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December 4th, 2008
07:41 PM ET

Thorny thicket of Bill and Hillary Clinton conflicts?

Editor’s Note: Leslie Sanchez is a former adviser to President Bush and CEO of Impacto Group, which specializes in market research about women and Hispanics for its corporate and nonprofit clients.

Leslie Sanchez | Bio
CNN Political Contributor
Republican Strategist

While Hillary Clinton's nomination to be secretary of state has dominated coverage of the transition, the nation's attention hasn't yet focused on the thorny thicket of potential conflicts of interest involving Bill Clinton's fundraising (both for himself and for his foundation) across the globe.

It should. The man has been a globe-trotting vacuum cleaner, virtually sucking up cash wherever it can be found.

True, Clinton has finally agreed to make public the 208,000 donors to the Clinton foundation, and he's agreed to submit future business enterprises and speeches for further scrutiny.

"If she is going to be secretary of state and I operate globally and I have people who contribute to these efforts globally," the former president told CNN, "I think that it's important to make it totally transparent."

Nevertheless, Clinton's jet-set moneymaking has already presented ethics lawyers with a confounding thicket, and his future endeavors may prove even more troublesome in the years to come.

Sure, a lot of the money Bill Clinton has raised may go to worthy causes, and there's no indication his wife will personally profit from it. Still, his global fundraising will create at least the appearance of serious conflicts when Hillary Clinton meets with leaders of countries in which he's been active.

Read more...


Filed under: Bill Clinton • Hillary Clinton • Leslie Sanchez • Raw Politics
December 4th, 2008
06:51 PM ET

Genetic testing

Elizabeth Cohen
CNN Medical Correspondent

It sounds like the medical equivalent of a crystal ball: A single test that helps tell you your chances of developing Parkinson’s disease, prostate cancer, diabetes, alcoholism, obesity, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and more than 75 other diseases and conditions . Wow, I thought, I’ve discovered the holy grail of health care.

The genetic analysis is offered by a company called 23andMe – here’s the section that lists all the things they test for. You just spit into a test tube (don’t worry, you won’t miss; they give you a funnel), mail it in, and pay $399 for a genetic analysis of dozens of diseases that ends up on a secure Web site, which you can peruse at your leisure. The site quotes a satisfied customer: “I thought how fascinating if I could know more about my future. I should be aware for myself. For my children. If there’s something that I could prevent for the future…why not learn? Why not help myself?”

I ran into this Web site while researching a story this week on genetic tests being offered online. The question that keeps coming up in my mind is this: What do you get for your $400? Do you find out for sure that you’re destined to get, say, glaucoma? That you’re more likely than most people to get it? Way more likely or just a little more likely?

“I can’t figure out what you get for the $400,” I said to Brian Naughton, the Founding R&D Architect at 23andMe (yes, that really is his title, and the company name comes from the fact that we all have 23 pairs of chromosomes). “For example, if I get your test and it tells me I have the worst possible heart attack genes, what chance do I have of having a heart attack?”
FULL POST


Filed under: Elizabeth Cohen • Medical News
December 4th, 2008
06:13 PM ET

The Shot: What is it?

It's creepy... cool... and truly weird. What is it?


Filed under: T1 • The Shot
December 4th, 2008
05:46 PM ET

Knut feeling the credit crunch

The Berlin Zoo says it can't keep celebrity polar bear. ITN's Tom Barton explains.


Filed under: 360° Radar
December 4th, 2008
05:32 PM ET

Voices of hope in the face of evil

Program Note: Christiane Amanpour introduces you to the courageous few who saw evil and tried to stop the killing. December 4, 9 p.m. ET

CNN's Christiane Amanpour in a Sarajevo cemetery; she returned to Bosnia for ''Scream Bloody Murder.''

CNN's Christiane Amanpour in a Sarajevo cemetery; she returned to Bosnia for ''Scream Bloody Murder.''

Christiane Amanpour | BIO
CNN International Correspondent

No one teaches reporters how to cover a war, much less wars that include genocide. Most of us rely on the wisdom of experienced colleagues and a lot of on-the-job training.

My first war assignment - Bosnia, in the 1990s - included visits to the Sarajevo morgue to see the bodies. How else would a journalist know exactly how many Muslim children were cut down by Bosnian Serb snipers? How else could we put names to civilians left faceless by mortar shells from the surrounding hills? I learned what it means to bear witness.

I found my voice and my mission in Bosnia. I learned to seek the facts, to tell the truth no matter how difficult or unpopular. I learned that objectivity meant covering all sides and giving all sides their hearing, but never to draw a false moral equivalence when none exists. I learned never to equate victims with their aggressors. I learned that there are limits to the style of journalism that goes: "On the one hand, on the other hand."

Most of all, I learned that as reporters our words and our actions have consequences and that we must use this powerful platform, television, responsibly.

But how many times have people asked me, when I've come back from a place like Bosnia or Rwanda: Is it really that bad? I have found that many people want to believe that I am exaggerating. I guess they do not want to believe such evil can exist. Or perhaps they just do not want to be pushed into that moral space where they would have to take a stand and do something.

Read More...

December 4th, 2008
04:23 PM ET

The straight scoop

James McGreevey with Dina Matos during better days

James McGreevey with Dina Matos during better days

Editor’s Note: You can read more Jami Floyd blogs on In Session”

Jami Floyd
AC360° Contributor
In Session Anchor

This year we’ve done lots of important stories on gay marriage: in California, Massachusetts, Connecticut and elsewhere. That debate rages on in the public interest.

But we’ve also done some other stories about marriage and gay people that are motivated by a different interest, our prurient interest. Think about it. Jim McGreevy and his wife got a divorce earlier this year. So do lots of other couples. But we were stuck on the McGreevy’s mostly because he is gay. That is what kept his story alive. How much have you heard about the Spitzers after his notorious infidelity. Visiting a prostitute is illegal but that story pretty much died on the vine.

While an affair with a staffer is also a problem, if Mr. McGreevy had not had his affair with a staffer of the same sex, his story would have died too. Instead it lived on for better than three years. Larry Craig’s toe tapping, same deal. And Mark Foley with his illicit emails.

What interests us more, their dereliction of duty or their secret gay lifestyle? I’m betting the latter. So too in the Rios case going down in Missouri this week. Yes he’s a former police officer. Yes he is charged with murder. But the big headlines are all abut his gay love affair with the victim. And that’s the straight scoop on why we care about these cases.


Filed under: Gay & Lesbian Issues • Jami Floyd
December 4th, 2008
04:05 PM ET

Just in time for the holidays...

Kelly Daniel
AC360° Staff

The election may be over, but there's no reason to set aside politics this holiday season. Whether you're hoping to amuse or anger your friends and family, there are plenty of political gift options this year. And at some sites you can support a political party:

Human Events, a conservative news source and website, is sending emails on behalf of their advertisers offering The Sarah Palin 2009 Wall Calender, "a personal look at Alaska's governor" with "never before seen photos" of Sarah and family.

Not to be left out, Democrats can celebrate the holidays and Obama's election with a coffee mug dedicated to the President-elect. From the Obama campaign website: "This holiday season, celebrate our historic victory with a limited edition Obama coffee mug. Your donation will support the Democratic National Committee and help recover the enormous resources they committed to this campaign."

Happy shopping!


Filed under: Barack Obama • Kelly Daniel • Raw Politics • Sarah Palin
December 4th, 2008
03:18 PM ET

Extreme Challenges: The health of the economy, the health of all Americans

Program Note: Take a sneak peak at the AC360 Special "Extreme Challenges: President Obama" airing at 11 tonight ET. Below, a note from Dr. Sanjay Gupta:

Dr. Sanjay Gupta
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent

There is no doubt health care will be an extreme challenge, especially with the economy in the tank. But a bigger challenge may be explaining how the economy and health care reforms are truly linked. After all, we have the most expensive health system in the world, and Americans spend more on health care than housing or food. Here is a number to ponder: the United States spends nearly 500 billion more than peer nations on health care, and we don’t get nearly enough for it.

As a doctor and a parent, I can’t believe we have let ourselves get to this point. Too many people are uninsured, and even more have insurance that is simply inadequate. According to the American Cancer Society, 100,000 Americans will end up in bankruptcy because of a cancer diagnosis. Can you believe that? You are diagnosed with the most devastating medical illness of your lifetime only to follow it up with the most devastating financial illness you have suffered. Yes, the economy and health care are truly linked.

Last month, nearly half of all Americans surveyed reported skipping pills, postponing or canceling medical appointments and generally cutting back on medical care simply due to cost. Roughly, 22,000 people die each year due to lack of coverage. For sake of reference, the number of people who die annually from homicide in the country is around 17,000. It would seem being uninsured is a different sort of homicide.

The next administration will be faced with extreme challenges, and health care reform has to be front and center. As you may infer, you can’t really fix the economy without addressing health care. Still, this reporter is optimistic we will see some changes over the next few years. Heck, they might even deal with stem cells and obesity to boot.


Filed under: Dr. Sanjay Gupta • Economy • Health Care • Raw Politics
December 4th, 2008
01:10 PM ET

Extreme Challenges: How Obama should fight al Qaeda and its allies

Program note: Tune in tonight at 11 pm ET for the show, “Extreme Challenges: President Obama”, to hear Anderson and the CNN team lay out the challenges and offer America’s 44th President some advice

Peter Bergen
CNN National Security Analyst

The Mumbai attacks remind the world that the intertwined problems of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan will be the most extreme foreign policy challenge that President Obama will face as he assumes office.

To dismantle al Qaeda and its allied jihadist groups, such as the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Tayyiba that carried out the Mumbai attacks according to Indian and American officials, and also to bring peace to the entire South Asian region, the Obama administration should take the following measures:

1. Fight al Qaeda and its allies

Seven years after the September 11 attacks, the U.S. government must continue to improve its understanding of terrorist networks throughout the region to identify the linkages between jihadist groups from the Taliban to al Qaeda to the Kashmiri militant organizations such as Lashkar-e-Tayyiba that threaten not only the South Asian regional order but also global peace.

One of the building blocks of such a database should be the identification of suicide attackers in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which could be accomplished using DNA samples, accounts on jihadist Web sites, good intelligence work and media reports.

Read More...


Filed under: Barack Obama • Peter Bergen • Raw Politics • War on Terror
December 4th, 2008
11:40 AM ET

Where the rubber meets the road – Automakers, welcome back to Congress

Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

The CEOs of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are back on Capitol Hill this morning, explaining why they believe their companies should get federal assistance. Each of the companies unveiled plans Tuesday that detailed how they would plan to return to profitability if they get federal loans. They also upped the amount they are seeking from $25 billion to as much as $34 billion

If you opened the New York Times this morning you might have noticed a full-page ad taken out by the United Auto Workers Union with the message: "We are not bankers." The ad goes on to say "We don't work on Wall Street or for big insurance companies. We build quality cars and trucks. But we've been hit with the same financial crisis." It goes on to talk about how many thousands of other businesses would collapse and millions of other workers that would lose their jobs if the Big Three go under. Check out CNNMoney.com's report: "Who Can Save Detroit?"

Lots of job cuts announced this morning – more than 22,000 of them. AT&T is cutting 12,000 – or 4% of its total workforce. Entertainment giant Viacom is cutting 850 jobs. Swiss Bank Credit Suisse is cutting 5,300 jobs. Money manager State Street is cutting up to 1,800 jobs. Chemicals giant DuPont is cutting 2,500 jobs.

FULL POST


Filed under: Andrew Torgan • Bailout Turmoil • Economy • Raw Politics
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