• Power Players

    If Interior Secretary Sally Jewell had it her way, she’d make her office in the great outdoors.

    “This is my favorite office; it's my favorite playground -- one with no walls,” Jewell told “Power Players” during a hike through Maine’s Acadia National Park.

    On the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, which established the protection of 9 million acres worth of wilderness on federal lands, Jewell discussed the balancing act she plays in trying to simultaneously conserve the nation’s precious wilderness, while also tapping into the potential for oil and gas development ventures.

    “This job is full of absolutes on both sides -- those that are more involved in just ‘drill, baby, drill, and let's not worry about it,’ and those who believe that we've got to change things overnight,” Jewell said. “And the truth is: we can't have either.”

    When it comes to climate change, Jewell said it’s time for non-believers to wake up to the scientific facts.

    “I tell them climate change is

    Read More »from Fracking vs. forests: How Sally Jewell squares protecting wilderness with supporting energy industry
  • Top Line

    If you look to the halls of Congress, you might say that Washington, D.C. doesn’t need another dinosaur.

    But the nation’s capital recently welcomed another power-wielding dinosaur to its ranks in the form of a 66-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton. “Top Line” had the opportunity to go face to face with the dinosaur, dubbed “The Nation’s T. rex,” during a recent visit to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

    “What we're working on is the Smithsonian's first nearly complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton,” Matthew Carrano, curator of Dinosauria at the museum, said during a tour of the Smithsonian’s “Rex Room,” where museum staff are hard at work inspecting the inventory of bones.

    Though there are other T. rex specimens already on display elsewhere in the country, this is the first ever nearly complete specimen obtained by the Smithsonian Institution.

    “It’s taken us a little while, and we have less-complete specimens of T. rex in the collection, but nothing

    Read More »from What’s the oldest 'creature of Washington'?
  • Power Players

    When you board a commercial flight, there’s a chance the person seated next you is an undercover air marshal.

    The undercover federal agents, who work in teams and number in the thousands, pose as ordinary passengers but are trained to respond to the worst-case scenarios on an aircraft, as “Power Players” saw first-hand during a visit to Federal Air Marshal’s training center on the East Coast.

    One of the most emphasized aspects of their training is how to respond to a terrorist assault on board a plane. In one role-playing scenario we witnessed, a terrorist pulled a knife on a flight attendant while a second terrorist began attacking passengers. The two designated air marshals in-training sprang into action, opened fire on the terrorists and neutralized the threat.

    “It's very challenging in in terms of movement,” Federal Air Marshal Instructor Randy Parkes said of training to operate on a plane. “We do a lot of training in the simulators in the aircraft where our people

    Read More »from Eyes in the sky: Inside the undercover world of U.S. air marshals safeguarding you when you fly

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