After arduous six-party talks, North Korea agreed to shut down its main nuclear reactor and eventually dismantle its atomic weapons program, just four months after the communist state shocked the world by testing a nuclear bomb. The deal marks the first concrete plan for disarmament in more than three years of six-nation negotiations, and could potentially herald a new era of cooperation in the region. Ted Chen discusses the situation with author and Gordon Chang, journalist and author of Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes On the World (Random House, 2006). Also joining the conversation is Joseph Cirincione of the Center for American Progress and member of the Council on Foreign Relations. His book Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons (Columbia University Press) will be published in March.
The Los Angeles Unified School District and the union representing its teachers announced a tentative agreement on a three-year contract. Ted Chen talks with AJ Duffy, President of United Teachers of Los Angeles about the agreement.
A group of California democrats, including Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, plan to reintroduce the Compassionate Choices Act in the state legislature this week. The language of the bill does not include the word "suicide." It would allow terminally ill patients, who are of sound mind, to request medication from doctors "to provide comfort with an assurance of peaceful dying if suffering becomes unbearable." Linguist Geoffrey Nunberg joins guest host Ted Chen to discuss the language and euphemisms used both politically and socially, when talking about death. California Assemblyman Lloyd Levine also joins the conversation.
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney formally announced his candidacy for President today. The Republican suggested that his reputation as a relative outsider in Washington uniquely positions him to tackle the country's challenges. Although he is not nearly as well known as candidates John McCain and Rudy Giuliani, he is seen as a serious contender for the Republican nomination. Speaking with guest host Ted Chen are republican operative and President of Americans for Tax Reform Grover Norquist, and Duf Sundheim, outgoing chairman of the California Republican Party.
In his new book Us Guys: The True and Twisted Mind of the American Man (Penguin Press), award-winning journalist and author Charlie LeDuff recounts his journey across the country in search of the heart and soul of today's American Male. In his trek from Coos Bay, Oregon to Miami, Florida, LeDuff observed American men and faithfully recorded their search for the American dream, and the sweetness they find in living it out, if only for a moment. The author joins Ted Chen to talk about the true and twisted psyche of the average American man.