February 23rd, 2009
03:23 PM ET

Levy case suspect is not a surprise

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/02/21/chandra.levy/art.levy.gi.jpg caption="Washington intern Chandra Levy's body was found a year after she disappeared in 2001."]CNN

The mother of slain congressional intern Chandra Levy says she has been told by police in Washington, D.C., that an arrest is imminent in her daughter's 2001 death.

CNN anchor Christine Romans spoke Monday with CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin about the case.

Christine Romans, CNN anchor: A developing story we're watching right now. A murder mystery that gripped the nation and ruined a congressman's reputation eight years ago may finally be coming to a close. Today, D.C. police are said to be ready to make an arrest for the murder of Chandra Levy.

CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin joins us now. Jeff, welcome to the program. We're learning about this man already in prison, Ingmar Guandique, who reports say police are close to arresting in this case. This is an eight-year-old case. What new do they have now about this eight years later?


February 23rd, 2009
01:41 PM ET

Are banks robbing the jobless of their unemployment benefits?

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

I hate it when the facts get in the way of a good rant. I'd like to go on a rant about how the banks are screwing the unemployed, how the jobless are paying bank fees just to get access to their money, and how the banks are robbing the unemployed.

I'd like to, but I can't. The facts are getting in the way.

A few years ago, some states figured out that the practice of printing and mailing unemployment checks cost them hundreds of millions of dollars each year. They couldn't cut down on the amount they were paying the jobless, but perhaps these state agencies could find a way to cut costs on the processing. And find a way they did: bank debit cards.


Filed under: David Gewirtz • Economy • Unemployment
February 23rd, 2009
12:30 PM ET

Only woman on Florida's death row

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/23/art.cole.deathrow.jpg caption="Tiffany Cole was sentenced from Duval County on March 6, 2008 and is currently on death row at Lowell Correctional Institution."]

Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

"I'd just like to say I'm sailing with the rock, and I'll be back like Independence Day, with Jesus June 6. Like the movie, big mother ship and all, I'll be back."

Those were the final words of Aileen Wuornos. Moments later, the serial killer died by lethal injection. The date was October 9, 2002. Wuornos was the last woman executed in Florida.

Tiffany Cole may be next.

It is a dubious distinction for the 27-year-old. For there are 393 condemned inmates in the state. But Cole stands alone as the only female prisoner on Florida's Death Row.


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
February 23rd, 2009
12:09 PM ET

Financial Dispatch: Saving Citigroup

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/US/12/22/bailout.accountability/art.citi.gi.jpg]

Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

Citigroup is said to be in discussions with regulators about a plan for the federal government to take a larger ownership stake in the bank. The Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the matter, is reporting that the government - and by extension taxpayers - could wind up holding as much as 40% of Citigroup's common stock.

The potential move would give the government its biggest ownership of a financial-services company since the September bailout of insurance giant AIG, which left taxpayers with an 80% stake.


Filed under: Andrew Torgan • Economy • Finance • Gas Prices • Oil • Wall St.
February 23rd, 2009
12:02 PM ET

Why Obama should be upbeat - and worried

David M. Smick
Special to CNN

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With all due respect, President Obama and Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke, to put it bluntly, should shut up.

To their credit, they have deployed unprecedented amounts of fiscal and monetary stimulus.

Bernanke's stimulus, in particular, has the potential to be extraordinarily effective once our national psyche brightens and the economy begins to improve.

Now it's time to sit back and let that stimulus work. Bill Clinton said as much last week, telling ABC News that he applauds Obama's effort to "educate the American people about the dimensions and scope of this economic crisis," but adding, "I just would like him to end by saying that he is hopeful and completely convinced we're gonna come through this."


Filed under: Economy • Raw Politics
February 23rd, 2009
11:17 AM ET

George W. Bush makes "surprise" visit at Elliott's Hardware

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/23/art.bush.elliots.hardware1.jpg caption="George W. Bush with an Elliott's Hardware shirt with the "W" nametag."]

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/23/art.bush.elliotts.hardware2.jpg caption="George W. Bush shakes hands with Greeter Henry Long."]

Ed Lavandera | BIO
CNN Correspondent

A few weeks ago I filed a funny blog about a popular Dallas hardware store - Elliott's Hardware - that offered George W. Bush a job as greeter. Elliott’s Hardware is a Dallas institution and just a few miles away from President Bush’s Dallas home.

Well, the former pres made a "surprise" visit there on Saturday.

February 23rd, 2009
11:04 AM ET

Send us your questions on the economy!

Program Note: Make sure to tune in tonight to hear Ali Velshi and other economic experts answer your questions on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

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Ali Velshi
CNN Chief Business Correspondent

What is all of this talk about bank nationalization? Let's just change the word. It conjures up images of Castro forcefully seizing private businesses. That's not what this is.

Markets tanked on Friday because investors negatively interpreted the government's "nationalization" the banks.

But there's a big difference between the US government taking controlling stakes in US banks to recapitalize them, because no one else has the money or will to do so, and Hugo Chavez expropriating refineries owned by Exxon-Mobil to exclude private investors from profitability and to control a resource.

Free-marketers are spinning this quite unnecessarily and causing panic among investors. The government is able to access money more inexpensively than anyone else right now.

I don't think the government, or we, have any long term interest in owning banks. This is a short-term solution to inject money into banks so that they continue to be able to extend credit and keep the wheels of commerce in motion.

I'm not arguing in favor of or against it. It might just be easier if they call it something else.

What do you think?

And what other questions do you have on the economy? Send them to us and Ali Velshi and our other economic experts will give you answers tonight on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

Filed under: Ali Velshi • Economy • Finance • T1
February 23rd, 2009
10:59 AM ET

Dear President Obama #35: Now showing: Obama – the movie!

Reporter's Note: The President wants Americans to give him idea about how he can make our country better. So every day, hands on the keyboard, I do my best to help by writing another letter to the White House.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/22/art.obama1.gi.jpg]

Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

Once again the Oscars have come and gone, and my name was not called. I fear my dream of Best Supporting Something will never be realized. Granted, I have nothing to do with the movie business except buying tickets and popcorn, and occasionally getting noisy teenagers tossed out of the multiplex, but Hollywood dreams have so long been part of the American experience, it’s hard to let mine go.

You, on the other hand, still have some real hope! Seriously. Look, Al Gore scored an Academy Award, and he’s not nearly as glamorous as you. What was his story? “Hi, I’m from Tennessee. Is it hot in here?” You’ve got that beaten hands down.

(FADE IN; DARK D.C. STREET. WHITE HOUSE LOOMING IN BG. SILHOUETTE OF LONE MAN WALKS TOWARD CAMERA: “He was a junior Senator from Illinois. She was the party favorite. He had no chance. Until he made one. See the film that is igniting the nation: ‘Yes We Can: The Barack Obama Story.’” I know, you can feel the vibe. Or maybe I’m getting carried away.


February 23rd, 2009
10:55 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Busy Day at the White House

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/22/art.govs.gi.jpg caption="Govs. Jindal, Pawlenty, and Sanford would not rule out running for president in 2012."]

Penny Manis
AC360° Senior Producer

Recovering from a late night watching the Oscars? We have plenty of news for you to chew on today! President Obama meets with the nation’s governors today, even as some of the GOP’ers in the group fret over a portion of the stimulus bill related to unemployment assistance.

Folks like Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana have announced plans to turn that portion down because of the long term effects on state budgets after federal money runs out.


Filed under: Penny Manis • The Buzz
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