February 23rd, 2010
04:29 PM ET

Witnesses: Toyota problems could be electronics

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/02/13/tacoma.recall/story.tacoma.tms.jpg caption="Toyota says 8,000 of its 2010 Tacoma pickups may have a faulty drive shaft." width=300 height=169]

Peter Valdes-Dapena
CNN Money

Witnesses at the first of three Congressional hearings on Toyota's recall problems testified that they believe they have found a possible additional cause of unintended acceleration in Toyotas, one that has to do with the vehicles' electronic throttle control systems.

David Gilbert, a professor of automotive technology at Southern Illinois University, said he had uncovered a potential for a short circuit that could undermine the car's built in safety checks.

"What this does is this opens the opportunity to have other problems occur without detection," he said.

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February 23rd, 2010
03:49 PM ET

Video: One child at a time

Steve Perry
CNN Education Contributor

Filed under: Education • Steve Perry
February 23rd, 2010
03:16 PM ET

My car buying misadventures

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/10/art.cars.jpg]

David Gewirtz | BIO
AC360° Contributor
Director, U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute

I recently bought a new car, which was a lot harder to do than it should have been. During a nearly three-week long process, I became convinced that American car dealers are grossly incompetent when it comes to selling.

I wound up with a Ford Escape, but my intention was to buy my fifth Subaru Forester. For the Subaru dealer, this sale should have been a slam dunk. My lease was running out in a few weeks, they said I had "approved" credit, I knew precisely what I wanted (it was to be the fifth lease of the exact same model), and all I needed was paperwork faxed to me to sign.

Needless to say, it didn't work out as I'd planned.

I bought my first Subaru Forester back in New Jersey in the mid-1990s, where snow storms sometimes made it impossible to get to work without four-wheel drive. Even though I'm now in Florida, I've continued to buy Foresters because I like four-wheel drive, they fit me nicely (which is important for a big dude) and none of the four Foresters I've owned has ever had any mechanical or maintenance issues. Ever.

What broke down was the dealer network.


Filed under: David Gewirtz • Economy
February 23rd, 2010
02:35 PM ET

Video: Top rock 'n' roll albums?

Anderson Cooper | BIO
AC360° Anchor

Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Arts
February 23rd, 2010
02:31 PM ET

Manhunt still on for escaped inmate, accomplice now in custody


[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/22/art.crime.rodriguez.missing.jpg caption="Carlos Rodriguez, 39, escaped from the St. Tammany Parish Jail on Saturday night. "]

Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

A man who allegedly helped a suspected killer break out of a Louisiana jail over the weekend is in custody, authorities said.

Jacob Jones was arrested early Monday morning. The 20-year-old has been charged with assisting escape and is being held on $100,000 bond, according to Capt. George Bonnett of the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Jones was waiting in a car outside the St. Tammany Jail on Saturday night, Bonnett told CNN. He allegedly drove the fugitive, Carlos Rodriguez, to Jefferson Parish where he dropped him off.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/23/t1.crime.jacob.jones.jpg caption="Jacob Jones, 20, is accused of helping Rodriguez escape from prison." width=300 height=169]


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
February 23rd, 2010
02:25 PM ET

Poll finds trust of federal government runs low

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/02/23/poll.government.trust/t1larg.jpg caption="CNN finds that only 26 percent of the public trusts the federal government most of the time or always."]


When it comes to the trust Americans put in government, a new national poll indicates it's a matter of location, location, location.

According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday, only 26 percent of the public trusts the federal government most of the time or always.

A third of the people questioned in the poll say they trust their state government most or all of the time. But that number surges to 52 percent for those who say they trust local government most or all of the time.

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February 23rd, 2010
02:19 PM ET

Video: Too much law suffocating America

Philip K. Howard
Special to CNN

The paralysis of Washington is becoming intolerable.

Last week's headlines tell the story:

• President Obama appointed a deficit-reduction commission to recommend the hard choices that our elected representatives won't make.

• A popular Democratic senator, Evan Bayh of Indiana, announced he will not stand for re-election, citing "too much partisanship and not enough progress."

• Washington can't even spend stimulus money - The Government Accounting Office reported that barely 10 percent of a $5 billion program to weatherize almost 600,000 homes had been spent because of red tape.

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February 23rd, 2010
02:15 PM ET

Nuclear power's time has come

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.l.cnn.net/money/2009/04/22/technology/nuclear.fortune/nuclear_power_plant2.ce.03.jpg caption="Some environmentalists argue that nuclear power may be used to combat climate change."]


For decades, pioneering environmentalist Stewart Brand, the founder and editor of the Whole Earth Catalog, opposed the use of nuclear power. Now he sees it as vital to efforts to combat climate change.

Earlier this month, Brand made the case for nuclear power in a debate with Stanford University professor Mark Jacobson at the TED Conference in Long Beach, California. (TED is a nonprofit that took its name from the subjects of technology, information and design and is dedicated to "Ideas worth spreading." It publishes talks on all subjects at http://www.ted.com/)

His outspoken support for nuclear power comes as the White House has been pushing for the first new nuclear plants in the United States in three decades. Last week, President Obama announced $8.3 billion in loan guarantees for adding two nuclear reactors at an existing plant in Burke County, Georgia, near Augusta.

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Filed under: Energy • Environmental issues
February 23rd, 2010
02:11 PM ET

Senate takes up jobs bill

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2007/POLITICS/12/26/senate.pro.forma/art.cap.dome.gi.jpg caption="he Senate voted to push forward a $15 billion jobs creation bill that would give businesses a tax break for hiring the unemployed."]

Tami Luhby
CNN Money

The Senate voted Monday to push forward a $15 billion jobs creation bill that would give businesses a tax break for hiring the unemployed.

Five Republicans - including newly elected Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass. - reached across the aisle to approve the procedural measure, which passed by a 62-30 vote. One Democrat did not support it. A final vote on the bill should take place in a few days.

The 4-prong bill would:

*Exempt employers from Social Security payroll taxes on new hires who were unemployed;

*Fund highway and transit programs through 2010;

*Extend a tax break for business that spend money on capital investments like equipment purchases;

*Expand the use of the Build America Bonds program, which helps states and municipalities fund capital construction projects.

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Filed under: Job Market • Raw Politics • Unemployment
February 23rd, 2010
02:07 PM ET

Nuclear power is too risky

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/money/2010/02/16/news/economy/nuclear/southern_company_vogtle_plant.top.jpg caption="Work is under way to expand Southern Companies' Vogtle plant, the first to recieve new federal funding."]

Mark Z. Jacobson
Special to CNN

If our nation wants to reduce global warming, air pollution and energy instability, we should invest only in the best energy options. Nuclear energy isn't one of them.

Every dollar spent on nuclear is one less dollar spent on clean renewable energy and one more dollar spent on making the world a comparatively dirtier and a more dangerous place, because nuclear power and nuclear weapons go hand in hand.

In the November issue of Scientific American, my colleague Mark DeLucchi of the University of California-Davis and I laid out a plan to power the world with nothing but wind, water and sun. After considering the best available technologies, we decided that a combination of wind, concentrated solar, geothermal, photovoltaics, tidal, wave and hydroelectric energy could more than meet all the planet's energy needs, particularly if all the world's vehicles could be run on electric batteries and hydrogen fuel cells.

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Filed under: Energy • Environmental issues
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