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FROM THIS EPISODE

Do concussions on the football field cause brain damage? Have coaches, team doctors and players themselves been in denial? We hear about growing evidence and some new signals of seriousness from the National Football League. Also, Afghanistan and Copenhagen on the President's agenda, and why eager volunteers to feed the hungry on Thanksgiving Day may be turned away.

Banner image: Former NFL player Brent Boyd (C) rubs his head while sitting next to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (L) during a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee about football brain injuries on Captiol Hill. Boyd suffers from headaches, depression, fatigue and dizziness caused by what his doctors diagnosed as post-concussion syndrome. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Producers:
Katie Cooper
Christian Bordal
Frances Anderton

Making News President Obama Goes to Copenhagen 7 MIN, 20 SEC

The White House said today that President Obama will announce his plans for Afghanistan on prime time TV this coming Tuesday. Later next month, he'll attend the climate negotiations in Copenhagen and commit the US to reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. Jim Tankersley covers energy and the environment for the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune.

Guests:
Jim Tankersley, Washington Post (@jimtankersley)

Main Topic Football and the Cost of Concussions 37 MIN, 26 SEC

As a long weekend full of football gets under way, the National Football League is on the defensive over the long-term effects of concussions. There's increasing evidence that multiple head-pounding produces brain disease akin to Alzheimer's, but official recognition has been a long-time coming. Yesterday, the co-chairs of the NFL's committee on brain injuries resigned and some new rules were instituted.  As of this weekend, independent neurologists will advise team doctors, coaches and players on how soon, if ever, players who've been knocked silly can return to the game. Has the NFL been in a state of denial? What's the message for college football and parents whose kids play football in high school? 

Guests:
Alan Schwarz, New York Times (@alanschwarz)
Robert Stern, Co-Director, Boston University's Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy
Andrew Kline, former player for the St. Louis Rams
Andrew Brandt, ESPN (@adbrandt)
Ann Killion, Sports Columnist, Sports Illustrated and Comcast SportsNet

Reporter's Notebook Helping the Hungry, beyond Thanksgiving Day 5 MIN, 41 SEC

Tomorrow's the day when millions of Americans get serious about feeding the hungry. These "armies of compassion" volunteer for duty at pantries and food kitchens around the country to provide help for those less fortunate than themselves. Does that help to solve America's problem with hunger? Not really, according to former Clinton Administration official Joel Berg, Executive Director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger.

Guests:
Joel Berg, Executive Director, New York City Coalition Against Hunger

All You Can Eat

Joel Berg

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