AirTalk for January 4, 2010

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USC self-imposes sanctions on basketball program

In response to allegations that former USC player O.J. Mayo received improper cash and gifts, the school is self-imposing sanctions on its basketball program. The measures include not participating in postseason play this year and forfeiting all of its basketball victories from 2007-2008, the season Mayo played for the team. But similar allegations remain for USC's football program regarding current tailback Joe McKnight and former player Reggie Bush. Are USC's actions fair or too harsh? And is the school trying to avoid harsher punishment by the NCAA?
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Kepler telescope finds 5 exo-planets

This week, thousands of astronomers will meet in Washington, DC to present the latest findings from telescopes around the planet. It’s the 215th meeting of the American Astronomical Society. So, what’s been showing up in the skies lately? JPL and NASA have just announced the discovery of 5 exo-planets similar in size to Uranus and Jupiter. Are there habitable planets close to us? What are they composed of, and how many more might Kepler find?
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Could better communication between federal intelligence agencies have prevented Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab from boarding a flight to the United States? John Brennan says, not a chance. The deputy national security adviser to President Obama denies a "smoking gun" in inter-agency communications. How well are agencies cooperating to prevent terrorism?
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Larry talks with author-historian Walter Isaacson about his new book, American Sketches. From the founding fathers to techno wizards, Isaacson profiles individuals who have shaped the course of American history, including Ben Franklin, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Albert Einstein, and Bill Gates.
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