Need to Know, July 8, 2011: Congo’s orchestra, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Sudan, workplace safety

This week, guest host Maria Hinojosa fills in for Alison Stewart. On this week’s episode, our ongoing collaboration with VII Photo Agency presents a portrait of one remarkable symphony orchestra that’s thriving in Congo’s capital city, Kinshasa. Through the devastation of war and violence that Congo has undergone throughout the years, photojournalist Marcus Bleasdale discovers how people can flourish even in the midst of tragedy.

Also, we look at a special program at OSHA that allows certain work sites with solid health and safety records to become exempt from regular inspections. The Center for Public Integrity and iWatch News found that, over the last decade, there were at least 80 fatalities at dozens of VPP sites, but the majority remain in the program.

And: We look at the historic election in South Sudan and tell the story of Salva Dut, a Sudanese “lost boy” who returned to Sudan to help bring clean water to his hometown.

Legal analyst Jami Floyd also returns to discuss the lessons learned from the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case.

Check your local listings for details.

Watch the individual segments:

Safety matters: Danger in the ‘model’ workplace

State and federal regulators have deemed that about 2,400 work sites across the country have exemplary health and safety programs. Many of these sites are part of a special program that allows them an exemption from OSHA’s regular inspections. But a recent Center for Public Integrity/iWatch News investigation found that there have been at least 80 fatalities over the last decade at dozens of VPP sites, and yet the majority have remained in the program. Need to Know takes an in-depth look.

Independence Day for South Sudan

As South Sudan prepares to become the world’s newest nation, Need to Know reports on the election and the subsequent violence in the region through the eyes of Salva Dut, a so-called Sudanese “Lost Boy.”

An orchestra in Congo

A profile of a remarkable symphony orchestra in the heart of war-torn Congo, seen through the photographs of photojournalist Marcus Bleasdale.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn and the presumption of innocence

Maria Hinojosa speaks with former criminal defense attorney and journalist Jami Floyd about the lessons to be learned from the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case.  Floyd finds fault with the district attorney’s hasty public comments, which “serve only to undermine the presumption of innocence,” and the media’s rush to judgment.

Using carrots, not sticks, to get companies to do good

Activists in San Francisco have created a new way of getting companies to do good: the anti-boycott. It uses carrots, not sticks, to encourage companies to do good.

In Perspective: A diaspora of hope

The news out of Africa is almost always bad — but that’s not all that defines the continent’s over 50 nations. Guest host Maria Hinojosa explores the thriving community of West Africans in New York City, and the hope they provide to their homeland.

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