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Your Tax Dollars at Work

Did you know that many big box retailers, like Wal-Mart and Target, have deals with local communities to keep the sales tax you're charged when you shop at their stores?  Or that large public utilities collect taxes but scarcely pay them? For example, a utility in Portland, Oregon collected $900 million in taxes over ten years but paid less than $1 million. It's all legal, but journalist David Cay Johnston says it's time to change that. Part of his advice: invade the Cayman Islands to close down tax havens there!

Ted Haggard

New allegations about former pastor Ted Haggard have surfaced just days before the premiere of an HBO documentary about his 2006 fall from grace. A former church member has revealed that he and Haggard had a secret sexual relationship just before Haggard was fired, and that the New Life church in Colorado Springs paid the young man in a previously undisclosed legal settlement. Our guest is Tak Landrock of KRDO-TV in Colorado Springs.

Gaza Truce Breach

An Israeli soldier was killed on the Gaza border today, straining the 10-day-old ceasefire.  Meanwhile, President Obama has dispatched special envoy George Mitchell to the Middle East, saying "the moment is ripe" for renewed peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. We speak with Tim McGirk, Jerusalem bureau chief for Time Magazine, who's just returned from Gaza.

Road 'Smahts'

Do you know what a flashing green light means? Or in which states it's illegal to pump your own gas? We speak with Pete Demarco, who writes a weekly column in the Boston Globe called "Who Taught You To Drive?".

Brandeis Closing Art Museum

Responding to a drop in both its endowment and fundraising, Brandeis University's Board of Trustees voted yesterday to close the Rose Art Museum and sell its collection, which includes pieces by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein and could bring in hundreds of millions of dollars. The move is being sharply criticized by the museum's supporters. We speak to Brandeis president Jehuda Reinharz.

Andras Schiff

Hungarian pianist Andras Schiff recently achieved a classical music milestone by recording the complete Beethoven sonata cycle. Here & Now music critic Tim Riley says this latest chapter in Schiff's illustrious career will change the way you hear some of piano's most familiar music.

This program aired on January 27, 2009.

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