Child Soldiers, Alcohol and Assault on Campus, Life in the 'Goldilocks Zone'

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Astronomers announced Wednesday that they had detected a planet in our neighboring solar system in the "Goldilocks zone."
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Coming up on today's show:

  • On Wednesday, the American University in Afghanistan, one of the major successes of America’s long presence in the country, came under attack by militants. The onslaught killed at least 13 people, and wounded 25 others. It's the second traumatic event in recent weeks for the university — last month, two foreign teachers were kidnapped near the campus. Mujib Mashal, a reporter for our partner The New York Times, reflects on the attack. 
  • Since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan, the U.S. has relied heavily on Afghan interpreters and translators to help with its mission. In return, the State Department's Special Immigrant Visa Program has allowed those translators, who face danger for helping America, to resettle in the United States. But this year, some lawmakers are questioning whether the program should continue. Khoja Mowdood Ansar, a former interpreter for the U.S. Marines, discusses the potential policy shift.
  • Child soldiers have become a flash point of outrage and compassion over the years, from Sudan's Lost Boys to the Invisible Children of the Lord's Resistance Army. Now there's a renewed focus on child soldiers — some believe a recent suicide bombing in Turkey was carried out by a child bomber, and ISIS is increasingly relying on kids. Justin Forsyth, deputy executive director of UNICEF, recently returned from South Sudan and explains what the U.N. is doing to help these children. 
  • Astronomers announced Wednesday that they had detected a planet in our neighboring solar system in the "Goldilocks zone," where it is neither too hot nor too cold for water to exist, leaving the possibility open for life. Lee Billings, an editor covering space and physics at Scientific American, has the details on this discovery. 
  • On January 1st, a California law went into effect that makes it easier for people with disabilities to keep and regain the right to vote. Concerned that people don’t know what their options are, the Spectrum Institute filed a complaint on Tuesday with the Justice Department asking that California notify those eligible to benefit from the new law before November. Michael Waterstone, dean of Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, weighs in. 
  • Key Haven, Florida, is a testing ground for genetically modified mosquitos that will help curb the spread of Zika. Now that the spread of the virus has intensified in the state, will residents vote to allow the initiative to go forward this November? For answers, we turn to Nancy Klingener, Key West reporter for WLRN.
  • This week, Stanford University introduced a ban on hard alcohol at on-campus parties. The policy was introduced after Brock Turner, the headline-making swimmer convicted of sexual assault, blamed his criminal behavior on the university's party culture. But is this really a solution to the college rape crisis? David Hanson, an expert on collegiate alcohol policy and a professor emeritus at SUNY Potsdam, and Daniel Miles, a student at University of Charleston and vice president of the school chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, debate that question today on The Takeaway.