As Israel's offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip heads into its third week, international cries for peace have intensified. The U.S., the United Nations and Egypt continue what has been described as a feverish round of telephone tag in an effort to forge a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas on the 21st day of fighting. For more on what it might take to create a lasting cease-fire between the parties, we turn to Hanan Ashwari, a Palestinian legislator, activist, and scholar for her insight into the ongoing assault in Gaza.
Scandals like Avandia in 2007 and the recent recall of generic drugs from India have some people wondering if the Food and Drug Administration has been sampling too many free pharmaceuticals. This week in the journal Nature, Dr. Steven Nissen writes about the problems with the FDA, most notably, its "culture of secrecy." He joins us to discuss how the new Obama administration might shake things up a little.
Yesterday, House Democrats released an $825 billion economic stimulus bill designed to create and preserve jobs and get people spending again. At the same time, the Senate released the remaining bailout funds to prop up the flailing financial institutions. The New York Times' David Herszenhorn joins The Takeaway with an analysis.
The Senate has freed up the second half of the bailout funds, which means President-elect Obama’s administration will have money to use to shore up the economy or more specifically the financial institutions. But Senate Republicans wouldn't support releasing the funds without some concessions. Guest host Capitol News Connection's Todd Zwillich has more details.
In the ongoing offensive in Gaza, Israel shelled the headquarters of the United Nations in Gaza City. While Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has said it was a "grave mistake," Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has expressed "strong protest and outrage" to Israel and is demanding an investigation. A U.N. spokesman said at least three people were wounded in the incident. We turn to BBC correspondent Bethany Bell in Jerusalem for more on this developing situation.
Watch CNN footage of the United Nations' headquarters in Gaza.
Since the day he took office, President Bush’s colorful speech has created a stir. Even in his ultimate exit interview, with a flourish of self-deprecation, he said, “Sometimes you misunderestimated me.” Over the years his turns of phrases have been not so much controversial as they’ve been cryptic. Hard to categorize, they sometimes sound like a joke without a punch line or a Zen Koan, imparting indecipherable wisdom. But the best way to describe them comes from Jacob Weisberg, who has coined them Bushisms and for nearly a decade he has been collecting them. Jacob Weisberg joins us for a retrospective of these presidential gems. And like all retrospectives we hope to gain a new appreciation for the man responsible for this body of work. Jacob Weisberg is editor in chief of The Slate Group and author of George W. Bushisms : The Slate Book of The Accidental Wit and Wisdom of our 43rd President.
Confirmation hearings for members of President-elect Obama’s cabinet continue and in the hot seat today is Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, nominated as Secretary of Homeland Security. She would be the first Democrat and the first woman to fill that post. Joining The Takeaway to talk about Napolitano’s history in government is Matt Benson, a political reporter who covers the governor’s office for the Arizona Republic.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is a frequent (and loud) critic of the United States. Despite his dislike for the country, the nationalized oil business that props up the nation's economy sells billions of dollars of oil to the U.S. Due to Chavez's bombastic personality, many big oil companies don't bother drilling in Venezuela anymore. But now that gas prices have plunged, Chavez is gently cozying up to companies like Chevron and Shell to see if they'd like to return to Venezuela. For more on this turn of events, we are joined by Simon Romero who is covering this story for the New York Times from Caracas, Venezuela.
A new study found that while the number of sexual predators using the Internet is significantly less than originally thought, cyberbullying through social networking sites is a bigger problem. In the age of Facebook, Myspace, and Lori Drew, how can parents protect their kids? Larry Magid is a blogger for CNET, but he's also the co-director of the non-profit organization Connect Safely and he sat on the Harvard panel behind this recent report. He joins Todd and Adaora to talk about how the answers to preventing internet bullying doesn't lie in science, but in parenting.
"This image of the 40-year old predator who is lurking the web searching for innocent children, I wouldn't say it's a complete myth, but it's statistically extremely unlikely." — Larry Magid, co-director of the non-profit organization Connect Safely
At today’s hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General nominee Eric Holder is expected to undergo some tough questioning. Not so much on his qualifications, experience or expertise, but on old controversies. The most prominent being the role that Holder played in President Clinton’s pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich. For a look at Holder's past and the challenges that he’ll face as the future Attorney General, Jeff Rosen joins us. Rosen is a professor of law at George Washington University and the legal affairs editor of The New Republic. He’s also the author of The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries that Defined America.
This week a former military prosecutor filed a federal court declaration stating that evidence against detainees is in such chaos that it’s impossible to build a fair case. The ex-prosecutor, Darrel Vandeveld, joins The Takeaway to explain his story.
In today's issue of The Guardian newspaper, Britain's foreign secretary, David Milliband, called the "War on Terror" a mistake. He wants a review of the tactics used to combat terror and calls the current strategy misleading and mistaken. These remarks were repeated in a speech he made in Mumbai today. For more on this we are joined by Naomi Grimley, the BBC's political affairs correspondent in London.
David Milliband was on Charlie Rose several months ago discussing Britain's foreign policy and America's evolving role in the world.
Congress is currently debating the possibility of bankruptcy reform, a measure that may come too late to save companies such as GM, but what about the little guy who is being crushed by personal debt? Does the legal insulation meant to protect the American worker still function in this economic climate? Does filing for bankruptcy in our current economy offer relief? Alvin Hall joins Adaora and Todd with some advice that might make you pause before considering declaring bankruptcy.
"People always talk about when the revolution comes, this may be the year that the revolution comes in credit cards." — Alvin Hall on the rise in bankruptcy filings and the need for personal economic reform
Diplomatic efforts to end the fighting in Gaza are in high gear. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is in the region for a series of meetings urging a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. Despite these calls for peace, Israel's offensive continues with fighting raging in Gaza City and reports of Israeli shelling of the U.N. headquarters in Gaza. For the latest on the troubling situation in Gaza we turn to Laura Trevelyan, the BBC's United Nations correspondent, who joins us from the bus where she is traveling with Ban Ki-Moon from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
For more, watch an Al-Jazeera report on the United Nations' warning on the plight of children in Gaza.
Senate Republicans who oppose the release of the second $350 billion of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, known as TARP, are facing an uphill battle. It looks as though Congress will approve the release of the money, so what do Senate Republicans need to hear before they feel secure that the money will be handled appropriately? The Takeaway is joined by Republican Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina.
For more, here is Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell discussing the need for more information before the 2nd installment of TARP funds are released.
Between the ongoing confirmation hearings and increasingly tense negotiations on the stimulus package and TARP, it's sure to be another momentous day on the Hill. Happily, Capitol News Connection reporter Todd Zwillich is with us as a guest host and give us all the insider details.
While one president is on his way out and the other is on his way in, Congress is busily moving ahead with legislation. The Democrats want to have an expanded child health care program and a stimulus package all ready for Obama to sign the moment he takes office. Then there are the ongoing confirmation hearings and the man who would be Treasury Secretary hit a snag. For more we go to our man in Washington, Todd Zwillich, reporter for Capitol News Connection.
Luckily for Roland Burris it appears the U.S. Senate has had an abrupt change of heart when it comes to the seating of President-elect Obama’s replacement. It's all turned to hearts and rainbows for Burris, the former Illinois attorney general, now that the Senate has said it will officially seat him. Also today Senator Hillary Clinton will be answering questions in her confirmation hearing in hopes of becoming secretary of state in the Obama administration. Todd Zwillich, intrepid reporter for Capitol News Connection, joins us from Washington, D.C.
Obama may not be President yet, but Congress isn’t waiting around for him to get to work. This is a big week on Capitol Hill, with confirmation hearings for several cabinet members, plus the likely resolution of the Roland Burris question, and even some new legislation. Todd Zwillich, a reporter for Capitol News Connection, joins The Takeaway with an update.
"Just because everyone is feeling great about Barack Obama doesn't mean the Senate is in his pocket." — Todd Zwillich on the U.S. Senate and their relationship with President-elect Obama
The new Congress is in session, and do we have change we can believe in? Not so much. Todd Zwillich, reporter for Capitol News Connection, says its the usual bickering and partisan sniping, slightly enlivened by the question of whether or not Roland Burris, appointed to the Senate by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, will be seated.
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