1:06 – 1:39 - OPEN
1:41:30 – 1:58:30
How much vacation time does the President deserve?
Presidents often get criticized for taking too many days away from the White House, but the presidential vacation has become almost an extension of the that leader’s personality, for better or worse. To their critics, Teddy Roosevelt shirked his responsibilities by going bear hunting and traipsing around Yosemite National Park with John Muir, John F. Kennedy skipped town and headed to Hyannisport for too much down time, Massachusetts, George W. Bush spent weeks clearing brush on his ranch in Texas and Obama spends too much time eating shaved ice in Hawaii. Being the leader of the free world is hard work, so why does the president take so much flak for taking a few days away from the office?
2:06 – 2:19
Eco-activists being killed at a rate of 'one a week,' study finds
As the global population soars, resources like wood, arable land, precious metals, and drinkable water become scarcer, and the battle over land ownership becomes fiercer. On June 19th, 2012 -– just before the start of the Rio+20 conference –- Global Witness, a NGO with the mission of preventing environmental and human rights abuses surrounding natural resources, reported that the number of environmental activists murdered has increased sharply in the last year, totaling 106, or one per week. Peru, Colombia, the Philippines, and Brazil have seen the sharpest increase in killings, but Global Witness estimates that these figures are only the tip of the iceberg, as deaths in regions such as China and Central Asia have been underreported. The report also ignores the number of civilians killed in cross-border conflicts fuelled by competition for resources, a situation seen in much of Africa. After three separate incidents led to the deaths of four Brazilian activists in May of this year, the government instated a federal protection program for environmentalists in similar positions, but globally, most cases go uninvestigated and unprosecuted.
2:21:30 – 2:39
Is it time for a new national anthem?
The “The Star-Spangled Banner” has only been America’s national anthem for 81 years, which may be surprising to those who think George Washington himself sang it around the campfire at Valley Forge. The familiar song we hear at every sporting event started out life as a poem called “In Defence of Fort McHenry,” which was written by the lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key in1814. Key’s brother-in-law soon grafted the poem onto a nearly unsingable popular English song of the day called “The Anacreontic Song” and the result was a ballad that featured a melody with an octave-and-a-half range that has been giving singers fits and some listeners headaches since President Herbert Hoover made it official in 1931. But some feel it’s time for a change of tune, and that a more singable song should usurp our current anthem. The challengers? Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” is a strong contender, along with “America the Beautiful” and many other songs that inspire patriotic zeal in our countrymates. Do you think America is ready for a new theme song? What song best encapsulates America to you?
Jim Caroompas, journalist, musician and author of the article “Oh Say, Can You Sing Our National Anthem? Should We Get A New One?”
2:41:30 – 2:58:30
Fireworks stress out our furry citizens
Independence Day, the 4th of July, is the most American of holidays. No matter what your race, creed, gender or preference in style of BBQ, Americans revel in this high-summer holiday that entails food, family, friends and fireworks. But there are members of many families for whom the fireworks aren’t quite so celebratory. While the rest of us are “ooh-ing” and “ahh-ing” to colorful explosions in the sky, the family dog might be cowering in fright under the picnic table behind the cooler. Pets can have a hard time figuring out just what is so fun about these incessant loud noises and the stress can have them climbing the walls and endangering themselves and others. How do you help your pets cope with the stress of America’s loudest holiday?
Michael Chill, Dog behaviorist and animal trainer
Producer - Patt Morrison
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