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The Takeaway

Generations Affected by Decades of War in Sudan

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Almost all of the four million voters in Southern Sudan casting their votes on whether or not to secede from the North have been affected by decades of bloodshed and civil war in that country. Takeaway producer Noel King has been reporting from the ground in Southern Sudan during the preparation for the vote as well as the referendum itself. Noel shares with us the stories she's heard from people of all different generations, and how all the violence has affected their lives.

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The Takeaway

This Week's Agenda: Tax Cuts and Lame Duck Business

Monday, December 13, 2010

Many Congressional Democrats are not happy with President Obama's compromise with Republicans on extending tax cuts. House Democrats showed that by voting not to bring up the tax bill last week. Callie Crossley, host of the Callie Crossley Show on WGBH in Boston, and Charlie Herman, economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC, look at how the Senate plans to vote today on the bill.

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Transportation Nation

Detroiters Wait To Hear Fate Of Proposed Bridge Project

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Ambassador Bridge. Image: (CC) by Flickr user mcclouds

(Detroit -- Jerome Vaughn, WDET)  Detroiters and their counterparts in Windsor, Ontario, Canada are waiting for Michigan legislators to determine the fate of a proposed border crossing.

Legislation supporting the Detroit River International Crossing will die in a state Senate committee unless it’s brought to the Senate floor today. The lame duck legislature is expected to adjourn later today.

A group of Senators is pushing to get the bridge plan out of committee--but they’re still not sure if they have the votes needed.

If the measure isn’t voted on today, new legislation will have to be written next year and a new group of legislators will have to determine whether the project is worthwhile.

Canadian officials have already approved the project and have even offered to help pay for Michigan’s construction costs. The Michigan House passed the bill in May.

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: Fear of Public Transit, GM Goes Public, and Behold the First 3D-Printed Hybrid Car

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Is fear of crime one of the factors keeping people from riding public transportation? A new study says yes--particularly for women. (Next American City)

The Infrastructurist says: the survival of American high-speed rail hinges upon today's vote.

Grist talks to PolicyLink's Angela Glover Blackwell about why she says transportation is a civil rights issue--and what her worries are for today's election. "It is probably safe to assume that if the Congress becomes more Republican that having the support for infrastructure investment in public transportation will become a divisive issue."

Tow your charger: one Indiana company plans to market a "range extender"--a trailer that you tow behind your electric car that contains a generator to keep your car charged (Wired). Which you might need: GM's Volt has ten million lines of software code. "A car in the 1980s was roughly 5 percent electronics. The Chevy Volt is 40 percent. GM likens the product development for the Volt to a rocket program." (Smart Planet)

Speaking of GM: it goes public today. "In the next 24 hours or so GM is expected to file final papers for an Initial Public Offering. That sale of shares to private investors would change Uncle Sam from a majority owner into a minority owner." (Marketplace).

Behold: the first 3-D printed hybrid car. (Fast Company)

The head of the Allied Pilots Association opposes body scanner screening for pilots, says that the "practice of airport security screening of airline pilots has spun out of control and does nothing to improve national security." (Dallas Morning News.)  Meanwhile, international cooperation over aviation security is gaining attention. (Wall Street Journal)

Seattle's Metro Transit is watching La Niña and preparing for a snowier-than-usual winter--and hoping to not repeat what happened in 2008, when bad weather caused Metro to cut service in half.  (Seattle Times)


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WQXR News

General Election Guide

Monday, November 01, 2010

Find everything you need in It's A Free Country's guide to the general election in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

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It's A Free Country ®

Your General Election Guide

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Your General Election Guide: Who's Running, Where To Vote, Endorsements, and More

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It's A Free Country ®

Registering to Vote is Easy!

Monday, September 27, 2010

So you want to vote. But you’re not registered. Don’t freak out! You still have until October 8th to get in on the action in New York. (The deadline is October 12 in New Jersey and in Connecticut, mail-in forms have to be postmarked by October 19 or you can register in person until October 26.)

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It's A Free Country ®

City Deal for New Voting Machines under Federal Scrutiny

Friday, September 17, 2010

Federal investigators are looking into how a Nebraska firm, Election Systems Software, won a $50 million contract to provide the city with new optical-scan voting machines, a law enforcement source confirms.

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WQXR News

An Insider's Guide to the New York Primaries

Monday, September 13, 2010

On September 14, New Yorkers vote in primary elections that will determine the final slates for federal, state and local races this November. If you are a registered voter in New York and have a designated political party affiliation, you can vote in your party’s primary elections. Or if you're not sure whether you're registered, don't know who represents you, and have no idea where to go come Tuesday, fear not. We can help.

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It's A Free Country ®

Insider's Guide to NY Primary

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

On September 14, New Yorkers vote in primary elections that will determine the final slates for federal, state and local races this November. If you are a registered voter in New York and have a designated political party affiliation, you can vote in your party’s primary elections. Or if you're not sure whether you're registered, don't know who represents you, and have no idea where to go come Tuesday, fear not. We can help. 

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The Takeaway

Senate Votes on DISCLOSE Act

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Senate will vote today on the DISCLOSE Act, a bill already approved by the House, that would require corporations to disclose their spending on federal political campaigns and to reveal their identities in any political ads they fund. The bill is being seen as the Democrats' answer to the Supreme Courts's ruling on the Citizens United case, which allowed big corporations, domestic and foreign, to spend unlimited amounts of money on American elections.

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WNYC News

William Thompson Declared Winner of Mayoral Primary

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bill Thompson at a Bronx Fair with Bill de Blasio (L)

Bill Thompson at a Bronx Fair with Bill de Blasio (L)


New York City Comptroller William Thompson Jr. has cruised to victory in the Democratic mayoral primary and will ...

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The Takeaway

Al Franken and Norm Coleman Face Off in Minnesota

Monday, June 01, 2009

Al Franken and Norm Coleman face off today in Minnesota Supreme Court as oral arguments start for the selection of junior senator in the land of ten thousand lakes. Norm Coleman's team declared that not all the votes have been counted and that Al Franken did not legally obtain the most votes. But, even if the court rules that no more ballots should be counted, Franken may still not gain the victory. Is he good enough, smart enough and dog-gone-it, do enough people like him to elect him Senator?

To figure out what's at stake for Al Franken and Norm Coleman, The Takeaway talks to Tom Scheck from Minnesota Public Radio.

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The Takeaway

Minnesota's Senate race goes on (and on and on)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

A Minnesota state panel is set today to begin a final recount of contested ballots in the state’s epic Senate race between Republican Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken. At stake in today’s recount are 387 absentee ballots, which probably won’t be enough to swing the election in Coleman's favor, but Coleman says he's not backing down. The Takeaway talks to Minnesota Public Radio reporter and Polinaut blogger Tom Scheck. Again.

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The Takeaway

New Supreme Court ruling limits Voting Rights Act

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 yesterday to limit the Voting Rights Act. The ruling says there is no duty to draw voting districts that will elect black candidates in areas where blacks are less than a majority. The Takeaway talks to Nathaniel Persily, Columbia University law professor, and Richard Pildes, New York University law professor, about the implication of the ruling. Specifically, the role of race in elections almost 50 years after the Voting Rights Act was passed, and that the Supreme Court might rule on another section of the Voting Rights Act next month.

"One of the differences between the Voting Rights Act today and when Johnson first initiated it is that we have a whole set of minority incumbents, in part because of the creation of a lot of these districts."
— New York University law professor Richard Pildes on the changes in the Voting Rights Act

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The Takeaway

First time voters head to the polls in Israel

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The polls have closed in Israel, but the election isn't over. Since no party emerged the clear victor, the outcome is still uncertain. As this all too familiar scenario plays out we wondered what was on the mind of voters in Israel. We ask Donna Metreger, a first-time voter in Israel, for her observations.

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The Takeaway

Israeli elections are over with no winner in sight

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Minnesota? Meet Israel. The polls are closed in Israel, but no one knows who won! Both main contenders are claiming victory. Tzipi Livni, who leads the centrist Kadima party has called on her main opponent Binyamin Netanyahu, of the right-wing Likud Party, to join her in a national unity government. For more on these developments, we are joined by the BBC's Robin Lustig in Jerusalem.

"The conventional wisdom in Israel is that the Obama administration privately would rather deal with Tzipi Livni than with Binyamin Netanyahu."
— The BBC's Robin Lustig on the recent Israeli elections

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The Takeaway

Tzipi Livni and Kadima party aim to take the helm of Israel

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Israelis are heading to the polls today in an election that only a few weeks ago seemed a decisive win for former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Now, it's too close to call, but Israel’s Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni of the Kadima party looks like the likely winner. For more on what Livni's win could mean, we turn to Ethan Bronner, Jerusalem bureau chief for our partner the New York Times.

For more of the New York Times coverage of the vote in Israel, read Isabel Kershner's article, Israelis Vote in Volatile Contest for New Leader in today's paper.

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The Takeaway

World Have Your Say on the Israeli election

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Israelis head to the polls today and the race is too close to call. The election is being very closely watched as the outcome will undeniably influence the prospects for peace in the region. To find out what the Israeli voters are saying, we turn to Ros Atkins, a presenter for the BBC World Service's World Have Your Say, who was staked out all day in a shop in Tel Aviv talking to voters.

Here's a video of World Have Your Say encamped in Israel yesterday

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