Previously on Forum


A pro-Trump rally in Berkeley on Saturday was met with counter-demonstrations, resulting in violent clashes and at least 20 arrests. Eleven people were injured and seven of those were taken to hospitals, according to police. John Sepulvado, host of KQED’s “The California Report” covered the so-called “Patriots Day” demonstration and “Antifa” counter-protest. He joins us in the studio to talk about the events.

CORRECTION: Early in this episode we referred to the rally in Berkeley as being permitted. That is inaccurate. Identity Evropa, the white nationalist group, organized the rally but the Berkeley Police Department has confirmed that the event was not issued a permit.

a male doctor and patient look at a screen and talk

All men between the ages of 55 and 69 should have the option of being screened for prostate cancer. That’s according to new guidelines from the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force. It’s a departure from 2012, when the task force discouraged screening for cancer with the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test. The procedure has a significant problem with false positives, which can lead to more testing, which in turn can cause impaired sexual functioning and incontinence. We’ll discuss the new recommendation, which is open for public comment until May 8.

Graeme Wood is the author of "The Way of the Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State."

When he was 25 years old, in the early years of the Iraq War, Graeme Wood moved to Mosul for a job. Within a short time he had narrowly avoided a suicide-bombing and grown accustomed to mortar attacks around his office. Years later, as a journalist, Wood set out to find out more about the people and motivations behind such attacks. The result is his latest book, “The Way of The Strangers: Encounters With The Islamic State.” Wood interviewed converts and enthusiasts of the Islamic State from around the world, many of whom didn’t live up to the stereotype of terrorists who pervert theology. In this hour we’ll talk to Wood about his book and the people and beliefs of the Islamic State.


San Francisco has drawn praise and criticism alike in vowing to stand by its pledge as a sanctuary city to protect undocumented immigrants. We talk with San Francisco’s public defender Jeff Adachi about his work with immigrants under threat of deportation. Adachi is also the co-director and subject of a new documentary titled “DEFENDER,” which focuses on his defense of a 22-year-old African-American man who pled not guilty in one of San Francisco’s first police body camera cases.

Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors looks on during a game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on January 23, 2017 in Miami, Florida.

Stephen Curry was once labeled too small to make an impact in the NBA. Now, he’s the reigning MVP and has led the Golden State Warriors to back-to-back league championships, taking home the trophy in 2015. And veteran sports columnist Marcus Thompson was along for the entire ride, working as the Warriors beat reporter for the Bay Area News Group. In his new book “Golden,” Thomson traces the story of how Curry went from a too small underdog to the superstar leader of a record-breaking team, transforming the nature of the game along the way. As the Warriors prepare to take on the Portland Trailblazers in the playoffs this Sunday, we talk with Thompson about Steph Curry’s life on and off of the court.

A small fridge for storing breast milk at KQED in San Francisco.

Supervisor Katy Tang wants to make pumping at work easier for breastfeeding moms in San Francisco. Tang introduced legislation last month that would expand current law by requiring employers to provide a lactation space that is private, not a bathroom, has access to electricity and contains a flat surface and a chair. Current law requires employers make reasonable efforts to provide breaks and a location for pumping, but doesn’t contain such specific requirements. Studies have found links between early breastfeeding and health.

Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Vladimir Safronkov (R) speaks with Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar Jaafari (L) before they attend a meeting to vote on a Draft resolution that condemns the reported use of chemical weapons in Syria at the Security Council on April 12, 2017 at UN Headquarters in New York.

Harvard political scientist Joseph Nye famously wrote that “smart power is neither hard nor soft. It is both.” We talk to Nye about how the U.S. can most effectively wield its power in the world’s changing political landscape. We’ll also hear his views on the Trump administration’s decision to intervene militarily in Syria, the North Korean nuclear threat and what could be ahead for U.S.-Russia relations.

A San Francisco police car sits parked in front of the Hall of Justice on February 27, 2014 in San Francisco, California. A federal grand jury has indicted five San Francisco police officers and one former officer in two cases involving drug and computer thefts from suspects and the theft of money and gift cards from suspects

The two San Francisco police officers involved in the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Amilcar Perez Lopez in the Mission District in 2015 will not face criminal charges. District Attorney George Gascon announced his decision Wednesday, citing insufficient evidence and statements from officers that Lopez may have attacked another man and lunged toward the police officers with a knife before he was shot. Critics have called the shooting an example of excessive force, pointing to evidence that Lopez was shot in the back. The controversy contributed to the resignation of former Police Chief Greg Suhr, who remains listed as a defendant in a civil case tied to the shooting.


No Criminal Charges for S.F. Officers Who Fatally Shot 20-Year-Old From Behind (KQED News)

An illustration of a power cord connecting a heart and a brain.

Imagine that you’re driving South on 101 when you see blue and red highway patrol lights flashing behind you. Do you feel worried? How about anxious, horrified or scared? According to psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett, emotions are not something that happen to people, but rather, emotions are constructed in our brains, often with much more nuance than we readily acknowledge. Feldman Barrett joins us to talk about how emotions are made, the link between language and feelings and why assigning emotion to facial expressions has negative effects on everything from childcare to the justice system.

Related Links:

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (L) speaks with US Ambassador to Russia John F Tefft (R) upon his arrival at the Vnukovo II Government airport in Moscow on April 11, 2017.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday that if Russia maintains its alliance with Syrian President Bashar Assad, Russia risks becoming irrelevant in the Middle East. The comments came just before Tillerson boarded a plane to Moscow for talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and after failed efforts by the G7 countries to develop a unified approach to Syria.

United Airlines planes sit on the tarmac at San Francisco International Airport

On Sunday a United Airlines passenger was forcibly removed from his seat by police after refusing to give up his spot on an overbooked flight. The video of him being dragged by his arms down the aisle went viral and sparked a public relations nightmare for United. The airline’s CEO Oscar Munoz apologized on Tuesday, promising a review of the company’s practices. But that was after an emotionless public statement on Monday and a leaked company email that called the customer “disruptive and belligerent” and said that United employees “followed established procedures.” We’ll take a look at the practice of overbooking flights and how removing the Asian-American passenger might affect the airline’s business in China, where state media described the passenger as being of Chinese descent.

A Toyota representative plugs a power cable from a vehicle charging station into the side of a Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid in San Francisco, California.

Electric vehicles (EVs) have been around for over 100 years and despite being especially popular in the Bay Area, they’ve never quite cracked the national market. But with Tesla briefly overtaking General Motors as the most valuable automaker in America on Monday and Tesla’s more affordable Model 3 set to be released later this year, electric vehicles might be headed for the mainstream. In this hour of Forum, we’ll discuss the current state of electric cars in the U.S. and how President Trump’s policies on energy and trade might affect the EV industry.

Democratic National Committee (DNC) women host an Equal Pay Day event with a lemonade stand 'where women pay 79 cents per cup and men pay $1 per cup, to highlight the wage gap' on April 12, 2016 in Washington, DC.

The U.S. Department of Labor has accused Google of violating federal employment laws and discriminating against its female employees. In an ongoing investigation, a regional solicitor said last week that the government found “systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce.” Google has denied the allegations, which come as one San Francisco supervisor has proposed legislation barring employers from asking prospective employees for their salary history. In this hour of Forum, we’ll discuss the issue of gender pay discrimination and possible solutions.

Our focus on pay equity (Google)

Congresswoman Anna Eshoo posts for a portrait.

Silicon Valley Congresswoman Anna Eshoo joined other lawmakers Friday in calling on President Trump to seek congressional approval if he intends to escalate U.S. military involvement in Syria. We’ll speak to Representative Eshoo about what she sees as the United State’s role in Syria and in the region as a whole. We’ll also hear Rep. Eshoo’s views on a range of topics including the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia probe, her ongoing fight to compel President Trump to release his taxes, and how Democrats and Republicans may find common ground in a hyperpartisan Congress.

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