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Stories for July 6, 2009

2 Police Dead 1 Injured in Spate of Attacks in Tijuana and Rosarito

July 6
San Diego Week
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At least two policemen were killed and one wounded in a series of attacks on law enforcement officials Monday evening in Tijuana and Rosarito. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson tells us Mexican authorities say they’re hearing threats there will be more.

The Ascent of Money: Bonds of War

July 6
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The Ascent of Money: Bonds of War Tease photo

Money and war have long had a close relationship. In early 19th-century London, the powerful Rothschild family helped the British government finance its war against Napoleon and, despite a nearly catastrophic miscalculation of the war’s duration that could have led to financial ruin, found an opportunity to create enormous wealth through the purchase of British bonds. Fifty years later, the relationship between war and money would again be felt in America’s Civil War, when the Confederacy attempted, with disastrous results, to finance itself by boosting the value of its cotton — its only tangible asset — by placing an embargo on exports to Britain.

California's Bond Rating Drops

July 6
Marianne Russ - California Capitol Network
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There’s more fallout from California’s budget impasse. Fitch Ratings today cut the state’s bond rating by two notches. In a statement, Fitch blames the state’s budget impasse and cash flow problems for the downgrade.

NOVA scienceNOW: Franklin Chang-Diaz

July 6
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NOVA scienceNOW: Franklin Chang-Diaz Tease photo

Two drugs that may help kids with muscular dystrophy or the frail elderly, who don’t have the option of hopping on a treadmill to build strength and endurance; renowned paleontologist George Poinar, who has announced his discovery of multiple clues to parasitic pandemics that could have been just as instrumental in wiping out the dinosaurs as the hypothesized asteroid impact; a profile of rocket scientist and astronaut Franklin Chang-Diaz; and the beauty — and dangers — of the northern lights.

History Detectives: Lubin Photos

July 6
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History Detectives: Lubin Photos Tease photo

A contributor from Branford, Florida, inherited two bulging photo albums, dated 1914 to 1916, that contain hundreds of photos of old silent film stars and a behind-the-scenes look into an enormous film studio empire — not in Hollywood, but Philadelphia.

NATURE: Arctic Bears

July 6
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NATURE: Arctic Bears Tease photo

Polar bears are living on borrowed time. They are the descendents of grizzlies, long-ago evolved to live and hunt on the frozen ice of the Arctic, eating a specialized diet of seal meat. But the winters have become increasingly warmer, the ice is disappearing and raising a family becomes a much more difficult proposition when hunting time is short and food is scarce. Grizzlies, on the other hand, are masters at living off the land, making a meal from a wide variety of foods -- meats, seeds, berries, insects, fruit and honey. If the changing world proclaims the grizzly the new king of the Arctic, what will become of the polar bear?

Border Patrol Celebrates Completion of Smuggler's Gulch Fence

July 6
By Amy Isackson
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Border Patrol Celebrates Completion of Smuggler's Gulch Fence Tease photo

Border Patrol officials are celebrating the completion of a controversial border fencing project in a canyon called Smuggler's Gulch. As KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson tells us, Border Patrol agents say the new infrastructure makes their jobs easier.

Primal Grill With Steven Raichlen: In The Wild

July 6
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Primal Grill With Steven Raichlen: In The Wild Tease photo

Back before there were supermarkets (or barbecue grills), grill masters hunted, fished, gathered, and grilled in the wild. This show celebrates the primal pleasures of cooking wild foods with live fire. It starts with-what else? Wild salmon from the Pacific Northwest grilled on cedar planks with a juniper and wild berry glaze.

Ethnic Riots Spread in China's West; 156 Killed

July 6
Associated Press
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Ethnic Riots Spread in China's West; 156 Killed Tease photo

Riots and street battles killed at least 156 people in China's western Xinjiang province, state media said Tuesday, and injured 828 others in the deadliest ethnic unrest to hit the region in decades. Officials said the death toll was expected to rise.

Port Debates Permit for Embarcadero Plan

July 6
By Alison St John
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The San Diego Port District will vote this week on whether to earmark millions of dollars to start the first phase of a plan to turn the Embarcadero into a world class waterfront. But critics say the plan has been modified to benefit the cruise ship industry.

Joan Baez's New Album Brings Her to San Diego

July 6
These Days
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Tease photo

Joan Baez's new album was produced by Steve Earle and nominated for a Grammy. It's her 24th studio album and last year marked Baez's 50th year as a performer.

Tough Economy Having Positive Impact on State's Electricity Supply

July 6
Marianne Russ - California Capitol Network
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There’s at least one silver lining to the recession this summer: Reduced energy demand. Vacant homes and empty office spaces mean less electricity is being used.

Mild Fire Season Could Come To An End

July 6
Marianne Russ - California Capitol Network
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Mild Fire Season Could Come To An End  Tease photo

State fire officials are warning the relative calm of this fire season could easily come to end. Daniel Berlant is with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. He says the rain and lower temperatures from a couple months ago are long gone.

Local Expert Explains the Seriousness of Eating Disorders

July 6
These Days
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Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are damaging to the body and in some cases, are life threatening. We'll talk about the causes of eating disorders and the latest treatments to help people who suffer from them.

How Long Can the State Function without a Budget?

July 6
These Days
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As California struggles with closing a $26 billion budget shortfall, the state began issuing IOUs on July 2, for only the second time since the Great Depression. We'll get the latest news from Sacramento on the budget crisis.

Padres Trade Hairston to Oakland

July 6
By Dwane Brown, Alan Ray, Nick Stoffel
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The San Diego Padres lost a weekend series against a division rival. We're joined on Morning Edition by North County Times Sports Columnist Jay Paris.

U.S., Russia Agree To Pursue Nuclear Reduction

July 6
Associated Press
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U.S., Russia Agree To Pursue Nuclear Reduction Tease photo

President Obama said he and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev are countering "a sense of drift" in ties between their nations with a preliminary agreement Monday to reduce the world's two largest nuclear stockpiles to as few as 1,500 warheads each.

S.D. City Council to Consider New Library

July 6
By Katie Orr
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The full San Diego city council will consider whether to move forward with a new downtown library Tuesday.

UCSD Pits Herpes Against Melanoma

July 6
By Tom Fudge
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UC San Diego is taking part in a clinical trial that pits herpes against melanoma cancer.

Public Doesn't Get Full Story on Port's Maritime Losses

July 6
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Public Doesn't Get Full Story on Port's Maritime Losses Tease photo

The Port of San Diego is a public agency charged with managing the bayfront. It claims its top goals are strengthening its finances and building public trust. But over the past 15 years, the port has lost tens of millions of dollars in maritime operations. KPBS Reporter Amita Sharma found the port has not clearly documented those losses for the public.

Traffic Studies Predict Border Waits to Enter Mexico

July 6
By Amy Isackson
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San Diego traffic studies and traffic jams in one Texas border town both predict back-ups at the San Ysidro border crossing starting late this month. As KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson explains, that's when Mexican officials say they'll begin screening all cars headed into Mexico.

Hepatitis C: An Epidemic More Widespread than HIV

July 6
San Diego Week
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Hepatitis C: An Epidemic More Widespread than HIV Tease photo

There's a chronic liver disease that's ten times more infectious than HIV, and more widespread. Hepatitis C is a virus that's spread through IV drug use, like HIV. Left untreated, hepatitis C can cause life-threatening complications, including liver cancer. In this first of a four-part series, KPBS Health Reporter Kenny Goldberg takes a look at the epidemic of hepatitis C.

Quick Reference: Hepatitis C

July 6
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Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). HCV infection sometimes results in an acute illness, but most often becomes a chronic condition that can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. The form of transmission is contact with the blood of an infected person, primarily through sharing contaminated needles to inject drugs. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C.

Statistics: Hepatitis C

July 6
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Around the globe: Health experts estimate 180 million people have chronic hepatitis C worldwide... In the United States: Hepatitis C infection is the most common chronic blood borne infection in the U.S.... Approximately 4.1 million persons, or 1.6% of the total U.S. population, are infected with hepatitis C.