When President Obama delivers his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, he won't just be speaking to the American people; he'll be speaking to the world. From Iran to Afghanistan to Russia, world leaders and ordinary citizens will listen carefully to Obama's words. For a look at the geopolitical landscape facing Obama on the eve of his address, we talk to George Friedman, author of "The Next Decade: Where We've Been and Where We're Going."
Google has announced significant changes to the company's executive line-up, as chief executive Eric Schmidt hands over his management role to Google co-founder Larry Page. The changes are set to take effect on April 4th, and it is unclear if they are permanent. Jeff Jarvis is the author of What Would Google Do? He is also a professor at the CUNY graduate school of journalism.
Thursday marks 30 years since the release of 52 American hostages who were held in the US embassy in Tehran for 444 days by a group of Iranian students and militants. Barry Rosen was one of those hostages. He worked as a press attaché in the embassy in Tehran, and he says the anniversary of his release remains fixed in his mind. "I have to remember it," Rosen says. "If I had a place to go, I would go and stand there. But I don't have a place to go."
Four Haitians are pressing charges against former dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, who unexpectedly returned to Haiti on Sunday. Duvalier was living in exile in France, and came to Haiti on a diplomatic passport. The complainants charge Duvalier with crimes including torture, exile and arbitrary detention. Michele Montas is a former spokeswoman for U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. She is one of those pressing charges.
Almost all of the four million voters in Southern Sudan casting their votes on whether or not to secede from the North have been affected by decades of bloodshed and civil war in that country. Takeaway producer Noel King has been reporting from the ground in Southern Sudan during the preparation for the vote as well as the referendum itself. Noel shares with us the stories she's heard from people of all different generations, and how all the violence has affected their lives.
On Sunday, the south Sudan began to vote in a historic referendum that may split the country in two, separating its mostly Christian South from its mostly Muslim North. Takeaway producer Noel King has been in the country all week reporting on how Sudanese have been preparing for a vote that may change the map of Africa for the foreseeable future.
On Friday night at Juba's Nyakuron cultural center, some of southern Sudan's most popular young musicians played to cheering crowds in a concert celebrating the upcoming referendum.
I went to the event to try and track down the winners of southern Sudan's national anthem contest. I've been preoccupied with this story since August, when a southern military spokesman told the BBC that a contest was underway to choose who would sing the official anthem. If southern Sudanese vote on Sunday to secede from the north and form their own nation, they'll have to start from scratch in many ways. That means drawing new borders, electing new leaders, making new passports ... and writing a new national song.
This Sunday, South Sudan will decide whether to split off from the North in a historic referendum that's part of a 2005 peace deal. A vote for secession would re-draw Africa's map and raise innumerable challenges, from divvying up oil resources to coming up with a new national anthem. Takeaway producer Noel King reports from Juba, the southern capital, to set the scene as the referendum draws near.
This Sunday, South Sudan will decide whether to split off from the North in a historic referendum that’s part of a 2005 peace deal. All week, Takeaway producer Noel King will be reporting from the southern capital, Juba.
It’s not the first time Noel has been to Sudan. Here is the story of one of her first reporting experiences in the country back in 2005.
Sudan is Africa's largest, and arguably, its most divided nation. Right now, Sudanese are getting ready for a historic vote that will allow them a chance to re-draw the African map. The vote happens on Sunday and Takeaway producer Noel King will be reporting from there all week.
Here’s the first of her dispatches: A background to the historic referendum.
On this last day of 2010 we revisit the story taking place in Ciudad Juarez, in Mexico. It's a story that we've been sad to return to repeatedly, not just this last year, but over the last four years. Yesterday we heard reports of four more dead in the longstanding Mexican drug war between drug cartels and border troops. Gunmen believed to be linked to the cartels killed four police officers and a doctor in coordinated attacks around the nearby city of Monterrey.
President Obama stirred some controversy recently by calling Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie to commend him for giving Michael Vick a second chance, after Vick was released from prison for his involvement in an illegal dogfighting ring. Some were far on the other side of the Vick story, like pundit Tucker Carlson, who suggested that Vick should have been executed for his crimes. Outside of the public debate, many who work with formerly incarcerated Americans say that Vick is very lucky — and that second chances are rare.
All this week, we're reflecting on the major issues of 2010. Immigration remained one of the biggest stories out of southwestern states, like Arizona. But immigration has become a serious issue even in smaller states along the East Coast, like Connecticut. Latino residents of East Haven, Connecticut, have filed a federal lawsuit against their local police department, claiming police have targeted Latinos with violence, harassment and intimidation.
On Monday morning, with much of the east coast of the U.S. under a thick blanket of snow, we asked our listeners for their weather stories. Rebecca Poston Creel, from South Carolina, wrote in with her family's story, and we thought it was one worth sharing with our listeners. This is what she said:
My brother in law is terminally ill and we are afraid that this may be our last Christmas together. We celebrated the holiday on Sunday and all woke up to a blanket of snow! In South Carolina it's a very uncommon event. It was so wonderful to play with our brother, his three-year-old daughter and the rest of the family, in the snow for the holiday. It may have been the best Christmas of our lives! It was without a doubt a Christmas miracle for our family.
The Pentagon will release its highly awaited review of U.S. policy in Afghanistan today. Early leaks from the report indicate that some progress has been made in President Obama's stated goal of defeating al-Qaida in Afghanistan. But The Washington Post reports a high-level U.S. official says Pakistan is failing to pursue insurgents who cross the border into Afghanistan and then retreat into Pakistani territory. We talk to Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, the former Pakistani ambassador to the U.K., for more on the story.
Hours after Ambassador Richard Holbrooke died, it was widely reported that his last words, spoken to his surgeon, were, "You've got to stop this war in Afghanistan." Many heard these words as striking, epitomizing Holbrooke's life-long dedication to foreign policy and diplomacy.
American violinist Lynn Chang will play at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony on Friday. Chinese dissident Liu Xioabo won't be able to attend the ceremony; he's being held in a Chinese prison. Chang tells us why he's chosen the songs in his set-list and whether or not he views the concert as a political affair, a musical event — or both.
On Thanksgiving, many of us give thanks. On Black Friday, retailers give thanks. Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year; and many stores open before dawn and remain open late into the night to capitalize on the holiday. For the past two years, the economic downturn has hurt Black Friday sales. We're checking in with a few of our listeners to see whether they're super shoppers or shopping cynics.
Earlier this month, seventy percent of voters in Oklahoma said yes to a controversial amendment to the state's constitution, which bans the use of Sharia law in Oklahoma's courts. On Monday, a U.S. District Judge extended a ban on the Sharia amendment. In a state that has only very few Muslims – between 15,000 and 30,000 – why did so many Oklahomans feel that Sharia law was a threat?
Cyber security experts are at a loss to explain why, last April, 15 percent of all web traffic was diverted through servers in China for 18 minutes. As the number of private citizen and government records, as well as important commerce explodes online, the question of who is watching is one of great import. Was China conducting massive cyber espionage? And if so, what do we have to worry about?