In Pakistan, local and state authorities were challenged by a spate of attacks over the weekend. NATO oil tankers were set ablaze along the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan, and a suicide bomber struck a group of volunteer policemen in the Swat valley, leaving 17 dead, according to reports from Associated Press. Pakistan's law enforcement say they've responded with a new offensive that has killed at least 30 members of the Taliban.
The border region is considered the main arterial route between Afghanistan and Pakistan. What can be discerned from these events about the ongoing fight against the Pakistani Taliban? Here to lay it out for us is Marvin Weinbaum, a scholar at the Middle East Institute and former State Department analyst on Afghanistan and Pakistan.
An unsettling case keeps getting stranger. Phillip Gorrido of Antioch, California was arraigned last week for kidnapping then-11-year-old Jaycee Dugard, keeping her hostage in his backyard, and sexually assaulting her for 18 years. Police are now investigating whether Gorrido was involved in the murders of several prostitutes in the area during the 1990s. Here with more is Ravi Peruman, reporter for KGO radio in San Francisco.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai's been surrounding himself with a number of figures with checkered pasts, including his running mate, ex-militia chief Mohammad Fahim. James Risen, investivative reporter for The New York Times, joins us to discuss why the U.S. dislikes Fahim but had no leverage effective enough to prevent Karzai from selecting him as his running mate.
In an attempt to slow the spread of HIV, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention might begin recommending circumcisions for all infant boys. The announcement comes out of this week's National HIV Prevention Conference in Atlanta. The CDC likely won't release a formal draft of the proposal for another four to six months, but speculation on it already has emotions flaring.
For more on the debate, we are joined by Dana Goldstein, public health reporter and associate editor for The American Prospect magazine; and Dr. Roy Gulick, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Whereas most people think running is good exercise that aggravates knees and causes long-term damage, a new report reveals that it just might be good for your joints. Last spring, a European study revealed that people who run were actually protected from knee injuries. New York Times Magazine columnist Gretchen Reynolds explains.
Name one film that involves someone with Asperger's syndrome. And it can't be Rain Man. Cat got your tongue? Well, after this summer season, the task might get a little easier: from animation (Mary and Max) to a rom-com (Adam), movies — and even some novels — are giving men with Asperger's the leading role. With the new interest in this autism spectrum disorder, The Takeaway is left wondering: how do such films affect the community they portray? We've asked David Corcoran and David Edelstein to help us start this conversation. Corcoran is health editor at The New York Times, where he worked on the piece about Asperger's in today's Science Times, Asperger's Syndrome, On Screen and in Life. Edelstein is chief film critic for New York Magazine.
Here's the trailer for "Max and Mary":
A new study hints that losing a significant other has effects that last well after the Kleenex box has been emptied and thrown away. Linda Waite co-authored a new study on health and marriage and she joins The Takeaway with the details.
"The people who are in the worst health are the people who got divorced and stayed divorced. What we're saying here is that getting divorced increases the risks of some major health problems many years later, compared to people who never got divorced."
—Linda Waite on the health concerns associated with divorce
Four decades ago, astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and "Buzz" Aldrin took off in the Apollo 11 spacecraft, headed straight to the moon. The tour was one small step for man, and one giant leap for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. But once you go to the moon, is the only direction to go...down? To reflect on the moon landing, on NASA today and forty years ago, The Takeaway is joined by NASA's current acting administrator, Christopher Scolese.
For more, head over to NASA's Apollo 11 page and take a tour of the landing site.
Here's a slideshow of Apollo 11 photos and memorabilia:
Scientists may have discovered the key to eternal youth: starving. A new report says that strict adherence to an extremely low-calorie diet can extend length of life. This has been shown to work on fruit flies, but now scientists have found the same results with primates. Joining us to explain the study and its implications for humans is Ricki Colman, associate scientist at the University of Wisconsin, who helped conduct the low-calorie experiments.
A new study reveals a surprising cost of rising unemployment: during a recession, murder and suicide rates increase. The solution? Support groups. Here to tell us more is study co-author David Stuckler, a sociologist fellow at Oxford University. Stuckler is joined by American Chet Kaminski, currently an accountant who this past spring was compelled to join a social unemployment network after eight months without a job.
You can read the study about the public health affects of job loss by checking out the journal article in this week's issue of the medical journal, The Lancet.
Your social security number is now a part of almost every form, including health insurance paperwork and the application for your library card. In fact, researchers reporting in this week's issue of the journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences used public data (hello, Facebook) to predict the first five digits of a person's social security number. And they got it right, on the first try, 44 percent of the time. With more on the dangers of our less-than-private individual identification system, The Takeaway is joined by privacy expert Peter Swire.
You can read more about the PNAS study by heading to the web site of our partners, The New York Times, and checking out today's article, Social Security Numbering System Vulnerable to Fraud, Experts Say.
"We have a known system that's leading to a lot of identity theft and will lead to a lot more identity theft. We probably have to suck it up as a society and get to a new system."
—Ohio State University professor Peter Swire
In the past, athletes involved in high-impact sports such as boxing or football would refer to the periods their brains went dim as "punch drunk." They'd find themselves thinking slowly, forgetting directions, suffering headaches. Now researchers think the symptoms may be indicative of a greater problem: the rare disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Athletes may not be the only victims— soldiers are also vulnerable. Joining The Takeaway with more is Chris Nowinski, director of the Sports Legacy Institute, a Boston-based nonprofit that has partnered with Boston University to study the long term affects of brain injuries like concussions on athletes and soldiers.
Read more about the repercussions of brain injuries in today's New York Times article, A Chance for Clues to Brain Injury in Combat Blasts.
Watch the crowds gather around a blooming corpse flower in this time-lapse video.
The news out of South Africa this week indicates there's something for the HIV-stricken country to celebrate. A new report says that HIV infections among young teens are down. In addition, the Western Cape is seeing fewer transmissions because more males are using condoms, and in the last three years the number of HIV infections has stabilized. Is the march of HIV slowing down?
The Takeaway is joined by Dr. Ernest Darkoh, a global health expert known for revolutionizing Botswana's HIV treatment program, to deconstruct the data. Click through for the full transcript of the interview.