KQED's live call-in program presents wide-ranging discussions of local, state, national and international issues, as well as in-depth interviews.
Coming up on Forum:
Beware! A crew of pirates is trying to hijack a ship in San Francisco Bay. Mind you, that crew consists of a 14-year-old shoplifter and an elderly Alzheimer's patient, but these are the daring heroes of Daniel Handler's latest book, "We Are Pirates." The author of the "A Series of Unfortunate Events" books (penned by his alter ego Lemony Snicket), Handler talks about his new novel and reflects on his writing career.
A federal appeals court ruled unanimously on Wednesday that Sunnyvale can enforce its ban on large-capacity gun magazines. The decision states that city officials did not violate the Second Amendment by adopting the ban, and further opens the door for other cities to pass similar regulations. Meanwhile, more handguns were sold in California in 2014 than during any other year on record, according to recently released figures from the state Department of Justice. We look at impact of the ruling and whether other communities may take Sunnyvale's lead.
The FDA has approved a clinical trial for an experimental stem cell therapy that aims to cure HIV patients. Richmond-based Sangamo Biosciences received approval to genetically modify patients' stem cells and return them to their bodies. The field of research has generated tremendous excitement since Timothy Brown, the so-called "Berlin patient," became the first person to be cured of HIV -- he received a bone marrow transplant from someone with a genetic mutation that causes HIV resistance.
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Bay Area author Lalita Tademy left a successful career as a technology executive to become a writer of historical fiction. Her debut novel "Cane River" was selected for San Francisco's One City, One Book series and was an Oprah Book Club pick. The Berkeley native joins us to talk about her career and her newest book "Citizens Creek," which tells the story of a former Alabama slave who buys his freedom after serving as a translator during the American Indian Wars.
New wearable devices have been allowing people to track their personal data at all times. Now, it's also making it easier for employers to collect information on their workers' productivity. This field of data collection, known as telematics, is projected to be an over $27 billion industry by 2018, and companies like UPS and Coca-Cola are already using it. We look at what the expanding industry means for workplace productivity and for workers' privacy.
The Pomo people were drawn to the Russian River for its wealth of fish, and referred to the waterway as "Ashokawna," or "water to the East." But pollution, water diversion, drought and other environmental challenges have taken their toll on the health of the 110 mile-long river, which begins in Mendocino County and flows out to the Pacific Ocean at Jenner in Sonoma County. A new documentary examines the state of the Russian River in the context of other troubled watersheds around the world.
The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday over whether the federal insurance subsidies allowed under Obamacare are legal. Challengers argue the wording of the health care law allows only for subsidies under exchanges set up by states, not for people in the 34 states that use the federal exchange, HealthCare.gov. The Supreme Court's decision would not directly apply to California, since the state set up its own exchange, Covered California. But millions nationwide could lose their health insurance if the court sides with the challengers.
In 2010, California voters approved a new way of redrawing congressional districts as a way to combat partisan gerrymandering. The state took the power away from the Legislature and put it in the hands of a nonpartisan citizen commission. But California's system could be threatened by a case now pending at the U.S. Supreme Court. On Monday, the court heard arguments in a challenge to Arizona's Independent Redistricting Commission, where Arizona legislative leaders argued that the U.S. Constitution gives state legislatures exclusive control of congressional elections.
Every year the U.S. government issues up to 85,000 H-1B visas to businesses that want to hire highly skilled, temporary workers from foreign countries. Many of these workers end up in Silicon Valley's tech industry. The positions are coveted, but visa holders often live in uncertainty; if their job is eliminated, deportation may quickly follow. As part of KQED's Boomtown series, examining the Bay Area's surging economy, we talk with a panel of foreign workers about living and working with an H-1B.
In a 7-0 decision on Monday, California's Supreme Court ruled that the state cannot prohibit all registered sex offenders in San Diego County from living within 2,000 feet of a park or a school. The ruling says that this type of blanket enforcement of Jessica's Law infringes on parolees' liberty and does not actually protect children. The decision is expected to change enforcement of Jessica's Law throughout the state.
"Never has so much been written about a speech that hasn't been given," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday in reference to his upcoming speech to a joint session of Congress. The Israeli leader has stirred up controversy in Washington by accepting an invitation from GOP leaders to speak. We discuss Tuesday's speech, which was expected to focus on Iran's threat to Israel, and examine the likely political fallout from Netanyahu's visit.
Joyce Carol Oates' new novel "The Sacrifice" is loosely based on the real-life case of Tawana Brawley, the African-American teenager from New York who gained notoriety in the late 1980s when she falsely claimed to have been gang raped. Going beyond the 25-year-old headlines, Oates engages readers in a contemporary dialogue about race, sexual abuse, and the nature of truth. She joins us to talk about her book and her prolific career.
On Friday, Google announced plans to expand its headquarters in Mountain View. The design, which would add about 2.5 million square feet to its existing campus, includes moveable biosphere-like canopies made of metal and glass, as well as parks and cafes that will be open to the public. We look at the impacts of the expansion on housing, jobs and traffic in Mountain View and the surrounding region.