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FROM THIS EPISODE

America's poultry industry is under assault as never before from bird flu. It's thought to have started with migrating wild geese, but nobody knows why it's spreading. So far, there's no threat to the food supply, but prices could be on the rise and the future is full of uncertainties.

Also, Shiite forces mobilize to retake Ramadi. On today's Talking Point, the Colorado River and America's water crisis.

Photo: Health workers pack dead chickens into trash bins at a wholesale poultry market. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Producers:
Katie Cooper
Benjamin Gottlieb

Shiite Forces Mobilize to Retake Ramadi 6 MIN, 29 SEC

The government of Iraq has deployed two powerful Shiite militias to help retake the city of Ramadi from ISIS, the so-called Islamic state, which captured it Sunday. It's a risky strategy in volatile Anbar Province, with its mix of Sunni tribesmen and other security units. Nour Malas is reporting from Baghdad for the Wall Street Journal.

Special thanks to Sarah Sween for production assistance.

Guests:
Nour Malas, Wall Street Journal (@malas_n)

The Biggest Outbreak of Bird Flu in American History 32 MIN, 18 SEC

In Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa, National Guard soldiers have an assignment they never expected. They're helping to dispose of tens of millions of dead birds — turkeys and egg-laying chickens that are dying or being killed in order to stop the worst spread of bird flu in American history. Several countries have banned imports of US poultry. But only birds are infected, and chickens raised for their meat aren't involved — so far. We hear about wild-bird migrations, factory farms and a threat to a multi-billion-dollar industry.

Guests:
P.J. Huffstutter, Reuters (@PJHuffstutter1)
Sarah Parvini, Los Angeles Times (@ParviniParlance)
Kent Klippen, National Association of Egg Farmers
Michael Greger, Humane Society of the United States (@HumaneSociety)
Richard French, Becker College (@BeckerNews)

More:
National Association of Egg Farmers on misinformation on egg production practices
Humane Society on bird flu as one marker of sickness in industrial agriculture
National Animal Health Emergency Response Corps on avian influenza
USDA reminder for backyard poultry owners to protect their birds
Mother Jones on how the new bird flue outbreak could affect people

Bird Flu

Michael Greger

The Colorado and America's Water Crisis 11 MIN, 6 SEC

There are more water-rights to the Colorado River than there is water — and 16 years of drought in the Western States have led to a serious water crisis. The Colorado flows through seven states and serves 36 million people — and that's led to so much alteration and so much control that it's more like a 1400-mile long canal than a river. That's according to David Owen, staff writer for the New Yorker.

Guests:
David Owen, New Yorker magazine (@NewYorker)

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