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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Veteran Middle East correspondent Charles Sennott, who has just returned from Egypt, discusses the Muslim Brotherhood, which he covered for an upcoming Frontline documentary. Then, Ben Anderson talks about his documentary, "The Battle for Marjah," which chronicles one of the most decisive operations of the Afghan War. Also, Ari Brand and Carolyn McCormick talk about starring in the new A. R. Gurney comedy “Black Tie.” Plus, we’ll look at the Obama Administration’s enormous 2012 defense budget on Backstory!

Revolution in Cairo

Charles Sennott, GlobalPost’s veteran Middle East correspondent, discusses the youth movement that ignited the uprising in Egypt, and his investigation of the Muslim Brotherhood. His Frontline special report, “Revolution in Cairo,” airs February 22, at 9 pm, on PBS.

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The Battle for Marjah

Ben Anderson, director of the documentary “The Battle for Marjah,” talks about the historic battle in Afghanistan. U.S. Marines launched Afghanistan: Operation Moshtarak, the biggest operation since the start of the Afghanistan war. The main target was the Taliban stronghold of Marjah, a town in Helmand province, in February 2010. Anderson spent two months with the American forces, and offers an intimate look at the brutal realities of modern-day warfare. “The Battle for Marjah” airs on February 17, at 9:00 pm, on HBO.

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Black Tie

Ari Brand, Gregg Edelman, and Carolyn McCormick talk about their roles in A. R. Gurney’s new comedy “Black Tie.” The play follows Curtis, father of the groom, who simply wants to make a memorable toast at his son’s wedding. Instead, he finds himself defending his family’s conventions and traditions. “Black Tie” has been extended through March 27 at 59E59 Theaters.

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Backstory: South Sudan Independence

Last month, the southern Sudanese people voted 99% in favor of breaking away from northern Sudan and creating an independent state. Oliver August, Africa correspondent for The Economist, and Jehanne Henry, Sudan researcher for Human Rights Watch, explain the 2005 peace agreement that led to this vote and the challenges South Sudan faces in setting up a new nation.

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Backstory: Obama's 2012 Defense Budget

We’ll examine President Obama’s proposed 2012 defense budget with Winslow Wheeler, Director of the Straus Military Reform Project at the Center for Defense Information.

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George Shearing

Blind virtuosic piano player George Shearing died recently at the age of 96.

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