AirTalk for December 21, 2009

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Senate health bill one step closer to passage

After snowed-in weekend negotiations, the Senate is on track to vote on their health reform bill before Christmas. How does it compare to the bill passed by the House? What will emerge from conference committee? And, how much pork was packed in, to pull conservative Dems off the fence?
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Advocates slam Facebook privacy changes

Are people who post personal pictures and daily status updates online really itching for privacy? The short answer is yes. But Facebook’s new privacy enhancements are falling short. Last Thursday, a coalition of privacy groups asked regulators to look into the new, controversial settings. The complaint, filed by The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), says the features reduce customer control and make users’ pictures, location, gender and friend lists automatically public. Is Facebook private enough? Or should we un-friend it?
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Iran's leading dissident cleric dies

The death of Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, the chief opposition cleric in Iran, set off protests following his funeral today. Montazeri, once a follower of Ayatollah Khomeini, became a symbol of defiance in Iran when he denounced the politically motivated killings of his former mentor. Where does the opposition fit into the future Iranian political structure?
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Climate deal reached

A non-binding agreement on climate change has been reached by world leaders in Copenhagen. Will it have lasting effects on global warming? What does the agreement say about the relationship between the United States and China? Was anything actually accomplished at Copenhagen?
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Ed Sullivan's America

"Tonight, we have a really big show…" Gerald Nachman's book "Right Here on Our Stage Tonight!" explores the history of the Ed Sullivan Show and its place as an American institution. As kingmaker (and tastemaker) of American pop culture in the mid-20th century, looking at the Ed Sullivan Show means looking at our own history. Rock n' roll, civil rights, the Red Scare – the man they called "The Great Stone Face" was a part of it all.
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