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Elisabeth Ponsot

Associate web producer

Is the next Fukushima in your backyard?

Tim McDonnell, Climate Desk Two years ago today, floodwaters from a massive, deadly earthquake/tsunami combo in Japan knocked out cooling equipment at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, resulting in what experts were quick to deign the second-worst nuclear disaster in history (after Chernobyl), after radioactive contamination touched everything from tuna to baby formula to butterflies. […]


Video: Taking on poverty in Salinas

Poverty trends in Salinas may be an important case study for the United States, as shifting demographics create new challenges for policy-makers across the country.


Video: Remembering the night

This week on Need to Know we return to the scene of a school shooting that occurred just over twenty years ago in Great Barrington, Massachusettes. On December 14, 1992, student Wayne Lo began shooting at random on the campus of Bard College at Simon’s Rock, ultimately wounding four and killing two: fellow student, Galen […]


Video: Creating art from tragedy

“Over the years I’ve not written about the shootings. And never felt any special compunction to do so,” Filkins said. “And yet, when the Newtown shooting happened… because it was these children, I felt compelled to try to write something.”


Explore the banned curriculum

In this week’s Need to Know, we report on the long-running dispute over a Mexican-American studies program that has tensions high in Tucson, Arizona. But what’s behind the uproar? What does the contested curriculum actually look like? Here we explore two of the banned books in Tucson — and ask you to form your own opinions […]


Across the gay marriage spectrum

Same-sex marriage is currently legal in 11 countries including Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands and Argentina. In the United States, nine states and the District of Columbia have passed laws legalizing gay marriage. Today, England and Wales are joining the list. The BBC reports the Commons voted in favor of the Marriage (Same Sex […]


After a medical mistake, what’s next?

Sometimes doctors or nurses who cause harm to a patient are the perpetrators: They’re careless, negligent, taking on too many cases because they’re greedy, sloppy or incompetent. But often this is not the case. A well-meaning, expertly-trained provider makes an honest error and feels deep remorse.


Video: Do no harm

Every year, one in 14 doctors in America will be sued for malpractice, yet the great majority of patients who suffer injury from malpractice never receive any compensation.


Video: The Danish option

Under the Danish system, an estimated 30 times more patients are compensated for medical malpractice and payments come — on average — within six or seven months. Payments average roughly $50,000 and are capped at $2 million.