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Jim here (the web editor), writing the newsletter on a day that only an Irishman should.
This morning’s news about the $76 million in prescription drugs that were stolen from an Eli Lily warehouse in Connecticut caught our attention for one main reason: Why were the thieves going after anti-depressants? The black market for painkillers might be a more obvious target, given the drugs' recreational use, but who knew illicit sales of Prozac and Zyprexa could drive this kind of heist? We’ll find out more about this on tomorrow’s show.
UPDATE: We booked the White House's drug czar, Gil Kerlikowske.
Arwa Gunja here with the night shift update.
We’ve booked P.J. Crowley, State Department Spokesperson, to discuss US aid efforts to Chile. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton visited Chile today with satellite phones in hand as she pledged more US support. Reports out of the country indicate that conditions are worsening. We’re aiming to get an update from a reporter on the ground in Concepción, one of the hardest hit cities.
We’ll also take a look at North Carolina public schools where there is a program in place to bus students based on their socio-economic background. The program has become very controversial and many parents are up in arms. There is a vote tonight to decide whether scrap the system, and tomorrow we’ll bring you the latest..
One other story likely to make headlines tomorrow is the status of marriage equality in Washington, D.C. Tomorrow will be the first day same-sex couples will be able to apply for marriage certificates. The co-chair of the DC for Marriage campaign will join us in the morning to discuss this victory for the gay community.
Finally, all day tomorrow we’re asking the question, what is one thing about your life that you want the world to know? And it seems to apply to so many of our segments tomorrow – from the survivors in Chile, to students in North Carolina being bussed based on their financial status, to the Americans living in some of America’s most depressed cities, and to the community in DC which will be adjusting to a landmark decision that will inevitably bring social change. For all our listeners, leave us a message here to tell us what we should know about your life. Or you can call us at 877-8-MYTAKE.
Hundreds are dead and 1.5 million people are displaced after one of the biggest earthquakes on record hit central Chile. Chile's president, Michelle Bachelet, says the massive 8.8 magnitude earthquake created "a catastrophe of such unthinkable magnitude that it will require a giant effort" to recover.
UPDATED: 5:45 p.m.
It's been a fast-moving afternoon. Around mid-day, reports said that the man who flew a small plane into a building in Austin, Tx., had a long and apparently suicidal note online, discussing his frustration with taxes and health care systems. We've kept an eye on it this afternoon, trying to gauge how much of the story will remain to be told by the time we go to air tomorrow morning. Is there a larger implication to this, or was it just a random act of violence from someone unhinged?
Rafer Guzman and Kristen Meinzer tweaked their sports movie question a bit – What are great sports movies for people who don't like sports? – but then found out late this afternoon that Rafer will be unable to join us tomorrow morning after all. So we began digging through our address books for other people who talk well about movies... Finding someone on short notice to work on an already-set premise will take a little scramble, but we'll find someone soon.
UPDATED: 10:25 p.m.
Alex Goldmark (Senior Producer) here, with what's changed recently for tomorrow's Takeaway.
We got to thinking about President Obama's announcement to fund the construction of new nuclear plants that would be the first since the Three Mile Island disaster in 1979. What we started wondering as we always do, is what is the local impact of this national policy. So we'll check in with the Mayor of Waynesboro, Georgia, near a nuclear plant set to expand.
We've got plenty of Olympic coverage lined up too, from the latest medal count to an expert take on the finer side of sport: the fashion of figure skating. Yes, really. And it will be interesting. Trust us.
Then we'll give you some Chinese new year recipes for a lucky year. Who doesn't want delicious luck?
UPDATED 9:20 p.m.
Alex Goldmark, the Senior Producer on the night duty here.
Well, after a little investigating we're changing our changes. The producer we put on the explosion story out of Connecticut reported back that there don't seem to be all that many incidents involving natural gas plants and safety issues. We didn't want to treat this like shark attacks where we make a bigger deal out of a high profile incident and create the impression there is a trend or persistent danger worthy of panic.
So instead, we're talking about what we do think is a potential real danger (though on a much longer time horizon). Tomorrow we'll try to evaluate the scope and trajectory of Iranian nuclear ambitions. Are sanctions the answer? Is engagement? And how far along is Iran really?
Our Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich will also bring us a radio obituary of John Murtha, including a list of all the public buildings already named after the Democratic Congressman in his district. It's way way more than you'd expect.
UPDATED: 5:40 PM
Alex (Senior Producer) here with some changes to tomorrow's show.
We've booked former Presidential candidate, Congressman Ron Paul to help us cover the energy, enigma and infighting around the Tea Party convention in Nashville. So that should be interesting.
A report from Miami on the hospitals there dealing with the influx of evacuees from Haiti, how the president wants to overhaul No Child Left Behind, the religion of "Groundhog Day" (the movie).
President Obama's State of the Union Address didn't have much to say on foreign policy or the war effort, but John Hockenberry got to ask Gen. David Petraeus about it when he sat down the head of U.S. Central Command this week. In part two of our wide ranging interview, Gen. Patreaus lays out the strategies and challenges in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
At a conference in London today, Afghan President Hamid Karzai is expected to address ways of reintegrating some Taliban members back into the Afghan political process. It's something we put to Gen. David Petraeus, the head of U.S. Central Command, which oversees forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Alongside the hundreds of thousands of casualties from the Haiti earthquake, there are even more individual stories that have yet to be told. One of those stories comes from Gabo Arora, who was working with the United Nations in Port-au-Prince on the day the earthquake struck. We hear Gabo's tale of survival and his feelings about returning to the country.
Alex here, Senior Producer on the night shift today ... All is going pretty much as planned. We've only added one major addition to the show. We've been curious for a while about the graphic nature of the images coming out of the rubble in Haiti. Our partner The New York Times was too. So we're planning a discussion on the changing norms of photojournalism. Are we bound forever more to see the most graphic pictures on front pages as newspapers are forced to keep pace with amateur photographers and social media distribution? Or is there something special about Haiti and coverage of this earthquake?
We continue our conversation with Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
John Hockenberry sat down with Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen at the Pentagon on Wednesday for a wide-ranging conversation. In this excerpt, we ask him about the use of Guantanamo Bay in the Haiti relief effort and working with a Haitian government in disarray.
The United States military is getting more involved in the Haiti relief effort by the day. On Wednesday, 4,000 more troops were added, bringing the total U.S. presence in the country to about 16,000. As the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen is the country's highest ranking officer in the armed services. John sat down with Adm. Mullen at the Pentagon on Wednesday for a wide-ranging conversation. In part one of our interview, we ask him about the use of Guantanamo Bay in the relief effort, the "war" with Al Qaeda, and the renewed focus on Yemen.
The United States military is getting more involved in the Haiti relief effort by the day. On Wednesday, 4,000 more troops were added, bringing the total U.S. presence in the country to about 16,000. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, the nation's highest ranking military officer, tells The Takeaway that he recognizes the scale of the U.S. footprint and insists the focus is to support other organizations. He also says the use of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is an option in the treatment of the many wounded Haitians.
John Hockenberry sat down with Adm. Mullen in the Pentagon on Wednesday. Here is a partial transcript of the interview.
This afternoon, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen sat down with John Hockenberry to talk about the U.S. military's role in the Haiti relief effort and the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan and Pakistan. But the country's highest ranking military official also told us how he finds the time to send frequent Twitter updates: He credits his wife.
We hear from listeners and people on the National Mall in Washington D.C., where one year ago today, President Obama was sworn into office.
We got this email on Sunday from Carol Fipp, an aid worker with The Hôpital Sacré Coeur in Milot, Haiti. She is trying to coordinate an airlift of injured quake victims from Port-au-Prince to their full-service hospital in Milot, which is 75 miles north of Port-au-Prince. So far, the hospital has only airlifted four patients. The New York Times reports a similar story from the medical charity Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières.