Obama Gives NASA a New Mission

Prime Directive

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden says his foremost mission as head of the space exploration agency is to improve relations with the Muslim world. Bolden told the Arabic network Al Jazeera that the Muslim outreach is one of three objectives he was given by President Obama.

"One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math -- he wanted me to expand our international relationships and third and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science... and math and engineering," Bolden said.

Bolden denied the suggestion he was on a diplomatic mission, saying "not at all -- it's not a diplomatic anything."

Mixed Nuts

Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman Paul Kanjorski is deflecting criticism for saying he was avoiding town hall meetings because of constituents he described as "nuts."

A local newspaper reports Kanjorski told a radio interviewer, "we will do everything we can to meet with people, but I'm not going to set myself up for nuts to hit me with a camera... I'm not going to arm my opponent with a baseball bat."

Republican opponent Lou Barletta recalled Kanjorski's recent statement saying that those benefitting from financial regulatory changes would not be -- what Kanjorski called -- minorities and defective people. Barletta asked, "Do these so-called 'nuts' who attend town hall meetings fall into Kanjorski's 'defective people' category?"

Kanjorski's campaign says "nuts" referred to a small number of extreme political opponents who disrupt events and it said his "defective" comment at that hearing was taken out of context. 

Generally Speaking

A leading Dutch environmental agency says the United Nations report on climate change is too generalized and has even more errors than previously noted.

Despite the newly discovered flaws, the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency maintains the fundamental conclusion of the report is correct -- that man-made global warming is happening.

The agency acknowledged it is responsible for the incorrect statement that 55 percent of the Netherlands is below sea level, when only 26 percent really is. It also found a few other mistakes in the 3,000-page report and states that future studies should have better review procedures.