State, National and World News

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The Utah House passed a suite of bills last week that would put control of public land in the hands of the state. Some 64% of Utah is managed by the federal government and that's land state lawmakers contend was promised to Utah when it became a state. Proponents argue this is a chance to increase revenue for schools, but critics say it's an unrealistic effort that would violate the Constitution. Tuesday, we're talking about public land - who should own it and what should be done with it.


The journalist Ioan Grillo has closely followed the rise of the Mexican drug cartels. The cartels--fueled largely by guns smuggled from America, and by our hunger for drugs--have grown so powerful they arguably trump the country's government for supremacy in Northern Mexico. Their virulent and ruthless violence increasingly reaches north of the border. Grillo spoke with Doug last November about Mexico's drug war, America's liability in it and what might be done to fix things. (Rebroadcast)

Teaching Abstinence

Feb 26, 2012
<i>Image by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/52871206@N00/1287381111/">Made Underground</a>/<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

Last week, the Utah House passed a bill that would implement abstinence-only sex education in schools. Currently teachers aren't allowed to advocate the use of contraception. Under this bill, they would be prohibited from talking about contraception at all - and schools could opt to drop sex-ed entirely from their curriculum. Monday, we're talking to lawmakers and activists on both sides of the debate to ask what this change would mean for Utah teens.

It's difficult to remember a time when Israel and Iran weren't always about to go to war, but political analysts Dalia Dassa Kaye and Alireza Nader say the two countries were once informally allied, bound by their shared enemies. The downfall of Saddam Hussein's regime, Iran's quest for nuclear capabilities and the ongoing Arab Spring have helped sunder the alliance. Doug talks with Kaye and Nader on Wednesday about Israel and Iran's relationship and how they arrived at the brink of war. 

Looking Back at 2002

Feb 13, 2012
<i>Image by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/treevis/3529498242/">Travis Forden</a>/<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

Ten years ago, Salt Lake City opened its doors to the world with the Winter Olympic Games and Monday, Doug is joined by NPR's Howard Berkes and KUER's reporting team Terry Gildea, Andrea Smardon and Dan Bammes for a look back at 2002. We'll talk about the battle to get and keep the games, the economics of hosting an international sporting event and what it's all meant for the Beehive State.

2/6/12: Going Dirty

Feb 6, 2012
<i>Image by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/6755226055/in/photostream">DonkeyHotey</a>/<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

Imagine a Presidential race in which one campaign calls the incumbent a "hideous hermaphroditical character with neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman." You might think things have gotten bad in today's political rhetoric, but Thomas Jefferson's camp leveled this attack against John Adams in the 1800 race. Monday, we're talking with journalist David Mark and political consultant Dave Owen about negative campaigning in American politics: its history, effectiveness and whether it's on the rise.

Conventional wisdom has favored Mitt Romney in the race for the Republican presidential nomination because many see him as the best chance to beat Barack Obama. This month though, Romney has fallen and rebounded in the polls and he heads to Florida with just 1 of 3 primary victories. Reporter McKay Coppins says pragmatism gets boring for voters and Romney needs more to connect with conservatives. Coppins and biographer Scott Helman join us to explain Mitt Romney's rocky trajectory with Americans.

There are 1.5 million active-duty personnel in the U.S. Armed Forces. Sexual assault is an increasing problem within those ranks. In many, if not most cases, it's swept under the carpet: only 8 percent of sexual assault cases are prosecuted in the military, and only 2 percent of those cases result in convictions. The filmmaker Kirby Dick's new documentary, THE INVISIBLE WAR, sheds light on the suffering of thousands of military rape victims, and he'll join Doug on Tuesday to talk about it.

A new study by the Pew Forum came out last week. It was about Mormons. The survey contained a lot of information, but one part of it was no surprise: most Mormons call themselves political conservatives. Utah Mormons are nine times as likely to be Republican than Democrat. But why? On Monday we’re broadcasting a show we recorded last week at Utah Valley University. A group of LDS legislators joined Doug on stage to discuss how their political beliefs are informed by Mormonism and vice versa.

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In the fall of 2008, Jay Bahadur was stuck in a job he hated. He yearned to be a journalist, but he had no faith in journalism schools. So he flew to the hinterlands of Somalia to write a book about the world of modern day pirates. He wanted to tell the full story of the buccaneers of Puntland: what they do and who they are as human beings on both land and sea, not simply the AK-47-toting thugs who appear in news stories. Bahadur joins Doug on Monday to talk about the pirates of Somalia. (Rebroadcast)