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FROM THIS EPISODE

Eleven hundred people have died in Mexican President Calderon's crackdown on drug cartels, and the violence has spread to Mexico City. Is Mexico becoming like Colombia on a grander scale? Should the US provide military assistance or help build institutions that strengthen the rule of law? What is this country doing about the demand for drugs that makes illegal traffic a major international industry? Also, Senator Edward Kennedy is diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.


Banner image of Senator Ted Kennedy: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Producers:
Gary Scott
Katie Cooper
Frances Anderton

Reporter's Notebook Kennedy's Historic Role in US Politics 7 MIN, 16 SEC

Senator Edward Kennedy is said to be resting comfortably in a Boston hospital after being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle have expressed sympathy and best wishes for the Massachusetts Democrat and his family. Radiation and chemotherapy are available, as is surgery, although none has been mentioned. The survival rate from this type of malignancy ranges from a few months to five years.  Frank Phillips, State House Bureau Chief for the Boston Globe, considers Kennedy's historic role in American politics and government.

Guests:
Frank Phillips, State House Bureau Chief, Boston Globe

Making News Senator Ted Kennedy Has Malignant Brain Tumor 5 MIN, 57 SEC

One of America's most important public figures has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Seventy-six year old Senator Edward Kennedy, the Democrat from Massachusetts, suffered a seizure this weekend on Cape Cod. He's now hospitalized and is "resting comfortably" in Boston. Martin Kady, congressional correspondent for Politico, has more on the Senator's condition.

Guests:
Martin Kady, Politico (@mkady)

Main Topic Mexico Under Siege: Can Calderon Rein in the Cartels? 35 MIN, 43 SEC

Mexican President Felipe Calderón's crackdown on drug cartels has been met with brutal violence, including the beheadings of local police. His third-ranking public official was assassinated in Mexico City, and a federal policeman is one of those accused in the killing. Calderón calls these "acts of desperation" that prove the success of his efforts. The Bush Administration wants to send helicopters, planes and inspection scanners to help Calderón, but members of both parties in Congress have their doubts. Others say Mexico is beginning to look like Colombia. Should the US help Calderón fight his drug war, bolster the rule of law or use the money to protect its own border? What about curbing demand and supplies of illegal weapons?

Guests:
Alfredo Corchado, Dallas Morning News (@ajcorchado)
Franc Contreras, freelance correspondent
Rafael Fernandez de Castro, Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico
David Johnson, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
Laura Carlsen, Director of the Americas Program, Center for International Policy

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