Famed Journalists Lisa, Laura Ling Speaking in Indian Wells Tonight

Television journalists Lisa and Laura Ling will speak in Indian Wells Thursday night as part of the Desert Town Hall annual speaker series.

The sisters' talk will start at 6 p.m. at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa. They will discuss Laura's arrest in North Korea while filming a documentary along the China-North Korea border, and Lisa's work to set her free, "along with other stories full of compassion and hope," series spokeswoman Chris Martello said.

Lisa Ling is the executive producer and host of "Our America" on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Her sibling, while reporting on trafficking of North Korean women in 2009, was arrested, along with a colleague, by North Korean soldiers and held captive in North Korea for 140 days. They were later granted a special pardon and returned to the United States.

The series began in January with former U.S. Defense Secretary and CIA director Leon Panetta as the first speaker.

Republican political strategist Karl Rove will speak on March 6 and pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson on March 24.

Past-season speakers include former presidents George W. and George H.W. Bush, neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta, former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, former British prime ministers Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher, Bill O'Reilly of Fox News, ocean explorers Bob Ballard and Jean-Michel Cousteau, and former U.S. secretaries of state Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Henry Kissinger.

The series is sponsored by local companies, organizations and philanthropists. The nonprofit Desert Forum produces Desert Town Hall and invites 150 local high school students to attend each lecture and meet the speaker.

For information on ticket availability, call (760) 610-2852 or go to www.deserttownhall.org.

— City News Service.


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