February 1st, 2010
10:54 AM ET

Running for the hills on immigration

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/04/28/crowley.obama.democrats/art.obama.cnn.jpg caption="Obama had called immigration 'a top priority' in his first year as president."]

Ruben Navarrette Jr.
Special to CNN

Thirty-seven words. In this week's State of the Union address - which was more than 7,000 words long and lasted longer than an hour - all President Obama devoted to the issue of immigration reform was 37 measly words.

Here they are: "And we should continue the work of fixing our broken immigration system - to secure our borders, enforce our laws and ensure that everyone who plays by the rules can contribute to our economy and enrich our nation."

It's disappointing that Obama didn't spend more time on this pressing issue - but not surprising. Even though, elsewhere in the speech, Obama reminded Democrats in Congress that "the people expect us to solve problems, not run for the hills," this White House spent the first year in office running for the hills on immigration reform.

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Filed under: Immigration • President Barack Obama
February 1st, 2010
10:15 AM ET

Toyota's woes drag down entire industry

Jack R. Nerad
Special to CNN

For the auto industry, 2009 was filled with calamity and heartache. The litany of travails is long, and it extends to virtually every cranny of the industry.

General Motors, the company once deemed so dominant in the American marketplace that politicians actively talked about "breaking it up," dipped so low that it fell into an orchestrated bankruptcy, emerged as a ward of the federal government, and for punctuation had its chief executive fired by a government task force.

Chrysler - along with Ford and GM one of what was formerly known as the domestic "Big Three" - also tumbled into bankruptcy to find a rescuer in an Italian auto manufacturer that had bailed out of the North American market more than a decade before.

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February 1st, 2010
10:05 AM ET

Morning Buzz: The children of Haiti

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/WORLD/americas/01/31/haiti.border.arrests/smlvid.haitichildren.gi.jpg width=300 height=169]

Eliza Browning
AC360° Associate Producer

Tonight we’re starting a series on the children of Haiti and the challenges they face in the wake of the January 12 earthquake. Who is taking care of them and what is happening to orphans? We’ll be focusing on the myriad of issues they face all week.

Over the weekend, 10 Americans were detained and accused of child trafficking in Haiti after they allegedly tried to bus 33 children into the Dominican Republic. The Americans insist their effort was an attempt to get the children to a shelter, but Haiti’s prime minister said the group was kidnapping the children.

The Americans are members of an Idaho-based church group and they say they were trying to move the children to the Dominican Republic in the aftermath of the earthquake, but a Haitian judge has charged them with child trafficking. They are being held in the judicial police headquarters in the capital, pending a hearing today before a judge. We’ll have the latest developments on the case tonight.

The United States also announced that flights transporting critically injured Haitians into the United States will resume this morning. The flights were temporarily suspended because of logistical issues, including space to care for the injured, after a debate over who would pay for the care of the patients halted the flights. Also in Haiti, a massive food distribution drive also begins today.

Joe Johns is there following this story and he reports on the religious services being performed at mass graves, where thousands of people were buried after the January 12 earthquake rattled the country. He’ll report on this attempt to give victims some semblance of a proper funeral.

The President’s much-anticipated $3.8 trillion federal budget for 2011 was submitted to Congress today. The White House stresses it is a balance between “fiscal prudence” and spending for job creation. But where are the jobs and how will the budget account for them? Who are the winners and the losers? We’re breaking it all down for you tonight.

And the Obama administration is also proposing an overhaul of the education law, No Child Left Behind. The proposal will call for broad changes in how schools are judged to be succeeding or failing, as well as for the elimination of the law’s 2014 deadline for bringing every American child to academic proficiency. So how will it work and how are teachers and parents responding to the new proposal?

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

Filed under: Eliza Browning • The Buzz
February 1st, 2010
08:21 AM ET

Dear President Obama #378: Who do you trust?

Reporter's Note: President Obama is now entering his second February as leader of the free world. Which, when you think of it, is not such a milestone…I mean, it’s not like an anniversary, is it? Oh well. It’s cold. I think my brain is freezing. But not so much as to make me stop writing these silly letters.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/01/27/obama.sotu.updates/smlvid.obama2.afp.gi.jpg width=300 height=169]

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

Well, here we are with Monday upon us again. I got in a couple of runs over the weekend, despite the chill and I feel better for it. I tried some of that Wii boxing action too, but not terribly eager to dive into that again soon. My arms were so sore afterward I couldn’t get a can of peaches out of the pantry. Ok, it was not that bad, but truth be told, upper body strength has never been my forte. Of course, maybe boxing has just never been my sport. My brother and I used to box on the driveway of our house in Illinois, and he pretty routinely stood there just grinning while he smacked his gloves against my nose over and over again.

Speaking of punches in the nose, there has been a good bit of fact-checking over the comments made by you and your Republican pals late last week at that big meeting, and surprise…once again it turns out that each of you got parts right, and parts wrong. And yet, this happened in the middle of a debate which was, in part, about finding a way for you all to quit throwing false information around in your debates.

I’d laugh if it weren’t so depressing.


February 1st, 2010
07:41 AM ET

Two American writers' gifts to the world

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/SHOWBIZ/books/01/28/salinger.obit/story.salinger.gi.jpg caption="Reclusive author J.D. Salinger, pictured in 1951, was best known for the novel The Catcher in the Rye." width=300 height=169]

Hamid Dabashi
Special to CNN

On January 27, 2010, as our attention was distracted by the news of horrors from Haiti to Iraq, the quiet passing of two giant Americans in a single day was barely noticed around the globe. J.D. Salinger (1919-2010) and Howard Zinn (1922-2010) passed away at the ages of 91 and 87, respectively.

It was not just in the United States that Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye," his signature novel, became the cultic rite of passage for an entire generation. "Catcher" was published in 1951, the year of my birth in southern Iran, and soon after its Persian translation it became a definitive literary experience for high school and college students of the late period of the Pahlavi family's rule over Iran.

While Russian literature was a major staple of the Iranian literary scene since the early 20th century, it was not until the aftermath of World War II that an interest in American writers took hold.

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February 1st, 2010
06:39 AM ET

Sound Off: Your comments 1/29/10

Editor's Note: After Friday night's AC360°, many of you thanked us for our continued coverage from Haiti and asked that it be kept up.

After seeing your prompt coverage on Haiti! I am back watching CNN. Also, Ali Verse is great as well. Just give us the Facts! Anderson is great! CNN stick to the facts not a party.

I am so happy to see the amazing coverage of Haiti. My father, brother and friend flew in to Haiti last Thursday and have been working hard to install water purification systems. They were able to get a very low price on water purification systems that serve 20,000 people for 2 years. They have been working with many organizations to get these systems shipped and installed in hospitals and orphanages (working with organizations in the US to raise money). They have been updating facebook statuses and are making a huge impact so I wanted to point it out to you. They didn't go with a particular organization so they are more mobile and not working under so much red tape so they are able to get aid much more quickly. Word has it they got a water purification system to Lagonave today which is an area which has received very little aid. Please consider connecting with them. They have great resources and great stories to tell.

Anderson you are doing a wonderful job with your coverage in Haiti. Keep up the good work. I also want to thank Sanjay Gupta, Gary Tuchman, Ivan Watson and Karl Penhaul for the work your doing in Haiti. You guys are AMAZING. Thank you and stay safe.


Filed under: Behind The Scenes
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