Monthly Archives: March 2005

China's Economy

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U.S. manufacturing hasn’t been the same since China opened its doors to the West. For the last two decades, China’s economy has grown on an average of nearly ten percent each year. Hundreds of millions of Chinese peasants have found new jobs in factories that churn out nearly everything Americans wear and use in their daily lives.

Early on, some major U.S. companies saw China’s labor force as a way to cut costs. They also imagined a day when they could sell products to China’s 1.3 billion new consumers. But as American companies are forced to move overseas to compete and millions of Americans lose their jobs, many wonder how long this migration can continue — and what if anything can stop it.

Hear a discussion on China’s explosive economic growth and what it means for the economic future of America.


Ed Kiniry, Owner of Tubbs snowshoes

Haysun Hahn, Director of Futuremode Inc.

Wei Zhu, Shanghai-based Managing Partner of Roland Berger.

China's Century: Part Two

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The end of the socialist era in China has made factory owners rich but it is also opening up the country for the people who make films, music and art.

After years of state censorship, Chinese artists are increasing able to express themselves and their society through film, painting, and music. But with artists free to embrace commercialism and pop culture, some in China fear that the traditional arts will be trampled in the rush to the future.

In the second of our series, China’s Century, a film critic, a musician and a pyrotechnics artist talk about the state of the arts in the People’s Republic and how China is changing the arts worldwide.


Cai Guo-Qiang, New-York based contemporary Chinese artist

Wu Man, virtuoso of the Chinese pipa

Stephen Teo, Chinese film scholar and critic.

China: The Rising Giant

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Speculation about when China would wake from its socialist slumber was a major Western sport for years. But in the three decades since Mao’s death, China actually has become the industrial giant he envisioned and America’s own fate is closely tied to it.

Last year, America bought more than 160 billion dollars worth of goods from China — over and above what it sold to that country. Cheap labor in China has cut world prices on goods by almost half in some cases — and has lured some of America’s largest manufacturers to move jobs there.

In the first of a series on China’s century, hear from two women whose lives and work give us a window on how China is changing and how those changes are transforming the world.


Rebecca J. Li, counsel and member of the China Practice in the Silicon Valley firm O’Melveny & Myers

Xiaoyu Wang, student at the London School of Economics.

New Thinking about the Brain

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The brain is perhaps the most complex machine in existence. It contains our intellect, senses, emotions, personality, and memory — the very things that make humans so human.

Scientists used to study the brain by dissecting it or just observing behavior. But now they are able to get further inside by using electrodes and sophisticated scanners to actually see the brain firing as it functions.

These mental maps are creating a new picture of gray matter — one that shows that the most primitive part of our brain, not the most advanced, may be the engine for learning. And scientists are getting closer to understanding how we mentally navigate our way in the world, and uncovering clues about how to fix brains gone wrong. Unraveling the mystery of consciousness.


Earl Miller, Professor of Neuroscience and Associate Director of The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory

Matt Wilson, Professor of Neuroscience, The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory.

Reporter's Notebook with David Rohde

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A lot has changed in Afghanistan since the New York Times correspondent David Rohde made his way into Kabul along with the Northern Alliance in the autumn of 2001. He was among the first reporters to reach the Afghan capital during the defeat of the Taliban. Since then he has spent many months in that country — watching as people there try to rebuild, to create a new democracy out of the rubble of war. While the focus of much of the world has moved to Iraq — Rohde’s eyes have stayed focused on Afghanistan and Pakistan — where he has reported on everything from opium production, to the ongoing teaching in the madrassahs. We return to two countries that remain at the center of the struggle for human rights and democracy. A reporter’s notebook with David Rohde.


David Rohde, New York Times foreign correspondent;

Filming the Face of AIDS

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When the filmmaker Staffan Hildebrand began documenting the AIDS epidemic almost 18 years ago, the disease seemed to be concentrated among IV drug users, and gay men. Few people understood then how the AIDS virus would devastate lives all over the world and would challenge long-held notions of secrecy and sexuality.

40 countries and 600 hours of film later, Hildebrand provides new perspective on the disease by telling stories about the people living and working with HIV and AIDS. He captures the bravado of the truck-driver with a girl in every stop along a highway in Uganda. We watch the impossibly young boy hooking up tricks in Rio and listen to the shy Capetown girl, explain how she manages a relationship with a new boyfriend when she’s positive and he’s negative. They are the Faces of AIDS.


Staffan Hildebrand, filmmaker

Bruce Walker, Director of the Division of AIDS at Harvard Medical School and of Partners AIDS Research Center

Duong Vanneth, filmmaker

Reading the Tea Leaves in Tehran

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There’s a bold headline on one Iranian newspaper today. It says, “Europe behaving rationally while US is Seeking Confrontation.” That’s how that country’s state controlled media describes the latest developments in the dance between Tehran, Washington, and Belgium.

President Bush is still trying to decide if he will support European efforts to negotiate with Iran over its nuclear program. But a different story has been taking shape on the streets of Tehran and Tabriz. Young people, with their blue jeans, hip hop music and vague memories of the early days of the revolution are not chanting “Death to America” as requested. Instead they’re looking forward to a new friendship with the United States. Today’s two faces of Iran.


Robin Wright, Diplomatic Correspondent for The Washington Post

Afshin Molavi, author of “Persian Pilgrimages: Journeys Across Iran,” and fellow at the New America Foundation

Karim Sadjadpour, analyst for the International Crisis Group based in Tehran.

A Front Porch View of This War

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Nearly half the servicemen and women who have been killed in Iraq are from small towns and rural areas. Vermont, a state made up primarily of small communities, has paid the highest price per capita of any US state.

Historically small town Americans shoulder a disproportionate amount of the burden of war. Many in these communities inherit a tradition of military service — and that, combined with the fact that jobs are often hard to find, means that many younger men and women in rural America turn to the military as a way to pay for college and express their patriotism.

Yesterday, in more than 50 communities across Vermont, residents gathered at town meetings to debate the war and the place of the Vermont National Guard in fighting it. A front porch view of the war in Iraq.


Regina Gilbert, her son Kyle was killed fighting in Iraq in August, 2003

Nancy Brown, mother of a national guard soldier who recently returned after 11 months in Iraq.

The Nobel Prize Winning Author Wole Soyinka

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“There are no innocents.” It’s a Biblical phrase with frightening new life in the age of modern terror. Soyinka says that a vision of a world divided between believers and infidels, between followers and enemies, is an old one but one that is re-gaining currency — fueled by the religious fundamentalism in the Middle East and by a President in this country who laces his rhetoric with evangelical zeal.

Soyinka is used to raising hackles with his political views. This Nigerian born writer spent nearly two years in solitary confinement for speaking out against his government. 20 year later, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Now, 20 years after that, he is turning his political and creative energies to rejecting terrorism and issuing a fatwa against fear.


Wole Soyinka, Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1986 and author of “Climate of Fear: The Quest for Dignity in a Dehumanized World.”

Portraits of Interrupted Life

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How do you commemorate the life of someone who barely had a life? This is a question about children who die as newborns or infants. For the parents, the loss can be so great that it often leaves friends and relatives tongue-tied and entire families struggling to find ways to move ahead, when such a big part of their lives, or so many of their expectations are taken away.

The Photographer Lynette Johnson was introduced to the pain of those parents when her close friend’s infant son died. She didn’t set out to take her camera equipment into the hospital. But since then she’s been taking photos of terminally ill children for families who ask her to come. Along the way she’s learned a lot about celebrating life and confronting death. Saying goodbye in black and white.


Lynette Johnson, Seattle-based photographer.