August 25th, 2009
11:59 PM ET

Deficits: Why they threaten health reform – and what Obama might do

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David Gergen | Bio
AC360° Contributor
CNN Senior Political Analyst

If you were sitting in the White House, it is entirely understandable that you would decide to unveil the surprise announcement of Ben Bernanke’s reappointment today: that may be the best and only way to divert attention from other economic news that is eye-popping.

The Bernanke appointment will be welcomed in financial circles, both here and overseas, because he is widely seen as the man who stopped us from going over a cliff. While some in Congress remain relentless critics of Bernanke, President Obama will generally win high marks for a reassuring move.

Strikingly, this is the third time in recent years that a president of one party has reappointed the head of the Federal Reserve first selected by a president of the other party: Ronald Reagan reappointed Paul Volcker, a Carter appointee; Bill Clinton reappointed Alan Greenspan, a Reagan appointee; and now Obama is reappointing a George W. Bush appointee. All of the choices have been seen as wise at the time.

Yet even the Bernanke story cannot fully deflect attention from the other economic story engulfing the administration today: its official announcement of new economic projections – in particular, its acknowledgment that deficits over the coming decade will be even higher than it said only three months ago. Now, the administration is predicting that instead of $7 trillion in new deficits, the country will rack up a staggering $9 trillion in new deficits for the 2010-2019 period. (The Congressional Budget Office has published its own numbers today that are largely parallel.)


August 25th, 2009
11:30 PM ET

After the Storm: Impact Your World

Program Note: Four years after Katrina, what is New Orleans like now? Some residents continue to face challenges as the Big Easy keeps trying to rebuild. Take a look at In Depth: After the Storm. And to learn about ways you can make a difference, visit Impact Your World.

Impact Your World

Four years after Katrina, what is New Orleans like now? Some residents continue to face challenges as the Big Easy keeps trying to rebuild.

For those of you looking to contribute to the ongoing rebuilding effort in New Orleans, go here to find out how. CNN's Impact Your World has put together a list of resources that will help you get involved.

Find more here....

August 25th, 2009
10:17 PM ET

A compassionate deal?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/europe/08/21/scotland.lockerbie.bomber/art.megrahi.gi.jpg caption="Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi (second from left) arrives in Tripoli, Libya."]

Octavia Nasr | BIO
AC360° Contributor
CNN Senior Editor, Mideast Affairs

It’s been hard to convince Arabs that Abdel Basset al-Megrahi was released only on compassionate grounds. They’ve been calling his release a deal and they’ve been discussing the facts as well as the fallout, the noise and controversy that ensued.

For Libyans, it was no doubt a victory. On the same day, they descended on a palace of their leader Moammar Ghaddafi, cheered him on and called him their “happiness maker.”

For the rest of the Arab world, it was considered a deal early on. First, the timing was suspect. His release occurred one day before the beginning of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, about a week ahead of Libya’s 40th anniversary of the revolution that brought Moammar Ghaddafi to power, and a month before Ghaddafi’s planned trip to the US where his visit - and the air-conditioned tent that will house him - are already the subject of controversy.


August 25th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 8/25

Tonight we’re digging deeper on the CIA interrogation story. Yesterday, the government released hundreds of documents detailing harsh interrogation tactics used by the CIA during the Bush administration–and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said he was launching a new review of those controversial techniques to determine if the CIA broke the law. We’ll also have the latest in the Michael Jackson death investigation. For weeks now, the focus has been on Dr. Murray, but now another doctor—Jackson’s longtime dermatologist Dr. Arnold Klein—may soon be getting even more attention from investigators. Randi Kaye explains why tonight.

Want to know what else we're covering? Read EVENING BUZZ

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
4) No links
5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

Filed under: Live Blog • T1
August 25th, 2009
07:52 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Was Cheney right about tough interrogation tactics?

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Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

Tonight we’re digging deeper on the CIA interrogation story.

Yesterday, the government released hundreds of documents detailing harsh interrogation tactics used by the CIA during the Bush administration–and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said he was launching a new review of those controversial techniques to determine if the CIA broke the law.

That decision has sparked a war of words—and former Vice President Dick Cheney has entered the fray. He says the newly released documents prove his long-held claim that tough interrogation techniques—including mock executions, banned by the U.N. Convention Against Torture–prevented terrorist attacks and yielded crucial information about al Qaeda.

But do the documents made public yesterday really prove his point? Did those tough tactics actually deliver crucial information that kept Americans safe? Tom Foreman is on the case, Keeping Them Honest. Political contributors Paul Begala, Democratic strategist, and Mary Matalin, who served as an adviser to Cheney when he was vice president, will also weigh in.


Filed under: Cate Vojdik • The Buzz
August 25th, 2009
06:29 PM ET

Beat 360° 8/25/09

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:

Two secret service agents follow in a cart as US President Barack Obama plays golf at the Farm Neck Golf Club in Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, on August 24, 2009.

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.



Tom Foreman

“Roger that. Biden is one hell of a caddy.”


Terri, Atlanta, GA

Remember, if we see Joe Biden, we’re supposed to divert him to another part of Martha’s Vineyard.

_________________________________________________________________________________ Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
August 25th, 2009
04:44 PM ET

Photo Gallery: The Obamas on vacation

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more about presidential vacations from Erica Hill on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.


President Obama is on vacation with his family in Martha's Vineyard. On his first official day of R&R he played golf and went up against his wife in a tennis match.

White House spokesman Bill Burton told reporters that it remains a secret who won. As for the rest of the week, Burton offered few details, saying the president himself doesn't even have a particular schedule. He did take a break to make some news today, to announce his plans to nominate Ben Bernanke to a second term as head of the Federal Reserve. Take a look at these photos from his vacation.

President Obama and his family disembark Air Force One to begin their vacation in Martha's Vineyard.

The President had a busy golf schedule on day one.


Filed under: 360° Radar • President Barack Obama
August 25th, 2009
03:51 PM ET

FAQs on H1N1 Swine Flu

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://www.cdc.gov/H1N1flu/images/H1N1_fluyou01.jpg caption="Novel H1N1 Flu in Humans"]
Centers for Disease Control

What is novel H1N1 (swine flu)?
Novel H1N1 (referred to as “swine flu” early on) is a new influenza virus causing illness in people. This new virus was first detected in people in the United States in April 2009. This virus is spreading from person-to-person worldwide, probably in much the same way that regular seasonal influenza viruses spread. On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) signaled that a pandemic of novel H1N1 flu was underway.

Why is novel H1N1 virus sometimes called “swine flu”?
This virus was originally referred to as “swine flu” because laboratory testing showed that many of the genes in this new virus were very similar to influenza viruses that normally occur in pigs (swine) in North America. But further study has shown that this new virus is very different from what normally circulates in North American pigs. It has two genes from flu viruses that normally circulate in pigs in Europe and Asia and bird (avian) genes and human genes. Scientists call this a "quadruple reassortant" virus.

Keep reading...

Filed under: H1N1
August 25th, 2009
03:42 PM ET

Interactive: Timeline of Jackson’s sleepless night

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/08/24/michael.jackson.propofol/art.propofol.gi.jpg caption="YOUR The drug Diprivan, known by its generic name propofol, is administered through an IV as a general anesthetic. "]

Michael Jackson's final hours
Court documents released Monday reveal new detailsof the events on the day of Michael Jackson's death, as recounted by Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson's personal physician. Read how the documents portray the pop star's final hours.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Michael Jackson
August 25th, 2009
03:41 PM ET

Rates of domestic violence on the rise? Where to find help

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/08/05/chris.brown.sentencing/art.chris.brown.hearing.pool.jpg caption="Chris Brown appears at the hearing Wednesday. The actual sentencing will take place today. "]


Recent reports indicate that rates of reported domestic violence incidents are on the rise.

Many point to the economic recession as a factor causing the spike, such as the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation which found that 75 percent of domestic violence shelters in the U.S. reported an increase in women seeking help since September. The report concluded that 73 percent of these shelters attribute this rise to financial issues.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline measured an increase in calls of 21 percent during the third quarter of 2008.

Learn more about where to find help here...

Filed under: 360° Q & A • Women's Issues
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