March 5th, 2009
10:05 PM ET

On the Radar

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

On Friday morning, the government will release its official employment report for February. It’s expected to show a loss of another 650,000 jobs, pushing unemployment to nearly 8 percent.

A private report this week showed businesses of all sizes shedding jobs last month.

And don’t forget Thursday’s new wave of grim economic news: General Motors said its auditors believe its survival is in doubt; bank shares took a wicked beating, with Citicorp’s shares falling below a dollar; and a new report showed more than 11 percent of all mortgages are either delinquent or in foreclosure. Oh yes, the Dow fell nearly 300 points as well.

How much worse can things get? When will stocks recover? Who’s hiring and firing? And what does all of this mean for your wallet and your family’s future?

We’ll answer all these questions and more in our next CNN Money Summit, Friday on AC360.

Ali Velshi and a panel of some of the smartest money minds will hash over all the week’s economic news – including President Obama’s plan to help millions of homeowners reduce their mortgage payments.

The smart money talk starts Friday at 11 PM ET.

See you then!

Filed under: 360° Radar
March 5th, 2009
10:02 PM ET

Brad Pitt on the Hill

Brad Pitt meets with Secretary of Energy Steven Chu as he seeks help for sustainable housing in New Orleans in Washington D.C. The actor's foundation, "Make it Right," works to construct sustainable housing for low-income New Orleans residents who lost their homes in Hurricane Katrina. Pitt told Washington officials the homes are built to a "green standard" with utility bills of less than $10 a month. "It's possible," he said.

March 5th, 2009
09:51 PM ET

President Obama in the Gipper's footsteps – 25 years later

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Steve Brusk
CNN Senior National Editor

A president trying to fix a struggling economy, who likes to get out of Washington to sell his message, speaks in Columbus, Ohio on March 6th.

Yes, that’s true about President Obama on Friday. It was also true 25 years ago to the day, when President Ronald Reagan visited Columbus.

For Mr. Obama, it’s a return to a city and a state that gave him a major victory in November. Obama beat John McCain by four points in Ohio, and won Columbus’ home, Franklin County, by 20 points. Three days before the election, Mr. Obama drew a crowd of more than 60,000 people to a downtown rally.

The political landscape was far different there a quarter century ago. The Democrats weren’t even competitive there in the 1984 election, as Mr. Reagan took the state by double digits and carried the same Columbus area by 30 points.

But one major theme remains the same in Ohio – concern over jobs and the economy. Ohio’s unemployment rate in January was 8.8 percent, the worst since 1985, and among the highest there since Mr. Reagan’s appearance. But a key difference: Ohio was beginning a recovery in March 1984, with the 9.9 percent rate down 3 points from the previous year.


Filed under: Economy • President Barack Obama • Raw Politics
March 5th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 3/05/09

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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.

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
March 5th, 2009
07:41 PM ET

Sides prime for new gay-marriage fights

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Tamara Audi and Geoffrey A. Fowler
The Wall Street Journal

The California Supreme Court will hear arguments Thursday in a case that seeks to overturn the state's ban on same-sex marriage. But far from delivering the final word on the matter, the court's eventual ruling appears likely only to set the stage for more battles to come.

"It's going to be an ongoing struggle," said the Rev. Sam Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. Mr. Rodriguez opposes gay marriage.

Mr. Rodriguez and others have begun planning a campaign to recall any justices who rule to overturn the constitutional amendment effectively banning gay marriage. Meanwhile, proponents of same-sex marriage have been holding rallies and collecting signatures and are launching new TV commercials.


March 5th, 2009
07:38 PM ET

California court weighing gay marriage ban

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/03/05/california.same.sex/art.rally.gi.jpg caption="Angel D. Hernandez and Johnny Foam join a same-sex marriage rally Wednesday in Los Angeles, California.
John Schwartz and Liz Robbins
The New York Times

For more than three hours on Thursday, California Supreme Court justices aggressively challenged lawyers who sought to overturn an initiative banning same-sex marriage that was passed by voters last November.

As the hearing progressed, hundreds of supporters and opponents of the initiative, Proposition 8, gathered on the steps of the courthouse here bearing signs, banners and a sense of tense anticipation.

“We knew we had to be here to see it with our own eyes,” said Katherine Stoner, 61, who had traveled from Monterey, Calif., with her partner of 34 years, Michelle Welsh.


March 5th, 2009
07:24 PM ET

Brad Pitt and us – working the halls of power

Brad Pitt walks in the Capitol building on Thursday.
Brad Pitt walks in the Capitol building on Thursday.

Justine Redman

Bumped into Brad Pitt on Thursday. Which was nice.

We've got the video to prove it. If you think it doesn't really look like your typical celebrity picture, here's what was going on: Joe Johns, photographer Jeremy Moorhead, and I, were prowling the tunnels of the Capitol's underground subway system, accosting Senators and Members of Congress to ask them about health care (that'll be our story on the show tonight). While Joe and I were mumbling about where to go next, the ever-vigilant Jeremy spotted Brad Pitt coming towards us, flipped on the camera and got the shot.

Some people tell stories about meeting famous people and blurting out something really dumb... not Joe. Completely focused on our mission, Joe called out, "Wanna talk about health care?"

Yeah... As you can see, it didn't really work. Brad - and his security entourage - were gone. And then a throng of determined-looking admirers (congressional interns??) came out of nowhere, chasing him. The Capitol police cut them off in the tunnel.


Filed under: President Barack Obama • The Buzz
March 5th, 2009
05:58 PM ET

Afghan base wiring questions

CNN's Abbie Boudreau reports on the shoddy electrical work performed by the Halliburton subsidiary, KBR, in Afghanistan. The faulty wiring has lead or contributed to the deaths of as many as 18 US military personnel. The Pentagon has ruled one death as a possible negligent homicide, but still KBR remains on the job, and now is wiring bases in Afghanistan with faulty electrical systems.

Filed under: Afghanistan • Keeping Them Honest • Pentagon
March 5th, 2009
05:35 PM ET

Why Rihanna would go back to Chris Brown

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/03/05/chris.brown.charged/art.rihanna.brown.gi.jpg]Dr. Gail Saltz
AC360° Contributor

The police report of what transpired between Chris Brown and Rihanna was just released and the attack was far more vicious, violent and disturbing than anyone imagined. The explosion is said to have started over a text from an ex-girlfriend that she read on his phone.

Jealousy and domination often play a role in domestic abuse. In fact jealousy has been at the root of many crimes of passion, including murder. Details in a criminal complaint released by authorities today indicate this was not a sudden seconds-long lashing out, this was a continued and escalating attack complete with verbal threats that it was only going to get worse. When she tried to call for help, the threat allegedly turned to murder.

Weeks later, they are back together. Why? Why would a highly successful woman in her own right go back to a man who had so brutalized and terrorized her?

The truth is that this is really quite typical for the pattern of abuse. One partner (and the abuser can be a woman) maintains power over the other by isolating them, hurting them emotionally and physically, belittling them and convincing them that the abuser is the center of their world and the only one who will love them. The victim loses self esteem and feels emotionally dependent on their abuser.


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gail Saltz • The Buzz
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