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NPR’s Anders Kelto recently returned from a two week reporting trip in Sierra Leone, one of three countries hardest hit by the Ebola epidemic. We talk to him about his experience. Then we look into the rumors surrounding North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who hasn’t been seen in public in over a month. A Hello Kitty exhibit is coming to L.A.; We talk to its curator. We also look into the real story of reporter Gary Webb, the journalist who inspired the new feature film “Kill the Messenger”. And we look at other new releases in our weekly film roundup.

Banner Image: Much Loved Kitty photo by: Mark Nixon

Reporting on Ebola in Sierra Leone 10 MIN, 29 SEC

NPR’s Anders Kelto recently returned from a two week reporting trip to Sierra Leone, one of three countries hardest hit by the Ebola epidemic. While we here at home are worried about a possible Ebola outbreak even though only one person has died here, Kelto experienced first hand what it’s like for West Africans dealing with the reality of the disease in their daily lives… a reality that has claimed the lives of close to 4-thousand people.

Photo credit: Peter Breslow/NPR

Kelto having his temperature taken at a police checkpoint in Sierra Leone. The police have roadblocks all over the country, and force people to get out, have their temperature taken, and wash their hands in chlorine solution. His temperature was a cool 97.5 degrees.

Anders Kelto, correspondent and editor for NPR’s global health and development team (@anderskelto)

Where is Kim Jong Un? 6 MIN, 19 SEC

It’s been thirty seven days since North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was last seen in public. Today, he didn’t turn up at the big anniversary ceremonies for the founding of the Workers’ Party. That’s when everyone who’s anyone pays their respects at the palace-turned-mausoleum where the embalmed bodies of his father and grandfather lie under clear glass. So…where is Kim Jung Un? Is he sick? Has he been overthrown? Who’s running the country?

David Kang, University of Southern California (@DaveCKang)

Hello Kitty Comes to L.A. 7 MIN, 4 SEC

A cultural icon turns 40 this year. But she never seems to age. That expressionless face, that bow permanently affixed to the top of her head...they never change. We’re talking about Hello Kitty. A new exhibition devoted to the feline cartoon opens this weekend at the Japanese American National Museum downtown.

Hello Kitty x Lady Gaga Plush Dress 2009
Photo Credit: Markus + Indrani, styled by GK Reid

Christine Yano, Curator of the Hello Kitty exhibit. She’s an anthropologist at the University of Hawaii and author of "Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty's Trek Across

Hello Kitty Exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum

Life Lessons and Daddy Issues 12 MIN, 3 SEC

This week’s batch of movies is all about life lessons. And maybe some daddy issues. We talk “Whiplash”, “St. Vincent”, “The Judge” and “Dracula Untold”.

WHIPLASH - Official Trailer

Gregory Ellwood, editor-in-chief of the movie and pop culture site HitFix. (@HitFixGregory)
Tim Grierson, Film Critic (@TimGrierson)

The Story of Gary Webb 10 MIN, 28 SEC

The new film “Kill The Messenger” is based on the true story of investigative journalist Gary Webb. He famously published a series of articles in the San Jose Mercury News that  linked the CIA to America’s crack-cocaine epidemic of the 1980s. Webb and his stories came under intense scrutiny, from both the government and rival newspapers. A decade later, he committed suicide. As KCRW’s Saul Gonzalez reports, some of the people who scrutinized Webb the most now have mixed emotions about how they handled the situation.

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