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Friday September 17, 2010

Afghanistan Braces For Another Election

A policeman stands guard a day ahead of parliamentary elections in Kabul. (AP)

A policeman stands guard a day ahead of parliamentary elections in Kabul. (AP)

Police are ramping up security ahead of tomorrow’s parliamentary elections in Afghanistan, which were originally scheduled for May but were postponed over security and fraud concerns. Extra checkpoints are in place to scan for suicide bombers and insurgents, amid Taliban warnings of attacks targeting voters and election workers. Already 19 deaths have been attributed to election-related violence, including the deaths of four of the 2,500 candidates. We check in with Ben Arnoldy,  South Asia bureau chief for the Christian Science Monitor in Kabul.

The Man, ‘The Mastermind’ Of Sept. 11

At left a March 1, 2003 photo obtained by the AP shows Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged Sept. 11 mastermind, shortly after his capture during a raid in Pakistan. At right, a photo downloaded from the Arabic language Internet site www.muslm.net, purportedly taken in July 2009 by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and released only to the detainee's family. (AP)

At left a March 1, 2003 photo obtained by the AP shows Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, shortly after his capture. At right, a photo from www.muslm.net, purportedly taken in July 2009 by the International Committee of the Red Cross. (AP)

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-described mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, is one history’s most famous criminals. Unlike Osama Bin Laden, though, Mohammed remains largely unknown. Journalist Terry McDermott dug into Mohammed’s biography in The New Yorker and found a terrorist motivated as much by pathology as ideology. McDermott joins us to talk about his new article.

Possible Twister Touches Down In NYC

Residents in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn circle around damage from Thursday's storm. (AP)

Residents in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn circle around damage from Thursday's storm. (AP)

Residents, utility crews and railroad workers are cleaning up debris today after a brief, but fierce storm barreled through New York City, tearing up trees, stripping roofs from homes, disrupting train service and killing at least one person. The National Weather Service planned to spend the day investigating whether a tornado touched down Thursday evening during the storm. Crews at Long Island Rail Road, the nation’s largest commuter rail line, worked through the night to clear tracks of fallen debris, but the storm caused chaos for commuters. Tornadoes are extremely rare in New York City, with just eight twisters hitting the city in the past 60 years. Ruschelle Boon of NY 1 joins us from Queens with an update.

Tech University Experiments With Social Media Blackout

Harrisburg University of Science and Technology in Pennsylvania became the butt of late-night jokes this week with its one-week blackout of instant messaging, Twitter, MySpace and Facebook. Students will be required to write a reflective essay about the experiment. We speak with Pavithra Vaideeswaran, a senior who will be graduating this December with a degree in computer science information, who finds the experiment valuable.

India’s Superstar Composer Bridges Borders With Music

Most Americans discovered the music of A.R. Rahman when he won two Academy Awards for his score to the film “Slumdog Millionaire.” In India, he’s been a superstar for years and written music for more than 100 films. We speak to Rahman about his work and his thoughts about being a devout Muslim touring the United States during this time of heightened tension about Islam.

Paging Moon Unit: Baltimore To Honor Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention
Sunday is “Frank Zappa Day” in Baltimore, the city where the late musician was born. Zappa is being honored for his music and, on the 25th anniversary of his testimony in Congress against music censorship, for his defense of First Amendment rights. We talk with Zappa’s widow, Gail Zappa, about her late husband’s legacy.

Music From The Show

  • Massive Attack, “Pray for Rain”
  • The Wee Trio, “About a Girl”
  • Dean & Britta, “Herringbone Tweed””
  • Art Blakey, “C.O.R.E.”
  • Freddie Hubbard, “Little Sunflower”
  • “Jai Ho” by A.R. Rahman, Sukhvinder Singh, Tanvi Shah, Mahalaxmi Iyer, Vijay Prakash
  • “Choti Si Aasha” Minmini, A.R. Rahman
  • “O Saya” by M.I.A., A.R. Rahman
  • “O Paalanhaare” music by A.R. Rahman, performed by Lata Mangeshkar, Sadhana Sargam, Udit Narayan
  • “Kehna Hi Kya” by Chitra and A.R. Rahman
  • http://cyberfumes.blogspot.com Dave Eger

    Will that record be released on vinyl? ;-)

  • Diane

    For Gail Zappa to suggest that vicitms of domestic violence could or should listen to a song expressing any view of victimization with their abuser, as a way of conveying their pain without incurring the risks that they might were they to describe their own response to victimization demonstrates a real lack of understanding about the dynamics of victimization and abuse. An expression of ignorance that is potentially dangerous to anyone who might take up her suggestion.

  • Frog

    I agree with Diane. Using Gail Zappa’s logic, you can justify anything.

  • Dan

    Gail Zappa obviously knows NOTHING about abusive relationships. She is certainly entitled to her opinion, but she should choose not talk on the radio on topics she does not understand.

  • Atul Kulkarni

    It’s Been a pleasure hearing to..Sir A.R. Rahman talking on “Here and Now”. Thanks for leting us know that Soundtrack of “Roja” was mentioned by “Times” as one of the “All time Top 10 Musical Scores”. I really loved his views on religion and wish him Best of luck for bringing people together and creating Peace… :)

  • Sarah

    Gail Zappa’s comments about domestic abuse – stemming from a question pertaining to Rihanna and Eminem’s new single, “Love The Way You Lie” – upset many listeners who’ve posted responses. However, all of the listener feedback thus far has entirely overlooked the focus of the interview: the First Amendment and government intervention into freedom of speech. So, too, did interviewer Ms. Clayson’s final observation that groups and individuals taking issue with this song are perhaps most concerned about the effect the lyrics will have upon children – as if that shifts the subject away from censorship. Well, wasn’t that one of the central themes of the interview to begin with? The federal government’s censorship of recording artists through “parental advisory” labels?

    Frank Zappa Day is being staged largely in celebration of Zappa’s Senate testimony against unfounded and unconstitutional attacks on artists. We’re entering dangerous territory indeed when we start to place subjective qualifications on freedom of speech based upon the values of a specific group.

  • Marc

    People who have a negative view of Eminem’s song have not listened to it fully or in context. If they did, they would realize that Gail Zappa’s comments were right on target. Art isn’t always pretty and doesn’t present us neat lessons. The song is a powerful expression of the emotions that lead to abuse as well as even more powerful expression of regret at the cost of that abusee. That is what art can do that no amount of moralizing ever can. As for the effect upon children–I can tell you that my 17 year old son does not hear what critics think he does–he hears a message about the complexities and tangled emotions of relationships. And he hears that hitting a woman is wrong. Coming from Eminem, he listens. Critics should give kids more credit. Better that song than the “raping slaves is fun and they like it.”” message of the Stones “Brown Sugar.”

  • Deepinder Cheema

    Well, Gail was put on the spot and said what she said in the light of her experience. The statue she said was far too little far too late. It really is statement that deeply affects a lot of Zappa fans, as some of us regard his passing as a genuine bereavement. It would be wrong to live a life vicariously, but a sharp wit,the courage of your convictions,to refine your instincts and knowing you’re right is a good tool to have. This is what I have taken from the man.

Robin and Jeremy

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

July 23 Comment

DJ Sessions: Latin Alternative From Los Angeles To Venezuela

KCRW's Raul Campos introduces us to some groups he came across while hosting the 15th annual Latin Alternative Music Conference.

July 23 6 Comments

ISIS Forces Christians To Flee Iraq City Of Mosul

The militant group's threat -- convert, leave or die -- has forced most Christians in Mosul to leave.

July 22 2 Comments

Remains Of Clovis Boy Reburied In Montana

DNA from the boy buried 12,600 years ago shows his people were ancestors of many of today's native peoples.

July 22 Comment

After Malaysia Airlines Crash, A Closer Look At Planning Flight Paths

Retired pilot John Ransom discusses how to factor in war zones, and how the decision is made to close an airspace.