• On the brink? Gen. James Thurman hopeful for peace but ready for war on heavily armed Korean border

    On the Radar

    As North Korea’s young leader Kim Jong Un continues to escalate the rhetoric of war-- and has even moved a missile to the east coast of the country-- the top U.S. commander in South Korea says the threats are being taken seriously and his troops stand ready to fight if necessary.

    “If they [North Korea] decided to, you know, resume hostilities, I think we've got to be ready to go,” Gen. James Thurman tells On the Radar from the Demilitarized Zone along the border between North and South Korea. “Readiness is number one. If you ask every one of these soldiers that are out here, it's about fighting tonight. It’s not a bumper sticker; it’s we've got to be able to do that."

    Thurman says that while it's hard to know for sure what Kim Jong Un's intentions are, he emphasizes that the young leader's "reckless" behavior will not be rewarded.

    “He’s trying to intimidate the South Koreans and intimidate the region, and we're not gonna let that happen,” says Thurman.

    Thurman describes

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  • Where did all the money go? How $700 million in Katrina relief money went missing

    Power Players

    Where did all the money go?

    “Your guess is as good as mine,” David Montoya, the inspector general of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, says of $700 million in missing taxpayer money that Louisiana homeowners were given in the wake of Hurricane Katrina to elevate and protect their homes from future storms.

    A new report released from the inspector general’s office shows that more than 24,000 homeowners who received grants of up to $30,000 to elevate their homes either misspent or pocketed the money.

    “The fact of the matter is that the money they received was for a specific purpose and the specific purpose was to elevate these homes to avoid future catastrophes,” Montoya tells Power Players.

    He rates the home elevation program as little more than a complete failure.

    “Considering there was just under $1 billion earmarked for this particular program and there's $700 million that wasn't used for that, I’d give it a very low D,” he says.

    But the lessons learned

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  • Obama spiritual adviser sees vibrant faith in ‘comforter in chief’

    Power Players

    Joshua DuBois is not your ordinary pastor. For the past four years, the 30-year-old Pentecostal minister was the spiritual adviser to the leader of the free world, praying with President Obama in the Oval Office and leading the administration’s outreach to faith-based groups.

    “He’s a deeply faithful president and didn’t need a whole bunch of help cultivating that faith,” DuBois said of Obama in an interview with Power Players on his term as director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. “I would say that he has a daily Christian walk, in terms of his reading a devotional and spending time meditation-meditating on scripture each day.”

    Obama’s spiritual walk was most challenged last December, when a gunman massacred 20 children and 6 others at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., DuBois said. The president later described the aftermath of the attack – including an emotionally wrenching visit to families of Newtown victims -- as

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