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FROM THIS EPISODE

A string of life-sized nativity scenes has been on display for 57 Christmas seasons in Santa Monica’s Palisades Park.  This year a group of atheists complained that they were not being represented—and that the display violated the Separation of Church and State.

Banner Image from SantaMonicaNativityScenes.com

Producers:
Andrea Brody
Katie Cooper
Christian Bordal

Main Topic The Sudden Death of Kim Jong Il 6 MIN, 20 SEC

Bill Clinton tried to establish relations with Kim Jong Il. George W. Bush called that “appeasement,” and made North Korea part of his “axis of evil.” Kim Jong Il responded by building—and testing—nuclear weapons. Now the big question is whether his young son and heir apparent can maintain control. China has urged economic reform on a country that can’t feed its people. South Korea worries about military action and the possibility of collapse. North Koreans were shown weeping openly in the streets today at news that their “Dear Leader” has died. We look at the prospects for transferring power in a country whose instability could have dangerous consequences.

Guests:
Don Kirk, The Atlantic
Mike Chinoy, USC US-China Institute (@mikechinoy)
Michael Green, Center for Strategic and International Studies (@CSIS)
Karin Lee, Executive director, The National Committee on North Korea

Reporter's Notebook Kim Jong Il's Death and LA’s Korean-American Community 26 MIN, 32 SEC

How is the news of Kim Jong Il's death being received in LA’s very extensive Korean-American community?

Guests:
Hannah Song, President, Liberty in North Korea

Main Topic Has the Grinch Stolen Santa Monica’s Nativity Scenes? 19 MIN, 26 SEC

Complaints about over-regulation led Santa Monica to be called “The People’s Republic,” although it’s too prosperous to deserve the label.  Now it might lose another designation: “The City of the Christmas Story.”  This year, Atheists forced a lottery for spaces in Palisades Park, where life-sized nativity scenes have been displayed for almost 60 years.

So, Santa Monica held a lottery.  Out of 21 possible spaces, the Atheists won 18 and the Christians just 3.  One other space went to Jews to put up a Menora.  How have Christians reacted?  Hunter Jameson is chair of the Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee, composed of 13 churches and the Santa Monica Police Officers Association…     

Guests:
Hunter Jameson, Chairman, Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee
Damon Vix, Member of the American Atheists, Santa Monica
Barbara Stinchfield, Director of Community and Cultural Services, City of Santa Monica
Bob Holbrook, Veteran Santa Monica City Councilman

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