February 5th, 2009
03:51 PM ET

Beat 360° 2/5/09

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:

‘Budderball', a golden retriever pup and one of the stars of the film, attends the after party for the Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment screening of 'Space Buddies' last week in Hollywood, California. (Getty Images)

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.

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Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
February 5th, 2009
03:07 PM ET

Fixing Forensics

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

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/CRIME/07/14/fbi.lab/art.evidence.cnn.jpg]

Jami Floyd
AC360° contributor and In Session anchor

We hear from our friends at the Innocence Project that a big report is coming down on forensic science. Apparently, the National Academy of Sciences has spent the last two years studying the use of forensics in criminal cases. Their conclusion: Forensic evidence presented in court is often based on shoddy science practices in the lab.

That includes fingerprinting, ballistics, blood spatter and bite marks, hair and handwriting analysis, all of which have been used to convict thousands of defendants for the better part of the last hundred years.


Filed under: Jami Floyd • Justice Department
February 5th, 2009
01:42 PM ET

Presidential Memo on Making Appliances More Fuel Efficient

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Suzanne Malveaux
CNN White House Correspondent

Here are some key points on the Presidential Memorandum:

The President is taking action this week to bring greener, more efficient appliances to American consumers.

He will be signing a Presidential Memorandum requesting the Dept of Energy to finalize new rules to improve the efficiency of over 30 product categories – from dishwashers to ovens and air conditioning units. The PM also requests the DOE to give a high priority to developing new standards for other products that provide the most energy savings bang for the buck.

Appliance and equipment efficiency standards have been one of the most successful policies used to save energy.

This action will save American families money and result in significant energy savings over the next 30 years – – in fact enough energy savings to run all existing coal plants in the U.S. for two years. In addition, using less energy means lower greenhouse gas emissions so this action helps us tackle climate change as well.

These greener standards spur more investment in energy efficiency and pay for themselves many times over. It’s a win for consumers, a win for the economy and a win for the environment. “

February 5th, 2009
12:05 PM ET

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Filed under: T1
February 5th, 2009
12:01 PM ET

Drop-dead date for DTV delayed

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/TECH/01/27/digital.tv.transition.delay/art.tvwatch.gi.jpg caption="U.S. broadcasters were to begin transmitting their TV signals only in digital format on February 17."]

David Gewirtz | BIO
Editor-in-Chief, ZATZ Publishing

Yesterday, Congress showed that it’s quite capable of having its cake and the glass half-empty, too. The mixed metaphor that is our United States House of Representatives approved the delay of the DTV transition to June, paving the way for President Obama to sign it into law.

Sort of.

Congress did manage to extend the "hard date" of the transition to June 12, 2009, but in the spirit of something resembling compromise, they left some gaping loopholes in the extension.


Filed under: David Gewirtz • Raw Politics • Technology
February 5th, 2009
11:46 AM ET

Financial Dispatch: Unemployment picture worsens

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/01/30/stimulus.next/art.capitolrotunda.gi.jpg caption="The economic stimulus bill goes to the Senate on Monday, in what's expected to be a tough debate."]

Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

Not to sound like a broken record, but records keep getting broken.

A staggering 626,000 Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week - a level not seen since October 1982. And the number of people that remained on the unemployment compensation rolls increased to nearly 4.8 million, the most since the government began keeping records in 1967.

We are now bracing for the government's January unemployment report, due out Friday morning. Current estimates are for payroll losses in excess of 500,000 and a jump in the unemployment rate to 7.5%.


Filed under: Andrew Torgan • Economy • Finance • Unemployment
February 5th, 2009
11:44 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Do or Die Vote?

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Penny Manis
AC360° Senior Producer

Are you stimulated by the stimulus? If so, keep an eye on Capitol Hill (or we’ll keep an eye out for you). It appears that work on the economic stimulus bill could be nearly done, and Democratic leaders are hoping for a vote as early as today, even though Republican opposition of points on the bill remain.

President Obama isn’t exactly subtle about the need to pass this bill. He says “Make no mistake, a failure to act, and act now, will turn crisis into catastrophe and guarantee a longer recession, a less robust recovery, and a more uncertain future.” I always like when my morning reading-in is full of words like crisis, catastrophe, and uncertain future, ahem.

Some added provisions may include making it easier for millions to buy a home, such as adding a tax-credit of up to $15,000 to homebuyers. Ali Velshi/Dana Bash follow this ‘do or die’ potential vote tonight.

Phone lines are jammed in DC. The debate over this nearly $900 billion economic stimulus plan has caused voters to call Capitol Hill and air their frustrations to representatives, plus offer their opinions on where their taxpayer money should go. Have you been one of those folks buzzing?

President Obama needs divine help to navigate us out of this mess. Good thing he attends the National Prayer Breakfast in DC today! He’ll sign an executive order forming the President’s Advisory Council on Faith, which is meant to offer religious leaders the opportunity to have a direct hand in policy-making. Randi Kaye has more on this story.

The Prez makes his first trip to the Dept of Energy today and we’ll hear about innovations to make us less dependent on foreign oil and more ‘green’.

Later, he makes his first trip 'as President' on Air Force One, flying to Virginia to speak at the House Democrats conference. He’ll make live remarks around 8pet. Ed Henry and our political team will bring you all the latest tonight.

Joe Johns investigates FEMA’s announcement that food kits distributed as part of disaster relief in Kentucky and Arkansas may contain peanut butter contaminated with salmonella. Joe will be keeping them honest!

We’re also watching the Madoff hearing on Capitol Hill. Harry Markopolos the “whistleblower” is testifying and it’s been fairly riveting. He says: I gift-wrapped and delivered the largest Ponzi scheme in history to them (SEC) but they were too busy.

He says he has discovered additional funds that funneled money to Bernie Madoff and plans to turn those over to the SEC inspector general today. Meanwhile new details are emerging about people who invested money with this swindler.

See u tonight!

Filed under: Penny Manis • The Buzz
February 5th, 2009
11:34 AM ET

Don’t let government set pay

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/30/art.bomccaskill0130.gi.jpg caption="Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill introduced legislation Friday that would prohibit employees of companies that receive federal bailout money from earning more than than president of the United States."]

Carly Fiorina
Special to CNN

Americans are outraged over excessive CEO pay and perks. That outrage is justified, particularly when American taxpayers are footing the bill.

Our capitalist system works best when there is transparency and accountability. There has been too little of both on Wall Street.

Inevitably, the president and Congress are now attempting to respond to taxpayer anger and restore some "common sense," as President Obama recently declared, to CEO compensation. The proposed solution caps top executive pay at $500,000 for institutions that have received bailout money.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Bailout Turmoil • Economy • Finance • Wall St.
February 5th, 2009
10:12 AM ET

New unemployment numbers

Program Note: For more on the economy, tune in to AC360 tonight at 10 pm ET.

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Ali Velshi
CNN Chief Business Correspondent

The number of Americans claiming NEW unemployment benefits last week reached 622,00.

That compares (and is just slightly below) the worst single week on record: the week of Oct.2, 1982(during Rush Limbaugh's favorite recession), when jobless claims reached 695,000.

More than 4.8 MILLION people are receiving unemployment benefits. More than 11 MILLION are unemployed.

These records go back to 1967.

On Friday we'll get the new unemployment numbers for January, expected to be the worst since the recession started. Estimates are that more than half a million American workers lost their jobs in January.

Filed under: Ali Velshi • Economy • Unemployment
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