November 24th, 2009
04:48 PM ET

Financial Dispatch: Economic rebound not as strong as first thought

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Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

Do you remember last month when everyone was so pleased to hear the U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 3.5% in the third quarter?

Well, not so fast…

A revised reading of gross domestic product from the government out today shows the economy actually grew at a rate of 2.8%. True, that's not as good as originally thought, but it’s still growth - and it comes after a record four quarters in a row of contraction.

So what's behind the downgrade?

A few things, actually - including weak consumer spending, a slowdown in commercial construction and a widening trade deficit. FULL POST

Filed under: Andrew Torgan • Finance
November 24th, 2009
04:28 PM ET

Documents: Official White House State Dinner Program


President Barack Obama will be holding his first state dinner tonight as President. The evening is in honor of India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and will feature an all meatless menu as well as a performance from Jennifer Hudson. See tonight's menu and program.

Filed under: President Barack Obama
November 24th, 2009
04:23 PM ET

Beat 360° 11/24/09

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:

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gestures alongside Meera Shankar, Indian Ambassador to the United States, during a State Arrival hosted by US President Barack Obama for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on November 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.

_________________________________________________________________________________ Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
November 24th, 2009
04:09 PM ET

RNC members draft new 'socialist' resolution

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/23/rnc.jpg caption="RNC members have drafted what's being described as a 'purity' resolution."]

Peter Hamby
CNN Political Producer

Conservative members of the Republican National Committee are circulating a new resolution that calls on party members to stand up to President Obama's "socialist" agenda and would prohibit RNC funds from going to GOP candidates who disagree with elements of a proposed ten plank ideological platform.

The language of the proposal is still being tweaked ahead of January's RNC Winter Meeting in Hawaii, where it could be submitted for a vote before the full committee.

Here are a few of the proposed policy positions:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Republican National Committee identifies ten (10) key public policy positions for the 2010 election cycle, which the Republican National Committee expects its public officials and candidates to support:

(1) We support smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes by opposing bills like Obama's "stimulus" bill;

(2) We support market-based health care reform and oppose Obama-style government run healthcare;

(3) We support market-based energy reforms by opposing cap and trade legislation;

(4) We support workers' right to secret ballot by opposing card check;

(5) We support legal immigration and assimilation into American society by opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants;

Keep Reading for the full text of the RNC's proposed resolution...

Filed under: Republicans
November 24th, 2009
03:34 PM ET

Obama at the tipping point

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Gloria Borger
CNN Senior Political Analyst

The fashionable critique of President Obama is that we don't really know who he is yet: That somehow, the eloquent and often-inspiring candidate of the campaign has yet to morph into anything resembling a memorable - much less transformational - president.

And so the polls are a muddle. The public still likes him well enough, but they aren't so sure about his policies. In other words, they are fine with this cerebral man as president, but still can't tell if his beliefs will eventually make them change their minds. They're on the fence.

Well, get ready to jump.

If there's a tipping point early on in every presidency, this is it. Obama is reaching the end of his first year - and a point where his decisions may well require him to stand up against not only his adversaries, but also his friends.

Keep Reading...

November 24th, 2009
03:00 PM ET

Dear President Obama #309: Dinner? I have no reservations...

Reporter's Note: President Obama is hosting his first State Dinner tonight; which, as I discovered long ago in a rather embarrassing fashion, is not at all like a steak dinner. Although presumably he could serve steak if he wanted to. Heck, he’s the president; he could serve Cocoa Puffs and Pop Tarts. As for me, I’ll just serve up today’s letter to the White House.

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Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

I have not had any problems with my mail service lately, but I assume my invitation to your first State Dinner must have been lost in transit. Not to worry. I’m kind of busy anyway, but I thought I should mention it in case you were wondering what happened. I don’t want you getting into trouble with the First Lady.

“Where is he, Barack?”

“I don’t know. I thought I saw his car, but it turned at the next corner and went away.”

“He’s written so many nice letters. You didn’t forget to invite him, did you?”

“Absolutely not. I remember I had his invitation in my pocket when I flew back from Asia and I told Rahm, ‘Don’t let me forget to stick Tom’s invitation in the mailbox on our way back to the White House.’”

“Oh, so it’s Rahm’s fault, is it?”


November 24th, 2009
02:30 PM ET

50on50: Thanksgiving Day Speed


Michael Schulder
CNN Senior Executive Producer

I was proudly telling our 30-something year old babysitter of my 30-something minute jog this week in the cold, hard rain. Another example, I thought, of why, as I turn 50, her 18-49 year old demo is finished as a meaningful category. That’s when our babysitter said something that hit me like a cold hard rain.

The Atlanta Half-Marathon

Our 30-something babysitter’s name is Anna. And, apparently, Anna runs more than I do. Not necessarily better. Just more. She’s going to run in the Atlanta Half Marathon on Thanksgiving Day.

When I told her how much I enjoyed running in the cold rain this week, she asked me if I wore a hat.

A hat? … I chuckled. What kind of hat?

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Filed under: Michael Schulder • Opinion
November 24th, 2009
01:23 PM ET

Kids smuggle food for cents along war border

Sara Sidner

Sabar Mina is cloaked in a light green shawl tinged with dirt. She is holding an empty flour sack that she plans on filling with firewood.

Her eyes are soft and kind, but they bear the signs of exhaustion. There's a reason for that. Instead of going to school, the eight-year-old walks an hour to work.

All day long Sabar takes items back and forth between two of the most dangerous countries in the world, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Normally she smuggles flour from the Pakistan side where she is from. Pakistan has a ban on exporting food items to Afghanistan because of a spike in food prices, so flour is a hot commodity right now.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Afghanistan • Pakistan • Sara Sidner
November 24th, 2009
12:33 PM ET

The dot-com bubble: How to lose $5 trillion

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 India has been transforming itself into a world-class competitor This time, we start to look at the Internet and how some of the early irrational exuberance has led to some of today's job market problems. 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

While many of the tasks we perform here in the 21st century are pretty much the same as those we performed before the turn of the century, many factors have changed the flavor, pace, and experience of 21st century employment.

Chief among the factors changing the employment world has been the Internet. Of course, as we all know, the Internet existed for quite some time before we began the 21st century, but its almost overwhelming ubiquity has been a phenomenon of the last few years.

You may remember the boom (and subsequent bust) of the early World Wide Web. From about 1995 though about 2001, the excitement and irrational exuberance of the dot-com bubble seized the imaginations of financiers wanting to make billions from entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs wanting to make millions from their sweat and smarts.

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This was a time before Google and YouTube, a time when Amazon was just starting up and we were all wondering if anyone would be willing to use their credit cards online. It was a time when us techies found ourselves explaining to the less computer-savvy what ".com" meant, what those "www" things were, and trying to help our family and friends understand the difference between email and the Web. Twitter and Facebook were still years in the future.


Filed under: David Gewirtz • Technology
November 24th, 2009
12:03 PM ET

Police: Professor murdered in Kentucky


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Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

The death of a Western Kentucky University professor has been classified as a homicide, authorities said today.

Dr. Martha “Bettina” Richmond was murdered, according to the Bowling Green Police Department. Her body was found inside her van on Sunday night.

“We found her dead in a parking lot outside a Parks and Recreation building," Officer Barry Pruitt of the Bowling Green Police told CNN. He also said an autopsy of the victim was performed yesterday.

Pruitt would not disclose details of the investigation or whether there were any suspects or persons of interest at this point. “I really can’t get into it right now,” he said.

Dr. Richmond, 51, was a professor of mathematics at the university, where she worked for 23 years. Her husband, Thomas Richmond, is also a professor in the department.


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
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