CNN senior producer, Traci Tamura and CNN correspondent, Kaj Larsen are traveling to Pakistan they will be blogging about the experience. Catch all his stories here and on CNN's American Morning.
By Traci Tamura, Senior Producer
A couple of weeks ago I was on a stay-cation with my family touring places like Universal Studios, Soak City and lounging on California beaches. The day I got back to work I was asked the question: "Do you want to go to Pakistan?" After I got over the initial surprise, I had to ask myself the question: "As a mom of three school age kids, was I comfortable traveling to Pakistan?"
I knew in my heart as a journalist the floods were a huge international story that I could not turn down. But it wasn't just about me. I immediately called my husband to check his comfort level and he asked his question: "Is it safe?"
There are certainly health risks. I had to get 4 shots including Typhoid and I am still popping Malaria pills. There are security issues. Toss in the recent occurrence of suicide bombings and you begin to get the picture.
As a journalist, you are in the news business not because it's a 9 to 5 job and safe. But because you are passionate about covering the story and getting answers to the questions.
If that means traveling into the heart of disasters in dangerous countries that's where you go. So, armed with my families blessings and the understanding that "Mommy's CNN job" involves travel, I was on my way to Pakistan.
It took a day and a half to get to Islamabad but it has been worth it. So, as I head out on another 7 hour drive to cover the Pakistan floods victims I know the answer to the question: "Why did this producer and mother of three decide to come on this trip to Pakistan?" You can find out the answer this week on American Morning. Stay tuned...
Editor’s note: Arctic explorer Eric Larsen is trying to make it to the North and South Poles and the summit of Mount Everest in 365 days as part of an effort to raise awareness about climate change. Larsen joined us on American Morning before he set out on his Save the Poles expedition – and just launched the final leg of his journey to Mount Everest. Below is an excerpt from his online journal.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/09/08/eric.larsen.art.jpg caption="The last suspension bridge before Namche Bazar, on the way to Everest base camp."]
By Eric Larsen, From EricLarsenExplore.com
I'm not sure how to actually start my updates as I am nearly speechless. None of my previous expeditions have prepared me for my hike to Everest base camp. I have long since run out of adjectives to describe the grandeur and beauty of this place.
I'm trying not to gush, but it's difficult. In only a few days, I'm positive that Tshering has already tired of the unending string of wow's and amazing's that keep coming out of my mouth. This is such a far cry from the landscape of ice and snow of the poles.
We left Lukla two days ago on a winding trail through a steep valley. I am surprised at the lushness of the terrain. Nearly vertical mountain slopes are covered with thick green vegetation. Waterfalls spill downward hundreds of feet starting from such great heights that their source, I can only imagine, must be the clouds themselves.
Editor's Note: Welcome to American Morning's LIVE Blog where you can discuss the "most news in the morning" with us each week day. Join the live chat during the show by adding your comments below. It's your chance to share your thoughts on the day's headlines. You have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules: 1) Keep it brief 2) No writing in ALL CAPS 3) Use your real name (first name only is fine) 4) No links 5) Watch your language (that includes $#&*) 6) Stay relevant to the topic.
Imam: We are proceeding with NYC Islamic center
CNN's Soledad O'Brien has an exclusive interview with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf on "Larry King Live" Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET. Submit questions for the imam via iReport here.
New York (CNN) - The imam at the center of an ugly controversy over an Islamic center near New York's ground zero broke his silence Tuesday, just hours after a broad coalition of Christian, Jewish and Islamic leaders denounced what they described as a rising tide of anti-Muslim bigotry across the United States.
"I have been struck by how the controversy has riveted the attention of Americans, as well as nearly everyone I met in my travels," said Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf in an editorial published online by The New York Times Tuesday night.
"We have all been awed by how inflamed and emotional the issue of the proposed community center has become," wrote Rauf, who has just returned from a State Department-sponsored Middle East trip to promote U.S.-Muslim relations.
"The level of attention reflects the degree to which people care about the very American values under debate: recognition of the rights of others, tolerance and freedom of worship."
The imam was clear about his intentions.
"We are proceeding with the community center, Cordoba House. More important, we are doing so with the support of the downtown community, government at all levels and leaders from across the religious spectrum, who will be our partners. I am convinced that it is the right thing to do for many reasons," he wrote. Read more
BP to release results of investigation into oil spill disaster
(CNN) - BP on Wednesday is expected to release findings of an internal investigation into the Gulf oil disaster, the oil giant said.
The report comes nearly five months after an April 20 explosion aboard an oil rig left 11 men dead and spewed millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over an 87-day period.
A federal task report on Tuesday said scientists have found a decline in oxygen levels in the Gulf following the BP spill, but no "dead zones."
Levels of dissolved oxygen in deep water have dropped about 20 percent below their long-term average, according to data collected from up to 60 miles from the well at the center of the worst oil spill in U.S. history.
But much of that dip appears to be the result of microbes using oxygen to dissolve oil underwater, and the decline is not enough to be fatal to marine life, said Steve Murawski of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the head of the Joint Analysis Group studying the spill's impact.
"Even the lowest observations in all of these was substantially above the threshold," Murawski said.
The samples were collected from 419 points at varying distances from the ruptured well at the heart of the disaster and at depths as far down as 4,800 feet, the group reported. The task force is made up of NOAA, the Environmental Protection Agency and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Read more
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