What if a city's concrete roadways doubled as an air freshener? That's the dream of a group of Dutch scientists who have developed a product they describe as "air-purifying pavement." Jos Brouwers, Professor at Eindhoven University of Technology is part of the team of working on this technology. He tells The Takeaway how the ground we walk on could help clean the air we breath.
A leaked Pakistani government report reveals what Pakistan did and did not know about Osama Bin Laden, and provides details of Bin Laden's life on the run. Akbar Ahmed is the chair of Islamic Studies at American University and Pakistan’s former Ambassador to the United Kingdom. He joins The Takeaway to discuss the report and what it could mean on a larger scale.
Last month, the Senate passed a sweeping, bipartisan overhaul of the nation’s immigration system and passed it on to the House of Representatives. Today House Republicans will hold a closed-door meeting to discuss their own bill. U.S. Representative Blake Farenthold is a Republican representing Texas’s 27th district, which is 49 percent Hispanic. Congressman Farenthold joins us to discuss the major points of this closed-door meeting.
Have we gotten a tad too lax about swearing these days? Do we swear more than we should? Or, is there something else bigger going on? Columbia University linguist John McWhorter explains why our idea of profanity is changing.
Frustrated with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the Obama Administration is considering a faster timetable for withdrawal from Afghanistan with the option of withdrawing all troops by the end of 2014. Now, as New York Times reporter Matthew Rosenberg explains, after failed peace talks between the Karzai government and the Taliban, the timetable might be very different, with serious consequences for the future of Afghanistan.
Texas Governor Rick Perry has set the stage for a major political shuffle for the Lone Star State with his announcement yesterday that he will not to seek re-election next year. How does this shift the political game in Texas?What does this say about Perry’s intentions for the 2016 presidential election? Ben Philpott, a senior reporter for KUT in Austin, discusses the change and what the move means for Texas politics and the nation.
Connected to the question of what policy steps America should take next in Egypt is the question of what—if anything—the United States could have done differently to forestall the current turmoil in the first place. Daniel Kurtzer, former U.S. ambassador to Egypt and professor of Middle East Policy Studies at Princeton University, joins The Takeaway to discuss the current crisis and his predictions for the future.
Following the crash landing of Asiana Flight 214 that was travelling from Seoul, South Korea to San Francisco, details are now emerging about went went wrong abroad the Boeing 777, and the errors that may have been made by the flight crew. The 11-hour journey is reported to have gone relatively smoothly as the 291 passengers traveled across the Pacific. That is until the very last few moments. The Takeaway examines what went wrong on Asiana Flight 214.
The Lincoln Tunnel and Triborough Bridge in New York City, the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state, and the Overseas Highway connecting Key West to mainland Florida are all products of the New Deal’s Public Works Administration, which went into effect 80 years ago today. The Takeaway spoke with Ed Rendell is the former governor of Pennsylvania and the founder and co-chair of Building America’s Future.
In New York, a once-disgraced politician is trying to be the next comeback kid. Last night, former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer announced his candidacy for New York City Comptroller. Governor Spitzer discussed his candidacy on our co-producer WNYC's program, The Brian Lehrer Show, earlier today. Brian Lehrer joins us to discuss these candidates looking for a comeback.
In Egypt, the man tasked with bringing a semblance of stability to an unstable situation is the nation's Chief Justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court, Adli Mansour. But he’s being called a mystery man and an unknown quantity. Mona El-Naggar is a documentary filmmaker, journalist and former Cairo reporter for our partner The New York Times. She recently helped profile Mansour for the Times and fills us in on who he is and what he might be able to do.
The Public Works Administrations was the driving force of America’s biggest construction effort to that date. 80 years later, the American Society of Civil Engineers gives the United States a D+ grade on infrastructure and 1 in 9 bridges are structurally deficient. Ed Rendell is the former governor of Pennsylvania and the founder and co-chair of Building America’s Future, which advocates for infrastructure spending. He believes that the United States has delayed investing in infrastructure long enough.
New information is out on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA), which operates in secret and approves government surveillance programs—including the two revealed by leaker Edward Snowden. The court's role is expanding to more than just surveillance programs. Eric Lichtblau is a reporter in the Washington Bureau for our partner The New York Times. He's reported on these broad expansions of the FISA court for the paper and joins The Takeaway to discuss this expansion of powers.
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) workers are back on the job—at least for now. BART and its unions reached an agreement late last night to extend current employment contracts for 30 days, which will be sending workers, who were striking since Monday, back on the job. Joining The Takeaway to discuss the strike and future negotiations—and what the situation is like on the ground for struggling travelers—is Dan Brekke, news editor at KQED.
In the days following the ouster of Egypt's first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, a mix of celebrations in support of the change, and demonstrations against it, have filled the streets. Joining us to discuss the situation on the ground and the way forward for Egypt is Mona Makram-Ebeid, a political science professor at the American University in Cairo and a former member of parliament in Egypt—a position she resigned on Saturday. Also on the program is Shadi Hamid, director of research at the Brookings Doha Center.
Days after 19 firefighters were killed in a massive wildfire in Arizona, details are now emerging about how the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew were overtaken by the flames and the conditions that rapidly changed that led to their deaths. Cindy Carcamo, staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times, and her colleagues got an exclusive on the first detailed explanation of what happened on Sunday. According to her report the Hotshot crew "suddenly were encircled by a dense cloud of smoke and flame."
Patrick Cockburn, Middle East correspondent for The Independent, just returned from Syria and he views media reports on the country with a skeptical eye. In fact, Cockburn, a veteran foreign correspondent, says he can't think of any other war or crisis he's covered in which propagandist, biased or second-hand sources have been so readily accepted as fact.
Many of us see our golden years as a time when we can sit back, relax, and leave our strenuous days behind us. But for the athletes featured in the new documentary, "Age of Champions," the retirement years are anything but retiring. Profiling five athletes, "Age of Champions" celebrates swimmers, tennis players, basketball players, and pole vaulters, all of whom are between the ages of 72 and 100 years-old, as they compete in the National Senior Olympic Games.
A call for the Washington Redskins to change their name is picking up steam again in Washington with the announcement last month that 10 members of Congress spoke out against the franchise’s mascot. But Redskins executives are adamant about maintaining the tradition inherent in their name and mascot, and say it would be incredibly difficult to change. Suzan Shown Harjo is a Native American activist who filed a lawsuit against the team in 1992, which was won and then later overturned. Gabe Feldman is the director of Tulane University’s Sports Law Program.
Did the protests undermined the elections that took place a year ago? Was Morsi not given the chance to carry out his leadership as the freely elected leader of Egypt? Will the military and Adli Monsour, chief justice of Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court, be able to move the country in a new direction? Joining The Takeaway to examine these questions and to look at the next steps for Egypt is David Kirkpatrick, Cairo bureau chief for our partner The New York Times.