Patt Morrison for June 11, 2010

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Abby Sunderland was attempting to make history as the youngest woman to sail solo around the world when the elements simply became too much—rough seas and bad weather damaged her boat, stranding her in the Indian Ocean. Contact has been made with Abby and her rescue is imminent, but it’s a good reminder of the risk taken by search and rescue personnel at least several dozen times throughout the year, across the country, to pluck hapless hikers, skiers and adventurers from life-threatening situations. On Mt. Everest this year an expedition was forced to leave behind one hiker who was too sick to make the trek back down the mountain—he eventually died. Last year in the Grand Canyon three hikers used their GPS beacon, derisively called “yuppie 911” by many rescuers, several times for minor incidents and false alarms, forcing helicopters out to remote areas to check on their cries for help. When extreme adventurers need rescuing who should bear the financial and physical responsibilities?
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Within the ongoing war on terrorism in the Middle East, a quiet revolution of Islamic feminists is unfolding; with both men and women searching for answers to extremists who feel a woman’s role within the religion involves no educational or economic rights. Isobel Coleman highlights the quest of Islamic feminist activists for change in Paradise Beneath Her Feet: How Women are Transforming the Middle East. Coleman cites these efforts towards a more tolerant Islamic community as playing a key role in maintaining stability and decreasing extremism within Muslim countries. But can a sweeping movement for women’s rights actually end the war on terrorism? What exactly is the link between economic and political freedom for women and widespread peace and stability in the Middle East?
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No return to the moon; unmanned trips to Mars; the possibility of private companies launching government payloads on commercial rockets--what has the U.S. space program come to? The United States’ space program has always been notable, but the Obama Administration is making some major changes including shutting down the moon shuttle program, Constellation. NASA’s new direction seems to be pointing toward more research heavy and un-manned space exploration. Budget constraints have forced the scaling down of the big dreams and ambitions of NASA, but can man still make an impact in space with limited funds? What does it all mean for the space program? NASA Administrator Charles Bolden is here to discuss the new budget, research programs and the future of NASA.
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The Electronic Entertainment Expo is the mecca for all video gamers, tech geeks and electronics enthusiasts. Better known as E3, the conference kicks off on June 15th in Los Angeles and boasts major competition between electronic masterminds Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. Though plagued by the economic downturn, gaming hardware makers hope the slew of new devices, games, and consoles will boost the $11 billion industry. Halo 3? So last year.
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President Obama has laid out an ambitious vision of a world free of nuclear weapons, and backed up his words by signing a treaty with Russia that drastically reduces the nuclear stockpiles of both countries. But there’s a lot of work to be done with rogue countries like Iran and North Korea, with American allies like Pakistan with a penchant of spreading around weapons technology, and even in our own backyard. While the President admonishes countries to cut back on destructive weapons, keep in mind that the U.S. maintains one of the largest caches of biological and chemical weapons and since 2000 has sold more than $124 billion in conventional weapons to armies around the world. Do the good deeds on arms control start at home? The Undersecretary of State for Arms Control & International Security talks to Patt about the tricky business of stemming the flow of weapons, big and small, throughout the world.
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