AirTalk for May 28, 2010

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A new study from the California Community Foundation asserts that California high schools are failing the 1.6 million students for whom English is a second language. Nearly 60 percent of these students are deficient in reading and writing and fail to achieve the academic success needed to get into college. The study’s author calls the situation “alarming and urgent.” Are schools properly training teachers and monitoring programs? Where are there flaws—and strengths—in the system? How will this affect the state’s workforce in the long term?
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Marcy Winograd for Congress

Progressive activist Marcy Winograd is running for a second time against entrenched Blue Dog Jane Harman in the 36th congressional district. Winograd promises to bring jobs to Los Angeles with a New Green Deal. Shell fight to end war in Afghanistan, repeal unfair trade agreements that outsource jobs and defend Social Security and Medicare. A recent poll commissioned by her campaign shows her opponent’s support slipping to 43 percent. Could this be the opening that challenger Marcy Winograd’s grassroots campaign is looking for? Is she too progressive to win in a general election?
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On March 17, 2009 while filming the Chinese-North Korean border, American journalist Laura Ling and her colleague were chased down and apprehended by North Korean soldiers. The two women were charged with trespassing and “hostile acts,” and imprisoned. Following a trial before North Korea’s highest court they were sentenced to twelve years of hard labor. When she heard of the arrest, Laura’s sister Lisa started to campaign to get her sister released and took her campaign from the State Department to the media world and finally to the White House. The sisters’ account, Somewhere Inside, reveals what really happened to Laura at the hands of the North Koreans and tells the story of Lisa’s unrelenting efforts to secure her sister’s release.
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Larry Mantle and KPCC film critics Claudia Puig of USA Today and Lael Loewenstein of Variety discuss the week’s film openings including Sex And The City 2, and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, among others. Lael and Claudia will also discuss the uptick in films made for women in light of the opening of Sex And The City 2. Are these films done well for women? Are they usually any good? What is your favorite “chick flick?” What type of women’s movies do you like? Larry takes your calls.
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John Rabe on John Rabe

No it's not a documentary about a Midwestern man's rise in the wild world of radio. KPCC Offramp host John Rabe talks with director Florian Gallenberger about his film, "John Rabe," based on the true story of a German man who saved thousands of Chinese from the Japanese so-called Rape of Nanking in 1937.
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