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July 27, 2016 at 6:27 pm

The AIDS epidemic still ravages America, and now your kids may be at risk. While a cure is still yet to be found, confidential, affordable treatment and preventative medicine such as PrEP is accessible to adults in need. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2013 less than 50 percent of New Yorkers ages 13 to 24 took medications that reduced their HIV to very low levels. Governor Andrew Cuomo is now aiming to end new HIV infections in New York by 2020 by proposing legislature giving minors a right to confidential access to HIV prevention and care. Executive Director of the Ryan/Chelsea-Clinton Community Health Center, William Murphy, joins us to talk about the current state of this virus in New York and advancements in prevention such as Pre-Exposure Prophylasxis, or PrEP

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Episode
July 27, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, night one of the Democratic National Convention boasted rousing speeches from U.S. Senator Cory Booker, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and First Lady Michelle Obama. As we head into Day 2 the roster of speakers continues with names like President Bill Clinton, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, and 9/11 police responder Joe Sweeney planning to go to bat for Hillary Clinton. Tonight, we are joined by Democratic strategists Philip Alagia and Bill Pascrell III to discuss what’s coming as the week progresses.

Then, nearly 15 percent- which comes out to more than 46 million people in this country- are considered to be living under the poverty line. That means these people are surviving on about $24,000 a year. In New York State, the average resident spends more than that, annually, on housing alone. So, the question is reasonable: When faced with such a high cost of living- Is poverty something that can be eradicated? Turns out, the idea isn’t so far-fetched. Roosevelt Institute scholar Dorian Warren and author of How To Truly Eradicate Poverty joins us to share the steps that he believes could help put poverty behind us.

And finally, legendary singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka has been giving audiences something to groove to for almost a record 60 years. Best known for early rock and roll classics such as “Calendar Girl,” “Breaking Up is Hard to Do,” “Love Will Keep Us Together,” and “Stupid Cupid.” From the opening chord, songs like these have a knack for taking listeners down memory lane, and now at 77, Sedaka is still performing, composing, and bringing his hits to audiences around the world. His new studio album I Do It For Applause boasts twelve new songs and his symphonic piece “Joie De Vivre.” Neil joins us tonight to talk about his amazing career in music and his newest installment to his collection.

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July 26, 2016 at 6:28 pm

Nearly 15 percent- which comes out to more than 46 million people in this country- are considered to be living under the poverty line. That means these people are surviving on about $24,000 a year. In New York State, the average resident spends more than that, annually, on housing alone. So, the question is reasonable: When faced with such a high cost of living- Is poverty something that can be eradicated? Turns out, the idea isn’t so far-fetched. Roosevelt Institute scholar Dorian Warren and author of How To Truly Eradicate Poverty joins us to share the steps that he believes could help put poverty behind us.

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Episode
July 26, 2016 at 5:39 am

Tonight, with the Republican convention in the rear view, Democrats are now gathering in Philadelphia to begin their own convention and anoint Hillary Clinton for President. But while the anticipation is building, party leader Debbie Wasserman Schultz was met with heckling and disruption as she gave a speech this morning. She will be stepping down as soon as the convention wraps, amid pressure from the WikiLeaks emails release, one of which show staffers discussing how to weaken Sanders’ support by referencing his faith, as well as Hillary’s campaign saying the Russian government may have orchestrated the debacle. Is this an omen for what is to come, or will the Democratic party pull it together? How will Bernie Sanders react when he takes the stage tonight? We speak to New Jersey Assemblyman John Wisniewski, who was the chair of Bernie Sanders’ campaign in that state, about the tumultuous first day of the Democratic convention.

Next, America has the largest prison population in the world, and in New York City, 4000 people are locked up in jail, although they haven’t been convicted of any crime. They remain there, awaiting trial, not because their crime demands it, but because they simply cannot afford to pay their bail. In a new documentary titled Limbo, three prisoners tell their story and the high price they are forced to pay as a result of our country’s bail system. Filmmaker Razan Ghalayini and senior planner at Vera Institute of Justice’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections Insha Rahman join us to talk about the broken criminal justice system in America and whether it discriminates against the poor while costing us $9 billion a year.

Then finally, who said STEM skills were best learned in a classroom? Mohonk Preserve is breaking the status quo for STEM kids and taking their lessons outside, using the natural environment to reinforce science, math, technology and engineering programs. MetroFocus’ Jenna Flanagan takes us to the preserve and shows you how the program is taking kids from areas like Kingston, Poughkeepsie and Newburgh, making them comfortable with the outdoors, and melding it with their interests in STEM.

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July 25, 2016 at 6:28 pm

America has the largest prison population in the world, and in New York City, 4000 people are locked up in jail, although they haven’t been convicted of any crime. They remain there, awaiting trial, not because their crime demands it, but because they simply cannot afford to pay their bail. In a new documentary titled Limbo, three prisoners tell their story and the high price they are forced to pay as a result of our country’s bail system. Filmmaker Razan Ghalayini and senior planner at Vera Institute of Justice’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections Insha Rahman join us to talk about the broken criminal justice system in America and whether it discriminates against the poor while costing us $9 billion a year.

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Episode
July 22, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, today is day 4 of the GOP Convention in Cleveland, and we continue to keep you updated on what’s happening in C-Town. Among tonight’s bill of speakers is American football star Tim Tebow, Tennessee Representative Marsha Blackburn, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, Ivanka Trump, and the Republican presidential nominee himself, Donald Trump. We’ll talk to New Jersey Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick ahead of all the excitement tonight and get the latest.

Next, Synthetic Marijuana, commonly known as K2, has had a recent surge in overdoses here in New York. Between Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, many plans to crack down on the drug are being proposed, with serious consequences to those selling it. On top of that, Senator Chuck Schumer confirmed that he’s planning on introducing legislation to outlaw more than 20 substances found in the makeup of the drug. K2 overdoses are nothing new, in fact, 6,000 patients were treated at New York City hospitals since 2015 due to overdosing. But now, a video shot in Brooklyn earlier this month depicts dozens of K2 users and public officials were worried by what they saw, leading to police raids of stores and bodegas believed to supply the drug. New York Daily News writer Graham Rayman has been covering this epidemic as it develops, and he’s here to comment on the latest.

Next, between the deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and police officers in both Dallas and Baton Rouge, the question remains of how to bridge the seemingly unbridgeable gap between law enforcement and communities of color. The NYPD is no exception to the question, and they are turning to the people they protect for the answer. In the Fall of 2014, the NYPD started a small pilot program with 54 body cameras for officers, which is expected to expand to an additional 1,000 body cameras on officers. But before officers are outfitted with these cameras, the NYPD is offering a questionnaire as a joint initiative by the Policing Project at NYU’s School of Law. The survey will allow New Yorkers to give their input on how they think cameras should be used, with the hope that it will foster a better relationship between the public and the police. Director of the Policing Project, professor Barry Friedman stops by to talk about the pilot program and the questionnaire.

Then finally, high school students have to tackle many hurdles to get to college, but some students face bigger challenges than tests and homework. Recently, a group of college-bound high school graduates were celebrated for achieving academic success while being in the homeless system. MetroFocus Contributor Andrea Vasquez takes us to the celebration that honored 100 homeless high school graduates who overcame instability at home to excel in school.

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July 21, 2016 at 6:26 pm

High school students have to tackle many hurdles to get to college, but some students face bigger challenges than tests and homework. Recently, a group of college-bound high school graduates were celebrated for achieving academic success while being in the homeless system. MetroFocus Contributor Andrea Vasquez takes us to the celebration that honored 100 homeless high school graduates who overcame instability at home to excel in school.

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Episode
July 20, 2016 at 5:25 am

Tonight, from the drop of the gavel, catch the highlights of yesterday’s GOP convention and what to look forward to tonight as the focus shifts to the economy. This morning, Melania Trump is in the midst of a plagiarism controversy after giving a speech that was very similar to one Michelle Obama gave in 2008. Tonight, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, Kentucky Senator and majority leader Mitch McConnell, Tiffany Trump, Donald Trump Jr, and more are set to speak as Donald Trump tries to unite the Republican party. We have the latest, and you won’t want to miss it. We’ll speak with Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore, who is a lead GOP fundraiser in New Jersey and an official fundraiser for the Trump campaign.

Next, the 2016 Election is said to be the most polarizing Presidential race in over 20 years. In the end, it will be up to the people to decide who gets to move into the White House, but who are American voters, and what issues are they concerned about? VICE reporter Abdullah Saeed and two co-workers, Martina de Alba and Wibert Cooper, set out on a road trip across the country to find out. They documented their journey in an ongoing series called “VICE DOES AMERICA.” Abdullah and Martina join us to talk about their trip and what they learned from it.

Then finally, Motown was a sensational genre of music during the 1960’s and 70’s that produced an impressive roster of stars from Stevie Wonder, to Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, The Supremes, and more. All these artists had a hand in creating the musical soundtrack that played an important role in the racial integration of pop music. Behind all that, was a legendary label named Motown Records, founded by Berry Gordy Jr., who would go on to produce song after song that would top charts and be featured in the four time Tony nominated Motown the Musical, which recently returned to Broadway for a limited run. Gordy joins us with the musical’s director, Charles Randolph-Wright, to talk about the show and why it’s still relevant today.

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MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, the Anderson Family Fund, Judy and Josh Weston, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, The Dorothy Schiff Endowment for News and Public Affairs Programming, Jody and John Arnhold, Rosalind P. Walter, Ellen and James S. Marcus, the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation, Laura and Jim Ross.

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