Streams

Todd Zwillich

Washington Correspondent, The Takeaway

Todd Zwillich appears in the following:

Obama in Germany: Debating the Future of Guantanamo

Friday, June 05, 2009

President Obama spoke this morning in a joint appearance with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He talked about some of the same themes as in his major speech yesterday in Cairo. Obama said he's determined to get peace talks started again. Another major issue on the table: the closing of Guantanamo Bay. The Takeaway talks to Jeff Zeleny, White House Correspondent for The New York Times who is in Dresden.

Watch a clip of President Obama's speech in the video below.

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[Web Special] Not Ready to Make Nice? Sotomayor and the Senate

Friday, June 05, 2009

The morning started out so nicely.

Judge Sonya Sotomayor visited Wednesday morning with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.). With television cameras rolling and microphones open, Whitehouse let President Barack Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court know that he, too, loves baseball. (She's credited with ending the sport's strike in 1995.)

Then it was on to visit with Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.). She informed Sotomayor, that, she, too, loved Nancy Drew novels.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican Judiciary Committee member from South Carolina, sat next to the judge on his office sofa. “We’re talking about the cost of living in New York. I told her she needs to move to South Carolina,” Graham announced to the assembled press.

Then, the niceness died. ... (continue reading)

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Sotomayor, Visiting the (Capitol) Hill

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Judge Sonya Sotomayor started her courtesy calls to Capitol Hill as a Supreme Court nominee. Sotomayor met with key senators, while harsh criticism continued on cable TV about her past statements and rulings. The Takeaway talks to Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich, who followed Sotomayor on the Hill.

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This Week's Agenda With Todd Zwillich

Monday, May 25, 2009

It's Monday, which means it is time to pull out our road map for the week. Our guide this week is our own Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich. On the agenda? A California court is expected to rule on the controversial ballot initiative Proposition 8 that barred gay marriage. The court will decide whether the initiative is legal and the fate of those couples already married in California. And President Obama is expected to announce his pick for the U.S. Supreme Court this week. Also this week Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbass and the U.K.'s Prince Harry will be in the U.S. Abbass will talk about Mideast peace, while Harry is likely to play polo.

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Attention! How To Lead A Focus-Driven Life

Friday, May 22, 2009

Although there is no calculator that can compute our national attention deficit, it is clear there are too many stimuli competing for our precious brain time. In a world where the temptations to twitter and text are 24/7, is there hope for our multi-tasked minds? Writer Winifred Gallagher says yes. In her new book, Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life, Gallagher reviews the latest developments in the psychology and neuroscience of attention. She joins us in our studio to discuss the benefits of training yourself to focus.

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The Curious Incident of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Friday, May 22, 2009

Today is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the British writer who created the detective Sherlock Holmes. Holmes and his sidekick Dr. Watson are two of the best known characters in fiction, and they are still alive and well—a new film called “Sherlock Homes” starring Robert Downey Jr. as Holmes and Jude Law as (a very attractive) Dr. Watson is coming out at the end of the year. Charles Rzepka, a Professor of English at Boston University who studies detective fiction and is co-editing the Blackwell Companion to Crime Fiction, joins The Takeaway with a look at Conan Doyle's best known character.

For a sneak peek at the new adventures of an old friend, here's the trailer for the film Sherlock Holmes:

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Why Employment-Based Health Insurance Is Ailing

Friday, May 22, 2009

Princeton University Professor Uwe Reinhardt is an expert on health care policy and an adviser to President Obama. In today’s Economix blog in the New York Times, he makes the case for why employment-based health insurance is a deeply flawed system. He joins The Takeaway to spell out his argument.

For more, read Uwe Reinhardt's blog post, Is Employer-Based Health Insurance Worth Saving?, in the Economix blog on nytimes.com.

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The Real Fakes in Hanoi's Museums

Friday, May 22, 2009

During the Vietnam War, the directors of the museum in Hanoi decided to hide their nation's valuable art work to keep it safe from the war. But they wanted to maintain their cultural pride. So they came up with an ingenious plan: hide the originals and fill the museum with well-crafted copies or forgeries. Now, curators at the Museum of Fine Arts in Hanoi have found that their walls are still covered with fakes. Where are the originals? We turn to Lawrence Pollard, BBC arts correspondent.

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Political Geometry: Obama's Art of Triangulation

Friday, May 22, 2009

President Obama delivered a strong speech on national security yesterday. And then, so did former Vice President Dick Cheney, who harshly critcized the current commander in chief. Meanwhile the liberal wing of the Democratic party is lambasting Obama as well. Pitting the extremes against each other while sliding through the middle -- "triangulation" -- is a political strategy that former President Bill Clinton came to rely on. Peter Baker, White House correspondent for The New York Times, joins The Takeaway to discuss how Obama seems to be developing a triangulation strategy of his own.

For more, read Peter Baker's article, Obama Faces Pitfalls With ‘Surgical’ Tack on Detainees, in the New York Times.

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How New York City Cops Keep Tabs on Terrorists

Friday, May 22, 2009

The four men accused of planning a terror attack on two synagogues in the Bronx and on military planes on a nearby air force base were arraigned in Federal Court in upstate New York yesterday. They had been under investigation by the FBI, the joint terrorism task force and by the New York City Police Department. The NYPD has been working hard for several years to sharpen its approach to uncovering home-grown terrorist plots. Joining The Takeaway is Lydia Khalil, she served as a counter terrorism analyst for the NYPD from 2006 to 2008 and is an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

For New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's comments on the work of the NYPD, watch the video below.

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Thriller in London: Michael Jackson's 'This Is It' Tour

Friday, May 22, 2009

The King of Pop says "This is It." That's what Michael Jackson is calling a 50-consecutive-night comeback he's planning for London this summer. It's been more than a decade since Jackson, now 50, has performed on stage. Despite rumors that he'll appear for only 12 minutes each night -- and questions about whether the show will even come off at all -- fans are already scrambling for the pricey tickets. For more, The Takeaway turns to Britain's Chris Hawkins, a presenter on the BBC's 6Music radio station. He hasn't been able to score a ticket yet himself.

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Biden in Beirut: America's Stake in the Lebanese Election

Friday, May 22, 2009

Vice President Joe Biden travels to Lebanon today to meet with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman in Beirut. The meeting is a show of U.S. support for a leader facing tough elections in two weeks. Lebanon's militant Shiite group Hezbollah is expected to make electoral gains. This is the second visit to Lebanon by an American official. (Secretary of State Clinton was there a few weeks ago.) Why is Washington so concerned about this Lebanese vote? The Takeaway turns to Rami Khouri, Director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut. He is also the editor-at-large for The Daily Star newspaper in Beirut.

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Stormy Weather? Predictions for the Hurricane Season

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1st, with forecasters predicting a near-normal hurricane season. Statistically speaking, "normal" translates into a 70 percent chance of four to seven hurricanes occurring, including as many as three major ones. For a closer look at what hurricane season means for those people who live in a storm's path, we check in with Mark Schleifstein, the environmental reporter for the Times-Picayune in New Orleans and Terry Coleman, a tugboat captain and a lifetime resident of New Orleans.

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Cheney On Cheney: Why The Angler Won't Stop Talking

Friday, May 22, 2009

While most presidents, and certainly most vice-presidents retire from the spotlight when their terms of office end, former Vice President Dick Cheney has been everywhere lately. He spoke at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. yesterday, in a speech that immediately followed President Obama’s. He defended his opposing views on National Security and the controversial interrogation tactics he implemented under the Bush administration. To give us his take on the man and his plan, The Takeaway is joined by Jake Bernstein, a reporter for ProPublica and the co-author of the Cheney biography, Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency.
"It's an ideology that he's trying to protect. He believes in a strong executive, he believes in this wartime president that has unfettered power, and he's going to fight for that."
—Author Jake Bernstein on Dick Cheney

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Ending the War On Drugs

Friday, May 15, 2009

President Nixon coined the term "war on drugs" in 1969, and began fighting the problem of drug use with arrests and prison time. Since then every administration has more or less done the same. In what may be a major shift, though, the Obama administration’s new drug czar, Gil Kerlikowske, says he wants to get rid of the term "war on drugs" altogether, and focus more on treatment instead. To discuss the implications of this possible policy shift is Glenn Greenwald, a columnist for Salon.com and he just wrote a Cato Institute-funded study, Drug Decriminalization in Portugal: Lessons for Creating Fair and Successful Drug Policies, published last month.

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Trying to Help Pakistani Refugees

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thousands of people are fleeing the SWAT valley in northwest Pakistan today. The government temporarily lifted a curfew to allow the civilians to flee the intense fighting between government troops and Taliban militants. Thousands of internally displaced civilians — as many as 800,000, says the U.N.— have been living in makeshift refugee camps, where reports say that conditions are harsh. To get the latest on this ongoing crisis, we're joined by Nazes Afroz, South Asia Editor at our partners the BBC.

Our partners at the BBC have a revealing map of the Pakistan conflict. Research by the BBC into the growing strength of Taliban militants in north-western Pakistan shows that only around one-third of the area remains under full government control.

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Is Horse Racing Inhumane?

Friday, May 15, 2009

When we covered the Kentucky Derby earlier this month, a listener criticized us for not addressing charges that breeding practices, drug use, and harmful track surfaces are costing many horses their health or even their lives. The Preakness, the second race of the Triple Crown, is coming up on Saturday. The Takeaway talks to Sally Jenkins, a sports columnist for the Washington Post, and gets her perspective on how the sport could be reformed to make it safer for horses. She wrote a column critical of thoroughbred racing after the filly Eight Belles had to be euthanized on the track at last year's Kentucky Derby.
"It's time to open the books on what trainers are administering these animals. There's medical care, which is one thing, and then there's horse doping which is an entirely different subject."
—Sally Jenkins, Washington Post sports columnist, on the safety of race horses

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Why Ghana is Growing

Friday, May 15, 2009

In the current economic climate, it's hard to imagine a place where the economy is growing by 4, 5, or 6 percent. A place where banks are adding branches and holding onto their deposits. That place exists. Even in the middle of a global recession, Ghana is doing great. The African nation has enjoyed more or less unbroken growth since the 1980s, propped up by gold and cocoa exports and now, oil. BBC Chief Economics Correspondent Hugh Pym has just returned to London from a reporting trip there and he joins us now.

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Environment: 'Cap and Trade' and Climate Change

Friday, May 15, 2009

Regulating greenhouse gases has been one of the most contentious issues for the EPA. In 2003, the agency ruled that carbon dioxide could not be regulated as a pollutant. A 2007 Supreme Court decision ordered the EPA to review the scientific case for that decision, but the Bush administration ignored that ruling. With the new administration in place, things are expected to change. Lisa Jackson, the new Administrator of the EPA, joins The Takeaway to explain the Agency's plans. Also joining the conversation is Congressman Fred Upton, a Republican Congressman from Michigan, who is the Ranking member of the House Energy and Environment Subcommittee. He's one of the leading opponents of cap-and-trade and the Waxman-Markey climate bill working its way through Congress. He joins The Takeaway with his opposition to the bill and why he thinks it would mortgage our future.
"The biggest emitters of greenhouse gases are in our transportation sector, the cars and trucks on the road, and then utilities, the way we generate power."
—EPA administrator Lisa Jackson

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What Would the Torture Photos Tell Us?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Last Wednesday, President Obama reversed his position and decided to block the release of photographs documenting abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan by United States military personnel. His change of mind on the issue came after commanders warned that the images could set off a deadly backlash against American troops. The change in position was sharply criticized by the A.C.L.U.. Obama says he doesn't want the mission in Iraq and Afghanistan imperiled by an old fight. He may not prevail, but he has, importantly, shown solidarity with his military's view on this controversial issue.

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