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A Fine Balance

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

We’ll look at the worldwide trend of parents choosing to have boys rather than girls, and what the consequences of a global gender imbalance could be. Former Major League baseball player Jim Leyritz talks about his professional highs and lows—on and off the field. Eilen Jewell and her band perform songs from her new album, “Queen of the Minor Key.” On Underreported, find out what the WikiLeaks cables reveal about diplomatic attitudes toward Haiti. And Backstory looks at Yemen’s next-door neighbor, the isolated kingdom of Oman.

The Consequences of Choosing Boys Over Girls

Mara Hvistendahl looks at the consequences of sex selection in China and at Western complicity with the policies. The port city Lianyungang has China's most extreme gender ratio for children under four: 163 boys for every 100 girls. In ten years, the skewed sex ratio will pose a colossal challenge—historically, eras in which there have been an excess of men have produced periods of violent conflict and instability. In Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys over Girls and the Consequences of a World Full of Men she shows how gender imbalance reaches far beyond Asia, affecting Georgia, Eastern Europe, and cities in the U.S. where there are significant immigrant populations, and she examines how this mismatch is likely to create profound social upheaval.

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Jim Leyritz on the Highs and Lows of His Baseball Career

Former major leaguer Jim Leyritz talks about two events that tested his faith in different ways—his home run during the 1996 World Series that turned the series around for the Yankees and eventually led to the team's first world championship in 18 years, and the 2007 car accident he was involved in that resulted in a woman’s death—and why he decided that he would not let his life be defined by either of them. In Catching Heat: The Jim Leyritz Story he writes about his professional and personal highs and lows.

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Eilen Jewell, Queen of the Minor Key

Eilen Jewell and her band performs songs from her new album “Queen of the Minor Key.” Her songs are dark and sometimes haunted,  and the album includes surf guitar, pedal steel and upright bass. “Queen of the Minor Key” will be released June 28.

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Backstory: Oman

Oman is a Gulf country we usually hear very little about, despite its strategically important location in the region and its great oil wealth. Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, tells us about the country, its ruler Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, and the harsh crackdowns on dissent there.

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Underreported: What the WikiLeaks Cables Reveal about Haiti

On this week’s Underreported, Dan Coughlin, reporter for The Nation magazine, Kim Ives, editor for Haiti Liberté, discuss what the WikiLeaks cables reveal about American diplomatic attitudes toward Haiti – both before and after the devasting earthquake there in 2010. A new series of reports about the 1,918 cables that relate to Haiti is being published in a partnership between The Nation and the Haiti Liberté newspaper.

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Guest Picks: Jim Leyritz

Find out what Jim Leyritz's comfort food is.

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