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

Trump Country, Disaster in Portland, Nat Turner's Rebellion

Coming up on today's show: Reports emerged this weekend that Donald Trump may abandon his plan to use a "deportation force" to round up an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants, though his campaign has denied such claims. David Weigel, a writer with The Washington Post, says that the GOP nominee is trying to appease white voters who are concerned that he is racist, while also embracing those who adore him for that precise xenophobia. Over the course of four months, journalist Alexander Zaitchik traveled through the heart of Trump country. He visited places that are symbolically resonant with the Trump campaign in Arizona, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and California, and he shares his findings in a new book, "The Gilded Rage: A Wild Ride through Donald Trump's America." Unrest continues in Turkey as the nation faces a scene that feels all too familiar. On Saturday night, a suicide bomber attacked a wedding ceremony in the city of Gaziantep, killing more than 50 people and injuring nearly 70. Many of the victims were children. Soner Cagaptay, director of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, has the details on this attack. Years after a cholera epidemic killed thousands in Haiti, the United Nations has admitted its role in the outbreak, which was brought in by U.N. peacekeepers. Dr. Louise Ivers, a senior health and policy adviser at Partners In Health and an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, has been leading cholera treatment and prevention activities in Haiti, and explains how the U.N.'s acknowledgement may change things on the ground. More than 10 wildfires have been actively burning across the state of California, and more have been kindling around the country. How is the federal government paying to fight fires they never anticipated 10 years ago? Robert Bonnie, USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, weighs in. The West Coast is due for a massive earthquake. Experts say it's not a matter of if, but when. To prepare for this inevitable disaster, last month officials across the Pacific Northwest simulated their response with dozens of cities, state and federal agencies all mobilizing their emergency teams. Cassandra Profita, a reporter for EarthFix from Oregon Public Broadcasting, explains what happened when the simulated earthquake hit the city of Portland. Sunday was the 185th anniversary of Nat Turner's rebellion — one of the largest slave rebellions ever to take place in the United States. Kenneth S. Greenberg, a distinguished professor of history at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts, and an editor of the forthcoming second edition of the "The Confessions of Nat Turner," looks back on this historic event.

Trump's Long Game, DOJ Pivot, The Comfort of Jazz

Coming up on today's show: After Donald Trump tapped Breitbart's Stephen Bannon to head up his campaign this week, several experts are a speculating that Trump is maneuvering to create his own conservative media empire that would sustain him if he lost in November. Is there any truth to these claims? Sarah Ellison, contributing editor at Vanity Fair and author of "War at the Wall Street Journal," answers. After Univision announced this week that it would be acquiring Gawker Media properties for $135 million, Gawker.com announced it would cease to exist beginning next week. What are the broader implications of Peter Thiel's lawsuit, and where are the limits of free speech and personal privacy drawn? Ed Klaris, founding partner of Klaris Law and former general counsel of The New Yorker, weighs in. After an injection of cash and a few weeks of national unity, how will Brazil move forward after the 2016 Summer Olympic Games pack up and leave Rio? We speak with two Brazilians — Lúcia Guimarães, columnist and correspondent for the daily newspaper O Estado de São Paulo, and Marcelo Cortes Neri, Brazil's former Minister of Strategic of Affairs — about their visions for the future of their country. This week, Takeaway Culture Reporter Melissa Locker brings us up to speed on the shows to watch and skip for the start of the fall television season. Earlier this week, researchers at the University of Chicago learned more about the deep evolutionary link between human hands and fish fins. Andrew Gehrke, a co-author of the study and a biologist currently working at Harvard University, has the details. On Thursday, the Justice Department announced it would end the use of private prisons after determining they are less safe and effective than federally run prisons. Michele Deitch, a senior lecturer with the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and School of Law at the University of Texas-Austin, reflects on the DOJ's decision. It's been a devastating week for residents in and around Baton Rouge, Louisiana as flooding continues to bash the city. With help from Dr. Michael White, a jazz clarinetist and professor of African-American Music at Xavier University of Louisiana, we go to the heart of the state's culture — its music — to find out how people are responding to this disaster.

'Shadow Brokers,' Facial Recognition, Dog Days of Summer

Coming up on today's show: This week, a group calling themselves the "Shadow Brokers" claim they have hacked into the mothership of internet security: The National Security Agency. Steven Levy, a senior staff writer for Wired, and Nicholas Weaver, a researcher at the International Computer Science Institute, have the details on the hack. It's the dog days of summer, and many people around the nation have been grappling with heat waves. The problem is particularly acute for those who live in cities, thanks to the so-called "urban heat island effect." How does extreme heat impact health, and who is most at risk? Reporter Sarah Gonzalez, who has been working on WNYC's Harlem Heat Project, weighs in. More than 70 percent of Texas prisons don't have air conditioning. While advocates are working to find temporary solutions, two heat-related lawsuits are making their way through the Texas courts. Wallis Nader, a staff attorney with Texas Civil Rights Project, explains. The London Metropolitan Police Service is turning to a special group of individuals that have been identified as "super recognizers," or people who have excellent facial recognition abilities. Richard Russell, a psychology professor at Gettysburg College, was one of the researchers to publish a 2009 study identifying this population, and presented the idea that facial recognition ability is a spectrum, rather than something one does or does not possess. A new report reveals that women are the fastest growing segment of America's incarcerated population. In 1970, there were fewer than 8,000 women in American jails, but by 2014, that number skyrocketed to more than 110,000. We look at why this number is growing with Renia "Angel" Farmer, a former inmate, speaker and facilitator at the advocacy group Let's Start. We conclude our exploration of the oceans with a look at the human-produced noise that interferes with marine life that relies on echolocation and other techniques to communicate with Michael Jasny, director of the Marine Mammal Protection Project and the Land and Wildlife Program for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Death Penalty Debates, Sea to Table, Embracing Otherness

Coming up on today's show: Donald Trump hosted a town hall rally outside of Milwaukee on Tuesday evening, just days after a police shooting caused riots and unrest across the city. The Takeaway speaks with two Milwaukee residents — Venice Williams, director of a community center known as The Body and Soul Healing Arts, and Marc Levine, director of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Center for Economic Development — about the longstanding sources of division in the city. One week from today, man in Texas is set to be executed as punishment for the death of a man he did not kill. Has there ever been a precedent for this type of execution, and will it proceed? For answers, we turn to Jordan Steiker, the Judge Robert M. Parker Chair in Law at the University of Texas School of Law and the director of the Capital Punishment Center. How is the city of Rio de Janeiro faring as the Olympic Games pass the midway point? Jules Boykoff, a former professional soccer player who spent last year in Brazil as a Fulbright Scholar, weighs in. Boykoff is currently a professor of politics at Pacific University in Oregon and author of "Power Games: A Political History of the Olympics." There's often a high value placed on seafood, but we often don't know exactly what we're eating or how it was caught. How can consumers get reliable information about the fish they see in the supermarket? Here to weigh in is Michael Dimin, the founder of Sea to Table. We continue our series, "Trashing the High Seas" with a look at the "Atlas of Ocean Wealth," which maps the benefits of ocean ecosystems in an effort to assist governments and business that are investing in sustainable growth of existing resources. Mark Spalding, senior marine scientist at The Nature Conservancy and lead author of the Atlas of Ocean Wealth, has the details. Himanshu Suri, otherwise known by his stage name, Heems, is a 31-year-old rapper who was born in Queens to Indian-Hindu parents. His career started with the group Das Racist, which he started with a college friend. He discusses his musical process and activism as part of The Takeaway's "People Get Ready" protest music series.

The 'Hemingway Curse,' Gitmo Swaps, Civilian Carnage in Yemen

Coming up on today's show: A Doctors Without Borders hospital in northern Yemen was struck on Monday by Saudi-led airstrikes. The attack follows a strike last week on a Yemeni school. Saudi Arabia leads a coalition of nine nations and receives support from the U.S. and the U.K., but many of its attacks on Yemeni soft targets have gone ignored. Iona Craig, an award-winning journalist reporting on the conflict in Yemen, weighs in. Only 61 detainees remain at the Guantánamo Bay detention center. On Monday, the facility saw its largest single prisoner release under President Obama, as 15 men were transported to the United Arab Emirates. Carol Rosenberg, a reporter from The Miami Herald who has covered Gitmo extensively, explains who these 15 men are, and what's next for the detention facility. For the past three years, a young entrepreneur has been working to create a massive underwater barrier that would collect and remove trash from the Pacific Ocean through the use of the ocean's currents. Here to discuss this initiative is Boyan Slat, the creator of the barrier and CEO and founder of The Ocean Cleanup, a foundation dedicated to developing advanced technologies to rid the oceans of plastic. Southern Louisiana endured unprecedented flooding over the weekend. The aftermath has left seven people dead, and thousands displaced and without power or cell phone service. Flood warnings are still in effect as rivers are expected to rise. Cynthia Sarthou, executive director of the Gulf Restoration Network, explains how neglect of state waterways and coastlines led to such a disaster. On Monday night, a jury found Pennsylvania's attorney general, Kathleen G. Kane, guilty of nine criminal charges. Kane, once considered a rising star in the Pennsylvania judicial system, was at the center of a Byzantine tale of lies, pornographic emails, and politics. Katie Colaneri, a reporter for WHYY in Philadelphia, joins The Takeaway to explain the details of this case. With suicide rates in the U.S. at a 30-year high, the frontline for prevention is on your phone. Dr. Joe Franklin, assistant professor of psychology at Florida State University, has created a game-like app to encourage users to change the way they think about themselves and suicide in order to reduce suicidal behaviors. Mariel Hemingway is Ernest Hemingway's granddaughter. After her own battles with anorexia and her sister's suicide in 1996, Mariel was determined to fight the myth of the "Hemingway curse." She's now an author of several self-help books, an Academy Award-nominated actress, and mental health programs advocate. Today on The Takeaway, Mariel discusses her connection to her grandfather's legacy.

Third-Party Candidates, Sex Testing Olympians, Guitar's Not Dead

Coming up on today's show: What is the value of third-party candidates in a volatile election year? Sam Wang, founder of the Princeton Election Consortium, argues that it's the impact on down-ticket races and that, for Republicans in particular, the more presidential candidates the better. Monday is the 45th anniversary of The Nixon Shock. The executive order resulted in a series of economic measures including a 90 day freeze on wages and prices in order to counter inflation. It also effectively put an end to the gold standard. Douglas Irwin, professor of economics at Dartmouth, looks back at the history of the measure and its connection to the 2016 election. Violence in Chicago has been astronomical this summer — already the number of shooting victims is up more than 600 this year. Ayesha Jaco, a community activist and co-founder of the organization M.U.R.A.L. (Magnifying Urban Realities & Affecting Lives) explains how she is working to address the problem. In Queens, New York, a local imam, Maulama Akonjee and his assistant, Thara Uddin, both Bangladeshi Muslims on their way home from Saturday afternoon prayers, were shot and killed by an unidentified male gunman. The police have said the two men were clearly the assailant's intended victims, but have stopped short of classifying this as a hate crime against Muslim Americans. Kobir Chowdhury, who knew and worked with both victims, shares the Muslim-American community's reaction to the double murders. Sex testing of female athletes is a recently-abolished practice at the Olympics. Dr. Payoshni Mitra, an athlete's rights activists and sports researcher, weighs in on how gender scrutiny continues to hurt potential Olympians, and can have long-lasting effects on these women who oftentimes underwent surgery or hormone therapy in order to compete. In part one of the series "Trashing the High Seas," Sylvia Earle, a renowned oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence, has been on a decades-long mission to inspire public awareness of how to save our oceans. Her solution? Give nature a break and leave half of the Earth alone. She explains what this means, how it is feasible and what steps are needed to change human behavior. After years of the guitar ruling rock and pop starting in the 1960s, the past decade has been quick to call for the death of the guitar. But a new guitar sound is surfacing, that's more emotional and less aggressive. John Schaefer, host of WNYC's Soundcheck and New Sounds, explains.

Refugee Hope, Little Russia, Outsider Music

Coming up on today's show: As fighting continues in Syria, an estimated 250,000 residents of Aleppo have been left without food, medical supplies, or running water. Stephen O'Brien, The United Nation's under secretary general for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, joins The Takeaway to discuss the crisis in the city. The Olympic Refugee Team continues to be a source of inspiration for many around the world. If the International Olympic Committee can humanize the aspirations of an individual, is it possible for that compassion to persist beyond the games? The Takeaway checks in on the Olympic Refugee Team competing in Rio. New reports show that a Russian hack of the Democratic National Committee may be far greater than initially perceived, with over 100 accounts — including personal accounts — compromised. Gordon Corera, BBC security correspondent and author of "Cyberspies: The Secret History of Surveillance, Hacking, and Digital Espionage," has the details. Florida has one of the largest Russian-speaking populations in the country, according to the U.S. Census. And in South Florida, Sunny Isles Beach is known as Little Moscow. WLRN Reporter Mareike Aden talks to residents about a potential Donald Trump presidency. Rafer Guzman, film critic for Newsday and The Takeaway, drops by to review this week's big new releases, including the Meryl Streep dramedy "Florence Foster Jenkins," Disney's new adventure film "Pete's Dragon," and the R-rated animated comedy "Sausage Party." Real-life singer Florence Foster Jenkins could hardly hold a tune, but her determination to sing made her a sensation. We look back at other musical outsiders through the decades with Rafer Guzman.

Middle East Mayhem, Building Super Batteries, Native Beats

Coming up on today's show: This weekend, The New York Times Magazine will publish something akin to a short book. The issue will feature a single, very long nonfiction narrative about what has gone wrong in the Middle East over the last 13 years. Scott Anderson, author of the piece and of the book "Lawrence of Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the making of the Modern Middle East," discusses this project. Robert Amsterdam is a founding partner of Amsterdam & Partners, and is currently working with the Turkish government on its extradition case against Fethullah Gulen, a former ally to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that is living in exile in Pennsylvania. Turkish officials argue that Gluen inspired this summer's failed coup, and Amsterdam says that Gulen's entrenchment in the American political and education system is reason enough to prosecute. The Arab Spring promised hope, but years later, places like Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Kurdistan still haven't seen the dream of progress materialize. Asha Castleberry, a U.S. Army veteran who served in Kuwait, Jordan, and Iraq from 2012 to 2015, reflects the continued breakdown of the Middle East. This week, Olympian Michael Phelps showed off his love of cupping, an alternative medicine practice that is used to allegedly treat everything from anemia to anxiety and depression. What other performance enhancing methods do professional athletes use to get a competitive edge? Dennis Cardone, an associate professor of orthopedic surgery and chief of primary care sports medicine at at NYU's Langone Medical Center, weighs in. In the desert outside Reno, Nevada, Tesla is building the world's largest battery factory known as the Gigafactory, and Panasonic is investing heavily in it. Joseph M. Taylor, chairman and CEO of Panasonic North America, discusses the company's $1.6 billion commitment to produce the lithium-ion batteries necessary for electric cars. We continue our summer protest music series with Tim Hill from A Tribe Called Red, a Canadian DJ collective that mixes Native American activism with electronic beats.

Election Rigging: Just a Conspiracy Theory?

Coming up on today's show: During the primary season, Bernie Sanders supporters suggested that the American political process was "rigged," and now Donald Trump and his backers are contending the same. But is the electoral system really that easy to manipulate? Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor of The American Spectator, and Howard Dean, former governor of Vermont and chair of the Democratic National Committee from 2005 to 2009, weigh in. Voters in four states — Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont, and Wisconsin — went to the polls on Tuesday to choose party nominees for a number of political offices. Eli Yokley, politics and campaigns reporter for The Morning Consult, discusses the results, and what they might say about the 2016 election. Amy Walters, a reporter for the podcast Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX, explains how the Zika virus is affecting communities in Puerto Rico, Miami, and the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. After a computer glitch caused hundreds of Delta flights to be halted this week, The Takeaway explores outdated air travel systems and ;the dangers of relying on a single network with Barbara Peterson, a writer specializing in aviation and travel and author of "Blue Streak: Inside JetBlue, the Upstart that Rocked an Industry." As more and more companies require coding skills, school districts around the U.S. are introducing the practice into classroom curriculums. Is coding a short-term fad, or will it become an enduring part of the modern American workplace and educational system? Amanda Laucher, co-founders of Mined Minds, a free computer coding training program, discusses the shift. What does a rigged election really look like? In the U.S., the closest thing to that might be the electoral college. Our system of winner-take-all state-by-state tallying means that a candidate only needs to worry about a few closely divided states to win. Joe Uscinski, a political science professor at University of Miami and co-author of "American Conspiracy Theories," examines the electoral college, and what a rigged election actually looks like.

Community Energy, Olympic Sexism, The Audiobook Revolution

Coming up on today's show: Huge swaths of rural America have been left out of the digital revolution due to poor internet access. Now, some communities are relying on methods from the turn of the century, including electric cooperatives to build networks to provide internet service. Christopher Mitchell, director of community broadband networks at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, explains. Borrego Springs, California sprawls across a mostly flat desert valley about 80 miles east of San Diego. This remote town has been desperate for a reliable power source, and found a solution by creating a microgid that uses solar energy, diesel generators, and batteries to keep the power on. Erik Anderson, a reporter for KPBS in San Diego, has the details. No sporting event gives female athletes as much exposure and prestige as the Olympics. And yet, women's events are notably shorter and fewer in number. Michael Joyner, a former marathoner and a professor at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, discusses the discrepancies between men and women's sports. An estimated 800 Filipinos have been killed since the nation's newly-elected president, Rodrigo Duterte, ordered a "shoot-to-kill" directive against suspected drug dealers and users. Human rights groups say the government-sanctioned killing has encouraged a wave of violent vigilantism throughout the Philippines. Hannah Hetzer, senior international policy manager with the Drug Policy Alliance, weighs in. On Monday, Japanese Emperor Akhito suggested in a televised address that, at age 82, he would like to vacate the throne. If he leaves his position, he'll be the first emperor to step down since 1817. Carol Gluck, the George Sansom professor of history at Columbia University, explores Akihito's legacy and the role of emperors in modern Japan. The publishing industry has seen hard times in recent years, but new data suggests audiobooks may be turning the tide. Audiobook sales in the U.S. and Canada jumped 21 percent in 2015, and authors and publishers are now trying to determine what appeals to audiobook listeners to encourage greater growth. Barbara Rosenblat, a premier audiobook narrator and actor, weighs in.

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