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THURSDAY 48 Hours (CBS, 8-10 p.m.): Despite a souped-up title, ``Murder USA'' takes a sober look at the context of the murders now plaguing the US at the rate of one every 24 minutes. Anchored by Dan Rather, the special dispatches 20 camera crews to the big cities, small towns, and countryside where the crimes take place - talking with everyone from judges to victims to unscathed but alarmed citizens. TUESDAY Frontline special (PBS, 9-11 p.m.): All right, so ``Decade of Destruction'' is another series on the Brazilian rain-forest. But the subject is both vital and compelling. ``In the Ashes of the Fires'' - first of four parts - tells the story of the area's farmers and covers the efforts of the nation's leading environmentalist, Jose Lutzenberger.

Field of Dreams (CBS, 9-11:20 p.m.): First TV showing - pre-cable in fact - of a 1989 Oscar nominee about someone's strange vision of a baseball field, and his efforts to make it real. It's sparked by a terrific cast including Kevin Kostner, James Earl Jones, Amy Madigan, Burt Lancaster.

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WEDNESDAY Adlai Stevenson: The Man From Libertyville (PBS, 8-9:30 p.m.): Why a show about a two-time-losing Democratic candidate from the '50s? Because of his wit, erudition, and special political appeal that many still remember and still miss. Gregory Peck narrates a show that interviews a fascinating array of pols and pundits about someone who dared to be an egghead in an intensely anti-intellectual period.

Please check local listings for all programs, especially on PBS.

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