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Need to Know

Episode #143

UNION SALARIES AND STATE BUDGETS - Are public unions to blame for states' budget woes? Governors from a number of states - not just in Wisconsin -- say that public union workers' salaries and benefits are wreaking havoc with their state budgets. But are state workers really to blame for the economic plight of states? Need to Know examines the facts behind one of the most contentious arguments in the news today.


BLOOD DANGER: WHAT YOU DON"T KNOW ABOUT BLOOD - Since World War II, blood has been considered the gift of life. But today a growing number of experts are questioning whether it should be so widely used in transfusions. Need to Know investigates whether the risks of transfusions outweigh the benefits....and what alternatives some hospitals have discovered.

HIGH SPEED RAIL - As part of PBS's Blueprint America project, correspondent Rick Karr travels to the mid-west where President Obama's vision for high speed passenger rail has been rejected by Wisconsin's newly-elected Republican governor Scott Walker as expensive and unnecessary and embraced by Illinois' Democratic governor Patrick Quinn as a far-sighted way to create jobs and grow the economy. As Congress begins debate on how to control the deficit, Karr asks whether Obama's vision will ever become a reality.

INTERVIEW: STACY SCHIFF - Jon Meacham talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Stacy Schiff about her best-selling book about the last queen of Egypt - Cleopatra.

NO TOMORROW - A preview of an upcoming documentary by filmmaker Roger Weisberg airing March 25th on PBS. When a young woman featured in Weisberg's PBS documentary AGING OUT, is brutally murdered, the film itself becomes central to whether the killer lives or dies. This chilling personal story takes viewers inside a suspenseful death penalty trial and challenges their beliefs about capital punishment. *JUST ASK PETER SAGAL- In this edition of "Just Ask," advice columnist Peter Sagal offers some handy strategies to a struggling cable news channel.

A STEVE BRODNER EDITORIAL CARTOON - Editorial cartoonist Steve Brodner conducts an "illustrated interview" with author Eduardo Porter about income inequality in America. [56 minutes] Closed Captioning

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Series Description: NEED TO KNOW is an integrated broadcast and online current affairs project, uniting broadcast and web in an innovative approach to newsgathering and reporting. It breaks through the limitations of the broadcast schedule by means of a web-based production model that empowers audiences to "tune in" anytime and anywhere. A cross-media initiative built around a wide community of journalists and producers, with input from an engaged audience, NEED TO KNOW covers five primary beats: the economy; the environment and energy; health; security; and culture. Stories, interviews, blogs and photo features are continually added to and updated online, with the production teams inviting interaction and input from online readers and users who are on the lookout for the latest information on a given subject. Each week's online story development culminates in the weekly broadcast, curated from the week's reporting by the various beat teams. The broadcast features documentary-style field reports, both domestic and international, short features and studio-based interviews and conversation to complement and advance the produced reports.

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