October 14th, 2009
10:13 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Inside a sweat lodge

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/10/14/arizona.sweat.lodge/art.sweatlodge.knxv.jpg caption="Two people died and were 19 injured after spending up to two hours inside this 'sweatbox' at an Arizona resort."]

Eliza Browning
AC360° Associate Producer

Did you hear about the tragic deaths of the people in the ’sweatbox’ last week? Two people died and 19 others fell ill at a central Arizona resort after spending time in a sauna-like sweatbox.

They were attending a self-help program and sat in a dome-like structure covered with tarps and blankets where hot rocks and water were used to create steam. Some people stayed in the sweatbox for nearly two hours, according to reports. Why would these people stay so long inside – and how did it relate to the self-help program? Could the investigation turn into a criminal prosecution? Gary Tuchman goes into a sweat lodge and reports on how they are used for certain types of rituals.

The Senate Finance Committee passed an $829 billion health care overhaul bill yesterday. So now what? We can expect closed door meetings so that lawmakers can meld the two Senate bills into one, but what will the merged bill look like? And who’s footing the bill? Sen. Olympia Snow, R-Maine, was the lone committee member to cross party lines, breaking with other Republicans to vote for the measure. Is Sen. Snowe the most influential member of Congress right now? More on Snowe tonight.

Wall Street is expected to shell out record salaries this year. And by “record,” I don’t mean low. According to estimates in the Wall Street Journal, major U.S. banks and securities firms are on pace to pay their employees an unprecedented high of nearly $140 billion this year. Many workers at top investment banks, hedge funds and asset management firms can expect to earn even more than they did in 2007. Is this proof that public outcry over Wall Street’s pay culture has not made a difference?

New research suggests that nearly half of patients hospitalized with H1N1 swine flu had no underlying conditions. This new data, released yesterday by the CDC reports that more than 45 percent of people sent to the hospital with the virus actually did not have an underlying condition, which is an increase from prior findings. Meanwhile, a nurse is suing the state of New York in an effort to block its requirement that all health care workers be vaccinated for both swine flu and regular flu. Does she have a case? We’re digging deeper tonight.

President Obama will meet for the fifth time with his war council to help him develop a strategy for the war in Afghanistan. On Tuesday, the President told reporters, “I will tell you that our principal goal remains to root out al Qaeda and its extremist allies that can launch attacks against the United States or its allies. That's our principal mission. We are also obviously interested in stability in the region, and that includes not only Afghanistan, but also Pakistan." We’ll have more on the progress of these war councils.

And for the first time in more than 35 years, the U.S. military has met all of its annual recruiting goals. Hundreds of thousands of young people have joined the military, despite the near-certainty they will go to war. The Pentagon points to the economic downturn as a major cause for the increase in enlistment. The military has not seen such across-the-board successes since the all-volunteer force was established in 1973, after Congress ended the draft following the Vietnam War.

And finally we’re looking at a story out of Medillin, Colombia. Karl Penhaul reports on the toll Colombia’s drug economy has taken on its citizens. According to Penhaul, the country’s drug harvest can be measured by bodies in the alleys. We’ll report on how this drug war is playing out in Colombia tonight.

What else are you following? Let us know and see you at 10 p.m. ET.

Filed under: Eliza Browning • The Buzz
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Lori

    It's raining in California – an early start to the rainy season but needed. With the drought and reduced water diversions from hisorical sources, southern California has been high and dry. We have had mandatory 20 percent reduction in consumption and enforcement of not more than three days per week sprinkler use in addition to no car washing etc. Etc. The Angels play the NY Yankies in the baseball playoffs in a few days.

    Happy Wednesday.;o)

    October 14, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  2. Michelle D. Fonthill .Ont

    Good Morning Eliza

    I can't understand why anyone would want to go inot a sweat lodge. It 's un ethical way of trying to help poeple and can't they just give lectures or books out to people instead . This is crazy i hope they charge this person and they never pratice this kind of self help techniques again . It's scary when people who have contacte the H1NI flu had no underlying conditons and still this caused them to die ,i wouldn't weant the vaccine it causes more harm than good .

    Thanks for the buzz
    Michelle D.

    October 14, 2009 at 10:23 am |