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Most Americans aren't too focused on Europe's financial crisis. Should we be?
May 31st, 2012
04:00 PM ET

Most Americans aren't too focused on Europe's financial crisis. Should we be?

By CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Europe's financial crisis is a warning siren for the U.S., but many Americans aren't listening.

A new Gallup Poll shows only 16% of those surveyed say they're following the news about Europe's crisis "very closely."

33% say "somewhat closely," 21% say "not too closely" and 29% "not at all."

This poll also shows even though all Americans aren't paying attention, 71% are concerned about the impact of the European financial crisis on our economy - that includes 31% who are very concerned.

It's been suggested that Americans' concerns about Europe might be higher if more people were actually paying attention.

And it's too bad they're not.

What's going on in Europe is a big part of the reason why we've seen such recent volatility in U.S. markets.

And if it continues, we could see a drop in U.S. exports and less European investment in the U.S. Also, U.S. banks could decrease lending here at home due to worries about Europe.

Meanwhile things are going from bad to worse in Europe. on top of concerns about Greece's debt crisis, Spain is dealing with a huge banking crisis.

Many of Spain's large banks are crippled by bad debt and money is fleeing the country in massive amounts.

Portugal, Ireland and of course Greece have already had to seek international bailouts due to high borrowing costs by the government.

But in the case of Greece, the citizens made it very clear in the last election they are not interested in the government spending less money. They want their handouts come hell or high water. Sound familiar?

Oh, and our government isn't paying attention either. Many of the things leading Europe deeper into crisis are running rampant here - and Washington does nothing.

Here’s my question to you: Most Americans aren't too focused on Europe's financial crisis. Should we be?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Would you want to travel into space?
May 31st, 2012
03:55 PM ET

Would you want to travel into space?

By CNN's Jack Cafferty:

(CNN) - Space travel might soon be a reality for the average Joe - or at least for wealthy average Joes.

With NASA shuttering the space shuttle program and the government decreasing funding for the space program, private companies are filling the void.

Thursday, the first private capsule to dock at the International Space Station successfully returned to Earth.

As part of its historic nine-day trip, the Dragon capsule - built by the company SpaceX - delivered more than 1,000 pounds of cargo to the space station.

NASA has hailed the mission as a step toward a new future of private innovation in the space industry.

SpaceX is one of a few companies getting funding from NASA to develop commercial transport of astronauts into space.

Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration has given the green light to Virgin Galactic to start rocket-powered suborbital test flights for a commercial spacecraft.

The so-called SpaceShipTwo seats six passengers; it has one year to test flights beyond the atmosphere.

Virgin Galactic, owned in part by British billionaire Richard Branson, has taken deposits from more than 500 people, including celebrities such as Ashton Kutcher.

It costs $200,000 a pop. Passengers will get to experience weightlessness and see the curve of Earth against the black sky of space.

Virgin Galactic's commercial spaceflights are not expected to start before 2013.

Finally, NASA is warning future moon explorers not to ruin the Apollo landing sites.

Twenty-six teams are competing to become the first privately funded group to land on the moon as part of the Google Lunar X PRIZE.

It's clear we're inching ever closer to the final frontier being open for business.

Here’s my question to you: Would you want to travel into space?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

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Filed under: On Jack's radar • Space