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Tuesday August 24, 2010

Judge’s Ruling Halts Federally-funded Stem Cell Research

Stem cell researchers are scrambling to understand the implications of a ruling from a federal judge in Washington. Judge Royce Lamberth ruled that President Obama was wrong in his decision last year to allow federal funding for experiments conducted with new lines of stem cells derived from unused embryos donated by couples trying to conceive through in vitro fertilization. In 2001, President Bush limited federal funding to research conducted on the few stem cell lines that existed then. The judge ruled yesterday that Congress unambiguously passed a law back in 1996 that prohibited federal funds from being spent on any research in which human embryos are destroyed. We speak with Wall Street Journal reporter Laura Meckler.

Proposed NYC Islamic Center Raises Questions Over Whether America Is Islamophobic

Abdul Malik, center, an American Muslim from Philadelphia, and Matt Sky, right, a Web developer from Manhattan stand in front of a proposed site for an Islamic cultural center in New York. (AP)

Time Magazine is asking whether America is Islamophobic in the wake of the recent furor over the proposed Islamic Center near Ground Zero in New York. Time’s deputy international editor Bobby Ghosh investigated and found at least six mosque projects facing bitter opposition this year alone, despite the fact that there are currently about 2,000 mosques in the US.

Lottery Helps Higher Education Hit The Jackpot

States do lots of different things with money they make from lotteries. We look at Arkansas’ program which helps students cover their costs at schools inside the state. Our guest is Jim Purcell, director of the state’s Department of Higher Education.

Massive Egg Recall Likely To Continue

The Iowa egg producer at the center of the country’s largest ever egg recall is so huge, investigators are still sifting through distribution records and receipts to see where that company’s eggs have ended up. More than a half billion eggs from 17 states have been recalled so far over the last 11 days, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports at least 2,000 people have become ill as a result of eating salmonella-tainted eggs since May. Meantime, the U.S. Senate is sitting on a bill that would address many of the food safety issues at play. We speak with Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University.

Handel & Hendrix & Lloyd Miller’s Musical Journey

A vintage concert poster depicting late US musician Jimi Hendrix, is seen in a exhibition at the Handel House Museum. (AP)

The London home of composer George Frideric Handel is opening an exhibit on another former resident, the groundbreaking guitarist Jimi Hendrix. In the 1960s, Hendrix lived in an apartment that is now part of the Handel House Museum, where the great composer lived in the 18th century. We also hear from jazzman Lloyd Miller. He’s probably the only American musician who has hosted a program on Iranian television. Miller’s interest in Persian music dates back to the late 1950′s and early 60′s when his family moved to Iran when his father got a job there. His 1960′s recording, “Oriental Jazz,” is much sought after among record collectors. But he’s still making music, on a new collaboration with the British fusion group, The Heliocentrics. The BBC’s Andrew Purcell reports.

Music From The Show

  • Pinback, “Sender”
  • Euphone, “Island I’d Love To Live On”
  • George Frederic Handel, “Water Music”
  • Jimi Hendrix, “Sunshine Of Your Love”
  • Lloyd Miller and the Heliocentrics, “Sunda Sunset”
  • Paul Simons

    About the mosque near Ground Zero in NYC – I think that our Constitution guarantees religious freedoms, no one should interfere with any congregation’s building plans. But I wish someone would ask those who accuse us of “Islamophobia” what would happen if I wanted to build a Jewish center or God forbid a synaghogue in Riyadh or Khartoum or Kuwait City or Mogadishu. In my opinion we are far more tolerant and less discriminatory than our accusers.

  • John

    I have no problem with the Islamic center in NY. However, there are legitimate criticisms of Islam that need to be addressed as Muslims become more of a presence in the US: Sharia law, repression of women, repression of gays, burkas, head scarves, cartoon riots, death threats to Salman Rushdie, murder of Theo van Gogh, etc. I welcome anyone who wants to come here but anyone who does needs to recognize our western values and liberties.

  • Linnea

    I also have no problem with people practicing any faith they choose in this country. As a psychotherapist and citizen, my concern about the Islamic center being built at ground zero is that it lacks tact. When one wants to make amends for a wrong committed one usually listens to what the victim wants. If the goal of the Muslim community is to bring healing than why push something that hurts so many of us. Build your center anywhere else and reach out to the community with love, peace and ultimately RESPECT.

  • Carolyn

    No matter the rationale, “Islamophobia” should be called by its real name: anti-Islamic bias. I do not recall a segregationist being referred to as a “diversi-phobic.”

  • Bill

    In regard to the building of the Islamic Cultural Center in NY. I think if it can promote civil dialogue and greater understanding I fully support the plan to build the new center. However, I would also like to see some coverage of the refusal by the NY Port Authority to allow the rebuilding of the ONLY religious institution destroyed by the collapse of the Twin Towers, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. It is very troubling to me that one religious building is getting so much media and political attention and the Orthodox Christian Church is being totally ignored by both the media and the politicians. I would like to see some balance in the coverage and some exposure to the Port Authorities lack of willingness to allow the rebuilding of St. Nicholas. Thank you.

  • gunter hiller

    “Here and Now” is consistently one-sided in presenting
    controversial issues, such as this morning’s examination
    of “Islamophobia”. The author, Mr. Gosh, makes claims
    about Islam’s tolerance and diversity that ought to
    be critically examined. For example: does Mr. Gosh
    acknowledge Islamic homophobia? Does he defend the rules and punishments mandated in Sharia law?

    If Robin Young is not equipped to engage her guests
    critically, or if she is hampered by the program’s constraints, then some kind of “fairness doctrine”
    ought to be put in place to give “the other side”
    a chance to challenge the claims put forward on this
    (and other) occasions.

  • Etaoin Shrdlu

    Paul Simons, on August 24th, 2010 at 12:12 pm, asked: “what would happen if I wanted to build a Jewish center or God forbid a synaghogue in Riyadh or Khartoum or Kuwait City or Mogadishu.”

    Who cares? They don’t have our Constitution. If you’re suggesting we should follow the example of Saudi Arabia, then Obama should be our king! (Oh, wait, he won’t qualify – he’s Christian.)

    By the way, there are synagogues in:

    Lebanon (http://www.kuwaittimes.net/read_news.php?newsid=NzA2NTYxMTM4),

    there appears to be a plan to build one in Kuwait (http://www.smh.com.au/executive-style/business-travel/kuwait-plans-85-billion-city-of-silk-20090518-bbzm.html),

    and there’s at least one in Cairo (http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/news/egyptian-jews-celebrate-cairo-synagogue-reopening).

  • Etaoin Shrdlu

    John, on August 24th, 2010 at 12:32 pm, wrote: “I welcome anyone who wants to come here but anyone who does needs to recognize our western values and liberties.”

    And what makes you think American Muslims (in general), or the builders of this Community Center (not a mosque) don’t? On the other hand, the “good people” opposing this building clearly do not!

  • Etaoin Shrdlu

    Linnea, on August 24th, 2010 at 1:39 pm wrote: “When one wants to make amends for a wrong committed . . . ”

    That’s not the purpose of this building, since those erecting it DIDN’T attack us on 9/11. Your ignoring that pertinent fact is symptomatic of the religious bigotry that infects this dispute.

    Tell me, as a Jew do I have the right to protest erecting crosses at military cemeteries, where they may “shadow” the graves of Jewish soldiers? Remember, for two thousand years Christians committed every crime in the book and every sin in their persecution of my people. Maybe American Jews should demand similar RESPECT, and require all churches be moved 50 miles away from where any Jew lives!

    No, you either stand by the Constitution, or you do not. George Washington once proudly declared that our government “gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance”.* Do you stand with him?

    *Letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island, August 18, 1790, printed on page 767 of George Washington, Writings (Library of America, 1997).

  • John

    I said “anyone” not “Muslims.” I began my statement saying I had no problem with the “Islamic center” and I did not call it a “mosque.” Please don’t edit and change my words to make me appear to say things that I didn’t.

  • http://none Randa

    I would ask you to consider the tactlessness of assuming that all Muslims have to atone for the actions of criminals with a political agenda who happen to be Muslims. There are plenty of those of every faith. Why is it tactless for a Muslim to want to worship near or at ground zero? It really has me stumped, unless of course you consider me guilty of something just for being a Muslim.

  • Wally

    Late to the discussion but to follow on Randa’s comment, why are there two Christian churches standing near the site of the Oklahoma City bombing?

    Should we not raze those to the ground as a reaction against the violence of the Christian Timothy McVeigh?

    This would be the appropriate stance given the ground rules set by those opposed to this mosque. McVeigh was no pastor and the cretins who attacked on 9/11 were no imams. Crazy is crazy no matter what the denomination, or lack thereof. To brand every member of a religion for the worst offenses of the least purporting to be a member is the mark of a frightened, hateful people.

    Congrats! You’ve confirmed our enemies worst impression of us to all the world AND endangered our troops by your bigotry!

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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Modern-Day Amelia Earhart Circumnavigates The Globe

The famous pilot's namesake has became the youngest woman to fly a single-engine aircraft around the world.