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FROM THIS EPISODE

President Obama spoke to the U.N. General Assembly this week about the terrorist group that calls itself the Islamic State. The brutality of the terror group seems to have galvanized the president. We take a look at what his reaction means for his actual policy. And we chat with one of the writers chosen for Amtrak’s writer residency program. Also, beyond the musings, the trains in the U.S. are decades behind much of the developed world. So, what needs to happen for a viable rail system? Our film critics explore the strange film buffet of new releases. And will the new social kid on the block, Ello, upend Facebook’s supremacy?

Producers:
Andrew Walsh
Christian Bordal
Matt Holzman
Jolie Myers
Anna Scott

Obama’s ISIS Reaction 10 MIN, 36 SEC

President Obama spoke to the U.N. General Assembly this week about the terrorist group the Islamic State. Today, Britain, Belgium and Denmark agreed to join the U.S. in launching airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq. The brutality of the Islamic State seems to have galvanized the president. We take a look at what his reaction means for his actual policy.

Guests:
David Rothkopf, FP Group (@djrothkopf)

Writing the Rails 5 MIN, 18 SEC

It all started with a musing from novelist, Alexander Chee. “I wish Amtrak had residencies for writers,” he told an interviewer. A few tweets and nine months later, Amtrak has announced its first group of writers for its train residency. Madeleine talks to one of the winners: author and radio host, Farai Chideya.

Guests:
Farai Chideya, New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute (@farai)

The State of Rail in America 8 MIN, 27 SEC

High-speed rail is still a pipedream for politicians and the train lines that do exist are slow and expensive. To get a better sense of why the train system in the U.S. lags so far behind other developed countries, we turn to Marcia Hale, president of Building America’s Future.

Guests:
Marcia Hale, Building America’s Future (@marcialhale)

A Strange Buffet of New Releases 13 MIN, 46 SEC

Ever been to one of those weird buffets where there’s orange chicken, next to lasagna, next to club sandwiches, next to sushi? Well, that’s kind of what it’ll be like in theaters this weekend. There’s something for pretty much everyone - an action flick, a kiddy movie, a moody thriller, a millennial love story and a biopic.

Guests:
Drew McWeeny, HitFix (@DrewAtHitFix)
Tim Grierson, Film Critic (@TimGrierson)

Ello There 8 MIN

New social network “Ello” is getting tons of buzz. We take a look at how it works and whether it’s likely to have staying power.

Guests:
Nitasha Tiku, ValleyWag (@nitashatiku)

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