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October 16th, 2009
03:43 PM ET

Financial Dispatch: Bank of America posts loss and CEO forgoes pay

GE reported sinking profit and sales, but said it sees signs of stablization.

GE reported sinking profit and sales, but said it sees signs of stablization.

Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

Bank of America proved no match for the ongoing recession as the nation's biggest bank reported a steep loss today.

With Americans continuing to default on their credit cards and mortgages, BofA said it lost $2.2 billion in the third quarter, which included several charges related to the government's move to rescue the firm over the past year.

The results come at a particularly difficult time for both the bank and its CEO, Ken Lewis.

Last month, Lewis announced plans to step down amid ongoing scrutiny over his role in the company's controversial purchase of Merrill Lynch during the height of the financial crisis.

And just yesterday, he agreed to a deal not to accept a salary or bonus this year as CEO in an effort to deflect some of scrutiny the firm faces, after some not-too-subtle prodding from the Treasury Department's pay czar, Kenneth Feinberg. In fact, Lewis will have to repay Bank of America the more than $1 million he has already earned in his final year on the job.

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Filed under: Andrew Torgan • Economy • Military
October 16th, 2009
03:19 PM ET
October 16th, 2009
02:35 PM ET

Clinton: Karzai runoff win likely but he must deliver

Jill Dougherty
CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent

With a runoff presidential election in Afghanistan likely, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told CNN Friday that she expects the current president Hamid Karzai will win.

“It is likely that they will find that President Karzai got very close to the 50, plus 1, percent. I think one can conclude that the likelihood of him (Karzai) winning a second round is probably pretty high,” Clinton told CNN’s Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jill Dougherty in an exclusive interview.

Clinton said, however, the timing of President Obama’s decision on whether to commit more troops to the fight in Afghanistan will not hinge on the election results. “I think the president is expecting to make a decision on his own timetable,” she said, “when he is absolutely comfortable with what he believes is in the best interest of the United States.”

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Jill Dougherty
October 16th, 2009
12:42 PM ET

Doctor says near-death experiences are in the mind

Laura Geraghty was shocked 21 times before she came back from cardiac arrest with tales of the afterlife.

Laura Geraghty was shocked 21 times before she came back from cardiac arrest with tales of the afterlife.

Saundra Young
CNN Senior Medical Producer

For Laura Geraghty, April 1, 2009, started out just as any other day. It was sunny but cool, she remembers.

The mother of two, also a grandmother, was at her job, driving a school bus for the Newton Public School District in suburban Boston, Massachusetts.

Her passengers, special-needs children, were wheelchair-bound.

Seemingly in good health and in good spirits, Geraghty was finishing up her late-morning run, transporting a student and teacher back to Newton South High School, when she realized she was in trouble.

Keep Reading...

October 16th, 2009
12:01 PM ET

Danger: Angry white man zone

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

As surely as bleary-eyed hikers emerge from northwest woods with tales of hoary Sasquatch rising from the firs, Republicans all over are plagued this fall with sightings of Bigfoot’s political kin: The Angry White Man. The latest came just this week from South Carolina, where Republican Senator Lindsey Graham waded into a room full of frustrated Tea Party types to say the GOP must reach out to new constituencies. “We’re not going to be the party of angry white guys,” he said amid the catcalls and chest thumping.

Graham is not alone. One after another, Republican operatives have told me their Party must expand, include more types of folks, more diverse views, all while maintaining the core conservatives they count on. And yet they are troubled by a question: How can that be done with the specter of the Angry White Man looming large?

The answer, they suggest, lies first in removing the mythology and demonization of this particular voter. Are there white men who are furious at the state of things? Sure. But while some are admittedly knuckle-dragging racists howling against the progress of others, most are not. And they have good reason to be angry.

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Filed under: Democrats • Raw Politics • Republicans • Tom Foreman
October 16th, 2009
11:42 AM ET

The White House takes a cue from "The Office"

President Barack Obama lights a traditional oil lamp as Sri Narayanachar Digalakote, Hindu Priest from the Sri Siva Vishnu Temple in Maryland, chants in observance of Diwali, or the 'Festival of Lights.'

President Barack Obama lights a traditional oil lamp as Sri Narayanachar Digalakote, Hindu Priest from the Sri Siva Vishnu Temple in Maryland, chants in observance of Diwali, or the 'Festival of Lights.'

Devna Shukla
AC360° Staff

As a first-generation Indian American, I am inevitably faced with many interesting cultural experiences.

Growing up in a small town in the Midwest, I often felt as if I lived two parallel lives; I was an American in school and Indian at home. I was truly conflicted and felt unable to share my Indian heritage during my elementary school years, despite my attempts to share the meaning and traditions with others.

My favorite holiday? The festival of Diwali, also known as the Hindu New Year.

Diwali is such a bright, colorful holiday celebrating the epic triumph of good over evil. This holiday is filled with sweets, vibrant clothing, and spending time with families. Not being able to share this with friends and colleagues was similar to a hypothetical situation where Christmas and Chanukah were ignored at schools, department stores, and at work.

FULL POST

October 16th, 2009
11:42 AM ET

Protecting your computer from online bad guys is no joke

David Gewirtz | BIO
AC360° Contributor
Editor-in-Chief, ZATZ Publishing

Every topic needs its own day or month, and I guess cybersecurity is no exception. This October is the sixth annual Cybersecurity Awareness Month sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security. And while it may seem silly for cybersecurity awareness to need its own month, there's nothing silly about keeping your computer secure.

Let me be very clear here: there are bad guys out there and they are trying to hurt you through your computer.

I know that seems melodramatic, but it's all too true. Cybercriminals, hackers, terrorists, and other malcontents (that sounds so "get off my lawn," doesn't it?) are constantly pushing the limits of Internet security. Most of the time, it's about making money. Sometimes, it's about breaking through security and gaining bragging rights. And, once in a while, it's about causing widespread chaos. No matter the motivation, it ain't good.

This is an arms race.

They'll find a way in, we'll create a new defense, they'll counter-program against the defense, and on and on and on. This is an arms race between security professionals and criminals. Fortunately, there's a lot you can do to defend yourself and your family, and once you've established the right mind-set, you'll be able to take some very basic precautions that'll go a long way to keeping you more secure.

So, let's talk about that mindset first. A lot of people I talk to tell me I'm worrying too much. They tell me they're not important enough to be attacked. They tell me that no one is going to go after them. They tell me that "just this once" there won't be a problem. They tell me that it's all a hoax.

It's not. Here's the thing: attacks are highly automated and easy to do. Every device on the Internet has a number, called an IP address, which consists of four sequences of up to three numbers, like 192.168.1.1. Each sequence ranges from 0 to 255, so the lowest number is 0.0.0.0 and the highest is 255.255.255.255.

FULL POST


Filed under: 360° Radar • David Gewirtz • Technology
October 16th, 2009
11:39 AM ET

Why Joe Biden Should Resign

Program Note: Ariana Huffington will be on the show tonight on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

Arianna Huffington
The Huffington Post

Joe Biden met with CENTCOM chief Gen. David Petraeus this morning to talk about Afghanistan - an issue that has pushed the vice president into the spotlight, landing him on the cover of the latest Newsweek.

I have an idea for how he can capitalize on all the attention, and do what generations to come will always be grateful for: resign.

The centerpiece of Newsweek's story is how Biden has become the chief White House skeptic on escalating the war in Afghanistan, specifically arguing against Gen. McChrystal's request for 40,000 more troops to pursue a counterinsurgency strategy there.

The piece, by Holly Bailey and Evan Thomas, opens with details of a September 13th national security meeting at the White House. Biden speaks up:

Read more...

October 16th, 2009
11:28 AM ET

Interracial couple in Louisiana denied marriage license

Terence McKay claims a justice of the peace refused to give him and his white girlfriend a marriage license.

Terence McKay claims a justice of the peace refused to give him and his white girlfriend a marriage license.

CNN

Civil rights advocates in eastern Louisiana are calling for a justice of the peace of Tangipahoa Parish to resign after he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple.

"He's an elected public official and one of his duties is to marry people. He doesn't have the right to say he doesn't believe in it," Patricia Morris, president of the NAACP branch of Tangipahoa Parish, located near the Mississippi line, said Thursday.

"If he doesn't do what his position calls for him to do, he should resign from that position."

The demands for Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace for Tangipahoa Parish's 8th Ward, to step down came after he wouldn't issue a marriage license to Beth Humphrey, 30, and her boyfriend, Terence McKay, 32, both of Hammond.

"I was just really shocked, because he's an elected official," Humphrey said.

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Filed under: Race in America
October 16th, 2009
11:11 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Cheating death?

Laura Geraghty was shocked 21 times before she came back from cardiac arrest with tales of the afterlife.

Laura Geraghty was shocked 21 times before she came back from cardiac arrest with tales of the afterlife.

Eliza Browning
AC360° Associate Producer

Tonight Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports on a woman’s near-death experience. Laura Geraghty, a school bus driver in North Attleboro, Mass., collapsed after she finished her bus run. Despite frantic CPR and defibrillator efforts from a school nurse and responding paramedics, she went without a heartbeat for nearly an hour before being shocked back to life. She emerged, incredibly, without even a bit of brain damage.

But while onlookers gaped at her body lying in the middle of the school parking lot, Geraghty says she remembers being somewhere else with members of her family who had died years earlier. Tens of thousands of Americans have had such near-death experiences – is there some sort of scientific explanation? More from Dr. Sanjay Gupta tonight.

A justice of the peace in Louisiana refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple and civil rights advocates are now calling on him to resign. Keith Bardwell, a justice of the peace in Tangipahoa parish, said he was concerned for the wellbeing of the children the couple might have and that he didn’t think most interracial marriages last very long. The bride says the case boils down to discrimination, though Bardwell said he is not racist. The ACLU is preparing a letter to the state’s Supreme Court to have Bardwell removed. Sean Callebs will have more on this story tonight.

FULL POST


Filed under: Eliza Browning • The Buzz
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