- ABC News at Power Players1 day ago
Next time you step aboard an international flight, you may want to think twice about who’s flying your plane.
“The computers are flying it,” former Marine Corps pilot and ABC News consultant Steve Ganyard told “Power Players” from the cockpit of Boeing’s new 787-9 model on display to the public for the first time ever at this year’s Farnborough International Airshow.
“The pilots are voting members,” Ganyard said. “This stick will move back and forth, the throttle will move back and forth, but all you’re doing is putting inputs into the computer. The computers says, ‘I know what you want to do, I'll do that for you.’”
The newest in aviation technology -- both commercial and military -- on display at the premier international airshow in England demonstrates that human pilots are increasingly taking a backseat to computers in the cockpit.
But before you navigate away from this webpage to cancel your next flight, Ganyard assures that the new computer technology only serves to make flying safer than before. “It's much, much safer,” he said.
The challenge now, Ganyard noted, is making sure the human pilots keep pace with their computer flying mates.
- Clayton Sandell, Gina Sunseri and Richard Coolidge at Power Players2 days ago
What’s next for NASA?
The legendary space agency that landed a man on the moon, launched the Voyager spacecraft into infinity and the Hubble Space Telescope to unlock the mysteries of the universe, and also landed legendary rovers on Mars, is now searching for its next mission.
It’s tough to plan for a long-term mission, when each new administration presses the reset button, with many programs that have been started and cancelled.
Can NASA recapture the glory of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon, when millions of people around the world watched Neil Armstrong step gingerly onto the lunar surface? Or did the 30 years of space shuttle flights make spaceflight too routine?
Three years ago the shuttles were retired, sent to museums, and U.S. astronauts lost their own ride to space, forced to buy seats on Russian rockets to get back and forth to the International Space Station.
That has put the U.S. in a very bad position, former NASA Administrator Michael Griffin told "Power Players."
- Rick Klein, Olivier Knox, Richard Coolidge and Ali Dukakis at Power Players5 days ago
There may never be a good time to take a vacation when you’re president. But the last couple of weeks made for particularly bad timing.
Now, as President Obama prepares to return from his vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, the commander-in-chief might very well want a vacation from his vacation, which was more notable for its many interruptions than its relaxation -- that is, unless you’re counting the president’s many rounds of golf.
The president held multiple news conferences -- and in an unusual fashion, even broke from his vacation for a two-day trip back to Washington -- as he addressed the developing crises in Iraq and Ferguson, Mo.
But Obama is just the latest in a long line of presidents to adopt the “working vacation.”
“Early on, when vacations began to get criticism -- for example, during the Eisenhower administration -- the press secretary, Jim Haggerty, invented the phrase ‘working vacation,’” Larry Knutson, author of the new book “Away From the White House: Presidential Escapes, Retreats and Vacations,” said during a recent interview with “Top Line.” “And we've had working vacations ever since.”
- Jim Avila, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players7 days ago
When 15-year-old William risked his life at the hands of illegal traffickers to make a harrowing journey from his home in El Salvador to the United States eight months ago, he did so because he believed the danger of staying in Central America outweighed the risk of the journey.
“You risk your life,” William said about the situation in El Salvador in a recent interview with “Power Players.” “Because of the gangs, you can't live in peace. They want money or they will endanger your family,” he said through his translator.
And now, William, who asked that his last name not be used, said he is sharing his story with the hope that Americans will understand the situation facing the tens of thousands of Central American minors, who like himself, have flooded across the border into the United States in recent months to escape poverty and violence.
Though President Obama has warned unaccompanied minors from coming to the United States illegally, saying they will be sent back to their country of origin, William said returning could cost him his life.
- Rick Klein, Olivier Knox, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players9 days ago
Scott Walker is widely considered one of the GOP’s presidential hopefuls. But before the Wisconsin governor can run for president in 2016, he needs to win his bid for reelection in 2014 -- and that means getting past his Democratic challenger, Mary Burke.
Burke, the first woman nominated for governor in Wisconsin by a major political party and a former executive of her family’s successful business, Trek Bicycles, is proving to be a formidable obstacle. The most recent polling shows the partisan rivals locked in a dead heat.
In the contentious campaign between Walker and Burke, job creation in the Dairy Land is ground zero.
One of Walker’s main lines of attack against Burke has been to criticize her family’s bike business for outsourcing 99 percent of its production overseas, primarily to China -- a strategy that harkens back to the Obama campaign’s 2012 tactic to counter Mitt Romney’s business success.
- Susan Saulny, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players12 days ago
As a marine biologist, Sylvia Earle has spent more than half a century diving in pursuit of a greater understanding of the oceans. But now, the renowned scientist is concerned that there may be little left to study before too long, warning that “the ocean is dying” at the hands of human destruction.
“It's taken only a few decades to unravel those very basic systems,” Earle told “Power Players” during an interview at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum’s botany collection. “We're changing the chemistry of the planet, starting with the ocean, well the atmosphere too. It's a big thought that humans have the power to change the nature of nature.”
Earle points to the disappearance of 50 percent of the world’s coral reefs and the depletion – and in some cases complete extinction – of certain types of ocean life through causes that include over-fishing, the fertilizer runoff from farming, underwater bomb testing and oil spills.
And in harming the oceans, Earle explained, humankind is disrupting the basic planetary systems on which we rely.
- ABC News at Power Players13 days ago
There’s no worse assignment for a Secret Service agent than protecting Hillary Clinton, if claims in a controversial new book are to be believed.
Ronald Kessler’s book, “First Family Detail,” is filled with salacious revelations about the secret personal lives of the nation’s most high-profile political leaders. But the authenticity of those revelations has been called into question over factual inaccuracies in the book, as well as its reliance on anonymous Secret Service agents.
“She is so nasty to agents that being assigned to her detail is considered a form of punishment,” Kessler told “Top Line” of Clinton, who continues to receive Secret Service protection as a former first lady.
“It shines a light on her character,” Kessler said. “She claims to be a champion of the little people, and she's going to help the middle class. And, in fact, she treats these people around her, [who] would lay down their lives for her like sub-humans; and I think voters need to consider that.”
- Jeff Zeleny, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players16 days ago
The Fine Print
Sen. Bernie Sanders isn’t afraid to be called a socialist. In fact, the Vermont Independent proudly labels himself a Democratic socialist.
“Do you hear me cringing? Do you hear me running under the table?” Sanders said rhetorically when asked if Democratic socialist is an accurate description.
Sanders is so delighted with his brand of politics that he said in an interview with “The Fine Print” that it would be a “damn good platform” on which to run for president.
"If the American people understand what goes on in countries like Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and other countries, they will say, ‘Whoa, I didn't know that!’” Sanders said, pointing out that health care is considered a right, “R-I-G-H-T,” among even the most conservative politicians in Denmark.
Sanders described his credo as a fight to protect America’s working class from what he sees as the threat of an approaching “oligarchic form of society.”
- Rick Klein, Richard Cooldige, Alexandra Dukakis, and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players19 days ago
Between the upcoming biopic “Black Mass” starring Johnny Depp and Jack Nicholson’s character in the hit movie “The Departed,” the mystique surrounding infamous Boston crime kingpin James “Whitey” Bulger, who inspired both characters, has captured the public’s fascination.
But interest surrounding the notorious gangster is not limited to Hollywood. Enter Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger, whose documentary, “Whitey: The United States of America vs. James J. Bulger,” gives viewers an up-close look at Bulger’s life story and his 2013 trial.
“I think he has an irresistible narrative,” Berlinger told “Top Line” in an interview. “Here's a guy who was on top of Boston's criminal empire for 25 years, not even charged [with] so much as a traffic ticket. Whitey rises to the top of Boston's underworld, and he has a life of crime, extorting and killing his way to the top.”