President Obama has said "it is up to Iranians to make decisions about who Iran's leaders will be." This stance has riled some Republicans who are urging the president to show solidarity with Moussavi supporters. To explain his view, The Takeaway is joined by Congressman Mike Pence, Republican from Indiana and Chairman of the House Republican Conference. He has introduced a resolution in Congress to express support for the protesters. We also have Professor Hamid Dabashi, a professor of Iranian Studies at Columbia University and author of Iran: A People Interrupted, for his take.
Mir Hossein Mousavi is the public face of Iran's protest movement. His supporters claim he was the real winner of the election that returned President Ahmadinejad to power. But who is Mousavi, really? Would he differ from Ahmadinejad on the issues of nuclear development or Israel? We turn to Professor Hamid Dabashi, professor of Iranian Studies at Columbia University and author of Iran: A People Interrupted and Islamic Liberation Theology: Resisting the Empire.
President Obama said yesterday that he will extend some benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees. But with the Defense of Marriage Act still in place, how big a step forward is really possible? The Takeaway talks to Kenji Yoshino, the Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law at the NYU School of Law.
To see a map of the state of gay rights across the globe, click here.
Protesters across Iran continue to dispute the election results that returned President Ahmadinejad to office. To help us understand what is happening on the ground in Tehran, we turn to Pooneh Ghoddossi from the BBC's Persian Television. They have been receiving communiques from Iranians, including more than 4,500 emails this morning already.
President Obama has proposed sweeping changes to the regulation of the country's financial system. But do these changes actually address the root causes of our financial crisis? For one view, we turn to Eliot Spitzer, former Attorney General and Governor of New York. When he was Attorney General he made a name for himself suing companies like AIG for deception, fraud and boosting the company’s stock price. He also discusses his personal feelings at having to watch the unfolding crisis as a bystander and not as political leader.
"Rearranging the deck chairs does not fundamentally alter the fact that the regulators had the power over the past few years."
— Eliot Spitzer on financial reform
President Obama's prescription for health care reform is simple: cut the costs, but keep the quality care. But how would that work in real life for doctors and hospitals? We turn to Dr. Elliott Fisher, professor of medicine and the director of the Center for Health Policy Research at Dartmouth Medical School. He's also the lead investigator for The Dartmouth Atlas, 20-plus year project that examines the wide variation in Medicare use and cost across the nation. He thinks low cost and high quality are not mutually exclusive.
Today the World Bank is raising its forecast for China's economic growth this year. Strong government investment and increased domestic demand have helped supported the growth of China's economy. For more, we turn to the BBC's Michael Bristow in Beijing.
Tehran braces for another day of protests today despite governmental bans on "unauthorized gatherings." To help us analyze the protests and draw parallels to the past is an expert on Iranian history and politics, Hamid Dabashi, a professor of Iranian Studies at Columbia University and the author of Iran: A People Interrupted and Islamic Liberation Theology: Resisting the Empire. We will also talk to Ali, a 25-year old mechanical engineer in Tehran, who is a supporter of opposition candidate Mir Hussein Mousavi.
"I don't see anything but a rise in the tax burden. We've made a lot of commitments and at some point we have to pay for them. We've basically been able to borrow our way out of them for a while."
— Justin Fox of Time Magazine on the alleged end of the recession
President Obama will sign a presidential memorandum today to extend benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees as far as allowed under the Defense of Marriage Act. It's a surprise move that comes as the president faces criticism from several gay rights leaders over what they suggest has been a failure to live up to campaign promises in the first months of his presidency. For more on what the memorandum might provide, we're joined by Politico's Ben Smith.
With the heath care debate heating up on the Hill, we’re examining how some communities cut costs and improve the quality of care. Recently, lawmakers have been looking to Grand Junction, Colorado, as a model. The Dartmouth Atlas (a 20-plus year project that examines the wide variation in Medicare use and cost across the U.S.) has ranked Grand Junction one of the most cost-efficient areas in the whole country. Joining us to talk about the Grand Junction model is one of the town’s medical leaders, Dr. Michael Pramenko. He is a family physician and serves on the Colorado Medical Society’s Congress for Health Care Reform.
Science's journey into the future is being delayed. A global attempt to create nuclear fusion is being threatened by rising costs and technical challenges. The ITER project was set up in 2006 by the U.S. and other countries to build an experimental nuclear fusion reactor in the south of France. But the weak economy might mean that fusion as a source of commercial power is at least a hundred years away. BBC science correspondent Matt McGrath joins us with more.
For an explanation of nuclear fusion, watch the video below.
Because of restrictions, the political crisis in the island nation of Madagascar hasn't been covered much by the global media. So those who want to follow the ongoing struggle have turned to other sources— like Twitter. The Takeaway talks to two young men who are using the micro-blogging service to compile and follow breaking news from Madagascar. We are joined by Aaron Dibner-Dunlap, a student at Columbia University who used to work in Madagascar.
In his new book Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back, author Douglas Rushkoff says that to get out of the current economic crisis, Americans must rethink their relationship with companies like Wal-Mart. He favors local economies, local currencies, and even the old-fashioned concept of getting to know your neighbors. He joins The Takeaway with more.
For a sneak peek at the book, here's a brief film of Life, Inc.
Supporters of Iranian Presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi called for a rally to go ahead on Wednesday, despite the government's crackdown. The regime has banned opposition gatherings, forbid international journalists from filming rallies, jailed protestors, and blocked access to social networking sites. New York Times columnist Roger Cohen joins us from Tehran where he has been monitoring the ongoing protests.
"While a repressive state can mow down dozens, perhaps hundreds of people, it cannot mow down hundreds of thousands of people... But this has been a very, very harsh clampdown."
— New York Times columnist Roger Cohen on the media ban in Iran
The financial industry is getting a makeover. Today President Obama will lay out some of the most significant changes to the U.S. financial system since the Great Depression. For a look at some of the reforms we might see, The Takeaway talks to Peter Morici. He's an economist and professor at the University of Maryland's School of Business.
"If they're too big to fail, they're often too big to sell, even in their pieces."
— Economist Peter Morici on U.S. banks
In a dramatic example of how the terrorist group may have reconstituted itself in Yemen, three German nationals were killed and six other foreigners remain missing after a kidnapping on Monday. Some experts believe al Qaida is responsible; they appear to be flourishing in the Arab world's poorest nation. The Takeaway speaks with Gregory Johnsen, terrorism analyst for the Jamestown Foundation, for more.
The modem. The rotary phone. "You've Got Mail!" These are sounds you may not hear much longer. The Takeaway is joining the BBC World Service in a project called Save Our Sounds. From all over the globe, people are sending in sound clips that they think should be saved. BBC Producer Kate Arkless Gray joins John and Femi to talk about the project. Send us your sound here. You can also follow the project on Twitter.
The government in Tehran is trying to control the flow of information inside Iran and to the outside world. But Iranians and foreign journalists are using a jigsaw of communications to piece together a picture of the news. We are joined by Kasra Naji, special correspondent for BBC Persian Television in London. Kasra is also the author of Ahmadinejad: The Secret History of Iran's Radical Leader.
In Tehran it's the third day of street demonstrations. The BBC's Marcus George is there, reporting under restrictions: journalists are not allowed to cover what are called 'unauthorised gatherings' or move around freely in Tehran. But there are no controls over what he can say. He joins us with his story.
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