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State and local services may not survive California's budget crisis. Whatever happened to Governor Schwarzenegger's proposal to tax big oil? What is the LA Times hearing from readers when they're asked for solutions? On Reporter's Notebook, Al Young, the state's former poet laureate, on his appearance this weekend in Leimert Park. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, in Cairo, President Obama celebrated Islam and said it's time to end tensions between Muslims and the United States. He cited the Koran and his own personal history. Will his words make a difference to Palestinians and Israelis?

Banner image: A gas station near the British Petroleum (BP) Arco Wilmington refinery advertises its gas prices after oil hits another new record at $109 a barrel on March 11, 2008 in Wilmington, California. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Main Topic Barack Obama and the Muslim World 35 MIN, 1 SEC

President Obama delivered his much-awaited speech at Cairo University, paying tribute to the Egyptian people and the contribution of Islam to the history of science and culture.  But he called this "a time of tension between the US and Muslims around the world" caused by historical forces, including colonialism, the Cold War and the changes brought by modernity. 

Michael Slackman, Foreign Correspondent, New York Times
Fawaz Gerges, London School of Economics and Politics
Robin Wright, US Institute of Peace / Woodrow Wilson Center (@wrightr)
Saad Eddin Ibrahim, Egyptian human rights advocate
Geoffrey Aronson, Foundation for Middle East Peace

Dreams and Shadows

Robin Wright

Main Topic To Tax or Not to Tax Big Oil? 10 MIN, 53 SEC

California is the third largest oil producing state in the country, but the only one without an oil "severance" tax, a tax when oil is pumped out of the ground or "severed" from the Earth. Early this year, Arnold Schwarzenegger wanted to join fellow Republican Governors Sarah Palin of Alaska and Rick Perry of Texas by imposing an oil severance tax, but the idea went nowhere.  We hear more from Antonia Juhasz, author of The Tyranny of Oil: The World's Most Powerful Industry and What We Must Do to Stop It, and LA Times business columnist  Michael Hiltzik.

Antonia Juhasz, author, 'The Tyranny of Oil'
Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times (@hiltzikm)

The Tyranny of Oil

Antonia Juhasz

Reporter's Notebook Leimert Park Book Fair This Weekend 7 MIN, 11 SEC

On Saturday, the Leimert Park Village Book Fair will be back for its third year with 150 authors, writers, storytellers and poets. This year's theme for workshops, forums and panel discussions is "Celebrating Our Literary Legacy: Our Heritage, Our Words, Our Stories."  One featured attraction is California's former Poet Laureate, Al Young, who's also a musician and singer, college teacher, screenwriter, author of five novels and cultural ambassador all over the world.

Al Young, Poet Laureate Emeritus of California


Warren Olney

Sonya Geis
Karen Radziner

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