After being held in detention for six weeks, the Libyan government announced on Wednesday that they will release four foreign journalists. Just a day earlier, the Libyan government had sentenced the journalists to one year of captivity on charges of illegally entering the country. And a fifth journalist, Dorothy Parvaz who works for Al Jazeera, arrived safely at the network’s headquarters in Doha after disappearing in Syria and being sent to Iran. We talk with Diane Foley, the mother of James Foley, a reporter for the Global Post who was among the four detained in Libya.
As the summer season comes closer and closer, one question abounds: where are you going for vacation? If you have a large car and a large family, the answer might be closer to home. Gas prices are at a nearly all-time high around the U.S. So, is it really affecting behavior? We've been asking listeners to weigh in with the prices at the pump in their own communities, and whether or not that will have an impact on summer travel. John Manrique, Takeaway listener on WLRN in South Florida talks about his expensive commute. And other listeners weigh in.
The crackdown on pro-democracy activists in Syria has worsened. Plain clothes police have been pulling protesters off the streets and throwing them into vans, and threatening imprisonment to those who have video of protests on their cell phones. We get an update on the situation in that country from Anthony Shadid, reporter for The New York Times. Shadid explains that Syria's government is "in survival mode and it has signaled it's intention in brute force." Is it time for international intervention?
Poverty continues to raise questions for economists, who have differing viewpoints on its source and its solution. A new book out by two MIT Economists moves away from the question of why poverty toward looking at how poor people behave and survive. They are asking questions like, "why would a man in Morocco, who doesn’t have enough to eat, buy at television set?" and "Does having lots of children make you poorer?"
Chris Groskopf, a news applications developer at the Chicago Tribune was faced with a family challenge. Following his divorce, his wife moved with their son to the small town of Tyler, Texas. Groskopf, wanting to live near his son, found a way to use his tech skills to carve out a role in Tyler. He is going to develop apps that will make Tyler's government, services, politics and news more accessible. For example, he says, it is challenging to find your polling place. Groskopf can make an app to help you with that!
We’re seeing the worst flooding along the Mississippi river in many decades. Eight states have evacuated residents, levees have been blown up or breached and the water is still coming. Many are saying that by the time the flooding reaches the southern Mississippi Delta, we’ll be looking at the worst flooding on this river since the great flood of 1927.
12 people died and hundreds were injured in sectarian clashes yesterday in Cairo. The violence was the result of longstanding tensions between Muslims and Coptic Christians in Egypt. Those tensions were softened in the immediate aftermath of the ouster of Hosni Mubarak in February. David Kirkpatrick, Foreign Correspondent for The New York Times, says the violence has slowly crept back into the lives of residents in Cairo.
The details and narrative of what happened during the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan have come out in bits and pieces over the last few days. Initial reports that Bin Laden met American forces with armed resistance seemed to be inaccurate and reports that bin Laden used one of his wives as a shield has also been recounted. Are White House officials revising history?
The two major Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, the party led by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have signed a historic accord to form a unity government. Fatah governs the West Bank, while Hamas, an Islamic group, controls the Gaza Strip. The agreement ends a four-year split. Back in 2007 Hamas pushed out forces loyal to Mahmoud Abbas from Gaza, one year after winning government elections.
There are, of course, major political ramifications of Osama Bin Laden's death for President Obama today. He can now take credit for the killing of Bin Laden. David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker and author of The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama, speaks with us about what Bin Laden's death will mean for Obama.
Mark Mazzetti, national security correspondent for The New York Times, speaks to us about news that Osama Bin Laden's trusted courier was integral to the operation that led to his killing.
The economic markets have responded positively to the death of Osama Bin Laden. Louise Story, Wall Street and finance reporter for our partner, The New York Times, talks with us about what's happening on Wall Street and why markets responded so positively.
How has Al Qaeda changed in the past few years, and what does this blow mean to the organization? Ahmed Rashid, journalist and author of Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia and other books, speaks with us about the future of Al Qaeda.
Hundreds of people have been confirmed dead after devastating storms ripped through the south on Wednesday. Thousands of residents are without power, while they continue to look for survivors and dig out from the wreckage. A spokeswoman for the Georgia Emergency Management Agency said yesterday that the death toll, which had reached 15 in the state, is fluid and is likely to rise. To get more of the news happening in the areas affected, we speak with Kim Severson of The New York Times, who is in Georgia.
Yesterday economists and the rest of the country let out a collective groan when the quarterly GDP numbers came out. The economy grew by a sad 1.8 percent in the last quarter. In the quarter before that, growth was at a healthy 3.1 percent. So what happened? Have we hit just a small bump in the road on the road to recovery, or is this a sign of a possible reversal?
It's been another tumultuous week in the Middle East. Another Day of Rage is planned today in Syria, and European governments are meeting to discuss possible sanctions. Meanwhile, human rights activists claim that the four anti-government protesters in Bahrain—who were sentenced to death on Thursday over the killing of two policemen—did not receive a fair trial. And in Morocco, at least fifteen people were killed and more were injured after a suicide bomber attack in a popular restaurant. Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland, speaks with us about the news coming out of the Middle East.
Yesterday, President Obama tried to dissuade Americans from getting distracted over whether he’s an American citizen. Then reality TV star and presidential hopeful Donald Trump quickly took credit for Obama’s move to release his long form birth certificate. Now Trump is flirting with the idea of prolonging the issue with concerns over the certificate’s authenticity and concerns over whether Obama should open up his academic records from his undergraduate work at Occidental College. Is the birther issue over? And how do conspiracy theories like these become full blown political issues?
For several weeks we’ve watched as videos have trickled out of Syria onto YouTube and other websites. The Syrian activists who take the video say they are images of protests that turned violent at the hands of the Syrian government.
For the second straight night, severe storms ravaged the South, killing at least one person in Arkansas and damaging more than 100 homes in rural East Texas. Harold Brooks, research meteorologist at the National Severe Storms Laboratory, talks to use about the storms.
How do you define the right to free speech? Some would argue it means being allowed to say what you believe, even when it's not popular. Others would say it means getting a good look at what kind of prescriptions that your doctor has given you. At least, that's the argument being made in a Supreme Court case today, in which company IMS Health will make a case for allowing pharmaceutical companies to get a gander at just what kind of prescriptions you're picking up at the pharmacy for marketing purposes.