AirTalk for April 20, 2010

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Goldman Sachs and the future of financial regulation

Last week the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil suit against investment bank Goldman Sachs, alleging that in 2007 the company intentionally misled clients with the securities it created and sold. The SEC says Goldman failed to disclose to customers that the hedge fund that created the investment also was betting against it. The company maintains that it provided investors with all information required by law. Nevertheless, the firm has reported strong earnings with a $3.46 billion profit in the first quarter of 2010. What effect will the case against Goldman have on Wall Street and the political effort for financial reform?
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The epic struggle for water

Access to fresh water has replaced oil as the primary cause of global conflicts in many of the world's overpopulated and drought-ridden regions. As modern society runs short of this indispensable resource, explosive new fault lines divide humanity into water Haves and Have-nots. Water famines threaten to ignite new wars in the bone-dry Middle East and menace sustainable growth in China and India. In his new book Water, journalist Steven Solomon describes the stark reality of man’s most critical resource in shaping human destinies, from ancient times to our current age of water scarcity.
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President Obama recently ordered the expansion of hospital visitation rights for same-sex couples. His memo to the Department of Health and Human Services moves to ensure that gay and lesbian partners be granted the same visitation rights as married heterosexual couples, and applies to all hospitals receiving Medicare and Medicaid money. Hospitals will also be required to honor all patients' advance directives and documents granting power of attorney and proxy. The language of the memo could apply to unmarried heterosexual couples as well. What impact will this have on hospital protocols? Does the President's order go too far - or not far enough?
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Baseball and the Dominican Republic

In San Pedro de Marcoris in the Dominican Republic, baseball is a way to dream; a passageway out of the impoverished life in a sugar plantation town. Baseball is a bit of an obsession, and by the year 2008, nearly 80 players in the Major Leagues came from San Pedro. In his book, The Eastern Stars: How Baseball Changed the Dominican Town of San Pedro de Marcoris, writer Mark Kurlansky chronicles the inspiring story of these boys and their breakthroughs into America’s pastime.
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