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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

  • Todd Akin’s "Legitimate Rape" Comment Sheds Light on Paul Ryan’s Extreme Stance on Abortion

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    Republicans are mounting increasing pressure on Missouri Rep. Todd Akin to end his bid to unseat Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill after he claimed that women’s bodies can prevent pregnancies in cases of what he called "legitimate rape," a comment he later apologized for. The controversy is spilling in the presidential race due to Akin’s close ties to Mitt Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan. In 2011, Ryan and Akin co-sponsored the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which attempted to redefine rape by introducing the term "forcible rape." We speak to Michelle Goldberg, senior writer for Newsweek/The Daily Beast. Her latest article is titled "Todd Akin’s Rape Comment Was Bad, but His Abortion Views Are Much Worse." [includes rush transcript]

  • The Invisible Wounds of War: Number of Soldiers Committing Suicide Reaches Record High

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    The month of July set a record high for the number of suicides in the U.S. military. An Army report reveals a total of 38 troops committed suicide last month, including 26 active-duty soldiers and 12 Army National Guard or reserve members — more soldiers than were killed on the battlefield. The reasons for the increase in suicides are not fully understood. Among explanations, studies point to combat exposure, post-traumatic stress, misuse of prescription medications and personal financial problems. Army data suggest soldiers with multiple combat tours are at greater risk of committing suicide. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta addressed the issue in June at the annual conference on suicide prevention in the military, saying, "Despite the increased efforts, the increased attention, the trends continue to move in a troubling and tragic direction." We speak with Marguerite Guzmán Bouvard, whose new book is called "The Invisible Wounds of War: Coming Home from Iraq and Afghanistan." [includes rush transcript]

  • Massacre in South Africa: Police Defend Killing of 34 Striking Workers at Platinum Mine

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    South African police shot dead 34 striking workers at platinum mine last week, setting off a wave of protests. In what has been described as "South Africa’s first post-apartheid massacre," the miners were killed after demanding more pay and walking off the job at the Marikana mine, the world’s third largest producer of platinum. South Africa’s national police chief Riah Phiyega is drawing public outrage for defending her officers. She said, "It was the right thing to do" though “we are sorry that lives were lost.” For more, we’re joined by Gavin Capps, a member of the group "Land Reform and Democracy in South Africa" at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. [includes rush transcript]

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