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FROM THIS EPISODE

In the western world, child labor is a thing of the past--or is it?  Are American kids being worn out by over-scheduling and a rush toward adulthood? Is it their harried parents who need to kick back, dump their Blackberries and get more time with the family? Also, Japan agrees not to hunt humpback whales, and Christmas in Baghdad will be better than last year but nothing like what it was before the US invasion.


Photo: Marcus Brandt/AFP/Getty Images

Producers:
Christian Bordal
Dan Konecky
Karen Radziner

Making News Japan Agrees Not To Hunt Humpbacks 6 MIN, 8 SEC

Japan says the International Whaling Commission has become a place for emotional fighting, rather than calm debate.  But, at the request of the US, Japan will drop plans to kill humpback whales in the seas off Antarctica.  John Hocevar is ocean specialist with Greenpeace.

Guests:
John Hocevar, Ocean specialist, Greenpeace

Reporter's Notebook Christmas Returns to a Hopeful Baghdad 9 MIN, 36 SEC

In 1987 an Iraqi census counted one million Christians. Now there might be half a million or so in a country of 25 million. What's it like for them at Christmas time? Last year, an inflatable Santa Claus—or Father Christmas—stayed in a box during the Christmas season. This year, he's back on the street in front of a juice shop in central Baghdad, "one arm outstretched in a welcoming wave." That's according to Deborah Haynes, who writes for the Times of London.  We also get perspective from historian Edmund Ghareeb, co-author of The Historical Dictionary of Iraq.

Guests:
Deborah Haynes, Baghdad Correspondent, Times of London
Edmund Ghareeb, Professor of Middle East History and Politics, American University

Main Topic Are Over-Scheduled Kids Missing Out on Childhood? 33 MIN, 3 SEC

Albert Einstein was a universally recognized genius of the 20th Century, but he didn't learn to talk until he was five. That's a favorite anecdote for those who contend that American parents--wanting their kids to have every advantage—are doing more harm than good, over-scheduling them to the point of exhaustion.  Kids need more time to hang out and face life on their own. That's one side of a debate that's been raging for 25 years, with the other side insisting that the so-called "hurried child" is doing just fine. We update an argument faced by the latest generation of parents. Is hyper-parenting a national problem or a phenomenon of the upper middle class? Is it kids who are desperate for a simpler life or the people who raise them?

Guests:
Alvin Rosenfeld, Lecturer, Harvard Medical School's Center for Mental Health
Sandra Hofferth, Professor of Family Science, University of Maryland
Wendy Mogel, Clinical psychologist
Ilene Straus, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, Beverly Hills Unified School District

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