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Join KPCC's AirTalk with host Larry Mantle weekdays for lively and in-depth discussions of city news, politics, science, the arts, entertainment, and more. Call-in number: 866-893-5722
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    Mirosoft's New X-Box Holds Midnight Sales Launch In New York's Times Square

    A man plays an XBox One - a new video game console and home entertainment system made by Microsoft- while waiting in line to buy an XBox One from a Microsoft "pop-up shop" at the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle on 22, 2013 in New York City. ; Credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    Playing video games is a more mainstream hobby than it's ever been before. But while more and more people mark themselves as gamers, one the medium's largest demographics remains adolescent men.

    As video games continue to get more complex and intricate, they continue to capture the attention of the work-age, young men demographic. These same people are also faced with realities of life that aren't easy, including a difficult job market. That's why many are dropping out of the job market all together. According to a recent piece in The Economist by  Ryan Avent, the reason for the drop off could be because they're more attracted to the alternate reality of video games as a means to escape their real-life problems.

    How does someone indulge their hobbies without letting them take over their obligations to be a functioning member of society?

    Do video games, which usually involve goals and set tasks to complete those goals, create an unrealistic expectation for how life is supposed to work?

    Guest:

    Douglas Gentile, Ph.D., professor of developmental psychology at Iowa State University

    This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.


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    US-POLITICS-COURT

    Neil M. Gorsuch testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on his nomination to be an associate justice of the US Supreme Court during a hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building.; Credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch is facing the Senate Judiciary Committee for an initial round of questioning that is expected to last at least 10 hours today.

    His confirmation hearing is revealing the great partisan divide encompassing so many issues. So far, he's been asked about overturning high court precedents, his judicial philosophy and the limits of presidential power. He has held back from commenting on how he would rule on issues like abortion, gun control and President Trump’s executive order on immigration. He was also asked about his opinion of Judge Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy opened upon Justice Antonin Scalia’s death. Judge Gorsuch praised Garland for his work as a jurist, but wouldn’t comment on the partisan fight surrounding his confirmation, or lack thereof.

    In his answers, Judge Gorsuch has tried to portray himself as a man who unflinchingly follows the rule of law regardless of political pressure or the parties involved in the case, and said he’s made no promises to anyone in the White House or Congress about how he’d rule on a certain case.

    Guests:

    John McGinnis, the George C. Dix Professor in Constitutional Law at Northwestern

    Margaret Russell, constitutional law professor at Santa Clara University

    This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.


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    Intersex activist and writer Hida Viloria.; Credit: Courtesy of Hida Viloria

    AirTalk®

    Being intersex is about as common as being born with red hair.

    But it might not feel like it, because when you’re intersex, you’re biologically both - or neither - male and female.

    This is different from gender identity and sexual orientation. An intersex person can be straight or LGBTQ, and often wrestles between two cisgender worlds laced with discrimination and misinformation.

    Hida Viloria was chromosomally born as an XX female but with physical traits identifying more as male. It wasn’t until age 27 that Viloria discovered s/he (pronounced “she”) was intersex, and has since become an outspoken activist and educator on the intersex life.

    Host Larry Mantle speaks with Viloria about her new book “Born Both: An Intersex Life.”

    Guest:

    Hida Viloria, intersex activist, writer and author of “Born Both: An Intersex Life” (Hachette Books, 2017); s/he tweets @HidaViloria

    This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.


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    ARGENTINA-ANNULAR-ECLIPSE

    Picture taken on February 26, 2017 showing the moon moving to cover the sun for an annular solar eclipse, as seen from the Estancia El Muster, near Sarmiento, Chubut province.; Credit: ALEJANDRO PAGNI/AFP/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    Scientists and people living in North America are abuzz over the total solar eclipse that’s expected to take place on August 21 this year. It’s the first total sun eclipse to happen in continental US since 1979.

    A total solar eclipse happens once every couple of years, but the phenomenon still draws big crowds and curious onlookers. In the new book, “Mask of the Sun,” writer John Dvorak look at the significance different cultures and people have assigned to both solar and lunar eclipses. Ancient Romans thought that people shouldn’t have sex during an eclipse, and even today, some pregnant women in Mexico wear safety pins on their underwear during one.

    John Dvorak will be talking about his new book, "Mask of the Sun" today, March 22, at 1pm at Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena  

    Guest:

    John Dvorak, a tech writer and author of numerous books, including his latest, “Mask of the Sun: The Science, History and Forgotten Lore of Eclipses” (Pegasus Books, 2017)

    This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.


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    LEBANON-US-BRITAIN-TRAVEL-AVIATION-SECURITY

    A Syrian woman travelling to the United States through Amman opens her laptop before checking in at Beirut international airport on March 22,2017.; Credit: ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    The Department of Homeland security has new requirements for passengers on some airlines from several Middle Eastern and African countries.

    Anything bigger than a cell phone must be packed away in a checked bag and will not be allowed on the flight.

    This new rule was confirmed Tuesday morning by the Trump administration and has since been followed by similar rules for travelers from those countries going to the United Kingdom. It's already drawn outcry for unfair discrimination, but some believe that there is likely precedence for this sort of rule from the TSA.

    Guest:

    Alex Davies, transportation reporter for WIRED

    This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.


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    Los Angeles Aqueduct Owens Valley

    Water flows through the Owens Valley before it enters the aqueduct intake.; Credit: Mae Ryan/KPCC

    AirTalk®

    Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti this week declared a state of emergency for areas near the L.A. Aqueduct.

    The declaration calls for protection of areas at risk of flooding due to this year’s Eastern Sierra snowpack, which is 241 percent above normal, about two times what Angelenos use in a year. The primary land at risk? Owens Valley, where the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) expects up to 1 million acres of runoff. Homes and hydroelectric power plants are at risk with the runoff, as well as dust mitigation infrastructure on Owens Lake, which the LADWP has invested more than $1 billion since 2000. Garcetti has also taken this as an opportunity to address climate change issues, and said he’s committed to making the city more sustainable.

    So how is the LADWP planning to deal with this? And would L.A. be liable for any damages to Owens Valley?

    Guests:

    Eric Garcetti, mayor of Los Angeles

    Richard Harasick, senior assistant general manager of the Water System for Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

    Mike Prather, Owens Lake advocate for the Eastern Sierra Audubon, a nonprofit wildlife conservation organization; chair of the Inyo County Water Commission

    This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.


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    TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY CARLOS MARIO MAR

    An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officer guards a group of 116 Salvadorean immigrants that wait to be deported,at Willacy Detention facility in Raymondville, Texas.; Credit: JOSE CABEZAS/AFP/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signed an executive order expanding the LAPD's ban on stopping people suspected of being in the country illegally.

    What's called Special Order 40 now applies to the Fire Department, Airport Police and Port Police. The mayor announced the action yesterday, at the same time LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said fewer Latino Angelenos are reporting domestic violence and sexual assault. Sex assault reports are down 25-percent year-to-date. Domestic violence claims down ten-percent. The chief said fears of deportation are discouraging those reports.

    Meanwhile, immigration enforcement advocates are chiming in following Chief Beck’s comments. In a statement, Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Virginia Kice told KPCC’s AirTalk that law enforcement’s suggestions that immigration enforcement is contributing to the decline in crime reporting was “entirely speculative and irresponsible.”

    Today on AirTalk, a former ICE special agent in charge for Los Angeles responds to those claims.

    Statement from ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice:

    "Los Angeles law enforcement officials’ suggestion that expanded immigration enforcement has contributed to a recent decline in the reporting of certain types of crimes is entirely speculative and irresponsible.

    On the contrary, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recognizes the imperative for crime victims and witnesses to come forward. The agency works closely with state and local law enforcement to see that foreign nationals who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking crimes are informed about the availability of special visas to enable them to remain in the U.S. Additionally, the fact that someone is the immediate victim or witness to a significant crime is a factor ICE prominently considers when weighing how to proceed in a particular case.

    ICE’s enforcement actions are targeted and lead driven, prioritizing individuals who pose a risk to our communities. The agency’s officers conduct themselves in accordance with their authorities under federal law and the Constitution.

    The inference by Los Angeles officials that the agency’s execution of its mission is undermining public safety is outrageous and wrongheaded. In fact, the greater threat to public safety is local law enforcement’s continuing unwillingness to honor immigration detainers. Rather than transferring convicted criminal aliens to ICE custody as requested, agencies, including the Los Angeles Police Department, are routinely releasing these offenders back onto the street to potentially reoffend, and their victims are often other members of the immigrant community.

    ICE looks forward to working with Los Angeles and other jurisdictions across the country in the coming weeks and months on this important issue."

    Guests:

    Eric Garcetti, mayor of the City of Los Angeles

    Claude Arnold, retired special agent in charge for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations in the greater Los Angeles area

    This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.


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    Firearms Incident Takes Place Outside Parliament

    Armed officers attend to the scene outside Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament on March 22, 2017 in London, England. ; Credit: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    LONDON (AP) - A vehicle mowed down pedestrians on London's Westminster Bridge, killing at least one woman and leaving others with injuries described as catastrophic.

    Around the same time Wednesday, a knife-wielding attacker stabbed a police officer and was shot on the grounds outside Britain's Parliament, sending the compound into lockdown.

    Guest: 

    Hal Kempfer, retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel and CEO of KIPP knowledge and intelligence program professionals; he does counter terrorism training with government entities around California

    This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.


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    House Rules Committee Meet On Formulating American Health Care Act

    (L-R) House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) attend a House Rules Committee meeting to set the rules for debate and amendments on the American Health Care Act.; Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    The vote for the GOP’s Obamacare replacement bill is still slated for today, even as questions over its passage in the House linger.

    President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan have been working tirelessly to bring conservative Republicans on board. About 25 House Republicans belonging to the Freedom Caucus have vowed to vote down the bill. Only 22 down votes are needed to bury its chances in the House.

    President Trump is set to meet with this faction of Republicans on changes they want to see in the bill.

    Guests:

    Lisa Mascaro, congressional reporter for the Los Angeles Times who’s been following the story

    Margot Sanger-Katz, correspondent for The New York Times’s Upshot covering health care, who’s been following the story

    Jennifer Haberkorn, senior health care reporter for POLITICO who’s been following the story

    This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.


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    BIO-REAGAN-HIS OFFICE

    Former US President Ronald Reagan sits 09 June 1989 in his office in Century City near Los Angeles. Reagan was US president from 1980 to 1988.; Credit: CARLOS SCHIEBECK/AFP/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    In his fourth and most recent book about Ronald Reagan, biographer Craig Shirley explores Reagan’s, from failed 1976 presidential run to 1980 victory.

    “Reagan Rising” explores the four years during which Reagan remade himself as well as the identity of the conservative movement.

    Host Larry Mantle talks to Craig Shirley about Reagan’s trajectory, his lasting impact on the Republican party and more.

    Guest:

    Craig Shirley, biographer, lecturer and historian; author of “Reagan Rising: The Decisive Years, 1976-1980”  (Broadside Books, 2017)

    This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.


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    LAUSD Special Ed - 2

    Seventeen-year-old Passion Rencher, who has cerebral palsy, attends Widney High School – a special education magnet school in near Mid-City.; Credit: Maya Sugarman/KPCC

    AirTalk®

    Public school districts in the United States will now have to provide students with disabilities meaningful, “appropriately ambitious” educational opportunities to advance academically.

    After hearing the case back in January, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of an autistic Colorado boy and his family, who took the Douglas County School District to court arguing that he was not provided with a “free and appropriate public education” as is required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1975. What ‘appropriate’ means may differ in each individual case, and the justices wouldn’t go as far as to give it a definition in their unanimous decision, but they did come down on the opposite side of other federal courts, which have ruled that the district only needs to provide educational benefits that are more than ‘minimal or trivial.’ The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver had previously ruled in favor of the district.

    What will the overall impact be on public school districts across the country? How are local districts in Southern California responding? What trade-offs will have to be made?

    Guests:

    Pedro Noguera, Ph.D., distinguished professor of education at the UCLA Graduate School of Education

    Alex Rojas, Ph.D., superintendent of the Bassett Unified School District, which is located in the San Gabriel Valley; serves some unincorporated parts of L.A. County and portions of the City of Industry, La Puente and Whittier

    This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.


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    A marijuana plant is displayed during the 2016 Cannabis Business Summit & Expo last month in Oakland, Calif.

    File: A marijuana plant is displayed during the 2016 Cannabis Business Summit & Expo in Oakland.; Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    Natalie Chudnovsky | AirTalk®

    A bill introduced by six California legislators in February would prohibit state and local law enforcement from helping federal drug agents arrest and investigate marijuana license holders unless they receive a court order, effectively creating a sanctuary for the cannabis industry here.

    Proponents argue the bill will protect sellers and growers applying for state licenses from a federal crackdown. But some members of local law enforcement have come out against the measure, calling it an unnecessary obstacle.

    We talk to the lead author of the bill and the president of the California State Sheriff’s Association about the pros and cons of the legislation.

    Guests:

    Reggie Jones-Sawyer, (D-Los Angeles) CA assemblymember serving the 59th district and the lead author of the bill, AB 1578

    Donny Youngblood, Kern County Sheriff and president of the California State Sheriff’s Association

     

    This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.


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    US-ENVIRONMENT-ECONOMY

    The remains of a marina in Salton City, California, March 1st, 2017.
    ; Credit: EVA HAMBACH/AFP/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    The largest lake in the state of California could soon finally be on its way to recovery after years of delays and hand-wringing.

    The California Natural Resources Agency announced a 10 year, $383 million plan that aims to complete a number of projects left to languish for the last several years while funding was approved. It starts with building a network of small ponds and marshy wetlands across 29,000 acres of land that will not only help cover the large swaths of lakebed that create toxic dust storms, but also provide a habitat for migrating birds. So far, the state has earmarked $80.5 million for these projects, but the plan does outline more funding that will be necessary, and it’s not clear exactly from where that money will come.

    Supports say the plan is long overdue and a step in the direction of finally resolving the expensive environmental crisis at the Salton Sea. Critics say while it’s certainly time something be done about the ongoing issues, the fact remains that no one knows how the restoration will be paid for or what happens if the state doesn’t follow through.

    Desert Sun reporter Ian James joins Larry on AirTalk today to share the latest update on efforts to restore the Salton Sea.

    Guest:

    Ian James, reporter for The Desert Sun covering water and the environment who has been covering the Salton Sea story; he tweets @TDSIanJames

    This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.


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    Senate Holds Confirmation Hearing For Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch

    Judge Neil Gorsuch testifies during the third day of his Supreme Court confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, March 22, 2017.; Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    After three grueling days of testimony that ranged in subject matter from abortion to interpretation of the constitution and even whether Judge Gorsuch would rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck (he didn’t answer), the Senate is set up for a contentious vote over confirming President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court.

    Democrats have a tough road ahead, lacking the votes to outright stop the confirmation but facing mounting pressure from grassroots groups to block his nomination. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has said that if Democrats choose to filibuster the vote, they will employ the ‘nuclear option’ and change the rules so that a simple majority of 51 ‘yes’ votes is all they’ll need, instead of a 60 vote supermajority. With 52 Republicans in the Senate Caucus, they’d have no problem reaching that simple majority. McConnell has said he plans for Gorsuch to be confirmed by the time the Senate goes on recess for Easter on April 7th, adding the clock to the list of hurdles for Democrats, who won’t have much time for debate when the nomination hits the Senate floor April 3rd.

    What are the strategies being employed by each party? What do Dems get out of filibustering if GOP is going to go nuclear if they do? Is that strategic? How will GOP react?

    Guests:

    Symone Sanders, Democratic strategist with Priorities USA, a D.C.-based political consulting firm, and former national press secretary for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign; she tweets @SymoneDSanders

    Reed Galen, Republican political strategist and owner of Jedburghs, LLC., a public affairs and campaign consultancy firm in Orange County; he tweets @reedgalen

    This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.


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    House Votes On Trump's American Health Care Act

    Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) walks to the House floor for a procedural vote relating to the American Health Care Act, on Capitol Hill, March 24, 2017. ; Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

    AirTalk®

    House Republicans are scheduled to vote on the GOP’s plan to replace the Affordable Care Act today, after President Trump told lawmakers that they’d either go ahead with the vote, or live with Obamacare as the health care rule of the land.

    The Friday vote comes after House Speaker Paul Ryan postponed a vote on the bill Thursday due to opposition from some moderate and conservative Republicans.

    Guests:

    Lisa Mascaro, Congressional reporter for the LA Times that has been following the story

    Margot Sanger-Katz, correspondent for the New York Times’s Upshot, which takes an economic look at current news and events. She focuses on health care and other issues

    Terrence Dopp, reporter for Bloomberg News who is following the story. He’s on Capitol Hill

    This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.