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Stories for May 15, 2007

Update from Tom Fudge

May 15
By Tom Fudge and KPBS Commentaries
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Dear KPBS Listeners:

Foggo and Wilkes Plead Guilty to New Corruption Charges

May 15
KPBS Public Broadcasting
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A former top CIA official Dusty Foggo pleaded not guilty Monday to new charges that he pushed a proposed $100 million government contract for his best friend, Brent Wilkes, in return for lavish vacations, private jet flights, and a lucrative job offer. KPBS reporter Amita Sharma has the latest.

Congress to Consider Measures to Guard Against Cruise Ship Crime

May 15
KPBS Public Broadcasting
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Reports of people vanishing, jewelry disappearing, and sexual assault on cruise ships often aren't released by major cruise lines. But enough horror stories are making the rounds to convince Congress to consider legislation to guard against lawlessness on the open seas. A travel expert tells us how to protect ourselves on a cruise ship.

Exasperated Drivers Boycott Gasoline Today in San Diego

May 15
By Amita Sharma and KPBS Public Broadcasting
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Today is national gasoline boycott day: a grassroots protest by motorists around the country who want to put a speed bump on gas prices. Full Focus reporter Amita Sharma has more about how the boycott played out in San Diego.

For Literacy's Sake, Chula Vista Schools Are Hosting Parents, Too

May 15
By Ana Tintocalis and KPBS Public Broadcasting
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Tease photo

More and more immigrant parents are learning alongside their kids in the Chula Vista School District. KPBS reporter Ana Tintocalis has more.

KPBS Commentaries

May 15
By Tfudge and KPBS Public Broadcasting
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U.S. Customs Leader Calls Tunnel-Plugging a Bi-National Effort

May 15
By Amy Isackson
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Work crews in Otay Mesa have begun sealing the longest and one of the most sophisticated tunnels ever discovered under the U.S.-Mexico border. Federal authorities will fill in this tunnel and seven others along the Southwest border. KPBS reporter Amy Isackson has the story.

Non-Partisan Analyst: Governor's Budget Needs Serious Review

May 15
By Capital Public Radio, Marianne Russ and KPBS Public Broadcasting
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California's non-partisan legislative analyst says Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's new budget plan is too optimistic. The administration had estimated a roughly two billion dollar reserve - or rainy day fund. But analyst Elizabeth Hill says it's realistically only about $500 million.

Imperial Beach Could Get Federal Cash to Replenish Its Coastline

May 15
By Charles Davis and KPBS Public Broadcasting
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Imperial Beach may still get its sand. The U.S. senate voted down a proposal that would have stopped federal money from shoring up the city's coastline. Charles Davis reports from Capitol Hill.

Schwarzenegger Pushing to Reinstate California Death Penalty

May 15
KPBS Public Broadcasting
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The Schwarzenegger Administration took steps toward reinstating the death penalty in California. Administration officials today released a comprehensive plan to fix the state's lethal injection protocol. Capitol punishment in California has been on hold since a federal judge ordered the state to come up with a more humane way of executing death row inmates. Prison Chief James Tilton says that has been done.

California Home Sales Hit 12-Year-Low, But San Diego Stabilizes

May 15
By Erik Anderson and KPBS Public Broadcasting
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Southern California home sales hit a 12-year low last month, but sales in San Diego did not decline as much. Home sales here were off 13 percent from a year ago. However, home sales are down nearly 30 percent across the region.

Border Inspectors Rarely Scan Sophisticated New Visas

May 15
KPBS Public Broadcasting
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The face- and fingerprint-matching technology that has been touted over the past decade as a sophisticated new way to stop terrorists and illegal immigrants from entering the country through Mexico has one major drawback: U.S. border inspectors almost never use it.

Farm Bill Could Bring Changes to Food Industry

May 15
KPBS Public Broadcasting
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The industrialization of the U.S. agricultural system has drastically changed the food industry. We'll explore the health hazards of industrialized agriculture and offer some tips on how to safely navigate the grocery store. We'll also talk about the 2007 Farm Bill and how it has influenced food production.

Susan Shirk Discusses China's Looming Presence

May 15
KPBS Public Broadcasting
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The rise of China's economy in recent years certainly has the world's attention. But is China a threat or an asset to the U.S.? Susan Shirk, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State responsible for U.S. relations, tells us why China is much more unstable than it appears, how its leadership asserts power and control, and why our trade deficit is more of a political issue than an economic one.

Tijuana Sewage Problem Spills into San Diego

May 15
KPBS Public Broadcasting
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Bajagua, a local developer, is pushing ahead with plans to build a sewage treatment plant in Tijuana -- even though the federal government has suspended the contract. Some environmentalists say the Bajagua proposal does not fix the larger problem of Tijuana sewage seeping into San Diego. Proponents of the proposal call it integral to a comprehensive solution. What's the best way to handle millions of gallons of untreated sewage?