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Today we start with a two-part look at today’s Oscar nominations: First, a rundown of the nominees, surprises and snubs. Then, a look at why no non-white actors are nominated. Then, continuing our weeklong look at President Obama’s unfinished business, we examine the situation in Afghanistan. After that, Madeleine speaks to a journalist who recently visited Guantanamo prison, another one of Obama’s unfulfilled promises. And finally, in our regular Thursday web roundup, Powerball and more.

Banner Image: Leonardo DiCaprio as explorer Hugh Glass in "The Revenant" from 20th Century Fox

Oscars: The Nominations 8 MIN, 41 SEC

Today we got the nominations for this year’s Oscar awards. We review the surprises, the snubs, and… “The Revenant.”

Josh Dickey, Mashable (@JLDlite)

Hollywood's Diversity Problem 9 MIN, 17 SEC

Another Oscar snub – people of color. For the second year in a row, the Academy has only nominated white actors. The Oscars are a high-profile example of what has been dogging Hollywood for a long time now, the lack of diversity both onscreen and behind the camera. So – how to change that?

Darnell Hunt, UCLA Bunche Center for African American Studies (@BuncheUCLA)
Janet Yang, film producer (@janetyang1)

Obama's Unfinished Business: Afghanistan 9 MIN, 1 SEC

President Obama is entering his last year in office. All week, we’ve been discussing his unfinished business. Today: Afghanistan. With U.S. forces being drawn down, the Taliban has been resurgent. The group holds more territory now than it has at any time since it was ousted from power in 2001. The Islamic State group is also gaining a foothold. Yesterday, seven people were killed in an Islamic State attack in the city of Jalalabad. The U.S. has concluded that Afghan forces are not ready to hold the country against insurgents, so American troops will remain. President Obama announced last October that we would maintain between 5,000 and 10,000 troops in Afghanistan through the end of his time in office. We examine the situation.

Christine Fair, Georgetown University (@CChristineFair)

Guantanamo Goes On 11 MIN, 42 SEC

The Pentagon today announced that it would transfer 10 detainees out of Guantanamo Bay. The detainees are from Yemen but will be transferred to Oman. Despite campaign promises dating back to 2008, President Obama has been unable to close the prison. But getting to that better way has been a long slog. At the height of the war on terror, Guantanamo held almost 800 prisoners. After today’s news, the number will stand at 93. Madeleine speaks to a journalist who recently visited the prison.

Janet Reitman, Rolling Stone (@janetreitman)

JANET REITMAN for Rolling Stone

Web Roundup 8 MIN, 20 SEC

In this week’s installment of our regular Thursday web roundup, we talk Powerball and more

Xeni Jardin, BoingBoing.net (@xeni)

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