Economic Pain, Political Unrest, The Hanging Bridge

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ATHENS, GREECE - JANUARY 31, 2015:Greece's Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis during a joint press conference with Finance Minister and Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem in Athens.
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Coming up on today's show:

  • Yanis Varoufakis discusses what went wrong during his tenure as Greek finance minister, and how Europe can fix its economic woes. Though things have improved, Varoufakis believes that the problems within Greece, and the Euro as a whole, remain the same today. He is the author of the book "And The Weak Suffer What They Must?"
  • Political unrest in Baghdad reached a tipping point this weekend when anti-government protesters overtook the Iraqi Parliament building. Muqtata al-Sadr, an influential anti-American Shia cleric in Iraq, is leading this movement. Patrick Cockburn, author of “Muqtada: Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shia Revival, and the Struggle for Iraq,” examines al-Sadr’s rise to prominence.
  • When President Bill Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act in 1996, he boldly announced that the law was ending "welfare as we know it." Karen Sughrue of the Retro Report documentary team discusses the real legacy of President Clinton's welfare reform, and how the poor are faring more than two decades later.
  • In New Jersey, Atlantic City is nearly bankrupt and doesn't have enough money to pay a $1.8 million bond bill due today. Mayor Don Guardian and Governor Chris Christie have been in an old-fashioned stand off, with Christie threatening to let the city fall into default. Christian Hetrick, the city hall reporter for the Press of Atlantic City, explains. 
  • Puerto Rico is facing a major debt crisis of its own, but unlike Atlantic City, the U.S. territory can't declare bankruptcy. Alejandro García Padilla, governor of Puerto Rico, said that the island will not be making a $422 million debt payment that is due today. Cate Long, principal of the Puerto Rico Clearinghouse, a research service for bondholders, has the details on this debt crisis.
  • In a new book out today, “Hanging Bridge: Racial Violence and America's Civil Rights Century,” author Jason Ward tells the story of six horrific lynchings from one bridge in the quiet town of Shubuta in Clarke County, Mississippi. Today on The Takeaway, Ward discusses his new book, and the dark history that this community is still struggling with.