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FROM THIS EPISODE

New public schools will be teaching Arabic and Hebrew language--and culture. Can they do it without advocating religion? The latest debate about the separation of church and state. Also, the latest intelligence on the prospects for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and, on Reporter's Notebook, America's top intelligence officer reveals new information on surveillance of terrorist suspects...then leaves it up to a local paper to decide what to print.

Producers:
Frances Anderton
Karen Radziner
Vanessa Romo

Reporter's Notebook Top Intelligence Official De-Classifies Surveillance Program Details 7 MIN, 41 SEC

America's top intelligence official has given a Texas newspaper new information about court-approved wiretaps of terrorist suspects, but he left it up to the El Paso Times to decide how much to reveal in the interests of national security. National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell told the Times that fewer than 100 people in the United State are subject to court-approved wiretaps. He said agents are listening to "thousands" of people overseas. He also confirmed that telecommunications companies are assisting in surveillance for which courts are not asked for warrants.  Steven Aftergood is the director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists.

Guests:
Steven Aftergood, Director of the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy

Main Topic Language, Culture - and God - in Public Education 35 MIN, 23 SEC

With religious diversity on the increase, Christmas carols and crosses have raised controversies for America's public schools. But debate has been raised to a new level by an Arabic "themed" school in Brooklyn, New York and a Hebrew "charter" school in Hollywood, Florida. "Another school year, another round of controversy about religion in public education" reads an article in this coming Sunday's New York Times Nagazine about the two schools. Both schools say they will focus only on language and culture. Critics say it's inevitable they'll be teaching Islam and Judaism at taxpayer expense. It's question as old as the Constitution. Are there guidelines to help public schools from crossing the line that separates church and state?

Guests:
Noah Feldman, Professor of Law, Harvard University
Mona Eltahawy, syndicated columnist (@monaeltahawy )
Kevin 'Seamus' Hasson, Attorney with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
Barry Lynn, Executive Director, Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Making News Report on Stability Expresses Doubt over Iraqi Government 5 MIN, 49 SEC

Yesterday, President Bush said Iraq's Prime Minister is a "good guy" with a tough job.  Today, his administration released the latest intelligence on Maliki's prospects. Peter Baker covers the White House for the Washington Post.

Guests:
Peter Baker, New York Times (@peterbakernyt)

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