FROM THIS EPISODE
When police need participants in lineups to help victims of crime identify suspects, they have to ask permission. Not anymore. This fall, the Georgetown Law School's Center on Privacy and Technology published findings that half of all American adults are in police facial recognition networks. We spoke with the Center's executive director Alvaro Bedoya.
Photo courtesy of Gene Hunt
If 2016 felt short of good news, you might have missed that Honduras – once the murder capital of the world – has seen a big drop in homicides. Pulitzer Prize winning author Sonia Nazario first reported this story for the New York Times and she joined us in studio. We began our conversation with the Rivera Hernandez neighborhood of a town in Honduras called San Pedro Sula. There, 194 people were "killed or hacked to death in 2013," including a 13-year-old named Andrea Martinez. Sonia Nazario won a Pulitzer Prize and other awards for Enrique’s Journey, a book that alerted Americans to the plight of children fleeing from Central America. .
When President Ronald Reagan was relaxing at Camp David in 1983, he happened to see the film War Games, starring the young Mathew Broderick as a "tech-whiz teenager" who thinks he's playing a computer game. It turns out that the kid has unwittingly hacked into America's real-world defense system, and he almost starts World War III. President Reagan's reaction to that film begins the book, Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War, by Pulitzer-Prize winning reporter and author Fred Kaplan, who's currently national security correspondent for Slate.
Now not all warfare was cyber warfare in 2016. With the battle on to retake Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria from the Islamic State, the so-called Caliphate is shrinking and intelligence officials warned that European extremists will be returning to their home countries. This October, we spoke with ProPublica's senior reporter Sebastian Rotella about his series "Terror in Europe" for PBS' Frontline.
We spoke with a lot of authors this year, but our this guest stood out. For seven consecutive years, J. Kael Weston served in the combat zones of Iraq and Afghanistan -- not as a soldier, but as a civilian — a State Department advisor. He received the Secretary of State's Medal for Heroism. This year, he published The Mirror Test: America at War in Iraq and Afghanistan, a searing account about his experience.
J. Kael Weston, Westminster College
J. Kael Weston
E.J. Dionne's recent book was prescient. Timed to appear during the presidential campaign, his latest is Why the Right Went Wrong: Conservatism from Goldwater to the Tea Party and Beyond. He joined us during the heat of the presidential primaries.
E.J. Dionne Jr.
How much of identity, temperament and the risk of disease are determined before we're born — by our genes? We got some answers from Siddhartha Mukherjee, a doctor whose latest book traces the history — and possible future — of genetic science. He is author of The Gene: An Intimate History.
More From To the Point
US elections: How far have we come since Bush v. Gore? This program began in the year 2000 with coverage of the contested election of President George W. Bush. Changes in the following 17 years were supposed to improve the integrity of the electoral process. Is the "guarantee" that every American has the right to vote more — or less — a reality?
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