When the bombing and shooting first broke out in Norway last Friday, no one knew the source of the attacks, but a small group of anti-Islamic bloggers in the U.S. were quick to blame Muslim extremists. In the end, a manifesto that Anders Behring Breivik — the man accused of carrying out the killing spree — posted online confirmed that he was not Muslim, but the opposite: an anti-Muslim extremist.
On Tuesday morning, Rupert and James Murdoch and former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks testified in front of Parliament, and the world was watching. The questioning was the subject of widespread media coverage, and not just in the U.K. where the newspaper was sold. Here in the U.S., journalists have covered each dramatic development of the phone hacking scandal.
News broke yesterday that British tabloid News of the World hacked into the cell phone of a teenage girl who disappeared in 2002 and was later found dead. The girl's family believed her to be alive, in part because a private investigator hired by the tabloid was deleting the victim's voicemails. News of the World is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., and the outrage generated by the hacking scandal may affect people very close to the media mogul, and ultimately even Murdoch himself.
There were reports yesterday from Hama in Syria that government troops had fatally shot at least six protestors demonstrating against President Bashar al-Assad and his regime. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton responded last week to the ongoing violence, saying that the country's transition to democracy was becoming more urgent.
We've been asking listeners to tell us: What does the phrase 'My America' means to you? Mary Joe Mercer from the Osage Nation Reservation in Oklahoma, told us about the Native Americans that have called this country home for thousands of years. On the Fourth of July, Mercer joins us to give us another perspective on what 'America' means.
Robert Gates will step down as Secretary of Defense this week, with Leon Panetta taking over. Panetta will have a lot on his plate, starting with the start of U.S. troops withdrawing from Afghanistan later this week. Noel King, managing producer for The Takeaway, looks at what obstacles are in store for Panetta as he begins his reign as Defense Secretary.
President Obama will meet with Congressional leaders to try and come to an agreement on raising the debt ceiling, or face going into default. Charlie Herman, business and economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC, looks at the economic effects this on-going debate could have if a conclusion is not reached soon.
At Senate confirmation hearings last Thursday, Secretary of Defense designate Leon Panetta said he expects the Iraqi government to request that some U.S. troops stay in Iraq. Combat operations in Iraq ended nearly one year ago but 47,000 U.S. troops remain in the country. In the coming weeks, the U.S. military will begin turning off the lights on the Iraq mission, and the logistical and political implications could be profound.
Egypt is changing. And so are its street names, signs of buildings, schools, hospitals and other institutions. What was once the Hosni Mubarak Library is now the Revolution Library. The Hosni Mubarak Experimental School is now just the Experimental School. And the Suzanne Mubarak Specialized Hospital is now the Red Crescent Specialized Hospital. This comes after a Cairo court ordered for all the images and signs with the name of Hosni Mubarak and his wife, Suzanne, be removed from public places and buildings. Egypt will most certainly have to go through a transitional period to move from the 40-year rule of Hosni Mubarak into a democracy. But does a country need to forget the past in order to build a future?
The Great Depression produced some of the greatest novelists in United States history: John Steinbeck, John Dos Passos, Zora Neale Hurston, Nathanael West. In 2011, as the U.S. recovers from the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression, our next guest wonders why the Great Recession hasn't yet generated a book like "The Grapes of Wrath." Michael Goldfarb is a freelance reporter. His article, "Where Are Today's Steinbecks?" appeared on the BBC.
While Washington continues tp debate the debt ceiling, the United States is expected to reach the limit on its debt today. This means the government will no longer be able to borrow money. Charlie Herman, business and economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC Radio, says it's just a mystery what will happen, because we're not seeing any deals on the table yet. There are questions about the future of the International Monetary Fund after its managing director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested in New York for allegedly sexually assaulting a Manhattan hotel maid.
The recent killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden ended the reign of the most wanted criminal on the planet. However, it hasn't put an end his importance as an historical figure. Due to his long list of crimes and efforts to spread a radical ideology and message of global jihad, bin Laden seems destined to become one of history's most notorious criminals. But how will history books write the bin Laden chapters?
In the wake of the September 11th attacks, America's relationship to Muslims at home and abroad changed. A new climate of fear and suspicion was born, though in some cases so were attempts at greater understanding between members of different faiths. For a look at how the death of Osama Bin Laden might affect the relationship between Muslims and members of other faiths in the US, we turn to Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, founder of the Cordoba Initiative, a multi-faith organization which works to build trust among people of different faiths and cultures.
Syria's cabinet passed a draft law on Tuesday lifting the country's 48-year emergency rule, the unfairness of which has been a rallying cry for those in the country who want reform. The cabinet was under pressure to ease the emergency rule, but immediately after the supposed concession, the body passed a law that requires Syrians to seek permission to protest from the Interior ministry. The political upheaval sweeping across North Africa and the Mideast has been compared to a contagious virus, but Syria just may be the most contagious country of all. Syria is centrally located, bordering Jordan, Iraq, Turkey and Lebanon.
Over the past few months, throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa, there have been countless testimonies about the human rights abuses committed by dictators clinging to power. Protesters in Egypt and Libya have struggled to draw international attention to abuses of power in their countries by leaders Hosni Mubarak and Moammar Gadhafi. In Ivory Coast, human rights observers warned of a possible genocide as hundreds were killed during Laurent Gbagbo's final weeks in power. But what happens to the leaders after they're ousted? And what's the role today of the International Criminal Court in pursuing these cases?
The countdown is underway: There's less than two weeks to go until hundreds of millions of viewers watch Prince William marry Kate Middleton in London's Westminster Abbey. But resist the urge to swoon and forget the romance for a minute as we take a closer look at the economics of the royal wedding.
Wednesday is the one-year anniversary of the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. All week long on The Takeaway, we'll be speaking to residents of the Gulf region whose lives, businesses and communities were profoundly impacted by the oil gusher that followed the explosion.
In 2005, at the age of 27, Malalai Joya became the youngest person ever elected to Afghanistan's National Assembly. In 2007, she was booted from the Parliament after publicly criticizing Afghan warlords. Now, Joya is an activist for women and democracy, and she remains a fierce critic of both Hamid Karzai's government and the presence of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Joya shares her story and explains why she has been called "the bravest woman in Afghanistan."
On Tuesday, to mark the 150-year anniversary of the start of the Civil War, we aired a segment featuring two African-American men whose ancestors fought with the confederate army. Nelson Winbush and Stan Armstrong said they are proud of their relatives' military service. But to some of our listeners the segment smacked of misinformation. Did African-Americans fight in the Confederate Army in the Civil War? And if so, did they do so out of free will or as enslaved people?
International humanitarian agencies are sounding the alarm in Libya, where fighting has cut off access to vulnerable populations. Aid officials say the eastern city of Misurata is facing water and electricity shortages as hospitals struggle to care for those who have been wounded by fighting. There are warnings that food is in short supply in many parts of Libya. "The situation of civilians in and around Ajdabiya, Misurata and other locations where active fighting continues remains of great concern," the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement. "The presence of assistance actors inside Libya remains very limited due to prevailing security conditions."