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FROM THIS EPISODE

The Academy Awards, where art and commerce have butted heads for decades, is probably the most famous awards show in the world. This Sunday will mark the 77th time that Hollywood has gathered to honor its own. But as awards shows decline in ratings, is Oscar losing his luster? Why do so many people complain about the ceremonies each year but still keep tuning in? What does who wins what award tell us about popular culture? Guest hosts Sara Terry looks at cultural, aesthetic, commercial and social aspects of the Oscars with an insider, journalist Steve Pond; an outsider, investigative reporter Edward Jay Epstein; and film critic Richard Schickel.
  • Making News: Syria to Withdraw from Lebanon
    In Lebanon, a United Nations commission has begun its investigation into the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, while protesters continue to call for the removal of all Syrian troops from their country. Meanwhile, in the face of regional and international pressure, Syria has said it will withdraw its troops, but hasn-t said when. Hassan Fattah of the New York Times offers some history and brings us up to date.
  • Reporter's Notebook: Humanitarian Aid Two Months after the Tsunami Disaster
    It-s been almost two months since a massive tsunami hit Southeast Asia and generated a massive wave of media coverage and an outpouring of donations. Meantime, in Africa, it's taken an Oscar-nominated movie to shine a spotlight on crises that almost never seem to make global headlines. We learn about the challenges of creating long-term relief programs from Nancy Aossey of the International Medical Corps and Michael Clough of Human Rights Watch.
Guest host Sara Terry is an award-winning writer and photographer, who has written for the Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, Fast Company, Rolling Stone and the Boston Globe. Her photo-documentary project, Aftermath: Bosnia's Long Road to Peace, will be published in September.

United Nations begins probe into assassination of former Lebanese PM Hariri

Taif Agreement

Fattah's article on Syria's decision to withdraw from Lebanon

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS)

Oscar nominees, 77th annual

Schickel's Time magazine article on Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby

Human Rights Watch on Africa

Hotel Rwanda

International Medical Corps update on tsunami relief efforts

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