We start with a look at the powerful storm headed for Southern California. Could it make a dent in the drought, and can we expect wetter weather in the years and even decades to come? Then, a behind-the-scenes look at the wheeling and dealing over a drought relief bill. Next, a sobering new report on sexual assault in the military adds momentum to an effort to take such cases out of the chain of command. Then we take a look at the small, elite group of lawyers behind a disproportionate number of U.S. Supreme Court cases. Are the justices practicing favoritism? And finally, the rise and fall of Abercrombie & Fitch C.E.O. Mike Jeffries and how he compares to other eccentric and controversial American clothing makers.
FROM THIS EPISODE
A powerful storm that’s headed our way is already flooding parts of the Bay Area: Power is out in parts of San Francisco and hundreds of flights are cancelled. Will it make a dent in the drought? And what kind of rainfall can we expect in the years and decades to come? A new study from UCLA looks at those questions..
Alex Hall, UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
The House of Representatives passed a drought relief bill earlier this week that would pave the way for water from Northern California to be diverted to Southern California and the Central Valley during winter storms. We look at the behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing over the bill, the fight heating up between agribusiness and environmentalists, and why the measure is likely to stall in the midst of it all.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is promising new legislation that would take the prosecution of military sexual assaults out of the chain of command. Her efforts are gaining momentum in light of a new Pentagon report on military sexual assault. The Pentagon found that there were nearly 6,000 sexual assaults this year, or 16 a day. It also found that a majority of victims experienced some form of retaliation. So what happens next?
Helen Benedict, Professor of journalism at Columbia University and author of “Sand Queen” and “Virgin or Vamp: How the Press Covers Sex Crimes.”
The Supreme Court seems to have added a new criterion when deciding whether to take a case. It’s not just the merits of the case itself, but the lawyer who’s bringing it. According to a new investigation by Reuters, a small group of elite lawyers who represent big business interests is much more likely than other attorneys to have their cases heard by the Supreme Court.
Mike Jeffries, the controversial C.E.O. of Abercrombie & Fitch, has stepped down. During the recession, Jeffries was unable to adapt to the rise of fast fashion houses like H&M and Forever21, leaving shareholders unhappy. We look at Jeffries’ sordid reputation and how he fits in with a line of outlandish leaders of American clothing companies.
More From Press Play with Madeleine Brand
What's the future of Facebook's A.I.? Mark Zuckerberg apologized on Wednesday for how Facebook handled the Cambridge Analytica scandal, saying his company will protect users’ privacy. But Facebook is heavily investing in artificial intelligence that could potentially mean more sophisticated data mining of its users.
Can we rein in tech giants? Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg released a statement today saying his company will protect user data and investigate apps with access to his social network. British firm Cambridge Analytica allegedly used Facebook user data for political purposes. We talk about reining in Facebook and billionaire tech leaders.
Why black boys from rich families have a 50-50 chance of falling into poverty New research shows that black boys raised in U.S. -- even in the richest neighborhoods -- still earn less money when they grow up than white boys of similar backgrounds. But that’s not the case for women. Black and white women usually track together, while black men rarely make it to the same levels as white men.
California case: free speech v. abortion rights Crisis pregnancy centers are generally run by pro-life groups that aim to convince pregnant women not to get abortions. A California law requires that employees tell their clients that the state offers free and low-cost abortions and other family planning services. Now a group of these centers is arguing that the law violates their freedom of speech.
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