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At Last, An Uptick In The U.S. Birth Rate After Years Of Decline, And Why It Matters – KPCC

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As Water Use Restrictions Loom, We Look At The Costs And Benefits Of San Diego’s Path To Water Independence

Water use restrictions start tomorrow, June 1, for millions of Southern Californians who rely on the California State Water Project as the state’s megadrought continues and water supplies dwindle. But one corner of Southern California has largely shielded itself from supply-related woes: San Diego County. Over the past three decades, San Diego County diversified its water supply, ramped up conservation, and invested in expensive water infrastructure, including a huge desalination plant. As a result, the water agency that serves utilities in the area says it can avoid cuts until at least 2045, even during dry periods. But San Diego County’s water is also among the most expensive in the country. It cost about 26% more at the wholesale level in 2021 than the Metropolitan Water District’s, which serves Los Angeles and surrounding counties. Today on Airtalk, as water cuts loom, guest host Kyle Stokes looks at the costs and benefits of San Diego’s path to water independence with Joshua Emerson Smith, senior environment reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune and Jeffrey Mount, a senior fellow with the Public Policy Institute of California’s Water Policy Center.

With files from the Associated Press 

At Last, An Uptick In The U.S. Birth Rate After Years Of Decline, And Why It Matters

U.S. births bumped up last year, but the number of babies born was still lower than before the coronavirus pandemic. The 1% increase was a bit of a rebound from 2020, the first year of the pandemic, which witnessed the largest one-year drop in U.S. births in nearly 50 years. But there were still about 86,000 fewer births last year than in 2019, according to a government report released Tuesday. U.S. births had been declining for more than a decade before COVID-19 hit. Officials think last year’s uptick reflects births from pregnancies that had been put off during the uncertain early days of the pandemic. Deliveries were way down in January 2021, but improved as the year went on, said Brady Hamilton of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Much of the increase was seen in older moms.

Today on Airtalk, we’re joined by Beth Jarosz, program director at the Population Reference Bureau, and Christine Percheski, associate professor of sociology at Northwestern University to discuss why the birth rate matters and how it impacts our economy and well-being.

With files from the Associated Press

With California’s Primary Election One Week Away, We Check In On The DA Race In Orange County

With the June 7th primary fast approaching, we’re following local races in Southern California. Today we turn our attention to Orange County, where the race for District Attorney pits incumbent Todd Spitzer against three challengers: Peter Hardin, Bryan Chehock, and Michael Jacobs. The challengers flagged things like increased transparency and cooperation with defense lawyers as major changes they would bring to the office. We’ll hear the latest from Nick Gerda, reporter who covers public safety, mental health and politics for the Voice of OC.

KPCC and LAist are getting you ready for the June primary with our Voter Game Plan. Right now at LAist.com/VoterGamePlan you’ll find guides to the major LA County and statewide races on the ballot, along with a place to ask our team any questions you have about your ballot or voting. 

Latest On Ukraine As European Union Bans Most Russian Oil Imports, Russian Forces Continue Push To Control The Donbas Region 

In the most significant effort yet to punish Russia for its war in Ukraine, the European Union Monday agreed to ban the overwhelming majority of Russian oil imports. The vote followed tense negotiations; targeting the lucrative energy sector was seen as a last resort in Europe, since the bloc relies on Russia for 25% of its oil and 40% of its natural gas. Meanwhile, Russian forces have seized half of the eastern Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk, the mayor told the Associated Press Tuesday. The city is seen as key to Russia’s efforts to capture the industrial Donbas region. And three more nations – Estonia, Latvia, and Slovakia – have joined an international investigation team probing war crimes in Ukraine.
Today on AirTalk, we’re joined by Patricia Schmorhun Hawrylyshyn, who lives in Ukraine. She’s currently in Switzerland raising funds for her foundation to help internally displaced people, and has been sharing her experience with us since the war began.
With files from the Associated Press. To learn more about Patricia’s organization, click here 

COVID-19 AMA: Transmission Rates Rise In Southern California, Whether Mask Mandates Work, Long COVID In Older Adults, And More

In our continuing series looking at the latest medical research and news on COVID-19, guest host Kyle Stokes speaks with Dr. Shruti Gohil, professor of medicine and associate medical director for epidemiology and infection prevention at UC Irvine’s School of Medicine.

Topics today include:

How Has TikTok Affected Musicians And The Future Of Social Media Marketing?

TikTok has always had a major musical element to its content and popularity, dating back to its origin as the site Musical.ly. Now that it’s become a major cultural force for younger generations in the age of social media, marketing companies and record labels are looking to TikTok to promote artists and singles. So with the number of young musicians using the platform to promote their music growing everyday–how has this affected social media marketing?

Today on the program, guest host Kyle Stokes talks to pop music critic for the Los Angeles Times Mikael Wood and Black Box general manager Brian Popowitz.
KPCC is part of Southern California Public Radio (SCPR), a member-supported public media network. For the latest news, visit our partner site:

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