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The Takeaway

Home Sales Suffer Serious Blow In July

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Existing home sales got knocked out yesterday, plummeting a record 27 percent in July from the previous month, according to the National Association of Realtors. Purchases dropped to an annual pace of 3.83 million homes, the lowest rate since 1999.  Many blame the end of a government tax credit as the reason for the poor home sales.

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The Takeaway

Arizona's Pima County Grapples with Increasing Number of Deaths Along Border's Rough Terrain

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

This year alone, law enforcement officials have recovered the remains of 170 people in the rough terrain of Pima County, Arizona. Most are believed to be illegal immigrants who were trying to make their way into the U.S. 

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The Takeaway

The Political Lessons of Last Night's State Primaries

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Five more states have nominated party candidates for November’s mid term elections.  

Republicans, Democrats, Independents and Tea Partiers were all in serious contention in last night’s primaries. Whether or not you live in one of the states that held a primary last night, the elections may still impact you.  Smart politicians adapt quickly; the lessons learned tonight, they will likely carry with them to November's election. Moreover, the issues that affected those statewide elections may also be playing out in your state as well.

 

 

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The Takeaway

Echoes of Katrina: 5 Years Later

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I was checking in on a number of promos and announcements of upcoming “Katrina 5 years after” specials on networks and in print while I was away. In a sense, the destruction and horror of those days in the Gulf can’t be recreated in mere pictures. The frustration of outraged reporters screaming about FEMA inaction, the images of people stranded on roofs, the armed troops enforcing martial law, seem like disembodied moments that don’t connect. They are horrible reminders certainly, but to me, who experienced Katrina far from the disaster, they are like dots in an emptiness of memory. People who actually lived through Katrina’s devastation can probably recall their own desperate experiences more readily than I can recall those days of late August 2005. But vivid feelings do rush back.

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The Takeaway

Judge Blocks Federally Funded Stem Cell Research

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A federal judge on Monday blocked federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. The decision overrides an executive order signed by President Obama over a year and a half ago, just six weeks after he took office, reversing the Bush administration’s strict policy on embryonic stem cell research.

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The Takeaway

Existing Home Sales Released Today

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Another month, another economic indicator is being released and examined. Today existing home sales numbers are being released by the National Association of Realitors, and predictions from economists and experts are looking pretty grim. Wall Street and finance reporter for The New York Times, Louise Story, explains how these numbers may affect us and our economy.

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The Takeaway

Young American Muslims Offer Their Thoughts on the New York Islamic Center

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The pitched battle over a proposed Islamic cultural center in Lower Manhattan continues to heat up. We've heard from academics and lawmakers. Today, we're asking young Muslim Americans where they come down in this debate. 

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The Takeaway

Biloxi, 5 Years After Katrina

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It will be five years to the day, this Sunday, that Hurricane Katrina swept in and ravaged the Gulf Coast. All this week we'll be looking at how communities and local culture has changed since the hurricane. Mississippi recieved less attention than New Orleans, but the state was devastated when the hurricane hit. Mississippi saw over 200 dead in Katrina's wake, with over 5,000 homes destroyed and $125 billion in estimated damage.

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The Takeaway

A Nuclear Iran May Be Further Away than Previously Thought

Friday, August 20, 2010

It's a simple question with an infinitely complicated answer: what happens if Iran is able to build a nuclear weapon?

Russia is expected to deliver low-enriched uranium to Tehran to bring the Bushehr reactor, Iran's first nuclear power station, online. And the U.S., Israel and other nations are reportedly on alert, as hawks are calling for the bombing the reactor before the fuel is loaded into it.

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The Takeaway

Dr. Laura Goes Off the Air

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dr. Laura Schlessinger is ending he radio talk show, "The Dr. Laura Program" after 30 years on the air. She came under fire earlier this month for using the N-word eleven times in five minutes during an on-air conversation about racism. On "Larry King Live" last night, Dr. Laura defended her decision, saying, "I want to be able to say what's in my mind and in my heart and what I think is helpful and useful without someone getting angry, without some special interest group deciding this is a time to silence a voice of dissent."

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The Takeaway

Listeners Respond: Home Ownership

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Yesterday we discussed home ownership in America. In the past, owning your own property was a major component of the American dream. However, these days there are a lot of reasons to avoid buying a house. We heard from many listeners on this topic.

Steve from Atlanta called in to say:

"It's interesting that this is the first time in a long time that I've actually heard adults say, 'I will never buy a home again.'

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The Takeaway

Blagojevich Jury Hung on 23 Counts

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich may have dodged a bullet yesterday after a Chicago jury found him guilty on only count of lying to federal agents. The jury was hung on the other 23 charges against him. After the verdict was read, Blagojevich told reporters, "this jury just showed you ... that on every count except for one, on every charge except for one, they could not prove that I did anything wrong."

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The Takeaway

Olympian Cullen Jones on Swimming and Drowning

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Swimming is one way to beat the heat – but it can be dangerous for those who don't have a basic knowledge of how to handle themselves in the water. Olympic swimmer Cullen Jones knows this all too well: When he was five years old he almost drowned at an amusement park. This summer the gold medalist has been traveling around the country with the USA Swimming Foundation in a six-city tour called "Make a Splash with Cullen Jones." At each stop Jones meets with community leaders and teaches basic water safety to parents and children.

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The Takeaway

Students Defaulting on Many Loans at For-Profit Colleges

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

As college students head back to campus, a new report says almost two thirds of student loans at for-profit colleges are not being repaid. The statistic calls into question some for-profit programs' ability to prepare graduates for finding jobs, and the Obama administration has proposed cutting off federal loans to the programs with the worst repayment rates. About two-thirds of students in the class of 2013 said that they were concerned about their ability to pay for college.

With default rates at such a high, we're asking you: How have student loans affected your life in ways you didn't expect?

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The Takeaway

Money Spent on State Supreme Court Elections Doubles in Past Decade

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

According to a new report, spending on state Supreme Court elections has doubled in the last decade. According to polls, three in four Americans believe money spent on campaigns for judgeships can affect later courtroom decisions; some states are calling for methods to protect the court system from special-interest money donated during election season.

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The Takeaway

Did You Change Your Name When You Got Married?

Monday, August 16, 2010

This week, when Portia de Rossi filed a petition to change her name to Portia DeGeneres, it got all of us talking about name changes around marriages. Who changes their name when they get married, anyway? A lot of us do, it turns out – 77 to 95 percent of women, at least. But a recent study found that women who change their names are perceived to be worth lower salaries than women who don’t.

If you're married, did you keep your name, take your partner's or take a new name altogether?

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The Takeaway

Launching a Small Business in a Troubled Economy

Monday, August 16, 2010

Amidst all the economic doom and gloom, we hear a story of one small buisness that's actually working. Hilary Lanzer is a Takeaway listener and the vice president of sales at Ask Me, Inc., a marketing firm for travel services. She contacted The Takeaway to express frustration with all the negative stories; she shares her experience of launching a company during a recession.

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The Takeaway

For Colleges, Are Remedial Classes Worth the Money?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Earlier this week in Chicago, Mayor Richard Daley said that he wants to close the “open-door” admissions policy at the City Colleges, which allows students to enroll in classes regardless of past academic performance. He says the system can’t afford to keep spending $30 million a year on remedial classes for students who aren’t prepared to handle college level work.

But for many students, remedial classes are their way into higher education, better jobs and more opportunities. 

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The Takeaway

Debate Over Role of Local Police in Immigration Enforcement

Thursday, August 12, 2010

"Secure Communities," the federal initiative by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, is supposed to find and deport illegal immigrants who have committed violent crimes. ICE aims to do this by requiring states to forward the fingerprints of people booked by local police to federal immigration officials. But is that how the program really works? More than a fourth of the people deported under the Secure Communities policy have no criminal record at all. Some local law enforcement groups say that if illegal immigrants fear they'll be deported after interacting with the police, they will avoid calling them, even when crimes are being committed.

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The Takeaway

The Unemployed Who Don't Get Counted

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The 9.5 percent unemployment rate does not count a huge number of Americans: People who are out of a job and have given up looking. With millions of people out of work and competing with each other for the small percentage of open jobs, it makes sense that a significant portion will call it quits – at least for the time being – and cease searching for employment all together.

If you're unemployed but not looking for work, tell us: At what point did you stop looking for a job?

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