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FROM THIS EPISODE

Maintaining America’s aging nuclear arsenal requires a perfect safety record.  One mistake could lead to untold destruction.  Is the cost of restoration worth up to a trillion dollars?  Also, three Americans and a Briton killed in a Jerusalem synagogue, and an executive of Uber has proposed digging dirt on reporters who’ve criticized the ride-sharing company.  Would opposition research alienate the customers Uber needs most?

Photo: Inside a Peacekeeper missile silo at Vandenberg Air Force Base.(Ssgt Andy Dunaway, Defense Department Photo)

Producers:
Evan George
Benjamin Gottlieb
Katie Cooper

Three Americans, Briton Killed in Jerusalem Synagogue 6 MIN, 30 SEC

Four rabbis — three Americans and one Briton, and all joint citizens of Israel -- were killed today in a Jerusalem synagogue by two Palestinians armed with knives, axes and guns. Both killers were shot to death by police.  President Obama condemned the attacks, calling it, “a tragedy for both nations.” Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu promised to, “demolish the homes of the terrorists who committed this massacre and to accelerate the demolishment of homes of previous terrorists and enforce law, to make punishment more severe and to outlaw all sorts of organizations.” Sheera Frenkel is with Buzz Feed in Jerusalem.

Guests:
Sheera Frenkel, BuzzFeed (@sheeraf)

Are America’s Aging Nuclear Weapons Worth Restoring? 35 MIN, 7 SEC

The Cold War is over, and even the commander of America’s nuclear forces says an atomic attack by Russia is “hardly worth discussing.”  “The greatest risk to my force,” he adds, “is an accident…[or] doing something stupid.”  But the staff assigned to maintain weapons that could destroy much of the world has no sense of urgency—or even their own importance. The nuclear arsenal has been allowed to fall into disrepair — making it subject to possible errors or accidents of enormous destructive power. But the US still maintains more than 4000 nuclear warheads and the bombers, submarines and land-based missiles that carry them need replacement.  Should the Pentagon spend up to a trillion dollars on yesterday’s weapons?  We hear what life’s like in the missile silos of Montana.

Guests:
Josh Harkinson, Mother Jones magazine (@JoshHarkinson)
Stephen Cheney, American Security Project
Dan Goure, Lexington Institute (@dgoure)
Kingston Reif, Arms Control Association (@KingstonAReif)

More:
Hagel on changes to US nuclear deterrent enterprise
Hagel on nuclear enterprise airmen as ‘indispensable’ in national security
Harkinson’s article, “Death Wears Bunny Slippers”
American Security Project on nuclear security

Uber Battles Itself 8 MIN, 14 SEC

At a New York dinner party, Uber’s senior vice-president, Emil Michael, reportedly proposed a million-dollar opposition-research type campaign against reporters who have criticized the company.  The dominant company in America’s ride-sharing business may be harming its own reputation by alienating the very people who use its service. That’s according to Alison Griswold of Slate.com, who’s written a lot about Uber.

Guests:
Alison Griswold, Slate.com (@alisongriswold)

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