April 2nd, 2010
03:09 PM ET

Beat 360° 4/2/10

Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture 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:

Japanese macaques eat cherry blossom at Tokyo's Ueno zoo on March 29, 2010. The zoo incorporated a cherry tree into the macaques habitat as the sprouts and flowers are their favorite foods. Japan's meteorological agency announced that cherry trees bloomed in Tokyo area, six days earlier than previous years.

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° Winners:


Kira Kleaveland

“Tastes like chicken.”


Lisa Wills, Glencoe

"Side effects may include a flushed red face and extensive body hair growth."

________________________________________________________________________________ Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
April 2nd, 2010
02:10 PM ET

Financial Dispatch: Job growth returns

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://www.cnn.com/2010/images/01/13/story.jobs.market.gi.jpg caption="" width=300 height=169]

Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

At long last, we received a solid indication today that we’ve turned a corner. The economy had its biggest jump in jobs in three years last month.

The Labor Dept. said the economy gained 162,000 jobs in March, compared to a revised reading of a loss of 14,000 jobs in February. That makes March only the third month since the start of 2008 that employers did not cut payrolls.

But while the news was positive, there were a number of short-term factors that inflated the reading, including an addition of 48,000 by the Census Bureau. March's figure was also given a boost by seasonal factors. For example, February's numbers were dragged lower by temporary job losses related to the string of severe winter storms that crippled much of the Northeast.


Filed under: Andrew Torgan • Economy
April 2nd, 2010
01:02 PM ET

Jaime Escalante's lesson for teachers

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/03/30/escalante.obit/story.escalante.wb.jpg caption="Escalante died this week after a battle with cancer." width=300 height=169]

Ruben Navarrette Jr.
Special to CNN

Jaime Escalante was ahead of his time. And today, more than 30 years after the Bolivian-born math teacher put East Los Angeles' Garfield High School on the map by convening 14 students in his very first AP calculus class, the rest of the educational establishment is still trying to catch up.

Escalante - who was immortalized in the 1988 film "Stand and Deliver" - died this week at his son's home in Roseville, California, after a bout with cancer.

It was way back in 1978 when Escalante began teaching calculus to Mexican-American kids from the barrio. That's more than two decades before President George W. Bush challenged the nation's public schools to acknowledge and overcome the "soft bigotry of low expectations," and Escalante was already fighting that battle. He knew all about low expectations - most of them coming from jealous colleagues and visionless administrators.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Education • Ruben Navarrette Jr.
April 2nd, 2010
12:01 PM ET

Drill, baby

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/31/art.obamaenergy.gi.jpg]

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

The problem for presidents courting public support is the same one that confronted me in my teenage years when I was trying to get a date for prom; invariably I painted a rosier picture of the near future than the facts warranted.

I was reminded of that as President Obama unveiled his new plans to “Drill, baby, drill,” for new domestic oil supplies. That’s right. The very phrase that he mocked Republicans for has now become his mantra. That sound you heard was the howling of environmentalists echoing through Yosemite Valley. To be sure, as the head of the Sierra Club told me, they still like him and are encouraged by many of the steps he is taking toward a greener future, but they were undeniably disappointed by this announcement.

All indications are, however, that this was simply a case of his dreams of a better future running smack into the brutal reality of the present. Our energy consumption is so overwhelmingly reliant on oil, natural gas, and coal that a shiny Green Energy America is like the Emerald City of Oz. It’s awfully hard to get there from here, even in a Prius.

I was perusing an analysis from the Lawrence Livermore National Labs (oh yes, I’m a fun guy!) and I was struck by the mind-boggling distance between where we are and where President Obama would like us to be in terms of renewable energy supplies. Those lovely pictures of solar panels, and sleek wind turbines, make it seem like all we need are a few open minds, a few open fields, a little construction with our hybrid-bio-mass bulldozers and we’ll be greener than a tree frog.

But the numbers say even if we increased our wind and solar energy output by 20, or even 50 times overnight, it would still be barely a ladybug on the back of our oil guzzling energy elephant.

The road to a green America is much, much, much longer than many Americans may realize especially after all the promising words we’ve heard. It is still certainly an admirable goal. But those in the oil business are not sweating. Because they know in the end this president, and perhaps many more, will ultimately look at our energy habits, and still say for now, “Drill, baby, drill.”

Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Filed under: Opinion • Raw Politics • Tom Foreman
April 2nd, 2010
11:48 AM ET

New airport security measures and what they mean for you

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/14/art.getty.janet.napolitano.jpg caption="Napolitano: new 'real time' intelligence system"]


All flights entering the United States will be subjected to a new level of security screening, officials will announce Friday.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will unveil the new system, which will use "real-time, threat-based intelligence," a senior administration official said.

The new security measures will supersede those put in place immediately after the attempted terror attack on Christmas Day, the official said.

"These new, enhanced measures are part of a dynamic, threat-based aviation security system covering all passengers traveling by air to the United States," the official said. "To more effectively mitigate evolving terrorist threats, these measures utilize multiple, random layers of security, both seen and unseen and are tailored to intelligence about potential threats."

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Airline Safety
April 2nd, 2010
11:43 AM ET

Pentagon faces hurdles in 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' study

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/POLITICS/04/11/gates.mullen/art.gates.gi.jpg caption="Gates has asked for the opinions of gay troops in a study on repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'. "]

Mike Mount
CNN Senior Pentagon Producer

As the Pentagon tries to move forward with studying the effects of repealing the ban on openly gay troops serving in the military, Defense Secretary Robert Gates is finding hurdles at almost every corner.

As part of that study, Gates asked for the opinions of gay troops. However under the current "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law, gay troops cannot reveal their sexual orientation, and the law prevents the military from asking about it.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said Thursday that a third party will have to be brought in to poll homosexual troops about their thoughts on repealing the ban to get around the law.

Gen. Carter Ham, who is in charge of the study for Gates, was asked about how the military would protect the privacy of troops in this study at a Capitol Hill hearing in March.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Gay & Lesbian Issues • Military
April 2nd, 2010
11:10 AM ET

RNC's bridge to conservatives on shaky ground?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/05/13/republicans.family.feud/art.michaelsteelemd.gi.jpg caption="Steele's $2,000 bar tab at a bondage club has brought criticism from the GOP."]

Ed Hornick

A nearly $2,000 bar tab at a bondage-themed Hollywood night club has continued to cast a shadow on the Republican National Committee and has raised questions over the ability of its chairman, Michael Steele, to lead the party to victory in November 2010.

Conservatives started criticizing Steele, the former lieutenant governor of Maryland, after he blasted radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh last year and later apologized. Some of the party faithful are also critical for his spending. And some fear he's not positioning the GOP well enough to hammer vulnerable Democrats in mid-term elections this fall.

Republican strategist Mary Matalin, noting the recent club tab controversy's effect on the chairman, offered Steele advice, saying he "needs to take a step back and ... raise some money and do some turnout and get the job done."

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Republicans
April 2nd, 2010
11:02 AM ET

Video: Rep. worries Guam will capsize

Anderson Cooper | BIO
AC360° Anchor

Filed under: Anderson Cooper
April 2nd, 2010
10:52 AM ET

Video: Phoebe Prince's school responds

Anderson Cooper | BIO
AC360° Anchor

Filed under: 360° Radar • Education
April 2nd, 2010
10:47 AM ET
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