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Stories by Amita Sharma

Mexican Millionaire Says Feds Told Him To Flee Amid Political Scandal

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Businessman José Susumo Azano Matsura is accused of channeling $600,000 into the campaigns of San Diego mayoral candidates and others.

Travel And Adventure Show Comes To San Diego

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It's never too early to start thinking about vacation. This weekend the San Diego Travel & Adventure Show returns with 1,500 travel experts to help attendees plan their next trip.

State Dept. Official: Heroin Smuggling Up Because U.S. Cocaine Use Is Down

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U.S. Assistant Secretary of State William Brownfield made the comments while in San Diego this week to build partnerships with state and municipal law enforcement.

San Diego Gangs Outsourcing Pimping Duties To Women

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The women serve as enforcers who still turn tricks — but they reap none of the profits and are used to shield pimps from police scrutiny.

Investigators Search Home Of Ex-CPUC Chief Michael Peevey

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The search comes one month after Michael Peevey stepped down as president of the powerful California Public Utilities Commission.

Will More Indictments Come In San Diego Campaign Scandal?

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One year after federal prosecutors accused a Mexican tycoon and others of campaign finance crimes, a question remains: Is there enough evidence to charge the politicians who benefited from the money?

San Diego Professor Discusses New Book On Impact Of Drone Strikes

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In her new book, "Drones and Targeted Killing," Thomas Jefferson School of Law Professor Marjorie Cohn includes a collection of writings that examine the "legal, moral and geopolitical" issues surrounding U.S. drone strikes overseas.

A Discussion On The Motivations Behind The Paris Terror Attacks

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The shootings in Paris last week renewed questions about the challenges nations face in identifying terrorist threats and preventing attacks.

Ex-San Diego Cleric And Al-Qaida Leader Tied to Paris Terrorists

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Three years after Anwar al-Awlaki's death in a U.S. drone strike, his legacy lives on in the terror world.

California Regulator Michael Peevey's Legacy Debated

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Allies insist state Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey leaves an unsurpassable legacy, but critics say he had chummy ties with the power companies he oversaw.

Scripps CEO Discusses New Book On Leadership

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Chris Van Gorder has been president and CEO of Scripps Health since 2000. His first book is titled "The Front-line Leader: Building a High-Performance Organization from the Ground Up."

San Diego's Independent Booksellers Thrive In Shadow Of Online Retailers

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San Diego's independent booksellers are thriving, while larger brick-and-mortar book stores and retailers are losing out to online competitors.

Affordable Care Act: Deadlines And 2015 Changes

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There are some open enrollment deadlines approaching for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act. We have information on deadlines and changes you should be aware of for 2015.

San Diego's Convention Center Due For Repairs, Safety Upgrade

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Critics charge some of the delayed fixes have risked public safety and raise questions over how to maintain the current building in addition to expanding.

'Small Business Saturday' Keeps Money In The Local Economy

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The Saturday after Thanksgiving is celebrated as the day to buy local with pro-small-business campaign underway around the county.

FDA: Calorie Count To Help Americans Make Better Food Choices

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People in the U.S. spend more than 50 percent of their paychecks on dining out. New rules announced by the FDA could make it easier to track those calories.

Ventura Man To Go Free After Judge Overturns 1978 Murder Conviction

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California Western School of Law's Innocence Project says discovery of DNA evidence, fabricated testimony and sealed police reports helped reverse conviction.

4 Donors Fined $35K For Violating San Diego Campaign Finance Laws

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The cases involved people who made $500 donations to District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis' failed 2012 mayoral run and then were reimbursed for the expense.

San Diego Unified Opens Up About Support For Dyslexic Students

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A recent KPBS report on the challenges students with dyslexia face, sparked a conversation about the amount of help available to them at San Diego Unified School District.

Court Rules Against San Diego County Climate Action Plan

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San Diego County will need to revise its Climate Action Plan after an appellate court ruled in favor of the Sierra Club, stating the plan "does not ensure reductions" of greenhouse gas emissions. We look at what's next.

November Election Spurs Question Of How Voters Should Judge Judges

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Judicial candidates face little vetting even though — if elected — they wield tremendous power over people's lives.

Are California Hospitals Prepared For Ebola?

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Some local nurses are concerned that hospitals aren't prepared for an infectious disease such as Ebola, and Tuesday the state's largest nurses union met with Gov. Jerry Brown to call for better preparation and training.

San Diego Judicial Candidate Omits Law Enforcement Ties On Jury Questionnaire

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Ken Gosselin, a candidate for San Diego Superior Court judge, has been endorsed by police groups, but when called for jury duty said he had no positive or negative experience with law enforcement.

San Diego War Reporter Reflects On Her Time In Iraq

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A personal history essay published in U-T San Diego is reminding us of the history of the U.S. conflict in Iraq, as witnessed by one journalist.

Mayor Faulconer On Terrorism, Services For Homeless

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In his monthly update on the business of the city, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer tackled a number of topics ranging from terrorism to services for the homeless on KPBS Midday Monday.

Bill Awaiting Governor's Signature Would Help Foster Youth In College

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New legislation awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown's signature offers help to foster kids in college by allowing them to live in transitional housing for one additional year.

San Diego County Sees Increase In Number Of Homeless Students

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San Diego County is in line with national numbers showing the number of homeless students enrolled in public school is on the rise. There are 20,000 homeless students in San Diego County.

Flow Of Unaccompanied Minors Has Decreased But What About The Children Already Here?

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We no longer see daily headlines about the surge in unaccompanied minors and young families crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, but what is happening to the thousands of young people who did cross the border, surrendered to Border Patrol agents and claimed refugee status?

The Race To Contain The Ebola Outbreak

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Sierra Leone's weekend lockdown to contain the Ebola outbreak is being called a success with the discover of 150 new cases. What will it take to stop the spread and treat those infected? Are we any closer to a vaccine?

Report: Poverty Rate In San Diego Increases

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New census data highlights some disturbing trends, like how 1 in 5 children in San Diego are living in poverty.

Cost Of Doing Nothing At The Salton Sea May Be Higher Than Cost Of Repair

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A new report on the Salton Sea estimates that the volume of the lake will shrink by more than 50 percent in the next 15 years. If no mitigation or reclamation project is undertaken, the report projects the costs of the shrinking lake will include impacts to Southern California's ecology and public health.

San Diegans Rally For Change: People's Climate March

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Worldwide demonstrations known as the "People's Climate March" are planned for this weekend ahead of world leaders gathering at the U.N. for a climate summit. The march is based in New York, but an event is planned in San Diego.

'Life, Animated: A Story Of Sidekicks, Heroes, And Autism'

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A book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Suskind details his family's 20-year struggle with their youngest son's autism — and how his obsession to Disney movies opened his world and is helping others.

San Diego Veterans Can Speak Up About VA Healthcare At Town Hall Meeting Thursday

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The VA San Diego wants to hear from veterans about their experience with VA health care. Issues over waiting times, access to care and more will be aired at a series of town hall meetings around the county. These town hall events come on the heels of the new VA secretary's visit to San Diego to rehabilitate the group's battered reputation.

Zero Tolerance Policies' Impact On School-To-Prison Pipeline

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KPBS Midday Edition takes a look at how "zero-tolerance" policies in schools might be contributing to the crowding of juvenile detention facilities.

FBI Chief: U.S. Safer After 9/11 But Al-Qaida Offshoots Pose Threats (Video)

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FBI Director James Comey, speaking in San Diego, said counter terrorism remains a top priority for the agency with terrorists from ISIS and al-Shabab posing significant threats.

Controversy Surrounds Future Of East County Performing Arts Center

The East County Performing Arts Center might soon lease out much of its calendar to the Rock Church. Critics say that's not what the facility was intended for.

Vietnam Vet Writes Novel 'Raw Man' To Promote PTSD Awareness

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Disabled Vietnam veteran Fred Rivera has turned his struggle with physical and psychic pain into a novel based on his real experiences in Vietnam.

What's Next For San Diego's Convention Center?

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The City Council voted unanimously not to appeal a court ruling against the plan to finance the San Diego Convention Center expansion. City leaders say the search for a new plan begins.

California First State To Pass Cellphone 'Kill Switch' Law

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Smartphone theft is on the rise — many times turning violent — but a new California law will require a "kill switch" be installed rendering the phone inoperable if stolen.

Napa Quake Reminds San Diego To Be Prepared

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Earthquake researchers predict there's a 99 percent chance Southern California will experience a 6.7-magnitude earthquake in the next 30 years.

San Diego Convention Center Expansion Plan In Limbo

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The San Diego City Council voted unanimously Tuesday not to appeal a ruling by a state appeals court that rejected San Diego's plan to finance the project.

Are Earthquakes Linked To Drought?

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The 6.0-magnitude quake in Napa, California is causing some to take second look at UC San Diego research that indicates an uplift in the earth's surface — caused by the drought — is causing seismic activity to spring up.

Lawyers Fought Long Odds To Free Woman Who Killed Pimp

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Lawyers for Sara Kruzan said they never lost faith despite setbacks.

After Woman Spends 18 Years In Prison For Killing Her Pimp, She Starts Anew

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Sara Kruzan says she's glad society is more knowledgeable about child sex trafficking than it was 20 years ago when she was prosecuted at age 16 for killing her pimp.

Probe Of Illegal Campaign Contributions To San Diego Politicians Taking Shape

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Prosecutors say Mexican billionaire Jose Susumo Azano Matsura was the source of a scheme to commit campaign finance fraud "on a scale not seen in San Diego history."

Mexican Businessman Blames Sempra For Federal Campaign Finance Probe

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Jose Susumo Azano Matsura, a Mexican billionaire, is accused of illegally contributing more than $600,000 to San Diego campaigns using straw donors. Foreign nationals are not allowed to donate to U.S. political campaigns.

California Ranks As World's 8th Largest Economy, Overtaking Russia And Italy

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Economist says the Golden State’s standing is more evidence of its continued recovery. Tourism and the tech industry helped fuel California's comeback, an economist says.

Californians Concerned About Income Inequality

The state's residents disagree on raising the minimum wage beyond what is planned.

From Linkage Fee To Mt. Soledad, San Diego Mayor Provides Update

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San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer joined KPBS Midday Edition for his monthly update on the business of the city and it's been a busy four weeks since his last visit.

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