FEMA, Disaster Relief and the Politics of Global Warming
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FEMA, Disaster Relief and the Politics of Global Warming

President Obama is promising federal help to victims of Hurricane Irene. House Republicans say it'll have to be paid for with cuts elsewhere in the federal budget. We hear about disaster relief in the short term and the long-term politics of global warming. Also, Vermont responds to its worst natural disaster since the 1920’s, and what's really happening in the Middle East.

Banner image: Billy Stinson (L) comforts his daughter Erin as they sit on the steps where their cottage once stood before it was destroyed by Hurricane Irene August 28, 2011 in Nags Head, North Carolina. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Making News

Vermont Responds to Worst Natural Disaster since the 1920's ()

Irene may have bypassed New York City but, in Vermont, two months worth of rain fell in less than 24 hours. It's the worst disaster since epic flooding in 1927, as we hear from Matt Sutkoski, weather reporter for the Burlington Free Press.

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Main Topic

Disaster Relief and the Politics of Global Warming ()

Climate scientist won't attribute a given weather disturbance to global warming, but the consensus is that rising temperatures will lead to bigger and stronger storms. Tornados in Joplin, Missouri; flooding in Minot, North Dakota; drought in Texas, wildfires in the Southwest and, now, Irene all raise the question of whether global warming is creating "weird weather." Most Republican Presidential candidates are skeptical of global warming, especially the idea that it's caused by human activity. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, is short of money, and House Republican leaders say any new federal assistance will have to be paid for with cuts elsewhere in the budget. With President Obama promising help to all those affected, will disaster protection and climate change be issues in next year's campaign?

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Reporter's Notebook

The Causes and the Progress of the 'Arab Spring' ()

book.jpgThree years ago, Robin Wright's book, Dreams and Shadows, predicted a "budding culture of change" in the Middle East. In her latest work, Rock the Casbah, she says this year's so-called "Arab Spring" is "only the beginning of the beginning."  While some observers warn of a disillusioned generation of the unemployed embracing Islamic extremism, Robin Wright believes that "the Islamic world is now in the throes of a counterjihad."

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