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°F We should be hitting 90 degrees today. Hear what this means for Maeve, a curator at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Todd Zwillich

Washington Correspondent, The Takeaway

Todd Zwillich appears in the following:

The Worsening Woes of Kwame Kilpatrick

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

2009 was a bad year for Kwame Kilpatrick. He lost his job as Mayor of Detroit, served four months in jail and had to surrender his law license after the details of a text-message sex scandal came to light. 2010 isn't seeming much better. The FBI now believes Kilpatrick used his office in a “criminal enterprise" and accepted bribes of over $100,000.

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In Face of Scrutiny, Banks Find New Ways to Keep Old Fees

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Buyer beware: your bank may be trying to protect its revenue stream in the face of increased government scrutiny by adding unnecessary fees to financial instruments like your debit card. A report in today's New York Times says banks are beginning to aggressively market products like automatic overdraft protection fees. Without these fees, banks stand to lose some $20 billion annually.

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Takeouts: Congress Says Toyota Misled Public, Results from Olympic Ice Dancing, Wal-Mart's Plan for Movies Online

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

  • TOYOTA: A congressional panel says Toyota consistently and wrongly dismissed the possibility that an electronic problem in some of its cars caused unintended acceleration. Kate Linebaugh covers the auto industry for the Wall Street Journal.
  • OLYMPICS: New York Times Olympics editor Jason Stallman assesses the last night's ice dancing competition and previews today's men's giant slalom ski race.
  • BUSINESS: New York Times finance reporter Louise Story tells us how Wal-Mart may start selling movies over the internet. It begins with the purchase of a Silicon Valley start-up called Vudu.

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The Media's Role in America's Political Divide

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

From television, to talk radio, to the newsstands, Americans are inundated with news about the sorry state of politics. But are the media merely covering the story of D.C.'s gridlock, or are they creating it? For the second installment of our series, "Frustration Nation," we examine the role of the media and its impact on the political divisiveness in America and Washington, D.C., today.

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Tight Job Market Prompts Outlandish Interview Questions

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

In the current economy, there are more than six applicants for every job opening. As a result, employers are looking for more ways to weed through the pool of applicants and are opting for unusual screening techniques. Takeaway work contributor, Beth Kobliner, explains what job seekers can be expected to endure in the interview process these days — from online identity searches, to questions about the shape of manhole covers.

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French Wine Exports Reach Record Low

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

French exports of expensive champagne and cognac suffered a record 17 percent drop last year, as people in the U.S. and Britain drank less and switched to cheaper brands. Will these market forces damage the traditional dominance France holds in the wine industry? Benedicte Paviot, correspondent with the television network, France 24 looks at the implications.

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Civilian Deaths in Afghanistan Jeopardize Support for Allies

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A NATO airstrike mistakenly killed 27 Afghan civilians in Uruzgan province in southern Afghanistan, Sunday. NATO apologized for the incident, but experts worry about the effects of this kind of event on the local populace. It was the third such incident by NATO in Afghanistan.

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Takeouts: S.E.C. & BofA Strike Deal, Women's Olympic Figure Skating, Listeners Respond to 'Frustration Nation'

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

  • MONEY: A federal judge has finally approved a 150 million-dollar settlement between the S.E.C. and Bank of America. New York Times finance reporter Louise Story explains the case.
  • OLYMPICS: New York Times Olympics editor Jason Stallman looks ahead to one of the most popular events of the Olympic games: women's figure skating
  • LISTENERS: Yesterday, we began our series chronicling America's feelings about Washington's seemingly stalled legislative process. Through emails, web posts and telephone messages our listeners prove America is truly a "Frustration Nation."

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Analyzing the President's Health Care Proposal

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

President Obama released a proposal for health care reform Monday that hewed close to the bill passed last year by the Senate. After watching months of rancorous debate in Congress, the White House is laying out the key points of the proposal in plain language. But will it be enough to get reform unstuck?

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Mark Johnson on the 30th Anniversary of the 'Miracle on Ice'

Monday, February 22, 2010

Today marks the 30th anniversary of one of the biggest upsets in the history of sport. In what came to be known as "The Miracle on Ice," the scrappy and determined amateurs of the U.S. men’s ice hockey team upset the best team in the world — the USSR. We relive the memory with the lead scorer in that game, Mark Johnson, who is currently the coach of Team USA's women's ice hockey team.

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Tufts University Looks to YouTube for College Applicants

Monday, February 22, 2010

College applications used to be all about personal essays and letters of recommendation. Now YouTube videos are entering the mix.

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Why the Marjah Offensive is a Different Kind of Battle

Monday, February 22, 2010

U.S. and NATO forces are approaching the campaign in Southern Afghanistan in a novel way — from the allies' struggle to win the hearts and minds of Afghan civilians in the region, to the dropping of leaflets urging the Taliban to leave the area. New York Times Pentagon correspondent Thom Shanker looks at how the strategy of this military campaign differs from others.

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Takeouts: 'The New Poor,' Olympics Preview, Animal Protections in California

Monday, February 22, 2010

  • BUSINESS:  Our partner, The New York Times is looking at the lasting negative effects of the recession in a series called "The New Poor." Times finance contributor Louise Story describes the series and the effects of long-term unemployment on Americans.
  • OLYMPICS: New York Times reporter, Jason Stallman, previews the Olympic ice dancing finals, the semi-finals in women's hockey, and freestyle skiing aerials.
  • ANIMAL PROTECTION: There is a new bill in the works in California that could treat people who abuse animals like sex offenders. New York Times reporter, Jesse McKinley, explains how animal abusers could soon be listed in an online registry.

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Why Americans are Angry and D.C. is Broken

Monday, February 22, 2010

A new CNN poll finds that 86 percent of Americans think that government is broken. This week, we kick off a series called "Frustration Nation," where we examine the gridlock in the capital and how politics has come to be so divisive in America. For the first installment, we put today's situation in a historical context.

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The Challenges of Blending a Family in a Second Marriage

Monday, February 22, 2010

Takeaway co-host Celeste Headlee will be getting married this summer and, in the process, she'll be taking on the role of stepmother, as her husband-to-be brings a new son into the household. At the same time, her son will get a new stepfather. She's not alone: 65 percent of remarriages involve children from a previous marriage, so we look at the challenges of blended families.

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'Olympic Buzz' Inspires Skaters Around the Country

Monday, February 22, 2010

The U.S. Figure Skating Organization has a name for the increased interest in the sport they get every four years: They call it "The Olympic Buzz," and it's linked to the media exposure skating gets during the Winter Olympics. Takeaway correspondent Femi Oke goes in search of the 2010 "Olympic Buzz" at one of the most famous ice rinks in the world: Wollman Skating Rink in New York's Central Park.

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This Week's Agenda: Fallout from Afghan Civilian Deaths, Toyota Hearings, Health Care Summit

Monday, February 22, 2010

Our weekly look ahead at the news for the next seven days with Marcus Mabry, international business editor for The New York Times, and Jonathan Marcus from the BBC. This week: the fallout from a NATO air strike that killed a number of Afghan civilians; what's in store for Toyota executives as they face a grilling from U.S. lawmakers; and how Republicans are preparing to face President Obama at his health care summit.

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Takeouts: Harry Reid's Jobs Bill, Bode Miller Wins Gold, Listeners' Top Sports Movie for Sports-Haters

Monday, February 22, 2010

  • WASHINGTON TAKEOUT: An update from Time Magazine Washington correspondent Jay Newton-Small on legislation President Obama just introduced that would crack down on insurance companies. It's the first time the president has introduced legislation in the health care debate.
  • OLYMPICS TAKEOUT: From Vancouver, New York Times reporter, Jason Stallman recaps the Olympics weekend, including the U.S.- Canada hockey team and Bode Miller's gold performance in the super combined.
  • LISTENER RESPONSE: All weekend our listeners called in with their nominations for the top sports movies for people who hate sports. We hear some of your favorites.

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New Rules for Credit Card Issuers

Monday, February 22, 2010

President Obama signed the CARD Act back in May 2009, but the new regulations on credit card issuers took until today to come into effect. The law was designed to protect consumers from many of the hidden fees, rate changes and small print traps that cost Americans $15 billion each year, but some aspects of the bill changed along the way. Now that it's here, how will it affect your monthly statements?

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Black Farmers Win Settlement from Government

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Obama administration announced a $1.25 billion settlement yesterday, resolving a decades-long fight by thousands of black farmers who say the Agriculture Department discriminated against them in loan programs. At times, this discrimination forced them to lose their farms.

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