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?
FROM THIS EPISODE
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.
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.
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.
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.
More From Press Play with Madeleine Brand
California case: free speech v. abortion rights Crisis pregnancy centers are generally run by pro-life groups that aim to convince pregnant women not to get abortions. A California law requires that employees tell their clients that the state offers free and low-cost abortions and other family planning services. Now a group of these centers is arguing that the law violates their freedom of speech.
Does copyright law cover graffiti? Clothing company H&M did a fashion shoot in Brooklyn featuring models standing against a gray wall painted with black waving lines. The graffiti was the work of an LA-based street artist, who wanted compensation. H&M responded by filing a lawsuit against him, then dropped it a few days later.
Taylor Mac takes on U.S. history in 246 songs, two dozen costume changes Taylor Mac will perform his “24-Decade History of Popular Music” starting Thursday in LA. It’s divided into four shows on four separate nights. It’s about this history of oppression and activism in the U.S. -- from 1776 to present day.
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Facing uncertainty in the US, a Dreamer moves to Mexico Undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as kids may feel like they are in never-ending limbo. President Trump wants to phase out the deferred action for childhood arrivals… Read More
Will Orange County go from Red to Blue? On a recent evening, about two dozen friends and neighbors gathered at a house party in Irvine. They had come to meet Katie Porter, a Democrat who’s running for Congress… Read More