"Thug" is a very imprecise word. And as producer Nancy Updike explains, the subjectivity of its meaning has been particularly apparent during the recent revolution in Egypt.
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Nancy Updike reports from Cairo, Egypt about what people were doing there this week, namely: going to meetings to create their new democracy.
In Tehran in 2004, Omid Memarian confessed to doing things he'd never done, meeting people he'd never met, following plots he'd never heard of. Why he did that, and why a lot of other people have confessed to the same things, is all in the fine print. This American Life producer Nancy Updike tells the story.
Producer Nancy Updike shares a pattern that she's noticed recently: eleven steps that Middle Eastern dictators have been taking on the path to losing power.
Show host Nancy Updike also hosts a radio movie night.
Last summer when Nancy Updike was reporting in Iraq, Sarah, an Iraqi woman in her 40s, was her interpreter. But it wasn't the first time Sarah had had that gig.
Ira Glass hands off the show to guest host Nancy Updike, via a quick cell phone call, as he heads out of town to report a story. Nancy isn't quite sure how how she feels about being given this new role... ambivalence not uncommon for the receivers of gifts.
Nancy Updike follows up on a Haaretz newspaper story about a sting operation against a medical marijuana supplier in Israel—a case where being giving was not the best idea.
Nancy speaks with Nazanin Rafsanjani about the Iranian custom Tarof, which leads people to constantly offer things they may not want to give, and to refuse things they really want. Nazanin is a producer for the public radio show On The Media.