Nuclear disarmament is high on the international agenda this week with discussions at the United Nations and the G-20 summit. Adding to the sense of urgency are new reports that Iran has a second uranium enrichment plant, despite having previously admitted only to one. The U.S. and Iran are set to meet in a series of high-level talks next week. In Pittsburgh this morning, President Obama spoke about the need for Iran to halt their nuclear ambitions. GlobalPost's Charlie Sennott explains the international repercussions of this new revelation while Cindy Skrzycki, also from GlobalPost, joins us from Pittsburgh with the reactions from the G-20 meeting.
If you missed it, here are President Obama's comments on Iran's secret enrichment site:
As announced yesterday, the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's seat in the U.S. Senate will be filled by long-time family friend and former chair of the Democratic National Committee Paul Kirk. Will soon-to-be Sen. Kirk provide the much-need 60th vote to push health care reform through the Senate? The Takeaway's Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich gives us his insights.
The Senate Finance Committee continues to mark up Chairman Max Baucus' (D-Mont.) health care bill, but things might get interesting today when two Democratic Senators offer amendments, including public health insurance options. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), meanwhile, wants to go home. The Takeaway's Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich has all the details.
The Takeaway's Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich, joins us with a look at a deal the White House reached earler this year with drug companies. The deal stipulated that pharmaceutical companies would cut name-brand drug prices by 50% for seniors who aren't covered under Medicare's drug plan. In exchange, the White House promised no further cuts to the pharmaceutical industry. While both the White House and Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) want to honor the deal, some Democrats are appalled by the seeming kowtowing to special interests.
Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) had hoped that the Senate Finance Committee would be finished marking up his health care bill by Friday. As the deadline looms large, the committee appears to be slowing down, despite Democratic majorities in Congress urging quick action. The Takeaway's Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich, explains why time is of the essence and why all eyes are on Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine).
Today we look ahead to events in Washington, including an update on the health care bill, and the effects of President Obama's media blitz. Our Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich drops by to give us a preview of the week ahead on Capitol Hill.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Find out more about the other applications mentioned on air:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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":
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.
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.