Also on Today's Show: The murder trial of South African athlete Oscar Pistorius gets underway Today. The trial is the stuff of global courtroom theater, with the credibility of a criminal justice system, teams of high profile lawyers, and the fate of a celebrity athlete on the line—and all in front of TV cameras...In the summer of 2007 in Minneapolis, there was a disaster on a bridge with no name. It carried 140,000 vehicles per day before it collapsed without warning one hot Wednesday afternoon, killing 13 people.
On Monday, an ultimatum was issued from Russia's Black Sea Fleet and delivered to Ukrainian forces in Crimea—the message from Russian naval forces was to surrender by 5:00 AM local time on Tuesday—or face an all-out assault. Natalia Antelava is in Ukraine reporting for PRI's The World. She provides a look at the rising tensions on the ground in Crimea. Steven Pifer, a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine from 1998 to 2000 and is a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, weighs in on the way forward for Ukraine, Russia and the international community.
Fracking has boomed in Texas, a state with a deep history of oil and energy exploration. While many have profited from the energy boom, hundreds more are finding that the air smells funny, their heads hurt, and their noses are bleeding. But with minimal regulation, and no comprehensive health studies, residents have little recourse. Lisa Song, a reporter for InsideClimate News, explains the health impacts for local residents and the politics at play in the Eagle Ford Shale.
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.
Are you a newsie? Do you know what's happening from Washington to Hollywood to Pyongyang? Are you one of those people who always need to know? Do you listen to the news religiously, convinced that what you hear will give you an edge? Be smarter than your pals. Prep your dinner party factoids. Gauge your knowledge about what happened this week, as heard on The Takeaway.
We've got 27 amendments so far, including the right to free speech and the right to bear arms. Should we add a 28th? What would it look like? Kerry Sautner, vice president of visitor experience and education the National Constitution Center, explains what it takes to get an amendment ratified, and what a 28th Amendment might look like.
Yesterday President Barack Obama announced a new initiative designed to help young men of color. The program, called "My Brother's Keeper," is aimed at cultivating the kind of mentoring that the president believes helped him and will help other young men of color. Lester Spence is a professor of political science and Africana studies at Johns Hopkins University. He says that he appreciates the gesture, but believes the president should be pushing policy to help young men of color—not mentorship.
Also on Today's Show: Concerns over a Russian-backed separatist movement in the Crimean region of Ukraine is giving the international community serious pause...First Lady Michelle Obama announced a series of proposed changes to U.S. food labeling rules yesterday. Will these new labels really change eating habits?...We're only two days away from the Superbowl of movies: Oscar night! Though you may not have seen all of the nominees, our Movie Date Team has and they give us their predictions.
Our Movie Date team has given us their predictions in the big categories for Oscar night, but there's another smaller category that's getting a lot of buzz this year: The original song category. In fact, the category has never been so modern, hip, and controversial. John Schaefer, host of Soundcheck on our partner station WNYC, walks us through the nominees.
Millions were surprised to learn on Wednesday that, with help from the NSA, the British surveillance agency Government Communications Headquarters captured and stored the webcam images of millions of Yahoo users worldwide. Spencer Ackerman, U.S. national security editor at The Guardian and the reporter who broke the story, explains how the government was able to get access to this information.
Also on Today's Show: Even though Ukraine approved Arseniy Yatsenyuk as new prime minister, the nationalist splits in the country may be coming to the surface. Dimitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, weighs in...At least two dozen people have been killed in clashes on the streets of Caracas, Venezuela. Emiliana Duarte , a contributor to Caracas Chronicles says the Maduro government may be running out of time.
According to the Center for Investigative Reporting's Aaron Glantz, the number of opiate medications—highly addictive painkillers like hydrocodone, oxycodone, methadone and morphine—prescribed by the Veterans Administration has increased by 270 percent between 2001 and 2012, far outpacing the increase in patients. Dr. Basimah Khulusi, a former Veterans Affairs physician, has come forward as a whistleblower on this issue. She says the VA forced her out because patients complained that she wouldn't prescribe high doses of opiates.
Our "Real People/Best Pictures" series continues as we look at "American Hustle." The film tells the story of the FBI's Abscam sting investigation, which ended with the prosecution of six U.S. representatives, a U.S. senator, and many other public officials. Gregory Wallance was a member of the Abscam prosecution team as an assistant United States attorney. He talks about what the actual case was like, and how the movie differs from the real life events.
It’s been 22 years since the independently-run American Foreign Service Association last made a complaint about the suitability of a US ambassador. But that time may come again soon after a slew of recent nominations raised questions about how much campaign contributions play in determining the nominations. Joining The Takeaway is American Foreign Service Association president Robert Silverman.
Saturday’s capture of the notorious drug lord El Chapo was hailed as a major victory in the war against the international drug trade. But the crime syndicate has a presence in as many as 50 countries. And it is run, in many ways, as efficiently and as well organized as a multi-national corporation. So with El Chapo out of the game, will Sinaloa even feel the loss? Mike Vigil, a former U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency agent, weighs in.
Also on Today's Show: A stunning new report shows that childhood obesity rates have dropped by 43 percent for kids 2- to 5-years-old...Early voting started this week in Texas and the race for Governor, along with some other statewide offices, might just show where the Republic and Democratic parties are headed down the road....Scientists from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory are using imaging tools to better manage one of the worst droughts in this country's recorded history...World Science U provides another entry point in the online education universe and aims to make science visual, interactive, and exciting.
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.
After state lawmakers passed a measure granting business owners the right to refuse to serve gay customers, protesters marched through downtown Tucson in part of a larger effort to stop Gov. Jan Brewer from signing the bill.
All this week on our "Real People / Best Pictures" series, we're looking at some of the films that are nominated for Best Picture, and exploring the stories with people who are intimately connected with the films. "12 Years A Slave" tells the story of Solomon Northup, who was enslaved until he was eventually able to regain his freedom 12 years later. The film is based on Northup’s memoir, which was a bestseller during his time. Today we talk to Clayton Adams, the great-great-great-grandson of Solomon Northup.
After losing the 2013 World Championship to the their most vicious competitor—Canada—nothing could be sweeter to the U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team than revenge. The team will have their chance to face-off against their Canadian rivals and reclaim their Paralympic gold medal when they head to the Paralympic Games in Sochi in March.