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Snapshot: Yemen

Snapshot: Yemen

04/30/12 07:53PM

Yemeni artist, Boushra Almutawakel, knows what you probably think about Yemen. "I want the wider world to understand that Yemen is so much more that the terrorist haven, foreigner kidnapping, poor and unstable country that is portrayed in the media." Indeed, the past few years have seen Yemen catapulted into the international media as a country of conflict, crisis and extremism. This past February, President Saleh was ousted after ruling for more than thirty years, as Yemen was swept up in the revolutions taking place throughout the Middle East. read more

Ahead on the 4/30 Maddow show

04/30/12 07:09PM

Tonight's guests include:Heidi Hartmann, founder of the Institute for Women’s Policy ResearchJohn Harwood, CNBC chief Washington correspondent and political writer for The New York TimesWhile watching tonight's video preview, take a listen to tonight's soundtrack. (Just be sure to allow the ad below to play out entirely before starting the song)Executive producer Bill Wolff shares a preview of tonight's show:  read more

Tribeca Film Festival: Without Borders

Tribeca Film Festival: Without Borders

04/30/12 06:09PM

One of the knockouts in a very strong field at this year's Tribeca Film Festival here in New York was Una Noche, a remarkable, harrowing film about teenagers in Havana dreaming of starting over in Miami. The film won Best New Narrative Director, Best Cinematography (which is best described as rapturous) and Best Actor for Javier Nunez Florian, seen above with co-star Anailín de la Rúa de la Torre.Then this happened:"Two Cuban actors who went missing in Miami 10 days ago en route to the Tribeca Film Festival have surfaced, announcing that they are indeed defecting to the United States. read more

Monday's Mini-Report

04/30/12 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:* The Obama administration made its first formal acknowledgement today of "its use of drone strikes against terrorism suspects, lifting but not removing the shroud of secrecy that surrounds the nation's expanding use of targeted killing operations overseas."* A win for women's health, Part I: "A federal judge on Monday blocked a Texas rule that would have excluded Planned Parenthood from participating in the state's women's health program.... U.S. read more

Always choose wealthy parents

04/30/12 04:46PM

It didn't as generate much attention as some of his other wealth-related gaffes, probably because it came on a Friday afternoon, but Mitt Romney's latest gem comes with a larger significance.The presumptive Republican presidential nominee was telling students at Otterbein University in Ohio about the virtues of starting new businesses. read more

Obama stays on offense on OBL, 2012

04/30/12 03:38PM

Republicans have spent the last few days trying an odd sort of bullying tactic, effectively telling President Obama, "If you boast about your successful mission to kill bin Laden, we'll slam you for politicizing national security."Watching Obama this morning, I get the sense he doesn't mind the fight (via Jed Lewison).For those who can't watch clips online, the president said:"As far as my personal role and what other folks would do, I'd just recommend that everybody take a look at people's previous statements in terms of whether they thought it was appropriate to go into Pakistan and take out read more

Running against a party, not an opponent

04/30/12 02:17PM

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) recently said she has "very little tolerance" for students drowning in student-loan debt, because young people seem to want opportunities "dumped in your lap." Soon after, President Obama was in North Carolina, reminding students of the lawmaker's rhetoric.When Rep. read more

Would Romney have been in this meeting?

Romney struggles with bin Laden line

04/30/12 01:34PM

Late last week, as part of the anniversary of the mission that killed Osama bin Laden, President Obama's campaign unveiled an ad that celebrated the successful strike, while asking, "Which path would Romney have taken?" Today, the presumptive Republican nominee tried to answer the question.Seeking to neutralize one of President Obama's recent arguments, Mitt Romney said on Monday that "of course" he would have ordered military forces to make the 2011 raid that ended with the death of Osama bin Laden.Asked by a reporter during an appearance here whether he would have gone after the al-Qaida lea read more

Detroit kids start 'Freedom School'

Detroit kids start 'Freedom School'

04/30/12 12:54PM

Part of what you're supposed to do in high school is re-create the world. You start breaking away from the rules adults put on you, and you make the world new. That's your job. Your community, meanwhile, is supposed to give you a safe place to go to school and a decent education when you get there. You study, and they make it possible for you to learn.Deal, right? Like so many other basics of life in Detroit, education is breaking down. read more

Richard Mourdock (left) and Sen. Dick Lugar (right).

Lugar v. Mourdock

04/30/12 12:32PM

There's no shortage of compelling primary fights this year, but I'd argue none is as interesting as the Republican U.S. Senate primary in Indiana. There's only a week to go, and it's not too late for campaign watchers who haven't been keeping an eye on the race to tune in.At the outset, perhaps the most remarkable thing is that this primary exists at all. Lugar is arguably the Senate's most respected Republican statesman, and has traditionally been considered a GOP hero among Hoosiers. The notion of him facing a credible challenger at all seems rather outlandish.Former Sen. read more

Monday's campaign round-up

04/30/12 12:00PM

Today's installment of campaign-related news items that won't necessarily generate a post of their own, but may be of interest to political observers:* In advance of the Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election, Gov. Scott Walker (R) doesn't want to tell anyone where his campaign headquarters is located. He also refuses to publish his daily schedule.* Massachusetts Republicans expected to elect a slate of Mitt Romney delegates to the national convention over the weekend. read more

Obama visits a Chrysler plant in Detroit.

Romney takes credit for Obama policy he condemned

04/30/12 11:11AM

The Detroit Free Press' Tom Walsh recently noticed that Mitt Romney has taken so many contradictory positions on the Obama administration's auto-industry rescue, the Republican "must be on the verge of exhaustion from all the verbal contortions and mental gymnastics he puts himself through."That was in February. The contortions are actually getting worse.One of Mitt Romney's top advisers said Saturday that President Obama's decision to bailout Chrysler and General Motors was actually Romney's idea." position on the bailout was exactly what President Obama followed. read more

McCain discovers a distaste for 'politicization'

04/30/12 11:01AM

President Obama's re-election campaign is eager to remind voters of the mission that killed Osama bin Laden, especially now in light of the one-year anniversary of the raid. This led Obama's team to release a video last week noting the president's role and Mitt Romney's positions on the issue.On Friday, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) feigned outrage, condemning Obama for trying to "politicize" his counter-terrorism accomplishment. read more