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Need to Know, November 5, 2010

Police guard a closed UPS office Nov. 4, 2010, in San'a, Yemen. Photo: AP/Hasan Jamali

On this week’s episode of Need to Know, we follow up on the recent cargo bomb plot with an in-depth update on Yemen, home to a prominent part of al-Qaida’s global terror network. Alison Stewart also speaks with Christopher Boucek of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on the rising threat of the group al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

We also preview an upcoming documentary by our colleagues at “Nature” about recovering the marshes in southern Iraq. Then, Need to Know talks with The New Yorker’s George Packer and Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico about the dysfunction of the U.S. Senate, and Steve Brodner returns with another editorial cartoon.

Note: If you are outside the U.S., you can watch the show here.

This week on Need to Know:
Yemen emerges as a base for al-Qaida

In this week’s edition of The Watch List, Need to Know uses rare footage shot in Yemen with that troubled country’s counter-terrorism forces to examine Yemen’s emergence as a central front in the fight against terrorism. Plus: See our interview with documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, whose latest film is set in Yemen.
Braving Iraq: Recovering the country’s lost marshlands

Need to Know previews an excerpt from “Braving Iraq,” a Nature documentary about efforts to recover the marshes of southern Iraq, premiering this Sunday on PBS.
George Packer and Tom Udall on the Senate’s ‘empty chamber’

Need to Know talks with The New Yorker’s George Packer and Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico about gridlock in the U.S. Senate, once thought to be the greatest deliberative body in the world. Plus: Listen to our extended audio interview with Packer.
Moynihan and the midterms

In this essay, Jon Meacham considers the legacy of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and compares the interactive political environment in which he lived to the collision of political extremities today. You can watch and read Meacham’s previous essays here.
Steve Brodner: In politics, every day is ‘opposite day’

Editorial cartoonist Steve Brodner looks at a politics the same way children play the game “opposite day,” by comparing what politicians say to what they actually do.
Veterans share their stories, in six words

In cooperation with SMITH magazine, Need to Know features the memoirs of veterans coming home from Afghanistan and Iraq, who told their stories in just six words.

And if you’re looking for the online stories Jon and Alison mentioned this week, you can find them below. Plus, check out our full coverage of Tuesday’s midterm elections.

Filmmaker seeks to change attitudes about America’s wars

GOP wins big, but statehouse victories may be bigger

Climate law gets thumbs up in California



  • Izabella Worwag

    F.Y.I. “Need to Know” was canceled on WTTW Channel 11 Chicago, event thought it was on a schedule as usual _Friday 10 pm. no word from Channel 11 why, no info on their website, customer service office is not working during weekends. nobody to talk to, until Monday from 9 to 5.

  • K.M. Garrett

    Really!?! WTTW canceled “Need To Know”? That would explain why it didn’t air this last Friday and why it’s also not available through Comcast On Demand anymore. That’s quite a shame as I really enjoyed it and thought it a nice replacement for Bill Moyers. Sigh…