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The Kojo Nnamdi Show
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The Politics Hour - March 6, 2015

9 hours 10 min ago

U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikuslki announces plans to retire, and a mad scramble to replace her ensues in Maryland. D.C. lawmakers move quickly to limit the city's legalized marijuana program. And Metro kickstarts its search for a new general manager again after leading candidates pull out of the running. Join us for our weekly review of the politics, policies, and personalities of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe

Thu, 2015-03-05 08:06

The Virginia General Assembly concluded its 2015 session this past week, legislating on everything from sexual assaults on college campuses to ethical guidelines for elected officials. But while this most recent session avoided some of the flash points that defined previous years, it wasn't entirely without sparks. Gov. Terry McAuliffe joins Kojo in the studio to explore his priorities for the Commonwealth for the rest of the year.

Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger

Thu, 2015-03-05 07:06

The shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, last summer turned all eyes on the police. From inner cities to outer suburbs, residents are debating the use of force, the realities of racial diversity and overall police accountability. As the suburbs around D.C. become more racially and economically diverse, they take on some of the policing challenges that once belonged solely to big cities. We talk with the Montgomery County police chief about his county and his job.

Your Turn

Wed, 2015-03-04 08:06

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu takes aim at a possible nuclear deal with Iran in a speech to Congress. The Justice Department finds bias in the Ferguson police department. And the D.C. Council pushes forward new limits on legal marijuana. Let us know what's on your mind; it's your turn to set the agenda.

The Case Against Zone 9

Wed, 2015-03-04 07:30

Three journalists and six members of the group Zone 9 were arrested and charged last year under Ethiopia's sweeping anti-terrorism law. The nation ranks second on the African continent - behind neighboring Eritrea - on the Committee to Protect Journalists list of those most likely to jail reporters. We get an update on the case as it moves to trial from one of Zone 9's founders and find out what they expect moving forward.

A Whistleblower's Experience: John Kiriakou

Wed, 2015-03-04 07:06

John Kiriakou is the only CIA official who has served prison time in connection with the agency's controversial interrogation program. Kiriakou, who now lives under under house arrest in Virginia, was charged with leaking information about the program to a reporter. He talks with Kojo about transparency, security and civil liberties.

Education Reform and Teacher's Unions: Randi Weingarten

Tue, 2015-03-03 08:06

The national education legislation known as "No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)" expired in 2007, and since then Congress has dragged its feet in updating and re-authorizing it. Last week a push to do so stalled in the House amid a highly polarized political atmosphere. The head of the American Federation of Teachers joins us to talk about what national debates around education reform mean for public school teachers.

Opting out of Standardized Testing

Tue, 2015-03-03 08:06

Across the country a growing movement to "opt out" of high stakes standardized testing tied to the new Common Core curriculum is gaining momentum. Nationally and locally, parents, students and teachers are pushing back, including a group calling itself "Maryland R.E.F.U.S.E." Others argue that the tests are a big improvement over previous assessments. We explore debates around testing in schools.

Computer Guys and Gal

Tue, 2015-03-03 07:06

The FCC adopts historic new rules to regulate the Internet, Lenovo ships computers with pre-loaded adware that creates security risks, and Google Glass signs off. The Computer Guys & Gal are back to explore the latest news in the tech universe.

"A Grizzly in the Mail..."

Mon, 2015-03-02 08:32

An enthusiastic history buff can make the past come alive for new generations. Tim Grove's passion for the past has taken him from Colonial Williamsburg to the Cape of Disappointment, and Harper's Ferry to the National Mall. We talk with him about the stories he's collected along the way and why they're relevant to modern audiences.

Maryland's Mikulski Won't Seek Another Senate Term

Mon, 2015-03-02 08:06

Sen. Barbara Mikulksi (D-Md.), the longest-serving woman in congressional history, will not seek re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2016. Her announcement has massive political implications for her home state of Maryland and for the Washington region as a whole. We explore both her legacy and the political fallout of her announcement.

Future Crimes In Cyber Space

Mon, 2015-03-02 07:06

In the Internet age, everything is connected so everyone is vulnerable -- in ways we may not even imagine yet. A new book says hackers are already more organized and more innovative than the good guys, and it's time for the good guys to take a stand. Author and former police officer Marc Goodman calls for a Manhattan Project-style effort to build a broad cyber defense system and offers tips for individuals and businesses to protect themselves in the meantime.

The Politics Hour - Friday, February 25, 2015

Fri, 2015-02-27 07:06

D.C. officially declares marijuana legal for use in the District. The Washington region braces for a potential partial shutdown of the U.S. Homeland Security Department. And the future for one of Maryland's biggest public infrastructure projects remains cloudy as Gov. Larry Hogan extends a critical deadline. Join us for our weekly review of the politics, policies, and personalities of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

Discontent and its Civilizations: Mohsin Hamid

Thu, 2015-02-26 08:06

Poignant and funny, Mohsin Hamid's collection of essays explores attitudes toward Muslims before and after the attacks of 9/11, and Pakistan's "recurring role" as villain in the global news media. These dispatches span more than a decade and include personal stories about growing up in both the U.S. and Pakistan, the writing life, and what sustains Hamid's optimism about the future of his home country.

Department of Homeland Security Shutdown Looms

Thu, 2015-02-26 07:06

Funding authority for the Department of Homeland Security is set to run out at midnight on Friday. Congress is gridlocked over legislation to renew the funding because it includes an amendment that would fund President Obama's executive action on immigration--which Republicans want to block. As the Senate moves closer to approving a "clean" funding bill and the House confronts Friday's deadline, we consider the implications of a DHS shutdown and the possible political fallout for both parties.

"The Hunting Ground"

Thu, 2015-02-26 07:06

Colleges and universities across the United States are struggling with how they investigate and respond to reports of sexual assaults on their campuses. In a new documentary, filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering explore the stories of women - and men - who've reported assaults and investigate the impact of the institutional responses to those incidents. Kojo chats with Dick and Ziering, along with two women who became activists after their experiences at one of America's oldest public universities.

Restaurant Staying Power with Ashok Bajaj

Wed, 2015-02-25 08:25

In 1988 restaurateur Ashok Bajaj had a hard time getting a lease on a property to open an Indian restaurant in D.C. Nearly three decades later, the one he opened then -- The Bombay Club -- is still going strong, and he runs seven other successful spots around town. We talk with Bajaj about how he keeps his customers coming back and what defines and distinguishes his native Indian cuisine.

12:01 a.m., Thursday: DC's Marijuana Legalization Enters a New Phase

Wed, 2015-02-25 08:06

When the clock strikes 12:01 a.m. Thursday, possessing up to two ounces of marijuana will be legal in the District of Columbia. But the marijuana issue remains mired in a thicket of complex, yet hugely consequential legal questions: By defying skeptics in Congress, is the District overstepping its Home Rule charter? What will happen if, as seems likely, the District does not immediately establish rules to regulate and tax sales? How will local police react if a tourist lights up in the street? Kojo examines what comes next and takes your calls.

One-Way Mission to Mars

Wed, 2015-02-25 07:06

It's either the craziest thing a human could do, or the boldest: taking a one-way trip to the Red Planet. For 100 people recently named as finalists for a trip to Mars, it's the dream of a lifetime, but one that comes with grave risks and historic rewards. Selected by the Dutch nonprofit Mars One from more than 200,000 applicants, these finalists must now endure rigorous physical and mental testing to make the next round of cuts. Kojo talks with the prospective Mars explorers from our area, and finds out more about the realities of a trip that some have said is still decades away.

"The First Lady of the Black Press"

Tue, 2015-02-24 08:32

Ethel Payne was a pioneering reporter who considered herself an 'instrument of change.' Her coverage of the civil rights movement for the black press inspired her readers, and her fearless attitude in Washington pushed issues onto the national stage. Kojo explores her life, career, and legacy with biographer James McGrath Morris.