February 19th, 2009
10:49 PM ET

On the Radar: Foreclosure backlog

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/02/18/foreclosure.plan/art.foreclosure.gi.jpg]Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

The housing crisis is pounding the Florida court system like a Category 5 hurricane; the state has one of the highest default rates in the country.

The state’s legal system requires judges to sign off on foreclosures. With so many Floridians losing their homes, cases are piling up and overwhelming the courts. To tackle the backlog, judges are hearing so-called “rocket dockets” of close to 1,000 cases a day. Some hearings last less than 20 seconds.

Imagine the scenario: A struggling homeowner shows up with reams of mortgage statements and other documentation, prepared to explain his plight to the judge. But he judge doesn’t have time to look at your papers. Next!

Given that reality, we’re wondering if Floridians believe President Obama’s $75 billion housing plan will actually help them?

Gary Tuchman digs deeper Friday.

See you at 10 p.m. eastern.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Cate Vojdik
February 19th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 2/19/09

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Want to share your thoughts on the stories we're covering tonight? You're in the right location. Just scroll down and post your comments. This is where you can "chat" with Anderson and Erica during the program.

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

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 $#&*)

We're so tech savvy here at AC360°. At least, we like to think we are these days. So, we've got more goodies for you.

Don't miss Erica Hill's webcast during the commercials. Watch our WEBCAST

And take a look at our live web camera from the 360° studio. Watch the WEBCAM

Filed under: Live Blog • T1
February 19th, 2009
09:38 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Meet "Mini-Madoff"

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/02/17/sec.stanford/art.stanford.afp.gi.jpg caption="Stanford presents a trophy to the winners of his Twenty20 cricket tournament in November 2008."]
Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Bernard Madoff is allegedly the king of all scams, accused of that $50 billion Ponzi scheme.  Now meet a "Mini-Madoff". Today the Feds caught up with financier Robert Allen Stanford and served him papers accusing him of overseeing a $9.2 billion dollar investment fraud scheme.

As Randi Kaye will report tonight, investors linked to Stanford around the world have tried to rescue their money from Antigua to Venezuela to Mexico.

Here's what we found interesting. Stanford was located in Fredericksburg, Virginia and was not taken into custody. But the SEC says he's connected to a "fraud of shocking magnitude."

Just months ago, Stanford was on the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans, reportedly worth more than $2 billion. Now all his assets have been frozen by a U.S. judge.

Tonight on AC360°, we'll have more details on this accused swindler and show you his political connections on Capitol Hill.

We're also tracking the latest job loss numbers. It's not pretty. But when will it get better? CNN's Chief Business Correspondent Ali Velshi offers his prediction.

Do you think it will get worse before it gets better? Share your thoughts below.

We'll have these stories and more at 10pm ET.
See you then!

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
February 19th, 2009
06:43 PM ET

Families of jobless get relief

A semi truck loaded with donated food and supplies rolls into an Ohio town to help families of jobless workers.

Filed under: Economy • Unemployment
February 19th, 2009
06:33 PM ET

How will the stimulus plan affect jobs in your state?

Would you like to know how many jobs the stimulus bill will create in your state?

Well, you can see the numbers here!

This is a map showing White House estimates for the number of jobs saved or created now that President Obama has signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law.

And, Keeping Them Honest, we'll keep track of how these estimates hold up.

Filed under: Bailout Turmoil • Economy • Housing Market
February 19th, 2009
06:01 PM ET

President Obama's make-up round

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/19/art.obamacanada.gi.jpg caption="Obama traveled to Canada Thursday."]

Ed Henry
CNN White House Correspondent

Ever wonder how President Obama decides which reporters to call upon at a news conference? Here in Canada it appears to be a matter of the President soothing some bruised feelings by calling on two newspaper reporters he recently skipped over at his first White House press conference.

As I sit in the front row for the event about to start with the President and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the buzz among American reporters is that the lucky folks are David Jackson of USA Today and Jonathan Weisman of The Wall Street Journal.


Filed under: Ed Henry • President Barack Obama
February 19th, 2009
05:42 PM ET

Modern-day slavery on the rise

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/WORLD/europe/07/18/russia.prostitution/art.moscow.prostitutes.gi.jpg caption="Aid agencies say young women are being forced into prostitution across Russia's capital."]

Alexandra Poolos
AC360° Editorial Producer

A new United Nations report says that modern-day slavery is on the rise. I have reported on trafficking in the past, and I was stunned to hear that the numbers are going up, despite increasing awareness of the problem. Worse, this is not a problem confined to the developing world. Slaves can be found everywhere, including small towns and big cities across the U.S. I spoke with a victims’ advocate and a journalist, who covers slavery and they introduced me to one young Ukrainian woman, who escaped enslavement in the Midwest.

As a teenager living in Ukraine, Katya had seen plenty of ads and movies promoting awareness about sex trafficking. Still, she never thought she would end up enslaved in an exotic nightclub in the Midwest, held by Russian traffickers who routinely beat and sexually abused her. She was forced to dance twelve hours a day, six days a week for no pay until she escaped a year later.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Alexandra Poolos • Global 360°
February 19th, 2009
05:36 PM ET

Beat 360° 2/19/09

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:

A boy takes a cellphone picture of US President Barack Obama's daughters, Sasha and Malia Obama as First Lady Michelle Obama speaks to 6th and 7th grade school children during an event celebrating African American History Month in the East Room of the White House.

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: Check out our Beat 360° Winners!


Beat 360° Challenge

But wait!… There’s more!

When you win ‘Beat 360°’ not only do you get on-air prime-time name recognition (complete with bragging rights over all your friends, family, and jealous competitors), but you get a “I Won the Beat 360° Challenge” T-shirt!

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
February 19th, 2009
05:14 PM ET

I left my heart and my leather pants in Montreal

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Jack Gray
AC360° Associate Producer

President Obama is in Canada – a key and often overlooked U.S. ally and economic partner - today for the first foreign trip of his presidency.  I find myself waxing nostalgic for the trips my friends and I made some years ago to Montreal.  It was a time when Canada was still known as the land of hockey and Celine Dion, long before it became the Sarah Palin Buffer Zone.

Our first trip up there, by car from New England, was when I was 17.  The allure was that the drinking age in Montreal was 18.  I know what you’re thinking.  But it turns out the word “Montreal” is French for “eh, close enough.”


Filed under: 360° Radar • Canada • Jack Gray
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