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Stories for December 18, 2009

Tijuana Police Accuse Chief And Army Of Torture

Dec. 18
San Diego Week
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Our series "Border Battle" continues with a story about alleged torture. Three dozen Tijuana police officers accuse the city’s police chiefs, and soldiers in the Mexican Army of using torture to try to force them to confess their ties to organized crime.

Citizen Task Force Examines Mayor Sander's Budget Plan

Dec. 18
San Diego Week
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A citizens' task force examines Mayor Sander's plan to close the record-high budget deficit.

Controversy Over New Stadium

Dec. 18
San Diego Week
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KPBS Reporter Sharon Heilbrunn examines the controversy over where the new Charger's stadium should be.

RICK STEVES' EUROPE: Tuscany's Dolce Vita

Dec. 18
RICK STEVES' EUROPE: Tuscany's Dolce Vita  Tease photo

The small towns and rural charms of Tuscany give us a healthy dose of the "sweet life" as we hunt for truffles in an oak forest, nibble through an artichoke festival, share a farmhouse feast, and ride a classic convertible through the cypress groves of Mona Lisa's back yard.

Live From Lincoln Center: New York Philharmonic New Year's Eve: Hampson, Gershwin, Copland & Broadway

Dec. 18
Live From Lincoln Center: New York Philharmonic New Year's Eve: Hampson, Gershwin, Copland & Broadway   Tease photo

The New York Philharmonic's New Year's Eve gala, with new music director Alan Gilbert and baritone Thomas Hampson, celebrates all-American music from Gershwin, Copland and Broadway. This glamorous evening features Gershwin's beloved "An American in Paris," Copland's "Appalachian Spring Suite" and "Old American Songs," as well as selections from various Broadway musicals.

Mediation Over SDG&E's Power Shut-Off Plan Moves Slowly

Dec. 18
By Alison St John
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San Diego Gas and Electric held its second mediation session today with groups who don’t want the utility to shut off power in the backcountry to prevent wildfires.

P.O.V. Patti Smith: Dream Of Life

Dec. 18
P.O.V. Patti Smith: Dream Of Life  Tease photo

Shot over 11 years by acclaimed fashion photographer Steven Sebring, “Patti Smith: Dream of Life” is a remarkable plunge into the life, art, memories and philosophical reflections of the legendary rocker, poet and artist. Sometimes dubbed the “godmother of punk” — a designation justified by clips of her early rage-fueled performances — Smith was much more than that when she broke through with her 1975 debut album, Horses . A poet and visual artist as well as a rocker, she befriended and collaborated with some of the brightest lights of the American counterculture, an often testosterone-driven scene to which she brought a swagger and fierceness all her own.

Knut And Friends

Dec. 18
Knut And Friends  Tease photo

The world's most famous animal orphan comes to public television, with this heartwarming documentary telling the emotional story of Knut the polar bear and his extraordinary young life. Born in captivity, baby Knut was rejected by his mother, a retired circus bear, at his birth. Raised by zoo's bear-keeper, he was the first polar bear cub to survive past infancy at the Berlin Zoo for more than 30 years. Because of his emotional story and remarkable upbringing, he became an instant media sensation when he was unveiled to the global public three months later.

Feds Give Healthy Families A Reprieve

Dec. 18
By Kenny Goldberg

California's health care program for children of the working poor has gotten a reprieve. Federal officials say they won't make a final decision on California's funding plan for the program until 2011.

New Center Will Study San Diego Bay

Dec. 18
By City News Service
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Three local research institutions and the Port of San Diego today formalized the establishment of a center to study San Diego Bay. The research center is the result of a collaboration between the port, San Diego State University, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute.

NOVA: What Darwin Never Knew

Dec. 18
NOVA: What Darwin Never Knew  Tease photo

On the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s famous "On the Origin of Species," NOVA reveals answers to the riddles that Darwin couldn’t explain. Stunning breakthroughs in a new science — nicknamed “evo devo” — are linking the enigma of origins to another of nature’s great mysteries: the development of an embryo. To explore this exciting new idea, NOVA takes viewers on a journey from the Galapagos Islands to the Arctic, from the Cambrian explosion of animal forms half a billion years ago to the research labs of today.

U.S., China Reach Tentative Climate Compromise

Dec. 18
Kevin Whitelaw, NPR
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After several frantic rounds of last-minute diplomacy at the climate change talks in Copenhagen, President Obama reached a "meaningful agreement" with the key developing nations of China, India, and South Africa that could salvage a deal to reduce global climate emissions, a senior Obama administration official told reporters in Copenhagen.

American Masters: Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women

Dec. 18
American Masters: Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women  Tease photo

The author of "Little Women" is an almost universally recognized name. Her reputation as a morally upstanding New England spinster, reflecting the conventional propriety of late 19th-century Concord, is firmly established. However, raised among reformers and Transcendentalists and skeptics, the intellectual protege of Emerson and Hawthorne and Thoreau, Alcott was actually a free thinker with democratic ideals and progressive values about women -- a worldly careerist of sorts. Most surprising is that she led, under the pseudonym A.M. Barnard, a literary double life, undiscovered until the 1940s.

Climate Talks Drag Into Overtime

Dec. 18
KEVIN WHITELAW, NPR

The climate change talks in Copenhagen are entering their final hours with no clear agreement, even as President Obama and other world leaders hold a series of urgent, last-minute meetings to try to rescue the negotiations.

Life In Prison: Terry Campbell, 44 Years And Counting

Dec. 18
By Joanne Faryon
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KPBS reporter Joanne Faryon interviews 65-year-old inmate Terry Campbell. His profile is part of an ongoing look at the aging prison population.

More Southern Californians On Highways During Holidays

Dec. 18
By Ed Joyce
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More Southern Californians are expected to travel over the next two weeks than last year at this time. The Auto Club says more people will be on the highway than in the air.

Avatar

Dec. 18
By Beth Accomando
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James Cameron hasn’t made a feature film in 12 years and hasn’t made a good one since 1986. But nothing I can say will stop people from spending their money on “Avatar” (opening December 18 throughout San Diego) this weekend. [Just added the Film Club of the Air discussion about the film.]

Masterpiece Classic: Cranford - Part 3

Dec. 18
Masterpiece Classic: Cranford - Part 3  Tease photo

In episode three, Matty suffers great disappointment and, in a nostalgic mood one evening, decides to confide in Mary about Mr. Holbrook. The mention of India prompts Mary to write to Major Gordon to tell him that Jessie regrets her decision not to marry him. Also, Dr. Harrison visits the Rectory and formally asks the Reverend Hutton for permission to court Sophy. Meanwhile, Miss Pole invites the ladies of the town to a secret meeting to discuss Matty's crisis. United in their love for Matty, they decide to help her financially.

Masterpiece Classic: Cranford - Part 2

Dec. 18
Masterpiece Classic: Cranford - Part 2  Tease photo

In episode two, as winter approaches, Cranford is beset by sorrows and struggles to re-gain its confidence. When Dr. Harrison's housekeeper discovers a leg of mutton has been stolen on the very same night that store owner Mr. Johnson is mugged, the ladies decide that a crime wave has hit Cranford.

Masterpiece Classic: Cranford - Part 1

Dec. 18
Masterpiece Classic: Cranford - Part 1  Tease photo

Based on three serialized Elizabeth Gaskell novels "Cranford" chronicles the absurdities and tragedies in the lives of the people of Cranford during one extraordinary year. Cranford in the 1840s is a small Cheshire market town on the cusp of change. The railway is pushing its way relentlessly towards the town from Manchester, bringing fears of migrant workers and the breakdown of law and order. Starring Francesa Harris, Michael Gambon and Judi Dench as Miss Matty Jenkyns. In part one, Mary Smith flees a crisis at home in Manchester to stay with two spinster sisters, Deborah and Matty Jenkyns, in the small, rural town of Cranford.

S.D. Unemployment Rate Drops Slightly To 10.3 Percent In November

Dec. 18
City News Service

The unemployment rate in San Diego County dropped slightly last month to 10.3 percent, down from a revised 10.7 percent in October, a state agency reported today.

U.S.-China Stalemate Blocks Climate Deal

Dec. 18
KEVIN WHITELAW, NPR

The climate change talks in Copenhagen are entering their final hours with no clear agreement, even as President Obama and other world leaders hold a series of urgent, last-minute meetings to try to rescue the negotiations.

Drug War Escalates In Tijuana

Dec. 18
Editors Roundtable

More than 45 people have been killed in Tijuana over the last week. What's causing the dramatic increase in drug war killings? And, what are Baja California authorities doing to reduce the violence?

Term Limit Measure For Board Of Supervisors Qualifies For Ballot

Dec. 18
Editors Roundtable

A measure to impose term limits on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors has qualified for the June 2010 ballot. What's the motivation for imposing term limits on the supervisors? And, what are the pros and cons of having term limits imposed on that office?

Local Committees Urge S.D. To Address Long-Term Financial Challenges

Dec. 18
Editors Roundtable

The San Diego City Council has approved Mayor Jerry Sanders budget proposal for next year, but now two powerful citizens groups are coming out with their own ideas. Who are these citizens groups, and what are their recommendations for the city? Also, how do the recommendations from at least one of the groups conflict with the mayor's most recent budget proposal?

Culture Lust Weekend: Unsilent Night, El Vez, and Specimen

Dec. 18
By Angela Carone
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I traded quantity this week for quality and by quality I mean unusual! I have three very unusual experiences to recommend for your weekend, so if you're looking for a break from the holiday traditions and the commercialized nostalgia, check out Culture Lust Weekend.

Obama: Imperfect Climate Pact Is Better Than None

Dec. 18
Associated Press
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A clearly frustrated President Obama displayed impatience Friday with world leaders' failure to reach a new climate accord, urging them to accept a less-than-perfect pact while offering no new U.S. concessions.

Singer Candye Kane Gives Cancer The Blues

Dec. 18
By Kenny Goldberg
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San Diego blues singer Candye Kane has a lot to be thankful for this holiday season. Her latest CD is rising high on the national blues charts, she's nominated for a number of music awards, and Kane continues to make a remarkable recovery from pancreatic cancer.