Here And There with Dave Marash (general)

The scandal of sexually abusive priests has shaken the Roman Catholic Church in America and shown how Church leaders often chose to cover-up the crimes rather than discipline the priests.  Investigative reporter Claudia Lauer of the Associated press (AP) reports, in the wake of the scandal, hundreds of abusers have been disciplined --forced out of the Church. But she says, the de-frocked priests have been left to their own sometimes criminal devices.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_111919_Lauer.mp3
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The ostensible reason for creating “opportunity zones” is to entice fresh investments in fresh projects to upgrade poor neighborhoods and the lives of people who live there.  But investigative reporter Justin Elliott of Pro Publica has found valuable Federal subsidies went to old investments in old projects and benefited billionaire pals of Donald Trump.  Crony capitalism at work.  As the Big Tweeter might say – scandal! Bad!! 

Direct download: HereAndThere_111819_Elliott.mp3
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Want to test the character of your community?  Consider its relationship to food…where do they get it, what do they do with it, and who gets enough to eat?  Mark Winne checked out 7 American communities in his new book Food Town USA and found good local things to eat from Alaska to Maine and Idaho to Florida.  But he also found food insecurity, and dramatic food inequality, food-rich towns with food deserts next door.

Direct download: HereAndThere_111219_Winne.mp3
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First the Private Military Security Contractor industry was a small club, but it’s getting bigger, and now the US which has been the #1 provider of these private security services, has growing competition from Russia and China.  But David Isenberg, author of Shadow Force and a top analyst of the mercenary market says the industry is not just globalizing, it’s decentralizing.  Could mean trouble ahead.  Consider the case of Malhama Tactical...specialists in training jihadi terrorists.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_111119_Isenberg.mp3
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Some nights it’s cheaper and easier to get the very same Holiday Inn room in midtown Manhattan as in Carlsbad, NM.  One impact of the oil and gas boom in SE NM.  Reporter Jens Erik Gould has been writing about how a rush of people and money to the Delaware Basin has affected life in towns like Carlsbad, Artesia and Hobbs.  One piece of advice, if you were thinking of driving around Lea and Eddy Counties? Don’t.  Energy industry trucks have the roadways clogged and broken.

Direct download: HereAndThere_110519_Gould.mp3
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For the 7 years I’ve been in New Mexico, the guiding principle on diverting the Gila River was “use it or lose it.” Use the water in NM before it gets to AZ, use “free” Federal money whenever you can get it.  Environment reporter Laura Paskus on how using the Gila River has become a lose-lose proposition, with incredibly shrinking plans having less and less chance of ever happening. With $14 million already spent. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_110419_Paskus.mp3
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As the impeachment campaign lifts the rock hiding President Trump’s pressure campaign to force Ukraine to help him smear Joe Biden, many new characters are crawling into view.  Who are these ex-Soviet “businessmen” and whom do they really represent? Historian Alexander Motyl of Rutgers University – Newark on the players and the games being played in Ukraine.  Trump and Giuliani say they were trying to root out Ukrainian corruption…so why have they been consorting with some who are rooted in the corruption?

Direct download: HereAndThere_102919_Motyl.mp3
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 No big changes after the fourth Democratic Presidential debate…the strong stayed strong, especially front-runner Joe Biden who kept his edge in all polls ahead of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie sanders, and the weak got weaker with the voters, if not, the pundits report, among so called “Democratic leaders.”  John Nichols of The Nation has been covering the campaign.  He like me is still waiting for substantial questions and answers on climate change and America’s failing infrastructure.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_102819_Nichols.mp3
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For decades, Hollywood came to New Mexico.  To film.  The Land of Enchantment was largely the backdrop of movies.  Because it’s beautiful.  And not so far from L.A.  And inexpensive.  Now, Albuquerque is becoming a production center…Netflix and NBC Universal have signed 10-year deals with the city.  Is this good news? Journalist and author Meredith Jordan says – definitely, yes.  Although she’s seen the entertainment economy boom in Georgia and then go bust.

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The Uber ride-share service has two big problems:  one it’s treating its drivers – not as employees – but as poorly-paid contractors …and still it’s losing lots of money. Says Edward Ongweso Jr of VICE News’ Motherboard, recent legislation in California, saying Uber, Lyft and Door Dash drivers are employees, could be the death of the ride-share industry.

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Public Housing is a national shame.  And one of the most shameful cities is Baltimore, MD.  Wretched housing projects, poorly maintained can trap residents in dangerous conditions.  Investigative reporter Molly Parker of Pro Publica and The Southern Illinoisan has been closing the public housing debacle from Baltimore to Hartford to Cairo, Illinois.

Direct download: HereAndThere_102119_Parker.mp3
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Real American courts are ruled, under the Constitutional separation of powers, by the Judicial branch.  On the other hand the quasi-judicial hearings for migrants in ICE custody and their Immigration Judges are ruled by the Executive Branch, giving extraordinary powers to the Attorney general and the President.  They produce a lot of deportations, but justice?  Maybe not.  Madeleine Schwartz reported on cases heard in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas for the NY Review of Books.

Direct download: HereAndThere_101719_Schwartz.mp3
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 The Islamic State (also known as ISIS) has been expelled from all its capital cities and its fighters have been scattered across Syria and Iraq.  But Colin P. Clarke of the RAND Corporation explains in his new book After the Caliphate, this does not mean the jihadist idea is defeated nor its threats removed.  IS fighters are still active in Syria and IS terrorists strike almost every week somewhere in Iraq, and then there’s Libya, Nigeria, Indonesia and the Philippines.  The Islamic State is alive at least in aspiration, in all those places and more.

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The agents and executives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation have long had their enemies, but former agent and senior aide to former FBI Director James Comey Josh Campbell says, those enemies have never before included the President of the United States.  He chronicles the battle between Trump and his allies and the FBI in a new book, Crossfire Hurricane.  The damage to both institutions, the FBI and the White House, he says, has been considerable.

Direct download: HereAndThere_101419_Campbell.mp3
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 So many of the people appointed to important Federal positions by President Donald Trump seem to have been picked to destroy the institutions they are to run.  Or in the case of the Federal Elections Commission, Trump’s not filling seats has left the FEC paralyzed, even as our elections are under more threats than ever before. 

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The number of racehorses dying from injuries suffered on the track at Santa Anita in southern California continues to grow.  And so does the toll nationally. A dozen or more racehorses die every week on American race tracks, an existential threat facing the “Sport of Kings,” even before Joe Drape of the NY Times broke the biggest racetrack scandal of the year.

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Among the things President Donald Trump held against his National Security Advisor John Bolton – before he fired him – was getting the White House too ineffectually involved in Venezuela.  In recent days, the US upped its financial support for opposition leader Juan Guido.  Does this make a difference to Venezuela’s dictator-President Nicolas Maduro?  And what’s happened to the millions of Venezuelan refugees?

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If Italian politics isn’t your bowl of pasta, I pity you on both counts.  Here’s a recap: the governing coalition of the anarchists and the immigrant-haters fell apart and has been replaced by an alliance of the anarchists and their former arch-enemies, the bureaucratic Democrats.  The Prime Minister stays the same, and he seems to be making some big changes of course.  3 months ago Giuseppi Conte was just the face-man of the Prime Minister, now he’s the boss. 

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Many recent developments in litigation to hold the pharmaceutical industry responsible for American’s opioid drug addiction epidemic. A powerful judgment in Oklahoma against drug-industry giant Johnson & Johnson, a near-settlement and declaration of bankruptcy from OxyContin-maker Purdue Pharma, which shows deep divisions among the plaintiffs in the biggest federal suit. Settlement deadline for all defendants is October 21. Chris McGreal of The Guardian US, author of American Overdose has been covering the story.

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Doing good is hard to do.  For example, carbon offsets are meant to save forests, protect the planet and discourage pollution.  Nice idea, but does it really work?  Investigative reporter Lisa Song of Pro Publica says study after study shows that the swaps rarely deliver. All it takes is a bad storm or a worse President to do in the best-paid plan.  Examples: wildfires and Jair Bolosnaro in Brazil.  But in California carbon offsets are getting a big green light. 

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The public address announcement at Heathrow Airport in London summoned investigative reporter Dave Lindorff… report to your boarding gate for a security check.  Somehow, Lindorff was on the FBI’s Terrorist Watchlist.  Could it have been that his stories on the futility of Pentagon audits could have made someone angry?  Angry enough to call him a terrorist?  How might he clear his name? Lindorff investigated his own story and tells it, in depth on HERE & THERE

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In Hong Kong, a standoff continues.  Xi Jinping and his Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam carry on a measured war of attrition, jailing a few, beating up a few more rebels each week, while making faux-concessions on -- for example, the extradition bill that "lit the fuse" for rebellion.  Xi hopes, as in 2014, China can outlast the opposition.  So far, that hasn't worked.  The popular resistance is wide and deep.  Joseph Lian, a veteran Hong Kong journalist and frequent contributor to the NY Times has the latest on the story.

Direct download: HT092319LianPOD.mp3
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When it comes to our global crisis of climate change, these are the watchwords of Greta Thunberg, the 16 year old leader of a worldwide youth campaign for immediate action: "I want you to act as if the house was on fire — because it is". Artemisio Romero y Carver is a leader of YUCCA, Youth United for Climate Crisis Action, who will bring Thunberg’s message to Santa Fe tomorrow.  The NM Legislature has taken steps, but he says, they’re far short of enough. 

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What is Vladimir Putin’s Russia all about, and how did it get there.  Dmitri Trenin, head of the Carnegie Endowment’s Moscow Center has a new short history, simply titled Russia, which succinctly tells that story…of a history filled with revolutions…of old regimes torn apart and very different new ones built on their bones.  What changed?  And what about Russia always seems to stay the same? 

Direct download: HT091719TreninPOD.mp3
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Before Israel was officially a state, it was a nation under threat from its Arab neighbors.  Matti Friedman’s new book, Spies of No Country tells the story of 4 future Israelis, Arabic-speakers who grew up in Arab environments as spies behind enemy lines in Lebanon.  Their story points to the future intelligence service Mossad and the future of Israel in which Mizrahis, Jews from the East play crucial roles.  Life, love and a mission to blow up a yacht built for Adolf Hitler.  The story, in depth on HERE & THERE

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Bullies do it when called out – “He started it!” Aggressive haters always claim the hatred started with their enemies.  So, Donald Trump’s first and everlasting claim: “Islam hates us!”  So many ways that this idea is not true, and profoundly damaging as it gets rooted in America.  How Islamophobia was cultivated here and the consequences are subjects covered in Lawrence Pintak’s new book America & Islam: Soundbites, Suicide Bombs and the Road to Donald Trump.

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Because they are appointed for life, a generation of Federal Judges is longer than the average – say, 25 years.  So that our generation, today’s Federal Court Judges include a few elders from the Clinton era, a short-changed minority of Obama selections and a majority of George W Bush and Donald Trump appointees. As promised, Trump’s judges are different.  Elie Mystal of The Nation and Above the Law on how this affects your life. 

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One of the fastest growing things in the world is the pile of traceable evidence every crime leaves behind.  As Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia learned in the days and weeks after the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Which led to a whole new pile of evidence of other crimes committed by a government-sponsored Saudi Murder and Kidnap Inc.  Ayman Mohyeldin broke the story in Vanity Fair and on MSNBC, where he reports and anchors. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_090919_Mohyeldin.mp3
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The rush to qualify for the upcoming third round of the Democratic Presidential debates raises a lot of questions. How much should be enough to qualify.  How many are too many when it comes to candidates taking part in a single debate.  10?  We’ve done 10?  11? 12?  Or does that mandate a pair of 6’s?  And how could a co-called national poll of 298 people carry so much weight? John Nichols of The Nation helps sort out the story.

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It was, said an administration insider, John Bolton’s and Mike Pompeo’s “nightmare” – that Ayatollah Khamenei invites Donald Trump to talk, and the President agrees.  At the G-7 meetings, French President Emanuel Macron re-staged that nightmare as a dream almost come true.  Iran expert Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on how close to a US-Iran summit is “almost.”   

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The United States is in deep negotiations with the Taliban over an orderly and peaceful withdrawal of American and other international military forces from Afghanistan. In Washington, in addition to escape, the Taliban negotiation offers a chance to pave the way to an end to civil war.  In Kabul, it’s seen as a sellout of America’s friends, and the once-shared ambition of a democratic, modern Afghanistan.

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Farmington, NM is a small town at the hub of the Four Corners area, a region made up of bits from NM, AZ, CO and UT, a region built on coal.  Of course, that means several kinds of trouble, and Kendra Chamberlain of the NM Political Report says, a plan to convert a huge coal-fired power plant, use it to make a different product and save jobs and the community built around them, may not be a real solution. But who should decide?…right now it’s up financial markets, can investors be found in a fossil energy project? 

Direct download: HereAndThere_082719_Chamberlain.mp3
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Syria has long been a chessboard on which outsiders have inflicted or abetted widespread human suffering.   In Idlib province in northwest Syria, Russia is redefining its partnership with Turkey, to hand over more territory to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Journalist, author Charles Glass, says another Syrian partnership is being re-defined -- between Turkey and the United States, the Kurdish-majority areas of the northeastern quarter of the country. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_082619_Glass.mp3
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 The biggest civil trial in US history, the most expensive settlement yet, and tons of new documents, all of them about sharing out the blame for America’s opioid drug crisis.  George Polk Award – winner Lenny Bernstein of the Washington Post on how pharmaceutical manufacturers, mega-distributors and reckless retailers put millions of addictive narcotics up for sale. His reporting showed how, for years, Federal officials stymied DEA efforts to crack down on the opioid epidemic, but now several judgment days are nigh. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_082219_Bernstein.mp3
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A wet, cold and extended winter and spring 2019 brought relief from drought to the state of NM, but John Fleck, the veteran journalist, scholar and author of the classic, Water is for Fighting Over and Other Myths About Water in the West says that relief is only short-term.  It only made up for the deficit of the drought year that preceded it, not the several additional dry years that came before.  But Fleck adds, the people of the American Southwest are learning how to deal with this.

Direct download: HT081219fleckPOD.mp3
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China’s economy seems to be weakening under pressure from President Trump’s trade war, but China’s military, the People’s Liberation Army, the PLA is only growing stronger.  Senior analyst Derek Grossman of the RAND Corporation says the PLA’s biggest growth areas are in power projection, the Air Force and Navy.  But will it be used domestically, to quell the ongoing rebellion in Hong Kong?  

Direct download: HereAndThere_081919_Grossman.mp3
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Iraq, so the universally-proclaimed story goes – has transitioned from wartime to the post-war.  Unfortunately, some of the most important fighters on the Iraqi side of the war to oust the Islamic State – the PMFs Popular Mobilization Forces – have neither disbanded nor disarmed and reporter Isadora Gotts of Al Monitor says the influence of these often-Iran-dominated militias is affecting almost everything across Iraq.  This is most obvious as the heavily-destroyed city of Mosul tries to return to normal civilian life.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_081519_Gotts.mp3
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Sexual trafficking of children is one of the fastest-growing crimes in America, and was even before President Trump’s policy of separating immigrant families at our southern border created a cohort of perfect victims and released them to the traffickers.  Rikha Sharma Rani of The Fuller Project has covered this story for the NY Times and Montgomery AL Advertiser.  She tells us about innovative programs to help the exploited children in Miami, Dade County, Florida, one of America’s hardest-hit cities when it comes to sexual trafficking of children. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_081319_RS_Rani.mp3
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The mass murder of 22 innocent shoppers at Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, TX, is an awful event in itself.  But it’s also part of a long and awful history of violent attacks by White Men on Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in Texas. Russell Contreras of the Associated Press has traced that history and the new movement to expose and push back against it.  He’s also traced another historic pattern, racist incitement from the White House.

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Donald Trump says he’s going to be the first President to eradicate human trafficking.  His daughter Ivanka calls him the Abraham Lincoln of sexual slavery.  But Jenna Krajeski of The Fuller Project and The New Yorker says so far, Trump’s principal achievements are a White House conference and the declaration of January as an anti-trafficking month.  Behind the rhetoric, Krajeski reports, is a record of making the position of most trafficked women worse.  

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Trump’s formula for immigration disaster is simple: first make applying for asylum the legal way very slow to impossible. Then when the number of people crossing the border illegally becomes unmanageable, dump the migrants on the nearest border cities and town. Algernon D’Ammassa of the Las Cruces Sun-News on how that small city and the even smaller town of Deming, NM dealt with thousands of impoverished, frightened, transient visitors.

Direct download: HereAndThere_080619_DAmmassa.mp3
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President Trump nominates Texas Congressman John Ratcliffe to be the next director of national intelligence, a controversial
choice Shane Harris of the Washington Post and I are discussing when the President Tweets, he’s pulling the nomination. Which, as you can guess, still leaves us plenty to talk about. Like, resigned DNI Dan Coats’ acting successor.

There is a process, spelled out in law, that Deputy Director Sue Gordon should get the interim job and Congress clearly wants that to happen. But will it? President Trump seems NOT to be headed in that direction.

Direct download: HereAndThere_080519_Harris.mp3
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Every link in America’s border control system is being stretched to the snapping pint by the influx of migrants from Central America.  Part of this is a plan by the Trump Administration to discourage migrants from coming here, but part is just a mess of overwhelmed officers, overcrowded detention facilities and a court system Trump wants cut out of the picture.  AP journalist Cedar Attanasio broke several big stories, including the terrible conditions for migrants held in one facility in Clint, Texas.

Direct download: HereAndThere_080119_Attanasio.mp3
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Binyamin Netanyahu is now the longest-serving Prime Minister in Israeli history, approaching 4900 says in office.  But will he make it to 5000? The Associated Press Bureau Chief in Jerusalem, Josef Federman says for that feat, Bibi will have to stay in power till December, and the chances are little better than 50-50 he’ll assure that in September’s second national election of 2019.  The need for a do-over vote is also unique in Israel’s history. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_073019_Federman.mp3
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Bernie’s “single payer,” Beto’s “buy-in,” Medicare for All, or is it Medicaid for All…so many plans for healthcare reform.  And then there’s ACA, the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare…how much of it survives and what’s its record been in New Mexico and the United States?  Colin Baillio of Health Action New Mexico sorts out the candidates and their schemes and the realities of medical insurance coverage in America, just in time for tomorrow and Wednesday’s ’s Democratic debates.

Direct download: HereAndThere_072919_Baillio.mp3
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Two things we know about the opioid drug fentanyl: it’s very dangerous, even a small dose can kill you, and it’s very addictive.  The drug manufacturer Insys knew both of these facts, but it pushed its version of fentanyl, an under-the-tongue tablet supposedly meant for only end-stage cancer patients on physicians and patients to put it into wider use.  The results were often tragic and the company’s now out of business. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_072519_Boyd.mp3
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When Vladimir Putin took power, Russian life was unpredictable, and Russian power and influence were at historic lows.  How to make Russia great again?  Putin’s formula was simple – a strong government, and a powerful military to command respect at home and abroad, and national unity. Shaun Walker of the Guardian, whose new book, The Long Hangover shows how Putin used nostalgic memories of World War 2 to bring Russians together.  Never mentioning Stalinist purges or mass deportations was part of his propaganda plan. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_072319_Walker.mp3
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When a small town loses its only hospital, the impact goes way beyond people’s physical health.  The economy and the society are under threat.  Sarah Jane Tribble of Kaiser Heath News on what shut Mercy Hospital in Fort Scott, Kansas, and what happened next.  Do small towns need real hospitals, and if not, what do they need to protect the public health?

Direct download: HereAndThere_072219_Tribble.mp3
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Almost all the journalistic focus has been on America’s southern border with Mexico, destination end of the migrant trail.  Anita Pouchard Serra led a team for the New York Times to trace the trail to one its most prolific points of origin – a town in El Salvador called Intipuca.  Migrancy has made some winners and losers there, and that’s only one way in which links between the US and Intipuca have divided that town.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_071819_Serra.mp3
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What does it mean when one of the NY Times’ top political reporters calls a crowded field of Democratic aspirants to the Presidency, a “clown car?”  Are too damn many Democrats dawdling too long on the campaign trail, or is it just the journalists who are growing impatient?  Pollster/strategist and political analyst John Zogby takes a look at the 2020 Presidential campaign at its earliest stages.  One candidate has dropped out, is a bigger cull coming soon?

Direct download: HereAndThere_071619_Zogby.mp3
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 It’s undignified birth on Twitter, and it’s hurry-up delivery in the Korean Demilitarized Zone may have made the meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un seem less important than it was.  Bruce Bennett, a top Korea analyst for the RAND Corporation says the PR pageant actually made some important points.  President Trump’s presentation of “friendship” seems to have convinced Kim to take diplomacy out of the deep-freeze and into action.  And then?  

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Just 2 days after baseball’s annual All-Star Game, a look back at an amazing, if tragic year in the life of an all-time all-star -- Lou Gehrig.  Dan Joseph, author of the new book, The Last Ride of the Iron Horse, on how, in 1938, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis , ALS, was already starting to destroy Gehrig’s body, but the great Yankee first baseman played through it, helping the Yankees win their third straight World Series.  His career never make it through another baseball season.

Direct download: HereAndThere_071119_Joseph.mp3
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NM Gov. Susana Martinez’ Department of Human Services cried fraud and effectively fired all the private agencies serving the state’s addicted and mentally ill.  But there was no fraud, and the substitute agencies imported from AZ failed or quit.  The old agencies, Ben Altenberg, Director of the new PBS documentary The Shake Up, are out of business, and their most vulnerable clients bereft, adrift, and in some cases probably preventably, dead. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_070919_Altenberg.mp3
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 The United States insists it is negotiating a peace agreement for Afghanistan, but the current agenda doesn’t extend beyond a timetable for a pullout of international forces. Sophia Jones, Global Editor for The Fuller Project, has been reporting from Afghanistan for years, and says a quick US exit could be a disaster for Afghanistan’s women.  The lives of women in Kabul and other cities freed from Taliban rule in 2001 have improved greatly over 18 years.  But all that, they fear, could be swept away. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_070819_Sophia_Jones.mp3
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The health protections children get from vaccinations have been taken for granted.  Or they were, until the worst outbreak of measles in almost 30 years hit the United States this year.  And most of the victims are children whose parents opted them out of vaccination.  John R Roby of the Santa Fe Reporter on how easy it is in NM for more than 4500 school kids to get a vaccination exemption. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_070319_Roby.mp3
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Tripoli, the capitol city of Libya, was once one of the most modern cities in North Africa.  These days it a ruinous battleground as 2 governments fight for control of the country. The UN backed government runs Tripoli and little else.  The rebels led by Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar have backers in Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.  Adding to the pain and confusion, at one time or another, President Trump has backed both sides.

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 What are called rare earths aren’t rare and they aren’t earths, They are 17 minerals with strange sounding names like gadolinium and promethium.  Why care about ‘m?  Rare earths are essential ingredients in all sorts of civilian products from cell phone and ear buds to electric cars. Keith Johnson of Foreign Policy says rare earths are even more important for military technologies, and 80% of our imported rare earths come from China.  This might make winning the trade war a lot harder. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_070119_Keith_Johnson.mp3
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What would President Donald Trump’s “big beautiful wall” do to the beauty of the Rio Grande and its Valley?  And what would the wall do to the lives of the people, animals, even insects who live very interdependently there?  A new documentary, The River and the Wall, directed by Ben Masters, maker of the excellent Unbranded shows you the answers.  Hillary Pierce produced the film and made the trek downriver by bicycle, mustang and canoe, from El Paso to the Gulf of Mexico. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_062719_Pierce.mp3
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An Associated Press investigation shows how members of the same Sackler families showing remorse for overselling opioids in America as they face settlements or judgments in court, are making millions doing very similar things, pushing opioid pain-relief drugs in Italy and around the world.  AP’s Claire Galofaro broke the story of a campaign of false reassurances about opioid addiction by a very-well-paid celebrity physician based on very limited or spurious science.

Direct download: HereAndThere_062519_Garofalo.mp3
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When payback gets stupid. China is angry about US attempts to extradite a Chinese businesswoman from Canada and lashes out at Hong Kong, demanding extradition rights it’s never had, including taking local off to mainland China for “justice.”  The result – millions of protesters in the streets. Some local experts call the extradition proposal “the last straw,” another calls the protest, “the last stand” for traditional Hong Kong political freedom.

Direct download: HereAndThere_062419_Lian.mp3
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The good news about Mad Cow Disease is that an easy reform, eliminating cow brains and spinal materials from cattle feed, has protected both cattle and people.  So far Chronic Wasting Disease, a similar medical issue is only a growing problem for deer and elk; there have been no known transmissions to humans. But saving the animals from this plague is going to be much harder than snuffing out Mad Cow Disease. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_062019_Bichell.mp3
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50 years later, the video replay of Ron Swoboda’s miraculous catch in the 1969 World Series is one of the most watched presentations of one of the best-remembered moments in baseball history.  It’s the starting point for Swoboda’s new book Here’s the Catch: A Memoir of the Miracle Mets and More. Baseball legend Branch Rickey famously said, “Luck is the residue of design.”  He didn’t name the designer.  Swoboda knows he’s a lucky guy.  This is the most transparent, truthful, happy autobiography I’ve ever read.

Direct download: HereAndThere_061819_Swoboda.mp3
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Once people ate to survive, then they learned to eat to enjoy.  Now, too many of us eat to eat, to consume, which leads to 3 terrible things: gluttony, radical inequality, and the depletion of Planet Earth. Kevin D. Walker, author of The Grand Food Bargain on how things came to the pint that people choose their foods more for convenience and price than quality. The more you choose the first two, Walker warns, the worse your health.

Direct download: HereAndThere_061719_Walker.mp3
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In 1935, when it was knowingly inflicting the neurological damage of leaded gasoline on an unsuspecting world, Du Pont took as its slogan” “Better living through chemistry.”  Du Pont understood this is just what people want to believe.  Take the idea of better policing through technology.  People want to believe this, too, but Matt Stroud in his new book Thin Blue Lie says gizmos from Tasers to Vipers to the latest predictive databases and facial recognition software don’t make police better servants of the people. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_061319_Stroud.mp3
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We all have nightmares, but the nightmare arson that destroyed a main building and historical archive at the Highlander School in Tennessee is real and recurring.  Historian Robin D G Kelley on why he and so many other African American or Progressive people take the latest repetition of heinous crime against this unique institution so personally. What Los Alamos Labs was to the atomic bomb, the Highlander School has been for workplace democracy, civil rights and gender equality in America.

Direct download: HereAndThere_061119_Robin_Kelley.mp3
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The last time America was the home team in a war was 1865, and the war was the Civil War, probably the 4 worst years in American history.  Waging American war as the visiting team creates many deep frustrations. One of them is how ignorant most of the folks back home are about the reality soldiers face. Elliot Ackerman new book Places and Names wages war on that ignorance with a truth-telling memoir that ranges from Iraq to Afghanistan to Syria.

Direct download: HereAndThere_061019_Ackerman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

8 times in American history, a President has died in office and been replaced by his Vice President.  Most of the time, not only the Veep, but the Constitutional system seemed unprepared for the change. What should be the powers of the substitute President, and should be assume the title, or keep a word like “acting” in front of it?  And what would happen if the Vice President also passed away while in office? Jared Cohen has written a new book, Accidental Presidents: Eight Men Who Changed America on the subject.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_052319_Jared_Cohen.mp3
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The Department of Homeland Security tasked a team from the RAND Corporation to find out much money people-smuggling cartels were making from the Central American migrant crisis.  Blas Nunez-Neto says what they found out was, there are no people-smuggling cartels, just a lot of small-time exploiters.  But the drug-smuggling cartels are taking their share of the profits.  The surprise?  How small a share that is.

Direct download: HereAndThere_052119_Nunez-Neto.mp3
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Sometimes it takes just a single grain of sand to disrupt a fine-tuned machine.  In New Mexico, a dispute over $39 million created a huge bellyache for the state’s $1.4 Billion deal with Facebook.  The state’s Public Regulation Commission rejected a utility company plan to charge consumers for a power grid extension that could benefit Facebook.  PNM insists retail customers will get their investment back and more as Pacebook pays for power over the years.

Direct download: HereAndThere_052019_Terrell.mp3
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The latest wrinkle in the humanitarian crisis on America’s Southern Border -- the Border Patrol and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement service (ICE), dumping asylum seekers detained on the American side of the frontier, in nearby cities and towns, to fend for themselves.  One city targeted for dumping is Las Cruces, NM where reporter Algernon D’Ammassa of the Las Cruces Sun has been covering the story of how the city is coping and the help it’s getting from Albuquerque and Santa Fe. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_051619_DAmmassa.mp3
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It has long been known that the many blows to the head that are part and parcel of playing professional football can lead to concussions and more serious, more permanent brain damage.  But, Michael Powell, sports columnist for the New York Times notes, the NFL is presented as entertainment and players are well paid for the risks they take, but he asks, what about the students playing college football? 

Direct download: HereAndThere_051419_Powell.mp3
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The ongoing war in Yemen is one of the worst events in the world, and few journalists have reported on it as deeply and well as Jane Ferguson, a Beirut-based free-lance whose video reports from the front lines of military confrontation and civilian starvation have been seen on PBS’ NewsHour.  She sums up the story in Yemen as “man-made famine. For which there seems to be no end in sight.”  How she got to the frontlines in Houthi-held northern Yemen is a story in itself.

Direct download: HereAndThere_051319_Ferguson.mp3
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The Global High Wealth team was a special unit of the IRS, the Internal Revenue Service, created to unmask the real incomes of some of America’s Greediest, hidden behind forests of legal paper and piles of accountants’ numbers, in an effort to cheap out on their taxes.  Jesse Eisinger, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter at ProPublica tells why the team failed to reach its goals.  One reason: the Obama Administration robbed the IRS budget of money to pay for investigators.

Direct download: HereAndThere_050919_Eisinger.mp3
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As is usually the case in Israel, recent national elections left no political party with a majority.  But voters did create conditions in which incumbent Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will likely again lead a coalition government.  What then? And what if Netanyahu is indicted on several different criminal charges involving quid pro quo favors for corruption?  Josef Federman, AP’s Bureau Chief in Jerusalem has some provisional answers to those hard questions.

Direct download: HereAndThere_050719_Federman.mp3
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For every barrel of oil produced,” in NM, Elizabeth Miller, reported in NM in Depth, “five to seven barrels of produced water also emerge from the ground. In 2018, that totaled more than 1 billion barrels. The word for every drop of it is “toxic” which is why the recently passed Produced Waters Act is so important.  Elizabeth will explain why environmental activists – who like much of what’s in the new law – worry about a single loophole written into it. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_050619_Elizabeth_Miller.mp3
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Between December 26, 2018 and mid-April of 2019, 23 horses died at Santa Anita racetrack in Southern California.  The question is why?  And the answer is complicated, because, David Wharton, featured sportswriter at the Los Angeles Times tells us, there are several potential causes. But already the track’s been re-opened and some of its practices drastically reformed before real answers have been found.  This in itself is spurring calls to ban the whole sport of horseracing in California and across the country.

Direct download: HereAndThere_050219_Wharton.mp3
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America continues to be tortured by an epidemic of addiction to opioid drugs.  A lot of people blame the drug Oxycontin, the company, Perdue Pharma that manufactured it, and the Sackler family that largely owned and ran the company.  Lenny Bernstein of the Washington Post on how the opioid blame game is playing out in State and Federal Courts.  The State of Massachusetts says the drug made profits of $14 Billion, and it wants to claw some of that money back. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_043019.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

President Donald Trump’s only thought on Syria seems to be – “We’re Outta Here.”  Well, we’re not and won’t be, but Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign correspondent Roy Gutman says American influence and credibility in Syria and the surrounding region have taken a big fall since Trump announced he wanted out.  One place US troops will staying is a base called Al-Tanf.  One place the White House will continue to ignore is Rukban, a terrible refugee camp right next door. 

Direct download: HT0429GutmanPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Who says there are no second acts in America?  Investigative reporter Robert Anglen of the Arizona Republic uncovered a nation-wide restaurant scam being run by a former Mafia leg-breaker in the Witness Protection program.  Anglen helped that one go bust, but he didn’t stop Frank Capri whose second fraudulent scheme is actually almost a duplicate of his first one.  He even hoodwinked some of the same victims twice. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_042519_Anglen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

For the Trump Administration starving Venezuelans are pressure points against the crookedly re-elected President Nicolas Maduro, but to the Red Cross, they are just people in need of food and medicine, and if getting it to them means giving some credibility to Maduro, so be it. Joshua Goodman of the Associated Press has been reporting the story from Caracas, where American huffing and puffing hasn’t blown Maduro’s house in.  

Direct download: HT042319pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

The United States and China are in the midst of a trade war as well negotiations for trade peace and mutual prosperity.  It’s complicated, because the two competing economies are deeply interlinked, so damaging one, actually damages both.  Another complication, the economies of the rest of the world are also hanging on the outcome.  John Feffer of The Nation tells the story, i

Direct download: ht042219pod.mp3
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The world is entering a new and revolutionary economic phase, one defined by robots and artificial intelligence.  Our guest Nigel Cameron has just written a book which asks and answers an important question – Will Robots Take Your Job?  The answer is yes, and unlike say, the Industrial Revolution, the AI economy may not supply enough substitutes for the jobs rendered obsolete. Training people for STEM jobs may make sense today, but will it make things better in the future?  Cameron says, think STEAM..add A for the Arts to science and technology. 

Direct download: HT041819cameronPOD.mp3
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A Federal ATF campaign in Albuquerque seemed built to produce disproportionate arrests of African-Americans and Hispanics, and it did.  Do similar racial and ethnic disparities exist in NM law enforcement at the state and local levels?  It’s no accident that no one can know for sure.  In all America, NM is one of only 2 states that refuses to collect the data.  Investigative reporter Jeff Proctor of NM in Depth and Santa Fe Reporter, on what the NM State Government doesn’t want to know, and doesn’t want you to know either.  

Direct download: HT041619proctor.mp3
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For years the small Kazakh minority in China’s far western province, Xinjiang, had good relations with the Beijing government.  But now, President Xi Jinping’s relentless crackdown on the local majority Uighurs has expanded, and the Kazakh’s language, customs, Muslim religion and personal freedom are also under attack. Kazakhs as well as Uighurs now face more invasive government surveillance, mass arrests, family separations and punishing re-education camps.  Salih Hudayar of the East Turkestan National Awakening Movement tells the story in depth.

Direct download: HT0415HudayarPOD.mp3
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 Ukraine is between Presidential elections.  In the recently-completed first round, Volodymyr Zelensky, a comedian who plays Ukraine’s president in a popular television series got by far the most votes.  His opponent in the decisive second round is Ukraine’s incumbent president, Petro Poroshenko.  Who will the Ukrainian people, and the Russian trolls and bots back in the race?  Scholar Alexander Motyl looks cautiously ahead.  

Direct download: HT041119MotylPOD.mp3
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In today’s headlines, tens of millions of migrants are causing crises on every continent.  But Harvard University scholar, Jacqueline Bhabha, says human migration has been part of the global experience forever.  As long as mankind has known wars, famines, floods and political conflicts, it’s seen people on the move, seeking better lives. Professor Bhabha asks, in a new book, Can We Solve the Migration Crisis? and offers some reasons why the answer should be yes. Human kindness and political wisdom would both help.

Direct download: HT0409BhabhaPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Nothing President Trump has tried to stop the flow of migrants to America’s southern border has worked.  His latest trick, slowing down processing for asylum applicants “doing it the legal way,” has made everything worse. Slowing that route drives desperate people to cross illegally, give themselves up and divert from real border security, hundreds of border patrol officers.  Photo-journalist Roberto Rosales of the Albuquerque Journal has been covering the border crisis for months.

Direct download: HT040819.mp3
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What do you do with captured terrorists, and what about their families?  As more and more fighters for the Islamic State are being taken prisoner in Syria, the big question is what should happen next.  Terrorism expert Brian Michael Jenkins of the RAND Corporation says the US should do what President Trump recommends for all other countries except the United States …bring ‘em home and put them on trial.

Direct download: HereAndThere_040419_Jenkins.mp3
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For 5 years in Darfur, and years after that in Kenya, Susan Burgess-Lent delivered humanitarian aid and community organizing expertise to women in need.  She wrote about it in her book, Trouble Ahead, Dangerous Missions with Desperate People, and tells us about it, in depth.  Making aid effective means much more than cutting a ribbon and handing over medicines or supplies. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_040219_Burgess_Lent.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots has been charged with buying sexual services at a so-called massage parlor in Florida. His celebrity made the bust a headline story, but the real story is that the massage parlor may be part of an $3 billion a year international trafficking industry.  How women get to the US from China and then are moved like checkers from massage parlor to massage parlor around the country. Frances Robles of the NY Times has the story.

Direct download: HereAndThere_040119_Robles.mp3
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Is Inequality in America Irreversible? – that’s the title question of Chuck Collins’ new book.  Recent evidence suggests the answer may be yes, but Collins, a scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies think tank says the real answer is no.  Of course, Chuck has some potential real-world solutions to propose.  Some of them are actually in use, in Western Europe and in some American states. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_031919_Collins.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

When he wrote his best-seller @War, 5 years ago, Shane Harris could see the problem coming.  Now, as he reports for the Washington Post, what to do about cyber-warfare mercenaries is a red-hot question…especially when they’re being asked by employers like the UAE to spy on Americans.  One former NSA staffer blew the whistle to the US Government and says she got little response…so she went to Reuters, and now, Harris, says, there’s a big in-house investigation. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_031819_Shane_Harris.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Week after week, the US military stages air attacks on the Somali Islamist terrorist group Al-Shabaab.  Always the official reports say, a number -- often one, two or 3 dozen – terrorists are killed and there are no civilian casualties.  American journalist Amanda Sperber is one of the few who visit Somalia and she says the first number is uncertain, but the second – no civilian casualties – is almost certainly untrue.  So, what’s being accomplished?  The head of America’s Africa Command says progress depends on the Somali Government Army, which gets little help from the US. 

Direct download: HT031419SperberPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

"Here’s a guy who sees a problem and sets out to fix it…and it kills him.”  That’s the story of US Navy LT Wesley Van Dorn as tersely summed up by a member of his flight squadron at the Norfolk Naval Air Station.

The title of Zachary Stauffer’s documentary asks the question: Who Killed Lt. Van Dorn?  Meaning who let the problem -- the H 53 helicopters, the Marines’ Super Stallions and the Navy’s Sea Dragons, kill more American service people than any other American weapon.  None of the victims died in combat. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_031219_Stauffer.mp3
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Over the past 30 years, Alfredo Corchado has established himself as one of the best reporters covering the US-Mexico borderlands for the Wall Street Journal and Dallas Morning News.  His assignments have allowed him to explore both his Mexican and American roots, the subject of his powerful and personal memoir Homelands.  We’ll talk about President Trump’s attempts to de-magnetize the pull of the US for Central American migrants and about Alfredo’s trips to Guatemala to understand the push behind the immigrant caravans.

Direct download: HereAndThere_031119_Corchado.mp3
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With one eye trained on the American push towards a peace agreement with the Taliban in Afghanistan (undertaken so far to the exclusion of our allies, the Afghan government) and the other on the sudden explosion of warfare between India and Pakistan, the fine Washington Post correspondent Pamela Constable has been a very busy journalist.  On the Taliban front, is President Trump’s obvious desire or a deal – almost any deal – an impediment to a successful negotiation? 

Direct download: ConstableMar7pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

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