Monthly Archives: March 2005

The IRA Unravels

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This latest chapter in the strange unraveling of IRA credibility began in a bar in Central Belfast. An argument between a Catholic working man Robert McCartney and IRA toughs, led to McCartney’s grisly death, and then a threat from the IRA for every one of the dozens of witnesses to hold their tongue.

The trouble for the IRA came from Robert McCartney’s five sisters. They have refused to keep quiet about his death. They even went public with a quiet offer from the IRA to have their brother’s attackers killed. So now the credibility of the IRA is being questioned by the very Catholics of Northern Ireland they have sworn to protect.

The political wing of the IRA is in America this week for its annual St Patrick’s day fete, but doors in this country are being slammed on the Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams. Is this the moment when the IRA will have to disband?


Charlie Sennot, London Bureau Chief for the Boston Globe

Kevin Cullen, reporter for the Boston Globe.

Car Bombs and Politics

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Iraq was a dangerous place nine months ago when Jackie Spinner first started reporting on the war. But still at that time, the Washington Post correspondent was able to visit Iraqis in their homes and to travel with the U.S. military reporting from Kurdistan to Fallujah to Basra.

Much has changed. Last October during Ramadan, she was living as a virtual prisoner in her hotel, often sleeping in the stairwell to avoid shrapnel from frequent mortar attacks.

By the time she left, just two weeks ago, she was living at an undisclosed location, unable to move freely, and relying heavily on the paper’s Iraqi stringers to be her eyes and ears. Jackie Spinner and her postcards from the edge.


Jackie Spinner, staff writer for the Washington Post

Alissa Rubin, Co-Baghdad bureau chief for The Los Angeles Times.

A Re-Mix of Racism

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The basic language of the DJ is the loop: a short sample of music repeated end-to-end. It’s the backbone of Hip-Hop and club music.

DJ Spooky, a.k.a. That Subliminal Kid, a.k.a. Paul D. Miller, has made his way from clubs to the university lecture hall to the Whitney Biennial, scratching a path between new sounds and old hooks. Now he’s on the road with his turntable technology and personal philosophy of “make-it-your-own culture” with a new version of “Birth of a Nation,” the controversial epic of the Civil War.

The 1915 film depicts blacks as bug-eyed clowns and drunkards and glorifies the Ku Klux Klan. DJ Spooky asks people to examine those images with a fresh eye. He calls it his “Re-Birth of a Nation.”


Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid, author of “Rhythm Science” and conceptual artist and musician. and creator of the multi-media re-mix” “Rebirth of a Nation”

A Woman's Work

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It’s been 10 years since the United Nations held a world conference in Beijing on the status of women. They talked of human rights abuses, a lack of political representation and poor access to education. The participants committed themselves and their nations to work toward equality.

A decade later, a few changes have taken place. Countries like Rwanda now have women representatives in government. In Morocco, new laws protect women as equal citizens to men.

Still, much remains unchanged. In Saudi Arabia, women do not have the right to vote. In Sudan, rape and torture are still used as weapons of war. Even in the United States, many women remain at the lowest end of the economic order.

Hear about the status of women around the world ten years later.


Awut Deng Acuil, Founder of the Sudanese Women’s Association in Nairobi and the Sudanese Women’s Voice for Peace

Rina Amiri, member of Women Waging Peace, she’s an activist in Afghanistan working with women and minorities, and monitored the presidential election

Lisa Tomanelli, Director of Job Retention Program at Dress for Success in New York, an organization that helps low income women entering the workforce.

Dali Revisited

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Salvador Dali has been called every teenager’s favorite artist and every art critic’s most scorned. Famous for his paintings of melting clocks and desert landscapes with body parts that ooze across the canvas, he’s credited with making surrealism a household word.

While Dali’s contorted renderings of the Freudian subconscious have captivated art lovers worldwide, many dismiss him as a shameless self-promoter interested in celebrity and money. But a new exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art is out to alter that perception. Its curators argue that Dali was a man ahead of his time who influenced such artists as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.

Hear a conversation about the controversial life and art of Salvador Dali.


Michael Taylor, curator of the Salvador Dali exhibit at The Philadelphia Museum of Art

Tyler Green, art critic, Bloomberg News.

The Testing Business

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This Saturday morning, thousands of high school students will take the new version of the SAT. Preparing for the most common university entrance exam in the U.S. is more important than ever in today’s competitive climate. But it’s also become big business: with expensive books, classes, practice tests, and personal tutors.

Now, the most extensive overhaul of the SAT in 80 years has already led to a new round of must-have products promising better scores. But as questions remain about the merits of testing itself, some argue that the new exam is just a way to make even more money in an already booming test preparation industry.

Hear a conversation on the newly revamped SAT and the rising price tag of the testing business.


Jeff Rubenstein, Vice President at The Princeton Review

Bruce Hammond, co-author of the “Fiske New SAT Insider’s Guide,” and director of college counseling at Sandia Preparatory School in Albuquerque, NM

Mark Jackson, senior analyst at Eduventures, an education market research firm in Boston

Reeling with Lunasa

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Traditional Irish music was not meant to be played up on a stage. It was born of the time spent sitting around a fire at a local pub after a long day at work. The music is known for its intimate circle of musicians, the pounding rhythm and the sound of the flutes that make you just want to get up and dance.

The challenge for Irish musicians is how to stoke that sort of fire for audiences as far away as California and Japan. The Irish band Lunasa is made up of five musicians who’ve moved from pub music to touring internationally with a sound steeped in both tradition and rock and roll.

Tune in to hear the music of Lunasa – a music of the ages from the new Ireland.


Sean Smith on fiddle and whistle

Kevin Crawford on flute, whistle and bodrhan

Trevor Hutchinson on bass

Paul Meehan on guitar

Clillan Vallely on uilleann pipes and low whistle.

China as Superpower

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China’s growing economy is helping it make a lot of close friends, Russia and India among them. But despite its economic clout, China appears uncertain on how it wants to exercise it.

Chinese leaders face enormous domestic uncertainty and international pressure on the future of relations with Taiwan. At the same time, they are also making it clear they intend to take their place as a partner equal to the United States at the center of world politics.

From Taiwan to North Korea to Russia, hear a discussion on China’s international political heft and superpower conundrum.


Cheng Li, Professor of Goverment at Hamilton College and author of the upcoming book “Bridging Minds Arcoss the Pacific: The Sino-U.S. Educational Exchange 1978-2003″

Nayan Chanda, former editor of the Far East Economic Review and Direcotr of Publications at the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization.

Rewriting the Rules of the Workplace

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Each year, millions of highly skilled women across the United States step off their career tracks. But what many of them don’t know is how hard it can be to get back on that track, despite their talent and ambition.

A new study shows that there are many reasons why such a high percentage of women take career “off ramps.” But, as long as the American corporate world considers working women as men with skirts, little has and will change to reverse the female brain drain in the workplace.

Hear about the latest trends in and the future of women’s presence in the workplace.


Sylvia Ann Hewlett, president of The Center for Work-Life Policy in New York and co-author of “Off-Ramps and On-Ramps: Keeping Talented Women on the Road to Success” in Harvard Business Review

Victoria Budson, founding executive director of the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government

Lisa Kennedy, partner at Ernst & Young’s assurance practice