August 3rd, 2009
04:37 PM ET

Video: How viruses spread

Program Note: Tonight, Dr. Nathan Wolfe joins us on AC360º at 10 P.M. ET to discuss his remarkable findings on the origins of malaria.

August 3rd, 2009
03:43 PM ET

Summer of 1969

Program Note: The summer months of 1969 were especially historic. Humans took their first steps on the moon, the Woodstock Festival rocked thousands of concertgoers, riots in New York sparked the gay rights movement and the strange Manson murders shook up southern California. All this week, AC360º will take a closer look into the mysterious lives of the Manson family murderers. Tune in for the 5 part series at 10 P.M. ET.

Read more about the Summer of 1969.

[cnn-photo-caption image="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/06/05/california.manson.family.hearing/art.gi.jpg" caption="Susan Atkins, shown here after her indictment in the Manson murders, has been denied parole 17 times."]

40 years after Manson murders

Carey Bodenheimer

The woman who stabbed pregnant actress Sharon Tate to death will be considered for parole from prison a month after the 40th anniversary of the killings that cast a shadow of fear over southern California.

Susan Atkins, 61, has been denied parole in 17 previous hearings, but the former "Manson Family" member now is terminally ill with brain cancer and is paralyzed.

Charles Manson used his hypnotic powers to direct Atkins and other "family" members to kill seven people, including the pregnant Tate, in a two-night rampage that terrorized the city of Los Angeles, California, in August 1969.

Keep reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Crime & Punishment
August 3rd, 2009
03:08 PM ET

Michael Jackson's mom gets custody of kids

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/08/03/michael.jackson/art.jackson.mother.split.gi.jpg caption="Katherine Jackson has accused the executors of her son Michael's estate of keeping her in the dark."]

Alan Duke

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge on Monday approved an agreement granting Katherine Jackson permanent custody of her son Michael Jackson's children.

A hearing is scheduled for October to look at some remaining issues. An agreement between Katherine Jackson, 79, and Debbie Rowe, mother of Jackson's two eldest children, cleared the way for an uncontested custody hearing.

Rowe, who was briefly married to Michael Jackson, agreed not to fight for custody in exchange for visits with the children.

Keep reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Michael Jackson
August 3rd, 2009
02:29 PM ET

Clinton, Jordan's FM criticize Israel for Palestinians' evictions from East Jerusalem

[cnn-photo-caption image="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/07/18/india.clinton/art.clintonindia.gi.jpg"%5D

Elise Labott
CNN State Department Producer

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton blasted Israel Monday for evicting dozens of Palestinians from homes in East Jerusalem, calling the move a violation of Israel's obligations.

"I think these actions are deeply regrettable, Clinton told reporters following a meeting with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh. "The eviction of families and demolition of homes in East Jerusalem is not in keeping with Israeli obligations. And I urge the government of Israel and municipal officials to refrain from such provocative actions."

The U.S. protested the evictions Sunday to the Israeli embassy in Washington, which are complicating U.S. efforts to jumpstart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. The U.S. believes the move is not keeping with Israel's obligations over the U.S.-backed roadmap for peace, which calls for an end to all settlement activity.

"Both sides have responsibilities to refrain from provocative actions that can block the path toward a comprehensive peace agreement," Clinton said. "Unilateral actions taken by either party cannot be used to prejudge the outcome of negotiations. And they will not be recognized as changing the status quo."


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Israel • Middle East
August 3rd, 2009
01:30 PM ET

Financial Dispatch: “No tax hike” pledge in doubt

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/08/02/ford.gain/art.ford.vehicles.gi.jpg caption="Ford Motor Co. saw an increase in domestic sales this July over last, a company official said."]

Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

A top White House adviser says he can't rule out a tax on middle-class Americans to pay for President Obama's health care overhaul.

As a candidate, Obama pledged not to raise taxes for most Americans. But economic adviser Larry Summers said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he cannot promise that the President will stick to that campaign pledge.

Summers said it's too early to tell what will be needed to pay for a broad restructuring of how people receive health care. He also said controlling health care costs will be crucial to reducing the deficit and that the health of the economy is directly tied to how Americans take care of their own health.

And Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Sunday on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" that more actions may be necessary to firm up economic recovery, including extended unemployment aid, and declined to rule out future tax hikes to reduce massive budget deficits.

Geithner also said the government needed to show the will to reverse massive deficits after the recovery, including raising taxes if necessary.

Ford sees first sales gain since ‘07

Ford Motor today reported a 2% gain in July auto sales compared to a year ago, the first increase from any U.S. automaker since November 2007 – right before the official start of the recession.

Ford said that it was helped by the popular “Cash for Clunkers” program that gives car buyers up to $4,500 for trading in older, gas-guzzling vehicles if they're buying more fuel efficient cars. The program helped Ford sell significantly more cars and crossover models, even while its trucks and SUVs sales continued to fall.

But “Cash for Clunkers” is close to running out of money. The House approved an additional $2 billion in funding for the program Friday. The Senate is expected to vote later today.

Ford is the only one of the Big Three American automakers that didn't file for bankruptcy or take any government bailout money.

Construction spending, manufacturing activity rise

On the economic front, construction spending rose 0.3 % in June with the spending rate for public buildings reaching a record high.

It was the fifth month in a row that public construction, which makes up a third of total U.S. construction spending, made gains.

And manufacturing activity rose significantly in July, suggesting that while the sector remains in contraction, there's a possibility of growth in the current quarter

July's report marks the 18th straight month of contraction in the sector. But the month-to-month improvement indicates that the rate of contraction has slowed.

Millions in Madoff real estate on the block

Finally, nearly $22 million in Madoff real estate is about to hit the market.

The victims of the convicted Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff are hoping for a big take because they'll share the proceeds, but whether the luxury properties will fetch as much as estimated is still an open question.

Properties include a duplex on Manhattan's Upper East Side valued by the FBI at $7.5 million, a 3,000-square-foot Montauk, Long Island beach house and a 6,475-square-foot house in Palm Beach that has five bedrooms and seven baths

Follow the money… on Twitter: @AndrewTorganCNN

Filed under: Andrew Torgan • Finance
August 3rd, 2009
11:02 AM ET

Cash for Clunkers is a clunker

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/07/29/cash.clunkers.irpt/art.clunker.new.irpt.jpg caption="Julie Callahan traded in her her 1990 Chevy C1500 pickup truck for a new PT Cruiser."]

Jeffrey A. Miron
Special to CNN

Toward the end of last week, news spread rapidly that the Cash for Clunkers program was about to run out of money.

Under this policy, adopted in June, consumers who own a car with low fuel efficiency can receive $3,500 – $4,500 from the federal government if they buy a new car with higher fuel efficiency.

The goals of the program are to help the environment and to stimulate the auto industry.

The program has been popular with consumers and car dealers. Congress initially allocated $1 billion to the program, and this funding was expected to last through November 2009. Yet the program apparently committed the entire $1 billion after only four days in operation, and many interested consumers have not yet been able to consummate a deal.

Because the program is such a hit, President Obama and members of Congress have vowed to add funding. The House voted an additional $2 billion last week; the Senate may vote on Tuesday.

Despite the program's popularity, Cash for Clunkers is bad medicine for the U.S. economy.

The first problem is that under the terms of the program, any used car that is traded in must be scrapped, and key parts like the engine and drive train destroyed.


Filed under: Economy
August 3rd, 2009
10:49 AM ET

Dear President Obama #196: Building a legacy

Reporter's Note: President Obama is fast approaching his 200th day in office, so he must feel nicely settled into the job. And yet I continue with my daily letters of advice. Apparently I’ve settled in a bit too, no doubt to his dismay.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/07/31/obama.cabinet.review/art.obamacabinet.gi.jpg]

Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

My mother told me a wonderful story this weekend of a recent event. She was trying to do some light work in the yard of her rural Alabama home; tending to some weeds, trimming some plants back. Both are jobs that she really wanted to get done earlier in the year, but she does not move around as easily as she once did and putting off such work is easy enough for rain, for heat, for chill, for whatever comes along.

And she had an even better excuse this year. With my father’s death last September, she has had to keep up with many things that he might have normally tended to, putting her even further behind on her normal chores. And she knew before she could even tackle the weeds and the pruning, she had some preparations to make. She had to repair her pruning shears, which broke more than a year ago, and she had to mix the weed killer and fill up the sprayer bottle she uses when she applies it.

My brother helps her with various jobs all the time, and he certainly would have taken care of these too if she had asked him, but she tries to do all she can and she’s never been one to shy away from any work, so I don’t suppose she is going to start now.


August 3rd, 2009
10:47 AM ET

Courage will end the recession

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/06/22/arizona.foreclosures.help/art.locascio.cnn.jpg caption="Lisa Locascio is trying to buy her first home with help from the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program."]

Peter Bregman
Special to CNN

Brad Baugh lives in Savannah, Georgia, where he buys and renovates houses. He told me two things the other day that exposed a great opportunity in this treacherous recession - and that may even shine a light on our way out of it.

The first thing he told me didn't surprise me: he's not buying anything.

It's not that he can't find good deals; he showed me several reasonably priced buildings he'd like to buy. The problem is the bank.

Here's the painful part: Even the bank thinks the deals are good. It's just that, for the moment, they've stopped issuing loans. See, they're still afraid they might not survive this recession. They're collecting on old loans, recapitalizing the bank. It's not that they don't want to do the deal. It's just that they don't feel secure enough to spend the money investing in it. Better to be safe.

Which means the bank won't make money on new loans. And Brad won't buy and renovate the building. And the seller won't sell the house. And the economy won't move.


Filed under: Economy
August 3rd, 2009
10:20 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Virus hunting, murder mysteries and new taxes?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/03/art.ac.wolfe.jungle.jpg caption="Anderson speaks with Dr. Nathan Wolfe, a virus hunter, in Cameroon about his research into the origins of Malaria."]

Eliza Browning
AC360° Associate Producer

Is the recession beginning to slow down? The Obama administration says the economy is showing signs of improvement. Although the U.S. unemployment rate may not peak until the second half of next year, members of the administration say the $787 stimulus package will save or create 3. 5 million jobs by the end of 2010. Is it too early to feel optimistic? Ali Velshi will break down the economic news for us this evening.

Meanwhile, some of the President’s top economic advisers said they cannot rule out higher taxes in order to tame an exploding budget deficit and pay for a health care overhaul. So should middle-class Americans prepare for an increase in taxes? We’ll dig deeper on the plans and how they will affect you tonight.

Malaria is a covert, insidious disease and is one of the biggest killers on the planet – claiming more than one million lives globally. But where did it begin? Dr. Sanjay Gupta speaks to Dr. Nathan Wolfe, a virus hunter, who has been researching the epidemiological history of this disease for years. Wolfe met up with Sanjay at the meFou National Park in Cameroon about his work on understanding this deadly disease that impacts so many people across the world.

We’re also following Iran today, where three Americans were reportedly captured on Friday. They allegedly crossed the border from northern Iraq while on a hike. (Not my first choice for a hike..) We’ll give you the latest details on their whereabouts as we learn them. The Swiss Foreign Ministry says diplomats are trying to find out what happened to the Americans. Meanwhile in Iran, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei formally approved the second term presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today. He’ll be sworn in before the Iranian Parliament on Wednesday.

Tonight we’re launching a five-part series on the Manson murders today, which occurred 40 years ago. Check out this compelling look at the grisly 1969 crime and murder mystery.

And we’ll follow all of the news on Michael Jackson. Katherine Jackson, Michael’s 79-year-old mother goes to court today for control of her son’s estate. Randi Kaye is in Los Angeles and she’ll fill us in on all of the new developments tonight.

What else are you following today? Let us know and tune in tonight at 10 p.m. ET!

Filed under: Eliza Browning • The Buzz
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