December 5th, 2008
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 12/05/08

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O.J. Simpson sentenced to 15 years in prison. He says what he did was stupid and he's sorry, but his crimes will keep him behind bars for at least 9 years. Did his rambling apology in court help or hurt his case?

And, as the auto industry begs for billions of dollars, more than half a million jobs were lost in November. Will that grim jobs report help the Big 3's case?

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Filed under: Live Blog
December 5th, 2008
08:47 PM ET

Negro spirituals for the hip-hop generation

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/05/obama.spirituals.jpg]Stephanie Simon
The Wall Street Journal

Eighth-grader Tre Hunter scrunched down in his chair and explained why he didn't expect much from the coming concert of old Negro spirituals.

He prefers hip-hop, he said with a grin. "It's more inappropriate. But it has the beat."

Then the lights dimmed and, as the first choral notes floated up, a slide show began: images from a slave ship and a slave auction; drawings of children bending to pick cotton, bending to be whipped. Tre, 14 years old, straightened up.

The concert was put on by The Spirituals Project, a nonprofit that aims to nurture African-American students by connecting them to their past.

With the nation's first black president preparing to move into the White House, many young African-Americans are looking ahead. The Spirituals Project, like other leadership programs, offers words of caution: Slow down. Look back.

As a generation of young black leaders, who didn't necessarily participate in the civil-rights struggles, emerge on the political stage, older mentors hesitate to sound like they are dwelling on the brutal legacy of centuries past. Yet they say young African-Americans can't appreciate the significance of Barack Obama's election or prepare to reach for bigger milestones without a thorough grounding in their history.

Students today must "study the lessons learned from the past and know the pain that comes with sacrifice," said Arlivia Gamble, chairman of the National African-American Women's Leadership Institute in Dallas. "I learn more about my own story from hearing the stories of others, and these songs are the stories of peoples' lives," Ms. Gamble said.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Race in America • Stephanie Simon
December 5th, 2008
08:11 PM ET

I survived the Mumbai attacks – an American's experience

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Alexandra Sage Mehta
American living in Mumbai

Had a night of terrified boredom—what a weird combination. Is that what ongoing fear becomes. Boring? Went to dinner at Indigo Delhi, behind the Taj hotel with two friends. It's an "ex-pat" spot, little sibling of Bombay's fanciest restaurant, Indigo, serving continental kids' food: pizza, waffles, burgers, and tollhouse-tasting cookies you can order in advance. Right before dessert we heard the first shootings down the road. An American friend called to tell me to sit tight–I casually said we had ice cream and could bide our time, a heinous thing to say. Then the area was closed off, and we were essentially in hiding. The iron curtains came down over the big glass windows, the lights were turned off and a policeman was stationed outside the door. We moved to the back of the restaurant and hunkered down to sleeplessness and second-hand news–there was no TV or radio in the restaurant.

We were a mixed group - a German couple, two French, an Indian family whose papers were in their suite at the Taj. Our bills had been brought and alcohol cut off - but the waiters continued to serve throughout the night - water, tea, coffee and then in the early morning, cakes. I had toast and an apple pie - starved from nerves. Two Indian women used table clothes as blankets, some waiters slept on chairs or benches. Through the uncovered tops of of the windows, we could see ambulances and fire engines passing and, finally, we saw day break. It was somehow relieving. The night was over. Eggs were served and we were told we could go soon, and about 7am they let us out. Being let out into the thin morning light of Thanksgiving Day, was wonderful. The relief of fresh air now seems obscene next to the awful news. The city was quiet - is it over? We thought so, and couldn't have known then that the seige wouldn't end for many more hours.


Filed under: India Attacked • Terrorism
December 5th, 2008
08:10 PM ET

Evening buzz: O.J. Simpson sentenced; Auto makers plead their case

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

O.J. Simpson is going to prison for at least nine years, possibly much longer.

Before a Nevada judge sentenced the one-time football great, Simpson delivered an unexpected - and rambling - 5-minute statement. Judge Jackie Glass wasn’t buying it and denied Simpson bail pending appeal. Tonight on 360, you’ll hear Simpson in his own words.

While that drama was unfolding in Nevada, the Big 3 auto makers were making their final plea on Capitol Hill.

For a second straight day, the auto industry CEOs testified before skeptical lawmakers, this time in the House. Congress appears loath to fork over the billions they’re seeking in loans, in part because six in 10 Americans are opposed. But, sentiment may be turning. Today’s sobering jobs report – the worst in more than three decades – showing more than half a million jobs were lost in November – underscored the dire straits Americans face. Tonight, there seems to be new determination to craft a compromise in Congress. We’ll dig deeper at 10 p.m. eastern. See you then…

In the meantime, with so many Americans strapped for cash, starved of credit, and losing their jobs - and their homes - by the millions… we’d like to know what would make you feel more secure about the future? Is there anything Barack Obama could say or promise in his inaugural address in January to make you feel better? We’d like to hear from you.

Filed under: Cate Vojdik • The Buzz
December 5th, 2008
07:01 PM ET

Clarence Thomas agrees to hear Obama citizenship case

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The Daily Voice

The controversial effort to challenge Barack Obama's U.S. citizenship got unexpected support when Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas pushed the issue onto the Court's docket for Friday after it had been rejected last month.

The Court will decide on Friday whether to consider a New Jersey case against Obama that charges the president-elect has not demonstrated his U.S. citizenship, as required by the Constitution.

The case, Donofrio v. Wells, was filed by Leo C. Donofrio against New Jersey Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells and heard by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.


Filed under: Barack Obama • Raw Politics • Supreme Court
December 5th, 2008
06:54 PM ET

Kissinger's advice to Hillary

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Henry A. Kissinger
The Washington Post

President-elect Barack Obama has appointed an extraordinary team for national security policy. On its face, it violates certain maxims of conventional wisdom: that appointing to the Cabinet individuals with an autonomous constituency, and who therefore are difficult to fire, circumscribes presidential control; that appointing as national security adviser, secretary of state and secretary of defense individuals with established policy views may absorb the president's energies in settling disputes among strong-willed advisers.

It took courage for the president-elect to choose this constellation and no little inner assurance - both qualities essential for dealing with the challenge of distilling order out of a fragmenting international system. In these circumstances, ignoring conventional wisdom may prove to have been the precondition for creativity. Both Obama and the secretary of state-designate, Sen. Hillary Clinton, must have concluded that the country and their commitment to public service require their cooperation.


December 5th, 2008
06:53 PM ET

Beat 360° 12/5/08

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:

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin answers questions from the media as California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger listens at the meeting of the National Governor's Association...

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.

Beat 360° Challenge

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Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
December 5th, 2008
05:10 PM ET

Economic snapshot

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/30/art.foreclosure.sign.jpg]Program Note: Be sure to tune in to watch Ali’s full report on the latest news on unemployment, the auto bailout, and the housing market tonight on AC360 at 10pm ET.

Ali Velshi | Bio

CNN Chief Business Correspondent

November Employment Report

Jobs losses have accelerated dramatically

  • November (-533,000) is the worst single month loss of jobs since 1974
    –  Economists has predicted that 320,000 jobs would be loss
  • Total loss for the first 11 months of 2008: 1.9 MILLION
    –  That’s an average of 172,000 jobs lost PER MONTH
  • Economists say that in a healthy economy, just to keep up with the growth in the working-age population, we need to ADD 100,000 to 150,000 jobs PER MONTH
    –  So, in a good year, we should add 1.2 MILLION to 1.8 MILLION jobs
    –  Keep in mind that Obama says that his stimulus plan will add 2.5 MILLION jobs by 2011


Filed under: 360° Radar • Ali Velshi • Economy • Housing Market • Unemployment
December 5th, 2008
03:30 PM ET

WMD terrorism fears are overblown

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Editor's note: Peter Bergen is CNN's national security analyst. His most recent book is "The Osama bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of al Qaeda's Leader."

Peter Bergen
CNN National Security Analyst

The congressionally authorized Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism issued a report this week that concluded: "It is more likely than not that a weapon of mass destruction will be used in a terrorist attack somewhere in the world by the end of 2013."

The findings of this report received considerable ink in The New York Times and The Washington Post and plenty of airtime on networks around the world, including on CNN. And the day the report was released Vice President-elect Joseph Biden was briefed on its contents.

So is the sky falling?

Not really. Terrorists have already used weapons of mass destruction in the past decade in attacks around the world, and they have proven to be something of a dud.


Filed under: al Qaeda • Peter Bergen • Terrorism • War on Terror
December 5th, 2008
12:25 PM ET

Jobs gone, home values down – "almost homeless"

Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

The employment report for November is out and it’s a shocker: 533,000 jobs lost - the largest monthly job loss total since December 1974. That’s far more than the 325,000 we were expecting. That brings the total number of jobs lost so far this year to 1.9 million.

The numbers for September and October were also revised higher, which means two-thirds of this year's job losses have occurred in the last three months. And that three-month payroll loss of 1.2 million makes it the worst three-month streak in nearly 34 years (Dec ’74 to Feb ’74). The unemployment rate, meanwhile, rose to 6.7% from 6.5% in October.

Stocks are down sharply after the employment report..the Dow down more than 200 points for now.

The CEOs of Detroit’s Big Three return to Capitol Hill this morning. This time around they’ll appear before the House Financial Services Committee to make their case for a larger bailout than they asked for just two weeks ago. On Thursday, the executives – along with UAW President Ron Gettelfinger - generally faced less hostility from members of the Senate Banking Committee than they did at their last hearing, but they still heard a lot of tough questions and the bailout push clearly faces an uphill battle for approval.


Filed under: Andrew Torgan • Bailout Turmoil • Economy • Gas Prices • Housing Market • Job Market
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