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There are 2.5 million miles of natural gas pipelines in the United States, enough to circle the Earth one hundred times. Last week's deadly explosion near San Francisco raises a troubling question: are Americans living with unacceptable risk? Also, the US steps up drone attacks in Pakistan, and the first state visit by a Pope to Great Britain since the early 1500's.  Will he meet with priestly sex-abuse victims?  Will he publicly apologize for the worldwide scandal?

Banner image: The remains of a gas line lie on the ground after an explosion September 10, 2010 in San Bruno, California. Photo by Eric Risberg-Pool/Getty Images

Making News US Steps Up Drone Attacks in Pakistan 7 MIN, 21 SEC

The latest US missile strike in Northwest Pakistan killed twelve people today, bringing to 60 the number killed in thirteen unmanned-drone attacks in just the past two weeks. Brian Fishman was director of research at West Point's Combating Terrorism Center. He's now counterinsurgency research fellow at the New America Foundation.

Brian Fishman, New America Foundation (@brianfishman)

Main Topic How Safe Are America's Natural-Gas Pipelines? 36 MIN

After last week's devastating explosion in the San Francisco suburb of San Bruno killed at least four people, two mayors in New Jersey opposed natural-gas projects in their cities. But the 30-inch pipe in San Bruno was laid underground more than 50 years ago, before the 37 homes destroyed last week were even constructed. How many more such disasters are waiting to happen elsewhere in the country? Are too many pipes too old? How often are they inspected? Should homeowners be told about big distribution lines near them? We talk with public utilities, former regulators and independent watchdogs.

David Eisenhauer, Spokesman, PG&E
Paul Rogers, San Jose Mercury News (@PaulRogersSJMN)
Jim Hall, former Chairman, NTSB
Carl Weimer, Executive Director, Pipeline Safety Trust
Christina Sames, Vice President Operations and Engineering, American Gas Association
Sidney Shapiro, University Chair in Law, Wake Forest University

Reporter's Notebook The Pope Prepares to Visit Britain 6 MIN, 9 SEC

In 1982, John Paul II made the first papal visit to Great Britain since Henry the VIII broke with the Vatican. This week, Pope Benedict XVI will conduct the first official state visit, beginning in Edinburgh. His published itinerary contains a gap that so far has been unexplained. The Independent of London reports that plans are being laid for the Pope to hold private meetings with sex-abuse victims as he has in other countries. Jerome Taylor is the religious affairs correspondent for the Independent of London.

Jerome Taylor, Reporter, Independent of London

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