Snowden In Russia; Movie Flops; New Iranian President; Choire Sicha

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Thursday, August 01, 2013

NSA leaker Edward Snowden has been granted asylum by Russia and has left the Moscow airport. We update the latest, and discuss the shift in public opinion about national security surveillance. A.A. Dowd of The A.V. Club chronicles the string of recent summer movie flops, and explains how Hollywood might avoid expensive mistakes like this moving forward. Plus: a new president will be inaugurated in Iran this weekend. Robin Wright, a senior fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace, talks about the challenges and the potential upside to the new regime; Choire Sicha on his new book Very Recent History; and an examination of modern-day parenting techniques. 

Snowden, Surveillance, and Fixing the NSA

Karen Greenberg, head of the Center on National Security at Fordham University discusses what practical changes to our government's surveillance systems that may restore a balance between privacy and security, from more oversight to limiting the number of people who have access to phone and email records. Plus: the latest on Edward Snowden, who has left the Moscow airport and been granted asylum by Russia.

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The Right Wage

As fast food workers organize for higher wages, Elise Gould, director of Health Policy Research at the Economic Policy Institute discusses the landscape of minimum wage and living wage employment -- including who should make $7.25 an hour and what burden employers have to provide for their employees. EPI has recently released their 2013 Family Budget Calculator, which shows regional differences in how much income is needed for economic security.

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Summer Movie Flops

2013 may be remembered as the year of the flop. Six major movies have fallen far short of expectations already: After Earth, White House Down, The Lone Ranger, Pacific Rim, R.I.P.D, and Turbo. A. A. Dowd, film editor for The A.V. Club, discusses the box office disasters of the summer, and explains how the industry might try to avoid a similar string of flops in the future.

Comments [17]

New Iranian President

Hassan Rouhani is set to be sworn in as Iran's new president this weekend. Does this signal a turning point for Iran? Robin Wright, joint fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson International Center, former diplomatic correspondent at the Washington Post, and author of Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World (Simon & Schuster, 2011) examines what this means for Iran's relationship with the West, and possible challenges to the new regime.

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Remember Life in NYC, Circa 2009?

Choire Sicha, former editor of Gawker, founder of The Awl, and author of the new book Very Recent History (Harper, 2013) discusses his new non-fiction semi-novel about life and love in NYC, circa 2009. Listeners: What defines NYC's "very recent history"? Describe New York c.2009 in a few lines -- call 212-433-9692 or post here.

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Calming Down Parenting

Matt Gross and Theodore Ross, co-founders of the parenting blog Dad Wagon and regular contributors to, talk about the "CTFD" school of parenting and whether its a good idea or a disaster-in-the-making.

Comments [17]

Election 2013: Brian Interviews the Candidates

The Brian Lehrer Show is interviewing candidates in the key races taking place this Fall, from the mayoral primary to the borough president contests. Here are links to the interviews -- keep checking back in the days leading up to primary day (September 10th) and the general election (November 5th) for more!

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