Patt Morrison for December 1, 2010

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When Attorney General-elect Kamala Harris takes office next January, she’ll be the first female, first African-American and first Indian-American attorney general in California’s history. Yesterday concluded a harrowing election in which Harris played the underdog to her opponent, Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley, before coming up from behind, four weeks of contested vote-counting, and Cooley’s victory declaration on election night. Throughout the harrowing campaign, Cooley attempted to cast Harris as a radical who opposed the death penalty and was otherwise soft on crime. Harris repeatedly hammered home that her position on the death penalty is no different from current Attorney General Jerry Brown’s position, and she pledged to follow the law in capital-punishment cases despite her personal views. She did push her innovative plan to lower the California’s recidivism rate—the highest in the nation—reduce prison overcrowding, and more aggressively prosecute environmental and white collar crimes. Harris joins Patt to talk about her agenda as she prepares to take office.
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The FCC and the FTC take a stab at regulating the internet

The Federal Trade Commission announced today that they want online advertisers to take consumer privacy seriously. The agency is calling for a ‘do-not-track’ option for users who do not want their Internet habits secretly monitored by advertisers. The FTC stopped short of a requiring the option stating they do not have the authority to mandate the do not track system, that would take an act of Congress. The FTC isn’t the only federal agency weighing in on the Internet today. Federal Communication Commission chairman Julius Genachowski laid out his plan for regulating the Internet, which is a bit of a mixed bag. He wants to protect consumers by forbidding major internet providers from blocking content (remember the Fox/Cablevision dispute that left New Yorkers without the World Series?), but his plan gives broadband providers the green light to charge different rates based on usage. His plan allows companies an unprecedented opportunity to create what are tantamount to toll roads or separate highways outside the public Internet, enabling them to charge more for specific services. The details of his plan must be approved by the full commission - a vote is scheduled for December 21.
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Reading the economic tea leaves of 2011

The Economist executive editor Daniel Franklin joins Patt with his predictions for the biggest global economic stories of 2011. Just in time for the magazine’s publication of The World in 2011, which predicts the trends, issues, and people who will shape the year ahead, Franklin fields your questions and Patt’s about everything, from currency wars stoked by the G-20 and historic bailouts in Europe to the vulnerability of micro-lending and a new majority in Congress. Plus, it gives readers a look back at the past 25 years, which predictions the publication got right and wrong, and how that bodes for the global, economic recovery outlook.
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From preventive education to preemptive medication, the world has come a long way since the first recorded AIDS cases in the early 1980s. According to the CIA World Factbook, there are more than 1.2 million HIV positive people living in the United States and more than 33 million people with the disease worldwide. Today is World AIDS day, and we take a look at what the Obama administration is doing to fight the spread of HIV and AIDS, as well as get the inside scoop on the science of treatment from the medical director of the Los Angeles based AIDS Research Alliance.
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It seems that teenagers in general have it rough these days, but recently, many books and articles have surfaced referencing a “boy crisis” – reports of boys failing academically, socially, and emotionally are abundant. Researchers have found that grades and test scores are dropping, while the rates of drug use, depression, and ADD diagnoses are rapidly rising. Journalist Martha Saval explored the lives of ten male teens, all from different socioeconomic and racial backgrounds, and discovered through her extensive interviews with them that all is not lost. In The Secret Lives of Boys, Saval shares their stories and reveals their thoughts and feelings on a plethora of topics, from family to their own identities. It seems the boys are far from being in crisis or unemotional – they simply want to be heard and understood in a rapidly adapting era.
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