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FROM THIS EPISODE

What if the pilots of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 steered the plane off-course because of an electrical fire? We talk to the deputy editor of Wired, which published a story by a pilot making the case for that theory. We also chat with an author and astronomer about a breakthrough discovery in understanding the Big Bang. A new Stanford study says that L.A. charter school students spend more time learning than their public school counterparts. We examine the report, and get a response from the L.A. teachers union. We also take a deep dive into the secretive world of “fast fashion” companies like Forever 21, and the close-knit community of Korean families in L.A. driving the trend. Finally, are struggling homeowners out of luck in getting foreclosure help? A new lawsuit against the State of California and a Justice Department report suggest that authorities aren’t doing much to help Main Street.

Banner Image: Gateway of Granada Hills Charter High School, San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles; Credit: jcjusay

Producers:
Andrew Walsh
Christian Bordal
Matt Holzman
Jolie Myers
Anna Scott

Missing Plane Theories 7 MIN, 15 SEC

Since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing March 8, most of the speculation about what happened to it has revolved around terrorism or hijacking. But what if the pilots deliberately steered the plane off-course because of something as simple as an electrical fire? That’s what one experienced pilot theorizes in a story for Wired.com.

Guests:
Joe Brown, Deputy editor at Wired (@joemfbrown)

A Glimpse Into the Big Bang 7 MIN, 45 SEC

It might be one of the most important scientific discoveries in a generation: Astronomers at the South Pole say they’ve discovered the first direct evidence of how the universe rapidly expanded in a tiny fraction of a second after the Big Bang. Scientists say it’s a breakthrough in understanding how our world was born.

Guests:
Phil Plait, Slate.com (@badastronomer )

More:
Cosmic News: Astronomers Find the Twisted Fingerprints of Inflation in the Background Glow of the Universe
First Direct Evidence of Cosmic Inflation

L.A. Charter School Performance 9 MIN, 27 SEC

A new Stanford study says students who attend charter schools here in L.A. spend more time learning than their public school counterparts, especially Hispanic children. We talk to a co-author of the report, and we hear from the L.A. teachers union about the findings.

Guests:
Dev Davis, Stanford University's Center for Research on Education Outcomes
Warren Fletcher, United Teachers Los Angeles (@utlanow)

The Secret World of L.A.'s Fast Fashion 14 MIN, 6 SEC

“Fast Fashion” is the dominant trend in today’s clothing industry -- and it’s being driven by a surprisingly close-knit community of Korean families in Los Angeles. We talk to an anthropologist who explains how the story of these designers connects the worlds of religion, commerce, technology, and the American dream.

Guests:
Christina Moon, Parsons The New School for Design
Trina Turk, Clothing designer (@shoptrinaturk)

California Sued Over Diversion of Money From National Mortgage Settlement 7 MIN, 49 SEC

Six years after the financial crisis, a lot of people are still struggling to hang onto their houses. And help is hard to come by. Now, 3 nonprofit groups are suing California. The suit says the state misused nearly $370 million that were supposed to help people facing foreclosure. Meanwhile, a new report says the Justice Department has basically stopped investigating mortgage fraud cases. Are our local and federal authorities giving up on cleaning up the mortgage mess?

Guests:
Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times

More:
California Sued Over Diversion of Money From National Mortgage Settlement

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