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Pennsylvanians Take To The Streets, The Courts & Local News For Greater Equality

Pablo Martinez Monsivais
Women's March demonstrators walk past the White House on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. On the anniversary of President Donald Trump's inauguration, protestors around the world denouncing his views on immigration, abortion, LGBT rights, women's rights and more.

Following legal suits arguing that the Pennsylvania's Congressional district map unfairly serves Republicans, the state Supreme Court has ordered new lines be constructed and submitted by Feb. 15, only three months before the commonwealth's primary elections. The GOP plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Caucus' Mike Wereschagin and WNYC's Cristian Farías explain what this means for upcoming special and primary elections, as well as how similar court cases are fairing in other states.

Next on the program...

The Women's March in Pittsburgh coincided with dozens of similar marches around the world, bringing together an estimated 30,000 and filling three city blocks. Who came, who organized it and what can we expect to see in the year to come? 90.5 WESA identity and justice reporter Virginia Alvino Young was there.

Coming up later...

PublicSource launched a new collection this week of videos, photos and essays exploring how the Pittsburgh community perceives race and racial division. Managing Editor Halle Stockton explains what prompted the project, "Let's talk about RACE," and contributors Felicity Williams and Brian Broome discuss their work.

And finally...

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Megan Guza and David Harris, University of Pittsburgh law professor and host of the Criminal Injustice podcast, discuss the resolution of two protracted legal battles, plus the nuances of Pennsylvania's declining prison population and why Bill Cosby chose to perform standup in Philadelphia again for the first time since his sexual assault trial last year.

Leon Ford agreed to a $5.5 million settlement following a 2012 incident in which a Pittsburgh Police officer shot and paralyzed him during a traffic stop. Officers on scene initially refused to accept Ford's identification, thinking he was a different man, and one later fired on Ford, saying he feared for his life. Ford's attorney said last week, "It was time, the money was right, and I think Leon realized that he has greater works to do in his life than litigate this matter."

Now age 20, Alex Hribal was sentenced to up to 60 years in an adult prison for stabbing 20 students and a security guard at Franklin Regional High School in 2014. The decision came in spite of repeated efforts by his defense to insist Hribal needed mental health treatment beyond what an adult prison could offer.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s weekly news program. Each week, reporters, editors and storytellers join veteran journalist and host Kevin Gavin to take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region.

Find more episodes of The Confluence here.

Megan Harris is a writer, editor, photographer and curator for Pittsburgh's NPR News station. She leads editorial coverage for The Confluence, 90.5 WESA's live, one-hour, daily morning news show.
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