The Takeaway

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  • Hosted by John Hockenberry

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

Actor Alec Baldwin has had a number of roles throughout his long career, but lately, he's been making a splash with a now-iconic character: President-elect Donald Trump.

China's making huge economic bets on green energy

Jan 12, 2017

Officials in Beijing are turning the problem of poisonous pollution into a green opportunity for China.

On Thursday, China’s National Energy Administration announced that it would invest at least $360 billion in renewable energy. The plan, which is expected to help curb greenhouse gas emissions, will also create an estimated 13 million jobs.

What now after North Korea's most successful ballistics missile launch?

Jan 12, 2017
KCNA via Reuters

So, should we be worried that North Korea had its most successful ballistic missile launch?

Wednesday's launch violates a UN Security Council resolution that bans North Korea from testing and developing ballistic missile technology. This launch is raising concerns because it elevates North Korea's efforts to target American military bases in the Pacific.

Carlos Jasso/Reuters

Protesters are taking to the streets throughout Mexico to express their outrage over an increase in gas prices, corruption scandals plaguing the country, and the plummeting peso, which hit record lows last week.

Czar Dancel/Reuters  

US President-elect Donald Trump is a well-known personality on Twitter — his "unpresidented" tweet is among a plethora that has caused a stir — and one day, he even blocked a high schoo

Rich Clement/Reuters

At the beginning of 1967, one place Americans couldn't go was Hanoi, North Vietnam.

It was two years after President Lyndon B. Johnson escalated the Vietnam War, and at home, the narrative of the first televised war was still that of good guys fighting for freedom.

But in late December 1966, that perspective changed.

Durreen Shahnaz calls herself a “defiant optimist.” She’s the first Bangladeshi woman to graduate from the Wharton School of Business and to work on Wall Street, and she’s spending her life coming up with new ways to invest social capital.

Back in 2013, Shahnaz launched the Impact Investment Exchange Asia. This social stock exchange is going strong today and has funded a number of projects in places like Bangladesh, Cambodia and the Philippines.

William Urdaneta/Reuters 

In Venezuela, the food shortage has become so dire that some people spend their days picking up grains of rice and corn that fall out of delivery trucks.

That's according to Hannah Dreier, a correspondent for The Associated Press who is based in the South American country. She contributed to the AP's recent investigative report about the state of affairs and has seen firsthand that many people are on the brink of starvation. 

Kenya tries to come to grips with treating mental illness

Jan 5, 2017
Thomas Mukoya/Reuters

At age 17, Sitawa Wafula was diagnosed with both epilepsy and bipolar disorder. As a young woman living in Kenya, a country where mental health issues are still seen as a spiritual taboo, Wafula struggled to make sense of her health problems.

Jim Young/Reuters

Will 2017 be different for Chicago?

Last year, violence there reached levels not seen since the late 1990s, with 3,550 shooting incidents and 762 murders. And the city's kids were often the unintended victims of a spiking crime rate.

In 2017, let's embrace renewal

Jan 2, 2017

Happy 2017.

Perhaps you had today off and could spend another day thinking about the 363 days ahead. Or you, like us, have rolled up your sleeves already. We seem to come upon this new page of the calendar with anxiety and girded for battle. The contests we have lost or the contests we have won. They urge us variously onward to make good on once outlandish-seeming promises or to hold back and defend, to hold in place an America we were once certain was on a far different course than we see today.

There were 61 shootings in Chicago over the Christmas weekend resulting in 11 fatalities — seven of them on Christmas Day alone. This comes at the end of a particularly violent year for the city, which is experiencing its highest murder rate since the 1990s.

So far, there have been at least 753 homicides in 2016.

The battle for Aleppo seems all but decided, but Syria's long and bloody civil war marches forward.

As the city burns, tens of thousands of civilians and those opposed to the military are being evacuated as government forces retake Aleppo. Though this nation has been held hostage by civil war, the attention span of the West has ebbed and flowed according to political priorities of the moment.

A brief history of the times the US meddled in others' elections

Dec 14, 2016
psit/<a href="">Flickr</a>

US lawmakers and officials continue to respond to CIA reports that Russia deliberately interfered with the November election in order to get Donald Trump elected. Yet, intervening in foreign election is nothing new, particularly for the US.

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell backed bipartisan calls to investigate allegations from the Central Intelligence Agency that Russia interfered in the 2016 US presidential election. He also pushed back on President-elect Donald Trump's signals that he wants a warm US relationship with Russia.

"Let me just speak for myself: The Russians are not our friends," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said at a press conference.

Supreme Court considers challenges to US legislative redistricting

Dec 7, 2016
Brendan Smialowski

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases focused on redistricting this week. They both concern whether certain districts were purposefully drawn to group together African-American voters into majority-minority districts, something that could lessen their overall representation in state legislatures and Congress.

Bismarck residents got the Dakota Access Pipeline moved without a fight

Dec 1, 2016
Stephanie Keith/Reuters

Snowfall has made its way to North Dakota, adding an element of concern to the ongoing battle over the Dakota Access Pipeline. On Monday, North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple ordered an emergency evacuation of protesters working to block the construction of the $3.8 billion pipeline, citing safety concerns with the oncoming winter weather.

So, what does it mean for there to be an election recount?

Nov 29, 2016

In the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election, Green Party candidate Jill Stein is paying for a recount in Wisconsin, with recounts in Michigan and Pennsylvania likely to join.

Hillary Clinton's campaign has agreed to participate in the recount effort.

The situation in eastern Aleppo is as grim as ever

Nov 22, 2016
Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

There are no longer any functional hospitals in eastern Aleppo; only 30 trained doctors remain. As Syrian and Russian fighters continue to bombard rebel-held parts of the city, a quarter of a million people there are left without access to hospitals, and the siege shows no signs of abating.

“Civilians are literally being targeted and killed,” said Dr. Rola Hallam, a British Syrian doctor and CEO of CAN-DO, a public health non-profit. “275,000 people do not have access to any health care whatsoever.”

The conversation surrounding the case to abolish the Electoral College often centers on the difficulty of passing a constitutional amendment, typically thought of as the only way to remove it from the Constitution.

That would require a supermajority in both the House and Senate — an unlikely scenario when the country is so divided.