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October 29th, 2009
04:04 PM ET

Financial Dispatch: Economy shifts out of ‘reverse’

Much of the third quarter’s growth was driven by a rebound in auto sales, which were helped by the government's Cash for Clunkers program.

Much of the third quarter’s growth was driven by a rebound in auto sales, which were helped by the government's Cash for Clunkers program.

Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

Have we finally turned a corner in this recession? New signs say “yes.”

We learned this morning that the U.S. economy grew at a better-than-expected 3.5% annual rate in the third quarter, ending a string of declines over four quarters that resulted in the most severe slide since the Great Depression.

The GDP report is one more indication that the economy has likely pulled out of the deep recession that started in December 2007.

Of course the reading by itself doesn't mark the end of the recession; the economy actually grew in the second quarter of 2008. And the National Bureau of Economic Research – the group which officially dates the beginning and end of recessions - is not expected to declare that the current recession has ended until sometime in 2010.

But the stronger-than-expected growth is likely to lead more economists to declare that the economy hit bottom earlier this year and turned higher at some point in the summer.

FULL POST


Filed under: Andrew Torgan • Finance
October 29th, 2009
03:50 PM ET

McChrystal in the City: Biden in the Country

General Stanley McChrystal will reportedly be getting an additional 18,000 troops for the war in Afghanistan.

General Stanley McChrystal will reportedly be getting an additional 18,000 troops for the war in Afghanistan.

Arsalan Iftikhar
AC360° Contributor
Founder,
TheMuslimGuy.com

Afghan Strategy to focus on major population centers: report.

According to The New York Times, the White House is settling on an Afghan strategy that would send more US troops to protect top population centers, recognizing that the insurgency cannot be completely eradicated from the country, the newspaper said late Tuesday evening.

It described the strategy as a blend of rival proposals put forward by Vice President Joe Biden and by the top military commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal.

“We are no longer thinking about just destroying the enemy in a conventional way,” an unidentified senior military officer told the newspaper, saying that the central tenet of McChrystal’s proposal would be adopted.

Well, it looks as though General Stanley McChrystal will be getting approximately 18,000 (of the 40,000 requested) additional troops that he seeks for the Afghanistan theater of war, according to a recent story in The New York Times.

It should come as little surprise to foreign policy observers that the Obama White House would take a middle ground approach between General McChrystal’s ‘full-court-press’ and Vice President Joe Biden’s ’spread defense’ strategies within Afghanistan.

The bottom line: It seems as though it will be ‘McChrystal in the city’ and ‘Biden in the country’…

Read More...


Filed under: Afghanistan • Arsalan Iftikhar
October 29th, 2009
03:31 PM ET

Interactive: Did the stimulus short-changing states with high unemployment?

ProPublica

The money in the stimulus bill slated for transportation and infrastructure–a touch under $100 billion– was supposed to be one of the stimulus’ biggest job-generators. In February, ProPublica crunched the numbers and found that the higher a state’s unemployment, the less money it received.

Click here to track the stimulus from bill to building.


Filed under: Economy
October 29th, 2009
02:55 PM ET

Tonight: Text 360°

AC360°

As H1N1 spreads from town to town, the number of students staying home sick is multiplying nationwide.

The federal government has urged school closures as a last resort only, but so far this school year more than 600 schools have temporarily shut down. What do these closures mean for students nationwide and how should school officials cope with the onset – and fear – of H1N1?

Do you have questions about H1N1 and your children? Let us know!

Send us a text message with your question. Text AC360 (or 22360), and you might hear it on air!


Filed under: Text 360
October 29th, 2009
01:41 PM ET

Man arrested for killing an elderly couple

____________________________________________________________________

Homer and Jo Ann Staton were reported missing last week.

Homer and Jo Ann Staton were reported missing last week.

Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

A man has been arrested for killing an elderly South Carolina couple who disappeared after leaving a restaurant on Friday, authorities said today. The suspect, Matthew Brandon Fullbright, 29, of Belton, was charged with two counts of murder and armed robbery.

Homer L. Staton and his wife, Jo Ann Staton, were both beaten to death, officials said in a news release. Mr. Staton’s body was found Sunday near a rural road in Greenville County. The body of Mrs. Staton was discovered today in a grassy area in Iva. Both victims died of blunt force trauma to the head.

Investigators believe robbery was the motive behind the slayings. According to the police, Mr. Staton, who bought and sold jewelry and gold, agreed to meet Fullbright for a business transaction in Anderson County Friday night. When Fullbright met the couple that evening, he allegedly robbed and killed them.

Matthew Brandon Fullbright, 29, has been charged with two counts of murder and armed robbery.

Matthew Brandon Fullbright, 29, has been charged with two counts of murder and armed robbery.

FULL POST


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
October 29th, 2009
01:23 PM ET

Economy Interactive: Are things really getting better?

CNN

Last quarter, the economy grew by the largest amount since the summer of 2007, but there are signs that things are still getting worse.

Click here to find out more about the gross domestic product, its importance, and where it is heading.


Filed under: Economy
October 29th, 2009
01:15 PM ET

Video: Killer wave, no warning

Drew Griffin | BIO
CNN Investigative Correspondent


Filed under: Drew Griffin
October 29th, 2009
01:11 PM ET

How They Did It: David Plouffe on Obama's 2008 Victory

Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th President of the United States.

Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th President of the United States.

David Plouffe
For Time

In a new memoir, The Audacity to Win, David Plouffe, who managed Barack Obama's 2008 race for the White House, provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse inside the campaign. Here's an excerpt:

Agony. Ecstasy.

The [Rev. Jeremiah] Wright story broke on a Wednesday and exploded across the media landscape the next day. We decided Obama had to take questions about [his former pastor's inflammatory sermons] head-on on Friday, in a series of lengthy national cable interviews.

There was one not-so-minor complication. He was already scheduled to do editorial boards that Friday afternoon with both Chicago papers about [real estate developer and political fundraiser] Tony Rezko, two hours each, no holds barred. Given no choice but to address Wright as soon as possible, we decided we would do a round of TV interviews on him directly after the Rezko boards. It shaped into quite a day, like having your legs amputated in the morning and your arms at night. The question was whether we would still have a heartbeat at the end of the day.

It was chaos and, quite frankly, frightening. I felt as if the wheels could easily spin off our whole venture. Still, Obama was the pillar of reassurance. "Don't worry, guys," he told us while making some notes on a stack of pages. "I can do more than one thing at a time. We are taking the trash out today. It won't be fun, but we'll be stronger for it."

Read More...

October 29th, 2009
12:40 PM ET

Pakistan drone war takes a toll on militants - and civilians

Pakistani soldier patrols military logistics route out of South Waziristan on October 24.

Pakistani soldier patrols military logistics route out of South Waziristan on October 24.

Peter Bergen and Katherine Tiedemann
Special to CNN

The Obama administration has dramatically ratcheted up the American drone warfare program in Pakistan. Since President Obama took office, U.S. drone strikes have killed about a half-dozen militant leaders along with hundreds of other people, a quarter of whom were civilians.

As a result of the unprecedented 42 strikes by drone aircraft into Pakistan authorized by the Obama administration, aimed at Taliban and al Qaeda networks based there, about a half-dozen leaders of militant organizations have been killed.

The dead include two heads of Uzbek terrorist groups allied with al Qaeda and Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, in addition to hundreds of lower-level militants and civilians, according to our analysis.

Keep Reading...


Filed under: Pakistan
October 29th, 2009
11:45 AM ET

Riots, massacres and the transactional nature of work

Editor's Note: This article continues our series excerpted from AC360°'s contributor David Gewirtz's upcoming book, How To Save Jobs, which will be available in December. Over the next few months, we'll be excerpting the first section of the book, which answers the question, "How did we get here?". Last week, we discussed A short history of jobs This time, we'll look at riots, massacres and the transactional nature of work. To learn more about the book, you should follow David on Twitter @DavidGewirtz.

Protesters in the United Kingdom gathered outside an oil refinery this summer, after hundreds of striking workers were laid off.

Protesters in the United Kingdom gathered outside an oil refinery this summer, after hundreds of striking workers were laid off.

David Gewirtz | BIO
AC360° Contributor
Editor-in-Chief, ZATZ Publishing

In today's civilization, it's virtually impossible to survive without money. One-hundred-and-fifty centuries ago, if a Natufian wanted to build a hut, he'd find an empty spot of land and dig. But, today, if an American wants to build a house (or even a hut), land has to be bought. If you want to live inside a structure, a transaction of some sort has to take place and that requires money.

It is the transactional nature of a job that creates its complexity in terms of the rest of society. If you want to work for someone else (and have them pay you), you have to convince them that employing you will meet their needs. If you're self-employed, you have to convince prospective clients and customers that hiring you will meet their needs.

In other words, getting a job or getting a gig requires some level of marketing to make someone aware you're there to do the job and some level of sales to convince them you're the right person for the job.

Over the centuries, the nature of work evolved to eventually result in the world of employment we've all come to know and love. There's now always someone buying work and someone else selling it.

The transactional nature of work has also led to all sorts of power imbalances. When there's too much work and not enough workers, it's a seller's market and the workers have more power over what jobs they accept and at what pay level.

FULL POST


Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • David Gewirtz • Economy • Unemployment
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