- Rick Klein, Olivier Knox, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players7 hrs ago
Todd Akin may regret how he said it, but he doesn’t regret what he meant.
The former Missouri Republican’s Senate campaign crumbled in 2012 after he said that “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down” and prevent an unwanted pregnancy in cases of “legitimate rape.”
Now, just months before the 2014 mid-term election, Akin has returned with 'Firing Back' -- a book about his life, his politics and, yes, an attempt to clarify what may have been the most notorious comment of the previous cycle.
“Obviously no rape is legitimate,” Akin told “Top Line” in an interview. “It's a serious, serious crime. But legitimate rape is a law enforcement term for legitimate case of rape. Rape is not legitimate, it’s the particular circumstances.”
Akin went on to say that his remark related to the female body’s ability to shut down reproductive abilities if raped was “not very well stated.”
“What I was simply saying is: stress plays a role in whether somebody's eggs fertilize or somebody gets pregnant,” Akin said. “The probability of pregnancy as a result of rape is less than it might be otherwise.”
- ABC News at Power Players4 days 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.
- Rick Klein, Olivier Knox, Richard Coolidge, Jordyn Phelps and Alexandra Dukakis at Power Players5 days ago
Carl DeMaio is openly gay, supports abortion rights, and says that climate change is a problem that demands bold solutions from the government. He also happens to be the Republican candidate for Congress in California’s 52 nd District.
Despite standing in opposition to many of the GOP’s core principles, DeMaio insists that he’s a conservative to his core.
“I actually represent the new generation that is coming up,” DeMaio told “Top Line” in an interview, stressing that his positions are anchored in the Republican Party’s historical foundation.
“I actually believe that I reflect the traditional roots of the Republican Party,” DeMaio said. “If you go back decades, you'll find Teddy Roosevelt was one of the first conservationists in this country, and you see a party that traditionally supports economic freedom.”
But DeMaio sees serious flaws in the Republican Party as it stands today, locked in a feud between the establishment and tea party wings.
- Jeff Zeleny, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players6 days ago
The Fine Print
A bipartisan duo of lawmakers from the Lone Star State have joined forces to present a Texas-style solution to the nation’s border crisis.
Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican, and Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Democrat, have introduced legislation aimed at easing what’s been called a humanitarian crisis caused by a wave of unaccompanied Central American children who have flowed into the United States across the Mexican border.
“The cartels, the transnational criminal organizations that smuggle people from Central America into the United States, have figured out this loophole in a 2008 law, which dealt with human trafficking,” Cornyn told “The Fine Print” in an interview.
“This is part of their business model, exploiting this,” Cornyn continued. “So, what we would do is we would treat children that come from Central America the same … as we do now from children that come in from Mexico.”
The pair’s new bill, known as the Humane Act, would speed up the process by which the undocumented children currently stuck in legal limbo in the United States would have their cases heard by a judge. Cuellar noted that there are currently 375,000 such children waiting for a judicial hearing.
- Jeff Zeleny, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players7 days ago
The Fine Print
No one has fired up Republicans more than one person: President Obama.
But with his political spotlight gradually starting to fade as he inevitably slides into the role of second-term lame duck in the White House, will Obama be as much of a motivating factor for Republican voters this fall as he's been in recent elections?
"For voters more in the middle, I am concerned that he may be becoming almost irrelevant," Steven Law, president of the leading Republican super PAC, American Crossroads, said in an interview with "The Fine Print."
Four months before the midterm elections, with Republicans within reach of winning control of the Senate, that's one of the questions on Law's mind: Is stopping Obama as urgent for Republicans as it was in 2010, when the GOP won back the House?
In the ongoing turmoil between the competing wings of the Republican Party, Law has been one of the GOP establishment’s secret weapons. He has played a leading role in funneling financial support from major party donors to help boost candidates who bear the establishment’s stamp of approval.
- Pierre Thomas, Richard Coolidge, and Alexandra Dukakis at Power Players12 days ago
What do Monuments Men, Indiana Jones and James Bond have in common? All of them face villains who, among other offenses, are guilty of stealing prized pieces of art and artifacts. And in a striking comparison to these heroic treasure hunt stories popularized by movies, there is a real-life group of detectives working within the U.S. government today to restore lost and stolen art: Meet the FBI Art Crime Team.
“You’re not going to do the same type of investigation that you would for a Monet as you would do for a Chevrolet,” former FBI senior investigator Robert Wittman, who founded the Art Crime Team, told “Power Players.”
- Jeff Zeleny, Richard Coolidge, Alexandra Dukakis, and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players13 days ago
The Fine Print
Angus King may be one of only two Independent senators in Congress, but that doesn’t mean he’s excused himself from the table of party politics.
“I haven't traded lobsters, but I've bought a lot of ribs in here when I have friends for dinner – particularly senators,” the senator from Maine told “The Fine Print” during an interview at Kenny’s BBQ Smoke House in Washington, where he frequently picks up racks of ribs for bipartisan dinners he hosts at his nearby Washington home.
Menu options aside, King said he has a simple agenda for the Republicans and Democrats who sit down for dinner together at his house: Relax.
“The idea is to get us together in a kind of relaxed setting, and a non-partisan setting, because everything up there is always partisan,” King said of Congress. “You get a group of senators together and usually what you end up with is a sort of collective relaxation … telling stories about campaigns and what's going on — rarely policy.”
- Susan Saulny, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players14 days ago
Chef Leah Chase, or as she’s widely known for her famous New Orleans cooking, the “Queen of Creole Cuisine,” quite literally helped to feed the civil rights movement.
As the chef and owner of the renowned New Orleans restaurant named after her husband’s father, Dooky Chase’s Restaurant , Chase’s family took great risk in braving the South’s infamous “Jim Crow” laws to allow black and white organizers of the civil rights movement to use the popular restaurant as a safe meeting place.
“You just did the work you thought you were expected to do,” Chase said. “Anything you thought that could better people, you just did it.”
Fifty years after the Civil Rights Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, Chase sat down with “Power Players” to remember the days when Freedom Riders worked from the upstairs level of her restaurant to plan their bus routes through the segregated South.
“I knew I had to feed them, and I knew I could not do what they were doing,” Chase said. “My whole life, honey, was this restaurant.”
- David Kerley, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players20 days ago
As the summer season has kicked into high gear, so too have Americans’ travel plans.
And as people prepare to make their way to their favorite Fourth of July destinations, former National Transportation Safety Board Chair Deborah Hersman sat down with “Power Players” to warn travelers about some of the biggest threats to travel safety.
The most glaring shortcoming in enforced travel safety, Hersman said, is that the use of child seats on airplanes is not required – and has even been discouraged in some cases – by airlines.
“We restrain our laptops, we restrain the coffee tops, but we don't restrain the most precious cargo on the airplane and that's our children,” said Hersman.
“It’s amazing when you look back 25, 35 years … things have completely changed when it comes to automobiles. All states have requirements for child passengers to be restrained,” Hersman said. “But yet the things that we take for granted when we're traveling 50 miles per hour, we aren't translating those to when we're traveling 250 miles per hour.”
- Karen Travers, Richard Coolidge, Alexandra Dukakis, and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players21 days ago
In Belarus, the former Soviet country commonly dubbed as “Europe’s last dictatorship,” uncensored art is considered a crime.
But a group of actors – arming themselves only with a stage and a script with a political message – has dared to act out against the repressive two-decades-long reign of President Alexander Lukashenko and are the subject of a new HBO documentary “Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus,” set to premier on July 7.
“I was struck when I heard the story of the Belarus Free Theater who are operating illegally in Belarus and all they're trying to do is create art,” the film’s director and producer Madeleine Sackler told “Power Players.” “It's considered an economic crime for them to sell tickets – their audience members are videotaped by the KGB as they're coming in to see performances.”
As a price for their resistance, the actors of Belarus Free Theater risk their livelihood. They are blacklisted from ever holding a job in the country, where 70 percent of jobs are state-run.