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Need to Know, February 25, 2011: Sea level rise, National Guard bonuses, Somali pirates

This week on Need to Know, the effects of climate change are already hitting the city of Norfolk, Virginia. We travel to Norfolk to see how the city is dealing with regular flooding caused by sea level rise and a sinking shoreline.

Also: We look at an investigation by a Sacramento Bee reporter into millions of dollars in incentive bonuses that may have been wrongly paid out to members of the California National Guard.

And: This week, four Americans whose yacht had been taken hostage by Somali pirates were killed by their captors. We reprise an excerpt of “The Trouble with Pirates,” which explores the root causes of Somali piracy.

The episode airs Friday, February 25 — check your local listings for details.

Watch the individual segments:

The Watch List: Bonuses for the California National Guard

Sacramento Bee reporter Charles Piller and a former federal auditor dug deep into the California National Guard and discovered that as much as $100 million of taxpayer money may have been improperly or illegally paid out to undeserving Guard members in the form of cash bonuses or loan repayments.

Sea level rise comes to one Virginia town

The city of Norfolk is already experiencing the effects of sea level rise. Streets that used to flood only occasionally now fill with sea water at each full moon. Need to Know reports on how one American city is dealing with a problem that may soon be on all our doorsteps.

Mark Hertsgaard: Climate change comes for us all

Author Mark Hertsgaard anticipates what cities around the U.S. can expect from the effects of climate change in the coming years, and discusses the media’s responsibility in covering it.

The trouble with pirates

The four Americans who were killed this week by Somali pirates were the first Americans to have lost their lives since piracy became a serious problem off the African Coast. The deaths of Jean and Scott Adams, accompanied by another couple, raise some questions. Last November, Need to Know first brought you this unique and close-up encounter with pirates as part of a documentary called “The Trouble with Pirates” that goes behind the headlines about piracy in Somalia and looks at its root causes, as well as exploring the multimillion-dollar business it has become.

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