Rundown for 12/29

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Israeli Strikes at Gaza
The death toll in Gaza stood at 315 this morning as Israel continued its strikes against the militant Palestinian group, Hamas, for a third day, driving the group's leaders into hiding. We'll speak with Ethan Bronner, Jerusalem correspondent for The New York Times.

Homelessness on the Rise
A new survey by the U.S. Conference of Mayors found that 19 out of 25 cities have seen homelessness increase in recent months by an average of 12 percent.  We speak with Philip Mangano, Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness about how this will impact his "Housing First" initiative to get the chronically homeless into permanent supportive housing.

Charitable Giving
How are the recession and the Madoff scandal affecting year end charitable donations? The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports a mixed picture, with some charities doing better than others as 2008 ends. But given the financial climate, the publication also says all charities are casting a wary eye toward the future. We'll speak with Stacy Palmer, editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

A Night in the ER
Will hospital ER's feel the effects of the economic downturn?  As people lose their jobs, they also tend to lose their health insurance and access to primary care.  Here and Now's Curt Nickisch spent an evening following Dr Jennifer Millen in the ER at Massachusetts General Hospital.

The Shack
We revisit a conversation we had with William Paul Young.  His book "The Shack" was a surprise best-seller this year and still tops the New York Times Paperback Trade Fiction list.  The book poses the troubling question: If there is a God, how can God allow terrible things such as the murder of children to happen?  The protagonist at the heart of "The Shack" gets to ask that question of God, who appears to him in the form of an African-American woman.

This program aired on December 29, 2008.


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