Patt Morrison for May 3, 2010

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After security cameras from New York City’s Time Square caught a Caucasian-appearing man walking away from the explosives-laden SUV on Saturday night the initial speculation was that this attempted attack might be the work of domestic terrorists or extremists. But on Monday afternoon sources from the White House began pointing in a different direction, as intelligence officials say the failed car bombing increasingly appears to have been coordinated by several people in a plot with international links. The new information comes on the same day that the commander of the Taliban in Pakistan, previously thought to have been killed by a CIA drone, has appeared alive-and-well in videos released on the internet. Is there a connection between these two developments or is it all coincidental—and is a large, complex international terrorist plot possible in light years of military and counterterrorism work by the U.S.?
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Opponents of California’s sweeping environmental bill that passed in 2006 and is scheduled to be phased in between 2012 and 2020, AB 32, want to rescind the legislation through a measure on the November ballot, saying the it is a jobs killer and will cost billions in higher energy costs. To that end, today the California Jobs Initiative Committee is submitting 800,000 signatures, many more than needed. What are the realities –jobs gained, jobs lost, billions in cost to the economy, no cost to the economy? We check in with proponents and opponents to AB 32.
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Patt continues her series looking at the restructuring of Fremont High. In December 2009, LAUSD superintendent Ramon Cortines invited all staff, with the exception of a newly appointed principal, to reapply for their jobs at the school—one of the lowest performing in the district, with less than 2% of its students testing proficiently in math last year. The decision is part of a process known as “restructuring,” an aggressive plan under the No Child Left Behind Act that allows districts to reconstitute a chronically underperforming school by hiring back no more than 50% of the current staff. District officials see it as the best remedy for a school culture grown complacent with underachievement. While not technically “fired,” teachers were outraged and felt they had no input in the decision—about 60% of Fremont’s teachers reapplied for their jobs by the March deadline. Today Patt picks up where she left off last week with local district 7 superintendent Ramon Cortines to hear the experiences of some of the teachers at the school.
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Getting smarter in the fight against terrorism

From truck bombs to shoe bombs to underwear bombs, terrorists have never shown a lack of ingenuity in plying their deadly trade. The profile of a terrorist, and even the kind of attack that can be classified as terrorism, is a constantly moving target that continues to keep law enforcement, policy makers and the military on their toes. But even nine years after 9/11, the millions of hours and billions of dollars thrown into combating terrorism, there still seems to be a lack of intelligence—and the practical application of that intelligence—to stop terror attacks. One must look no further than the failures of airport security in the attempted Christmas Day underwear bombing for examples of unlearned lessons in the fight against terrorism. Moreover, there are future lurking dangers like cyberterrorism and the very real possibility of a terror attack using a weapon of mass destruction. Are we ready for the next 9/11?
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Ominous oil is spreading in the Gulf of Mexico and befouling wildlife and habitat and crippling the local fishing industry, who is to blame? BP’s shares are down but Transocean, the company that owned and operated the rig is also to blame - right? Or is Cameron International responsible because they manufactured the blowout preventer? Many say that this oil spill could be much larger than the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. In 1994 the industry adopted voluntary standards – 16 years and thousands of spilled barrels of oil later what can be done make sure this doesn’t happen again and who is gonna pay for this mess?
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