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Up in the Air

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

On today’s show: we’ll examine the state of the airline industry and find out whether the so-called “friendly skies” are really that friendly—or safe. Gene Kelly’s widow, film historian Patricia Ward Kelly, discusses the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s salute to her husband! Two stars of the Mint Theater’s revival of Martha Gellhorn and Virginia Cowles’ sharp-tongued comedy “Love Goes to Press” talk about the production with the Mint Theater’s artistic director, Jonathan Bank. On Backstory we’ll get an update on the volatile political situation in Egypt from journalist Ashraf Khalil. And we’ll find out how HSBC became the bank of choice for Mexican drug traffickers—and why both the bank and regulators were slow to catch on.

Attention All Passengers

Travel journalist and consumer advocate William J. McGee looks at the ways the airline industry is cutting costs by delegating flights to second-tier regional airlines and outsourcing critical aircraft maintenance and repairs to China, Singapore, Mexico, and El Salvador. In Attention All Passengers he argues that despite security regulations, our skies (and our airports) are not getting any safer.

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Salute to Gene Kelly

Gene Kelly’s widow, film historian Patricia Ward Kelly, discusses the Film Society of Lincoln Center's special 23-film salute to the great dancer/choreographer, “Invitation to the Dance: Gene Kelly.” The series runs July 13–26 and explores Gene Kelly’s role in creating a particularly American dance form and his innovative use of cinematography, choreography, and animation.

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“Love Goes to Press”

Heidi Armbruster and Angela Pierce talk about starring in “Love Goes to Press,” along with Jonathan Bank, artistic director of the Mint Theater. Written by war correspondents Martha Gellhorn and Virginia Cowles, the play paints a portrait of two smart, funny, brave, ambitious and complex women working just miles from the front lines, surrounded by less competent, less adventurous men. It’s based on the writers’ own experiences. “Love Goes to Press” is playing through July 29 at the Mint Theater.

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Backstory Update: Egypt Since Tahrir Square

Ashraf Khalil joined us in January 2011, as protesters filled Tahrir Square. On today’s Backstory, he updates us on how Egypt’s democracy has taken shape, the growing power struggle between the country’s military and its democratically elected officials, and the mixed messages of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit there earlier this week. Ashraf Khalil is the author of Liberation Square: Inside the Egyptian Revolution and the Rebirth of a Nation.

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Backstory: What Happened at HSBC

This week the Senate held hearings on HSBC’s failure to halt illegal foreign transactions involving Mexican drug traffickers and Middle Eastern banks with suspected ties to terrorists. Tom Easton, the New York finance and economics correspondent for The Economist, talks about why the bank was overwhelmed by compliance demands of so many different countries—and why its competitors may be as well.

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Guest Picks: Bob Massie

Activist, environmental leader, and priest Bob Massie was on the Lopate Show to talk about his remarkable life. He also told us what he's reading and listening to these days!

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