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The gold rush is on for the world's oceans and their resources. They promise not just oil, but precious minerals, potential biofuels, food sources, medical discoveries, and strategic advantages for the world's superpowers. Guest host Barbara Bogaev explores whether this new Blue Economy will stress the ocean's already fragile ecosystem beyond its breaking point.

Later on the program, a new book traces the flaws in our modern day criminal justice system to an unlikely source: Prohibition. A new look at the war on alcohol.

Photo: Takopix

Bill Cosby Faces Criminal Charges in Sexual Assault Case 6 MIN, 30 SEC

More than 50 women have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault. Now, for the first time, the 78-year-old comedian is facing felony criminal charges. The charges were brought by Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele in Pennsylvania. They stem from a 2004 accusation by Andrea Constand, who says Cosby assaulted her when she was working at Temple University. Amy Sullivan, senior editor with Yahoo News, has more on the story.

Amy Sullivan, Yahoo News (@sullivanamy)

Gold Rush on the Seas: The New Blue Economy 35 MIN, 15 SEC

The ocean is our last frontier ­­ still largely unmapped and unclaimed, but that's rapidly changing. Russia, China, the US and other nations are vying for seabed and exploratory rights to resources like oil, minerals, potential life­saving medicines, alternative energy made from algae, food derived by seaweed and many more riches. Entrepreneurs are investing in new ocean-­based technologies like aquaculture, seabed mining and bio-fuels. This "Blue Economy" could generate jobs. But will the ocean be able to withstand the onslaught of its new industrial age?

John Vidal, Guardian newspaper (@john_vidal)
David Titley, Pennsylvania State University (@dwtitley)
Margaret Leinen, Scripps Institution of Oceanography (@Leinen4ocean)
Michael Conathan, Center for American Progress (@Conathan)

UN Convention on the Law of the Sea
Center for the Blue Economy
National Ocean Economics Program
Vidal on rapid arctic ice loss linked to extreme weather
Titley on Arctic melts, as the most consequential climate-related risks to security
Conathan on developing a Blue Economy in the US, China

Prohibition and America's 'War on Alcohol' 7 MIN, 59 SEC

Juice joints, hooch, flappers and speakeasies often come to mind when we think of the Prohibition Era, and historians have often treated it as a little more than a misguided moralistic hissy fit. The influential Richard Hofstadter called prohibition “a means by which the reforming energies of the country were transmuted into mere peevishness.” But Harvard professor Lisa McGirr says we're missing a serious point.  In The War on Alcohol: Prohibition and the Rise of the American State, she argues that Prohibition planted the seeds for many of the problems we see today in our criminal justice system --  including racial and class inequity, police brutality, and flawed drug policy.

Lisa McGirr, Harvard University (@Harvard_History)

The War on Alcohol

Lisa McGirr

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