Mythili Rao

Associate Producer, The Takeaway

Mythili Rao appears in the following:

'Baby M' and The Question of Surrogacy

Monday, March 24, 2014

A collision between reproductive technology and child custody laws led to a legal battle back in the 1980s that got the attention of the world. It's the case of "Baby M," an infant who sparked one of the earliest legal struggles over surrogacy. The surrogacy business has grown, but the law has not kept up. And that’s created a lot of confusion as well as a lot of families. Jill Rosenbaum, Retro Report producer, explains.

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Classroom Views: Fighting Absenteeism in New York

Friday, March 21, 2014

At West Brooklyn Community High School in New York City, the focus is on getting chronically truant students back on track by surrounding them with adults who care about their success. WNYC reporter Yasmeen Khan, has been following the path of one West Brooklyn student named Paula. Paula began her journey as an angry, difficult freshman with a habit of cutting class. But after transferring to West Brooklyn her attitude began to change.

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Classroom Views: Learning Gets Loud in Portland

Thursday, March 20, 2014

This week, we're taking a close-up look to see how learning actually happens in real schools across the nation. Today we go to Earl Boyles Elementary School in Portland Oregon—a school that's been experimenting with how to teach young students with poor English language skills how to read and write proficiently. Oregon Public Radio reporter Rob Manning provides a glimpse inside the classrooms of Earl Boyles.

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A Fight for the Skies During the Heyday of Hijacking

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

From 1961 to 1972, more than 150 commercial flights were hijacked in the U.S. As the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 continues, the search for answers moves to the motives of hijackers in the past.

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Classroom Views: Common Core Comes to Tampa

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

All this week, The Takeaway is getting a close-up look at classrooms around the U.S. Today, we head to Monroe Middle School in Tampa, FL. Like many schools around the country, Monroe is adopting the curriculum called Common Core—a shift to a more structured, discussion, and logic-oriented approach to teaching writing and math. John O’Connor covers education for StateImpact Florida and WUSF in Tampa. He says that the Common Core seems to be a good fit for Monroe.

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Russia's Neighbors on Edge Over Crimea Crisis

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

In defiance of the U.S. and Europe, Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared his intention to make Crimea a part of the Russian Federation. Latvian and Estonian diplomats tell us how their nations see the Crimea vote.

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The Economics of Sex Work

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The sex trade is a lucrative business, nowhere more than in Atlanta, where it rakes in $290 million every year—more than the underground drug and gun trades combined.

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Should the Word 'Bossy' be Banned?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sheryl Sandberg is tired of the word "bossy," so much so that she's launching a campaign against it. Sandberg says "the other B-word" discourages girls from thinking of themselves in positions of leadership. Is it so much the word "bossy," or the way we teach young girls to think about themselves? Sarah Burningham, author of "Girl to Girl: Honest Talk About Growing Up and Your Changing Body" and two other books for teen girls, and Micki Maynard, contributor to, weigh in.

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Another Cold War? Russia Can't Afford It

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The economic climate of today's Russia is nothing like the Soviet Union's was two decades ago — and that could be the crucial factor that prevents the current conflict over Crimea from escalating.

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The Trial That Unleashed Child Abuse Hysteria

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Retro Report documentary team looked back at a courtroom drama that dragged on for years, and produced a climate of mistrust between parents and preschool teachers during the mid-1980s. During the McMartin Preschool trial of the 1980s, the staff of a California preschool was accused of sexually abusing young children in horrific satanic rituals. The accusations set off wide-spread panic among parents in Manhattan Beach, California. Barbara Dury, contributing producer for Retro Report, looks back on the case.

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History of the Paralympics and Superhuman Flow

Friday, March 07, 2014

The 2014 Paralympic Winter Games begin Friday in Sochi, with athletes representing more than 45 nations. Though it wasn't always this way, today the games are as elite in the sporting world as the traditional Olympics. A look at the history and culture of the Paralympics with Paralympic historian and author Dr. Ian Brittain. As these athletes compete over the next 10 days, the public will undoubtedly observe the highest levels of athleticism. What does it takes to have "flow" and physical abilities to their limits? Steven Kotler explains.

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Is the SAT Still the Right Metric to Test Student Aptitude?

Thursday, March 06, 2014

On Wednesday, College Board President David Coleman announced that SAT is getting re-calibrated. Its vocabulary words will be less arcane and more in alignment with what students encounter in college courses. The 9-year-old essay section will become optional, and will be scored separately.  The math questions will focus now focus on linear equations, functions, ratios, percentages and proportional reasoning.  There are other changes, too.  Julia Ryan, writes for and produces The Atlantic's Education Channel.  She's been following the changes to the SAT and weighs in on whether the SAT is still a good metric to test student aptitude. 

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In the Crimea Crisis, the U.S. Turns the Screw

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Is the Ukraine crisis a reassertion of Russian pride and is Crimea becoming the symbol of Russia's reemergence as an empire in Eastern Europe? Many on Capitol Hill and in academia have long argued that the moment would come when Russia would try to get back some of what it lost after the fall of the Soviet Union—is this new crisis an "I told you so" moment from the voices in D.C. who never believed the Cold War is over? Todd Zwillich, Takeaway Washington Correspondent, and Michael Hirsh, Chief Correspondent for the National Journal, join The Takeaway to explain.

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Inside the Intersection of Faith and Rhythm in Islam

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

The role of music within Islam has long been a source of deep controversy and debate in the Muslim world. Some Islamic scholars believe music is strictly forbidden, while others have found ways to incorporate music elements in their worship and spirituality. It's the intersection of faith and rhythm that Hisham Aidi charts in his new book, “Rebel Music: Race, Empire, and the New Muslim Youth Culture.” In "Rebel Music," Aidi explores the myriad ways practitioners of Islam around the world have used music to express their faith–and politics–in times of transition.


Here are the U.S.'s Options in the Ukraine

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Russian forces in Crimea, violent protests in Kiev, escalating tensions between West and East. Here's a breakdown of the proposals Congressional leaders are crafting in response to the Ukraine-Russia crisis.

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China's Stake in the Ukraine-Russia Conflict

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

With Russia in the spotlight, China is watching the unrest in Ukraine from the sidelines. In recent years, China has invested a total of $10 billion dollars in Ukraine, and pledged $8 billion more last December. Jonathan Fenby, China director of the research company Trusted Sources, and Timothy Snyder, professor of history at Yale University, examine China's financial interests in the region, and the Chinese investment in the outcome of the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

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The Crimea Crisis: Views from Moscow & Ukraine

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

The international community is on edge as the crisis between Ukraine and Russia continues to develop. Today The Takeaway examines the crisis in Crimea from the Russian and Ukrainian perspectives. Dmitry Babich, political analyst for the Voice of Russia Radio, explains the view from Moscow. Representing the Ukrainian-American perspective is Borys Potapenko, former president and current vice chair of the Ukrainian Congress Committee in Detroit.

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Affordable Healthcare? It Depends Where You Live

Monday, March 03, 2014

You'd expect people in wealthier communities to pay higher premiums, and more moderate or low-income communities to pay lower premiums, but it doesn't always work out that way. Here's why.

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Literature Offers Lessons For Growing Russian-Ukrainian Crisis

Monday, March 03, 2014

The tensions surrounding Ukraine's relationship with Russia have deep historic origins. Ukraine is a place with a culture and society entirely distinct from that of Russia, and yet one that was intimately familiar. Nowhere is this more evident than the literature of the region. Nikolai Gogol, regarded by many as the “father of Russian literature,” was actually born in what is today part of Ukraine. Anne Lounsbery, Chair of Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University, tells The Takeaway what Gogol’s life and writing have to teach us about Russia and Ukraine.

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Winter Misery Index Measures How Horrible Your Winter Really Is

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

How miserable has your winter been? Is it the worst winter ever? The worst winter since that one winter when you were a kid? If you’re a Minnesotan, there’s no need to be so imprecise. For the last several decades, Pete Boulay, Assistant State Climatologist at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, has been measuring just how miserable winters are with his Winter Misery Index. It scores each winter on how cold it is, how much it snows, and how long snow stays on the ground to measure exactly how much misery the winter has inflicted.

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