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November 02, 2016 at 6:29 pm

By the end of the 21st century, over 80% of the world’s population will live in cities just like New York. But with a projected world population reaching over 10 billion by the year 2050, that migration to cities calls a series of global megatrends to attention, including climate change, growing income inequality, disparities in education and health, and unaffordable housing. These megatrends threaten the security of some of our greatest regions of economic and social innovations, as well as the overall ability of the Earth to sustain the resources to accommodate for a growing world population. Author and urban planner Jonathan Rose joins us to discuss some key strategies that will help create a harmonious, urban society as outlined in his book The Well-Tempered City: What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations and Human Behavior Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life.

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November 02, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Gems, metals, and power: They’re aspects of our everyday lives, and in their own ways, they are the very backbone of our modern-day civilization. Their history, the science behind their creation, and the vital roles they’ve played in the formation of society are documented in a new, three-part series from NOVA, called Treasures of the Earth. The producer, director, and writer behind this television event, Doug Hamilton joins us tonight with an exciting inside look at the series and shares his perspective on what makes these treasures so vital to the society in which we live.

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Episode
November 01, 2016 at 5:41 am

Tonight, this election season has been filled with one political scandal after another, but with only eight days until America elects our next Commander in Chief, perhaps the biggest bombshell has just been detonated. The FBI is now sifting through newly discovered emails related to the ongoing investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State. The new messages surfaced in an unrelated investigation regarding disgraced former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner and his estranged wife, Huma Abedin, who serves as a top aide to the Democratic nominee. The two reportedly shared the computer on which the emails were found.

This all came to light as a result of a letter FBI Director James Comey recently wrote to Congress to inform them of the discovery of new Clinton digital correspondences– a move that is being criticized as political and out of step with departmental policy. Was Comey’s timing deliberate and will this latest scandal influence your vote on Election Day? To answer those questions and more, we’ll speak with longtime Comey friend and adviser, former federal prosecutor and Columbia Law Professor Daniel Richman, and former Bill Clinton adviser, Democratic strategist and President of Sheinkopf Communications Ltd, Hank Sheinkopf.

Next, it looks like it’s full steam ahead for The Gateway Project, an infrastructure proposal that will add two new tunnels to improve rail connections between New York and New Jersey and avert what some are calling “Transportation Armageddon.” The project was recently placed on the President’s Permitting Dashboard, a process that will have any permitting needs for Gateway pushed to the front of the line. If all goes according to plan, New York Senator Chuck Schumer says that construction on the Hudson tunnel portion of the project could begin in 2019. But, is the project truly necessary? What obstacles stand in its way? And beyond that, why has it been so difficult to build and repair our nation’s infrastructure over the past few decades? Philip K. Howard, chair of Common Good, a nonpartisan coalition whose goal is to simplify government, joins us to discuss how critical The Gateway Project is for our region and the roadblocks that infrastructure projects face.

Finally, Happy Halloween! Tonight, MetroFocus celebrates with a terrifyingly true piece of American history: The Salem Witch Trials. Perhaps no historical event has been discussed, written about, or sensationalized quite like this famous, 17th-century witch hunt. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Stacy Schiff continues to tell the tale with The Witches: Salem 1692, detailing the hidden stories of the unbelievable historical event. Tonight, Stacy Schiff joins us to discuss the trials, why they have captivated our minds for centuries, and why they are so important to our nation’s history.

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October 31, 2016 at 6:28 pm

It looks like it’s full steam ahead for The Gateway Project, an infrastructure proposal that will add two new tunnels to improve rail connections between New York and New Jersey and avert what some are calling “Transportation Armageddon.” The project was recently placed on the President’s Permitting Dashboard, a process that will have any permitting needs for Gateway pushed to the front of the line. If all goes according to plan, New York Senator Chuck Schumer says that construction on the Hudson tunnel portion of the project could begin in 2019. But, is the project truly necessary? What obstacles stand in its way? And beyond that, why has it been so difficult to build and repair our nation’s infrastructure over the past few decades? Philip K. Howard, chair of Common Good, a nonpartisan coalition whose goal is to simplify government, joins us to discuss how critical The Gateway Project is for our region and the roadblocks that infrastructure projects face.

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Episode
October 29, 2016 at 5:41 am

Tonight, Nate Silver has earned a reputation for getting it very right when it comes to our presidential elections. He first burst onto the scene in 2008, when he correctly predicted the results of the presidential race in 49 out of 50 states. Then he shocked everyone by getting all 50 states right in 2012. Now Silver is back at it again. Tonight, Nate Silver joins us to share what his team at FiveThirtyEight, the Manhattan-based website that uses statistical analysis to forecast results and predict outcomes in everything from politics to sports, is forecasting for Election night. It’s a segment you surely don’t want to miss!

Next, October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and in this age of technology and social media, a bully’s reach goes far beyond the classroom. Cyberbullying puts harassment on a more public stage: the internet, where photos, videos, and text can circulate far beyond verbal attacks. Now, students from New York City schools are teaming up with AT&T to raise awareness about the reach of online bullying through film. MetroFocus’ Andrea Vasquez shows us how these young filmmakers are making an impact and speaking out against cyberbullying.

Then, Director Sidney Lumet is known for his mastery in cinema and his ability to pull first-rate performances out of the actors in his films. He’s had a hand in cinematic classics like 12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon, and Network, but now he’s stepping in front of the camera in American Master’s By Sidney Lumet. This documentary casts a lens over his life and 50-year career as one of the most accomplished and influential directors in the history of film. The documentary’s director, Nancy Buirski, joins us to discuss this Hollywood legend ahead of the film’s premiere tonight at New York City’s Lincoln Plaza Cinema and on PBS in early 2017.

Finally, Halloween is only three days away! If you don’t have any petrifying plans yet, never fear, because tonight, we’ll be sitting down with David Goldberg from Time Out New York to get some of the best haunts in the city. Whether you’re looking for family-friendly Jack-o-lantern jamborees, ghost tours, or a politically themed haunted house, we’ll let you know about all the Halloweekend events you definitely don’t want to miss out on.

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Episode
October 27, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, new developments in the Eric Garner case are making headlines today as the Justice Department shakes up the investigation against Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer responsible for putting Garner in the chokehold that became the catalyst for his death. Garner’s last words, “I can’t breathe,” caused national outrage and have become a mantra for Black Lives Matter protests and the conversation surrounding the use of force in police encounters. The New York Times reports that the Justice Department replaced the federal investigators handling the case in Brooklyn with their counterparts from Washington D.C. While New York feds are furious about the decision, saying that the shuffle is a move to make an example of Pantaleo, some believe that it’s a step in ensuring that justice is served. Tonight, former NYPD lieutenant Darren Porcher weighs in on this case and the significance of this shift in power.

Next, earlier this year, a water main break on the Upper West Side flooded the streets, damaged basements, and opened up a large sinkhole on Amsterdam Avenue that swallowed an SUV. This is hardly a first for New York. Last year an even larger sinkhole swallowed a whole intersection in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. This phenomenon of the ground suddenly and unexpectedly collapsing beneath our feet is occurring more frequently around the globe and is a dangerous and sometimes even fatal occurrence. The threat they pose and their causes are documented in the NOVA film, Sinkholes— Buried Alive. Tonight, we’ll take an in-depth look at the film with its producer Larry Klein.

Then, while there have been monumental victories in the fight for equality among the LGBT community, advocates are quick to point out that there is still a long way to go. In fact, many LGBT youth are rejected by their own families and forced to leave home because of their sexuality. Studies show that LGBTQ youth make up about 40 percent of the homeless youth population in New York City. Not only that, but LGBTQ youth on the streets experience higher rates of sexual assault, violence, trauma, HIV infection, mental health issues, and substance abuse compared to their heterosexual peers living on the streets. The Ali Forney Center is dedicated to helping this vulnerable part of the population, providing safe shelter, health care, and a nurturing environment to get young people back on their feet. In this latest installment of Giving Back, we Listen In to a recent benefit gala the Ali Forney Center held to honor the legacy of the late Bea Arthur, an actress who fought for LGBT rights and was a key benefactor for the center’s work.

Finally, dealing with big oil, poachers and gunfire is nothing new to animal rescue missions in Africa. But while much attention has been paid to the real possibility that elephants and rhinos could be extinct within two decades, wildlife experts may have let giraffes slip through the cracks to suffer their own “silent extinction.” One particularly committed giraffe researcher, however, has not ignored their plight, and with his family and extended rescue team, has committed himself to relocating and protecting these long-necked-leaf-eaters before it’s too late. PBS Nature’s executive producer, Fred Kaufman joins us with a look at the series’ new documentary Giraffes: Africa’s Gentle Giants which shines a light on the efforts to protect these threatened animals.

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October 26, 2016 at 6:28 pm

Earlier this year, a water main break on the Upper West Side flooded the streets, damaged basements, and opened up a large sinkhole on Amsterdam Avenue that swallowed an SUV. This is hardly a first for New York. Last year an even larger sinkhole swallowed a whole intersection in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. This phenomenon of the ground suddenly and unexpectedly […]

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Clip
October 26, 2016 at 6:26 pm

Dealing with big oil, poachers and gunfire is nothing new to animal rescue missions in Africa. But while much attention has been paid to the real possibility that elephants and rhinos could be extinct within two decades, wildlife experts may have let giraffes slip through the cracks to suffer their own “silent extinction.” One particularly committed giraffe researcher, however, has not ignored their plight, and with his family and extended rescue team, has committed himself to relocating and protecting these long-necked-leaf-eaters before it’s too late. PBS Nature’s executive producer, Fred Kaufman joins us with a look at the series’ new documentary Giraffes: Africa’s Gentle Giants which shines a light on the efforts to protect these threatened animals.

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Episode
October 19, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, between the leaked tape of Donald Trump’s lewd remarks about women and the accusers who have surfaced alleging harassment, thousands of hacked e-mails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair, and Twitter wars, this year’s presidential race appears to be built on incivility, mudslinging, and vulgarity. And there’s still one more presidential debate to go. If the candidates don’t plan to address the issues, is the third and final debate even necessary? Some Americans don’t think so. After the performances of both Trump and Clinton at the first two presidential debates this month, public opinion is that there is no ground to be won for either candidate and nothing for viewers at home to gain from another match-up. Among those sharing that opinion is an author and former ABC News correspondent Lynn Scherr who recently made the case to scrap the third debate on Bill Moyers’ website. She joins us tonight to explain why a third presidential debate would be overkill.

Then, in 2015, separate attacks in Paris against the Charlie Hebdo magazine and the Bataclan Concert Hall left close to 150 people dead. That was followed by suicide bombs in Brussels and the Bastille Day attack in Nice, on crowds gathered to watch fireworks and celebrate the independence of France on July 14th. Though more than 100 people died in those incidents, questions remain about this unprecedented wave of terror. Were the warning signs left unchecked and are intelligence forces ill-prepared for these more frequent attacks? A new FRONTLINE documentary investigated these questions in their documentary Terror in Europe, and the answer to both is chilling. Pro Publica reporter Sebastian Rotella led this investigation for FRONTLINE, and he joins us tonight to share his perspective on terror on the European continent.

Next, for cinematographer Vianet D’Jenguet, coming home to the Republic of Congo meant more than reliving childhood memories, it was a chance to film his homeland for the first time in his career and share the beautifully diverse landscapes, wildlife, and people. D’Jenguet’s journey home is documented in the new Nature film My Congo. Series Editor for Nature Janet Hess joins us to talk more about the breath-taking documentary that showcases the unique beauty of Congolese Africa.

Finally, Carole Bayer Sager is a lyricist, singer, and songwriter for some of music’s biggest hits, such as the 1977 title song for the James Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me and “That’s What Friends are For.” The brilliant wordsmith has collaborated with stars from Carly Simon to Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, and Céline Dion. Now, Carole is pouring her words into a new project: her memoir, They’re Playing Our Song, which goes on sale today. She joins us to discuss her life and decade-spanning career as a music pioneer, all chronicled in her memoir, which critics are calling “honest, heartfelt, and humorous.”

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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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