Jackie Robinson blazed daunting trail

Last Updated by John Kanelis on

If only he could have been recognized just as a great baseball player. Jackie Robinson's skill on the field was enough to earn him Hall of Fame status. However, he wasn't just a great athlete. He also was a courageous pioneer for African-Americans and for the cause of civil rights. He became the first of his race to play in the big leagues. He paid a price, but he always held his head high.

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Change comes slowly to Saudi Arabia

Last Updated by John Kanelis on

Ancient cultures are slow to change. Saudi Arabia is no exception. Its ways are established by strict adherence to ancient Muslim teachings and social mores. Yet some Saudis are seeking to bring about change, no matter how long it takes.

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'Last Days in Vietnam' tells grim truth

Posted by John Kanelis on

America's glorious past hasn't always produced victories at the end of every journey. Vietnam is arguably the greatest example of where we've fallen short. The end of that struggle arrived after much suffering — on the battlefield and at home. "The American Experience" takes us back once again through that tortuous chapter in our nation's history.

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Still obsessed with Hitler

Posted by John Kanelis on

Adolf Hitler's been dead for 71 years. He killed himself as the Red Army was closing in on Berlin. The Third Reich was about to crumble under the onslaught from the Soviets, Americans, British and other allied forces. Still, we remain interested in what happened inside the Reich and how this monstrous regime managed to inflict so much misery on so many people.

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Heroin use: a criminal or medical issue?

Posted by John Kanelis on

It's one of those seemingly insoluble issues: How do you treat illicit drug use and abuse? As the act of a criminal or of someone who needs medical help? Seattle has embarked on a program that shifts the emphasis from law enforcement to the medical professionals.

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Fantasy sports gambling isn't really gambling?

Posted by John Kanelis on

Frontline is at it again. The subject this time is fantasy sports gambling, which the acclaimed documentary series points out isn't "gambling" the way a 2006 federal law portrayed it. It turns out that some observers call it what it appears to be: a game of chance ... which is gambling.

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They fought a 'war' to unionize mines

Posted by John Kanelis on

The union movement isn't particularly popular in many regions of Texas. In some parts of the country, though, unionization of work forces has produced significant improvement in the conditions that workers face doing often very difficult work. Such as working in mines deep underground. "American Experience" looks at one such struggle.

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Netanyahu faces constant war threat

Posted by John Kanelis on

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu moves smoothly and confidently in the United States. And why not? He was educated here, he is fluent in American idiom and he understands the American political system. He also is a dedicated warrior for his homeland and makes no apologies for the hard line he occasionally takes in defense of his nation's interests.

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Prohibition produced a nation of lawbreakers

Posted by John Kanelis on

The 18th Amendment to the Constitution banned the manufacture, sale and consumption of alcohol. Did that sober up the nation, turn Americans into a collection of straitlaced prudes who never imbibed? Ken Burns's documentary tells us, well, it didn't do anything of the sort.

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Is the NFL still in its denial?

Posted by John Kanelis on

They call it chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. It is the result of continued battering on the head. An alarming number of football players suffer from CTE and the organization for which they performed, the National Football League, had been in denial about its effects. That was until "Frontline" revealed the NFL's growing concussion crisis.

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CTE returns to the headlines

Last Updated by John Kanelis on

A professional football legend died a few months ago, but just this week, the family of Frank Gifford revealed to the world he suffered brain injury inflicted by his occupation as an athlete. "Frontline" has been all over this story and this latest news gives cause to re-examine whether the NFL is in a "League of Denial."

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ISIS recruitment signals a long war

Last Updated by John Kanelis on

The Islamic State appears to be preparing for the long haul in its war against the rest of the world. How? Its recruitment of children and the "lessons" it is passing on to future terrorists.

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National Teacher of the Year talks to 'Live Here'

Posted by John Kanelis on

Shanna Peeples hasn't spent much time in the classroom this year. Why? She's been on the road extolling the virtues of public education and telling audiences about her formula for making students' lives better while preparing them for the future.

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Enemies can become comrades

Posted by John Kanelis on

Veterans Day is coming up this week and Panhandle PBS is going to present a special that illustrates how enemies can put their past behind them in what could be called a "Reunion of Honor."

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'Frontline' reveals brain-injury-related deaths

Last Updated by John Kanelis on

Football is more than a contact sport. It is a collision sport, with large athletes doing all they can do to inflict pain on opposing players. "Frontline," PBS's acclaimed documentary series, has revealed what many have suspected all along: Football-related head injuries have contributed to severe brain disease among former professional football players.

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