May 5th, 2009
04:25 PM ET

Financial Dispatch: Banks get “stress tests” results

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Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

Reports out today indicate the government will direct about half of the 19 banks undergoing “stress tests” to boost their capital reserves, a move that officials hope will quell fears about the solvency of the financial sector.

Regulators reportedly plan to brief the nation's largest banks today on the final results, with a public announcement scheduled for Thursday afternoon. The “stress tests” are meant to determine whether the banks in question have sufficient reserves to weather the recession.

Preliminary results are said to show that firms including Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and several regional banks may be required to take remedial action.

Wall Street retreats

Stocks slumped today as investors slammed on the brakes after pushing the major gauges to multi-month highs in the previous session.

Stocks rallied Monday on bets that the economy is closer to stabilizing. The Nasdaq ended at a 6-month high and the Dow and S&P 500 ended at nearly 4-month highs.

Swiss bank’s outlook cloudy

Also on Wall Street’s radar today… Swiss banking giant UBS, one of the hardest-hit banks in the global financial crisis, confirmed that it posted a net loss for the first quarter, illustrating that it continues to struggle with write-downs even as rivals show signs of business picking up.


Filed under: Andrew Torgan • auto bailout • Economy • Finance • Gasoline Theft • Wall St.
May 5th, 2009
04:13 PM ET

Beat 360° 5/5/09

Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption and our staff will join in too. Tune in tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite! Here is the 'Beat 360°' pic:

U.S. President Barack Obama and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden order lunch at Ray's Hell Burger May 5, 2009 in Arlington, Virginia.

Have fun with it. We're looking forward to your captions! Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.

UPDATE: Check out our Beat 360° Winners!

Beat 360° Challenge But wait!… There’s more! When you win ‘Beat 360°’ not only do you get on-air prime-time name recognition (complete with bragging rights over all your friends, family, and jealous competitors), but you get a “I Won the Beat 360° Challenge” T-shirt!

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
May 5th, 2009
03:59 PM ET

Video: Obama and Biden go for burgers

The president and vice president make an unscheduled stop for burgers in Washington.

Filed under: Joe Biden • President Barack Obama
May 5th, 2009
03:53 PM ET

Exclusive Video: Taliban spokesperson speaks out

Program Note: Tune in tonight for Nic Robertson's full report on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

A Taliban spokesman gives an exclusive interview to CNN's Nic Robertson, saying U.S. troops will never win the war.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Global 360° • Nic Robertson • Taliban
May 5th, 2009
02:54 PM ET

Can a video game help us fight the swine flu – and other pandemics?

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

Sometimes, seeing the future requires a certain suspension of disbelief. In this case, a popular video game might provide important lessons about how to respond to a pandemic - and what might go wrong.

If you haven't heard of (or played) World of Warcraft, consider that its more than 11.5 million paying subscribers outnumber the populations of Israel and Ireland - combined.

World of Warcraft is a "massive multiplayer online role-playing game" and that's how this story of gamers and pandemic prediction begins.

In WoW, thousands of real human beings log in and interact with one another, solving problems, fighting monsters, trading goods, teaming up in guilds - all in a very large, ongoing fantasy world.


Filed under: 360º Follow • David Gewirtz • H1N1
May 5th, 2009
01:57 PM ET

Plea deal kept Derby winner's owner protected

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/05/02/kentucky.derby.scratch/art.2009.derby.gi.jpg caption="Calvin Borel atop Mind That Bird crosses the finish line to win the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby."]

Richard Mauer
The Anchorage Daily News

If it weren't for the plea deal that his dad made with federal prosecutors, Mark Allen might not have been in the winner's circle Saturday at the Kentucky Derby, celebrating the victory of his thoroughbred Mine That Bird and a $2 million purse.

Allen's father is former VECO chief executive Bill Allen, who pleaded guilty in 2007 to three counts related to his central role in the Alaska public corruption scandal. The father's plea won immunity from federal criminal charges for Mark Allen.

Mine That Bird, a 50-1 long shot, stunned the racing world when he came from behind and won the Derby. Mark Allen's Double Eagle Ranch of Roswell, N.M., along with a neighbor, Leonard Blach, purchased the gelding last year. The racing Web site BloodHorse.com said they paid $400,000 after the horse had initially sold for $9,500 as a yearling.


Filed under: 360° Radar
May 5th, 2009
12:34 PM ET

Elizabeth Edwards: How I survived John's affair

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Elizabeth Edwards
For Time

John was gone a lot in 2003 and 2004 running for office, and although I saw him all the time in 2005 when I was getting treatment for breast cancer, I knew I would see him less in 2006. I even participated in his being gone.

I thought he should do a spring-break trip for college students in New Orleans to help with the Hurricane Katrina cleanup. His antipoverty work would take him across the country, and I knew that. When he told me that the political action committee was going to have behind-the-scenes videos made of some of these efforts, it didn't seem like that bad an idea, and it certainly didn't occur to me to ask about who was making them.

It didn't occur to me that at a fancy hotel in New York, where he sat with a potential donor to his antipoverty work, he would be targeted by a woman who would confirm that the man at the table was John Edwards and then would wait for him outside the hotel hours later when he returned from a dinner, wait with the come-on line "You are so hot" and an idea that she should travel with him and make videos. And if you had asked me to wager that house we were building on whether my husband of then 28 years would have responded to a come-on line like that, I would have said no.


Filed under: 360° Radar • John Edwards
May 5th, 2009
11:38 AM ET

Afghan leader holds strong cards

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more from Peter Bergen on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/05/04/mullen.afghanistan/art.afghan.us.02.cnn.jpg caption="A U.S. soldier looks out of a Chinook helicopter flying over Afghanistan. "]

Peter Bergen
CNN National Security Analyst

Afghan President Hamid Karzai travels to Washington this week to meet with President Obama and with his Pakistani counterpart Asif Zardari.

There will be much to discuss - principally, of course, how to reverse the rising tide of Talibanization on both sides of the Afghan/Pakistan border, which is a key foreign policy challenge for the Obama administration.

But how long will Obama and Zardari have to deal with Karzai whose five-year presidential term expires this month and who is now up for election on August 20th?

The question is not a small one for the success or failure of what has become 'Obama's War' in Afghanistan. Karzai has long been derided as the 'mayor of Kabul' because his authority supposedly doesn't extend much beyond the capital. And his government is rightly seen as rife with corruption. The non-governmental organization Transparency International, for instance, rates Afghanistan, as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Afghanistan • Peter Bergen
May 5th, 2009
11:34 AM ET

Elizabeth Edwards breaks silence on affair

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Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of two-time presidential hopeful John Edwards, does not know whether he fathered a child during his affair with a campaign staffer, she says in an interview that is to air this week.

"I have seen a picture of the baby. I have no idea. It doesn't look like my children, but I don't have any idea," she said in an exclusive interview with Oprah Winfrey to air Thursday.

Winfrey's Harpo Productions Inc. provided CNN with several preview clips.

John Edwards admitted in August that he had had an affair with Rielle Hunter, then 42. Hunter was hired to make a movie about Edwards, then making his second try for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The former senator has denied that Hunter's baby is his.

He told his wife that Hunter approached him at a hotel, Elizabeth Edwards said.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • John Edwards
May 5th, 2009
11:05 AM ET

Afghan Taliban spokesman: We will win the war

Program Note: Tune in tonight for Nic Robertson's full report on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/05/04/robertson.interview.zabiullah.mujahid/art.nic2.jpg caption="CNN's Nic Robertson, left, talks to Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid at an undisclosed location."]

Nic Robertson
Senior International Correspondent

He won't look me in the eye, won't engage in any small talk, and looks more ill at ease than I feel.

The man in front of me is Zabiullah Mujahid - one of two spokesmen for the Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar.

He is around 30, maybe a little younger, bearded, but not heavily so. He is slight but not weak and close to my height - a little over six foot - and meeting him is a big deal.

I've never taken meetings with Taliban officials lightly, but the stakes are getting higher these days. They kidnap reporters and worse, and just before our interview they had announced a new offensive against U.S. and NATO troops.

Frankly just getting into this room had put my heart rate up a good few beats.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Global 360° • Nic Robertson
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