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January 29, 2010

Scott Roeder Convicted: What's Next for Abortion Providers?

On January 29, a jury in Witchita found confessed killer Scott Roeder guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Kansas abortion provider Dr. George Tiller.

Abortion opponents, who had tried for decades to disrupt Dr. Tiller’s practice, have turned much of their attention to his colleague, Dr. Leroy Carhart. Dr. Carhart vowed to carry on Tiller's mission in Nebraska and hired two people who had worked at Dr. Tiller’s clinic. In the NOW on PBS report "Abortion Providers Under Siege," Dr. Carhart spoke to NOW’s Maria Hinojosa about what it's like for him and his family to live as "targets."

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January 25, 2010

Partners in Health Offers Hope for Haiti

The Hope for Haiti Now telethon has so far raised $58 million for relief efforts in Haiti, a new record for the most funds raised during a telethon.

Hosted by George Clooney and Haiti-born musician Wyclef Jean, the two-hour telethon, attracted millions of viewers. Donations will be given to seven relief organizations including Partners in Health, a Boston-based group that has been providing health care in Haiti for over 20 years.

Last year, NOW on PBS profiled the unique work of Partners in Health, traveling to Rwanda to see how the organization is radically reinventing health care delivery. Our show included an interview with the group's co-founder, Paul Farmer, who shares his innovative philosophy for providing health care relief in impoverished countries.

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Rape Kit Backlog: A New Setback for Victims

The city of Los Angeles has reneged on its commitment to cut an enormous backlog of rape kits -- untested DNA evidence from rapes and sexual assaults – outraging victims' rights advocates.

Last year, following increased media attention and years of pressure from rights groups, the city approved $1.4 million to hire new staff members for the DNA crime laboratory and outsource rape kits to private labs for testing. But last week, officials announced that due to the city's fiscal crisis they would not hire new crime lab staff, breaking their promise to expedite the testing of rape kits in Los Angeles County.

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December 29, 2009

U.S. Airline Attack: Did Saudi Terror Rehab Program Fail?

According to ABC News, two of the masterminds behind the attempt by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to bring down Northwest Flight 253 on Christmas day were former Guantanamo Bay detainees freed in 2007 who then attended a terror rehabilitation program in Saudi Arabia.

After being released from the program, the former prisoners are believed to have moved to Yemen where they joined al Qaeda as military commanders.

"The so-called rehabilitation programs are a joke," a U.S. diplomat said in describing the Saudi efforts with released Guantanamo detainees.

The controversial Saudi program attempts to rehabilitate terrorists and integrate them back into everyday life through a combination of religious, psychological and social programs. NOW on PBS traveled to Saudi Arabia earlier this year for an inside, in-depth look at the controversial initiative.

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December 7, 2009

2009: The Most Popular NOW Videos

We've researched the five most popular online videos from NOW on PBS, and are proud to share them with you:

1. Food Inc.
Behind the food we love—Secrets that giant food companies don't want you to know.


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December 4, 2009

Late-Term Abortion Practices Continue

Days after the abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was shot dead in May, his colleague Dr. Leroy H. Carhart spoke to NOW and vowed to carry on Tiller's mission. True to his promise, Carhart has begun performing some abortions “past 24 weeks” and said he is willing to perform later-stage abortions if they meet legal requirements, according to a New York Times article.

Carhart, who works in Nebraska, has hired two people who had worked at Dr. Tiller’s clinic.

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Green Jobs Push Proves Challenging

President Barack Obama turned his attention to unemployment this week, holding a forum with business leaders at the White House to discuss how to create more jobs.

But one source of job growth the president was hoping for -- creation of new jobs in green industries -- has proved elusive. For myriad reasons, including the outsourcing of such jobs to China, growth in clean energy industries and in green jobs has been slower than expected.

To get a better understanding of the future of such jobs, David Brancaccio spoke to Van Jones, who at that time was a special advisor for green jobs, enterprise and innovation at the White House. Jones has since stepped down from his position amidst controversy over some of his past statements.

Jones told NOW how green collar jobs could save the country money and offer more jobs in the future.

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November 20, 2009

Lynne Stewart Loses Terrorism Appeal, Sent to Prison

Lynne Stewart was sent to prison this week, after an appeals court upheld her conviction in a 2005 terrorism case.

Stewart, 70, began serving a 28-month sentence for smuggling out messages from her client, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman. He is serving a life sentence for plotting to bomb a number of targets in New York City.

In 2006, NOW’s Maria Hinojosa spoke to Stewart about her conviction. The ex-lawyer said she would still defend Rahman if she had the chance to do it all over again.

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November 19, 2009

Who's Helping Our Wounded Vets?

On Thursday, the Senate passed legislation that will provide monthly stipends and medical benefits to family members who stay home to care for severely injured veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Senate’s bill also includes training for the caregivers, money to cover their travel, and nearly $1 billion for veterans’ medical facilities. The House has passed similar legislation and the next step is for a meeting of a House-Senate conference committee to resolve differences between the two bills.

This Friday on NOW (check local listings), we visit families caring for wounded vets who have suffered traumatic brain injuries, many of which require round-the-clock attention. The Pentagon estimates that as many as one in five American soldiers are coming home from war zones with traumatic brain injuries.

See a description of the show, as well as resources for injured soldiers and their families.

November 18, 2009

Will Goldman Sachs’ Apology Lead to Forgiveness?

After being criticized for plans to pay out billions of dollars in bonuses this year, Goldman Sachs has offered an apology for the mistakes it made that led to the financial crisis.

The bank also announced Tuesday that it will spend $500 million to help thousands of small businesses dig their way out of the recession.

“We participated in things that were clearly wrong and have reason to regret,” Goldman’s chairman and chief executive, Lloyd C. Blankfein said. “We apologize.”

Elizabeth Warren, who heads up the congressional panel overseeing how the bailout money is being spent, has been vocal in her criticism of big bonuses, especially in a time of high unemployment.

Warren, in an interview with NOW last week, said companies such as Goldman take “taxpayer money and then, while people are unemployed, lard [themselves] with pay.”

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