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California's Three Strikes Law was enacted in 1994 in response to the kidnapping and murder of Polly Klaas. Since then, crime rates have gone down and defenders of the Three Strikes Law ask; why mess with success? But proponents of Proposition 36 argue their initiative will remedy the unintended consequences of Three Strikes, which they say include unjust incarceration and prison overcrowding.
From citrus groves to tomato fields, California is home to a $30 billion agricultural industry. But rising temperatures and lower water levels, which some attribute to climate change, are hitting crops hard. The cherry industry alone lost $22 million last year. How are these changes affecting our farmers? We get an overview of the new documentary "Heat and Harvest," a co-production of KQED and the Center for Investigative Reporting.
Should California require labeling of genetically modified foods? That's the goal of Proposition 37 on the November state ballot. Supporters say GMO labeling will provide California consumers with valuable information, while detractors claim it will simply add unnecessary confusion and cost to the food system.
Iran's president told the U.N. General Assembly that his country is under threat from "uncivilized Zionists," and urged other leaders to confront the power centers that he said dominated weaker countries. In his speech, President Ahmadinejad demanded the U.N. restructure itself to give equal say to all countries. The U.N. has imposed economic sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program, and President Obama, also addressing the U.N., said the United States will "do what we must" to keep Iran from getting nuclear arms. We talk to Hoover Institution fellow Abraham Sofaer about the recent developments, and his new book "Taking on Iran."
Imagine if you could turn cow manure into electricity. Or power a makeshift hospital after an earthquake with a hand-carried "solar suitcase." These are some ideas that have won the San Jose Tech museum-sponsored Tech Awards -- monetary prizes given annually to companies, individuals and non-profits for new inventions or technological innovations that benefit humanity. In this special broadcast from KQED Silicon Valley, the San Jose Tech museum announces the 2012 Tech Awards laureates.
From KQED Silicon Valley, we present a debate over Measure D: an effort to raise the minimum wage in San Jose. Inspired by a SJSU sociology class, activist students helped bring this ballot measure to the voters. But fears of job losses and rising costs have many in the business community fighting back against this measure.
San Jose is the wealthiest city in the country, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau. But despite the rosy income data, the Bay Area's largest city and its mayor are facing serious challenges. For one, crime is on the rise and the police chief just unexpectedly announced his resignation. Mayor Chuck Reed joins us in a special broadcast from KQED Silicon Valley to talk about his plan to put more cops on the street, and to shore up the city budget.
During his time in hiding, author Salman Rushdie's security detail asked that he provide an alias. He chose "Joseph Anton," in honor of literary heroes Conrad and Chekhov. The name also serves as the title of Rushdie's new memoir. The Booker Prize-winning author joins us to discuss his new book, in which he recounts the nine years he lived under Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwah, imposed in response to Rushdie's 1988 novel "The Satanic Verses."
There are now 1,700 technology companies based in San Francisco, a 30 percent jump from just two years ago. The tech boom has kept the unemployment rate well under the state average, and it's brought a lot of tax revenue to the city. But has it come at a cost? Critics say the trend, and its accompanying high rents, is shutting out artists and the middle class and threatening the very soul of the city. San Francisco has long been embroiled in gentrification fights. How will it withstand this newest, biggest tech boom?
It started with a bike ride in San Francisco on Sept. 25, 1992. About 50 people cycled in a pack along Market Street, hoping to earn some respect from drivers who sometimes ignored them or edged them off the road. They called it the "Commute Clot." Today it's known as Critical Mass, a movement that's spread worldwide. Supporters say it promotes cycling and the rights of bicyclists. But critics say it is illegal, clogs traffic and antagonizes drivers. We talk about Critical Mass' 20th anniversary, and its effects on the city.
Joan Walsh grew up in an Irish middle-class family in New York. But she says they went from "Kennedy Democrats to voting for Nixon." So why did so many working class families defect from the Democratic Party? And why does Walsh think their vision of the American dream has kept the country from becoming "a truly multiracial America"? Joan Walsh joins us to discuss her new book, "What's the Matter With White People: Why We Long for a Golden Age That Never Was," and how she thinks white middle class America will impact the elections.