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October 6th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 10/06/09

Tonight, new fallout from a senator sex scandal. Plus, talk of a new economic package to help Americans out of work and why actress Elizabeth Taylor is facing surgery.

Want to know what else we're covering? Read EVENING BUZZ

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
4) No links
5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)


Filed under: Live Blog • T1
October 6th, 2009
08:59 PM ET

Photo Gallery: Underground America

Editor's Note: Las Vegas Boulevard – also known as “The Strip” – is known for its glitz, glamour and lure of hitting the jackpot. But a world exists beneath this iconic area – it has also become home to those down on their luck. Homeless are living in the flood channels that run beneath the city, where many of them have built elaborate shelters deep in the dark labyrinths.

Many of the people who have settled underground are driven here by unemployment, drugs and mental illness. Ted Rowlands talks to one man who created a 400-square foot space with a living room, bedroom and kitchen in a soot-covered section of tunnel practically under the casino-lined boulevard. Don't miss Ted's report tonight on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

FULL POST

October 6th, 2009
08:57 PM ET

Interactive: Federal stimulus tracker

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more about a potential second stimulus from Ed Henry and Ali Velshi. AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

CNNMoney.com

The government is engaged in a far-reaching – and expensive – effort to rescue the economy. Here's how you can keep tabs on the bailouts. Take a look at these stimulus programs designed to save or create jobs and jumpstart the economy from recession.


Filed under: Bailout Turmoil • Economy
October 6th, 2009
07:58 PM ET

Tonight on 360°: Don't Ask, Don't Tell

AC360°

Tonight we'll be discussing the controversial policy that prevents openly gay troops from serving in the U.S. military.  In light of the newly published essay "The Efficacy of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" by Colonel Om Prakash, we're talking to Dan Choi and Elaine Donnelly.

Dan Choi, a former Army lieutenant, is the founder of Knights Out, a group dedicated to repealing the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.  Visit the organization's website at http://www.knightsout.org/.

Elaine Donnelly is the founder and President of the Center for Military Readiness.  She believes that there should be no gay members serving in the military.  To read more about the Center for Military Readiness, go to http://cmrlink.org/.

Which countries allow openly gay troops to serve in the military?  Click here to find out: http://www.palmcenter.org/files/active/0/CountriesWithoutBan.pdf

Tune in at 10pm ET to hear both sides, and join our Live Blog to tell us what you think.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Military
October 6th, 2009
07:45 PM ET

Maps: Afghanistan borders and population

Program Note: The President will hold a bipartisan meeting with Congressional leaders on the war in Afghanistan today. What does this mean for U.S. strategy in the country? We'll dig deeper tonight on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

AC360°

Afghanistan has long been at a crossroads of history because of its key geographical location. Take a look at its borders with neighboring countries, major cities and population density.


Filed under: Afghanistan
October 6th, 2009
06:37 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Putting Americans Back to Work?

Pres. Obama is considering measures to help put Americans back to work before the 2010 midterm elections, sources say.

Pres. Obama is considering measures to help put Americans back to work before the 2010 midterm elections, sources say.

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Stocks rallied on Wall Street today and gold hit a record high, but what has the Obama administration worried is growing unemployment. That's why it is considering new measures to help put Americans back to work.

Here's the reality: unemployment is at a 26-year high of 9.8 percent. Pres. Obama and his economic team are considering possible solutions. But the White House has said it should not be called a "second stimulus". Instead it will try to brand this as a small economic recovery plan aimed at enhancing the first," a source close to the process told CNN. Though, that's not stopping Republicans who say a "second stimulus" would imply the first $787 billion stimulus plan failed.

Do you agree? And, do you think new measures are needed? Share your thoughts below.

Tonight we're also following the fallout over Sen. John Ensign's extramarital affair. Did the Arizona Republican break Senate ethics rules by helping the husband of his mistress get a lobbying job? The senator talked with CNN's Dana Bash on Capitol Hill today. Hear his response to the question tonight on 360°.

Plus, we have new perspective on the violence in Chicago, where kids are killing kids. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder will be in Chicago tomorrow to look into the crisis. We'll be reporting live from the city tomorrow to stay on this story that we've been following for too long, frankly. We are determined to get answers. Tonight, we put a face to this tragic story. You'll meet the family of a child hit by a bullet last year. The message from his mother is something we all need to hear.

Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10pm ET. See you then!


Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
October 6th, 2009
05:56 PM ET

Resources for the homeless: Where to go for help

Many homeless people in Las Vegas seek shelter in the flood channels in Las Vegas.

Many homeless people in Las Vegas seek shelter in the flood channels in Las Vegas.

AC360°

A number of organizations in Nevada are working to help people find food and shelter. Take a look at these organizations to find resources for people in need.

Shine a Light is a charitable organization that helps the hundreds of men and women living in the underground flood channels of Las Vegas.

Co-founded by Beneath the Neon author Matthew O’Brien and HELP of Southern Nevada, the organization offers water, food, clothes, blankets and other items (when available) to the people in the tunnels. It also offers a variety of services, including housing, drug, medical and mental-health counseling, case management and referrals.

The Nevada Partnership for HomelessYouth provides a continuum of care extending from street outreach and 24-hour crisis intervention services to a full-time drop-in center and an independent living program.


Filed under: 360° Radar
October 6th, 2009
05:33 PM ET

Beat 360° 10/6/09

Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption and our staff will join in too. Tune in tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite! Here is the 'Beat 360°' pic:

Cheryl Burke and Tom Delay on ABC's "Dancing With The Stars."

Have fun with it. We're looking forward to your captions! Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.

UPDATE BEAT 360º WINNERS

Staff:

Tom Foreman

“So how long did you work for Letterman?”

Viewer:

Viewers

Richard Hine, New York City

"During rehearsal, Tom Delay explained to Cheryl Burke that the Republican Party was out of step and fractured from within. Come show time, he proved it."

_________________________________________________________________________________ Beat 360° Challenge


Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
October 6th, 2009
04:22 PM ET

Derrion tragedy a sign of much bigger illness

A funeral for Derrion Albert, a teen who was fatally beaten last month, was held Saturday on Chicago's South Side.

A funeral for Derrion Albert, a teen who was fatally beaten last month, was held Saturday on Chicago's South Side.

Jesse Jackson
For The Chicago Sun-Times

In the wake of the murder of a Fenger High School student in Chicago, President Obama has dispatched Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan to the city. Their purpose, according to White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, is to "talk about issues of school violence and youth violence."

The murder of an honor student received global attention just as the president was in Copenhagen trying to bring the Olympics to Chicago. That embarrassment triggered the presidential reaction.

But let's be clear. Sixteen-year-old Derrion Albert's death is a horror - but it is not an isolated event. Last year, 400 kids were shot; 40 were killed. Each year witnesses more and more innocent bystanders martyred to the violence. What we witness in Chicago - and in other urban areas - is a zone where violence is close to routine.

Read More...

October 6th, 2009
04:10 PM ET

Financial Dispatch: 401(k) plans on the comeback trail

The Center for Science in the Public Interest listed ice cream amongst the 10 most risky foods in terms of illnesses

The Center for Science in the Public Interest listed ice cream amongst the 10 most risky foods in terms of illnesses

Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

Among the swell of bad news that occurred courtesy of the financial crisis last fall is that 401(k) investors got slammed. And a new report released today quantifies just how hard.

Taking into account both contributions and investment return, the average 401(k) balance fell 24.3% in 2008, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute and the Investment Company Institute. That brought the average balance down to $45,519, nearly 31% below the $65,454 recorded at the end of 2007.

Thankfully, that's not the end of the story, as many investors have since recouped a lot of what they lost. There are two reasons: the S&P 500 has been on a fairly steady upward march in the past several months; and most participants have kept making contributions to their 401(k)s despite the crisis. FULL POST


Filed under: Andrew Torgan • Finance
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