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March 25th, 2009
01:36 PM ET

No matter where you look, the border is a mess

Cops on patrol in Juarez, Mexico.

Cops on patrol in Juarez, Mexico.
At one site of the California/Mexico border

At one site of the California/Mexico border

Ismael Estrada
AC360° Producer

Over the past month I have been to every major city on both sides of the Mexico border. I’ve been covering the drug war and I’ve seen how it is affecting so many people on both sides.

There have been many eye-opening experiences. But nothing remains as vivid in my mind as the morgue in Juarez, Mexico.

It was a bloody week toward the end of February. Numerous cops had been killed throughout the week and the cartels were threatening to kill even more. My photographer, Gil DeLaRosa, and I walked into the morgue and couldn’t believe what we saw.

FULL POST


Filed under: 360° Radar • Ismael Estrada • Mexico
March 25th, 2009
01:13 PM ET

National Drug Threat Assessment 2009

A police convoy moves in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, last month, across the U.S. border from El Paso, Texas.

A police convoy moves in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, last month, across the U.S. border from El Paso, Texas.

National Drug Intelligence Center
U.S. Department of Justice

The trafficking and abuse of illicit drugs inflict tremendous harm upon individuals, families, and communities throughout the country. The violence, intimidation, theft, and financial crimes carried out by drug trafficking organizations (DTOs), criminal groups, gangs, and drug users in the United States pose a significant threat to our nation. The cost to society from drug production, trafficking, and abuse is difficult to fully measure or convey; however, the most recent data available are helpful in framing the extent of the threat. For example:

* More than 35 million individuals used illicit drugs or abused prescription drugs in 2007.

* In 2006 individuals entered public drug treatment facilities more than 1 million times seeking assistance in ending their addiction to illicit or prescription drugs.

* More than 1,100 children were injured at, killed at, or removed from methamphetamine laboratory sites from 2007 through September 2008.

Read More...


Filed under: 360° Radar • Mexico
March 25th, 2009
12:55 PM ET

Behind the scenes: Ed Henry's take on exchange with Obama

Ed Henry
Senior White House Correspondent

The most amazing part of the exchange to me is that I didn't go into the East Room intending to ask President Obama about AIG.

After frantic preparation for the prime-time newser with several colleagues, especially lead CNN White House producer Tim McCaughan, I had several provocative questions in my pocket. But none of them had much to do with the financial crisis because I assumed several of my colleagues would exhaust the topic of AIG before my turn came up.

At the first presser in February, I was about the 10th reporter the president called on. The economy had been chewed over so I went with a "sidebar" question about whether Obama, given his push for transparency, would overturn the policy at Dover Air Force Base preventing media coverage of coffins returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

FULL POST


Filed under: Ed Henry • President Barack Obama • Raw Politics
March 25th, 2009
12:23 PM ET

Check out the press coverage of Anderson's reporting from the border

Anderson on the border near Juarez, Mexico.

Anderson on the border near Juarez, Mexico.

Check out the press coverage of 360's special reporting from the Mexican border tonight and Thursday on AC360 at 10 p.m. ET.

The Huffington Post
Anderson Cooper To Report Live From US-Mexico Border
For the first time in years, Mexico is making headlines in the United States for something other than immigration.CNN's Anderson Cooper will report live from the US-Mexico border this Wednesday and Thursday for a special report called "The War Next Door," airing at 10pm EST on CNN.

El Paso Times
"CNN correspondents to report from border"
CNN's Anderson Cooper will report live from the border Wednesday and Thursday for "The War Next Door," which will air at 8 p.m. MDT on cable Channel 31-CNN (digital cable Channel 350), the network announced.

New York (NY) Daily News
"Inner Tube"
Anderson Cooper just spent a week going around the country to talk about the economy and now he'll anchor his nightly CNN series from the border between the U.S. and Mexico.

Houston Chronicle
"CNN Tackles Topic Of Mexican Drug Cartels"

For the benefit and/or edification of those who don't awaken each day to reports of unrest on their state's border generated by Mexican drug cartels, CNN host Anderson Cooper will summarize recent developments in The War Next Door at 9 tonight and Thursday.


Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Mexico
March 25th, 2009
11:55 AM ET

Financial Dispatch: Wall Street’s rally reloaded

Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

Stocks regained their momentum this morning, fueled by unexpectedly strong reports on manufacturing and home sales, and one day after President Obama defended his administration's ability to combat the economic crisis in a primetime news conference.

During that news conference, Mr. Obama said there would be no “quick fixes” for the recession and that it would take time for the economy to recover. But he also insisted his administration has a strategy in place to "attack this crisis on all fronts."

A little more than an hour into the trading day, the Dow Industrials were up 200 points and the Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 were adding more than 2% each.

A little more on those reports now.

FULL POST


Filed under: Andrew Torgan • Economy • Finance • Gas Prices • Oil • Wall St.
March 25th, 2009
11:26 AM ET

John Q Public covers the Spector trial

Phil Spector's retrial in the 2003 slaying of actress Lana Clarkson is winding down this week.

Phil Spector's retrial in the 2003 slaying of actress Lana Clarkson is winding down this week.

Linda Hall
CNN Senior Producer

OK–so it's been a while since I have covered a trial from start to finish–but I was still surprised at the amount of public interest the closing arguments of the attorneys in the murder trial case against Phil Spector has garnered. Spector is accused of murdering B movie actress Lana Clarkson in his home 6 years ago-the defense contends it was suicide.

Sure, Spector made himself famous by creating a new "wall of sound" in popular music, ranging from some of Motown's biggest hits to The Beatles' last released album, "Let it Be."

But courthouse officials told me the courtroom had remained "largely empty" during the bulk of the trial and it has only been the last couple of days that John Q Public, aka citizen journalists, aka bloggers, had to line up and vie for a "pass" to get one of the coveted seats.

FULL POST


Filed under: 360° Radar • Crime & Punishment
March 25th, 2009
11:24 AM ET

Motion denied

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

Casey Anthony with defense attorney Jose Baez

Casey Anthony with defense attorney Jose Baez

Jami Floyd
AC360° Contributor
In Session Anchor

Today, prosecutors in the Casey Anthony case filed a “Motion to Determine Potential Conflict of Interest and Waiver.” That’s a fancy lawyer way of saying: “tell us how she’s paying you.”

The State actually alleged in its motion papers that lead defense lawyer Jose Baez is managing his client’s assets; and since Casey doesn’t have any assets, the State suggests, he must be selling her story”.

“The Defendant’s seeming conversion from pauper to princess did not come from the sale of some tangible asset available to her prior to her initial arrest on charges related to this case. The only asset that appears available to the Defendant is her story…”

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Filed under: Jami Floyd
March 25th, 2009
10:20 AM ET

Wednesday money...

Ali Velshi
CNN Chief Business Correspondent

What we saw happen in the hours after the Fed injected a trillion dollars into the economy last Wednesday was confirmed today.  Rates for a 30-year fixed mortgage dropped to 4.63%.

"Mortgage rates fell sharply to low levels not seen in six decades following the Federal Reserve's announcement on the Treasury bond and mortgage-backed securities purchase programs," the Mortgage Banker's Association reports.

But that's not all: on TOP of the uptick we saw on Monday in existing home sales, and on TOP of the banking plan that was finally detailed on Monday, orders for durable good were up.  Durable goods are manufactured goods that are built to last more than 3 years.  Everything from washing machines to military equipment.

FULL POST


Filed under: Ali Velshi • Economy • Finance • U.S. Federal Reserve
March 25th, 2009
10:10 AM ET

Teddy's Bear

Suzy Khimm
The New Republic

If Senator Orrin Hatch is a liberal-friendly health care reformer, he's working under some pretty deep cover. Just two months ago, Hatch voted against the reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), protesting the inclusion of legal immigrants and higher-income children as a "partisan exercise."

When President Obama released his budget proposal, Hatch warned that health care reform under his administration's watch could be a nightmare. "[T]his reckless budget will swamp Americans in a morass of debt and mortgage the future of our children and grandchildren," the Utah senator thundered in a press statement. Hatch's remarks echoed his scathing criticism of the stimulus bill, whose health provisions he denounced on the Senate floor as the "Socialized Health Care for All Act of 2009."

Read More...


Filed under: Health Care
March 25th, 2009
10:08 AM ET

Dear A.I.G., I Quit!

Jake DeSantis
For The New York Times

It is with deep regret that I submit my notice of resignation from A.I.G. Financial Products. I hope you take the time to read this entire letter. Before describing the details of my decision, I want to offer some context:

I am proud of everything I have done for the commodity and equity divisions of A.I.G.-F.P. I was in no way involved in — or responsible for — the credit default swap transactions that have hamstrung A.I.G. Nor were more than a handful of the 400 current employees of A.I.G.-F.P. Most of those responsible have left the company and have conspicuously escaped the public outrage.

After 12 months of hard work dismantling the company — during which A.I.G. reassured us many times we would be rewarded in March 2009 — we in the financial products unit have been betrayed by A.I.G. and are being unfairly persecuted by elected officials. In response to this, I will now leave the company and donate my entire post-tax retention payment to those suffering from the global economic downturn. My intent is to keep none of the money myself.

Read More...


Filed under: 360° Radar • AIG
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