Late Monday afternoon, a London court found three British Muslim men guilty of conspiracy to murder by plotting, three years ago, to blow up planes bound for North America. The men planned to smuggle liquid explosives disguised as soda bottles on board at least seven airplanes. We speak to the BBC’s Defense and Security Correspondent Rob Watson with details about the case.
Unemployment numbers last week showed the U.S. jobless rate at 9.7 percent: the highest since 1983. This number may be misleadingly low, however; the official unemployment rate counts only those who are actively looking for work, not those who have given up on the job search. When positive economic signs tempt those folks back into the job market, the official unemployment rate could actually go up. Louise Story is a Wall Street and finance reporter for our partners The New York Times -- she joins us to tell us more.
It’s official: summer vacation is over and Congress is back in session, preparing to pick up where they left off. This week, President Obama will attempt to take back control of the health care debate in a prime-time speech Wednesday night.
Joining us for a round table discussion on what awaits the President this week – from health care to Afghanistan to the overall happiness of the nation – is Peter Baker, White House correspondent for The New York Times; Jay Newton-Small, Washington reporter for Time Magazine; and Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports.
A series of truck bombs and other attacks have shaken central Baghdad today. According to the New York Times, the concerted attacks left huge dust clouds over the city and collapsed highways. A blast near the Foreign Ministry left a crater 30 feet deep and 60 feet wide. At this report, authorities estimate at least 75 people have been killed; over 300 were injured in the bombings. New York Times correspondent Sam Dagher joins us from Baghdad, along with the BBC's Natalia Antelava.
Forbes is set to release their list of the World's 100 Most Powerful Women. In honor of the women who will appear on that list, we put together our own roundtable to discuss what it means to be a powerful woman today, as well as who they think should be topping the list. Sarah Palin? Tina Fey? Angela Merkel? Oprah?
Our guests: Anna Deavere Smith, the Tony Award nominated actress, playwright and current Artist-in-Residence at the Center for American Progress; Faye Wattleton, former president for Planned Parenthood and current president of the Center for the Advancement of Women; and Carol Jenkins, president of the Women’s Media Center.
This week many large chain retail stores reported their earnings for the second quarter. While the numbers are down, they are beating analysts' expectations. That must be a good thing, right? Helping us decipher the results is New York Times business reporter Stephanie Rosenbloom.
Retired four star General Anthony Zinni knows something about being in command. Among other posts, he was in charge of U.S. Central Command during the run up to the Iraq war, in charge of all U.S. military operations in the Middle East. He has a new book out called Leading the Charge: Leadership Lessons from the Battlefield to the Boardroom. We asked him to apply his leadership lessons to an issue on everyone's mind: President Obama's management of the effort to reform health care.
Long-time Washington reporter, columnist and political pundit Robert Novak died yesterday after losing a battle to brain cancer. His five-decade-long career as a journalist and man-about-town may be forever tarnished by his involvement in the leaking of CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity in 2003. Joining us to discuss Robert Novak's illustrious career and dubious legacy is Michael Calderone, media reporter for Politico, and Albert Hunt, a friend of Mr. Novak's and the executive Washington editor of Bloomberg News.
For more, read Michael Calderone's article, CNN remembers Novak, at Politico.com.
Here's CNN's look at the life and legacy of Robert Novak:
The debate over reforming the nation's health care system has been raging for months, and it seems one of the groups watching the tussle most closely are senior citizens. Most people tend to head to the doctor more as they get older, after all, and as they do, see their health care costs and time spent navigating the bureaucracy increase dramatically. Also increasing dramatically are the number of American seniors; as the Boomer generation moves into retirement, there are going to be many, many more people who require health care.
Today we talk to Julie Mason, White House correspondent for the Washington Examiner, about how senior citizens have ended up at the center of Washington's tug-of-war on health care reform. We also talk to four senior citizens who have their own opinions on where the debate is going: 67-year old Mary McKinney of the Bronx, New York, 80-year old married couple Dick and Barbara Mitchell of Yukon, Oklahoma, and 86-year old Geraldine Powe in Charlotte, North Carolina.
August is typically the month where tomato enthusiasts can count on an abundance of their beloved juicy, red gems. This year, however, a "late blight" is devastating tomato crops across the Northeast. Farmers and consumers alike are mourning a scarcity of summer’s favorite fruit. For a look at what’s behind this year’s blight and what to substitute for tomatoes in the kitchen, we are joined by Dan Barber. He is the chef and co-owner of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns. We are also joined by our friend and tomato-lover Melissa Clark. She’s a food writer for the New York Times, and brought a "BLP" (that's bacon, lettuce, and plum) sandwich to share with us. (Check out the recipe for the BLP at the New York Times.)
For more, read Melissa Clark's article, Plums Rescue a Seasonal Favorite, in the New York Times.
In a newly-released paper in the journal Forensic Science International: Genetics, scientists in Tel Aviv, Israel, describe how they have found a process to fabricate DNA. The process involved removing DNA from a woman’s blood sample and adding DNA from a different person. The process was so easy, they say, that any biology undergraduate has the tools to engineer his or her own crime scene. (DNA evidence left at crime scenes has been considered nearly incontrovertible in the past; this process raises questions about its reliability going forward.)
We talk to Timothy Bestor, a professor of genetics and development at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, and Tania Simoncelli, a science advisor at the American Civil Liberties Union.
The Minnesota Vikings welcomed a new star quarterback yesterday... but their new quarterback is an old enemy. 39-year-old Brett Favre just came out of retirement (again) and signed a $12 million contract to play for the Vikings this season. This is the second time in two seasons that the famed quarterback has retired and then...unretired. Many Vikings fans have lived with nothing but disdain for Favre in the fifteen years he played for their rivals, the Green Bay Packers. Are they ready to root for him, now?
Joining us to talk about Favre's latest career move is The Takeaway’s sports contributor, Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, and two Favre fans: Rick Stratton, a Green Bay Packers fan who runs the Packer Backer blog, and Mike Rice, a Minnesota Vikings fan who is the general manager for Gabe’s Roadhouse, which is, ironically, a Green Bay Packers Bar.
Here's Favre at the press conference announcing his return to football:
Afghanistan has seen months of political campaigning – and as we discussed Monday, "Daily Show"-style satirical political commentary – ahead of Thursday's presidential election. Safety, or the perception of safety, may turn out to be as important for determining voter turnout as much as any candidate's message. A week of violent attacks may impede democracy in the country's second-ever presidential election. Retired General Anthony Zinni led U.S. Central Command until 2000 and he joins us with a look at how important security will be as Afghans head to the polls. (Click through for a full interview transcript)
BBC correspondent Lyse Doucet speaks with us from Kabul, Afghanistan, where the city is preparing for only the second presidential election since the overthrow of the Taliban. Afghans are bracing for violence, as the Taliban has threatened to harm anyone who votes. The Taliban has already rocked the capital city this week with suicide bombings and a rocket attack on the presidential palace.
The car industry is starting to release its second quarter profit reports. The Ford Motor Company is posting a surprise $2.8 billion profit, but it continues to have operating losses. Since its two biggest competitors, GM and Chrysler, have just emerged from bankruptcy, the report is definitely creating a mixed picture of the company's health. Globally, Hyundai has managed to post a huge profit, while luxury car brand Porsche has big changes in the works. For more we turn to Nick Bunkley, The New York Times auto industry reporter, and Russell Padmore, a BBC business correspondent.
At the end of his press conference last night, President Barack Obama discussed the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. The president said the cops "acted stupidly" in their decision to arrest the nation's preeminent African American studies scholar when he was questioned about a possible break-in at his own home. Law enforcement officers receive sensitivity training in dealing with racial profiling. So why do these incidents continue to happen? Joining The Takeaway to discuss the issue is Phillip Atiba Goff, Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Executive Director of Research for the Consortium for Police Leadership in Equity, and Rick Weger, a lieutenant in charge of training at the San Jose Police Department.
"It can be unintentional biases that people hold that cause this racially-biased policing... A vast majority of the men and women in law enforcement have no intention of being prejudiced."
—Rick Weger, a lieutenant in charge of training at the San Jose Police Department
North Korea and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have launched a war of words. In a speech in Thailand, where she is attending a regional summit, Secretary Clinton urged North Korea to renounce nuclear weapons; North Korea's official media responded by calling Clinton "an unintelligent funny lady." North Korea also announced that the six-party talks on disarmament were dead. Jill McGivering, the BBC's Asia correspondent, joins The Takeaway to explain what's at stake.
Here is more on Secretary Clinton's trip to the ASEAN summit and her call for changes in Myanmar and North Korea:
After weeks of budget battles and threatened cuts, the California state budget is finally up for a vote today. Or maybe tomorrow. Possibly next week. The Takeaway talks to Dan Walters, a political columnist for the Sacramento Bee, about California's continuing budget crisis.
A very tired looking Gov. Schwarzeneggar thanks people for their budget-solving suggestions in this video:
The U.S. government is seeking thousands of volunteers, from babies to the elderly, to roll up their sleeves for the first clinical trials of an H1N1 flu vaccine. The race is on to test whether a new vaccine really will protect against this virus before its expected rebound in the fall. Will the vaccines work? Will there be enough vaccines for everyone? What are the dangers of the vaccine itself? The Takeaway talks to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which will oversee the trials.
"We think the risk is extremely small because we give tens of millions of doses of seasonal flu vaccine every year to adults, the elderly and children, and there's not a significant, at all, degree of adverse effects."
—Dr. Anthony Fauci on the H1N1 vaccine
President Obama is heading to Ohio today on a campaign swing—not for the presidency but for his health care plan. Dan Bobkoff, reporter for WCPN in Cleveland, Ohio, is getting ready to join the crowds filling the Shaker Heights High School gymnasium this afternoon. He joins The Takeaway with his take.