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FROM THIS EPISODE

We start with the details of a recent report showing the U.S. government has been surveilling snail mail in addition to electronic records. Then, trial lawyers are facing off against California doctors in an expensive fight over Proposition 46, one of the measures on next Tuesday’s ballot. What’s the fight all about? Next, a look at the “romance novel gold rush” we’re in the midst of now. Then, Madeleine takes a firsthand look at the tough choices faced by families of very young transgendered children. And finally, what went wrong with the now defunct L.A. soccer team Chivas USA?

Banner Image: United States Post Office mail collection boxes by EraserGirl

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

Snail Mail Surveillance 8 MIN, 31 SEC

The U.S. government can tap phones, search emails and track cell phones. Now, a recent report shows investigators also do a fair amount of analog spying through snail mail. The United States Postal Service approved nearly 50,000 requests to monitor Americans’ mail last year for criminal and security investigations.

Guests:
Josh Gerstein, Politico (@joshgerstein)

More:
Snail mail snooping safeguards not followed

Doctors v Lawyers in Ballot Fight 7 MIN, 33 SEC

Election day is one week away, and doctors and lawyers in California are locked in an expensive fight over one ballot measure. Proposition 46 would raise the cap on certain damages in medical malpractice lawsuits from $250,000 to $1.1 million, and require random drug testing of doctors. What are opponents and advocates arguing?

Guests:
Melanie Mason, Los Angeles Times (@melmason)

More:
Lawyers versus doctors in costly Prop. 46 campaign wars

Goodbye, Chivas USA 7 MIN, 26 SEC

Los Angeles is down to one soccer team. On Monday, Major League Soccer announced that it was shutting the team down, “effective immediately.” Chivas USA first entered the league in 2004 with the idea of appealing to the city’s Latino soccer fans. But during a rocky decade, the team never had its own stadium, and was never a contender for the league title. What went wrong?

Guests:
Nick Green, Soccer Columnist, Daily News

Transgender Kids, Tough Choices 15 MIN, 11 SEC

What would you say if your three-year-old boy told you that he’s not a boy, he’s a girl: not just once, but over and over again? More and more people are identifying as transgender -- at younger and younger ages. Madeleine explores the world of transgender kids in L.A.: how they, their parents and their doctors navigate the tricky waters of gender identity at very young ages.

Dr. Jo Olson and Wes review paperwork at a support group group for parents and caregivers with gender non-conforming and transgender children, teens and young adults. Photo credit: Aydin Kennedy

Romance Novel Gold Rush 7 MIN, 15 SEC

The bodice ripper -- the campiest of romance novels, the guiltiest of literary pleasures -- is also a billion-dollar-a-year business. Indeed, we’re in the midst of a romance novel gold rush, with something to satisfy even the most obscure preferences. We survey the romance genre landscape.

Guests:
Nina Terrero, correspondent for Entertainment Weekly (@Nina_Terrero)

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