This website is no longer actively maintained
Some material and features may be unavailable

Sal Gentile

Multimedia Web Editor

Sal writes about politics and international news for Need to Know. He also co-produces Need to Know’s regular web series on the 2012 election, “Presidentiality,” and has produced podcasts for the Climate Desk. Before coming to Need to Know he covered New York politics, reported on-air for Baltimore’s public radio station and contributed analysis to The Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC. He proudly edited his award-winning college newspaper, Johns Hopkins News-Letter. Follow him at and


Did politics trump science in the Obama administration’s ruling on Plan B for teens?

The Obama administration overruled the FDA and said teens would still need a prescription to get the morning-after pill, ignoring years of scientific research.


Are we becoming a police state? Five things that have civil liberties advocates nervous

A bill passed by the Senate last week would allow the military to detain American citizens indefinitely. The bill is just one of many that has civil liberties advocates worried.


In overnight raids, police dislodge Occupy encampments in L.A. and Philadelphia

Police dispersed Occupy protesters in Los Angeles and Philadelphia, raising the question, once again, of what’s next for the two-month-old movement.


As the military clings to power, can democracy thrive in Egypt?

Egyptians on Monday began the lengthy process of choosing their first civilian government since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. But it remained unclear whether the military would give up power.


In stand-off with police at Union Square, two sides of the Occupy Wall Street movement

In a city-wide “Day of Action” on Thursday, some protesters engaged in peaceful dialogue about issues, while others provoked confrontations with the police.


The Penn State riots, the 99 percent and the powerful psychology of group identity

Why did Penn State students riot over Joe Paterno’s firing? And why has Occupy Wall Street been so effective? It has to do with the power of group-think and the nature of human identity.


International community ratchets up pressure on Syria. Is intervention the next step?

The king of Jordan called on Syria’s president to step down, just days after the Arab League suspended Syria from the body. Is intervention the only option?


What to do about Syria? The brutality continues, even as the world spotlight fades

Human Rights Watch said this week that more than 3,500 people have been killed in Syria. The brutality against civilians has only worsened, but the world can’t seem to agree on what to do about it.


Video: Presidentiality: The science behind Rick Perry’s brain freeze

Rick Perry suffered from a potentially campaign-wrecking lapse of memory at the Republican debate this week. Presidentiality looks at the science behind Perry’s embarrassing brain melt.