The Takeaway

What We Can Learn From the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban

Feb. 27, 2018: Almost three decades ago, a school shooting prompted congressional action on assault weapons. In 2018, what can we learn from the assault weapons ban of 1994? The Takeaway has that conversation, plus a look at Boko Haram in Nigeria; violence facing citizens in Syria; how one false statement brought down a Wall Street company; and how soccer was used to unite a changing American city. 

Woman with glasses
Whose Century Is It?

Seeing into the future

Blind seers aside, it’s easier to see where you’re going, on the road and in life, if you can actually see. More than half of Americans wear glasses; in poorer and more remote regions of the world, it’s estimated that some two billion people need glasses but don’t have access to them, cutting into their ability to learn, work and live a full life. A social entrepreneurial effort called VisionSpring has reached millions of such people in Asia and Africa, selling glasses at affordable prices to customers who earn less than $4 a day. Host Mary Kay Magistad talks with VisionSpring’s founder Jordan Kassalow, and president Ella Gudwin.

Dandal Kura Radio International Logo
Whose Century Is It?

Radio Free(ing) Africa

An unsung weapon against terrorism that has proven successful in Africa is the power of the airwaves — shortwave radio reaching people with reliable information, and programming that helps educate them, connect them and imagine a different kind of future. The ubiquity of cellphones allows people in conflict regions to call in, challenge abuses of power and have a voice. That’s worked in the Congo, with Radio Okapi. It’s working now in areas where Boko Haram has been active in West Africa, and the new Dandal Kura radio network is now broadcasting. Host Mary Kay Magistad talks with her old editor and friend David Smith, who helped set up both.