March 10th, 2009
05:02 PM ET

Madoff to plead guilty on 11 charges


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Bernard Madoff, accused mastermind of a $50 billion financial fraud, is expected to plead guilty on Thursday to 11 criminal charges that could put him in jail for the rest of his life.

He was charged in court papers with securities fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, false statements and perjury among other charges. U.S. prosecutor Marc Litt said there was no plea agreement with Madoff, accused of bilking thousands of investors worldwide over many years.

The prosecutor told U.S. District Judge Denny Chin at a hearing that Madoff could face up to 150 years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines. The judge said he would sentence Madoff in several months in the event of a guilty plea.


Filed under: Culprits of the Collapse • Economy • Finance • Raw Politics
March 10th, 2009
03:41 PM ET

The captain has just turned on the no celebrity light

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Jack Gray
AC360° Producer/Writer

The thing about living in New York is that every time you go to the airport you invariably notice there’s some movie star sitting at the gate, waiting to board.  And take my word for it; the novelty quickly gives way to annoyance.  Because if we’re going to hit a flock of birds and crash land in the Hudson River – and, let’s face it, we probably are – then the last thing I want to have to worry about is Susan Sarandon stealing my limelight on the rescue boat.

That knowledge notwithstanding, less than 24 hours from now I will find myself at John F. Kennedy International Airport.  I will arrive there as I always do:  heavily medicated and clutching a passport that identifies me as Anderson Cooper.

I will proceed to the self-service kiosk and print out the airline boarding pass that I paid for with credit card points I accumulated by purchasing large quantities of Snuggies.  Snuggies that I later sold on the black market in Chinatown.  I will hope that my boarding pass is mislabeled First Class but will remain stoic when I see it’s marked the usual Steerage.

I will then go through security – a pat-down being the closest thing I’ve had to a date in months – and then head to the gate, where I will see which Academy Award winner and/or People’s Choice nominee is waiting to – in the event of the aforementioned water landing – reduce my heroism to a blurb, buried way back in the newspaper between Dear Abby and a massage parlor coupon.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Jack Gray • Travel
March 10th, 2009
03:15 PM ET

The blame game

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

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Jami Floyd
AC360° Contributor
In Session Anchor

Yesterday, our network aired a special report from foreclosure court. With the economy in shambles and millions of Americans in danger of losing their homes, we wanted viewers to see what is happening to folks in court in Florida and across the country, homeowners of every class and color, lining up to ask a judge for just a little more time to get their financial houses in order.

In some cases a reprieve is granted. In others foreclosure imposed. But every case is the story of the American dream distorted into a nightmare of overwhelming debt and loss. A cancer patient, a veteran, a widower and so many others forced into foreclosure, the debt on their homes now greater than the value of the home itself.

How did this happen? How could so many Americans be in such dire financial straights? Well, if watching the foreclosure process teaches anything, it is that there is enough blame to go around.

Blame the homeowners who took on more debt than they could afford — victims of a consumer culture that could not sustain itself. Blame the mortgage brokers who should have known better (and probably did) but who approved these loans anyway, blinded by their own greed. Blame the federal government that deregulated the banks and allowed our deficit to spiral into the trillions leading to this major recession, property devaluation and job loss. No job and you can’t pay your mortgage; and so it comes full circle.

It becomes obvious that none of us is entitled to play the blame game. We all share in the responsibility. Therefore, we must shoulder the responsibility of fixing the problem together.

Filed under: Economy • Housing Market • Jami Floyd
March 10th, 2009
01:25 PM ET

Final words on Death Row

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Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

"Only the sky and the green grass goes on forever and today is a good day to die."

– David Martinez, executed on July 28, 2005 for strangling a 24-year-old woman.

"Uh, I don't know, Um, I don't know what to say. I don't know. (pauses) I didn't know anybody was there. Howdy.”

– James Clark, executed on April 11, 2007 for raping and murdering a 17-year-old girl

"Let's do it, man. Lock and load. Ain't life a [expletive deleted]?"

– G.W. Green, executed on November 12, 1991, for killing a probation officer.

Some asked for forgiveness. Some offered prayers. Several spoke to parents and children, or to family members of the lives they took. Others cursed, or sang, or lashed out in defiance at perceived enemies. A few thanked the warden. Then there were the ones who joked. Or simply said nothing.


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
March 10th, 2009
01:19 PM ET

Obama challenges states

Program Note: For more on President Obama's speech on education, tune in to AC360° tonight at 10 p.m. ET.

President Obama issues a challenge to states to raise the quality of education.

Filed under: Education • President Barack Obama
March 10th, 2009
01:16 PM ET

Jumping in head first to health care policy

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more on health care from Dr. Sanjay Gupta on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

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Dr. Sanjay Gupta
Chief Medical Correspondent

All this week, we are going to jump into something that is hardly ever covered on television. There is no question that health policy, full of its obscure terms and wonkish numbers, may have a better home in newspapers or long-form magazine pieces. But over the last few months, I have been thinking about this non-stop.

Health policy has been debated over and over again since the days of Teddy Roosevelt, and most recently in the mid ’90s, under the leadership of then first lady, Hillary Clinton.

As you may know, I worked as a White House fellow during President Clinton’s second term and I most recently was considered for the post of surgeon general. While I chose to continue my neurosurgical practice at the local county hospital and help my wife prepare for the birth of our third child, I did have a unique chance to independently evaluate some of the Obama health care plan components.


Filed under: Dr. Sanjay Gupta • Health Care • Medical News
March 10th, 2009
01:10 PM ET

Obama calls for new teachers

President Obama calls on a new generation of Americans to serve the country and become teachers.

Filed under: Education • President Barack Obama
March 10th, 2009
12:41 PM ET

How the President's secret helicopter plans wound up in Iran

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

AC360° Exclusive Investigation

I had just gotten off the phone with General Wesley Clark. We were talking about the discovery of plans for President Obama’s Marine One helicopter found on a computer network in Iran.

That discovery, we agreed, is alarming evidence that we face a new national security cyber threat - from what has seemed like a simple network for sharing movies and music. And then I also realized it's a threat to you and me as personal computer users.

Remember Napster and the fuss with everyone illegally downloading music? That’s the kind of computer network we're talking about, just a common "peer-to-peer" or P2P network. And this one took the President's copter plans into Iran.

Marine One's plans go to Iran

A Pittsburgh TV station broke the story: A local company called Tiversa, which scans P2P networks for corporate clients, found the chopper plans.

As you might imagine, when plans for the U.S. President's helicopter are found on an Iranian computer, it's catnip for reporters and bloggers.


Filed under: David Gewirtz • Iraq • President Barack Obama • Technology
March 10th, 2009
12:02 PM ET

Just how tough it might be

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Ali Velshi
CNN Chief Business Correspondent

Here's what may be big today....

The IMF says the global economy will shrink this year, possibly as much at 3% or more. With the rest of the world suffering, there's no obvious "savior" for this economy (even Dubai needed a financial rescue recently!)

Moody's will unveil a list of 283 companies (out of 2,073 that it rates) with "junk" credit ratings or lower. Basically, it will list the "sub-prime" borrowers of the business world. These are companies most likely to default – Moody's thinks up to 45% of them might. Expected to be on the list: AMR, Chrysler, Ford, GM, US Airways, Dole, Kodak, Rite Aid.

It's worth noting, though, that Moody's, Fitch and S&P have been wrong about a lot of things in the past couple of years.

Filed under: Ali Velshi • Economy • Finance • Wall St.
March 10th, 2009
12:01 PM ET

Model for health care reform?

U.S. health care reform is likely to look like Massachusetts, where results are mixed. CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports.

Filed under: Dr. Sanjay Gupta • Health Care
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