Streams

Todd Zwillich

Washington Correspondent, The Takeaway

Todd Zwillich appears in the following:

Baucus Caucus Far From Raucous

Friday, September 18, 2009

Senator Max Baucus (D-Montana) has been getting a lot of attention lately for his leadership in the health care debate ... not all of it good. Our Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich explains how isolated Baucus is these days on Capitol Hill.

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Suspect Arrested in Yale Murder

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A suspect has been arrested in the murder of Yale pharmacology graduate student Annie Le. Raymond Clark, who the police called a "person of interest" in the investigation earlier in the week, was taken into custody after DNA evidence linked him to the killing of Le. Clark was a lab technician in the building where Le worked and where her body was found on Sunday. According to police, a digital trail of swipe card access records led them to suspect Clark, who was then found with scratch marks on his body, police say. He is being held on a $3 million bond. Le was to be married the day her body was found. The Yale community has been deeply shaken by the crime. Thomas Kaplan, the editor of the Yale Daily News, gives us his reaction.

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U.S. Abandoning Plans for Eastern Europe Missile Shield

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The United States has decided to abandon contentious plans for a missile defense shield intended to be set up in Poland and the Czech Republic. The move should ease U.S.-Russia relations, as the planned missile shield had been causing a great deal of strife between the former Cold War rivals. BBC correspondent Richard Galpin has the first official Russian reaction on this breaking news story.

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Tech: Automated Will Power

Thursday, September 17, 2009

If you've ever sat down to do work on a computer, you know that "productivity" and "access to the internet" frequently fight each other tooth and nail. When you're supposed to be writing a proposal, you're tempted by YouTube highlights of Tom Brady’s game winner against the Buffalo Bills. Or maybe it's new pictures of your friend’s baby shower on Flickr, or your Twitter feed. A number of new software applications try to act as traffic cops, shielding you from distractions. New York Times and Slate writer Farhad Manjoo tells us about some of these productivity tools. We also speak to Tony Wright, who founded a productivity and analytics company that created an application called RescueTime.

Read Farhad Manjoo's article in The New York Times

Find out more about the other applications mentioned on air:

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In Egypt, American Couple On Trial For Adopting

Thursday, September 17, 2009

An American couple went on trial in Egypt today. Their crime? Attempted adoption. (Or child trafficking, depending on who you ask.) Iris Botros and Louis Andros from Durham, North Carolina claim they were trying to adopt twin orphans from an orphanage attached to a church in Cairo, but instead they wound up in a cage in a Cairo courtroom, convicted of child trafficking. They were given a two year sentence for their crimes. Yolande Knell is the BBC's correspondent in Cairo; she joins us with more of the story.

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Top Polluters Meet in Washington

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Copenhagen Conference, planned for December this year, aims to create a "Copenhagen Protocol" to address worldwide climate change.  In preparation for this winter's conference, representatives of 17 countries are meeting in Washington today for a major forum on energy and climate. Included in the meeting are some of the world's biggest polluters, including China and the United States. David Biello, associate editor for Scientific American, joins us with a look at what's on (and what should be on) this group's agenda as they prepare for Copenhagen.

To see climate change in action, watch this video from Extreme Ice Survey, with 26 time lapse cameras in Greenland, Iceland, Alaska, Canada, and Glacier National Park, the Extreme Ice Survey is creating the most comprehensive photographic survey of glacial change.

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President Obama's Media Blitz

Thursday, September 17, 2009

This weekend President Obama is planning on a media blitz. He is slated to appear on five political talk shows (and David Letterman) in a continuing bid to take back ownership of health care reform debate. James Morone, political science professor at Brown University and author of The Heart of Power: Health and Politics in the Oval Office, looks at whether the president is doing enough to reclaim the health care issue.

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Remembering Mary Travers

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Terrance McKnight, host of Evening Music on WNYC, explores the musical legacy of Mary Travers. Mary is best known for her work with the legendary folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary. She died of leukemia yesterday at the age of 72.

Here's Mary singing with Peter and Paul on the folk classic, "Blowin' in the Wind":

You know, the only group ... that I can think of in recent memory that had as much earnestness about social justice and politics as Peter, Paul and Mary, was Fugazi. A punk band from Washington D.C., known to a lot of people in an underground way, and they're not even playing any more... I don't know that there's a band around today that uses music in an earnest way, as Peter, Paul and Mary did.
--Todd Zwillich

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The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (Say it Five Times Fast)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Today the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission conducts its first public meeting. The commission is a bipartisan commission tasked with finding the root cause of the nation's financial meltdown. Louise Story, finance reporter for The New York Times, explains why we need yet another commission and what this group is hoping to uncover that we don't already know.

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Rep. Joe Wilson and the Race Conversation

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Despite hopes that electing our first black president would usher in a "post-racial" era, race has become a prominent issue in the Obama presidency. From overt cases – the Henry Louis Gates incident – to more coded and/or ambiguous examples – the "birther" movement, Representative Joe Wilson's outburst on the House floor – racial flare-ups have featured prominently in the first seven months of this, our first African-American-led administration. Now, the conversation about Wilson's yell last week has increasingly turned to its racial implications. Earlier this week, former President Jimmy Carter said Wilson's outburst was racist. (The White House disagreed.) For two perspectives on the way this conversation is playing out, we speak to Mark Anthony Neal, professor of African American Studies at Duke University, and Joe Hicks, talk show host for KFI Radio in Los Angeles, California.

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Will Move For Work

Thursday, September 17, 2009

As the unemployment rate climbs, more people are having to relocate in order to find work. Almost 20% of Americans who took new jobs in July moved in order to get them. The Takeaway's finance contributor Beth Kobliner talks about the challenges — and opportunities — of a national job search. We also hear from Jeff Gilbert, who moved last year from outside Detroit to Wyoming, Ohio to take a job as general manager of a commercial manufacturing company.

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Folk Music Icon Mary Travers Dead at 72

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mary Travers, better-known as "Mary" from the 60's folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, has died of leukemia at the age of 72. Jack Grace, The Takeaway's music contributor, joins us with a look back at the life and legacy of one of America's most beloved folk heroes.

Here's Peter, Paul and Mary performing one of their most famous songs, "Puff the Magic Dragon":

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EU Deems Third of Afghan Votes Suspect

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Preliminary tallies in the second-ever Afghan presidential election show incumbent President Hamid Karzai leading in the polls with 55% of the votes. But the cloud of suspicions about the election is not going away; yesterday, European Union monitors estimated that one third of the votes for Hamid Karzai are suspect. The Karzai campaign dismissed the EU findings, and the latest official results show that he has enough votes to win without a run-off — if the disputed votes are included. Rand Corporation's Christine Fair was an election monitor in Afghanistan and she joins us with a look at how the United States will respond to the mounting evidence of electoral fraud.

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President to Honor Slain Soldier

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Today President Obama will award a posthumous Medal of Honor to Sergeant First Class Jared Monti. The nation's highest military honor will be given to Monti for his bravery. He was killed in Afghanistan in 2006 when he ran into enemy fire three times trying to rescue an injured comrade. Zachary Barnes served as a medic with the 10th Mountain Division in Afghanistan. He knew and served with Sergeant First Class Monti.

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Sports: The Race for Baseball's Best

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The race for baseball's Most Valuable Player is heating up, especially in the American League, where at least four different players are vying for the award. In the National League, it's pretty much all about a man named Albert Pujols. Can anyone defeat this monster of a player? Our sports contributor, Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, gives us his take on the MVP races in baseball.

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EU Attempts Bank Bonus Reform

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bonuses for bankers aren't just a Wall Street problem. Nations from the European Union — mostly led by France — are hammering out an agreement on reforming structures for giving out bank bonuses. The G20 meetings will take place in Pittsburgh in just a few weeks; the E.U.'s goal is to reach an agreement before then... and they hope to get the United States on board, too. Louise Story, finance reporter for The New York Times, has the details.

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Breaking Down the Baucus Bill

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Democratic Senator Max Baucus finally unveiled his plan for health care yesterday. No Republicans have endorsed the bill in its current form, but that doesn't mean they won't. We'll look at what's in a proposal that has been a year in the making and what may or may not be altered to win over moderate Republicans. We speak to Trudy Lieberman, Contributing Editor for the Columbia Journalism Review and healthcare blogger for CJR.org; and Dean Rosen, health care advisor to former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.

The brave, curious, or wanna-be-health-care-wonks can read the full text of the Finance Committee bill (1.2Mb PDF).

Want to hear what Sen. Baucus thinks of his bill? Watch the video below:

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Cleveland's Plan to Fight Foreclosures

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cities across the U.S. are facing devastating rates of foreclosure. As the numbers of vacant houses increase, another problem has cropped up: banks don't want to keep all those foreclosed properties. In Ohio, Cleveland's Cuyahoga County expects at least 13,000 new foreclosures this year, but state Treasurer Jim Rokakis has a plan – he wants to buy up bad mortgages and sell them back to homeowners in order to keep people in their homes. We ask Rokakis about his plan and speak to Dan Moulthroup, reporter with WCPN in Cleveland, and the host of Sound of Ideas.

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Behind the Spin: What Americans Want

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Frank Luntz is a long-time Republican operative: a virtuoso of the focus group, a pollster extraordinaire and a master of message. In his latest book, "What Americans Really Want...Really: The Truth About Our Hopes, Dreams, and Fears," Luntz asks what ordinary Americans want – not from their government, but from life. And the results are a little surprising.

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It's Official: Flu Shots for Everyone

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Yesterday, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius announced that U.S. drug regulators have approved a vaccine against the H1N1 virus, commonly known as "swine flu." The U.S. government has purchased 195 million doses of the vaccine and plans to give them out for free to anyone who wants it.  We talk to an expert who says this is one of the largest medical initiatives in the history of influenza: Dr. Richard Wenzel, chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University.

In addition to free flu vaccines, the federal government is partnering with Elmo to help stop the spread of H1N1:

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