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

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.

Travel Ban Rejected, Presidential Ethics, Getting By on Your Parents' Jobs

Coming up on today's show: The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals rejected President Trump's ban on travel to the United States by people from seven largely Muslim countries. Leon Fresco, former head immigration lawyer in the Obama Justice Department, joins us to talk about the ruling. We asked if your parents' livelihoods would be feasible for you, today, in 2017 America. Your responses gave us a look at the current state of the economy for working people. Donald Trump tweeted his anger at the department-store chain Nordstrom this week, claiming they mistreated his daughter when they stopped selling her fashion line. His adviser Kellyanne Conway followed up on that by overtly telling people to buy her products in what seems like a clear violation of government ethics laws. Kathleen Clark, professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis, joined us to explain the week in ethics issues. Japan prime minister Shinzo Abe is set to visit the United States for a summit with President Trump. But instead of coming to the White House, Abe will stay at Mar-A-Lago, Trump's private club and hotel in South Florida. Jim Schoff, a former senior adviser for East Asia policy in the Department of Defense, will talk to us about the nature of the United States-Japan relationship. Every Friday, Rafer Guzman, film critic for Newsday, drops by to review the new releases hitting the box office. This week, he looks at "Fifty Shades Darker," sequel to the box-office hit "Fifty Shades of Grey," as well as "John Wick: Chapter 2" and "The LEGO Batman Movie." Translating a president's words to another language is always a tricky affair. President Donald Trump's syntax and word choices present some of their own challenges. David Bellos, director of the Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication at Princeton University, goes over some of the unique issues translators face. The Canadian province of Manitoba, which shares borders with North Dakota and Minnesota, has become a hotspot destination for an increasing number of asylum seekers fleeing from the United States to cross the border by foot. Many risk their lives at this time of year so they can appeal for asylum in Canada, rather than the US.

Travel Ban Rejected, Presidential Ethics, Getting By on Your Parents' Jobs

Refugee Organizations Stressed, ACA Replacement Proposals, Fate of the Obama Movement after '08

Coming up on today's show: Organizations that help refugees have been scrambling since President Trump's travel ban was implemented nearly two weeks ago. David Miliband of the International Rescue Committee talks with us about some of the implications of the ban for refugees, organizations, and the West's reputation. After promising before the election that they would repeal the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, with great haste, Republicans have backed off that timeline. Now they're proposing a multitude of replacement plans — or are they "repair" plans? WNYC Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich helps us sort them all out. Could you, in 2017, make a living at the same work your parents did a generation ago? We asked listeners to tell us, and your answers reveal an America in which many jobs simply no longer exist as a viable route to financial stability and security. People protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline have been closing their accounts at banks doing business with the project. Now, the City of Seattle has decided to do the same. In a unanimous vote earlier this week, the city council agreed it will cut ties with Wells Fargo. We spoke with council member Kshama Sawant about what that means for Seattle as well as other cities and states who could make similar decisions. New CIA chief Mike Pompeo is in Turkey to meet with officials there on a trip that apparently was not meant to be publicized. BuzzFeed Middle East correspondent Borzou Daragahi speaks with us about the trip and what it means for Turkey-US relations, especially as they pertain to fighting ISIS. In the recent presidential election, many young working-class people, especially white ones, revealed a distrust of a US economic system that often leaves them out. Some people were surprised, but Jennifer Silva, an assistant professor of sociology at Bucknell, wrote about this phenomenon years ago. She joins us to talk about the ways in which institutions are failing Americans, especially those without excess family resources to rely on. Around the same time that Silva was conducting her field research, presidential candidate Barack Obama was tapping into an extraordinary amount of energy, especially from young Americans. He built a movement and a volunteer network that was essentially without precedent. After the election, that movement was going to continue to change the world. Until it didn't. Author Micah Sifry joins us to explain how all of that was squandered.

Refugee Organizations Stressed, ACA Replacement Proposals, Fate of the Obama Movement after '08

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