The Takeaway

Monday through Thursday from 12 pm to 1 pm
  • Hosted by John Hockenberry

Produced by Public Radio International, WGBH and WNYC. The Takeaway is America's weekday conversation.

Roland Williams isn’t like other 11-year-old boys. He has stage 4 lung cancer, and he is bedridden most days. 

“My son doesn’t get to do anything,” says his mother, Myra Gregory. “He’s at home in bed in pain right now.”

Gregory and Roland live in St. Louis, Missouri. Roland and his two brothers rely on the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, for access to medical care. Nearly 9 million children across America depend on CHIP for everything from annual checkups and vaccinations to treatment for serious illnesses.

On Friday, Dec. 1, New York Magazine reported that several women — including former producers, co-hosts and interns — say they experienced sexual harassment, sexual assault and bullying by former Takeaway host John Hockenberry.

The Takeaway is a co-production of WNYC and PRI, which owns this website.

It seems that every morning the world waits for a new tweet notification from the president of the United States, but is it always Donald Trump hitting the send button?

Early Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump retweeted three videos from a Twitter account linked to the extreme right-wing group Britain First.

Are you under 35? You are the future of the Democratic Party.

That’s according to Howard Dean, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) from 2005 to 2009, a six-term governor of Vermont and a former presidential candidate.

How gun laws let domestic violence offenders slip through the cracks

Nov 16, 2017
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/mujitra/">MIKI Yosihito</a>/<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">CC BY&nbsp;2.0</a> (cropped)

Many mass shooters share a disturbing commonality: domestic abuse.

It can be seen in the case of Kevin Jansen Neal, who went on a shooting rampage in California this week. He killed four people and injured several more before he was fatally shot by police. Authorities later found the body of a fifth victim, his wife, at the couple’s home.

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

“Oh, what a jerk, just ignore him.”

That was the advice a colleague gave to Alexandria Chang about 13 years ago. At the time, Chang was in her mid-20s and was a preschool teacher at a private school outside of Boston. She says that a father of one of the children in the school had made a sexually explicit remark to her.

How a rapper's radio interview revealed a Saudi soft power campaign

Nov 1, 2017

Is a foreign government funding that interview you’re reading or the podcast you’re listening to?

In early August, The Takeaway received an email with the subject line: “Feature Idea: The Middle East’s #1 Hip-Hop Artist Tours U.S.”

Who is George Papadopoulos?

Oct 31, 2017

Monday’s 12-count indictment against former Trump aides Paul Manafort and Rick Gates includes a slew of charges, from money laundering to failing to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts to conspiracy against the United States.   

Diversity and equality remain elusive in ballet

Oct 30, 2017
Mohd Rasfan/Reuters

Choreographer Benjamin Millepied likes to push the bounds of ballet.

In a recent piece he created for the American Ballet Theatre, dancers appear in the lobby during intermission, swirling through the space usually reserved for audience members waiting for the next act.

"It does change this idea of ballet as behind this red curtain,” says Millepied. The French-born dancer-turned-choreographer has been on a mission to make ballet relevant — to bring it out from behind that red curtain — for years.

The curious case of the $629 ER bill — and one expensive Band-Aid

Oct 16, 2017

In January 2015, Malcolm Bird took his 1-year-old daughter, Collette, to an emergency room after she started bleeding heavily from a cut on her finger. The doctor cleaned up the cut, put a Band-Aid on it, and sent them home.

A few weeks later, the family received a bill in the mail for $629. The breakdown of the bill was $7 for the Band-Aid, and $622 for what's known as an "emergency room facility fee” — the price a hospital charges for seeking services from an emergency room, no matter what problem a patient is having.

Almost two years ago, The Takeaway brought listeners the story of Alex Diaz, a high school dropout, former gang member and convicted felon who had his sights firmly fixed on going to college. Diaz told us that merely starting out on the pathway towards college was a struggle because of his troubled past, which required him to challenge others' low expectations.

For a decade, journalist Paula Froelich was the deputy editor of the New York Post’s celebrity and gossip section, Page Six. Like many others who have traveled in Hollywood circles, she has a story about the now-infamous media mogul, Harvey Weinstein.

Her story begins in the year 2000, when Froelich attended a party — a party where Weinstein was also a guest.

Mike Blake/Reuters

Deadly wildfires are ripping across Northern California, scorching more than 115,000 acres across eight counties. At least 13 people have been confirmed dead.

Multiple fires are now burning across the region’s wine country, which includes Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties. The blazes have forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate and destroyed 1,500 structures, including mobile home parks, houses and wineries.

Puerto Rico calls for more federal help after Hurricane Maria

Sep 26, 2017
Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters&nbsp;

Over the weekend, President Donald Trump spent his time criticizing athletes who protest during the national anthem, all while Puerto Ricans struggled to find gas and water, and their governor pleaded for aid.

Would Superman be a DACA recipient?

Sep 20, 2017
Courtesy of DC Comics

The latest issue of the “Superman” comic has outraged some, and inspired others.

In Action Comics #987, the iconic character steps up to defend immigrants from an armed white American who is angry over the loss of his factory job.

Barbuda needs the world's help right now

Sep 13, 2017

Barbuda has been left completely devastated by Hurricane Irma. An estimated 95 percent of Barbuda’s structures are damaged, and the entire island of around 1,800 people has been evacuated.

“The damage is complete,” says Ambassador Ronald Sanders, who has served as Antigua and Barbuda’s ambassador to the US since 2015. “For the first time in 300 years, there’s not a single living person on the island of Barbuda — a civilization that has existed on that island for over 300 years has now been extinguished.”

Salman Rushdie is the author of 12 novels, but he’s still best known for his 1988 book “The Satanic Verses.” It garnered charges of blasphemy from Islamist extremists and even led to the ayatollah of Iran placing a $6 million bounty on Rushdie’s head. Rushdie stretched the bounds of realism and fantasy in “The Satanic Verses,” but in his latest novel he’s doing the opposite.

Trump's Arpaio pardon draws bipartisan criticism

Aug 28, 2017
Brian Snyder/Reuters file photo

Late last month, former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was convicted by a federal judge of criminal contempt. The judge ruled that Arpaio had deliberately ignored a 2011 federal injunction to stop racially profiling Latinos, which stemmed from a class action lawsuit.

The Trump-Russia investigation: A timeline

Aug 10, 2017
Carlos Barria/Reuters&nbsp;

Possible ties between the Kremlin and President Donald Trump have dominated headlines for months. Here's everything you need to know about the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and the Kremlin's alleged collusion with the Trump campaign.

<a href="https://story.californiasunday.com/mario-woods-after-shooting">Erica Deeman/California Sunday</a>

Michael Brown, Philando Castile, Walter Scott — these names have entered the public lexicon as attention and outrage continue to mount over officer-involved shootings. But there’s another name on that list you may not be so familiar with: Mario Woods.

In December 2015, Woods died after he was shot 21 times by San Francisco Police officers. He was 26.

Sonia Narang

Since World War II, the US has operated a large military base in the central part of Okinawa — a now-crowded island city in Japan's southernmost prefecture. More than half of about 50,000 US service members in Japan are stationed on Okinawa.

Now, the US and Japanese governments are planning to move the Marine base to a more pristine place — the rural fishing village of Henoko. There's already a small base there, but locals are waging a major fight against the expansion.

'Act of terrorism' at Minnesota mosque rattles Muslims

Aug 8, 2017
Courtesy of Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center Facebook page

A violent message was delivered to Minnesota’s Muslim population early Saturday morning. At 5:05 a.m. local time, an improvised explosive device went off inside an imam’s office at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota.

About a dozen worshipers were gathered nearby in the mosque for morning prayers, but no one was injured in the explosion. Congregants called the attack a hate crime, a sentiment echoed by Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton.

Momentum builds to end surgery on intersex newborns

Aug 4, 2017

America is at something of a turning point when it comes to issues of gender identity and gender expression.

Though messaging from the White House has become increasingly hostile, transgender Americans are slowly gaining more societal acceptance. Just this week, the commandant of the US Coast Guard said he would not “break faith” with transgender personnel, and would not enforce President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender servicemembers in the military.

As the complicated and messy fight over immigration policy drags on, immigration detention centers are costing American taxpayers billions.

Last year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement spent more than $3 billion dealing with immigrants facing deportation. But that figure doesn’t tell the whole story.

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/mattradickal/6214765816/">Matt Radick/The State News</a>/<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">CC BY 2.0 (image cropped)</a>

Just over a year after President Barack Obama introduced a new policy to allow transgender people to serve openly in the US military, President Donald Trump is reinstating a ban on transgender service members.

He announced the reforms on Wednesday over Twitter:

The Indiana Jones of the art world may solve history’s biggest art heist

Jul 25, 2017

Back in 1990, two thieves disguised as police officers walked into Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and walked out with 13 pieces of art worth $500 million. In May, decades after the statute of limitations expired on the crime, the museum doubled the reward — to $10 million — for the return of the pieces.

Signs of American military life are everywhere in the cramped Tijuana apartment: a US flag hangs on the wall, Army patches cover a camouflaged backpack and photos of uniformed men line a shelf.

"It was very difficult to transition, the first couple months," said Hector Barajas, a former US Army paratrooper, who was deported to Mexico in 2010 and calls the apartment home.

Army veteran Mario Martinez spent six years of his life fighting for the United States.

Now, he's fighting for the right to keep living here.

Martinez, 54, was born in Mexico, but came to the US as a young child and became a legal resident. He joined the Army, served with the 82nd Airborne Division, and earned an honorable discharge. But more than a decade after he left the service, he was convicted of a felony, putting his immigration status in jeopardy.

After a series of secretive meetings, Republican lawmakers in the Senate have finally revealed their plan to repeal and replace huge parts of the Affordable Care Act.

The Ocean Cleanup

Plastics, litter and all sorts of debris have polluted our waters for years. While prevention is key, ocean cleanup also presents a daunting task.

One young ocean lover is confronting this challenge head on.

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