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FROM THIS EPISODE

Two American journalists have been released by North Korea. Three other Americans are in custody in Iran. What are the rights and obligations of tourists, reporters and the governments on both sides of closed borders? Will a new generation of travelers and journalists provoke more international incidents? Also, the President checks in on Senate healthcare bill, and the US Postal Service is now officially a "high risk" government agency.


Banner image: Journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling arrive back to their families on August 5, 2009 in Burbank, California after being released by North Korean authorities yesterday. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for Shangri-La

Producers:
Frances Anderton
Sonya Geis
Karen Radziner

Making News President Checks in on Senate Healthcare Bill 7 MIN, 33 SEC

All over the country, members of Congress and other federal officials are facing demonstrators stirred up about healthcare reform.  Back in Washington today, six Senators — three Democrats and three Republicans -- briefed President Obama on their effort to reach a consensus. Shailagh Murray reports for the Washington Post.

Guests:
Shailagh Murray, Congressional Correspondent, Washington Post

Main Topic Dangerous Assignments, Risky Travel and Government to the Rescue 37 MIN, 19 SEC

Laura Ling and Euna Lee have been freed from North Korea, but three other Americans are still being detained for crossing from remote Kurdistan into Iran. These are only the latest in a series of international incidents created by American citizens accused of entering forbidden zones, creating multiple headaches for US diplomats. Are foreign governments justified in suspecting they might be spies? Do both tourists and journalists have an obligation to stay out of trouble? Should the US government always come to the rescue, whatever the diplomatic trade-offs might be?

Guests:
Philip Wilcox, Foundation for Middle East Peace
Evans Revere, former Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy in South Korea
Robert Baer, CIA (formerly)
Joel Simon, Executive Director, Committee to Protect Journalists
Robert Reid, US Travel Editor, Lonely Planet

The Devil We Know

Robert Baer

Reporter's Notebook Postal Service Warns of Service Cuts 5 MIN, 50 SEC

E-mail is a major challenge to "snail mail" and the recession is taking its toll on the US Postal Service. Saturday delivery and hundreds of post offices are at risk of being discontinued and closed. Mail volume has dropped almost 13% in the past nine months and the USPS is on track to lose $7 billion this fiscal year. But the Internet and the recession aren't the only problems. Michael Crew is Professor of Regulatory Economics at Rutgers University and Director of its Center for Research in Regulated Industries.

Guests:
Michael Crew, Professor of Regulatory Economics, Rutgers University

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