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Friday October 8, 2010

On The Campaign Trail, Candidates Focus On Economy

While the unemployment rate stayed at 9.6 percent in September, the overall economy lost 95,000 jobs last month, mainly because so many local governments laid off teachers. It’s the last jobless report before voters go to the polls next month. And within minutes of its release this morning, Republicans were on the offensive, slamming Democrats for “economic mismanagement.” We speak with New York Times reporter Michael Shear.

Where Will The Next Gen. Petraeus Come From?

The top American commander in Afghanistan Gen. David Petraeus, center, tours the grounds of the U.S.-run Parwan detention facility near Bagram north of Kabul, Afghanistan, in September. (AP)

Gen. David Petraeus, center, tours the grounds of the U.S.-run Parwan detention facility near Bagram north of Kabul, Afghanistan, in September. (AP)

When President Obama needed a replacement for Gen. Stanley McChrystal, he had to demote Gen. David Petraeus to take over as commander in Afghanistan. Why wasn’t there another general to take that position? Renny McPherson, who served as a Marine officer in Iraq, says it’s because the military has failed to produce enough leaders like Gen. Petraeus. McPherson is now a student at Harvard Business School and he joins us to talk about what’s wrong with the way the military produces its leaders.

Stolen Iraqi Art Returns Home, Finally

(begins at the 8:00 mark)

In the chaotic weeks following the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in the spring of 2003, there was rampant looting of the Iraq National Museum, which held one of the world’s largest collections of Middle Eastern art going back 5,000 years. Iraq’s history was disappearing, and fast. The U.S was largely blamed for not preventing the looting, and the State Department asked Massachusetts College of Art antiquities professor John Russell to visit Iraq, assess damage, and lead an effort to retrieve and preserve Iraqi treasures. One of the pieces stolen from the museum was the 4,400 year old statue of King Entemena, a Sumerian king in 2400 B.C. The 300 lb. statue was eventually found and finally returned to the museum in Baghdad last month.

Curtain May Fall On Europe’s Last Gypsy Circus

France continues to expel Roma gypsies living in the country illegally despite opposition from the European Union and the United Nations. President Nicolas Sarkozy says his country is well within its rights to expel those who cannot support themselves. But what about those who are earning money to live? The crackdown could force Europe’s last gypsy circus to pull down the big top forever. The BBC’s Christian Fraser reports.

Demands Growing For Nationwide Halt on Foreclosures

The U.S. Justice Department is looking into charges of irregularities and possible wide spread fraud on the part of banks in foreclosure procedures. State Attorneys General have begun their own investigations. Three major lenders have suspended foreclosures in 23 states and a fourth lender has suspended sales of foreclosed homes nationwide. And thousands of legal proceedings across the country are showing that in the case of many mortgages, it’s hard to find out who owns the loan. We have analysis of the latest furor in foreclosures from Binyamin Appelbaum, financial reporter for The New York Times.

East Meets West In New Opera

A performance of House in Bali. (courtesy photo)

A performance of House in Bali. (courtesy photo)

In the 1930′s, composer Colin McPhee first heard the sounds of Bali. Taken by what he heard, he eventually moved to a Balinese village, befriending Balinese, as well as the anthropologist Margaret Mead and German painter Walter Spies. McPhee detailed his time in Bali in his memoir, “A House in Bali.” Decades later, composer Evan Ziporyn put that memoir to music — blending contemporary western music with traditional Balinese gamelan. We caught up with Ziporyn during a recent rehearsal of the opera. It premiers in Boston this weekend and next week at the Next Wave Festival in Brooklyn.

Here & Now extras:

  • Get an inside look at rehearsals for the opera
  • Tenors Peter Tantsits and Timur Bekbosunov, and soprano Anne Harley in a clip from “A House in Bali”
  • Music From The Show

    • Sea + Cake, “Seemingly”
    • “Granada” Marcel Khalife
    • “Better Voodoo” Rodrigo+Gabriela
    • “Saturday Come Slow” Massive Attack
    • Music from Evan Zipoyrn’s “A House in Bali” featuring
      I Nyoman Catra, Peter Tantsits,Timur Bekbosunov, Members of Gamelan Salukat
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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