It’s nearly impossible to think about Area 51 without images of flying saucers and extraterrestrials being conjured in one’s head. The clandestine location has long been inextricably tied to conspiracy theories, government cover-ups and “proof” of life in outer space. This Sunday at 10pm ET/PT, the National Geographic Channel is premiering Area 51 Declassified, a companion piece to Annie Jacobsen’s new book Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base. Drawing on over 70 employee interviews and first-person testimonies from experts and former insiders, the program provides a first look at photographs, documents and information that has previously been classified as top secret. What will be revealed? Will any theories be strengthened or debunked? Does Area 51 hold the secrets to alien life?
A landmark five-year study conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and commissioned by Roman Catholic bishops has just been released to the public. The purpose of the study was to investigate the root cause of, or an explanation for, the sexual abuse scandals which broke within the clergy in 2002. Colloquially, conservative opponents of the church have blamed homosexuality and gay priests for such illicit behavior, while liberals place the onus on the male-dominated, celibate culture and lifestyle by which the priests must abide. In a surprise to both factions, the report concludes that a timely combination of poorly trained and supervised priests experienced undue stress at a tumultuous point both socially and sexually in the nation’s history: the 1960s and ‘70s. How does hierarchy, stress and matter of time period conflate to cause such a pattern of abuse? Is the study in anyway suspect due to who is behind it? How will the knowledge gleaned be used and implemented in the future?
Voters in the South Bay cast ballots yesterday in a special election in the 36th Congressional District, which includes Marina Del Rey, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and Torrance. There were 16 candidates vying to replace Democrat Rep. Jane Harman, who vacated her seat to head a think tank. The race was widely expected to come down to a duel between the Dems with the most name recognition: California Secretary Debra Bowen and Los Angeles Councilwoman Janice Hahn. But when yesterday’s votes were counted, Craig Huey, a Republican darkhorse candidate, had apparently nudged his way into a second-place finish – and a spot in the July runoff. It’s not certain yet, but Huey’s success so far has surprised many. Who is Huey? How did he do it? When will we know the final tally?
If you’re into red-roped nightclubs and Cucumber Melon Margaritas, you’re probably familiar with Sam Nazarian’s magic touch. He’s already arguably the West Coast’s most powerful nightclub operator and he’s expanding his empire. Nazarian’s Los Angeles based hospitality group SBE owns hipster hangouts like Hyde Lounge, the Bazaar, Gladstone’s and the Redbury and SLS hotels. Now, Nazarian has gulped up the privately held Syndicate Hospitality, nearly doubling SBE’s night-life holdings. Despite these recessionary times, Nazarian projects his company will rake in $150-million in food and beverage revenue this year. In 2007, SBE acquired Las Vegas’ once-glamorous casino hotel, The Sahara. On Monday, the slots fell silent and the doors were closed to the public. Nazarian has declined to discuss his plans for the property, but promises to be back. Today, the King of Hospitality joins the King of Radio to talk about all that is hip. What’s behind Nazarian’s magic touch? What new hot spots can Angelenos expect?
The Pentagon is considering granting visitation rights for the prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay. According to The Washington Post, the International Committee of the Red Cross has been in secret talks to allow family visits. Up until now, some detainees have been allowed video phone calls with their families, but no in-person visitation. Congressman Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-CA) -- who chairs the House Armed Services Committee -- is against the proposal. He warns that it "would create major security concerns for our nation." Would allowing more contact with family members create a national security risk? Or could it be avoided with strict protocols? We’ll talk with a couple security experts about the risks, real or imagined. Should these detainees be allowed family visits regardless of the risks?