Washington and John Travolta.)

Watch the trailer for the 2009 take on "Pelham" below.

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Denver's Design for the Future: The "New Suburbia"

Friday, June 12, 2009

In Denver, Colorado, a group of urban planners and architects gather this week to debate urban design. How can suburbia and downtown get closer? Joining The Takeaway from Denver is Ellen Dunham, the Director of the Architecture program at Georgia Institute of Technology and the co-author of "Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs".

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Riding the Rails: Upgrading Transportation in Denver

Friday, June 12, 2009

Like many cities, Denver is struggling to connect its suburbs to its downtown, and to create a new kind of city center. Continuing our series on the New Urbanism, The Takeaway talks to Matt Dellinger. He talks about the city's light rail project and the attempt to design and define new communities.

Follow along on The Takeaway's Urban Safari series.

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Ideology or the Economy? Iranians Head to the Polls

Friday, June 12, 2009

It’s election day in Iran. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is facing a tough challenge from Mir Hossein Mousavi, a moderate former prime minister. Outsiders may see this as an ideological choice for Iranians, but in fact there are basic pocketbook issues at stake. The economy is in serious trouble, with unemployment at 17 percent and inflation over 23 percent, according to Iran’s Central Bank. Joining The Takeaway to take a look at the election are Afshin Molavi, a Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, and author of “Soul of Iran: A Nation’s Journey to Freedom,” and Radman Rabii, a Mousavi supporter.

"These elections have exposed serious rifts within the ruling leadership, but they've also excited the public like no other election before."
— Afshin Molavi, senior fellow at the New America Foundation, on Iranian elections

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Holocaust Museum Shooter: A History of Hate

Thursday, June 11, 2009

An 88-year-old white supremacist walked into the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. yesterday with a rifle, fatally shooting a security guard. The alleged shooter, James von Brunn, is believed to have a long history of anti-Semitic beliefs.

Joining The Takeaway is a man whose organization tracks threats and attacks by hate groups, Mark Potok, Director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project.

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Hate Crimes: The Holocaust Museum Shooting

Thursday, June 11, 2009

An 88-year-old white supremacist with a rifle walked into the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, fatally wounding a security guard. The gunman was identified by law enforcement officials as James W. von Brunn, who embraces conspiracy theories involving Jews, blacks and other minority groups and has waged a personal war with the federal government. Jack Levin, Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Northeastern University joins The Takeaway to talk about the shooting and the trends in hate crimes.

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The Human Cost of Zimbabwe's Troubles

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Morgan Tvangirai, is in Washington this week to meet with President Obama. He’s here to garner support for Zimbabwe’s power-sharing “Unity” government. What's the real state of the country, politically and economically? The BBC Mike Thomson has just returned from an undercover reporting trip to the country, and joins The Takeaway to talk about Zimbabwe's troubles, and the orphans who suffer the price.

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Is Obama's Body Language Friendly or a Power Play?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

When Obama meets with top leaders and government officials, he often puts an arm around their shoulders. To some, this could be seen as a friendly gesture, but to others it's a power play. What does a politician's body language really mean? Joining The Takeaway to decipher this for us is Karen Studd, a teacher of movement analysis at the Laban Institute of Movement Studies, who is an Associate Professor of Dance at George Mason University.

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An Experiment in Teacher Pay: $125,000 Starting Salary

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The average salary for middle-school teachers is $46,000, according to the Department of Labor. But a charter school in New York’s Washington Heights will be paying a salary of $125,000, trying to find out if better pay means a better education. Zeke Vanderhoek, the founder and principal of the charter school The Equity Project (TEP) joins The Takeaway to talk about the school. The Takeaway also has Joe Williams, Executive Director of Democrats for Education Reform, to talk about whether paying teachers a high salary would improve public schools in the long run.

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A Talk with the Pay "Overseer": What's Fair?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Obama administration has announced the appointment of a compensation czar who will regulate executive pay at seven of the largest companies getting TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) funds. He will also develop a compensation structure for 80 smaller companies. The man who is taking on that job is Kenneth Feinberg, a Washington, D.C. attorney who was in charge of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. He joins The Takeaway to tell us about his plans. (Click through to read the interview.)

"Let everybody know exactly what we're doing, why we're making these decisions, why we feel they're the right decisions, and let the public then decide for themselves with full disclosure." — Compensation overseer Kenneth Feinberg

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Is Iran's Ahmadinejad Getting Desperate?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wrapped up his re-election campaign by accusing his opponents of conspiring with Israelis to discredit him. He went on TV to denounce them for lying, insulting him and being corrupt. The BBC's Jon Leyne is in Tehran to review the Iranian campaign and predict how fair or free the vote will be.

For more on Ahmadinejad and the Iranian elections, watch the video below.

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How Gentrification Changes a City

Thursday, June 11, 2009

In the past 50 years, Denver has grown from a small city to a sprawling metropolitan region. With urban sprawl comes gentrification. The Takeaway caught up with Andres Duany, the founding member of the New Urbanism movement, to ask him about gentrification. How do you keep a neighborhood mixed, economically and socially?

Also, hear this bonus web-only interview we did with Duany on urban sprawl!

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Waiting for the Train: A City Safari in Denver

Thursday, June 11, 2009

This week The Takeaway is examining Denver as a laboratory for how the American city and surrounding suburbs are changing. The so-called "new urbanists" are pushing for more walkable, mixed-use (and mixed price) communities. They are gathering in Denver this week for the Congress on New Urbanism.

Matt Dellinger, transportation writer, joins The Takeaway to talk about who he's met and what he's learned while on safari in downtown Denver.

Follow along on The Takeaway's Urban Safari series.

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You Call This a Government? The Mess in Albany

Thursday, June 11, 2009

On Monday New York State Senate Republicans staged a coup against the Democratic majority. In response, the Democrats refused to unlock the gates to the Senate chamber, and state business has come to a standstill. Rex Smith, Editor of the Albany Times-Union, joins The Takeaway with a look at the New York state government's chaos.

Watch footage from the floor of the Senate in the video below.

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The Pay Czar: Setting the Pay Scale for Executives

Thursday, June 11, 2009

In response to criticism of outlandish executive pay, the government is now tightening the reins. Yesterday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner announced the brand new position of "pay czar" and appointed Ken Feinberg, the Washington lawyer known for setting the compensation amount for families of the 9/11 victims. Now he turns his attention to setting a very different kind of monetary figure. To talk about this is Nell Minow, editor and co-founder of the Corporate Library, a think-tank that studies executive pay.

"Banking is different than many other industries in that the government is really compelled. It doesn't have an option. It's compelled to bail out the banks when they get in trouble or the whole economy and society collapse."
— Business professor Peter Morici

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Say Hello to the Millionth English Word

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The English language is a rich and wondrous thing and just got its millionth word: Web-2.0. Global Language Monitor, which searches the internet for new words, claims that that is a word: it's been used 25,000 times, the GLM's standard for recognition. The firm says a new word is born on average every 98 minutes. Joining us from London is Lawrence Pollard, BBC Arts Correspondent.

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Battle of the Brands: Do Attack Ads Work?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Consumers are spending less money, so companies are using increasingly aggressive advertising techniques to compete for dwindling dollars. Does bashing your competitors help or hurt? Advertising consultant Cindy Gallop joins The Takeaway to describe the fierce ad climate.

"It's the brands that project the most confidence in themselves that can sell themselves on their own merits, and not attack the competition, that will ultimately succeed."
— Advertising consultant Cindy Gallop on advertising in the recession

This Domino's commercial is an example of the battle of the brands. Take a look.

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