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Former aerospace exec named USC's interim president 7 MIN, 37 SEC

C. L. Max Nikias is out as USC’s president. The university has been embroiled in scandal after scandal, the latest over gynecologist George Tyndall, who was accused of sexually abusing students for decades. In May, hundreds of USC staffers called for Nikias to step down. When there was no follow-up, they sent out another petition last week. Now Wanda Austin is stepping in as interim president. She’s a USC trustee, and former aerospace executive.

Guests:
Harriet Ryan, LA Times
Ariela Gross, USC Professor of Law and History (@arielagross)

More:
Wanda Austin background
USC names retired aerospace executive Wanda Austin as acting president, announces Nikias' departure

Zero tolerance policy did little to deter migrants from crossing the border 7 MIN, 43 SEC

The Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant families caught at the border did little to deter people from crossing. That’s according to the Department of Homeland Security today. Meanwhile, the White House is considering making it harder for legal immigrants to get full citizenship. The policy would target families who’ve used social safety net programs like Obamacare, children’s health insurance, and food stamps.

Guests:
Ted Hesson, Politico (@tedhesson)

More:
Arrests at U.S. Border Fell in July Amid Changes in Immigration Policy
Border arrest data suggests Trump’s push to split migrant families had little deterrent effect

The power of the term 'welfare' 9 MIN, 21 SEC

The Trump administration wants to use enrollment in public benefits as a strike against legal immigrants who aim to become citizens. New research from Cornell shows that people’s feelings about government has less to do with their own experience, and more to do with perceptions of other people relying on aid, specifically “welfare.”

Guests:
Emily Badger, New York Times writer (@emilymbadger)

More:
The Outsize Hold of the Word ‘Welfare’ on the Public Imagination

The forgotten history of one of the biggest U.S. federal detention programs 16 MIN, 57 SEC

A government program called the American Plan gave law enforcement the right to lock-up any woman they suspected of promiscuity. It eventually became one of the largest-scale and longest running mass quarantines in US history. It’s the subject of the new book “The Trials of Nina McCall.”

Guests:
Scott W. Sterns, author, “The Trials of Nina McCall” (@ScottWStern)

Fire rips through historic area in O.C. forest 6 MIN, 45 SEC

The Holy Fire in the Cleveland National Forest has burned more than 4,000 acres since Monday afternoon. It’s called the Holy Fire because it started near Holy Jim Canyon. The canyon has a long and colorful history, which started in the 1880s when a foul-mouthed beekeeper named Jim Smith moved there.


"Holy Jim" Smith. Courtesy of the Jim Sleeper Collection.


Guests:
Phil Brigandi, historian

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