When we spoke with Janie Larson a year ago, the soaring cost of oil, the rising cost of food and the months of unemployment that she had just emerged from had her going to a food bank for the first time. One year later, we check in with Janie to see how she's been weathering this economic climate.
The swine flu remains an "outbreak" not a "pandemic," but global health officials are warning that it could turn into one. The virus is now in at least 10 countries and World Health Organization has raised its pandemic threat level to Phase 5. How prepared are the states after shedding thousands of workers in their health departments? The Takeaway is joined by Dr. Paul Jarris, executive director of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.
"The public health community at the state, local and federal level has been preparing for years for a pandemic. We are well-prepared. We have plans, they've been exercised, they've been drilled and right now they're being put in place across the country." —Dr. Paul E. Jarris on the nation's preparedness for a flu pandemic
In New Orleans, the city's famed Jazz & Heritage Festival is underway. And of course, most people go for the music. But there's another side to JazzFest: the food. The Takeaway is joined by Kathy Gunst, a food writer and radio producer who did some digging into Louisiana's favorite dishes, from gumbo to jambalaya to ya ka mein.
President Barack Obama marked his first 100 days in office last night with a prime-time news conference. It was the third of Obama's presidency, and the first not dominated by the recession. April Ryan, White House Correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, and Julie Mason, White House Correspondent for The Washington Examiner, join The Takeaway to review the press conference.
In case you missed it, watch Obama's comments about waterboarding in the video below.
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The Takeaway's Femi Oke talks with middle school students in Brooklyn, New York, about how they’re dealing with the recession. The kids describe fewer trips to the movies and grocery stores, worrying about crime or becoming homeless and coping with their parents losing jobs. And, they offer some advice to stressed out grown-ups.
It's a sad fact of life, and particularly this economy, that people get laid off and fired from jobs. Femi Oke went out and found stories behind the statistics. She joins us with their tales of last emails and bitter adieus. So what is the etiquette of saying farewell? Do you send a mass email to your entire contact list? Or just pack up your cubicle and slip out the back door? Here to help us figure out what is the best (and worst) way to say goodbye is Sheryl Spanier a career management consultant.
"Don't say anything negative about your former boss, because there's going to be a future boss who's going to know about that. And do you think he wants you to work for him if you've spoken that way about your current employer?" —Sheryl Spanier, a career management consultant, on leaving a job gracefully
Be sure to check out our video "Parting shots: Allison Walker's goodbye email":
Contributor's Notes: Tips for making an elegant exit from your job from Sheryl Spanier
•The last thing you say and do is the first thing others will remember.
•Preserve your reputation and relationships with grace and gravitas.
•Keep the emotion out of your communications. Vent, if you must, privately and only to loved ones.
•Engender respect: Behave in exiting the way you behave in excelling at work — with dignity and self worth.
•Leaving gracefully requires courage and consideration for others' feelings. Remember, they are suffering a loss, too.
•Make your exit statement simple, short and strategic. Speak positively about your accomplishments and experience, state simply the business facts of your departure (downsizing, cutbacks, position elimination, change of direction/management). Say you are putting some thoughts/plans together about next career steps. Create opportunities for future follow up.
•Create a “Reason for Leaving" statement that your organization will support so that what you say and they say are consistent.
•Communicate your departure (and contact information).
Want to read Allison Walker's good bye email? Click here.
In Bangkok, anti-government protests have turned violent. Supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra are calling for the removal of the current ruler, Abhisit Vejjajiva, who took office four months ago. Thai soldiers dispensed tear gas and fired shots at the protesters, who responded with throwing gasoline bombs. Around 70 people are injured, but there are no reported deaths. For more we turn to Seth Mydans, the Southeast Asia correspondent for the New York Times.
For footage of the violent protests, watch the video below.
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently advocated in favor of mayoral control of big-city schools. It is a system that is already in cities such as New York, Boston, and Chicago and Los Angeles, Dallas, and Newark are considering making the move. Is this growing trend good for the students? So far test results show that students aren't necessarily doing better in schools run by mayors. Here to help us take a closer look at the pros and cons of school governance is Joseph Viteritti, professor at Hunter College and editor of When Mayors Take Charge.
The Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia came to an extraordinary close yesterday with a sudden death victory by Angel Cabrera, the first Argentine in history to win the tournament. Joining The Takeaway to take a look at the exciting finish is sports blogger Ibrahim Abdul-Matin.
In case you missed Cabrera's winning shot, you can watch it below.
The International Olympic committee's visit in Chicago created quite a stir, because the positive responses from the committee's members made it seem that Chicago was a viable contender for the 2016 Olympics. If the Olympics were to be in Chicago, the proposed site would be in the South Side — Bronzeville to be exact. Bronzeville is a low-income community that has fought against wide-spread gentrification and is worried that having the Olympic site in their neighborhood may encourage this. Natalie Moore, reporter with WBEZ for the South Side Bureau, joins The Takeaway to talk about neighborhood reaction to the IOC meeting. She actually grew up in Bronzeville and still lives there today.
The Obama administration appears to be headed for a tough battle with the private student loan industry and its supporters in Congress. The Congressional Budget Office wants to forgo subsidized loans for direct government lending, a move that the loan industry says may cost them billions. President Obama wants to end a subsidized loan program and redirect billions of dollars in bank profits to scholarships for needy students. For more on this looming battle, The Takeaway talks to David Herszenhorn from our partner The New York Times.
For more on the looming budget battle, read David Herszenhorn's article, Plan to Change Student Lending Sets Up a Fight, in today's New York Times.
The world breathed a sigh of relief yesterday when the captain of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama was rescued unharmed from Somali pirates who had held him hostage for five days. But though this one prominent case is over, the crews of about twelve other ships—more than two hundred people—are still being held by Somali pirates, according to the watchdog group the International Maritime Bureau. Author and broadcaster Nick Rankin made a three-part report on pirates for the BBC last year. He joins The Takeaway with a look at the menace of piracy and its hold on our imaginations. Because despite the harsh reality of armed impoverished Somalis on lifeboats, from Pirates of the Caribbean to the Dread Pirate Roberts, Captain Hook to Treasure Island, there is something about the pirate life that captures our imagination.
It's Monday and once again we are asking New York Times International Business Editor Marcus Mabry to peer into his crystal ball and give us a clue as to the week ahead. This week his prognostications include reports from the big banks, leaks of information about the toxic asset valuation program, President Obama's trip to Mexico, and, of course, the new First Dog.
For five long days Richard Phillips, the captain of the American cargo ship Maersk Alabama, was held captive on a lifeboat by Somali pirates. In a dramatic rescue yesterday U.S. Navy snipers freed him. The standoff was ended, but the bigger situation is far from over. Pirates are still holding a dozen ships with more than 200 crew members from countries around the globe. Add to that the fact that some maritime experts expect the number of pirate attacks around the Horn of Africa to actually increase after this capture. For an overview of the pirates' life we are joined by New York Times reporter Scott Shane.
What have you heard about clean coal? That it involves vats of liquid carbon dioxide annexed away underground? That it's dangerous? That it's never been done before? In an exclusive interview, Scientific American's energy and environmental editor David Biello sits down with The Takeaway to chat about the technology formally known as "carbon capture and sequestration" ("CCS"), carbon balloons, and carbon geysers— the newest Old Faithfuls.
Check out more of what Biello has to say on Scientific American, where he did a week's worth of carbon capture and sequestration coverage.
And for more coverage of what a "new energy economy" will look like, check out The Takeaway's Power Trip clean energy series.
Tough economic times aren’t just hitting us in the pocket, they’re hitting many of us in the head as well. Last week Pam Belluck from the New York Times reported on the heightened psychological anxiety many people are experiencing due to the economy— a phenomenon we're calling Recession Depression. But once you start worrying about the economy, what can you do to stop? For some advice on how to cope with psychological stress brought on by the economic downturn, The Takeaway talks to Dr. Robin Kerner, a clinical psychologist at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in New York City.
"Some of that discharge is actually a good thing, though, if you don't recommend firearms or throwing objects that can hurt somebody. But the idea of keeping it bottled up, that's not healthy and that actually can cause a lot of those physical symptoms of stress." —Clinical psychologist Dr. Robin Kerner on dealing with anxiety over the economy
Yesterday a roadside bomb killed an American serviceman north of Baghdad. And on Friday, five U.S. soldiers were killed by a suicide bomber in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, which is the largest number of U.S. troops to die in a single incident in many months. In the midst of the tentative peace that has been become almost normal in Iraq, these bombings are violent reminders that Iraq is still a treacherous place. In the wake of this violent display, is President Obama's timetable for American withdrawal still realistic? Joining The Takeaway is David Phillips, a former member of the State Department’s “Future of Iraq” project and now at the Atlantic Council and Jim Muir from the BBC joins us from Baghdad, Iraq.
"It's important to recognize that in both Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States is not going to achieve a so-called victory. At best we're going to be able to create an end-state that's reasonably stable and that can justify the draw-down of U.S. troops." —David Phillips, former member of the State Department's "Future of Iraq" on Obama's proposed withdrawal
As a follow up to our experiment of asking people to check in with The Takeaway as they go about their daily lives, we turn to the man who suggested the project to begin with, our producer Jim Colgan. He joins us to explain why listeners, like our other guest, Richard Lavely, would want to call in and why others just didn't get it.
When Wangari Maathai suggested to women in her village that they should plant trees for fire wood and to stop soil erosion, she had no idea that this simple act of planting trees would eventually garner her the Nobel Peace Prize. The Takeaway is joined by Wangari Maathai Nobel Prize winning activist, founder of the Greenbelt Movement, and author of the new book, The Challenge for Africa, about her vision for the future. Her life is subject of the documentary Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai, which premiered on the PBS series Independent Lens this week.
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