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Need to Know, March 4, 2011: Libya’s uprising, the high cost of college sports, Wisconsin’s unions

This week on Need to Know: Are college sports programs enabling universities to say afloat during tough economic times or are they hampering the classroom? While many state budgets have forced administrators to make painful cuts to academic programs, intercollegiate sports seem to remain unscathed, even in bleak economic times. We travel to Ohio University to see how athletic success has been affecting their academic mission.

Also: Princeton University professor Bernard Haykel speaks to us about what the international community’s responsibilities are with regards to the uprisings in the Middle East. And in light of the protests in Wisconsin, Jon Meacham sits down with Columbia University professor Gregory Wawro to discuss controversial political tactics being used by Wisconsin and Indiana legislators to avoid being forced to vote on cutting benefits and collective bargaining rights for unions.

And: Our Watch List segment, in cooperation with the Seattle Times, investigates exploitation and mistreatment of seniors at home-based facilities.

The episode airs Friday, March 4 — check your local listings for details.

Watch the individual segments:

What happens next in the Middle East?

Need to Know speaks with Bernard Haykel, a professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, who argues that the rest of the world has a responsibility to promote political dignity and good governance in the Middle East or “remain hostage to the pathologies of this region, which provide ample opportunity for al-Qaeda to reassert its narrative and influence.”

Libya’s uprising, in photos

It is now three weeks into the uprising against Moammar Gadhafi. This week, fighting continued throughout Libya. Thousands have fled the country and are still trying to get out. Need to Know narrates specific events through photographs taken by VII magazine photographer Franco Pagetti, who is in Benghazi. Check out our live blog for daily, in-depth reporting on the Libya’s revolt against the Gadhafi regime.

Sis, boom, bust: The high cost of college sports

State budget deficits have cast a pall on America’s public universities, forcing administrators to make painful cuts to make ends meet. But there’s one program that seems poised to emerge from this bleak time more or less unscathed: intercollegiate sports. Need to Know travels to Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, to see how the pressure to compete as a NCAA Division I program is affecting the classroom.

Gregory Wawro on ‘filibuster by flight’ in Wisconsin and Indiana

Jon Meacham talks to Professor Gregory Wawro of Columbia University about the controversial political tactics being used by legislators in Wisconsin and Indiana to avoid being forced to vote on legislation cutting benefits and collective bargaining rights for public employee unions.

The Watch List: Cottage industry

Need to Know, in cooperation with the Seattle Times, features an investigation that reveals exploitation and mistreatment of seniors at home-based facilities. Neglect and abuse by minimally-trained workers operating with little regulatory oversight often goes unreported and uninvestigated. (Original aired Sept. 17, 2010).

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