Tomorrow, we take a close look at wealth and poverty in America. Census figures released Thursday show that 44 million Americans lived in poverty in 2009. That’s one in seven people. Perhaps even more disturbing, that number is up four million from 2008. The recession is clearly what’s impacting people’s fortunes and the number of impoverished people living in America today is approaching the stark percentage that led to the War on Poverty in the 1960s.
Earlier this week, one of three American hikers who had been detained in Iran since last summer was released from prison. Iranian police arrested Sarah Shourd and her two companions, Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal, in July 2009 on Iran's border with Iraq and accused the trio of espionage.
Alex Fattal, Joshua Fattal's older brother says all three hikers are innocent and were wrongly imprisoned.
Politics will continue to dominate the news cycle tomorrow as the Republican Party takes stock of Tea Party candidate Christine O’Donnell’s upset over Rep. Mike Castle in Delaware. We’ll ask where the conversation between Republicans and Tea Partiers goes from here. And we're asking, Are you moving further along the political spectrum this election season? Are you finding yourself moving further left or further right this year? Let us know.
We’re awaiting primary returns from seven states. Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich will join us with a look at whether the returns paint a cohesive picture of the American political landscape — or whether most of these races were local.
We’re looking forward to a bonanza of state primaries on Tuesday, and while it’s tough to find themes that all of the races have in common, we’ll look at two that seem to be rearing their heads nationwide: voter anger and voter apathy.
This political season, there's a debate raging over whether to suspend tax cuts for "the rich." But what does it mean to be rich these days anyway? The tax code says it's $250,000 a year. We're asking, How much do you think you have to earn to be considered rich?
Noel King on the day shift with some stories we’re following for tomorrow.
In a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the complex world we inhabit requires a “new American moment.” We’ve asked listeners to weigh in on how they define a classically American moment — whether positive or negative. And we’ve picked a few of our own: the March on Washington, shock and awe and American astronauts landing on the moon. What's yours?
President Obama is expected to call tomorrow for a tax credit that will allow businesses to deduct the value of all new equipment purchases from their taxes through 2011. The plan would cost $200 billion dollars in the short term — but don't call it “stimulus,” a word that’s taken a beating recently from critics who say the first stimulus plan didn’t stimulate much at all. We’re taking a look at businesses large and small — to see how this will affect them. Among others, we’ll talk to Richard Copeland, founder and CEO of THOR Construction Company, the country’s largest African-American owned construction company.
President Obama is calling today for up to $50 billion in government funding to create jobs in infrastructure — primarily transportation. But what is $50 billion dollars worth? How many roads, trains and runways can you get? And what should be done with that money? We’ll speak to Scott Myers-Lipton, author of “Rebuild America: Solving the Economic Crisis through Civic Work.”
Noel King on the day side with some stories we’re following for tomorrow.
An offshore oil platform exploded in the Gulf of Mexico this morning, injuring one person. It is unclear if the rig has set off an underground leak. We’ll keep you updated as details develop.
As we await a monthly jobs report that comes amid concerns over prolonged high rates of joblessness, we look at the process of surviving an unexpected layoff. In 1993, the White Furniture Company in Mebane, North Carolina, closed its doors. 203 men and women lost their jobs. Photographer Bill Bamberger documented the closure in a book called “Closing: The Life and Death of an American Factory.” We’ll speak to Bamberger and to Robert Riley, the foreman at the factory.
We started tomorrow's conversation on the national jobs report by asking listeners to share their own jobs reports. You’ll hear from some of them tomorrow.
As Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in D.C. draw to a close, we’ll speak to the Israeli ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren. We’ll discuss the results of this round of talks – and ask where negotiations go from here.
Hurricane Earl, now a Category 4 storm, is strengthening as it barrels toward the Atlantic Coast. People along the eastern seaboard are preparing for flooding and winds of up to 140 miles an hour. We’ll check in with several people as they make preparations.
Plus George Clooney’s new movie, "The American," hits theaters today. Clooney plays an assassin with a hazy past who holes up in a tiny Italian town. Takeaway film contributor and Newsday critic Rafer Guzman and Bust Magazine’s Emily Rems discuss Clooney’s career.
And we’ll talk to actor and artist Leonard Nimoy about his photo exhibition at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.
Noel King on the day side, here.
We’re keeping a close eye on what’s being called a hostage situation at the Discovery building in Silver Spring, Maryland. A man with an explosive device has reportedly taken at least one hostage, local police say. We’ll have more on that as it develops.
Tomorrow we continue our coverage of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks underway in Washington with the Guardian’s Ian Black and Robert Malley of the International Crisis Group. Malley was part of the 2000 peace talks.
Noel King on the day side, with a look at what we’re following for Wednesday’s show.
President Obama this evening will give a widely-anticipated speech on the end of U.S. combat operations in Iraq. Across the country, people will be watching not only to hear what Obama says about Iraq, but what he says about the U.S. economy. We’ll give you a blow-by-blow of the speech with Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met today with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Abbass is set to meet later in the week with President Obama and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu for the first direct peace talks in 20 months. But after decades of dashed hopes, many wonder what this round of talks might actually accomplish. Aaron David Miller is a former adviser on the Middle East to both Republican and Democratic Secretaries of State and author of “The Much Too Promised Land: America’s Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace.” He’ll explain what makes this round of talks different – and what doesn’t.
New figures show that one in three American women now gives birth via C-section. That’s up fifty percent from 1996. Rachel Hutter Epstein, author of "Get Me Out," explains the somewhat surprising rise in numbers. She says it has a lot to do with doctors preferring the procedure – for several reasons. But Dr. Mitchell Maiman is one MD who doesn’t care for the caesarian. He’s chair of the OBGYN department at Staten Island University – and he’s done his best to limit the use of C-sections. He’ll explain why. We started this conversation online by asking “what’s so natural about “natural birth, anyway?” We’ll tell you tomorrow what listeners had to say.
Plus, we’ve cast an eye to Hurricane Earl as folks along the east coast batten down the hatches in advance of the Category 5 storm. And we’ll take a closer look at the 60-mile traffic jam that choked huge stretches of highway outside Beijing for nearly two weeks.
And in a follow-up to our segment on the difficulties facing cash-strapped symphony orchestras around the country, we’ll bring you a positive story: the tale of a classical show that draws sell-out crowds. Composer George Daugherty is the co-creator of “Bugs Bunny and the Symphony,” which combines classical music with beloved cartoon characters, drawing new audiences each year.
Noel King on the day shift, with some stories we're following for tomorrow.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, marks the end of the U.S. combat mission in Iraq. We're speaking to analysts, ordinary Iraqis and U.S. servicemen and women who were there. Noah Feldman, a professor at Harvard Law and a former senior advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq says he thinks we’re in for the long haul. In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Feldman draws parallels between the current political and military climate in Iraq and that of South Korea in 1953, at the end of the Korean War.
From Dr. Ziad al-Hassani in Baghdad, we'll hear about the challenges that remain for those who live in Iraq. The end of combat operations hasn't meant much for the country’s infrastructure. We’ll ask Dr. al-Hassani how work is done in hospitals with severe electricity shortages.
And we're asking U.S. sevicemen and women: What did you accomplish in Iraq? Whether it was building a school or capturing a wanted enemy combatant. John Jones, a former staff sergeant in the Marines, shares his story.
An analysis by the AP shows that the number of families receiving welfare is greater now than ever before. One in six people depend upon government anti-poverty programs. We're looking not only at the growing numbers, but at the shifting sense of identity that accompanies being on assistance. We asked our listeners to weigh in and we've been getting responses from across the spectrum. One listener says “those federal programs are a joke. All they do is reward peoples' failures.” But another says “[federal assistance] helps me to provide for my kids since they have a deadbeat dad."
And musicians for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra have rejected contract proposals and are threatening to strike. We'll speak to Haden McKay, a cellist with the Detroit orchestra. And WNYC and WQXR classical music host Terrance McKnight says Detroit's problem mirrors those at cash-strapped symphony orchestras across the country.
Pakistan's Taliban hinted on Thursday that they may attack humanitarian workers who are helping to provide relief to more than eight million people affected by catastrophic flooding. "No relief is reaching the affected people, and when the victims are not receiving help, then this horde of foreigners is not acceptable to us at all," a Taliban spokesman told the Associated Press. How do you bring aid to people in need when there are factions in the country threatening attack on those trying to help?
The US may expand counterterrorism efforts in Yemen, to address a growing threat from al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. The CIA now believes that al-Qaida's affiliate in Yemen may be more dangerous to U.S. interests than the much higher-profile group in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In the aftermath of the Fort Hood shooting, the attempted Christmas Day bombing, and with names like Anwar Al-Awlaki becoming part of the everyday conversation on terrorism, more and more voices are beginning to feel that the branch of terrorists operating from Yemen, known as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, represents the largest terrorist threat to American interests and security.
The 33 Chilean miners still trapped underground will need to stay mentally strong - and stay physically thin. Chile's health minister says the escape tunnel being drilled for the miners will prevent the passage of anyone with a waist size bigger than 35 inches. In the meantime, soap, clothes, games and food packages are being sent down to the men.
This year alone, law enforcement officials have recovered the remains of 170 people in the rough terrain of Pima County, Arizona. Most are believed to be illegal immigrants who were trying to make their way into the U.S.
Today, troops from the 101st Airborne Division's 4th Brigade Combat team will leave for Afghanistan from Fort Campbell in Kentucky. It's been a tough couple of months for the 101st. They've lost 41 troops in Afghanistan since March.
The pitched battle over a proposed Islamic cultural center in Lower Manhattan continues to heat up. We've heard from academics and lawmakers. Today, we're asking young Muslim Americans where they come down in this debate.
Devastating flooding in Pakistan continued over the weekend as the Indus River surged south and authorities raised the spectre of easily communicable waterborne diseases passing among the millions of people displaced from their homes.
The flooding is taking place during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. It's a time when, along with prayer and fasting, Muslims donate to various charities. We're taking a look at how Ramadan is being observed in Pakistan and here at home where Muslim communities are rallying to raise donations.
Financial markets took a hit yesterday after jobless claims rose to their highest level since last November. The jobless claims were up 12,000 from the prior week, which indicates that the claims are at 500,000. This increase is feeding concern that the economy is starting to slow down again. Louise Story tells us whether this is yet another looming sign of the feared double-dip recession.