March 26th, 2009
03:15 PM ET

John Hope Franklin, 1915-2009

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

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/26/franklin-john-hope.jpg caption="John Hope Franklin"]

Jami Floyd
AC360° Contributor
In Session Anchor

Historian John Hope Franklin died yesterday in Durham, North Carolina. He was 94. Perhaps you have never heard of Dr. Franklin. Historians — even the great ones — make it their business to document the big events. Rarely are they at the center of it all. But as an African-American child born in the 1960s, I heard early and often about John Hope Franklin. He was not just a historian. He was a scholar of our history— the history of black people in America.

As such, Dr. Franklin wasn’t content to sit on the sidelines while his people struggled for equality. He marched on Selma. He met with presidents. He consulted with the lawyers who would argue Brown v. Board of Education in the U.S. Supreme Court. With Dr. Franklin’s help, they were able to convince the Justices that separate was inherently unequal. This, of course, had a direct impact on my life and the lives of generations of black children since.


Filed under: In Session • Jami Floyd
March 26th, 2009
12:54 PM ET

Financial Dispatch: Geithner calls for new risk watchdog

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Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner called for new rules today that would allow regulators to police the darkest corners of the financial markets, including hedge funds and derivatives trading.

The country also needs a single regulator to oversee the biggest financial firms, Geithner told the House Financial Services Committee.

"Our system failed in basic fundamental ways," Geithner said in written testimony. "The system proved too unstable and fragile, subject to significant crises every few years, periodic booms in real estate markets and in credit, followed by busts and contraction."

The comments came as Geithner testified before the congressional panel on the need for a sweeping overhaul of financial regulation in the wake of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.


Filed under: Andrew Torgan • Economy • Finance • Gas Prices • Oil • Unemployment • Wall St.
March 26th, 2009
12:34 PM ET

Abducted in Mexico

Randi Kaye meets an American family ambushed and nearly killed while traveling in Mexico.

Filed under: Mexico • Randi Kaye
March 26th, 2009
12:06 PM ET

Power grab, or just good sense?

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Ali Velshi
CNN Chief Business Correspondent

The free-marketers are all over the government's "power grab" to more closely regulate large non-bank financial companies.

We've heard everything from it's "unconstitutional" because it violates unlawful search and seizure laws.

Others say the idea that there is a regulator encourages failure because someone will bail you out.

These arguments hold little water.

The FDIC is universally seen as the most effective and most successful regulator through this entire recession.

Geithner today is using the argument that that is the model he suggests using.

He's right on this one.

Filed under: Ali Velshi • Economy • Finance • Treasury Secretary
March 26th, 2009
12:00 PM ET

Did guard free accused killer?

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Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

Anita Kaye Vestal's job was to guard an accused killer. Instead, she allegedly drove him home in her minivan.

The Swain County Sheriff's Office in North Carolina calls it an act of betrayal. But the outrage doesn't begin to answer the questions surrounding this unbelievable story.

Jeffrey Czechonna Miles was being held at the Swain County Detention Center. And with good reason. Miles is suspected in connection with a triple shooting that left two people dead. Facing capital murder charges, he was confined to a cell until trial.


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
March 26th, 2009
11:45 AM ET

Just between you and me and Twitter

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Jack Gray
AC360° Producer/Writer

I never thought I’d say this but…I like Twitter.  It’s kind of fun.  Not fun in the “Larry King just arrived and he brought a bottle of Stoli Vanilla” kind of way, but fun nevertheless.

Sure, I was skeptical at first.  Not Rick Sanchez and that Twitter thing again, ugh, what channel is Ellen on?

I just didn’t get it.  I thought it was one of those things that’d be popular for a week and peak with an item on Entertainment Tonight that began with, “Lindsay Lohan announced on her Twitter page today that she’s been kicked off Dancing with the Stars.”  And, as far as I was concerned, that would be the end of it.

But – just like with the directions I gave to a group of Danish tourists on the subway yesterday – I was wrong:  Twitter is here to stay and, it turns out, is perfect for people, like me, who find that traditional forms of communication like phone calls and emails take up valuable time that could otherwise be spent watching Judge Judy.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Jack Gray • Technology • Twitter
March 26th, 2009
10:46 AM ET

Dear President Obama #66: On the edge of serious trouble

Reporter's Note: Our President has asked for ideas about how to run the government. No doubt many citizens are writing, and I am nothing if not a slave to fashion; therefore I am sending a letter a day to the White House.

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Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

That’s just great. As if we don’t have enough problems at home, now the neighbors are acting up! Pardon my Spanglish, but que pasa con Mexico?

Here you are trying to get us out of Iraq, more into Afghanistan, and suddenly we’re watching a gun fight in the back yard. Drug cartels running in the streets like old west gunslingers (but with much bigger guns…), trafficking reaching all over the United States (ok, well that’s not new, and certainly if we weren’t buying all this stuff nobody would be bringing it in to sell), and violence threatening to spill over with it. I’m not an expert on international relations, but I suspect this is bad.

No matter how big that pile of problems is on your desk right now, you better clear some space for this one: What are you going to do about the border?


March 26th, 2009
10:45 AM ET

The streets of Juarez

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/26/art.charlie.onpatrol.jpg caption="On patrol with 55th battalion out of Mexico City, part of 5,000 new soldiers now patrolling Juarez, Mexico."]

Anderson Cooper
AC360° Anchor

Driving through the streets of Juarez. It was once a bustling city, but now seems largely deserted. Boarded up nightclubs. Empty stores.

The American visitors are mostly gone, scared off by the escalating drug war which has turned Juarez into a battleground. A handful of factions have been fighting for control of lucrative drug routes into the US. There have been gun battles in the streets, bodies left in gutters.

The drug cartels pay off police, kill those they can't corrupt. Now 9,500 Mexican military personnel have flooded into Juarez.

"Our deployment here's open-ended," the captain of the unit says,"no one's told us how long we'll be here or how long this will take."


Filed under: 360° Radar • Anderson Cooper • Mexico
March 26th, 2009
10:28 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Anderson is on the Border

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Penny Manis
AC360° Senior Producer

We’ve got a great show for you tonight! Anderson is reporting from the border between Mexico and the U.S. He is getting an up-close look at the drug-trade, kidnappings, and how the ensuing violence threatens America.

Our producer Charlie emailed us this morning that he/Anderson are heading to Juarez to visit a mass grave site and tell the story of all the unidentified victims of this drug war. It should be pretty compelling.

Anderson also has a story about who the 'targets' of the Drug War are- they include the police trying to stop traffickers, illegal immigrants caught in the cross fire, and journalists trying to uncover these stories! We talk to folks trying to live and work in Mexico, while trying to stay alive!


Filed under: Penny Manis • The Buzz
March 26th, 2009
10:24 AM ET

Protect yourself from counterfeit check scams

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

Our banks are struggling in a world of self-inflicted hurt, but now they're also suffering from a very old-school problem: counterfeit checks.

Counterfeiting, of course, has been around forever and the first fake check was probably created within days of the first genuine check being printed.

I get regular security alerts from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) about banking and security problems. And, from time-to-time, I get alerts about counterfeit checks. The other day, however, I got seven Special Alerts, one right after the other.

That's a record.


Filed under: David Gewirtz • Economy • Technology
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