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The Syllabus: What you need to know for the September 28 'MHP'

In an age where nouns are habitually being turned into verbs, we have another one for you: Primary (verb.) the action of one candidate to run against an incumb
Credit: AP Photo/John Minchillo

In an age where nouns are habitually being turned into verbs, we have another one for you:

Primary (verb.) the action of one candidate to run against an incumbent during the primary, causing said incumbent to be primaried.

Currently, quite a few senior Republican senators such as Sens. Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, and Mike Enzi are facing primary challenges ahead of the 2014 midterm elections. Why does this matter? Well, for one, it helps explain why the country is quickly hurtling towards a government shutdown. As incumbent Republicans attract more and more conservative primary challengers, they are forced step further to the right in order to hold on to their base at the ballot box.

Join us on Saturday’s Melissa Harris-Perry as host Melissa Harris-Perry and her panel break down this phenomenon, specifically focusing on the Wyoming Republican senatorial primary race between Liz Cheney and Senator Mike Enzi and what it means for the rest of the nation.

What does Google have to do with death? This week, the search engine giant announced that it will be launching a new healthcare company called Calico which aims, among other things, to prolong human life. Americans are already living longer than ever before. But just because we can, doesn’t necessarily mean that we should. On Sunday’s MHP, Harris-Perry will be joined with author Katy Butler, whose new book Knocking On Heaven’s Door: The Path to a Better Way Of Death explores the complicated emotional, economic and personal conversations we should all be having about our lives and our deaths.

The news cycle hit overdrive this week when rumors began to circulate that President Obama might shake hands with Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, during the United Nations General Assembly. Though the meeting did not transpire, they DID speak by phone on Friday, breaking a 34 year silence. That momentous development, along Rouhani’s recognition of the Holocaust  and his recent tweets regarding Iran’s peaceful nuclear program, paint a picture of a very different Iran than what the US is accustomed to. On Sunday’s show, Melissa and her panel will discuss the changing diplomatic relations and the potential thaw between the U.S. and Iran.

Though the terrorist attack on a Kenyan mall has ended, many questions still remain. The group claiming responsibility is Al-Shabab, a militant Islamist group which formed in 2006 to protest the entrance of Ethiopian troops into Somalia. They have also been known to recruit in the United States. Since 2007, al-Shabab has recruited at least 20 young men from Minnesota, home to the largest population of Somali immigrants in the United States. Harris-Perry and her Sunday panel will discuss the ongoing federal investigation into Minnesota’s Somali communities.

Be sure to read what we’ve linked above, and watch Melissa Harris-Perry Saturday at 10 a.m. EST on MSNBC! Also, don’t forget to join us on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #nerdland.