Earlier this week on News Stream, I had the pleasure to talk with former NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao.
I was particularly riveted by his comments on China's space program.
China's first moon rover is still exploring the lunar surface, capping off a big year for China's space program.
Many pundits have pointed out that China is now doing what the United States already accomplished some 50 years ago. So how truly impressive are China's space achievements?
"I heard that argument a lot and frankly I think it's short-sighted," Chiao tells me.
"Sure we went back to the moon over 45 years ago, but the fact is we can't do it today."
Chiao goes on to say: "China's tech sophistication is very impressive to me. I've been over to see their space center and their space hardware. What they're lacking is operational experience."
"But they'll get there."
Click on to hear more of Chiao's thoughts on China's space program, and why he's calling for NASA to cooperate with the new space giant.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency head Gina McCarthy touched down in Hong Kong Thursday, only to be met by a thick layer of smog that has been choking the city.
McCarthy tells me 50% of Hong Kong’s haze stems from maritime pollution.
Her stop in Hong Kong comes after visits to both Shanghai and Beijing to discuss U.S.-China cooperation on air quality and other environmental issues.
Click on to hear the EPA Administrator cut through the haze of China's pollution crisis - addressing everything from air monitoring to emission standards... and why managing pollution in China is in the interest of the United States.
Cristina Gonzales Romualdez says she didn't expect that much water.
She's a city councillor in Tacloban, which took a direct hit from Typhoon Haiyan. She's also the wife of mayor Alfred Romualdez.
But more importantly, on the day of storm, she's a mother of two.
Gonzales Romualdez says she and her daughters swam to safety. She told Kristie Lu Stout that she prayed the entire time, and fought to keep calm for her children.
Watch the video for her dramatic account how it all happened.
The Google Chairman is one angry dude.
Eric Schmidt expressed clear outrage during our interview here in Hong Kong about the revelation that the National Security Agency had spied on the company’s data links.
"I was shocked that the NSA would do this,” Schmidt tells me. “Perhaps it’s a violation of law, but it is certainly a violation of mission.”
Earlier this month, U.S. authorities shut down the Silk Road after its alleged operator, Ross Ulbricht, was arrested.
The Silk Road was a very successful online marketplace where people bought and sold illegal goods - from drugs to forged documents, firearms to exotic animals - without getting caught.
It existed in a hidden corner of the Internet called the "Deep Web."
But who built the Deep Web and why?
Click on. The answer will surprise you…
Why did the secure e-mail service Lavabit suddenly shut down in August?
It was widely believed that the U.S. government wanted access to the Lavabit account of NSA leaker Edward Snowden.
Lavabit's owner, Ladar Levison, posted a message blaming a secret U.S. court battle. He also vowed to keep fighting while adding this warning:
"This experience has taught me one very important lesson: without congressional action or a strong judicial precedent, I would _strongly_ recommend against anyone trusting their private data to a company with physical ties to the United States."
Last week, some court documents were unsealed and made public. A review of the files on NewYorker.com says, "These disclosures fall short of the ideal of open justice, but they do give Levison’s ordeal a public shape."
Regular News Stream contributor Nicholas Thompson edited the New Yorker piece. I spoke to him about what the documents reveal.
He tells me, "What we are seeing from these court documents is that most e-mail providers - when the FBI came to them during the NSA (episode) – said, 'Here it is.'"
"But here's the one guy who said, 'No. I'm going to fight you tooth and nail, no matter what way I can.'"
Listen on to learn how Levison resisted U.S. government demands to turn over the Lavabit encryption key (including the use of an 11-page printout in 4-point type) and what the aggressive pursuit of Lavabit reveals about the psyche in Washington.
Say what you will about the science. The movie "Gravity" makes you feel like you're in space.
Of course, only a few people know that feeling firsthand. NASA astronaut Michael Massimino is one of them.
Massimino flew on two Hubble Space Telescope servicing missions. And he has logged more than 30 hours across four space walks.
That's exactly what the movie's main characters are doing when everything goes wrong.
So, what's it really like to spacewalk?
"You have to be methodical about what you do. You don't want to move too quickly," Massimino says. "You have to be very, very slow. You have to think about what you're doing. Work with your teammates, both outside the spaceship, inside the spaceship and the people on the ground."
Massimino admits it can be scary. But he adds, "I can't think of anything better to do for a living than go out and spacewalk and work out there in the beauty of space."
Find out what Massimino thinks of the movie, and George Clooney in particular, in the full interview above.
Qatar's new World Cup facilities will be constructed by thousands of migrant laborers toiling in extreme heat.
And human rights groups say that many already working in the country are being severely mistreated.
Gulf migrant researcher for Amnesty International James Lynch tells me the exploitation of workers in Qatar is far too commonplace.
"We've met workers who have been in severe distress having not been paid for months at at time, not able to leave the country, and living in dire conditions," he says.
"And add to that the very long working hours that go beyond the legal limits and the exterme heat as well."
The head of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee tells CNN the country is committed to workers' safety.
But Hassan al-Thawadi also acknowledged that it takes time to develop and enforce labor rights laws in Qatar.
International scrutiny is growing and the pressure is on. Both Qatar and FIFA, which is currently holding an executive crisis meeting on the 2022 World Cup, are being urged to act.