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Need to Know, July 9, 2010

This week on Need to Know, we look at two aspects of military life in America. First, correspondent Maria Hinojosa travels to Texas to report on the increasing prevalence of special criminal courts for veterans. Then we go to Ohio to talk to two enlisted women who are changing the face of the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit, the military’s elite bomb squad.

In our weekly check-in on the oil spill in the Gulf, Alison Stewart talks to ProPublica Managing Editor Steve Engleberg about a chemical spill at a BP oil refinery in Texas City, which occurred two weeks before the disaster in the Gulf. And John Meacham discusses the country’s stubborn rate of unemployment with Chrystia Freeland, global editor at large at Reuters.

Plus, Andy Borowitz examines the similarities between the movie “Salt,” starring Angelina Jolie as an accused Russian spy, and recent events in the news.


And watch the individual segments:

Uniform Justice

“Veterans’ Courts” are being set up around the country to help veterans suffering from untreated Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) who are landing in the criminal justice system. But are these courts giving special treatment to veterans? Correspondent Maria Hinojosa reports.

BP’s Other Disaster

Alison Stewart speaks with Stephen Engelberg, managing editor of ProPublica, about a previous, and not widely reported, accident at BP’s troubled refinery in Texas City, Texas, that released pollutant chemicals into the air and the environment for more than 40 days.

Outside the Wire

Need to Know profiles two young enlisted women in the U.S. Air Force who serve a crucial, and dangerous, role in the current wars: disarming the roadside bombs which have become the number one killer of American troops. Amber Hanlon and Marie Martinson, two among approximately 140 military women doing the same job performed by the soldiers in “The Hurt Locker,” tell what it’s like to be a woman on the front lines.

The battle over unemployment

Chrystia Freeland, Reuters global editor at large and the former U.S. managing editor of the Financial Times, sat down with Jon Meacham to discuss last week’s unemployment numbers and the political debate over a second stimulus package vs. a deficit reduction. The interview also addresses that President Obama’s economic advisors may believe that, at the very least, Congress needs to extend unemployment benefits to help the anemic economic recovery, but does the political will exist within the administration to force the issue?

Next Week’s News

Satirist Andy Borowitz gives his perspective to the news of the future.