American Morning

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November 9th, 2009
02:40 PM ET

Romney builds political capital, bides time for 2012 run

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Mitt Romney ran for president during the 2008 election season."]

By Kevin Bohn, CNN

Boston, Massachusetts (CNN) - For a moment, you might think Mitt Romney was still running for office if you look at his travel schedule crisscrossing the country.

Since February, he has attended nine events for senatorial candidates, appeared at more than a dozen rallies or fundraisers for those running for governor this year or next, and spoken at almost two dozen meetings of Republican Party groups or conservative organizations. And he has finished a new book.

"This is a pivotal time in the history of our country," Romney said at his political action committee's office.

As the Republican Party searches for ways to rebound from its recent losses and leaders who can be turned to, Romney clearly is trying to position himself to be one of them.

Watch: Romney a power player Video

"I am just one force among many. But a time like this, I think the party is looking for voices that lay out a positive ... vision for the future of this country and for our party. If I can be part of that, so much the better, and there are a lot of good voices out there," Romney said. "I appreciate the fact that others disagree with me on some issues, but that kind of debate at a critical time like this is good for the country."

Romney campaigned for both of the recent successful GOP gubernatorial candidates - Virginia's Bob McDonnell and New Jersey's Chris Christie - and said he plans to stay on the stump through next year's midterm elections.

Read the full story

Filed under: GOP: The Next Chapter
November 9th, 2009
11:58 AM ET
November 9th, 2009
10:46 AM ET

Wounded Fort Hood soldier still wants to deploy

Pvt. Joseph Foster is one of dozens wounded in the deadly shooting at Fort Hood last week. He was shot in the hip trying to save those around him, but he survived and says he's still ready for deployment to Afghanistan in January.

Foster and his wife Mandy spoke to our John Roberts on American Morning Monday.

Filed under: Crime • Military
November 9th, 2009
06:47 AM ET

Muslim soldiers facing backlash?

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="A temporary memorial site is set up in front of the Central Christian Church in memory of those killed and wounded at Fort Hood, Texas."]

By Carol Costello and Ronni Berke

Although about 3,500 American servicemen and women are Muslim, the Army's Chief of Staff is worried about backlash after a Muslim-American was named a suspect in the killings at Fort Hood.

General George Casey says, "as great a tragedy as this was ... it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well."

It's something that deeply worries many Americans who are Muslim and have made the ultimate sacrifice. Like the family of Army Corporal Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2007. His mother, Elsheba Khan, visits his grave at Arlington National Cemetery every Sunday.

“He represented the country, he represented Muslims all over the world,” she says. “I’m very proud of him."

Watch: Backlash against Muslims? Video

Khan is concerned there will be a backlash against Muslim-American soldiers. She knows some are already reaching conclusions as to why Maj. Nidal Malik Hassan allegedly opened fire on his fellow soldiers.


Filed under: Military
November 9th, 2009
06:05 AM ET

Nap time for pilots?

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="An FAA-assembled advisory committee has recommended that the FAA endorse "controlled cockpit napping.""]

By Allan Chernoff
CNN Sr. Correspondent

"This is your pilot speaking. It's time for my nap."

While you won't hear that announcement, next year it could be exactly what's happening in the cockpit of your flight at 35,000 feet!

A Federal Aviation Administration-assembled advisory committee, representing airlines and pilots, has written to the administration, to "recommend that the FAA endorse controlled cockpit napping." A "controlled nap" would last for no more than 40-minutes to prevent pilots from falling into a deep sleep.

FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt is now considering the Aviation Rulemaking Committee's recommendation, as he searches for ways to address the problem of pilot fatigue. For 19 years fatigue has been on the National Transportation Safety Board's "Most Wanted" list of urgent safety issues that need to be addressed.

Watch: Cockpit napping endorsed Video

"It is beyond overdue. It is needed right now. We can't wait another year," said NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman.

NASA studied the idea of pilot naps at its Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California 20-years ago. The Fatigue Countermeasures Group, known within NASA as the "Z Team", found flight deck naps to be effective and safe in reducing pilot fatigue.

"The FAA paid for that research and we've shown very clearly the nap really improved performance and alertness of the flight crews," said Curt Graeber, who led the "Z Team" of scientists and is now a fellow of the Flight Safety Foundation.

"The most risky part of the flight, in terms of safety, is the approach and landing. So we want crews to be well rested and alert on the approach and landing. The idea of a controlled rest in the flight deck helps make that happen – it's a safeguard," said Graeber.

Indeed some foreign carriers, including British Air and Air Canada, permit pilots to nap on longer flights, allowing one pilot to rest in the cockpit, while the other pilot mans the controls.


Filed under: Airline safety