DOUG JOHNSON: Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC, in VOA Special English.
I'm Doug Johnson. On our show this week:
Music by Maroon Five ...
A question about a famous law enforcement agency ...
And a report on Steve Fossett's latest trip around the world.
American pilot Steve Fossett flew around the world last week. He made the flight alone and without stopping for fuel. He spent sixty-seven hours and one minute in the air. Bob Doughty has our story.
BOB DOUGHTY: Steve Fossett likes to set records. Before last week he held sixty-two international records for flying and sailing. His earlier best-known flight record was for traveling around the world, alone, in a balloon.
The aircraft he used last week is called the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer. This experimental aircraft has one jet engine and carries nine tons of fuel. Its wings are almost forty-four meters long.
The GlobalFlyer cost one-and-one-half million dollars. The money came from Richard Branson, the British businessman who owns Virgin Atlantic airlines.
The flight began in Salina [sa-LIE-nuh], Kansas, in the middle of the United States.
Organizers of the flight chose that city because its airport has a very long runway. The experimental aircraft needed an extra long runway to take off because of the weight of its fuel.
Steve Fossett took the aircraft to fourteen thousand meters. The sixty-year-old pilot used the strong winds at that height to gain speed and save fuel. Several hours into the flight, it appeared that the plane had a fuel shortage. But Mister Fossett and the ground controllers could not tell if the fuel was gone or if the instruments were wrong.
Ground control told Mister Fossett that he would have to make a decision about continuing the flight when he reached Hawaii. As he neared the islands, the strong winds that helped carry the GlobalFlyer increased. Steve Fossett decided to continue his attempt. Those winds continued to help the GlobalFlyer on its return to Salina.
Mister Fossett had little sleep during his sixty-seven-hour flight. He says he has more projects in the planning.
As of last week, all he needed was recognition from the National Aeronautic Association. Then he could claim the record for the fastest non-stop, non-refueled trip ever made around the world.
DOUG JOHNSON: Our question this week comes from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Desta Terefe would like to know about the Texas Rangers. There is a team in baseball with that name. But our listener means the famous group of law enforcement officers. Over the years, those Texas Rangers have been the subject of books, movies and television programs.
In the city of Dallas, at Love Field Airport, there is a large statue of a man. On his head is a cowboy hat. On his hip is a large pistol. His hand is not near the gun, but it is easy to tell that he could reach for it quickly. Near the bottom of the statue are the words "One Riot, One Ranger!"
The Texas Rangers is one of the oldest law enforcement organizations in North America. The first group was organized in eighteen twenty-three. In the early history of the state, the Texas Rangers acted somewhere between a police force and a military force. Their main task was to protect settlers from Indian attacks.
Today, the main job of the Texas Rangers is to investigate and capture wanted criminals. They do this by working with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.
About one hundred eighteen officers work as Texas Rangers. They are divided into a headquarters group, six companies of Rangers and a special team that investigates unsolved crimes.
Those who want to become a Texas Ranger must not only have police experience. They must also have at least eight years' experience dealing with major crimes. It is not unusual for two hundred police officers to apply for one or two openings in the Texas Rangers.
The band Maroon Five won a Grammy award last month for best new artist. Yet members of this group have been performing together for years. Gwen Outen explains.
GWEN OUTEN: Maroon Five is Adam Levine, Jesse Carmichael, Mickey Madden, Ryan Dusick and James Valentine. All but James Valentine went to high school together in Los Angeles. They formed a band, Kara's Flowers. But Kara's Flowers never grew very popular. So they stopped performing and went to college.
After that, the four got back together. By then their music had changed. And they added the fifth member of their group, James Valentine on guitar. They called themselves Maroon Five.
Their first album is called "Songs About Jane." It was recorded while Adam Levine was ending a relationship with his girlfriend, Jane. This song is called "Harder to Breathe."
"Songs About Jane" was released in two thousand two. It has sold more than eight million copies. Here is a song called "This Love."
The album "Songs About Jane" by Maroon Five has been described as rock pop, influenced by funk and rhythm-and-blues. We leave you with "She Will Be Loved."
DOUG JOHNSON: I'm Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program this week. Our show was written by Nancy Steinbach, Paul Thompson. Our producer was Caty Weaver. And our engineer was Efeem Drucker. Join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC, VOA's radio magazine in Special English.