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America's last heroin epidemic was in the 1970's and 80's, concentrated in metropolitan centers.  Now it's back — more powerful and potentially deadly — and the users are younger, more affluent and living in areas ill-prepared to cope with the problem. Also, Comcast and Time Warner merge in $45 billion deal. On today's Talking Point, is press freedom 'plummeting' in the US? 

Banner image: a hundred visions and revisions

Comcast and Time Warner Merge in $45 Billion Deal

America's two largest cable companies announced a prospective merger today with Comcast planning to buy Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion. Together, they would account for almost three-quarters of the nation's cable industry. Edmund Lee is media reporter for Bloomberg News.

Edmund Lee, Bloomberg News (@edmundlee)

Heroin Makes a Comeback 35 MIN, 41 SEC

Heroin addiction wasn't just Philip Seymour Hoffman's problem. It isn't just Hollywood's problem. It's America's problem. It's migrated from central cities to middle class suburbs to small towns in New England, the MidWest and other places where it's rarely been seen before. Cheaper, more potent supplies find a ready market of people already addicted to prescription pain pills that are harder to get than they used to be. Drug overdoses now kill more Americans than traffic accidents, gun homicides or suicides. How long has that been true? Why did it take a celebrity death to focus public attention? What needs to be done?

Zusha Elinson, Wall Street Journal (@ZushaElinson)
Ben Cimons, recovering addict
Keith Humphreys, Stanford School of Medicine (@KeithNHumphreys)
Markos Kounalakis, Central European University (@kounalakism)

Is Press Freedom 'Plummeting' in US? 7 MIN, 32 SEC

Reporters Without Borders is an international NGO that rates 180 countries on press freedom. Its latest report has Finland, the Netherlands and Norway at the top of the list, with Turkmenistan North Korea and Eritrea at the bottom. The US is said to have suffered a "significant decline," having dropped 13 points since last year when it comes to press freedom. It's now reportedly standing at 46th out of 180, between Romania and Haiti. First Amendment attorney Floyd Abrams has defended Daniel Ellsberg's release of the Pentagon Papers and prevailed over the Nixon Administration. His books include Friend of the Court and Speaking Freely, and he's been a professor at the law schools of Yale and Columbia.

Floyd Abrams, Cahill, Gordon & Reindel

Friend of the Court

Floyd Abrams

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