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FROM THIS EPISODE

Reports of contamination in Flint Michigan's water supply were ignored or dismissed by local, state and federal officials…long enough to allow the spread of lead poisoning. We hear about cost-cutting, cover-ups and long term consequences for public health and trust in government.

Later on the program, Pluto was downgraded 10 years ago as too small to be a real planet. But now, there's evidence of an object five to 10 times bigger than Earth. Even though nobody's actually seen it, astronomers call it Planet 9.

Photo: Virginia Tech/FlintWaterStudy

Producers:
Andrea Brody
Sarah Sweeney
Christine Detz

Oil at Lowest Price since 2003, Markets React 6 MIN, 30 SEC

The Dow Jones Industrial Average took another hit today… down as much as 500 points in early trading. Other investment indexes plunged, too. Now that Iran is back in the oil business, the price of crude has dropped to the point where the market may be drowning in "oversupply." Gurpal Dosanjh is an energy analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence.

Guests:
Gurpal Dosanjh, Bloomberg Intelligence

Poisoned Water Poisons Public Trust 34 MIN, 17 SEC

Almost two years ago, the city of Flint, Michigan began drawing water from the Flint River in order to save money. Local and state officials were well aware that corrosion from lead pipes might contaminate the drinking supply — but they failed to take well-established precautionary measures. For 18 months, they ignored or dismissed reports of lead levels rising in the blood of many children. Those reports turned out to be all too true. In last night’s State of the State speech, Republican Governor Rick Snyder took responsibility.

He’s refused demands for his resignation even though he admits he helped cause the problem. But local officials and the Obama Administration share the blame, pushing trust in government to an all-time low in a largely black city of 99,000 people. Is this story of cost-cutting, cover-ups and aging infrastructure a wake-up call for other American cities?

Guests:
Chad Livengood, Detroit News (@ChadLivengood)
Mona Hanna-Attisha, Hurley Children's Hospital (@MonaHannaA)
Marc Edwards, Virginia Tech (@VirginiaTechCEE)
Pamela Puchalaski, New America (@NewAmerica)

More:
Governor Snyder's Flint Water Response Team updates
Livengood on Snyder and the water crisis
Flint Water Study
Clinton on the Snyder, Flint water crisis

Move Over Pluto, Astronomers Say There's a New Planet in Town 9 MIN, 30 SEC

Ten years ago, astronomer’s shrunk the solar system by removing Pluto from the list of real planets. Now the solar system is getting bigger again.


Artistic rendering of the distant view from Planet Nine back towards the sun.
The planet is thought to be gaseous, similar to Uranus and Neptune.
Image: Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)

In the latest issue of Astronomical Journal astronomers from Caltech in Pasadena describe a massive object called Planet Nine, orbiting even farther away from the Sun than the former planet called Pluto. One author of today's article is Mike Brown, who also wrote the book How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming.


Caltech professor Mike Brown and assistant professor Konstanin Batygin
Photo: Lance Hayashida/Caltech

Guests:
Mike Brown, Professor of Planetary Astronomy, California Institute of Technology (@plutokiller)

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