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Stories for May 1, 2007

A Broad Look at Blackwater USA

May 1
KPBS Public Broadcasting
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From Iraq to post-Katrina New Orleans, Blackwater USA, a private security firm, is pulling in millions of dollars in government contracts to provide security “forces”. Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill joins us to talk about how Blackwater is being used to wage “the global war on terror,” as well as his new book, Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army.

Civil Engineering Prof. Calls Bay Bridge Collapse Unpreventable

May 1
KPBS Public Broadcasting
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A professor of civil engineering says the collapse of a section of Bay Area freeway was a freak accident -- one highway designers could not have anticipated. From Sacramento, Ellen Ciurczak reports.

Deadly Ocean Algae Killing California Sea Life

May 1
KPBS Public Broadcasting
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Ocean algae that produces a toxic acid is killing sea life along the California coast. Scientists don't know why the deadly algae bloom is especially large this year. Wildlife rehabhillitation centers are inundated with sick and dying animals, including sea lions, dolphins and birds.

Scores of Students Participate in Walkouts to Support Immigrants

May 1
KPBS Public Broadcasting
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It's been a year since students and immigrant activists took to the streets by the thousands in support of immigrants. Today, the numbers were not nearly what they were last May, but scores of San Diego students left their schools this morning to rally for immigrant rights. Full Focus reporter Amita Sharma has more.

Governor Guarantees Comprehensive Healthcare Reform This Year

May 1
By Kenny Goldberg and KPBS Public Broadcasting
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Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says he guarantees California lawmakers will pass comprehensive healthcare reform this year. But some say the governor may not get everything he wants. KPBS reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.

San Diego Smoking Ban Extended to Boardwalks, Seawalls, Piers

May 1
By Ed Joyce and KPBS Public Broadcasting
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There are less places where smokers can light up in San Diego. KPBS reporter Ed Joyce explains.

ALA Says Most Californians Breathing Bad Air -- Not Just L.A.

May 1
By Ed Joyce and KPBS Public Broadcasting
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Hold your breath: Most of us live in cities that have unhealthy air. The American Lung Association says California has some of the most polluted counties in the nation. KPBS reporter Ed Joyce has details.

Hal Hartley Offers a Sequel to the 1997 Film Henry Fool

May 1
KPBS Public Broadcasting
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Hal Hartley is considered one of the pioneers of independent film. His 1997 film "Henry Fool" was a favorite with critics. This weekend, the sequel to "Henry Fool" opens in art house theaters. It's called "Fay Grim."

Immigration Reform Remains Unresolved

May 1
KPBS Public Broadcasting
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On May 1, 2006, millions of Americans took to the streets to march for immigrant rights. It's one year later, and Congress has made little progress in its efforts to pass a set of comprehensive immigration reform laws. What has happened over the last year regarding immigration reform? We speak to immigrant advocate Pedro Rios and syndicated columnist Ruben Navarrette, Jr. to get their thoughts on the anniversary of "A Day Without Immigrants". We also speak to deputy superintendent Geno Flores about what the San Diego Unified School District has planned for today.

Algae Bloom Threatens Sea Life Along California Coast

May 1
KPBS Public Broadcasting
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A deadly algae is killing marine life along the coast of the western U.S. From microorganisms to marine mammals, a local professor describes how these red tides can disrupt the sensitive chemistry of our ocean's waters. Also, a representative for a marine mammal center tells us first-hand accounts of the impact of algae on sea life.

Some Say "Exaflood" Could Cripple Internet

May 1
KPBS Public Broadcasting
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In the very near future, the Internet will have to handle a flood of data that could strain Internet capacity and infrastructure. The Internet Innovation Alliance is one group warning of this coming "exaflood" and advocating preparation for it. A member of the IIA explains the implications of a so-called "exaflood" and the steps that must be taken to avoid it.

Pandas Mate at San Diego Zoo

May 1
KPBS Public Broadcasting
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Tease photo

Two of the pandas at the San Diego Zoo recently mated, but this does not necessarily mean baby pandas are on the way. Curator of mammals at the zoo tells us the significance of natural mating, why pandas are in jeopardy of going extinct, and why figuring out their complex reproductive systems is key to their survival.