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The Syllabus: What you need to know for the August 17 'MHP'

Violent clashes between supporters of deposed President Mohammad Morsi and the Egyptian military escalated on Wednesday when security forces stormed protest
Mideast Egypt
AP Photo/Hussein Tallal

Violent clashes between supporters of deposed President Mohammad Morsi and the Egyptian military escalated on Wednesday when security forces stormed protest camps leaving hundreds dead. The protesters retaliated on Thursday, attacking a government building in Giza using molotov cocktails and live ammunition, according to reports from NBC News’ Ayman Mohyeldin.

President Obama addressed the recent clashes from his vacation in Martha’s Vineyard where he announced that he was cancelling a joint-military exercise with the Egyptian army but he did not go as far as suspending monetary support to the nation. The Morsi-backed Muslim Brotherhood has called for nationwide marches on Friday to demonstrate against the violent attacks. On Saturday’s show, guest host Joy Reid will give the latest update on the developing situation in Cairo.

This year marks 25 years since the release of NWA’s album Straight Outta Compton, the one that put West Coast hip-hop on the map. The album shed light on the gang violence and police harassment prevalent in the Los Angeles neighborhood in the 1980s. More recently, Kendrick Lamar, another Compton native, has released his own album chronicling growing up years later in a place that may have changed in some regards, but in others, has stayed very much the same. Both albums reflect a world of distrust between law enforcement officers and minorities, a distrust that as of this week, a federal judge is trying to remedy through her ruling on New York City’s "stop-and-frisk" policy. This Saturday, Reid will take a deep dive into the stop-and-frisk ruling, New York City’s history of racial profiling, and where we go from here.

There are currently 400,000 rape kits left untested in labs and warehouses across the United States. These rape kits contain critical DNA that could be used to convict perpetrators and bring justice to victims. In Ohio, efforts that began last year have resulted in 50 indictments while efforts in Detroit have unearthed evidence of 21 serial rapists as a result of testing 600 of 11,000 tests found in a warehouse back in 2009. One woman, Rosa Pickett from the town of Robbins in Illinois' Cook County, came forward when she learned that officials were looking into sexual assaults from the past 30 years. What she discovered was that not only had her rape kit not been tested, she says it had been completely lost. On Saturday’s Melissa Harris-Perry, Reid will be joined by Cara Smith, spokesperson for the Cook County Sheriff's Department, and Pickett to discuss her story.

Saturday’s show will also shed light on the dangers of "fracking" Marcellus Shale for natural gas. Specifically, our guest host and panel will focus on the actions taken by citizens of Dryden, NY, to fight back against industrial gas drilling. Joining us will be Josh Fox, director of documentaries Gasland and the recently-aired Gasland II on HBO.

This week, Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife received their jail sentences for misusing campaign funds. He received 30 months while his wife received a one year sentence which they will serve consecutively, ensuring that one parent will be at home with the couple’s children. The humanity exhibited by the judge is an example of the change that needs to come to sentencing practices throughout our judicial system in order to eliminate many of the issues that plague our prison system. On Saturday, Reid and her guests will discuss the flaws in our sentencing practices and what we must do in order to better fit the punishment with the crime.

Be sure to read what we’ve linked above, and watch Melissa Harris-Perry Saturday at 10 a.m. EST on MSNBC! Also, don’t forget to join us on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #nerdland.