The Takeaway

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  • Hosted by John Hockenberry

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

The Confederate origins of Memorial Day

May 29, 2017
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Brian Snyder/Reuters

The following is not a full transcript; for the full story, listen to the audio.

Memorial Day is typically considered the unofficial beginning of summer. In the US we inaugurate the season with barbecues, beach parties, blockbuster films, and bargain hunting. But that's not how Memorial Day was envisioned by the Southern women who honored the fallen soldiers of the Civil War.

How immigration detention creates a shadow prison system

May 18, 2017
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Lucy Nicholson/Reuters 

For much of the 20th century, immigration detention was a concept that was scoffed at. But today, the practice of apprehending immigrants and holding them in custody has created a shadow prison system, served by hundreds of federal and private facilities throughout the country.

With Comey's dismissal, are we careening towards a constitutional crisis?

May 10, 2017
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Joshua Roberts/Reuters 

For many people, President Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey brings back memories of former President Richard Nixon, who called for the dismissal of the special prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal.

Jeffrey Rosen, a professor of law at George Washington University and president of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, says while it has raised a lot of questions, Trump was acting within his authority when he terminated Comey. 

Former NSA director says this White House can't handle the truth

May 9, 2017
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Larry Downing/Reuters 

On Monday, it was revealed that former President Barack Obama warned then-President-elect Donald Trump not to hire Gen. Michael Flynn. That was two days after the November presidential election. Despite the warning, President Trump selected Flynn as national security adviser. Flynn was later fired for lying to Vice President Mike Pence about his discussions with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

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<a href="http://www.wmfe.org/a-boy-in-prison-by-age-fourteen/71033" style="font-size: 13.008px;">St. Edwards University/WMFE</a>&nbsp;

Each year, millions of children flock to Orange County, Florida, to visit Disney World. But in the background, there is a darker story at work.

Orange County has the highest number of juvenile arrests in the state. From June 2015 to June 2016, police arrested more young people in Orange County than Miami-Dade County, where the population is almost double. Nearly 64 percent of those incarcerated are African American boys.

Finland's guaranteed basic income is working to tackle poverty

May 6, 2017
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Tuomas Forsell/Reuters&nbsp;

In several corners of the world, nonprofits and governments are introducing guaranteed basic income.

Entire villages in Kenya have been receiving a basic income through a charity program, there's a small test initiative in the Netherlands, India is considering it, and Canada is rolling out a basic income pilot program in several cities in Ontario this summer.

Meet LoweBot, a customer-service robot here to give you 'superpowers'

May 4, 2017
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Isabel Angell/The Takeaway

It's the free market that decides which jobs stay and which jobs go, and technology and innovation are changing the present and shaping the future of the US labor market.

A trip to a Lowe’s hardware store in the San Francisco Bay Area shows this shift well. On the floor of this big-box home improvement store in east San Jose, shoppers can interact with a white plastic pillar that is touchscreen-enabled and speaks directly to users.

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<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/6238070477/">USDA</a>/<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">CC BY 2.0</a>&nbsp;(image cropped)

Nutritional standards in schools, which were established in the Obama era and championed by former first lady Michelle Obama, are now being relaxed under the Trump administration.

On Monday, the US Department of Agriculture announced that it “will provide greater flexibility in nutrition requirements for school meal programs” — which advocates say could lead to lower standards for milk, sodium and whole grains, among other things.

What we know so far about the police shooting of Jordan Edwards

May 2, 2017
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Courtesy of Lee Merritt

Details are still emerging on the latest police shooting of an unarmed black teen. On Saturday, a police officer in the Dallas suburb of Balch Springs shot 15-year-old Jordan Edwards, a high school freshman, through the passenger side window of a car. The officers were responding to calls of underage drinking at a house party.

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Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

President Donald Trump has made it clear from day one that his administration will push an “America first” policy platform. So when he announced last week that May 1 — commonly known as International Workers’ Day or May Day — would be celebrated nationwide as “Loyalty Day,” many of his critics were quick to attack the declaration as an alarming example of the president's nationalism.

President Trump, how will your tax plan spur economic growth?

Apr 28, 2017
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Carlos Barria/Reuters

Over President Donald Trump's first 100 days, we're asking him questions that our audience wants answers to. Join the project by tweeting this question to @realDonaldTrump with the hashtag #100Days100Qs.

#96. @realDonaldTrump, how will your tax plan spur economic growth? #100Days100Qs

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Courtesy of Buffalo Public Schools via Twitter&nbsp;

Byron W. Brown, the mayor of Buffalo, says his community is not a "sanctuary city," but a "refugee resettlement city."

According to a February 2016 report published by the New York community, “Between 2006 and 2013, the foreign-born population in Buffalo increased by 95 percent, and the most recent American Community Survey reports that the city is home to over 22,000 foreign-born residents.”

Is it murder if there’s no homicide?

Apr 25, 2017
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Courtesy of the Bukowsky&nbsp;Law&nbsp;Firm

Jessie McKim has spent the last 20 years behind bars for a murder that never took place.

McKim of Kirksville, Missouri, is serving a life sentence without parole for murdering Wendy Wagnon back in 1997. (He was convicted in 1999.) But back in 2013, it was determined that Wagnon actually died from a meth overdose, even though prosecutors have argued that McKim strangled her. However, while the science says Wagnon was not murdered, a judge has denied McKim's request for relief because he has “not conclusively proved his innocence."

How Trump's border wall demands could lead to a government shutdown

Apr 24, 2017
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Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters&nbsp;

The deadline for Congress to pass a new federal budget — this Friday at midnight — is fast approaching, and recently, there appeared to be bipartisan support for a compromise. However, last week the White House introduced a new spending measure that seems to have scuttled that progress and could, potentially, result in a government shutdown.

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Delray Beach Police Department/WLRN

The man had just risen from the dead.

He’s in his mid-20s. Sitting on a couch, pale as a ghost, sweaty, wide-eyed, disoriented — like he had just woken up from a nightmare.

“What happened?” asks Delray Beach Police Department Sgt. Ed McCabe.

“I guess ... I overdosed,” the man says.

The man’s roommates found him unconscious and he was turning blue, not breathing. He was overdosing on heroin. They pulled out two auto-injectors of naloxone — an overdose reversal drug — and jabbed them into his thigh.

He came to.

“How much did you use?” asks McCabe.

While Flint waits, Nestle pumps Michigan water on the cheap

Apr 19, 2017
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Denis Balibouse/Reuters&nbsp;

We've heard a lot about the environmental troubles in Michigan, and now there's a new chapter to this water saga: Nestle extracts billions of dollars worth of groundwater from western Michigan, but it pays the state just $200 a year in paperwork fees to do so.

Now, Nestle wants to more than triple its pumping in the region, from 150 gallons per minute to 400 gallons a minute. Locals and activists say Nestle’s pumping could cause damage to surrounding wetlands — and they point out logging and ranching companies have to pay a fee when they use resources on government land.

Scientists say the Great Barrier Reef is officially dying

Apr 18, 2017
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<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/tchami/">Tchami</a>/<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/tchami/15364861867/">CC BY 2.0 (image cropped)</a>

In recent years, things have been overwhelmingly bad for the Great Barrier Reef.

How we could simplify the American tax filing process

Apr 17, 2017
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Kenishirotie/Shutterstock

Because of Emancipation Day, a somewhat obscure holiday celebrated in Washington, DC, Americans have until Tuesday, April 18, to file taxes — three days later than the typical April 15 deadline.

If you're still working on yours, you're probably not alone: Americans will spend more than 6 billion hours preparing their taxes, which includes digging up W-2s, sifting through receipts and filling out any number of forms. The amount we spend to get it done by firms or by ourselves with software is also significantly high.

The biggest anime film of all time comes to the US

Apr 14, 2017
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<a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5311514/">Amuse</a>/IMDb

The plot of the new movie "Your Name" may initially sound more like a "Freaky Friday" spin-off than a Japanese anime film: A teenage boy in Tokyo swaps bodies with a teenage girl in the Japanese countryside, the two eventually fall in love, and the story builds from there.

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Jason Reed/Reuters&nbsp;

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Wednesday. It was the first Russia visit by a Trump Cabinet official, and after the US blamed chemical attacks and launched missile strikes on Russia's ally, the Syrian government, few expected any diplomatic breakthroughs.

Tillerson said afterward in a joint press conference with Lavrov that US-Russia relations have a hit a "low point."

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