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We start with a look at Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s bid for the 2016 Republican nomination. Then, the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing the case today of a disabled woman who was shot by police; what does the case tell us about the challenges of policing the mentally ill? In our weekly television roundup, did the season finale of Empire satisfy fans or make things too complicated for season two? Next, a conversation with the creators of Instagram feeds devoted to depicting everyday life in Africa and Iran. And finally, a debate over the fate of the former LAPD headquarters known as Parker Center.

Banner Image: Senator Ted Cruz of Texas speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland; Credit: Gage Skidmore

Ted Cruz Throws His Hat in the 2016 Ring 8 MIN, 9 SEC

Texas Senator Ted Cruz announced in a speech this morning that he’s making a bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. That makes him the first to enter the race for his party’s pick. Cruz is a favorite among Tea Party conservatives and evangelicals -- but he doesn’t have the broad appeal needed to make him a likely contender in the next presidential race. That said, four years ago he was an unlikely Senate candidate. So, what does his 2016 bid say about him and today’s political climate?

Erica Grieder, Texas Monthly Magazine (@EricaGrieder)

The Man in the Arena

Policing the Mentally Ill 8 MIN, 31 SEC

At the U.S. Supreme Court today, the justices are hearing the case of a San Francisco woman who tried to sue the city and two of its police officers for violating her rights as a disabled person. Teresa Sheehan, who suffers from schizophrenia, was shot multiple times by police officers who were responding to a call placed by a group home Sheehan lived in. Sheehan had threatened to kill her social worker with a knife and locked herself in her room. The police knocked the door down and eventually fired, claiming Sheehan charged them with a knife. We look at this and other similar incidents around the country -- including here in L.A. -- and ask, how equipped are cops to handle suspects with mental health problems?

Claudia Center, American Civil Liberties Union
Chuck Thompson, International Municipal Lawyers Association

“Empire” Finale and Other TV News 9 MIN, 36 SEC

In our weekly television roundup, Empire has wrapped up its first season. Were fans satisfied with the finale, and can the show keep it fresh for season two? Also, pasty English comedian James Corden will host his first episode of The Late Late Show tonight, taking over from Craig Ferguson. We talk about that and more in our weekly television roundup.

Michael Schneider, Indiewire / Variety (@Franklinavenue)
Linda Holmes, NPR (@nprmonkeysee)

Everyday Instagram 11 MIN, 37 SEC

There are some places in the world we only hear about when something awful happens, when there’s a terrorist attack, natural disaster, or deadly epidemic. But of course, that’s not a complete picture of these places. A photographer and a journalist who have worked throughout Africa want to share what it’s like there on a daily basis, so a couple of years ago they created a blog and Instagram feed called Everyday Africa. It shows exactly that, everyday people walking in the park, going to the market or to school. The feed has 127,000 followers and has inspired similar feeds as far away as Egypt and as exotic as the Bronx.

Austin Merrill, Everyday Africa (@_austinmerrill)
Ali Kaveh, Everyday Iran (@alikaveh)

Parker Center’s Future 7 MIN, 29 SEC

Should the Parker Center stay or should it go? The former headquarters of the Los Angeles Police Department is empty now; as it has been for the last six years, since the LAPD moved into its new headquarters. And the city has plans to tear the building down to make way for a new and much bigger tower to house city workers. To some, the old LAPD headquarters represent a dark history of racist policing. But the LA Conservancy and the Cultural Heritage Commission are trying to stop the demolition and preserve the old building.

Frances Anderton, Host, 'DnA: Design & Architecture' (@FrancesAnderton)

Gail Kennard Makes the Case for Saving Parker Center

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