Today the Senate is likely to pass a bill allowing the FDA to regulate tobacco. A similar measure passed the House in April. The bill bans all kinds of flavored cigarettes except menthol, which are disproportionately smoked by African Americans. Representative Donna Christensen, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus’ Health Braintrust, and Bill Robinson, Executive Director of the National African American Tobacco Prevention Network, join John and Farai with a look at how the bill may affect the health of African-Americans.
The price of oil has risen to just over $71 dollars a barrel, which is a high point for the year. This is good news for a global commodity that has seen its prices drop by 100 percent in the past three months. But the price increase could hit American's pocketbooks hard. Mark Gregory, international business reporter for our partners the BBC, joins us with his analysis.
The first detainee from Guantanamo Bay prison to face civilian trial in the U.S. pleaded "not guilty" in a New York court on Tuesday. Ahmed Ghailani is charged with helping to coordinate the bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The transfer and trial of this detainee is viewed as an important step in the Obama administration’s plan to close Guantanamo Bay. The Takeaway talks to Jonathan Mahler author of The Challenge: Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and the Fight over Presidential Power about what this first trial means for the nation and the detainees.
The tiny South Pacific island state of Palau has agreed to temporarily resettle 17 Chinese Muslims being held in Guantanamo Bay prison. The men are ethnic Uighurs from China's north-western Xinjiang province; they were cleared for release four years ago by U.S. authorities but have had nowhere to go. They can't be returned to China for fear they'd be mistreated and their resettlement in the U.S. faced fierce political opposition. Palau's current President, Johnson Toribong, said his country was “honored and proud” to take the detainees. We speak to Palau’s former president Tommy Remengesau, who stepped down in January, about the island's decision.
"It’s the long-term ramifications. What is the view of the very people we’re trying to invite to Palau as tourists? What will they think of Palau if they know that we are hosting Guantanamo Bay detainees?"
— Former Palau president Tommy Remengesau on the hosting of Guantanamo Bay detainees
In hockey and basketball, the finals continue. The Pittsburgh Penguins grabbed a 2-to-1 victory over Detroit on the ice, forcing a Game 7 in the NHL's Stanley Cup finals. Meanwhile in the NBA, Orlando finally found its Magic touch, winning 108-104 over the Lakers last night. They'll face off in Game 4 on Thursday. We’re getting all the details — and predictions — from The Takeaway sports contributor Ibrahim Abdul-Matin.
Watch highlights from Game 6 of the hockey final in the video below.
Pakistan's Swat Valley has gone from a popular summer vacation destination to a place of horror. An estimated two million people have been displaced as the Pakistani army battles Taliban militants in Swat, while Pakistani immigrants in America watch the situation anxiously. The Takeaway is taking the pulse of the Pakistani-American community with Mohammed Razvi. He’s the Executive Director of the Council of People’s Organization, a nonprofit organization serving the South Asian Community.
Yesterday a suicide bombing at a luxury hotel in northwestern Pakistan killed 11 people in what the U.N. condemned as a "heinous terrorist attack." In response to such acts, Pakistani villagers are taking up arms against the Taliban in what's being described as a grassroots rebellion. Yesterday the Pakistani army launched a major offensive to support the grassroots rebellion. Joining us now from Pakistan is Chris Morris, the BBC's South Asia correspondent Islamabad who has been covering this ongoing fight.
State Senator R. Creigh Deeds won Virginia's three-way Democratic primary for governor Tuesday. Deeds’ win over former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe was something of a surprise. What is the political future of this "purple" state? The Takeaway talks to Beverly Amsler, morning anchor for WVTF radio in Roanoke, Virginia.
White-collar criminals tend to receive different sentences from violent offenders, but a judge in New York gave a guilty executive a really different sentence. He required the former senior vice president to write a book about the nature of his crime. And this isn't a first for the judge: he also made a lobbyist write a tome on his offenses. Judge Ricardo Urbina of the U.S. District Court in Washington joins us this morning to explain his take on justice, restitution, and reform.
Judge Urbina is also the judge who ordered the Bush administration to release the 17 Uighurs held at Guantanamo in October of last year. We talked with Judge Urbina about this morning's news that the small Pacific island nation of Palau will resettle these 17 Uigurs.
This week The Takeaway looks at how cities are reinventing themselves for a world that doesn't depend on cars. Transportation writer (and Takeaway Contributor) Matt Dellinger is in Denver, CO, a town that has epitomized American urban sprawl. But Denver wants to reinvent itself and as the host city for the Congress on New Urbanism, the city is well on its way to streamlining its infrastructure. Also joining the conversation is Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, to discuss how his city is reshaping itself.
Above is the 3-minute video that won the Congress for the New Urbanism's 2009 video contest. It's called "Built to Last" and it is from filmmakers First + Main Media from Julian, CA and Paget Films from Buffalo, NY (John Paget, Dr. Chris Elisara, and Drew Ward).
The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday that it will not review the Pentagon's controversial "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy, which requires U.S. service members to keep their sexual orientation under wraps. In 2000, the UK armed forces integrated gay and lesbian service members nearly overnight with some surprising results. The Takeaway talks to Retired Lieutenant Commander Craig Jones of the British Royal Navy. He was a fierce advocate of British military integration.
In 22 cities around the country, Shriners' Hospitals for Children provide top-of-the-line care to anyone under the age of 18 for absolutely free—they accept no government funding or insurance payments. But the organization's endowment has been devastated by the economic crisis, and the membership is voting in early July on a proposal to close six hospitals. Parents of patients at the threatened hospitals are signing petitions and holding fundraisers to try and save the hospitals. Bob Houden, spokesperson for the Shriners Hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania, which could be closed, and Laura Marinucci, the parent of a Shriners patient who founded Save our Shriners, join The Takeaway to talk about this potential latest casualty of the recession.
Sixty years ago, George Orwell's dystopian masterpiece 1984 was published and imagery like Big Brother, Room 101, and the "thought police" entered the vernacular. It's a book that has resonated with the public, playing off the fear of government surveillance and encroachment on individual rights. Orwell's pessimistic vision didn't come to pass by 1984, but we turn to BBC arts correspondent Lawrence Pollard to discuss how the book is relevant today.
From the cinematic version of the book, here's an explanation of war:
In July, the American Academy of Pediatrics will come out with a new statement on how to prevent childhood bullying. They suggest that schools adopt a program in which children are encouraged to reach out to victims and isolate bullies. Can schools really make bullying uncool? Dr. Robert Sege, one of the lead authors on the policy, joins The Takeaway with his big ideas.
U.S. Special Envoy for the Middle East George Mitchell is in Jerusalem today for meetings with Israeli leaders. Yesterday he called for "immediate" peace talks between the Israeli and Palestinians. That comes on the back of President Obama’s speech in Cairo last week where he made clear his wish for a two-state solution to the conflict and the end of Israeli settlement building in the West Bank. The BBC's Diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus joins us with his analysis.
Thanks to the protest of a group of Indiana-based debt holders, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay on the deal to sell Chrysler to Italian carmaker Fiat. The stay of proceedings allows the Court to consider whether to hear the objections of three Indiana state funds and consumer groups. Many industry watchers saw this deal as Chrysler's best chance to avoid liquidation. Joining us to look at how the Court will proceed — and if this will force Chrysler to fold— is Michael de la Merced, business reporter with our partner, The New York Times.
The iPhone is getting cheaper. Yesterday Apple announced it was slashing the price of the current iPhone in half just as it launches a new version, which is the third new model since 2007. This comes days after Palm launches it's so-called "iPhone killer," the Palm Pre. New York Times personal technology editor Sam Grobart helps us navigate the buying frenzy.
This week the Senate is expected to pass a bill to give the Food and Drug Administration the power to regulate tobacco products. The bill does not ban cigarettes, nor does it restrict sales to consenting adults; it largely concentrates on marketing. Terms like "low tar" and "light" are gone, the Surgeon General's warnings will get much larger and brighter-colored, and except for menthol, there will be no more flavored cigarettes. To talk us through the details of the bill, we turn The Takeaway's Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that judges must recuse themselves from ruling on cases that involve individuals who have spent money to help put the judge on the bench. It sounds like a fairly straightforward ruling. But the decision raises larger questions of just how we elect and appoint judges in this country. For a look at the tricky process of electing judges, The Takeaway talks to Adam Liptak, Supreme Court Correspondent for our partners The New York Times, and to Tom Phillips, a lawyer with Baker Botts in Austin, Texas, who served as the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court from 1988 to 2004.
"Whenever you treat a judge the same way you treat other officials that have a different position in office, you tend to confuse within the public's mind, and perhaps even in the judge's mind, the very different roles that different officers in the government perform."
— Attorney Tom Phillips on reforms in appointing judges
With GM likely to declare bankruptcy on June 1st, autoworkers are gearing up for another round of bad news. How are the workers bracing themselves? The Takeaway talks to Will Marcum, who works on full-sized trucks for GM in Pontiac, Michigan.
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