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Need to Know

Episode #153

CRISIS MAPPERS - Need to Know host Alison Stewart reports on a breakthrough technology that uses cell phones to locate disaster victims and get them help. Created after the earthquake in Haiti, it's now being used to help victims of the tornados in the Midwest, the earthquake in Japan and the unrest in the Middle East.

DETAINEE ABUSE - In a joint investigation with The Nation Institute Investigative Fund and reporter Joshua Phillips, Need to Know reveals a little-known U.S. military task force charged with investigating abuse of detainees in Iraq. Despite hundreds of allegations of abuse and torture, one of the special agents in charge of the Army's Detainee Abuse Task Force describes it as under-resourced, overwhelmed and unable to adequately investigate cases.

HIGH FIBER - Correspondent Rick Karr reports on why The United States, where the internet was born, has now fallen badly behind in the race to the online future. Broadband service in the U.S. lags behind a dozen or more industrialized countries - and we're doing worse every year. Karr went to Europe - in collaboration with Engadget - to find out how two countries there have jumped ahead of us.

"IN PERSPECTIVE" A JON MEACHAM ESSAY - Jon Meacham salutes a true public servant, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who retires this year, after serving both Democratic and Republican administrations with distinction.

INTERVIEW: FREEDOM RIDERS - In conjunction with the airing of American Experience: Freedom Riders airing on PBS May 16th on PBS, Alison Stewart talks Francis and Laura Randall who, 50 years ago, were part of the courageous band of American civil rights activists who risked their lives on the Freedom Rides, taking buses together through the deep south to demonstrate against Jim Crow laws. [56 minutes] Closed Captioning

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PBS Video

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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