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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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    Dylan Roof In Court Over Judge's Gag Order

    Dylan Roof (C), the suspect in the mass shooting that left nine dead in a Charleston church last month, appears in court July 18, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina.; Credit: Pool/Getty Images

    AirTalk

    After his own lawyers challenged his mental fitness for trial, Dylann Roof - accused of killing 9 black parishioners in South Carolina last year - has won the right to act as his own attorney in his federal death penalty trial.

    Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel said he would reluctantly accept the 22-year-old's "unwise" decision. Roof, an avowed white supremacist, is charged with counts including hate crimes and obstruction of religion in connection with the June 17, 2015 attack at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. During the massacre, Roof shouted racial insults at the six women and three men he is charged with killing, authorities said - leaving three unharmed so they could tell the world the shootings were because he hated black people.

    How will the judge prevent the trial from becoming a spectacle, a platform for racist rhetoric, and another attack on victims who Roof might question? If convicted, could Roof's "pro se representation" increase the risk of an appeal based on his own supposed incompetence representing himself?

    Guest: 

    Eric L. Muller, Professor of Law, University of North Carolina School of Law

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


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    President-Elect Donald Trump Holds Meetings At His Trump Tower Residence In New York

    Rep. Tom Price gets into an elevator at Trump Tower, November 16, 2016 in New York City. ; Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

    AirTalk

    President-Elect Donald Trump has made two cabinet picks today -- former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao as Secretary of Transportation, and Congressman Tom Price as Health and Human Services Secretary.

    Picking Price seems to indicate Trump isn't backing down from his campaign vow to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Congressman Price has been one of the most vocal opponents of the ACA. He's even introduced his alternative in the House on multiple occasions.

    So what might a replacement for Obamacare look like? Would it satisfy those who gained coverage under the ACA? Implementation of the ACA split the country. Millions of Americans who hadn't had health insurance are now able to afford it, thanks to big federal subsidies. Others lost the policies they liked and, in many cases, had to pay more for their new ones. Can a replacement for the ACA serve both masters?

    Guests:

    Avik  Roy, president of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity, FREOPP.org and former senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute

    Kavita Patel, M.D., Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution; she’s also a practicing primary care physician at Johns Hopkins Medicine and was previously a Director of Policy for The White House under President Obama

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


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    Judge's gavel court

    Gavel and scales. ; Credit: s_falkow/Flickr Creative Commons

    AirTalk

    The State Bar of California is doing a major overhaul of its ethics rules, and one particular proposal is getting a lot of attention.

    It would put a blanket ban on sexual relationships between attorneys and their clients, with an exception for sexual relationships that preceded the attorney-client relationships as well as lawyers’ spouses or registered domestic partners.

    If you’re wondering why this hasn’t been addressed by the Bar already, it has, just not in such an all-encompassing way. The current rule forbids attorneys from forcing clients to have sex in exchange for legal services or representation, or if the relationship causes the attorney to “perform legal services incompetently.”

    Supporters say an all-out ban will help address the inherent inequality that comes with the attorney-client relationship and help prevent future ethical issues. But opponents say that the ban goes too far in limiting what two consenting adults should be allowed to do and that it raises some constitutional issues regarding privacy.

    Guests:

    Kevin Mohr, professor of law at Western State College and consultant to the State Bar of California’s Special Commission for the Revision of the California Rules of Professional Conduct; he is also the immediate past chair of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Professional Responsibility and Ethics Committee

    Teresa Schmid, chair of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Professional Responsibility and Ethics Committee, which prepared LACBA’s position

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


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    U.S. Supreme Court Prepares For New Term

    The courtroom of he U.S. Supreme Court is seen September 30, 2016 in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court will return for a new term on Monday, October 3. ; Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

    AirTalk

    Before President-elect Trump can exercise any executive power on immigration next January, SCOTUS will set a new precedent by hearing Jennings v. Rodriguez on Wednesday.

    The case comes from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that illegal immigrants held in detention centers for at least six months must be afforded bond hearings with the possibility of release, including those with criminal records.

    Under the Obama administration, over 2.4 million illegal immigrants have been deported, a record number above any other U.S. president according to a June report by the New York Times, but nearly two-thirds of these “deportation cases involve people who had committed minor infractions, including traffic violations, or had no criminal record at all.”

    U.S. Solicitor Gen. Donald Verrilli told the Los Angeles Times, “Throughout the history of U.S. immigration law, Congress has never provided bond hearings for aliens detained at the threshold of entry to the country […]”

    But the American Civil Liberties Union, which sued in federal court in Los Angeles and won the appeals, argues that many of these detainees are not criminals, with families to take care of and jobs to return to as they await their immigration status, and deserve a hearing after being held for half a year in prison.

    How do you feel SCOTUS should rule and why? Should foreigners who are in the country illegally but seeking immigration status be exempt from bond hearings? Larry Mantle speaks with two experts on immigration studies to analyze the implications resulting in overturning or upholding Jennings v. Rodriguez.

    Guests:

    Michael Kaufman, Staff Attorney specializing in immigrants’ rights at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California

    Jessica Vaughan, Director of Policy Studies at Center for Immigration Studies 

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


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    Increasing Tree Mortality Near Lake Tahoe - aerial detection survey photo taken near Lake Tahoe, July 2016.; Credit: USFS Region 5 / Flickr Creative Commons

    AirTalk

    Earlier this month, California learned it’s in the midst of an unprecedented, drought-fueled die-off of trees.

    The U.S. Forest Service estimates that over 100 million trees have died in California since 2010. This year alone, they counted 62 million dead trees. Normally they see about 1 million. The question now is what to do with those dead trees.

    Do they really pose an increased fire risk in the west? Should they be cut down and logged? Experts disagree about that. And any future move could have big implications for the state’s ecology.

    Guests:

    Ken Pimlott, director, CAL FIRE and a member of California’s Tree Mortality Task Force

    Chad Hanson, research ecologist with the John Muir Project and co-author and co-editor of the recent book, “The Ecological Importance of Mixed-Severity Fires: Nature’s Phoenix.” He’s written for the Los Angeles Times about the wildfire threat dead trees pose

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


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    US-TPP-PROTEST

    People hold signs as they demonstrate against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement in Washington, DC, on November 14, 2016.; Credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

    AirTalk

    With the election going in Donald Trump’s favor, we now know that the massive, 12 nation trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership is all but dead.

    Truth be told, it would likely have been dead if Hillary Clinton had won, as both presidential candidates had said they did not support TPP becoming law. While six out of the 11 other countries in the deal already have trade agreements in the U.S., there are still questions about how TPP going belly-up could impact Southern California’s economy and the state as a whole. For more on this, read here

    Guests:

    Ben Bergman, KPCC senior reporter covering business and the Southern California economy

    Kevin Klowden, executive director of the Milken Institute’s California Center and managing economist at the Institute

    Michael Camuñez, president and CEO of ManattJones Global Strategies, a firm that advises companies doing business in Mexico; he is also a former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for the International Trade Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce

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


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    A woman receives a swine flu vaccine in

    A woman receives a swine flu vaccine in the eastern German city of Dresden on November 4, 2009.; Credit: NORBERT MILLAUER/AFP/Getty Images

    AirTalk

    As reported in the November issue of the Atlantic, researchers at Columbia University are developing a treatment to prevent stress. In short, it’s  a “stress vaccine.”

    While this idea may seem too good to be true, the development team is looking at how mice can be more resilient after exposure to stress, and it’s working. Mice who were given the vaccine showed no changes in behavior after exposure to stressful situations--as if the trauma hadn’t occurred.

    Neuroscientists studying ways to bring the vaccine to humans hope it will help prevent mental illnesses like depression and post-traumatic stress. It would be administered to patients prior to a potentially stressful situation, with resistance to trauma lasting weeks or months at a time.

    But would this vaccine actually work without damaging other functions of the body such as immunity?

    Larry Mantle weighs in with the developer of the stress vaccine to find out more.

    Guests:

    Rebecca Brachman, neuroscientist at Columbia University; she is working with the university’s Denny Laboratory to develop a preventative treatment for stress.

    George Slavich, clinical psychologist and director of the Laboratory for Stress Assessment and Research at UCLA

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


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    Wildlife Corridor

    This Feb. 9, 2015, file photo, released by the National Park Service, taken from a remote camera in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area near the Los Angeles and Ventura county line, shows a female mountain lion identified as P-33.; Credit: National Park Service via AP

    AirTalk

    California State officials gave a Malibu rancher a permit to kill the mountain lion which is suspected of killing ten alpacas, a goat and a sheep. Read more on the story here

    But some say that it's unfair to punish the puma and that the onus is on farmers to protect their livestock. Who should be held responsible? 

    AirTalk debates the issue. 

    Guests: 

    Wendell Phillips, Malibu resident who has owned alpacas killed by a mountain lion; lawyer by trade; operates a small-scale animal rescue program

    Beth Pratt-Bergstrom, California Director for the National Wildlife Federation

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


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    pasadena city college pcc

    Pasadena City College has been placed on probation by the panel that decides on accreditation for community colleges.; Credit: David Mayerhofer/Flickr Creative Commons

    AirTalk

    Tonight the board members of Pasadena City College will consider an unprecedented policy: to require themselves to seek permission from the board president before speaking with the media.

    It’s a proposal from the League of City Colleges, and if approved, could gain traction elsewhere. Larry Wilson has been writing about the potential move for the Pasadena Star-News and joins Larry to discuss.

    Guest: 

    Larry Wilson, columnist for the Pasadena Star-News 

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


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    Republican presidential hopefuls, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and real-estate mogul Donald Trump talk about childhood vaccines during the second Republican presidential debate.

    Republican presidential hopefuls, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and real-estate mogul Donald Trump talk about childhood vaccines during the second Republican presidential debate.; Credit: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

    AirTalk

    The role of race in politics is often provocative. And one could argue that’s especially true for African American Republicans.

    They can be perceived as sellouts, not living up to the expectation of what their political values supposedly should be. But beyond criticism, it may be more important to understand the reasoning behind this political choice, especially in light of the racial tension in the presidential election. So how does black identity play a role in Republican principles? Corey D. Fields explores this question in his book, “Black Elephants in the Room: The Unexpected Politics of African American Republicans.”

    Using first-hand accounts, Fields illustrates the factors that shape political and racial identity for black Republicans. He speaks to Larry Mantle today to shed light on mixing racial identity with seemingly unexpected political choices.

    Guests:

    Corey Fields, author of "Black Elephants in the Room: The Unexpected Politics of African American Republicans" (University of California Press, 2016) and Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Stanford University

    Shirley Husar, surrogate for Donald Trump for the state of California. She is also a delegate for the 27th Congressional District, consisting of Pasadena, Altadena and other cities.

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


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    House Democrats Hold Leadership Elections

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), speaks to the media after winning the House Democratic leadership election on Capitol Hill, November 30, 2016 in Washington, DC.; Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

    AirTalk

    Despite nationwide rancor within their party, House Democrats re-elected California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi as minority leader yesterday in a 134 to 63 vote.

    Her rival, Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, fared better than previous challengers indicating Pelosi does not have the confidence of one-third of her colleagues. According to the Associated Press, Ryan and his backers claimed a victory in sending a message to Pelosi about the significant desire for change among House Democrats.  

    "Somebody had to do something," said Ryan, a seven-term lawmaker who before now had been largely a back-bencher. "Our prospects have improved just because of this conversation."

    Speaking to reporters after the vote, an apparently elated Pelosi said, "I have a special spring in my step today because this opportunity is a special one, to lead the House Democrats, bring everyone together as we go forward.

    What do you want Pelosi to focus on in the coming months?

    With files from the Associated Press.

    Guests: 

    John Nichols, National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation; he tweets @NicholsUprising

    Michael Tomasky, Editor, "Democracy" - a quarterly journal focused on the progressive movement; Columnist, “The Daily Beast”; he tweets @mtomasky


     

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


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    Democratic National Convention: Day Four

    U.S. Representative Xavier Becerra (D-CA) delivers remarks on the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 28, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ; Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

    AirTalk

    Governor Jerry Brown has nominated Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles), the highest-ranking Latino in Congress, to succeed Senator-elect Kamala Harris as California’s next Attorney General.

    Guest host Patt Morrison talks with the L.A. Times Sacramento bureau chief John Myers about who is likely to bid for Becerra’s seat in the House and how his potential move could shake up the state’s gubernatorial race in 2018.

    Guest:

    John Myers, Sacramento bureau chief at the Los Angeles Times who’s been following the story; he tweets @johnmyers

     

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


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    Protests Continue At Standing Rock Sioux Reservation Over Dakota Pipeline Access Project

    Snow covers Oceti Sakowin Camp near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on November 30, 2016 outside Cannon Ball, North Dakota. ; Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

    Jacklyn Kim and Natalie Chudnovsky | AirTalk

    North Dakota’s governor has set an eviction date for December 5, but there are no plans for forcible removal of the Dakota Access Pipeline protesters, which has led to confusion.

    Thousands of protesters, who call themselves “water protectors,” continue  to camp near the stretch of land that is to pump nearly 570,000 barrels of crude oil per day from the Dakotas to Illinois.

    AirTalk takes a look at the oil industry’s perspective, the historical context of U.S. government-Tribe relations and environmental factors to parse out what’s happening and how we got here.

    Guests: 

    Shannon Speed, Ph.D., director of UCLA’s American Indian Studies Center and associate professor of Gender Studies & Anthropology; she is also a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation

    Sharon Buccino, director of Natural Resources Defense Council’s Land & Wildlife program

    John Stoody, vice president of Government and Public Relations with the Association of Oil Pipelines, a DC-based industry group involved in the North Dakota Pipeline project

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


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    A gurney in Huntsville, Texas, where prisoners are executed. The death penalty was at the Supreme Court again Wednesday.

    A gurney in Huntsville, Texas, where prisoners are executed. The death penalty was at the Supreme Court again Wednesday.; Credit: Pat Sullivan/AP

    AirTalk

    Despite showing its true blue color on issues like marijuana and gun control, California surprised many when voters chose to shoot down a proposition to abolish the state’s long defunct death penalty and passed one that aims to reform and expedite the appeals process.

    Now, groups like the ACLU and others have filed suit to prevent the state from resuming executions. But proponents of the new appeals system say they believe the challenges will be dismissed and executions could resume within the next year.

    What are the next steps on both sides of the death penalty fight in California? What are the factors at play on each side of the legal challenges to the new system?

    For more on this story, click here.

    Guests:

    Laurel Rosenhall, California politics reporter for CALmatters, a nonpartisan media venture committed to explaining how California’s state capital works and why it matters

    Kent Scheidegger, legal director and general counsel for the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, an organization advocating reduced rights for accused and convicted criminals

    Nancy Haydt, criminal defense attorney based in Santa Barbara and a member of the Board of Governors of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice; she authored an extensive analysis of Prop 66

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


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    San Bernardino Shooting Vigil - PANO

    Jennifer and husband Roy Trules cry as the names of victims are read aloud during a moment of silence concluding a vigil at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino on Thursday night, Dec. 3, 2015. Both were friends with 26-year-old Aurora Godoy of San Jacinto. Roy Trules first met Godoy more than three years ago when they both worked for the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters.; Credit: Maya Sugarman/KPCC

    AirTalk

    A year ago today, the Inland Empire suffered a terrible attack. 14 employees of San Bernardino County's health department were killed by a co-worker and his wife. 22 others were injured.

    The Inland Regional Center was the site. The group under attack were in a training session, with a holiday party to follow. Today on AirTalk, we’ll talk with members of the community to hear how they’re coping and healing one year later. We’ll also go over the Department of Justice review of the public safety response to the attack.

    Finally, we’ll check in with you Muslim leaders in San Bernardino County about what life for Muslims in the area has been like in the year since the attacks.

    We want to hear from you: One year later, what's changed in your community?  Does it feel united against terror, or divided by fear? If you live in the San Bernardino area, how have you been coping and healing? Join the conversation at 866-893-5722.

    Guests:

    Frank Straub, Ph.D., director of strategic studies for the Police Foundation and co-author of the report for the Department of Justice on the public safety response to the San Bernardino terror attack

    Amjad Mahmood Khan, National Director of Public Affairs for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community based in Chino, a leader at the San Bernardino County-based Baitul Hameed Mosque

    Imam Marc Manley, Religious Director for the Middle Ground Muslim Center in Upland

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