Rundown 4/9

An undated file photo of the Maersk Alabama. Somali pirates are holding the captain of the ship hostage, after bandits hijacked the U.S.-flagged vessel. (AP)
An undated file photo of the Maersk Alabama. Somali pirates are holding the captain of the ship hostage, after bandits hijacked the U.S.-flagged vessel. (AP)

Piracy on the High Seas

The standoff between the U.S. military and Somali pirates holding a American ship captain hostage in the Gulf of Aden continues. FBI hostage negotiators have been called upon to assist with negotiations in the latest and highest profile incident of recent pirate activity. We speak to piracy expert Roger Middleton with the Chatham House foreign policy think tank in London. We also talk with Clint Van Zandt, former chief hostage negotiator for the F.B.I. and Demetri Sevastopulo, Pentagon Intelligence Correspondent for the Financial Times of London.

Tax Tips

There are a number of significant tax law changes that could affect your 2008 returns. We turn to the Wall Street Journal's Tom Herman for his take on how the new balance sheets should balance out and get some advice before the April 15th filing deadline.

China's Safety Net

For the millions of people who live in China's countryside, getting sick can be a death sentence because health insurance is scarce. The Chinese government is trying to set up a safety net for the uninsured but it won't come in time for some people who are already sick. The BBC's Quentin Sommerville reports from southwestern China.

Trouble at the Times

American's flagship newspaper is a sinking ship. So says journalist Mark Bowden, who writes about the paper's fifth-generation publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Junior, in the new issue of Vanity Fair Magazine. The article is timely this week because the New York Times is playing hardball with the unions at the Boston Globe, threatening to close the Globe unless the unions agree to 20-million-dollars in cuts.

Do Billboard Hits Reflect the Economy?

We'll talk to Philip Maymin, assistant professor of finance and risk engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University. He's looking at more than 5-thousand hit songs from half a century of Billboard charts and measured them against the S&P 500 stock index. He's found that a song whose beat doesn't change much seems to be the kind of song that's popular when the stock market is volatile.

Music from the show

  • Peter Dixon, "Nagog Woods"
  • Charles Mingus, "Pedal Point Blues"
  • Freddie Hubbard, "Little Sunflower"
  • The Lickets, "A Crowd of Pimps in the Rain"
  • The Wee Trio, "Flint"
  • The Lickets, "Meat City"
  • Radiohead, "Myxamatosis"

This program aired on April 9, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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