February 9th, 2010
03:36 PM ET

Ebadi: Iran abusing rights on many fronts

Shirin Ebadi
Special to CNN

Although I have already highlighted the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran on several occasions in writing and in person, I deem it necessary to once again draw the attention of Your Honor and the distinguished members of the UNHRC to the following issues as you prepare to review the Islamic Republic of Iran's human rights record, on February 15, 2010.

My compatriots have endured a difficult period. Their peaceful protests were responded with bullets and imprisonment. Many photographs and witnesses corroborate the government's violence, not to mention instances when sufficient facts and evidence were presented to the authorities and public that revealed the identity of the killers.

Sadly, however, the Judiciary and other state officials have not taken any steps to arrest the killers or even reduce the level of violence.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Human Rights • Middle East
February 9th, 2010
03:28 PM ET

Michelle Obama's war on childhood obesity

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/HEALTH/01/22/teens.cholesterol/t1larg.jpg caption="Obesity rates for kids have tripled over the last three decades."]

Anthony Coley
Special to CNN

The convenience store near my house is where I first became aware of the problem.

There, an overweight girl, maybe 10 years old, had just persuaded her mother to buy her potato chips and a Slurpee.

It was 11:15 at night.

From that moment forward, I saw overweight and obese kids everywhere: At church, in Wal-Mart, at the movies. Everywhere.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Health Care • Nutrition
February 9th, 2010
03:19 PM ET

Building up America: Green technology a beacon of hope?

Program Note: Don't miss Casey Wian's report on Green Wave technology tonight on AC360° at 11 p.m. ET.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/09/art.greenwave.jpg caption="Green Wave's prototype product – a light pole powered by a windmill and solar panels."]

Casey Wian
CNN Correspondent

Skeptics might say Mark Holmes is tilting at windmills. The long-time attorney started his new alternative power company, Green Wave Energy, in October 2008, during the depths of the U.S. financial crisis.

“Well, we had a major financial meltdown, everybody was in a panic. Those were really dark days and we figured, what better time to start a company?” Holmes said.

We visited the Newport Beach, Calif. shipyard that is home to Green Wave’s prototype product, a potentially revolutionary light pole powered by a windmill and four solar panels. It operates completely off of the electric grid, and can actually generate enough excess power to run a 1,000-watt appliance.

Green Wave Energy is funded by 33 partners, mostly friends, acquaintances and colleagues of CEO Holmes, whose career as a corporate lawyer included cases involving both the marine and alternative energy industries. Together, they’ve raised a little more than $200,000 in cash, and nearly $3 million in products and services to launch the company. They hope to soon be providing light to places like Haiti and other remote locations without easy access to the electric grid.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Building Up America
February 9th, 2010
02:44 PM ET

Latest UN Situation Update on Haiti

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/WORLD/americas/02/05/haiti.belongings/t1larg.haiti.camps.gi.jpg caption="People living in the camps of Haiti are surviving with whatever they can acquire"]

United Nations

This report was issued by OCHA New York. The next report will be issued on or around 10 February 2010.

Key Priorities

The priorities for assistance continue to include the provision of shelter material and improved sanitation in the temporary settlement sites.

Approximately 272,000 have received emergency shelter support, according to the Shelter Cluster.

Trauma injuries are slowly decreasing, but still represent more than 10 percent of cases. No notable increase in infectious diseases is being reported, according to PAHO/WHO.

WFP and partners have reached 1.1 million in Port-au-Prince with a two week ration of rice after eight days of the food surge operation.

The food security of the population in outlying departments and along the border with the Dominican Republic is getting worse, due to increased demand for food.

Read More…

Filed under: Haiti • United Nations
February 9th, 2010
01:51 PM ET

Financial Dispatch: Another Toyota recall

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/02/08/toyota.recalls/story.toyota.gi.jpg caption="Toyota announced the global recall of more than 400,000 of its 2010 hybrid models today." width=300 height=169]

Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

Toyota’s troubles just refuse to go away. The Japanese auto giant today announced the global recall of more than 400,000 of its 2010 hybrid models, including the popular Prius, for problems in their anti-lock braking systems.

The worldwide recall involves 437,000 vehicles, including the Toyota Prius and the Lexus HS250h. Sales of the Lexus HS250h will be halted until a fix is in place.

Last week, Toyota acknowledged a problem with the software that controls the anti-lock braking system of the 2010 Prius and said it had already corrected the problem in cars that started to roll off the assembly line in Japan last month.

As recently as Friday, the company said a solution was near for the 200,000 of the 2010 model year Prius vehicles that have been sold in Japan and the 103,000 sold in the United States.

The Prius is the automaker's best-selling vehicle in Japan and its No. 4 seller in the United States.

And as Toyota's troubles mount, the automaker is gearing up for a new front in the battle to salvage its once-sterling image and credibility: Capitol Hill.

Toyota officials have been called to testify before two House panels this month, and the Senate may schedule one as well.

Slight improvement for job seekers

Despite the fact that there are nearly 15 million people out of work in this country, competition for new jobs is easing ever so slightly.

There are now about 5.9 job seekers, on average, competing for each job opening, according to the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's down from 6.4 the previous month - the greatest differential since the Labor Dept. began tracking job openings in December 2000.

It's the first time the ratio of job seekers to jobs dipped below six to one since June of last year. While that's a step in the right direction, it's still a far cry from pre-recession levels.

When the recession began in December 2007 there were only 1.7 workers per opening.

So where are the best places to find work? Consider hotels, casinos, hospitals or schools. Compared to other industries, the number of job openings as a percentage of total employment was greatest in the leisure and hospitality and education and health services industries, the report showed.

The match is back!

Finally, workers who took a hit on their savings last year might finally be in for some welcome news: Companies are stepping up efforts to help them save more for retirement.

Of companies that suspended or reduced 401(k) match programs, 80% planned to restore them this year, according to a survey conducted by Hewitt Associates, a global human resources consulting firm.

Large employers reinstating company matches for 2010 include American Express and FedEx.

Workers were dealt a double-blow during the recession, as historic stock market declines decimated retirement portfolios while companies slashed 401(k) matches to reduce costs.

And even though unemployment hovers at 9.7%, some experts say the restoration of company matches is a sign of employer confidence and may be a precursor to hiring.

Follow the money… on Twitter: @AndrewTorganCNN

Filed under: Andrew Torgan • Economy • Job Market
February 9th, 2010
01:27 PM ET

Swiss freeze assets of Haiti's 'Baby Doc'


The Swiss government has gone against a ruling by its own Supreme Court and decided to freeze the assets of the family of Haiti's former dictator, the Federal Council announced.

The Supreme Court decided last month - a day before the devastating Haiti earthquake - to reverse a decision that would have given the money to the Haitian people. The Supreme Court's decision would have potentially allowed the money to go back to the Duvalier family.

The Swiss Federal Council, the seven-member executive that heads the government, said Wednesday it wants to avoid allowing the family to receive the assets - which it said are worth $5.7 million - because the family acquired them by "illicit means."

The Swiss Federal Criminal Court has already declared the Duvalier family a criminal organization.

Keep reading...

February 9th, 2010
01:22 PM ET

Reid says deal on jobs bill is close

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/02/09/jobs.bill.politics/story.capitolsnow.gi.jpg caption="The Obama administration and Democratic leadership are pushing to pass a jobs bill."]

Dana Bash and Ted Barrett
CNN Capitol Hill Team

Senate negotiators are close to a bipartisan agreement on a jobs package, and the Senate could work through the weekend to pass it, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday. The measure, which aides said has a price tag of about $85 billion, combines tax breaks for businesses that hire new workers with spending on infrastructure and extended benefits for the unemployed.

However, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell warned Democrats that his members might need more time to study the bill before voting on it. “My members need to be able to feel like they understand what they are being called upon to support,” he said on the Senate floor.

For Democrats, swift passage is critical. In addition to believing the aid is desperately needed in order to kick start hiring, Democrats are anxious to recover from their set back on health care reform and prove to voters they can get things done.


Filed under: Democrats • Job Market • Republicans
February 9th, 2010
10:28 AM ET

Video: Haiti still struggling

Anderson Cooper | BIO
AC360° Anchor

Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Haiti Earthquake
February 9th, 2010
10:01 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Stealing Haiti

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/WORLD/americas/02/04/haiti.food.distribution/story.haiti.food.distribution.gi.jpg width=300 height=169]

Eliza Browning
AC360° Associate Producer

Anderson is live in Haiti all week where he is reporting on the situation on the ground. Is aid finding its way to where it’s needed and what is Haiti’s government doing to help its people?

Even before the 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck nearly a month ago, the country faced enormous challenges. Decades of corruption, greed and inconsistent leadership contributed to an impoverished nation. Despite direct investment from around the world, hundreds of thousands of dollars funneled to the country vanished over the course of a number of years. This week we’re following the money in a special series that looks into Haiti’s background and what needs to be done to build the country up.

Tonight Abbie Boudreau tracks down Jean-Claude Duvalier, also known as ‘Baby Doc Duvalier,’ who succeeded his father as the ruler of Haiti in 1971. But he was overthrown in 1986 and is now in exile in France. We track him down to get a better understanding of his family’s legacy in Haiti.


Filed under: Eliza Browning • The Buzz
February 9th, 2010
09:19 AM ET
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