Environmental Crimes & Punishment
Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice announced it is suing BP and other companies associated with the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. While that is a civil suit, Attorney General Eric Holder has also announced a criminal investigation into the spill. Many activists argue that environmental disasters like the BP spill and the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster are crimes, while others argue that big fines in civil cases are often more effective than sending people to jail. A former chief of the DOJ's environmental crimes unit and a defense attorney for companies charged with environmental violations join host Neal Conan to explain when an accident becomes a crime, and how best to hold polluters accountable.
The Rise of e-Books
The popularity of e-books and e-readers has boomed since the release of the Amazon Kindle three years ago. Now the Barnes and Noble Nook, iPhones, iPads and other digital devices continue to drive readers to electronic books. The e-book boom is changing how books are read, sold, and published. Host Neal Conan talks about the dramatic changes in the publishing industry with NPR correspondent Lynn Neary. Her series on the future of books and bookstores ran on Morning Edition last week. Neal Conan will also be joined by Public Affairs Books founder Peter Osnos and Badlands Unlimited publisher Paul Chan.
Tribal Nations Conference
President Barack Obama held his second Tribal Nations conference at the Department of the Interior last week. The President hosted leaders of the 565 federally recognized tribes in the United States. The conference covered a range of social, economic and political issues that affect Native Americans, as well as ways to rebuild relations between the federal government and native tribes. Neal Conan talks to James Ramos, Chairman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians in California, about what was accomplished at the conference and what wasn't.