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FROM THIS EPISODE

If the 1900's were "America's Century," the first ten years of the 21st Century may belong to somebody else. Or will a decade of disasters pave the way to recovery in economics, politics, foreign affairs, and national security? We sample some authoritative opinions. Also, ties between Yemen and al Qaeda frustrate President Obama's plans for closing Guantánamo.

Producers:
Christian Bordal
Karen Radziner

Main Topic A Look Back at the First Decade of the 21st Century 43 MIN, 4 SEC

Remember the Y2K computer meltdown? It was predicted for the change of the millennium exactly ten years ago tonight. It never happened. Instead, the US has been rocked by a decade of unexpected calamities. Time magazine calls the last ten years "the decade from Hell," based on a historic series of unexpected calamities from September 11, 2001 to the Great Recession. The image of the United States has been badly tarnished in the minds of people around the world, and in the opinion of many Americans themselves. But despite political scandals, natural disasters, military failures and the loss of millions of jobs, 80% say they're happy enough about their personal lives. Will they respond to President Obama's call of a year ago to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and start over again?

Guests:
Frank Newport, Gallup Poll (@gallup)
Larry Sabato, University of Virginia Center for Politics (@larrysabato)
Felix Salmon, Reuters (@felixsalmon)
Robin Wright, US Institute of Peace (@wrightr)
Brian Jenkins, RAND Corporation (@BrianMJenkins)

Making News Yemen-al Qaeda Ties Complicate Obama's Guantanamo Plans 7 MIN, 24 SEC

The near disaster of Christmas Day has added another complication to the Obama Administration's plan to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay.  It has to do with a large number of prisoners who would be repatriated to Yemen, according to David Savage of the Los Angeles Times.

Guests:
David Savage, Los Angeles Times (@latimes)

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