The Takeaway

The Takeaway

From PRI

A fresh alternative in daily news featuring critical conversations, live reports from the field, and listener participation. Hosted by John Hockenberry, The Takeaway provides a breadth and depth of world, national, and regional news coverage that is unprecedented in public media.More from The Takeaway »

Most Recent Episodes

A New Democratic Leader, Pruitt's Carbon Love Affair, Revolutionary Films

Coming up on today's show: The decision over who will lead the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is perhaps the most important question for whether the party can recover from its loss in 2016, and the bitter split that the primary contest forged. Howard Dean, chairman of the DNC from 2005 to 2009, a six term governor of Vermont, and former presidential candidate, looks ahead to what's next for the Democratic Party. Following Scott Pruitt's confirmation as head of the EPA, thousands of emails have been released documenting the former Oklahoma attorney general's ties to fossil fuel industry. Lisa Graves, director of the Center for Media and Democracy, explains. The worst appears to be over for rain-drenched San Jose, but residents are dealing with severe flood damage and are expecting more storms over the weekend. We look at the impact of California's wettest winter in 20 years with Julia Sulek, reporter for the San Jose Mercury News. The 89th Annual Academy Awards will be held this coming Sunday evening. Melissa Locker, culture reporter for TIME, The Guardian, and The Takeaway, reviews the Oscars nominees for Best Original Song. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the release of "The Graduate," "Bonnie and Clyde," "In the Heat of the Night," "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," and "Doctor Dolittle," all of which were nominated for Best Picture. Mark Harris documented the production histories of all five films in his book "Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood," and sees this group of films as evidence of a transitional period in Hollywood with themes that tie to 2017. Caroline Light, a Harvard lecturer and author of "Stand Your Ground: A History of America's Love Affair With Lethal Self-Defense," examines the history of self-defense in the United States to better understand how it has been transformed from a right to a duty.

A New Democratic Leader, Pruitt's Carbon Love Affair, Revolutionary Films

Transgender Rights, China Worries, Understanding the Cosmos

Coming up on today's show: On Wednesday, the Trump Administration announced that it in plans to overturn an Obama-era protection that allows transgender students to use the bathroom of their choosing in schools. Here to discuss the policy shift is Jillian T. Weiss, executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Donna Milo, a Republican business owner and transgender woman. Protest camps around the Dakota Access Pipeline are expected to be shut down by the Army Corps of Engineers today. For a look at where the movement goes next and for an analysis of other grassroots protests, The Takeaway turns to Jay Caspian Kang, a correspondent for Vice News Tonight, and writer-at-large for the New York Times Magazine. A new study that collected data from people in 47 states over the course of 17 years reveals that teens are less likely to attempt suicide in places where gay and lesbian couples have the right to marry one another. Julia Raifman, postdoctoral fellow in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the Department of Epidemiology and co-author of the study, explains. If President Trump does end up pursuing a very aggressive trade policy with China, and the Chinese government retaliates and targets Chinese students, many U.S. colleges could potentially lose billions of dollars in tuition revenue, according to Kirk Carapezza, managing editor of our partner WGBH's higher education desk. Scientists have announced two major discoveries this week that have the potential to drastically alter some of their previous held understandings of the cosmos. Jason Kendall, adjunct professor of astronomy at William Paterson University, joins The Takeaway to explain the significance of these developments. Joe Feingold, a 93-year-old Holocaust survivor, donated his violin to Brianna, a 13-year-old schoolgirl from the Bronx. Their story is told in the Oscar-nominated documentary, "Joe's Violin." Today, the Takeaway hears from Graham Parker and Kahane Cooperman, directors of the film.

Tension Among Neighbors, Fighting Anti-Semitism, Desperation at Sea

Coming up on today's show: The Department of Homeland Security released documents yesterday that translate President Trump's immigration orders into practice for the nation's immigration enforcers. Camille Mackler, director of legal initiatives for the New York Immigration Coalition, Jong-Min You, a Korean-born undocumented immigrant who has lived in the U.S. his whole life, and DACA recipient Andrea Bonilla, discuss the Trump Administration's rules could mean for immigrants nationwide. More and more hate groups are springing up across the United States, and Jewish communities have seen increasing waves of vandalism and bomb threats. Following the lead of his daughter, President Trump finally acknowledged this violence on Tuesday. Rabbi Jonah Pesner, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, discusses the recent uptick in anti-Semitic threats and the president's response. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly will meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto during a two day visit to Mexico this week, after a fraught first month for the new administration and Mexico. Jorge Guajardo, Mexican ambassador to China from 2007-2013 and consul general to Mexico in Austin, Texas from 2005 to 2007, explains what we can expect from this meeting. In her new book, "The New Sectarianism: The Arab Uprising and the Rebirth of the Shi'a-Sunni Divide," author Geneive Abdo writes that the Shi'ia-Sunni Divide has taken on a new form, and argues that how people practice their faith has become increasingly responsible for division in the Middle East. The bodies of 74 migrants washed ashore in Libya on Monday. In recent months, the route across the Mediterranean has proven to be increasingly dangerous, and as spring rapidly approaches, officials fear that more and more migrants will attempt to make the often deadly trip. Mary Fitzgerald, a journalist specializing in Libya and a contributing author to the book "The Libyan Revolution and its Aftermath," analyzes the politics surrounding the migrant crisis, and reflects on the dangerous journey for those crossing the Mediterranean. The Takeaway looks back at two of this year's Oscar-nominated documentaries that address the migrant crisis: "Fire at Sea" and "4.1 Miles." We hear from Gianfranco Rosi, the director of "Fire at Sea," and Daphne Matziaraki, director of "4.1 Miles."

Angry Town Hall Meetings, Sex Offender Rights, Seeking Out the KKK

Coming up on today's show: On Monday, President Donald Trump appointed Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as national security advisor. McMaster is a West Point graduate who earned a Silver Star during the 1991 Gulf War, and is well regarded for his innovative military strategies. George Packer, a staff writer at The New Yorker who first wrote about McMaster in 2006, weighs in on McMaster's appointment. Iraqi led forces launched an offensive charge against ISIS to retake the western part of Mosul on Sunday. In light of the recent efforts from the Iraqi Army, U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis made an unannounced visit to Baghdad on Monday. Emma Graham-Harrison, an international affairs correspondent for The Guardian, joins The Takeaway to discuss the latest efforts by Iraqi forces and what Mattis' visit to Iraq may signify. The Presidents' Day holiday weekend proved to be a difficult time for lawmakers who are wrestling over the repeal and replacement of Obamacare, among other issues. Here with an update on the latest is Takeaway Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich. In the early months of 2017, there's been an unprecedented amount of activity on the state-level in regards to broadband access. Large telecommunications monopolies are digging their heels in on a number of issues and, in some places, citizens are fighting back. Here to explain is Christopher Mitchell, director of Community Broadband Networks at the Institute for Local Self Reliance. Back in 2010, a 15-year-old Mexican citizen was shot across the U.S.-Mexico border by a border patrol agent. Is he protected by the Constitution? It's a question The Supreme Court will hear in the case Hernandez Vs. Mesa. Margaret Hu, associate professor of law at Washington and Lee University, discusses the case and what the ruling would mean for the future. The latest installment of our Case in Point series explores a legal case about the rights of registered sex offenders that has gone all the way to the Supreme Court. Andrew Cohen, commentary editor at The Marshall Project, and Glenn Gerding, North Carolina Appellate Defender, discuss the case. Daryl Davis, a musician, speaker, and author, discusses his experience as a black man seeking out members of the KKK and other race-oriented hate groups to challenge their prejudices. His story is told in the new documentary, "Accidental Courtesy."

Executive Angst: Understanding America's Presidential Power Struggle

Today, we're dedicating our entire show to thinking deeply about the role of the president and executive power. Here's what you'll find in this special Presidents' Day episode: From George Washington and Andrew Jackson, to Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, the function of the highest office in the land has expanded and contracted over time — sometimes beyond what the nation's founders ever intended. Where did the concept of executive power originate, and what does the Constitution actually say about it? For answers, we turn to Eric Posner, a professor of law at the University of Chicago. The president is at the top of the chain of military command. But what can the president actually do when it comes to war? Rosa Brooks, a law professor at Georgetown University, author of "How Everything Became War and The Military Became Everything," answers that question today on The Takeaway. President Donald Trump could certainly be compared with other presidents when it comes to his outlook on executive authority. But that doesn't reassure John Yoo. He's a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley, and former Justice Department official under President George W. Bush. He has supported past exertions of presidential power for matters relating to torture, surveillance and drones. And yet, he has serious reservations about President Trump. The judiciary provides a key check on the president's powerful hand. But in recent weeks, we've seen the Trump Administration take on the court system, and what has traditionally been a healthy tug-of-war is suddenly starting to look more like an out-right war between the executive and judicial branches. Leon Fresco, former deputy assistant attorney general at the Justice Department and former head of the the Office of Immigration Litigation under the Obama Administration, says over time, the judiciary has become defensive of its powers — and with good reason. Many voices on Capitol Hill say that Congress has ceded too much authority to the president. U.S. Senator Mike Lee of Utah is one of the lawmakers behind the "Article One Project," an initiative based on the idea that Congress was always meant to be the driving force in federal policymaking. He discusses the plan with Takeaway Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich. If you could redesign our democracy, knowing what we know today about our world, how would you do it? Pippa Norris, a lecturer in comparative politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, spends a lot of time thinking about how democracies function, how power is balanced, and the role of elections and public opinion in the shaping of our government. Today on The Takeaway she imagines the future of the U.S. system of government.

Intel Unease, Movie Music, When Darwin Reached America

Coming up on today's show: The intelligence community appears to be at war with President Trump amid leaks over Russian involvement during the 2016 election. Mark Lowenthal, former assistant director of Central Intelligence for Analysis and Production under President Bush, and current president of the Intelligence and Security Academy, explains. PRI and The Takeaway have been sending your pressing questions to President Trump using his favorite method of communication — Twitter — in a project we're calling "100 Questions in 100 Days." With no response, we turn to Takeaway Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich to answer some of the biggest questions of the week. President Trump is in Charleston, South Carolina, today to attend the rollout of a new plane from Boeing. On Wednesday, Boeing's South Carolina workers overwhelmingly rejected a move to unionize by a vote of 3 to 1. Jeff Hirsch, a law professor at UNC-Chapel Hill who specializes in labor relations, joins The Takeaway to discuss how bad perceptions and big campaigns shaped the vote, and what it means for the future of unions under Trump. Rafer Guzman, film critic for Newsday and The Takeaway, reviews the new big-budget action movie "The Great Wall," which stars actors Matt Damon, Tian Jing, and Willem Dafoe. The 89th Academy Awards will take place on February 26th. Though there is a sea of strong contenders, Takeaway Culture Reporter Melissa Locker argues that a musical is bound to win Best Original Score at the 2017 Oscars. People with student loans should be wary of scams that promise debt forgiveness. Betsy Mayotte, the director of consumer outreach and compliance at American Student Assistance, says these kinds of programs are everywhere, and explains how to spot them. When the evolutionary theories of English naturalist and geologist Charles Darwin were first introduced, a group of thinkers and writers in America used Darwin's ideas to reconcile religion with science, and perhaps most importantly, a better understanding of race. University of Tulsa Professor Randall Fuller, author of "The Book That Changed America: How Darwin's Theory of Evolution Ignited a Nation," explains.

The View from Moscow, Puzder's Done, Fake Voting Fraud

Coming up on today's show: Americans wake up every day to a new crop of political developments that range from odd to alarming. Many are about Russia being involved in some part of American life where it hadn't been recently. But how does this all look in Russia? Charles Maynes, an independent journalist in Moscow, answers Fast food magnate Andrew Puzder officially withdrew from his nomination to be labor secretary under President Donald Trump, amid concerns that he wouldn't make it through confirmation because he had hired a nanny who lacked permission to work in the U.S. He also had been accused of domestic abuse by his ex wife, and wage theft and mistreatment by workers at his Carl's Jr. restaurants. Takeaway Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich has the latest. The immigration ban has raised broader questions about how far officials at the border can go while searching private property, including phones and social media. Rights are not always completely clear at the border and agents often have a good amount of leeway in denying or permitting entry. Rey Koslowski of the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs explains. President Trump and his policy director Stephen Miller have both claimed that voters were bused into New Hampshire from Massachusetts, swinging the election there to Hillary Clinton. Former New Hampshire Attorney General Tom Rath, a longtime Republican political consultant, is one of many in the Granite State saying that just simply isn't true. The rapidly changing U.S.-Russia relationship is having effects in many former Soviet-bloc countries, often because they see the U.S. as an influence to help protect basic human rights. Two former Uzbek political prisoners, Umida Niyazova and Sanjar Umarov, are hoping the U.S. can keep pressure on one of the most repressive regimes in the world. Seventy years after they were recorded, two songs sung by Holocaust survivors have been unearthed at the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology at the University of Akron. David Baker, the center's executive director, has been on a mission to unlock the recordings done on wire spools shortly after the end of the war.

Trump Ties to Russia; Kushner and Netanyahu; A Very Good Dog

Coming up on today's show: More details are emerging around the dismissal of national security adviser Michael Flynn and his ties to Russia, but late last night we learned that members of Trump's campaign staff were often in contact with senior Russian intelligence officials. Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich will have more. The Kushner family has a relationship with Benjamin Netanyahu that goes back decades. Now Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, is the White House's leading adviseron on Middle East affairs as President Trump is set to meet with the Israeli Prime Minister today. Ambassador Dennis Ross, a former Middle East peace negotiator and adviser to both Democratic and Republican presidential administrations, joins us. In the same week that Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu visits President Donald Trump at the White House, a delegation of 11 current and former NFL players was supposed to take a trip to Israel. Four of the players bailed on the trip, which appeared designed to make them look as if they supported settlement policy, after Dave Zirin of The Nation penned an open letter to players that was signed by Angela Davis, John Carlos and others. Only one can be Best In Show, but they're all good dogs at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Sarah Montague, cohost of the Dog Story podcast and resident pup expert joined us to talk about the 141st version of the annual dog show that concluded last night. Since 2010, increasingly conservative state legislatures have been passing laws designed to make abortion harder to access, despite Roe v. Wade. Last year, 60 bills were passed, and Elizabeth Nash of the Guttmacher Institute explains why restrictions have been getting more extreme. Filmmaker Garrett Bradley's 'Alone' is about the hole ripped in other lives when a loved one is behind bars. In this short, Aloné Watts lives in New Orleans, where she has became a single mother and a woman in a relationship with someone in prison overnight.

Flynn Out, Atrocities in Syria, Oroville Dam

Coming up on today's show: Trump's National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned late last night after reports that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russia. The Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich joins us with the latest, including who might take over the job. Syrian government helicopters dropped chlorine on residential areas in Aleppo at least eight times from Nov. 17-Dec. 13, according to a report by Human Rights Watch that was published Monday. Ole Solvang, deputy director for emergencies at Human Rights Watch talked to us from Paris about his organization's report on chemical weapons use by President Bashar al-Assad's regime. His organization's report followed one from Amnesty International that up to 13,000 people were summarily hanged in secret from 2011-2015. Assad dismissed the report. Martin Chulov, who covers the Middle East for the Guardian joined us to discuss the current situation. Net neutrality advocates are worried because FCC chairman Ajit Pai has unraveled several Obama administration polices in his first few weeks on the job. Also watching with trepidation has been commissioner Mignon Clyburn, who explained what these changes mean. Nearly 200,000 people have been ordered to evacuate from an area downstream of the tallest dam in the United States, and more rain is in the forecast. The dam's spillways have been eroded by the force of water rushing over it, but efforts are underway to shore them up. This is the scenario environmental groups were concerned about when they filed a lawsuit 12 years ago to try forcing regulators to strengthen the dam. Mark Ogden of the Association of State Dam Safety Officials is with us to explain. Attorneys for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl are seeking to get his court martial dismissed because a member of his chain of command has already proclaimed the soldier a traitor and a deserter and suggested he be executed. That commander is President Donald Trump, whose comments on the campaign trail were shown to a military judge, who called it "disturbing material." Rachel VanLandingham, a retired Air Force lawyer and current law professor at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles, joined us to discuss the implications. When he was President, George Washington tried to get around laws prohibiting slavery in the North by sending his nine slaves south twice a year to "reset the clock" requiring them to be freed after six months. One time, one of them didn't come back. "Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge" tells her story, and author Erica Armstrong Dunbar is with us.

Flynn Under Scrutiny, Ranchers on Trial, Hypernormal Reality

Coming up on today's show: National security adviser Michael Flynn faces scrutiny for allegations of contact with Russia's ambassador before President Trump took office. On Friday, the president said he would "look into" the claims, and if they prove true, Flynn's conduct may likely have been illegal. Ryan Goodman, editor in chief of Just Security and former special counsel to the Department of Defense, joins us. In at least half a dozen states, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers made hundreds of arrests, sweeping up undocumented immigrants in a wide-ranging dragnet. Camille Mackler, Director of Legal Initiatives for the New York Immigration Coalition explains the implications of the raids. Testimony begins today in the trial of half a dozen of the defendants involved in the armed standoff between Rancher Cliven Bundy and federal agents in 2014. Jenny Wilson of the Las Vegas Review Journal has been covering the case, and joins us to talk about the second trial involving the Bundy family and public land. His sons were acquitted in the occupation of a national wildlife refuge. Oregon rancher Keith Nantz has said he doesn't approve of the Bundy family's approach to the problem, but understands why they are upset. He explains the issues at stake for beef producers in the American West, why they need access to federal land, and why changing regulations lead to economic losses. The University of Connecticut women's basketball team is going for its 100th straight win tonight. ESPN columnist Mechelle Voepel is here to look ahead to the Huskies' game against No. 6 South Carolina, and to discuss what the milestone means for the world of sports. Seizing the property of suspects has long been considered a critical law-enforcement, too. But taking the possessions of people before they have been convicted of a crime — innocent people, in other words — has significant real-world consequences. Maurice Chammah of the Marshall Project joins us to discuss some of those, as well as the future of the policy. Is massive, widespread self-delusion by society a response to the chaotic and unpredictable world? British filmmaker Adam Curtis argues it might be in his documentary "HyperNormalisation." In the film released just ahead of the 2016 election, Curtis attempts to show that, rather than respond to and accept a chaotic and unpredictable world, we delude ourselves into thinking that things are far simpler and more easily explainable than they actually are.

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