May 6th, 2009
11:59 AM ET

Financial Dispatch: Banks & jobs rule the day

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Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

Even though the government won’t publicly reveal the results of the bank “stress tests” until Thursday, numerous leaks are painting a troubling picture for some of the nation’s largest financial institutions.

According to several reports, regulators have determined that Bank of America may need roughly $34 billion in capital to weather a more painful economic environment. A company spokesman declined to comment.

Bank of America has received extensive assistance from the government to date, taking in $45 billion in taxpayer funds. A potential capital shortfall of this magnitude is certain to increase the pressure on CEO Ken Lewis, whom shareholders ousted as chairman of the bank last week.

Reports out Tuesday indicated that the government will direct more than half of the 19 banks that underwent the tests to boost their capital reserves, a move that officials hope will quell fears about the solvency of the financial sector.

New signs of life in the job market

The pace of job losses may be slowing, according to two private reports released this morning.


Filed under: Andrew Torgan • Bailout Turmoil • Economy • Finance • Unemployment
May 6th, 2009
11:52 AM ET

How to handle the Guantanamo detainees

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/05/04/guantanamo.closure/art.gitmo.bay.afp.gi.jpg caption="A guard talks to a detainee at Guantanamo earlier this year."]

Lindsey Graham and John McCain
For The Wall Street Journal

When President Barack Obama declassified and released legal memoranda from the Department of Justice, he opened the door to a drawn-out battle over the Bush administration's use of coercive interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists. We believe that any subsequent attempts to subject those who provided such legal advice to prosecutions are a mistake. They will have a chilling effect on the candor with which future government officials provide their best counsel.

The country must move on from debates about the past, because pressing questions about U.S. detention policy in the war on terror requires us to make difficult choices - and to make them soon.

In January, the president announced via executive order that the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay will close within a year. The announcement was easy - but it left unanswered the hardest questions about detainee policy for the future.


Filed under: Guantanomo Bay • John McCain
May 6th, 2009
09:33 AM ET

Lock up teen criminals?

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Jane Velez-Mitchell

Ten years ago, teen Daniel Giddings shot a man during an attempted robbery and was sentenced to six to 12 years in prison.

During his time behind bars, Giddings racked up almost 30 disciplinary infractions, was kicked out of two separate facilities for bad behavior and reportedly spent hundreds of days in the hole because of his conduct.

After serving 10 years, Giddings was released last August. According to CNN affiliate WPVI, he allegedly assaulted several police officers days later. Then, in September, he allegedly killed a Philadelphia police officer before being fatally shot by another officer.

We see classic cases of repeat offenders like this all the time. A teen is thrown into the abyss of the corrections system and comes back out no better, if not worse. If we had the right intervention for troubled teens, could we reduce their chances of becoming repeat offenders?

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Crime & Punishment
May 6th, 2009
09:28 AM ET

Scott Peterson Keeps Blogging


[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/CRIME/07/18/laci.peterson.mom/art.rocha.lkl.cnn.jpg caption="Sharon Rocha, mother of Laci Peterson, says Scott Peterson shouldn't be blogging from San Quentin."]

Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

As much as we'd like him to disappear for good, Scott Peterson won't go away, at least not yet. Despite a death sentence for murdering his pregnant wife, Laci, and her unborn son, Conner, the condemned killer continues to plead his case and in more ways than one. As with other convicted felons, he's filing appeals, hoping a court will overturn the verdict. That is his right.

But Peterson is also trying to convince you he's innocent. And he's using the Internet to do it. Peterson has managed to turn his Death Row cell at San Quentin State Prison in California into a virtual blogosphere.

His entries are posted on scottpetersonappeal.org, a web site created by the Peterson family. The site, which seeks donations for his defense, declares its mission statement as follows:

"We know Scott is innocent and that he has been unjustly convicted. Our pursuit of justice for Laci, Conner and Scott remains steadfast. We want to keep you informed as to the specifics of the case, the appeal, and related topics. We also want you to know how grateful we are for your prayers and support."


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
May 6th, 2009
09:27 AM ET

Celebrate this: sleeves are bad!

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Kay Jones
AC360° Coordinating Editorial Producer

It was a night of celebration. Hundreds of journalists, publicists, authors and celebrities turned out last night to recognize those who made the TIME 100 Most Influential list.

First Lady Michelle Obama gave a moving speech. And for those of you who pay attention to this kind of thing, she had on a floor length sleeveless black dress with a lot of long necklaces and her hair was in an updo. Bottom line: she looked awesome.

Oprah Winfrey was there, talking to fellow honoree Suze Orman. When our own Dr Sanjay Gupta walked in, Oprah stopped, gave him a hug and said loud enough for most of us to hear, "Look, it's Sanjay"!

Moments later, The View's Whoopi Goldberg practically ran over people to get to Dr. Gupta. It was a great to see the response to him. Unfortunately he had to run, so he could make his live appearance on No Bias, No Bull.


Filed under: Behind The Scenes • Kay Jones
May 6th, 2009
09:22 AM ET

Morning Buzz: President Obama's Afpak strategy

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/05/06/analysis.obama.afghanistan.pakistan/art.zadari.cnn.jpg caption="Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari will meet with Afghanistan's president and President Obama."]

Jill Billante
AC360° Senior Producer

Good morning, everyone. This morning there is plenty of news percolating in Washington.

President Obama is set to meet with the Pakistani and Afghani presidents today to discuss the insurgent violence in the region. The Administration wants Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari to work together to fight al Qaeda and other extremists.

At the same time, Congress is debating a now 94 billion dollar war funding bill that would fund the wars we’re fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan through September.

Hopefully tonight, we will talk to Fareed Zakaria about the foreign policy challenges we’re facing in the region.


Filed under: Jill Billante • The Buzz
May 6th, 2009
09:17 AM ET

Grateful Dead on health care

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Julian E. Zelizer
Special to CNN

All the stars seem to have aligned for the passage of national health care reform. Victory, supporters say, is inevitable.

During the past week, two important developments excited health care proponents.

First, President Obama and Senate Democrats included reconciliation instructions in the budget for health care. If a deal is not reached by October, congressional Democrats can use a process that prohibits a filibuster and allows passage of the bill with 51 rather than 60 votes in the Senate.

And even if opponents of the bill attempted to stage a filibuster, the switch of Sen. Arlen Specter to the Democratic Party, combined with the likely victory of Al Franken as a senator from Minnesota, would provide Democrats with 60 votes to fight it off.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Health Care • Julian E. Zelizer
May 6th, 2009
08:45 AM ET

Dear President Obama #107: The continuing turbulence over Air Force One

Reporter's Note: President Obama says Americans should send ideas to him on how to help the country. With a letter a day to the White House, I am step-by-step proving that I don’t have a clue.

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Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

I was so envious of you and Biden scarfing down those burgers over in Alexandria! Do you know how long it’s been since a reporter in this town could sit down for a nice bite like that? Ever since you came to town with all your “change,” and “hope,” and “not business as usual,” we’ve been jumping around like crickets in a bait shop.

So you can imagine my frustration that this story about Air Force One zipping over Manhattan just won’t go away. (And yes, I know it is officially called Air Force One only when you are on board…) You’ve made it clear that you thought this little excursion to snare some publicity shots was a terrible idea, and you understand how it alarmed New Yorkers who still remember 9-11 all too clearly. In fairness, it seems like that ought to be enough said, and presumably everyone could/should move on.


May 6th, 2009
08:08 AM ET

The Shot: Anderson on Leno

Anderson Cooper talks American Idol and Paula Abdul on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

Filed under: Anderson Cooper • T1 • The Shot
May 6th, 2009
07:57 AM ET

Video: To serve and protect?

Panelists weigh in on a town's D.A. and police department who are seizing money and property from people.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Crime & Punishment
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