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FROM THIS EPISODE

The awful details of deadly drug wars often are not reported by the Mexican media, because editors and reporters fear for their lives. We get a progress report on President Caldern's military offensive and what it could mean north of the border. Also, insurers drop child-only policies as President Obama touts health reform. On Reporter's Notebook, are election-year politics interfering with this year's debate on military spending?

Banner image: Relatives and friends of murdered El Diario photojournalist Luis Carlos Santiago mourn next to his coffin during his funeral in Ciudad Juarez, on September 18, 2010. Photo: Jesus Alcazar/AFP/Getty Images

Producers:
Sonya Geis
Gary Scott
Karen Radziner

Main Topic Mexico's Drug Wars and Reporting the News 36 MIN, 6 SEC

Brutal killings and shootouts that paralyze cities for hours often are not reported by Mexican newspapers, radio or TV. In the past four years, at least 30 journalists have been murdered or disappeared, so many that El Diario de Ciudad Juárez directly addressed the drug cartels battling for control of the city. On Sunday, in a front-page editorial, the well respected paper has asked for a "truce," implying the government can't protect citizens who are doing their jobs. There's growing Internet traffic for a blog that accepts often gruesome postings from drug lords themselves. Hillary Clinton says Mexico is like Colombia 20 years ago. Has President Calderon's military offensive failed?  What can the US do?

Guests:
William Booth, Washington Post (@BoothWilliam)
Daniel Lund, President, MUND Americas
Andrew Selee, Woodrow Wilson Center
Ricardo Pascoe, International affairs advisor, Mexico's Social Democratic Party

Reporter's Notebook Partisan Squabbling Blocks Vote on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' 6 MIN, 59 SEC

The military appropriations bill is usually a bipartisan measure, or at least one that leads to debate on America's readiness. This year, politics seems to have intervened.  Senate Democrats are accused of sending messages to the November electorate rather than doing their legislative jobs. Will failed efforts to get the DREAM Act and repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell prevent debate on military spending? What about the DISCLOSE Act? David Lightman is national correspondent for the McClatchy Newspapers.

Guests:
David Lightman, McClatchy Newspapers (@LightmanDavid)

Making News Insurers Drop Child-Only Policies as Obama Touts Health Reform 7 MIN, 33 SEC

New federal healthcare protections go into effect tomorrow. In a private back yard in Northern Virginia, President Obama listed some of the benefits. But some insurance companies already are fighting back. Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna and other say they'll stop selling policies for children rather than comply with new laws. Duke Helfand covers healthcare for the Los Angeles Times.

Guests:
Duke Helfand, Los Angeles Times

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