The Takeaway

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  • Hosted by John Hockenberry

A daily newsmagazine featuring unique conversations with both news makers and diverse voices.

How one community college is changing the landscape of western Texas

10 hours ago
Fernie Garcia

El Paso Community College in western Texas sits right on the border between the US and Mexico. It attracts a lot of Hispanic students, a lot of first generation college students and a lot of people from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

It has also been attracting national attention. In 2015, EPCC was named one of 10 finalists for the Aspen Prize, an award recognizing community college excellence.

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Of the various ways of getting into the United States, applying for political refugee status is hardly the easiest.

Since 2012, there have been 1,854 Syrian refugees admitted to the US. President Barack Obama has said that we will take in an additional 10,000 in fiscal year 2016, likely now with increased vetting and background checks after more than 30 governors have said they would reject refugees in their states.  

How US cities are thinking about and dealing with terrorism

Nov 19, 2015

Last weekend’s deadly terrorist attacks in Paris have reverberated across Europe and the United States.

On Monday, New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton announced the formation of a new counterterrorism unit, the Critical Response Command team.

"The world is changing, even as we stand here," Bratton told his new recruits. "The world changed dramatically over the weekend, and the assignment for which you have volunteered ... there is no more essential assignment in the world of policing."

Jenifer Jones/The Takeaway

Community college is often perceived as the underdog in American higher education. Many are plagued by treacherous drop-out rates, poor teaching standards and dismal job prospects. But there is one community college — Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown, South Dakota — that is getting a lot of attention for its student successes.

In fact, in May of this year President Obama visited Lake Area Tech to give the commencement address at this little South Dakota community college that could. 

At the end of November, political leaders, scientists and policy wonks will gather in Paris to talk about climate change. But beyond the policy, the posturing, and the dense terminology, climate change is fundamentally a human experience. It's something that affects real people, and it may eventually affect the life of every single person on this planet.

Why did the attackers target France?

Nov 16, 2015
Philippe Wojazer/Reuters

This weekend's attacks in Paris have revealed a flip side to the City of Light. Why has France become such a target of Arab extremists? Many lifelong French citizens are Muslim, and the Muslim nation of Algeria was actually part of France in the 20th century.

A new book that debunks myths of World War II

Nov 12, 2015
Gary Cameron/Reuters

Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, just over 800,000 are still alive today, watching as time has rewritten the war's history to better reflect the tactics and the players who determined its course. 

In his new book "The Rise of Germany, 1939-1941: The War in the West," author and historian James Holland debunks myth after myth from World War II. He says that Hitler's demise was actually in the cards from the beginning.

Bram Sable-Smith/KBIA

We shall overcome, indeed.

The latest racial protest in Missouri got results Monday with the resignation of University of Missouri president, who had been accused of not acting on racially abusive incidents on campus.

"Concerned Student 1950” — a student group named for the year the university accepted its first African-American student — had argued that complaints of racially abusive incidents had fallen on deaf ears from University President Tim Wolfe. Their examples included:

<a href="" target="_blank">HealthMap</a>

Last year's Ebola outbreak in West Africa killed more than 11,000 people. The pandemic may be diminished, but public health officials think another major outbreak of infectious disease is fast-approaching, and they’re busy preparing for it.

Ross D. Franklin/Reuters

About 500 women at the T. Don Hutto Detention Center in Liberty, Texas, have launched a hunger strike to protest their treatment and to advocate for their release.

Fabian Bimmer/Reuters

We’d all like to think that a simple browser and a few keystrokes can give us access to the unlimited knowledge base of the Internet. But there are a growing number of toll roads on the information superhighway.

Ints Kalnins/Reuters

Bills. Dough. Loot. Moola. Whatever you call it, could you survive without cold, hard cash?

Sweden was the first European country to print and use paper money, but it may soon do away with physical currencies.

In Sweden, four out of five purchases are made electronically, 95 percent of all sales at retail stores are handled with credit cards, and between 2010 and 2012, about 500 bank branches went cash-free and 900 ATM machines were taken off the streets.

Adam Tanner/Reuters

In the United States, many non-native people subscribe to a certain mythology about Native Americans — a mythology that casts them as stewards of the earth working in harmony with the land.

It's a mythology we've seen play out in Disney films like "Pocahontas," in Oscar winning films like "Dances with Wolves," and in every cowboy and Indian film of the golden age of Hollywood.

When AJ Mass first donned the Mr. Met costume in 1994, the hot strain of the wool and metal costume was a refreshing alternative to being gakked and slimed.

“They actually decided to put a theme park in the outfield, behind the wall, in conjunction with Nickelodeon,” Mass says. “The team had lost 103 games the year before, so they were really looking for an excuse to get people to come to the ballpark.”

When Mass heard that the team was bringing back their retired mascot, Mr. Met, his transformation into a beloved major league mascot started with a quirk of chance.

After years of tense standoffs, congressional leaders and President Barack Obama have seemingly settled their last budget fight.

Ahead of his departure, outgoing House Speaker John Boehner tied up loose ends by solidifying a tentative agreement to increase federal spending by $80 billion over two years, and to raise the debt ceiling through 2017.

Americans eat about 70 pounds of red meat each year. To cut back on cholesterol, calories, and unhealthy fats, the health community has urged consumers to reduce their red meat intake in recent decades.

But according to a new report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday, it looks like there’s a new reason to stay away from processed meats like bacon, corned beef, and hot dogs: Cancer.

Gage Skidmore/<a href="">Wikimedia Commons</a>

The new film “Rock The Kasbah” is like the love child of “Crazy Heart” and “Mad Max.” A comedy about the music business in Afghanistan, the film comes complete with guns, guitars and a girl who ditches her veil for a chance to become a pop star.

In it, Bill Murray stars as Richie Lanz — a has-been rock manager taking his last remaining act on a USO tour of Afghanistan. When his act leaves him high and dry in Kabul, Richie finds himself in desperate straits, until he discovers a young Afghan girl with an extraordinary voice.

Once upon a time, the US House of Representatives was steeped in tradition: Its speaker was all powerful, and congressional leaders used seniority and political favors to get to the top. So how did a few dozen rookie lawmakers from the South and Midwest manage to topple Speaker John Boehner?

For starters, the so-called Freedom Caucus decided to challenge everything traditional about the House. Lawmakers like GOP Rep. John Fleming have acknowledged that the caucus is trying to steer the Republican Party, and the speakership.

Ryan: I'll take the job, on my terms

Oct 21, 2015
Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Congressional Republicans have a week to decide who the next speaker of the House of Representatives will be. As current House Speaker John Boehner prepares to step down, Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan says he’s willing to step up, if a few concessions are made.

“I laid out for our conference what I think it takes to unify our conference, and what I think it takes to have a successful speakership,” Rep. Ryan told reporters on Tuesday. “It's in their hands, and I'll leave it up to my colleagues to decide if I am that unifying person.”

Thousands of young migrants and refugees are clamoring to get into the European Union, a place that is home to a graying population and a group of nations that could use an influx of young entrepreneurs.