September 17th, 2009
03:51 PM ET
September 17th, 2009
03:30 PM ET

Afternoon Buzz: Race and politics in America

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Ella Perlis
AC360° Associate Producer

Tonight we continue our eye-opening series on medical malpractice. If you think tort reform will result in a decline of costs and spending, you may be surprised by Gary Tuchman’s report tonight. He went to a town in Texas, where despite caps on medical malpractice awards, treatment and tests for Medicare patients costs almost $15,000 per year, per patient! That is about double the national average for Medicare spending. Do you think tort reform is a necessary part of the health care overhaul?

Four days ago Annie Le’s body was discovered in the walls of a Yale medical lab, and today Raymond Clark was charged for her death. Police collected over 250 pieces of evidence before arresting him at a Super 8 motel this morning. Clark is being held on $3 million bond. Police describe the crime as an incident of “workplace violence.” Both Le and Clark worked in the lab, but authorities still have not released details on their relationship. We are digging deeper and will have more information tonight on Clark and the investigation.


Filed under: Ella Perlis • Health Care • Iran • Race in America • The Buzz
September 17th, 2009
01:42 PM ET

Financial Dispatch: Housing in recovery

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Gene Bloch
Managing Editor
CNN New York

The economy and the financial crisis, which accelerated the recession, will be examined in depth tonight in a Money and Main Street special. Anderson Cooper and Ali Velshi host the program, which will include practical advice from a panel of financial experts on how Americans who suffered through the pain in the last year can put themselves back into a position to profit from the recovery. That’s tonight at 11p ET.

A mixed picture in the economic tea leaves this morning. Housing starts rose 1.5% in August to a nine-month high, driven by a surge in new apartment projects. New construction is running nearly 25% above the record low hit last April. But as housing recovers, the job market remains very weak. 545-thousand more people filed for first time unemployment claims last month, a drop of 12-thousand from the previous week, but economists were hoping for a bigger decline.


Filed under: Economy • Finance • Gene Bloch
September 17th, 2009
12:49 PM ET

Honor is due

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Dave Schechter
CNN Senior National Editor

Honor is due.

They are old, the youngest in their early 80s, their faces etched with evidence of the decades.
They walk slowly, some leaning on canes and walkers; others make their way in wheelchairs.
What memories come to mind as they approach the World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.?
They are the core of “the greatest generation,” which fought in Europe, the Pacific and other remote locales.
And we are losing them at an increasingly rapid rate.
The Veterans Administration estimates that by Sept. 30 this year, there will be slightly more than 2 million living veterans of World War II (including my favorite, an 83-year-old Navy veteran living north of Chicago), roughly 280,000 fewer than a year ago.

Honor is due.

When the light is right, the faces stare at you out of the granite wall at the Korean War Memorial.
On a cold, wet night, the statues of 19 weary troops returning from a patrol are particularly eerie.
A former colleague who fought in Korea often complained that veterans of that war were forgotten, coming as it did five years after the end of World War II.
Korean War veterans might be considered the kid brothers and sisters of the World War II veterans (though many also fought in that conflict).
As of last Veterans Day, there were an estimated 2.3 million living veterans of the Korean War.

Honor is due.


Filed under: 360° Radar • David Schechter • Veterans
September 17th, 2009
10:07 AM ET

What's in Baucus' health care proposal?

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Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana, unveiled a summary of his proposed health care plan Monday. The main points include:

* $856 billion over 10 years and mandatory insurance coverage for every American by 2013.
* Baucus claims the bill would not add to the federal deficit.
* The plan is financed by more than $500 billion in various spending reductions, including Medicare, while calling for almost $350 billion in new taxes and fees.
* Insurers would be hit with $6 billion in new fees, with another $4 billion coming from the medical device manufacturing sector.
* Smaller sums would come from drug makers and clinical laboratories.

Changes to Medicaid/Medicare/CHIP:
* Medicaid eligibility would be standardized for everyone who has an income of up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level.

Keep reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Health Care
September 17th, 2009
10:00 AM ET

Rethinking Bagram Air Base

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Washington Post

The Obama administration deserves credit for proposing changes to the detainee review process at Bagram Air Base. In theory, the changes should increase the likelihood that only those who should be held will be imprisoned there.

But the administration inexcusably continues to resist necessary reforms for those detainees - among the longest held - who were captured beyond the Afghan battlefield. It also leaves open the possibility of future renditions to Bagram of terrorist suspects captured outside Afghanistan. On this front, the new proposal risks duplicating the lawlessness that came to mar the detentions at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.


September 17th, 2009
08:42 AM ET
September 17th, 2009
08:40 AM ET
September 17th, 2009
08:13 AM ET

Dear President Obama #241: Dispatch from New Haven – The Yale murder

Reporter's Note: President Obama travels a pretty good bit, but newsfolk travel on a moment’s notice, which is precisely how I was sent to Connecticut this week, where I am writing this letter to the White House.

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Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

As I write this, I am sitting inside a satellite truck alongside the road in front of the New Haven Police Department. It has rained off and on, my shoes are vaguely damp, and it is cold now with the wind blowing. I’ve been here for three days chasing this story about the murder of that young Yale researcher, Annie Le. It is terrible and a bit mysterious too.

I feel awful for the families in these cases. From a distance such stories are abstract, but up close I am always struck by how much a given person’s life meant to the people who knew him or her. Certainly this young woman filled a lot of other lives with joy, and hope, and expectations about her future. And now they are all mourning, just as thousands of students here are too; startled and at least a little scared to find such a violent crime so close to their homes.


September 17th, 2009
07:00 AM ET

Sound Off: Your comments 9/16/09

Editor's Note: The same two topics that drew response from many of you following Tuesday night’s AC360°, remained talked about issues following the program on Wednesday. Some of you responded with strong opinions regarding the idea that racism is fueling opposition to President Obama’s plans for America. The medical malpractice series also continued to draw feedback, with the majority of you expressing gratitude for the “serious and accurate” reports. Here are a selected few of the responses from some of you. Is your comment there? If not, we’d like to invite you to share your thoughts here:


I agree with President Carter. The three key spokespersons for Republicans (Limbaugh, Beck and Hannity) have been on the race issue since before the election. I'm assuming the majority of people In Washington on Saturday were there because of these three guys. This trio has done more to divide this country than anybody else and despite that, you guys keep covering them.

What planet are your guests on? It is NOT a race issue; it is a matter of political agendas….


Filed under: Behind The Scenes
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