Over the weekend, China and Russia vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that would have supported an Arab League peace plan for Syria, claiming the plan would have violated Syria’s sovereignty. On Sunday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed the veto during a speech in Sofia, Bulgaria, stating, "Faced with a neutered Security Council we have to redouble our efforts outside of the United Nations with those allies and partners who support the Syrian people's right to have a better future."
In September 2010, Tyler Clementi's name became synonymous with bullying, suicide, and the "It Gets Better" project. But while many sensational headlines made it seem as though Clementi was unwillingly outed via a sex tape made available on the internet, the real story is significantly different and far more complicated. New accounts of the case published this week in the New Yorker and OUT magazine — the latter of which was written by Clementi's older brother — reveal the role race, class, and personality had to do with this devastating story.
On Sunday, the American Embassy in Cairo offered to shelter American citizens barred from leaving the country after the Egyptian government instituted a travel ban on 17 American citizens working for NGOs within the country. Sam LaHood, son of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, is among the Americans stuck in Cairo. The American Embassy's need to shelter American citizens in a once-friendly nation symbolizes a serious rift in U.S.–Egypt relations.
In the last 15 years, California, Arizona, and Massachusetts have all replaced bilingual education with English immersion programs as a way to address the achievement gap between native and non-native speakers. Statistics show that only 11 percent of California’s English learners reached proficiency last year. How to teach new immigrants English has become an increasingly divisive debate in classrooms across the country with politicians like Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich chiming in to show their support of English immersion programs.
Facebook is scheduled to release its initial public offering sometime on Wednesday, and is rumored to be valued at $100 billion. If it turns out to be worth more than $100 billion, Facebook would be the fifteenth-largest IPO in world history, out-valuing Google's 2004 IPO by sixfold. This means big changes for the company itself, which could see many of its chief ideas people and programmers striking out on their own.
Stephen Colbert's super PAC, Making a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow has raised more than $1 million since getting a green-light from the Federal Election Commission last June. Making a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow has managed to find hilarity in the minutiae of campaign finance — and revealed its inner workings to millions of Americans. But none of this would've been possible without Trevor Potter, Colbert’s attorney and the former FEC Commissioner.
On Monday Arab League representatives met with the United Nations Security Council to discuss a plan of action for Syria. More than 5,000 Syrians have been killed by government forces since protests against President Bashar Al-Assad began last March. Secretary of state Hillary Clinton delivered a strong message of support to the Syrian resistance the same day: "The longer the Assad regime continues its attacks on the Syrian people and stands in the way of a peaceful transition, the greater the concern that instability will escalate and spill over throughout the region."
This week, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich battle for votes in the Florida Primary. Republican candidates then move on to Nevada, where the state will caucus on Saturday. Both Florida and Nevada have a significant Latino population, and the candidates will likely use their campaigns to attract Latino voters across the United States. As the Republican candidates duke it out in Florida, the Senate will introduce the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act (STOCK Act), to prevent lawmakers from trading stocks based on information from Congressional briefings.
Early Sunday morning, approximately 2,000 Syrian soldiers launched an assault on the suburbs of Damascus. Armed tanks rolled into the outskirts of the city where many dissident soldiers have taken up residence. This latest spate of violence comes as the Arab League officially suspended its monitoring mission in Syria citing increasing violence and civilian deaths.
It's getting down to the wire in Florida, with Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney neck-and-neck in the polls. The Latino vote is essential to win the Sunshine State, but it might be even more important for the general election in November. According to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, 12.2 million Latinos will vote in the 2012 presidential election, a 26 percent increase from 2008. But whether Latinos like what they've seen in the lead-up to the Florida primary remains to be seen.
This week President Obama begins his first campaign tour of the 2012 election, touring five key swing states this week: Iowa, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, and Michigan. The independent or undecided voters in these crucial states are what will decide the 2012 election. The Takeaway turns to two such voters to see which issues are most important to them.
On Tuesday night, the Navy's SEAL Team Six rescued a Dutch and an American aid worker who had been held by Somali pirates since October. The pirates had held the aid workers hostage in a desert hide-out since October. SEAL Team Six first came into the general public's awareness last May after leading the mission to kill Osama Bin Laden. Along with an increasing reliance on unmanned drone strikes in combat zones, the future of the U.S. military might be a smaller, more covert venture.
A number of political analysts have noted that President Obama has been far more successful in the foreign policy arena than domestically. But the President who managed to find Osama Bin Laden still faces a tough re-election battle this year. David Sanger, Chief Washington correspondent for our partner The New York Times, and contributor to WQXR's The Washington Report gives his thoughts on the foreign policy points made during last night's state of the union address.
Politicians from both sides of the aisle took to the airwaves to attack or defend president Obama's remarks last night, setting the tone for the rest of his first term in office. But perhaps more importantly, the State of the Union informally kicked off the president's reelection campaign. This morning, The Takeaway takes a look at how his words resonated with three voters from across the country.
The Republican candidates kicked off their Florida campaigns at last night's debate in Tampa. Florida is the first Republican presidential battleground with a significant Latino population, and as Mitt Romney battles Newt Gingrich for the lead in the Sunshine State, Latinos across the country are taking note. How the candidates position themselves on immigration and court the highly influential Cuban-American vote remains to be seen.
Over the past ten months, Syrian Security Forces have killed more than 5,000 protestors across the country. But this weekend, two key voices announced their calls to action: the Arab League will seek U.N. Security Council approval to peacefully end the rule of President Bashar al-Assad, and Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer introduced a bill that would block financial aid and create trade sanctions against Syrian leaders involved in the crackdown.
This week, President Obama delivers the State of the Union, then travels to five states that promise to be key battlegrounds for this year's election: Iowa, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and Michigan. As the President begins his swing state tour, Republican candidates will be setting up camp in Florida, preparing for two debates in the next primary state.
Science fiction author Philip K. Dick died in 1983 at 53 years old. His cultural influence is everywhere, from box office hits like "Minority Report," to the novels of the late David Foster Wallace. His dark, twisted stories about drugs, psychological disorders, and government conspiracies have won awards and left an impression on the science fiction landscape.
Over the past few weeks, The Takeaway has reported about student loan debt and rising tuition costs. President Obama recently unveiled a new program that he says will help lower the interest rates on student loans. But his strategy does not help students who graduated before 2012. As cash-strapped states continue to cut funding for public universities, tuition is likely to keep on rising. How should public universities balance budget cuts and tuition hikes?
Last week, The Takeaway reported that student loan debt is rising along with the college tuition rate. According to the College Board, the average cost per year of tuition is up more 8.3 percent for public four year colleges and up 4.5 percent for private schools. The average college student now finishes school with between $22,000 and $28,000 of debt. While President Obama announced a new program that the White House says will help lower student loan interest rates, some students refuse to take on the burden of debt. Celeste is in Los Angeles this week and she spoke to one such student, a UCLA undergraduate who is so concerned about debt, he's decided to finish his education homeless.