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Thanks for a great summer season

The Al Jazeera Fault Lines team is now out on the road interviewing and deep in research for our next season.

We return in late November with six episodes and then we’ll back in early spring 2012.

You can watch all eight episodes and clips from this summer on our YouTube channel page.

We’ll be posting occasionally until November here on Tumblr, on Twitter (@AJFaultLines), and on our Facebook page.

And we’ll be tweeting from the road; this is our staff Twitter list. Zeina and Elizabeth are in Iowa right now, so let us know with a tweet or reblog if there’s a deep-fried Twinkie stand they need to try between interviews.

We really appreciate your support over the season, and while we may not answer right away, we read every message you send to our Ask page.

See you in November and sporadically around here too.

The richest 1% of US Americans earn nearly a quarter of the country’s income and control an astonishing 40% of its wealth. Inequality in the US is more extreme than it’s been in almost a century — and the gap between the super rich and the poor and middle class people has widened drastically over the last 30 years.

Meanwhile, in Washington, a bitter partisan debate over how to cut deficit spending and reduce the US’ 14.3 trillion dollar debt is underway. As low and middle class wages stagnate and unemployment remains above 9%, Republicans and Democrats are tussling over whether to slash funding for the medical and retirement programs that are the backbone of the US’s social safety net, and whether to raise taxes — or to cut them further.

The budget debate and the economy are the battleground on which the 2012 presidential election race will be fought. And the United States has never seemed so divided — both politically and economically.

How did the gap grow so wide, and so quickly? And how are the convictions, campaign contributions and charitable donations of the top 1% impacting the other 99% of Americans? Fault Lines investigates the gap between the rich and the rest.

This episode of Fault Lines first aired on Al Jazeera English on August 2, 2011 at 0930 GMT.

Thoughts?

Presenter Zeina Awad describes the challenge of interviewing subjects on the topic of their personal wealth in this video extra from the upcoming episode of Al Jazeera Fault Lines.

"We knocked on so many doors…and no one would talk to us."

The new episode of Fault Lines, “The Top 1%,” first airs on Al Jazeera English August 1, 2011 at 2230 GMT.

Fault Lines’ Seb Walker travels to the Perisan Gulf to look at US policy in the region, and to explore why the United States has taken an interventionist policy in Libya, but not in Bahrain, where there has been a brutal crackdown on protesters. Why does the White House strongly back democracy in one Arab country, but not another?

Fault Lines travelled to Bahrain to hear from those who had been protesting, to ask them what they think about the lack of real US pressure on their country’s rulers. The country is also home to the US 5th Fleet, where Fault Lines gained exclusive access to the USS Ronald Reagan, an American aircraft carrier deployed in the Arabian Gulf.

The film traces America’s response to the protests in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, and examines how the stability of oil prices, the steady supply of crude, and concerns over Iran have affected America’s response.

This episode of Fault Lines, “The US and the New Middle East: The Gulf,” first aired on Al Jazeera English July 25, 2011 at 2230 GMT.

Livetweets during last night’s first episode airing from the program staff appear at @AJFaultLines