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FROM THIS EPISODE

You may be tired of elections, but six propositions on a statewide ballot on May 19 could decide California’s financial future. We hear about that and the 840-pound emerald somewhere in Los Angeles. Who owns it? What is it worth? On our rebroadcast of To the Point, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says America’s on a “New Path" to Middle East peace.  The latest evidence: two diplomats will be sent to Damascus, four years after the Bush Administration withdrew its ambassador from Syria.

Producers:
Sonya Geis
Katie Cooper

Making News Federal Hearing on Chatsworth Train Crash 8 MIN, 7 SEC

Last year's crash of a Metrolink passenger train and a Union Pacific freight killed 25 people. Investigation led to a federal ban on mobile phone-use by train operators.  Documents released today by the National Transportation Safety Board show the Metrolink engineer wasn't the only one sending text messages. Angela Greiling Keane reports for Bloomberg News.

Guests:
Angela Greiling Keane, Reporter, Bloomberg News Service

Main Topic America's 'New Path' in the Middle East 25 MIN, 58 SEC

Four years after the Bush Administration severed relations with Syria, Hillary Clinton says America's on a "New Path" to Middle East peace, and will send two diplomats to Damascus. The Secretary of State is in Jerusalem after talking so passionately yesterday about Israeli-Palestinian peace that Arab reporters applauded. Israel has not yet formed a new government after last month's election. The Palestinians are divided between Hamas and Fattah. Can Syria have a role in the peace process? What about Turkey? Will Iran respond to efforts to talk about its nuclear development?

Guests:
James Hider, Reporter, Times of London
Joshua Landis, University of Oklahoma (@joshua_landis)
Alon Ben-Meir, Senior Fellow, New York University's Center for Global Affairs
Nadia Hijab, Senior Fellow, Institute for Palestine Studies

Main Topic California's Next Elections: Coming Right Up! 11 MIN, 5 SEC

While you're thinking about today's LA city election, or even if you're not, you'll have another chance to go to the polls in May. The $42 billion compromise that squeaked through the legislature last month is not the end of the budget debate. Now it's your turn. On May 19, Californians will be asked to pass Propositions 1A through 1F, to ratify all the deals made by Republicans and Democrats in Sacramento. We hear what six propositions could mean for the California's financial future if they pass or if they don't.

Guests:
Mark Di Camillo, Field Poll
John Wildermuth, San Francisco Chronicle (@jfwildermuth)

Reporter's Notebook Legal Battle over 840-pound Emerald 7 MIN, 8 SEC

A Los Angeles judge ruled today that an 840-pound Brazilian emerald will remain in Sheriff's custody until it's decided who owns it. The emerald was formed two billion years ago, and was discovered in 2001. Since then, it's had a lively history, including time in a New Orleans warehouse, which was flooded by Hurricane Katrina. No less than five people claim it belongs to them. Tamara Audi is reporting the story for the Wall Street Journal.

Guests:
Tamara Audi, Reporter, Wall Street Journal

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