CNN Radio News Day: February 20, 2013
Last Week's Senate Hearing On Impacts Of Sequestration
February 20th, 2013
04:49 PM ET

CNN Radio News Day: February 20, 2013

CNN Radio News Day is an evening news program providing an informative, thoughtful and creative look at the day's events. It's posted Monday through Friday at 4:30 pm ET.

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(CNN) – Welcome to CNN Radio News Day.

  • In just over a week the so-called sequester is set to take effect.  The automatic, across-the-board spending cuts, add up to more than $1 trillion.  By law these blind budget cuts are supposed to hit across every program. That could lead to furloughs or reduced hours for USDA meat inspectors, air traffic controllers, customs agents, and thousands of civilians who work for the Defense Department. Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter says 80,000 civilians who work at the Pentagon will be forced to take off nearly a month unpaid:

"The net of it is that many of them will be furloughed for as many as 22 days before April 1st, say, and the end of the year.  In other words, a fifth of their paycheck gone. So that's a real human impact." FULL POST

February 20th, 2013
10:33 AM ET

Teen's slaying prompts South African soul searching

By Emma Lacey-Bordeaux, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @CNNEmma

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

South Africa is no stranger to violence against women. Fully 71 percent of women report having been victims of sexual violence, a rate that's among the highest in the world.

Still, the nation is not inured to the horror these crimes inflict. Lindiwe Mazibuko serves in South Africa's parliament. She says the rape and murder of 17-year-old Anene Booyson should spur people to action:

[1:05] "I believe that this can be a watershed moment. I believe it's up to South African society, political leaders, the government and those in the criminal justice system to decide whether or not this will be a watershed moment."

The brutality of the crime, as well as Booyson's bravery identifying one of her attackers before she died, has captivated South Africa. Protesters marched, columnists penned emotional editorials, and President Jacob Zuma weighed in as well.

But political scientist Sally Matthews says much of the discussion misconstrues the problem:

[2:24] "What concerns me is that a lot of the responses to gender-based violence call the men who commit these acts monsters or think of such men as being very different from the rest of us."

Matthews argues that instead of distancing these perpetrators from society as a whole, the community should consider how broadly-held attitudes and opinions contribute to a culture that tolerates violence.

The Valentine's day shooting at the home of Olympian Oscar Pistorius, dropped right in the middle of this conversation.

Pistorius has professed his innocence in the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. But he faces a charge of premeditated murder. Authorities said there had been "previous incidents" at the home, including "allegations of a domestic nature," but did not provide details.

In an eerie connection between the two cases, Steenkamp posted a tribute to Booyson on Instagram. Four days later, she died of multiple gunshot wounds.

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February 20th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

Blind budget cuts, explained with a tomato

By Lisa Desjardins, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @LisaDCNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

Capitol Hill (CNN) – So, what the heck is this razor hanging over the federal government? The forced budget cuts, or sequester, are more than your regular breed of spending knife.

This is more of a chainsaw. Agencies have little flexibility in how the cuts hit, and now, if they go into effect, have only six months to come up with tens of billions in savings.

A few examples of what this will mean?

[1:49] Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told members of Congress last week, “At the major international airports, average wait times to clear customs will increase by 50%.”