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Need to Know, August 26, 2011: Texas textbooks, wild horses, hurricanes and climate change

Thousands of wild horses roam western states in the U.S. This week on Need to Know, we explore the controversial removal of horses from the wild by the Bureau of Land Management.

We also delve into the controversial process involved with implementing changes to textbooks in the Texas school system. We revisit the Texas State Board of Education’s battle over these changes last year amid criticisms that they were injecting religious and political beliefs into school curricula.

Also: We take a rare look into the Somalia of the past, when Mogadishu was once a thriving city. How did it become the failed state that it is today?

And: With Hurricane Irene threatening the East Coast, what’s the link, if any, between weather and climate change? We also interview New York Times food writer Mark Bittman on the politics of food in the U.S.

Check your local listings for details.

Watch the individual segments:

The controversy over Texas textbooks

Despite Governor Perry’s statement that Texas schools teach evolution and creationism, Texas recently voted not to add creationism or intelligent design to its science texts.  But the actions of the state’s school board continue to be closely watched  by the nation. Need to Know caught up with the Board last May as it was considering changes to be made in its social studies curriculum— changes that critics said inserted politics and religious beliefs into textbooks. (Originally Aired: May 14, 2010)

The ghost city: Inside Mogadishu, Somalia

As Somalia struggles with a devastating famine, Need to Know takes a rare look inside Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, a city struggling from decades of civil war, Islamist militants, famine and piracy, to learn more about how the nation came to be in the state it’s in today.

Are deadly hurricanes the new normal?

As the first major hurricane of the season threatens the Eastern Seaboard, Need to Know investigates the links between extreme weather and climate change. (Originally Aired: May 20, 2011)

Interview: Mark Bittman

New York Times op-ed columnist and author Mark Bittman talks to Alison Stewart about the intersection of food, politics and the environment.

Removing horses from the wild

There are thousands of wild horses roaming America’s western states. We speak to filmmaker and wildlife activist, Ginger Kathrens about how the wild horses live and interact with one another and about the controversial removal of horses from the wild by the Bureau of Land Management.

Watch more full episodes of Need to Know.