It Was 20 Years Ago Today: The Fall of the Berlin Wall
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There are huge celebrations in Berlin, as world leaders gather to mark an event that changed the face of the world. It was twenty years ago today that the Berlin Wall came down. Guest host Sara Terry asks whether the past two decades have lived up to the promise of that moment, and how the end of the Cold War era shaped the political and economic realities of today. Also, the Supreme Court considers life sentences for children, and a last-minute change in the healthcare bill passed by the House has given abortion opponents their biggest victory in years.
Banner image: A woman places flowers in the back wall (east side, looking west) of a preserved segment of the Berlin wall during a commemorative event to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the wall in Berlin today. Photo: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images
Supreme Court Hears Appeals on Non-homicide Cases for Youths ()
Today the Supreme Court will hear two cases that challenge life sentences for children, without possibility of parole, in cases where murder was not involved. Four years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that juveniles who commit crimes before the age of eighteen should not be subject to the death penalty. Dahlia Lithwick is a senior editor and legal correspondent at Slate.com.
It Was 20 Years Ago Today: The Fall of the Berlin Wall ()
It seemed like a fact of geopolitical life that would never change: the Berlin Wall, part of the aftermath of World War II and an unyielding reality of the Cold War. But all that changed in the blink of an eye twenty years ago. In one of the most pivotal moments of the 20th century, the Wall came tumbling down. Communism crumbled, the Cold War ended, and a superpower faded. How has the world changed since the Iron Curtain was lifted? Has the triumph of democracy changed life for the better in East Germany? How has political power shifted within Europe? How are Third World countries, once courted as clients, been affected by the end of a two-superpower world?
Above: The individually painted dominos fall in front of Brandenburg Gate along the former route of the wall in Berlin, as part of the celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Photo: Axel Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images
- Marcus Walker: Berlin Correspondent, Wall Street Journal, @MMQWalker
- Mary Elise Sarotte: Public Policy Fellow, American Academy in Berlin
- Josef Joffe: Publisher and Editor, Die Zeit
- Charles Kupchan: former Director for European Affairs, National Security Council
- Orville Schell: Director, Asia Society's Center on US-China Relations, @orvilleschell
Last-minute Abortion Deal in Healthcare Reform Bill ()
Late Saturday, a provision was added to the healthcare bill passed by the House that has sharpened the battle in the abortion debate. The provision blocks the use of federal subsidies for insurance that covers elective abortions. It’s been called one of the most significant victories for abortion opponents in recent years. Alec MacGillis of the Washington Post explains how the new restrictions wound up in the bill.
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