November 18th, 2009
04:21 PM ET

Biden says errors on recovery.gov will be fixed

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/09/art.biden1109.gi.jpg caption="Vice President Joe Biden is downplaying news the government Web site Recovery.gov reported hundreds of millions of stimulus dollars spent on projects in congressional districts that in fact do not actually exist."]
Alexander Mooney
CNN Ticker Producer

Vice President Joe Biden is downplaying news the government Web site Recovery.gov reported hundreds of millions of stimulus dollars spent on projects in congressional districts that in fact do not actually exist.

The districts don't exist, but the projects do, Biden said Tuesday night.

And the administration isn't to blame – the fault lies with the nation's educational system.

In an appearance on The Daily Show, Biden said the errors – first reported by ABC News – do not indicate unaccounted-for spending but are rather the result of 70 people who are the product of "bad civics classes."

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Filed under: Joe Biden
November 18th, 2009
04:19 PM ET

Beat 360° 11/18/09

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:

(Getty Images) Arnold Schwarzenegger sighted while shopping on in Milan, Italy.

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.

_________________________________________________________________________________ Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
November 18th, 2009
04:19 PM ET

Tonight: Text 360°

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Tonight we continue our special investigation into a 2007 execution in Baghdad. Three decorated U.S. Army sergeants shot and killed four Iraqi detainees their platoon had taken into custody earlier that day. The soldiers are now serving prison terms at Fort Leavenworth. During interrogations, the soldiers blamed military policy for making it too hard to detail suspected insurgents.

We show you what the Army doesn’t want released – a startling confession by one of the three sergeants convicted of killing the Iraqi detainees. His confession is part of more than 23 hours of Army interrogation videotapes obtained exclusively by CNN. On the tape, Leahy admits to shooting two of the detainees. It is graphic and compelling. We also interview his wife, who says her husband is a good person and does not belong in prison. Was this murder or battlefield justice?

Do you have questions about this case and about the detainee policy in Iraq? We'll be digging deeper tonight.

Send us a text message with your question. Text AC360 (or 22360), and you might hear it on air!

Filed under: T1 • Text 360
November 18th, 2009
04:02 PM ET

Americans paying attention to health care debate?

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Ed Hornick

November and December tend to be a typically slow time for Congress as it wraps up business before a new session begins.

But not this year.

The Senate is expected to soon return to health care reform, the legislative lightning rod of 2009. Most analysts expect it to be an engaging debate.

But will Americans be paying attention as they carve the Thanksgiving turkey and shop for the holidays?

Analysts say yes - and that Americans are more tuned in than ever.

"I do think the audience for this debate will go beyond 'inside baseball,' though it won't extend beyond the already politically engaged electorate," says Frances Lee, a political scientist with the University of Maryland. "I would expect this debate to be equally engaging, though it will also be far longer."

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Filed under: Health Care
November 18th, 2009
03:54 PM ET
November 18th, 2009
03:26 PM ET
November 18th, 2009
12:50 PM ET

Financial Dispatch: Goldman Sachs says ‘sorry’

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Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

When it comes to the financial crisis, there's been a lot of blame-shifting and finger-pointing. But in a surprise move, one of the nation's biggest banks is now admitting it played a part in the debacle.

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein has apologized for taking part in the era of free and easy money.

"We participated in things that were clearly wrong and have reason to regret," Blankfein said at a corporate conference in New York. "We apologize."

Blankfein’s comments came the same day that Goldman announced it’s launching a $500 million initiative called "10,000 Small Businesses," aimed at unlocking the job creation and economic growth potential of America's small companies.

The project's advisory council features an array of business luminaries, including Warren Buffett, the bank’s largest shareholder

It’s worth pointing out that Goldman Sachs earned an eye-popping $3.2 billion in the third quarter, as revenue from trading rose fourfold from a year ago.

We have new signs today that the recovery in the housing market is tenuous at best.


Filed under: Andrew Torgan • Economy • Finance • Wall St.
November 18th, 2009
12:04 PM ET

India on $2 a day

Editor's Note: This article continues our series excerpted from AC360°'s contributor David Gewirtz's upcoming book, How To Save Jobs, which will be available in December. Over the next few months, we'll be excerpting the first section of the book, which answers the question, "How did we get here?".Last time, we looked at how China has been transforming itself into a powerhouse nation This time, we'll begin our look at changes in India and what that might mean for Americans. To learn more about the book, follow David on Twitter @DavidGewirtz.

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

For much of the 20th century, India followed an extremely socialist economic policy.  Its economy was excessively regulated, protectionism was rampant, corruption was everywhere, and growth was slow.

But in 1991, India changed its policy. Throughout the 1980s, India made it somewhat easier for businesses to grow. Rajiv Ghandi, India's Prime Minister from 1984 to 1989, removed price restrictions, and dropped corporate taxes to a much lower level than they'd ever been before. While growth increased, so did deficits (less taxes meant less money in the government's treasury).

India's primary trading partner was the Soviet Union and, in 1991, the Soviet Union fell. For all intents and purposes, India lost its best customer. And then oil prices went up during the first Gulf War.

All of this lead to a serious monetary crisis for the Indian government, which also suffered from a leadership vacuum. Rajiv resigned after losing an election in 1989 to Vishwanath Pratap Singh. Singh lasted in office for less than a year. Next came Chandra Shekhar who became Prime Minister on November 10, 1990 and resigned on June 21, 1991. Finally, Pamulaparthi Venkata Narasimha Rao took office in June, 1991 and served until May of 1996.


Filed under: David Gewirtz • Economy • India
November 18th, 2009
11:30 AM ET

Sarah Palin's publishing and political worlds in collision

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Mary Matalin
CNN Contributor

In today's publishing market, "Going Rogue" is a fat book at 432 pages, at a high price point of $28.99, with a massive (rumored 1.5 million) first printing, launched on the book world's version of a Royal Tour, where Oprah is Queen of the Universe and Barbara Walters is Duchess of the D.C.-Manhattan cognoscenti.

In today's political market, well before it was officially released, "Going Rogue" was reduced to a pinprick-sized, petty insiders squabble. How do we square these disparate perspectives?

As a person with alternating publisher and political hats, who knows the players but wasn't inside the John McCain campaign, who cares deeply about the current conservative movement and the future of the country (which are inextricably intertwined), may I offer a few thoughts to the friends on CNN.com's site?

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Filed under: Republicans • Sarah Palin
November 18th, 2009
11:28 AM ET

Wives say sergeants are heroes, not criminals

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/18/soldier.wife.jpg caption="Johana Mayo said her husband has been punished enough."]
Abbie Boudreau and Scott Zamost
CNN Special Investigations Unit

The wives of three Army sergeants in prison for premeditated murder say their husbands are war heroes who should not be in prison.

"I can sympathize with them that they felt like there was nothing else they could do," said Jamie Leahy, wife of Sgt. Michael Leahy, a 28-year-old medic.

She said her husband and the other two sergeants were heroes for protecting other soldiers. Leahy, 1st Sgt. John Hatley and Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Mayo killed four Iraqi men whom they had taken into custody at a canal in Baghdad, Iraq.

During the investigation of the killings, Leahy told Army investigators that the same men they had captured would be shooting at them again if they had released them.

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Filed under: Killings at the Canal
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