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FROM THIS EPISODE

At the UN, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called George Bush "the devil."  He's reached out to Fidel Castro and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  On Sunday, voters may given him new powers and extend his influence for a long time to come.  We hear what that could mean for his country, the region and the interests of the United States. Also, protests in Sudan call for execution of a British teacher, and America's hurricane season goes out with a whimper.


Citizens opposing the constitutional amendment. Photo: Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images

Producers:
Sonya Geis
Katie Cooper
Dan Konecky

Main Topic Will Voters Give Hugo Chávez All the Power He Wants? 35 MIN, 23 SEC

The King of Spain has asked Hugo Chavez to "shut up," but the President of Venezuela is making his voice heard--at home and around the world. First elected in 1998, Hugo Chavez has survived an attempted coup, a two-month general strike and a recall election. Last year, he was returned to office with more than 60% of the vote. On Sunday, Venezuelans will go back to the polls for a referendum that could make Chavez more powerful than ever, the chance to be re-elected for the rest of his life. Some former supporters call it dictatorship in the making. We find out why "socialism for the 21st century" has made Chavez so popular, especially with the poor, and hear about billions for neighboring countries, friendships with Castro and Ahmadinejad and hostility to the United States. 

Guests:
Simon Romero, New York Times (@viaSimonRomero)
Ricardo Hausmann, Professor of Economic Development, Harvard University
Olivia Goumberi, Director, Venezuela Information Office
Moises Naim, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (@moisesnaim)
Gregory Wilpert, Sociologist and freelance journalist

Making News Protests in Sudan Call for Execution of British Teacher 6 MIN, 4 SEC

In Khartoum, British schoolteacher Gilliam Gibbons was spared the lash, but sentenced to 15 days in jail for allowing her students to name a teddy bear Mohammad. Today, she was moved to a secret location after thousands of Sudanese rallied to demand her execution. Rob Crilly reports for the Christian Science Monitor and Time magazine online.

Guests:
Rob Crilly, Reporter, Christian Science Monitor and Times of London

Reporter's Notebook From Category 5 to Category Gone 7 MIN, 6 SEC

This is the last day of the official Hurricane Season for the Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico. Florida was devastated by hurricanes in 2004 and 2005, but predictions of more to come did not materialize for the last two years.  While Mexico and Central America have been hit very hard by Dean and Felix, the Southeastern United States was hardly ruffled. One sign of growing complacency is that one in five insurance policies sold after Katrina are not being renewed. Emergency planners are worked up about public apathy and overconfidence, and the Miami Herald is warning its readers, "Don't get complacent." What about New Orleans? Mark Schleifstein is an environmental reporter for the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Guests:
Mark Schleifstein, Times-Picayune (@mschleifsteintp)

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