The Madeleine Brand Show for August 25, 2011

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Was Coco Chanel a Nazi spy?

There's the little black dress, the string of lovers, the opulent riches... Coco Chanel was the epitome of French sophistication and understated elegance. From her humble beginnings as an orphan peasant to her meteoric rise as the mogul of a fashion empire, Chanel's life has become the stuff of legend. And, according to a new book, there's evidence Chanel was in bed with enemies of a free France, having a long-time affair with a Nazi officer.
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The hunt for Muammar Gadhafi continues, with Libyan rebel forces claiming this morning to have cornered Gadhafi and members of his family at an apartment building near his former fortress in Tripoli. Even if he slips away--or has already slipped away-- it seems that the writing is on the wall for the Libyan leader. We're in the endgame of the Gadhafi regime, and few people are watching with greater interest than Tori Kwiatkowski in San Francisco. Kwiatkowski lost her stepfather in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.
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Hurricane Irene is on track to hit the outer banks of North Carolina on Saturday. It's expected to cause heavy rain storms that may stretch all the way to New York City. Meanwhile, residents from Virgina to Pennsylvania are still trying to get over the shock of the rare earthquake that damaged the Washington monument, rattled the capitol and sent hordes of office workers heading for the exits earlier this week. In spite of all our technical achievements, natural disasters - from Katrina to the Japanese tsunami - continue to remind us that we cannot control nature and we're often not prepared to handle the chaos that such disasters create. U.S. AID fellow Daniel Aldrich joins us to talk about how to respond to a disaster.
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John Moe, the host of the Marketplace Tech Report joins us to talk about what the resignation of Steve Job means for the tech world. He also gives us an update on Hewlett Packard's plan to quit the tablet and smartphone market. Also, John talks about Facebook's plan to take on Instagram and a study that says surfing the web makes you a better worker.
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Beethoven visits Skid Row

Beethoven stopped by Skid Row on Wednesday--or at least his music did. Members of the LA Philharmonic have been playing a series of concerts for the homeless and mentally ill at a downtown mental health center. Krissy Clark from the California Report sat in on yesterday's performance.
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For the first time in Mexico’s decade-long drug cartel wars, Mexicans have begun to speak openly about the violence. People credit two poets for fostering that change. The first, Javier Sicilia, led a march after his son died as an innocent bystander. The second wrote a poem that prompted two Los Angeles writers to try and convey the pain Mexico’s new poetry expresses to English speakers.
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Randy Sklar, one half of the comedy duo the Sklar Brothers, joins us for our weekly wrap up in sports: the unfolding drama of the Little League World Series a NASCAR driver who loses his driver’s license, and a big CORN-troversy involving Iowa University, Iowa State and a football trophy.
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