Oil Losers and Winners; the Agenda; Twenty Years in Iraq; Guns and Liberty; Friends' Impact on Health

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Monday, August 02, 2010

The oil spill's surprisingly positive effects... for Gulf politicians; the week's agenda; the state-by-state legal struggle for adopted people to learn their birth history; twenty years since Iraq invaded Kuwait, triggering the first Gulf War; using toxic chemical dispersants to address a toxic oil spill; the relationship between gun ownership, sharpshooting and the notion of "American liberty"; why a healthy social life appears to contribute to a physically healthy life, as well. Katherine Lanpher hosts with John Hockenberry.

Top of the Hour: Severe Flooding in Pakistan, Morning Headlines

Shariyar Khan Bangash, an aid worker for World Vision, has visited some of the hardest-hit areas in Pakistan; headlines.

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Oil Disaster Boon to Gulf Politicians

For many politicians along the Gulf Coast, the oil spill has had an unexpected positive spillover effect – increased exposure and popularity. With the clear exception of BP and its doomed CEO, Tony Hayward, the oil spill has given politicians the opportunity to bond more closely with their constituents along the Gulf Coast.

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Racial Tensions in Congress?

Two long serving African-American House lawmakers have run into ethics problems, and some in Washington say they are being unfairly targeted based on their race.

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MLB's Trade Deadline Winners and Losers

Major League Baseball's trade deadline was this past weekend with some major changes for some of the sport's closely watched teams. The Yankees traded for outfielders; the Dodgers got starting pitcher, Ted Lilly; and the Phillies traded for pitching ace, Roy Oswalt. Takeaway sports contributor, Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, brings highlights from the transactions and tells us which teams will benefit the most.

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Agenda: Slowing Economy, BP's Dispersants, and Obama's Birthday

We look ahead this week to birthdays, oil in the Gulf and unemployment numbers. On Wednesday, President Barack Obama turns 49; former White House correspondent Helen Thomas turns 90 on the same day. Besides birthdays, there will hopefully be another cause for celebration down on the Gulf coast: BP may have found a way to permanently seal the well that has gushed roughly 184 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

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More Than 1000 Killed in Pakistan Flooding

The worst flooding in Pakistan's history has killed over a thousand people in a volatile region. Issam Ahmed, reporter for the Christian Science Monitor, is in Lahore, Pakistan. He has the latest details on the spill and the country's greatest needs as two million people flee their homes.

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Adoptees Fight for Access to Original Birth Certificates

There are between six and eight million adopted people in the United States and the vast majority of them will never have access to their original birth certificates. All information on their birth parents is sealed. For decades, several advocacy groups have been trying to change this, claiming that humans have a right to own their own histories.

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Top of the Hour: Looking Back at First Gulf War, Morning Headlines

Twenty years ago today, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, setting off Desert Shiled. We take a look at what we can learn from the war in Iraq; headlines.

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Iraq's Invasion of Kuwait Remembered 20 Years Later

Twenty years ago today, one of the Arab world's most powerful armies invaded its tiny neighbor to the south. Iraqi forces significantly outnumbered and overpowered Kuwait's military as they marched in, and within a short time had overthrown the government. Saddam Hussein declared that the nation of Kuwait no longer existed; Iraqi forces held the country for seven months, until U.S. and coalition forces liberated the occupied country in the first Gulf War.

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Oil Spill: A Closer Look at Chemical Dispersants; Shrimping Season Begins

The oil unleashed into the Gulf of Mexico over the last months is a toxic danger to sea life and wetlands, but in a frustrating Catch-22, so is one of the key methods of fighting the oil. Chemical dispersants, though better (in most cases) for the environment than the oil itself, still pose different environmental hazards. BP says they have only used 1.8 million gallons of the dispersant "Corexit," but a Congressional inquiry may yet call those numbers into doubt. We look at the effects of the dispersant on the environment and talk to a shrimper about whether he's seen any toxicity in his catch as the season begins.

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The Role of Marksmanship in Preserving American Liberty

Owning a gun is a fundamental right protected by the Second Amendment. But the Appleseed Project believes Americans should not just own guns, they need to be trained how to use them. To that end, the North Carolina-based non-profit organization trains Americans to accurately shoot a man-size target up to 500 yards away. According to its founder, Jack Dailey, it is a skill that is fundamental to protect the liberty of all Americans. The Appleseed Project has already trained 25,000 people and expects to have 7,000 more clients by year's end.

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Criticism Surrounds Pakistan's Flood Response

International agencies and the Pakistani governmnent are "on a mission to save lives," says New York Times correspondent Adam Ellick, as thousands have been left stranded following the country's worst flooding in history. However, the slow flood response has angered many and heightened tensions between the Pakistani government and the people. The region's population and infrastructure had already been hit hard by fighting between the Pakistani government and insurgents.

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Strong Social Connections Could Help Keep You Healthy

We have long been aware that there is some connection between having strong friendships and being in good health. But a new study shows that social connections are fundamentally important to our well-being. In fact, not having many strong relationships can be as bad for your health as smoking… and even worse than not exercising. What is a "healthy" social life for you? How many friends and relationships are enough for you?

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