April 24th, 2009
09:37 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Taliban Retreats, Student Loans

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/04/24/pakistan.taliban.control.gilani/art.tali.jpg caption="A Taliban fighter in the district of Buner, which is only 96 kilometers from Islamabad."]

Penny Manis
AC360° Senior Producer

Taliban fighters retreat back to their stronghold in the Swat Valley after moving into an area which is only 60 miles from Pakistan’s capital earlier in the week.

Are we near a ‘tipping point’ where Pakistan, a nuclear armed state, could be overtaken by Islamic militants? We'll ask Nic Robertson reporting from Islamabad if the Pakistan military thinks they have succeeded in keeping militants away from the capital.

The US gives the Pakistan military a lot of aid (read: money) each year, we'll ask what they do with that money and is it enough to help them stop the Taliban.

The Pentagon is set to release another batch of photos the ACLU says show prisoner abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan at the hands of US personnel. ACLU had filed a suit for the pictures to be released and they are expected end of May, according to the group. We’ll try to get information on what these pictures could show, and what could come from making them public.

President Obama speaks about student loans today. He has taken heat from his own party over a decision to remove private banks from the federal student loan program, and instead give money directly to the Department of Education. Are you paying off your student loans and what reforms would you like to see?

Dan Buettner ends his week-long series from the island of Icaria, Greece where locals live 6x longer than Americans. He has been offering their ‘secrets to a longer and better life’ and we’ll see what more tips we can learn today from these healthy islanders!

ps: I’ve finally joined the world of twitter. What do you all make of twitter as a form of communication? Follow me @pennymanis and I’ll keep you posted on our story planning throughout the day so you can weigh in too!

See u at 10pet.

Filed under: Penny Manis • The Buzz
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. mac

    gosh more loans, more interest rates whats wrong with the govt, they putting the economy in deeper trouble. you opened another pandora's box.

    the reason the other countries can do is because they dont have trillions of dollars in debts. its hard now and thats the way its going to be for a very long time regardless of what obama says. why would they give loans to car manufacturers to stay open. nobody buys american cars, to expensive. me i buy japanese why, cost efficiency yes, cheaper yes. i cant afford an american car.

    the japanese didnt defeat the u.s. in world war 2. they found a better way to get the u.s. bring your imported cars in and eliminate the locally made u.s. cars, keep their money and dont buy from them.

    good strategy wouldnt you say. How many other countries are now putting americans out of work, china, korea and God knows what else. The u.s. is too open to other countries and is destroying their own economy.....

    April 25, 2009 at 9:55 pm |
  2. mac

    1st let me say the taliban need to be totally wiped out. if they get hold of nuclear power or dirty bombs, God help the world.

    all countries should work together to eliminate terrorists, even if it means torturing them to get information. the way i see it is that those who dont like torture are probably terrorist or supporting terrorists themselves. what happens if the terrorists kill their families, do they still want no torture, not me.

    the u.s. was right in torturing the terrorists as long as they are not innocent and proven to be terrorists. GO FOR IT!!!!!!

    April 25, 2009 at 9:47 pm |
  3. Juanita

    The Taliban insinuated themselves into Afghanistan in a similar way when it was in chaos. Pakistan appears to be losing stability. Apparently many of these Taliban warriors were actually trained in Pakistan before going into Afghanistan and some Pakistani military were sympathetic and involved. Is there really a 'will' on the part of the Pakistani military to go after them or are they hiding behind the excuse of lack of money and training?

    April 24, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  4. earle,florida

    why ,oh why,does every country in the world become our adopted child in times of turbulence,and war ; or is our heraidry rife with guilded incess ; or could it be were just opportunist capitalizing on deaths unfortunate,...

    April 24, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  5. Bill Pedersen

    I got dumped from a Ph.D. program with a conciliatory M.A. covering Rhetoric, Composition, Teaching English, Literary Criticism and Theory, and the application of Psychology to Rhetoric. At my age, that was the kiss of death to my job hopes, since everyone wants younger people, "with real-world experience." I sent out 72 vitae, and got ONE interview. I thought I did extremely well in that interview, but they hired someone else. Perhaps my adult and independent attitude got nasty stabs in the back from professors who wouldn't say anything to my face.....

    Even IF I were completely at fault, which I really doubt, since my GPA is 3.75, I feel screwed if only because I now have $130,000 in original student loans. Of course, with no job, I'm so far behind on my payments, the loans plus penalties and interest are over $330,000. Like I'll ever be able to pay that back....


    Oh yeah, I have lots of good, and practical experience, and it makes me crazy to hear colleges and universities whining that they can't find people with that kind of background. You know, government, business, environment, journalism, language, rhetoric, building, etc.

    Bleep! My nickname! 😉

    April 24, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  6. Lavan

    i really dont understand what us govenment is doing

    pakistan is a muslim country man they will support only taliban .

    u ppl are in ur dream . by giving more money (5 bil ++) to pakistan ur going to create an taliban empire , iam sure u will see . pakistan will hand over the nuclear heads key to thses taliban then u ppl will know the real faces .

    iam sure u all will run around for ur life .

    even now its not too late for us to enter pakistan and take control over the area and nukes . do it guys dont waits then u wont have place to hide

    April 24, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  7. Larry

    Why are students in countries such as Germany and Scotland able to go to school up to and including graduate school for free?

    April 24, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  8. KB

    Something needs to be done about the student loan system. I just graduated from school about 5 months ago and am thoroughly stressed out trying to figure out how I am going to pay my student loans back. I have begun to apply for a part time job just to pay them. I contacted the student loan company and they told me they are no longer doing consolidations due to the economy. Does that make any sense????? If I am struggling wouldn't it make more since to do more things like consolidation to help?

    April 24, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  9. Michelle D. Fonthill,Ontario

    Good Morning Penny

    Everyone is tweeting and twittering it's taking over i don't twitter but i just enjjoy blogging on 360 and commenting on the stories you are following it's still fun .Happy T.G.I.F @Penny and the 360 team !

    See you later
    Michelle D.

    April 24, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  10. Brandon

    It's kinda hard to pay off student loans when nobody is hiring! College degree and still ten dollars an hour, guess those loans will have to wait until Wall Street can fully recover. So I can finally get a real job.

    April 24, 2009 at 9:39 am |
  11. Terry, TX

    "Are we near a ‘tipping point’ where Pakistan, a nuclear armed state, could be overtaken by Islamic militants? "

    Uhhh..yes...Why don't we let the environmentalist in the EPA, Rachel Maddow, Keith Olberman, PETA, Hillary, Holder, Emmanuel, ACLU, ACORN, LULAC, Bill Ayers, and the black caucus,..... go and handle this crisis...they need to be our boots on the ground....with Janet Napitalano leading the group...right in front.....
    Since our current administration doesn't trust our honorable CIA and FBI and National Guard and Border Agents...and our honorable soldiers. So you guys go handle it...handle it...no soldiers for you...I like the soup Nazi on Seinfield..sorry.

    April 24, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  12. Isabel

    Happy Friday, Penny Manis!

    It's great the "series longevity. Knowledge about our health are always welcome. 360 team are to be congratulated!

    Are you Twitter? But how do we find you? @pennymanis?
    Great news!

    Great Weekend for you!

    April 24, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  13. Myra McDowell

    I think it's great that you are using Twitter. 🙂

    April 24, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  14. Carla

    The banks gouge students with their interest rates. Student loans should only be 2% to pay back. It shouldn't take you most of your career to pay them off.

    April 24, 2009 at 9:30 am |
  15. Terry, TX

    "President Obama speaks about student loans today. He has taken heat from his own party over a decision to remove private banks from the federal student loan program, and instead give money directly to the Department of Education. Are you paying off your student loans and what reforms would you like to see?"

    Has this administration just lost it..the government...you do mean the taxpayers...we do enough in that area...FASFA...and these kids don't pay it back...look at the uncollected loans that plague that college funding area of this government. Do this in a recession?

    April 24, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  16. Kay March

    Twitter is as good as the people you're following. Now, when I boot up my computer, I go straight to Twitter to see comments on news, weather, religion, entertainment, health, etc. from the people I enjoy and whose opinions I respect. I check in periodically during the day for updates. I'm more informed, I get some chuckles, and I can respond now and then. Although I am not an expert in any particular field, the pressure's on come up with a few profound tweets of my own since some of the people I'm following are following me. How cool is that!?

    April 24, 2009 at 9:20 am |
  17. Toby Sax

    I joined twitter yesterday. First impression is that it marries the simplicity of DOS-like shorthand as a spine, with push of a button/link access to all multi-media modes of communication on the world wide web. Effective and fun!

    April 24, 2009 at 9:19 am |
  18. ernest quallis

    Its cool because u can put an idea into a blog/community of people, And get either constructive critisism and positive feedback. But like my favorite rapper said it kinda dehumanizing. Now u can put your thought out there and it get misconstrued Because, There is no human to human interaction. twitter limits 140 chracters, That means no room for emotional or mindstate side notes .

    April 24, 2009 at 9:17 am |
  19. carmen tickal

    I think student loans should get the interest rate lowered to 4%. Or bailout the students w loans like the banks were bailed out.

    April 24, 2009 at 9:03 am |
  20. Michelle Schivers

    I think the amount you owe for a student loan should not change. If you have a 25,000 student loan it can grow to 50,000 with the interest. You can afford to pay the 25,000 so how do you think we can pay the 50,000 and in the mean time that debt is still growing.

    April 24, 2009 at 9:02 am |
  21. Josh in Japan

    Penny... you didn't give us your Twitter name....

    April 24, 2009 at 9:01 am |
  22. J Russakis

    The fact that Pakistan has allowed the Taliban to openly occupy territory is disturbing. The real question is why are they allowing this situatuon to continue?

    April 24, 2009 at 9:01 am |
  23. Chris Christopoulos

    The problem in the region is not about how far the Taliban will go but why and who is feeling the pressure. Centuries of fighting have tough them that if they push hard enough maybe they can get response on the hidden agenda of their supporters.Because I cant believe they are fighting still with the 80's weapons the Americans gave them.

    April 24, 2009 at 8:59 am |
  24. Lorie

    We put 2 children through college with the help of the "Parent's plus loan". It was easy – you call and they give you money. Now – here we are with 2 educated children and a $100k loan to pay off. The monthly payments are equal to a mortgage payment – except with a much longer term. How will we ever dig out of this? It is a shame that we were 2 parents that worked regular jobs. Otherwise we would have qualified for some assistance. (that is if we would have divorced or quit our jobs). I might add this is what we owe in addition to what I children owe as well. I am very discouraged. Dear Mr President how can you help those that have already paid deeply? and are forever in debt to our children?

    April 24, 2009 at 8:59 am |
  25. Dan

    Pres Obama should mandate a lower interest rate on all student loans. Education is a cornerstone to the economic recovery, encouraging college education should be a priority for this administration. My wish would be that the government would forgive a portion of all student debts to reward those who are trying to make a better life for their families, instead of rewarding big banks for risky investing activities.

    April 24, 2009 at 8:58 am |
  26. Patrick Harnish

    Pakistan has enough millitary to stomp on them. It is something I am not concerned with.

    April 24, 2009 at 8:42 am |