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To the Point


A monthly reality-check on the issues Americans care about most. Host Warren Olney draws on his decades of experience to explore the people and issues shaping – and disrupting - our world. How did everything change so fast? Where are we headed?...

A monthly reality-check on the issues Americans care about most. Host Warren Olney draws on his decades of experience to explore the people and issues shaping – and disrupting - our world. How did everything change so fast? Where are we headed?...


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A monthly reality-check on the issues Americans care about most. Host Warren Olney draws on his decades of experience to explore the people and issues shaping – and disrupting - our world. How did everything change so fast? Where are we headed?...




Nuclear war is as likely as ever, says former defense secretary William Perry

It’s been 75 years since two atom bombs destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the world learned that nuclear weapons could annihilate civilization. Today, America’s nuclear weapons policy makes that as likely as ever. What needs to be done to make the world safer?


What Americans' refusal to wear COVID-19 masks says about politics

Scientific evidence shows that wearing a mask can protect both the wearer and the community around them from COVID-19. Yet some Americans, including President Trump, are still reluctant to put on a mask. Are there political implications for President Trump and the Republican party, especially in the Sun Belt states where COVID-19 cases are surging?


Should local police be warriors or guardians?

After killings and other violence recorded on camera, Black Lives Matter supporters are demanding police reform. Also an update on a potential travel ban from the European Union and the latest on the much anticipated June decisions from the Supreme Court.


Is the American identity undergoing a transformation?

Less than a month after the police killing of George Floyd, the protests around the country continue. Diverse Americans are expressing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Is the country undergoing a transformation? Also: Ezekiel Emanuel on what Americans can learn from other countries when it comes to health care.


KCRW Presents: Samaritans

A four-part documentary series from KCRW. In the first episode of Samaritans, we meet Christine Curtiss, learn where she came from and what her everyday life is like on the street. She has a community of friends in Mid-City, LA who look out for her. One of them enlists the local government. Follow her story and unpack the homeless experience in LA.


The link between racial and environmental injustice

The police killing of George Floyd has protesters focusing on another key issue — environmental injustice. Will a historically white environmental movement embrace racial justice and equality? Separately in the podcast, KCRW hears from two people who are anxiously awaiting this month’s Supreme Court decision on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).


Melina Abdullah: It’s a mistake to equate what happens to property with what happens to black lives

The killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in Minneapolis has inspired nationwide protests against injustice and police violence. Marchers are targeting cities of white affluence. What does all this say about confronting racism in America?


How dogs and tech can detect COVID-19

Tech titans like Apple, Google and Facebook are about to get low-tech competition to help detect the novel coronavirus. Labradors and Cocker Spaniels are being trained to sniff out COVID-19.


What makes cities vulnerable to COVID-19? Concentrated poverty, says econ professor

Disease has thrived among dense populations since cities began. But COVID-19 is the worst example since 1918, and New York City is America’s primary victim. Can New York and other cities survive this pandemic? Also, Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, explains what we can learn from history.


Will COVID-19 reshape political conventions?

Party Conventions nominated presidents since 1831. Will Covid-19 put an end to balloons, bunting and long-winded speeches? Will it also put an end to privacy?


Gene Sperling on economic dignity and wage gap for frontline workers

In his latest book, “Economic Dignity,” former White House advisor Gene Sperling lays out the case for the dignity of work. Only when all workers are valued, he argues, will we do better as a society. Also, can the U.S. Postal Service survive? Some local post offices may be closing soon — what’s the impact on November’s election?


Digital Darwinism and COVID-19: Businesses must adapt or perish in new economy

Brian Solis, digital anthropologist and a global innovation evangelist at Salesforce, talks about how the novel coronavirus will spark innovation, and how companies and businesses must “adapt or die” in the new economy.


How will COVID-19 leave its mark on health care?

The coronavirus pandemic exposes collapsing medical systems around the world, as well as weaknesses with health care in the United States. Can COVID-19 force these systems to change for the better?


With demand for oil at an all-time low, will there be new opportunities for renewable energy?

Twenty-seven massive tankers float off the Port of LA, loaded with oil that has no place to go. Demand has dropped so much during the economic fallout from COVID-19 that prices plummeted below zero for the first time in history. Does that create opportunities for alternative energy sources like wind, solar or nuclear?


The politics of stay-at-home orders, plus the ethics of online shopping

The coronavirus pandemic is changing the rules for the president in the White House and citizens sheltered at home. Should President Trump or 50 governors take charge of controlling disease? Also, is it right or wrong to shop online if it’s not for essentials?


What does COVID-19 mean for climate change long-term and Trump’s re-election?

Shutting down the economy means cleaner skies, but that good news for climate change won’t last, says scientist Katherine Hayhoe. And how will Trump’s handling of the pandemic influence his re-election prospects?


US farmworkers’ safety during COVID-19, plus a new model for mental health treatment

Coronavirus among farmworkers is a threat to America’s food supply chain. Are these workers being protected? Also, courts in Miami-Dade County are keeping people with mental illnesses out of jail.


Coronavirus pandemic realigns US democracy

Andy Slavitt helped save Obamacare. Now he’s tweeting to help the Trump White House cope with COVID-19. He says the pandemic is more important than partisanship. Does the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority agree?


Trump finally sees coronavirus as a pandemic. Will he take responsibility or leave that up to governors?

President Trump has finally changed course, seeing COVID-19 as no longer a “hoax.” Experts predict the pandemic could kill up to 200,000 Americans. Is Trump providing leadership or leaving the responsibility to state governors?


How coronavirus reveals political differences in US

Americans see coronavirus in terms of politics more than public health. Blue states are enforcing “social distancing.” Red states are reluctant. Is President Trump dividing the country when it needs unity more than ever?