Democratic Split, Comedian Ali Wong, A Defense of Zoos

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Comedian Ali Wong in a promotional image for her stand-up special 'Baby Cobra.'
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Coming up on today's show:

  • Some 39,000 Verizon workers are back on the job today after seven weeks on strike. It is a huge victory for the unions that represent Verizon employees. Bianca Cunningham, a former Verizon employee in Brooklyn and a union organizer, discusses the terms of the deal. 
  • Though this is a big win for Verizon workers, union membership is about half of what it was in the 1970s. Steven Greenhouse, author of “The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker," explains what this strike means for labor relations across the United States.

  • Will there be a showdown over Israel and Palestine at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) this summer? Bernie Sanders may be looking to force the issue — he appointed two critics of Israel to the DNC's platform drafting committee. Sarah Yerkes, a former officer in the State Department's Office on Israel and Palestinian Affairs, discusses the split among Democrats. 
  • The Swedish pop duo Peter Bjorn and John are back with their new album, "Breaking Point," which is out next week. They stopped by The Takeaway to discuss their new record, and perform their latest single.
  • Comedian Ali Wong reflects on her evolution as a female comic, and the buzz surrounding her Netflix special "Baby Cobra," which she recorded while she was seven and a half months pregnant. She says there is nothing funnier than a pregnant woman, and there is no shortage of good material.
  • The killing of Harambe, a 17-year-old lowland gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo, has many people questioning the purpose of zoos. Dr. Dave Hone, a paleontologist and writer, argues that there are good zoos out there — ones that provide animals with a better quality of life and chance for survival, and offer invaluable education and research opportunities to the community.

  • Melancholy Accidents: Three Centuries of Stray Bullets and Bad Luck” is a new book that looks at three centuries of newspaper reports that detail accidental gun deaths. Author Peter Manseau, guest curator at the Smithsonian Institution, looks back and examines the modern state of American gun culture.