KQED's live call-in program presents wide-ranging discussions of local, state, national and international issues, as well as in-depth interviews.
Recently on Forum:
It's tax time -- but fear not. We won't let you drown in your pile of tax forms. With April 15 just a few weeks away, our panel of tax experts answers your questions on topics ranging from out-of-state income to the effects of the sequester.
This week, Governor Jerry Brown's office released further details of its plan to build twin tunnels to pump water from Northern California to cities and farms in other parts of the state. Brown says the $23 billion plan will help restore ecosystems, but critics say the proposal would further threaten the Delta's endangered fish and hurt smaller farmers. We talk about the latest plan and its potential impact on the region
When you go to sleep, your brain doesn't take a nap. According to a recent study, it keeps working: organizing memories by what's important and what isn't, in a form of "memory triage." One of the researchers, UC Berkeley professor of psychology Matthew Walker, joins us to discuss his findings, and to answer questions on sleep and memory.
More than 30 large bolts on a section of the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge broke after workers tightened them. Bridge officials said on Wednesday that the bolts, ranging from nine to 25 feet in length, are located on the eastern foundation of the new self-anchored suspension bridge. We talk with Steve Heminger, head of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, about what the discovery means for the safety of the new $6.4 billion span -- and for its scheduled opening Labor Day weekend.
On Wednesday, parts of the Internet slowed down when a group of spammers working in an abandoned bunker in the Netherlands decided to launch a cyberattack. The attack was aimed at the anti-spam watchdog, Spamhaus, which blocks fake Viagra and weight-loss ads. When Spamhaus added Cyberbunker to its blacklist, the Dutch group retaliated with a massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, one of the largest reported cyberattacks ever. Experts join us to talk about the incident and the future of online security.
The Golden Gate Bridge switches this week from toll booths to electronic tolling. The pre-payment system is supposed to make commuting faster, but it also puts human toll booth operators out of a job. With robots playing increasingly key roles in manufacturing, surgery, and everyday operations, where does that leave the flesh-and blood worker? Are there downsides to the rise of robots? Or does this reliance on technology simply make humans more efficient, creating new job opportunities?
On Wednesday, the second of two days of landmark arguments over same-sex marriage, the U.S. Supreme Court takes up the 1996 Federal Defense of Marriage Act which denies federal tax, pension, and other benefits to married same-sex couples. Defenders of the law say it appropriately defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman for purposes of federal benefits. Opponents say it violates equal protection. We analyze the arguments presented and the justices' reactions.
Video game consoles like the Xbox and PlayStation have long ruled the gaming world. But the increasing popularity of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices is shaking up the industry. As game developers from around the world gather this week in San Francisco for their annual conference, we look at the future of video games.
The current student loan debt totals $1 trillion. It's the biggest worry among college-bound high school students, according to a recent Princeton Review Survey. They may have even more to worry about starting July 1, when the interest rate for subsidized student loans jumps to nearly 7 percent, unless Congress acts. Is there a better plan for students to manage, or even lower, their overall debt? We talk to experts about options for dealing with student loans.
A new report shows student enrollment rates in California's community colleges have dropped to a 20-year low. According to the findings of the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), state funding cuts have severely affected whether students can access state education, and have hit returning students especially hard. We talk to the report's co-author about the other ways the funding cuts have impacted students.
On Wednesday, the Golden Gate Bridge will become the first in California to accept only electronic payment for bridge tolls, either with FasTrak, a license plate account or through pre-payments. We discuss what the changes mean for commuters and tourists, and we talk with a soon-to-be-unemployed toll taker about the end of the era of personal service on the iconic bridge.
If it seems like childhood food allergies are more common than they used to be, it is because they are: nearly one in 10 preschoolers have allergies to food, and the rate of such allergies has more than doubled in the past decade. For kids with severe allergies, the condition can restrict normal everyday activities like eating out, and often results in frequent trips to the emergency room. But public awareness is growing, and there are promising developments in research and treatment.
Salil Shetty grew up with activist parents in India in the 1970s, and he has followed in his family's footsteps. He now heads Amnesty International, the human rights organization that calls attention to the plight of war refugees, political prisoners and others at risk around the world. Salil Shetty joins us to talk about how the group is dealing with rape in India, massacres in Syria and other international issues, as well as its continued call to release prisoners from Guantanamo Bay.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on Proposition 8, California's voter-approved 2008 ban on same-sex marriage. The following day, the high court will take up the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples. We'll preview the historic hearings.