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FROM THIS EPISODE

The mayor of Bell, California, came to the U.S. illegally as a child from Mexico. He talks about his own history and why he’s now working with the Salvation Army to help house undocumented children from Central America. Next, we take a close-up look at Guatemala and how violence and economic destitution there are driving an influx of unaccompanied minors into the U.S. In our weekly television segment we turn to Beverly Hills, where the biannual Television Critics Association press tour is underway. That’s where TV critics get a preview of what’s coming to the small screen, and this fall’s most anticipated shows are coming from an unexpected outlet: Amazon. Then we hear from journalist Ruben Castaneda about his new memoir. It chronicles his experience covering the crack epidemic in the ‘80s and ‘90s, while he was hooked on the drug himself. Finally, we remember Nobel Prize-winning South African author Nadine Gordimer with a literary scholar who knew her personally.

Banner Image: The Usumacinta River. One bank is Guatemala; the other is Mexico. Photograph taken from the Mexican side. Credit: Jacob Rus

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

Bell Mayor Vows to Help Immigrant Children 7 MIN, 40 SEC

The mayor of Bell came into the U.S. illegally as a child from Mexico. Now he’s working with the Salvation Army to help house undocumented children who are flowing over the border from Central America. He talks about his own history and how that’s informing him now.

Guests:
Nestor Valencia, Mayor of Bell, CA (@Valencia4LA2014)

More:
Guatemalans Aren't Just Fleeing Gangs

Close-up on Guatemala 8 MIN, 6 SEC

It’s not just violence that’s pushing an influx of immigrant children from Central America to the US — it’s also economic destitution and a lack of opportunity. We take a closer look at the state of Guatemala in particular and what daily life is really like there.

Guests:
Saul Elbein, freelance journalist (@saul_elbein)

Fall TV Preview 8 MIN, 56 SEC

The Television Critics Association press tour is in full swing in Beverly Hills this week. It’s a biannual gathering where TV journalists get a sneak peek at what’s coming to the small screen. This fall, the most anticipated new programs won’t come from the major networks — instead, it’s all about digital outlets like Amazon and Hulu.

Guests:
Michael Schneider, TV Guide magazine (@Franklinavenue)

Caught in the Crack Epidemic 14 MIN, 20 SEC

In the late 1980s and early ‘90s, reporter Ruben Castaneda wasn’t just covering the crack epidemic for the Washington Post — he was also taking part in it. While reporting on D.C. mayor Marion Barry’s downfall after being caught using the drug, Castaneda was hooked on it himself.

Guests:
Ruben Castaneda, author, 'S Street Rising' (@RCastanedaWP)

More:
I Was a Washington Post Reporter. And a Crack Addict.
Addict Lives With 'Monster' That's Waiting To Pounce

S Street Rising

Ruben Castaneda

Remembering Nadine Gordimer 6 MIN, 45 SEC

South African author Nadine Gordimer died Sunday in Johannesburg at the age of 90. She won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1991, three years before the end of the apartheid system she fought so hard against. We talk about Gordimer’s life and legacy with someone who knew her personally.

Guests:
Stephen Clingman, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

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