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Good morning....

Paul Coletti | 09:11 UK time, Thursday, 2 August 2007

Good morning and welcome to the time of day when we want to know what's getting folks talking. As ever we want your e-Mails if you've anything you want to get of your chest. That's exactly what Phoebe in Minneapolis did:

I'm a big WHYS fan and unfortunately, tonight my hometown of Minneapolis is international news. I thought the WHYS readers/listeners would be interested in seeing these photos of the tragic bridge collapse.

If you haven't heard about the bridge collapse then read here. There are 7 dead confirmed so far.

Read on for more .. .

Private Security Companies
"In 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team."

blackwater-logo.bmp

Listeners over 25 years of age will remember the cheesy intro to 80's TV classic The A-Team but it could equally well describe some of the characters involved in today's PSC business. PSCs don't like to be called mercenaries but it's the image they're stuck with. Have you heard of Blackwater, Executive Outcomes or perhaps Sandline? Blackwater are making big profits in Iraq and we'll have two voices on the show tonight talking for and against the use of these guys. Read Anna's post from yesterday for more details.

Iraqi refugees
7,000 Iraqis are soon to arrive in Detroit, America. we touched on this topic a week or so ago but if you're in detroit are you happy with this or do you think the US gov could do more?

Fire in the Canaries
It's not a part of the world we hear from a lot but thousands are being affected by the fires in Gran Canaria. I've been to this island's centre and it is a tinderbox. Would you like to hear from the residents?

Condi goes east...
Condoleezza Rice is in the West Bank speaking to Fatah about a 2-state solution to the war between Israel and the Palestinian territories. But should she be speaking to Hamas..? We've touched on this before on wHYS but should we be returning to it? "We are allies, we've been so for decades" says Condi about the Saudis but I know that quite a few WHYS listeners feel the Kingdom are dragging their feet in this freindship. Condi wants the Saudis to sit down with Israel so maybe we should be asking is it time for the Saudis to come to the table?

BA
We don't often do business stories on WHYS but are you one of the millions who feels British Airways and Virgin owe you some cash? BA was fined yesterday £300m by the US DOJ and £121.5m (about $240M) by Britain's Office of Fair Trading. Since quitting IT 2 years ago I haven't been anywhere near an airport and it feels great. Many of you will have flown with these two airlines so are you aggrieved that they colluded? Will you sue?

James in texas sent us this e-Mail last night:
Please notice that U.S. fined British Airways hundreds of millions of dollars for price fixing and fined British Petroleum tens of thousands for killing 14 young engineers in Texas City.
James, Houston, TX

On a related note, apparently Britain is a third-world nation when it comes to flying. The author of this article compared airports in London to Havana the Castro system for airport management came out on top. What do you think of UK airports?

Polar plans
Russia will today attempt to plant a flag under the Lomonosov Ridge. The thinking goes that as the polar ice caps melt, access to the oil resources will become easier so countries like Canada, Norway and Russia are already tussling for drilling rights.

Pat Tillman
Since his death 3 years ago in a friendly-fire incident, the story of all American hero Pat Tillman has kept me gripped. Pat gave up a glittering career in the NFL to become a trooper in Iraq. Rumours abound that there was a cover up and Rummy yesterday denied it. What do you think?

Obama gets tough
Barack Obama says if Pakistan doesn't go into the badlands of Waziristan to get Al Qaeda then he will. What do you make of this new hawkish stance? On a related note the Blogosphere has reacted to the NYT's July 30th op-ed daring to suggest victory in Iraq might be achievable. One pundit says the "O’Hanlon/Pollack article lacks 'a necessary humility.'” Your thoughts?

Scouting is 100
Tomorrow's WHYS comes from Essex, UK for the 100th anniversary of the Scouts. What are your memories of this illustrious organisation?

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