FROM Chris Megerian
California's Oroville Dam in crisis After years of drought, Northern California is threatened by too much water. Specifically, damaged spillways for the Oroville Dam could unleash a 30-foot wall of water, and more than 100,000 people have been ordered to evacuate from the flood plains of the Feather River. Chris Megerian is covering the breaking news on the scene for the Los Angeles Times .
Who Is Really Funding Your Candidate? Over $24 million has been spent on this year's election by special interest groups. The record breaking independent expenditures are far more than the $16.7 million spent two years ago. But not every candidate is happy with the backing.
State Legislators Debate New Taxes During the Great Recession, the California legislature cut a lot of popular programs. As the recovery gains momentum, state revenues are increasing even faster than optimists were predicting. But, Governor Brown and Democrats in the Assembly and Senate are still looking for new ways to fund public healthcare, subsidize affordable housing and pay for road repairs. Chris Megerian reports from the Capitol for the LA Times.
Transportation Projects: Big and Small The LA Metropolitan region faces " Bumpy Roads Ahead ," according to a think tank based in Washington, DC. No less than 73% of our roads and freeways are in "poor" condition — and every year, that costs the average driver more than a thousand dollars in extra fuel, repairs and maintenance.
State Lawmakers Approve $156 Billion Budget Governor Brown has until the end of this month to veto items in the $154 billion state budget passed by the legislature's Democratic majority over the weekend. Mostly, it appears to be a done deal. Chris Mergerian reports from Sacramento for the Los Angeles Times .
Do Republicans Have a Future in Sacramento? Governor Brown and the Democrats' legislative majority balanced this year's budget on the assumption that Proposition 30 would pass. It did -- with 54 percent of the vote statewide and 60 percent in Los Angeles. He reminded doubters that he'd run for governor on the pledge that there would be no taxes unless people voted for them, and said he looked forward to being able to pass the first balanced budget since 1998. Passage means the state sales tax will increase by a quarter cent for four years, and income taxes on high earners will rise for seven years, with most of the money going to education. If Prop 30 had failed, it would have triggered $600 billion in cuts for K-12 public schools, universities and community colleges. You can see all our election coverage at KCRW.com/californiaelections .
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.