Need to Know, June 24, 2011: Combating IEDs, the ramifications of the Wal-Mart case, the science of happy marriages

Improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, have been a trademark of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Over the past decade, they have been used with increasing frequency in combat and are responsible for hundreds of deaths and casualties. This week on Need to Know, we explore the inner workings of a little-known military organization and its $17 billion campaign to combat IEDs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We also speak with legal analyst Jami Floyd on the long-term impact of the Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss the class action suit against Wal-Mart over discrimination of female employees. This week, Floyd wrote about the Wal-Mart case, arguing that despite this latest setback, the women still could prevail in court. We also interview former Deputy Defense Secretary Celeste Ward Gventer about President Obama’s announcement on troop withdrawals from Afghanistan.

And: What makes a happy marriage happy? We delve into some recent research on the science of marital satisfaction, including the health benefits that come with happy marriages.

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Watch the individual segments:

No silver bullet to combat IEDs

Need to Know interviews a Center for Public Integrity contributing reporter about his investigation into the Department of Defenses’s little-known organization, the Joint Improvised Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO), and its $17 billion effort to combat IEDs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Healthfully ever after

We explore the latest research on the health benefits of a good marriage. Mixing the most intriguing studies by the experts with the observations of two couples who between them have experienced 112 years of wedded bliss, we uncover some unexpected findings about what makes a happy marriage happy.

Justice merely delayed for women of Wal-Mart

Need to Know legal affairs blogger Jami Floyd discusses the long-term ramifications of the Supreme Court’s recent Wal-Mart decision.

Shift in strategy in Afghanistan

Celeste Ward Gventer, former deputy defense secretary and currently at University of Texas, discusses the president’s announcement on troop withdrawals from Afghanistan.

The sea also rises in Norfolk

The city of Norfolk, Virginia, is already experiencing the effects of sea-level rise. Streets that used to flood only occasionally now fill with sea water every time there’s a full moon. We explore how one American city is dealing with a problem that may soon be on all our doorsteps.

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