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There’s been a lot of talk recently about religious freedom, and it seems to have intensified as gay marriages have become legal in many states. Sen Orrin Hatch calls judges “uniformly hostile to religion.” Pundits see Sen Ted Cruz building a presidential campaign on the idea that religious liberty has “never been in more peril.” But the researcher and activist Jay Michaelson says this is a political strategy to marshal allies in the ongoing culture wars. He’ll join us to dissect what he sees as a “covert campaign against civil rights.”

Monday, University of Utah President David Pershing joins us to continue our conversation about sexual assault on college campuses. We'll ask him how he's thinking about the issue as both leader of Utah's largest public university and as a father.  We'll then talk to journalist Robin Wilson and Westminster College's General Counsel Melissa Flores to discuss how it is that universities became responsible for handling assault cases and what new federal regulations mean for the way institutions protect their students.

Today on RadioWest we’re talking about the news which just broke this morning. The US Supreme Court has refused to hear Utah’s appeal of a federal court ruling that the state’s gay marriage ban is unconstitutional. The court in fact turned away all of the pending same sex marriage cases, 5 states in total. Legal observers say that what it means is that after some bureaucratic formalities are taken care of, these marriages will be able to proceed. So, today on the program we’re exploring just what this means.


On September 11, 2012, terrorists attacked a U.S. State Department compound and a CIA building in Benghazi, Libya. Those events have been the subject of immense scrutiny and hearsay, with some saying they lay the grounds for impeaching President Obama. In a new book, the writer Mitchell Zuckoff tells the story of a team of security contractors who fought to repel the attackers in Benghazi. He joins us Tuesday to tell the story of what happened during those 13 hours of mystery and controversy.

Murder City

Sep 15, 2014

Journalist Charles Bowden has spent some 15 years writing about Ciudad Juarez and in that time, he's witnessed what he describes as the collapse of a society. In 2009, there were 2,600 murders in Juarez - up from around 300 in 2007. Houses sit empty, jobs have disappeared and drug cartels hold the city in their grip. Bowden is in Salt Lake and Thursday, he joins Doug to talk about his new book Murder City.

Exodus

Sep 15, 2014

Some half million undocumented Mexicans come into the US every year. They come looking for work - and while the conditions of those jobs are frequently harsh - they managed to send $23 billion dollars to their families in 2006 alone. A new book by author Charles Bowden and photographer Julian Cardona looks at the lives of the border crossers - from the violent streets of Juarez and life threatening border crossings to their struggles in the United States. Bowden and Cardona join Doug in studio Thursday to talk about "Exodus."

 Doug Fabrizio talks to Western journalists on their return from the devastation left behind by Hurricane Katrina. He's joined in studio by NPR's rural affairs correspondent Howard Berkes, and Tucson author Charles Bowden who is writing for GQ magazine.

Image by <a href="http://bit.ly/14w74rv">Glenn Halog</a> via Flickr

Investigative journalist Radley Balko says that American police forces have become more like armies than keepers of the peace. He traces it back to the creation of SWAT teams in the 60s, which led to increased use of military tactics and weapons. These days, there are some 50,000 raids each year as part of "wars" declared on drugs and crime. Balko joins Doug to talk about how law enforcement has changed throughout history and what militarized police forces mean for citizens. (Rebroadcast)

Photo credit MROBENALT via CC/Flickr, http://bit.ly/1uQonyr

Thursday, we’re talking about the fight to force Alta Ski Area to open its slopes to snowboarders. Once banned at ski resorts across the country, snowboarding is now outlawed at just three, two of them in Utah. A suit filed earlier this year against Alta claims the resort discriminates against snowboarders. As both sides wait for a U.S. District Court judge to rule, we’ll explore the differences between skiing and snowboarding, and we want to hear from you. Is there a good reason to restrict a resort to skiers only?

Gage Skidmore via CC/Flickr, http://bit.ly/1kENcg4

Over the weekend, rancher Cliven Bundy told a political gathering in St. George that God instructed him to “disarm” federal law enforcement agents when they tried to confiscate his cattle in April. We’re talking with Bundy on Wednesday about his controversial actions and about how his Mormon faith and heritage inform his political views. The journalist Scott Carrier will also join us to examine where Bundy and his self-styled freedom-fighter compatriots fit on the spectrum of political dissent.

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