Rundown 4/8

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The Maersk Arun, a sister ship to the 17,000-ton container ship Maersk Alabama, which has been hijacked by Somali pirates with 20 crew members aboard. (AP)
The Maersk Arun, a sister ship to the 17,000-ton container ship Maersk Alabama, which has been hijacked by Somali pirates with 20 crew members aboard. (AP)

American Crew Regains Control of Hijacked Ship

The Pentagon says the American crew has regained control of their ship that was hijacked by Somali pirates this morning with a crew of about 20 Americans on board. It's the 6th ship taken by pirates off the coast of East Africa in the last week, reflecting what some analysts say is a new strategy. We'll speak with Mary Harper of the BBC's Africa Desk.

U.S. Civil-Military Relations

The budget released by Defense Secretary Robert Gates this week cuts weapons systems and jobs, and highlights the tensions between the government and the military. Sarah Sewall, of Harvard's Kennedy School, says that tension has always been there but the current financial crisis raises the level. Sewall is the co-author of a new report on the relationship between the government and the military.

Gay Marriage

In the past week, the number of states legalizing gay marriage has doubled. The Iowa Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage there, and yesterday the Vermont legislature won a hard fought battle, first passing a law which was vetoed by the governor, and then narrowly overturning the veto. We speak to Harvard Law Professor Alan Derschowitz about the state of same sex marriage in the United States and what we may see from some state legislatures in the coming months.

Police Deaths

There is new information about the killing of three Pittsburgh police officers on Saturday. Emergency officials now say a 9-1-1 operator knew the officers were going into a home where there were weapons.. but she did not warn the officers. We speak with Pastor Byron Gurnee, who is the brother-in-law of one of the officers killed.

Libraries in Economic Downturns

In the 1970s Amy Ryan wrote her master's thesis on the role that libraries play during economic downturns. Today she's getting firsthand experience----- as the President of the Boston Public Library. The system is trying to shed $4 million from its budget even though its cardholders have increased by 30% since the summer. Boston Public Library President Amy Ryan joins us.

The Sisters Antipodes

We speak with author Jane Alison. Though she's been known for her novels, in her new memoir, Jane tells the stranger than fiction story of her upbringing. When she was four, Jane's father and mother, a diplomat and his wife, met another diplomat and his wife. Within months, the two couples traded partners, and the two new families were brought up in two parts of the world. In her book "The Sisters Antipodes" Jane tells what happened next, and how what she calls "the split" impacted her and her step-sister Jenny.

Music from the song

  • Calexico, "Crumble"
  • Nathan Milstein, "Bach: Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin"
  • Freddie Hubbard, "Little Sunflower"
  • The Benevento, "Sunny's Song"
  • Peter Dixon, "Nagog Woods"

This program aired on April 8, 2009.


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