Tonight on 360°, breaking news on the Iceland volcano. New details on why the plan to open more airspace tomorrow could be in jeopardy. Plus, did Goldman Sachs rip-off investors so that a hedge-fund billionaire could get even richer? The latest on the lawsuit against the Wall Street powerhouse and the larger effort to regulate Wall Street.
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Benjamin Ola Akande
Dean, School of Business and Technology
I recall my return visit to Oklahoma City about nine years ago. I was passing through on my way to Lawton, Oklahoma to visit Webster University’s graduate center there. The drive from the airport through downtown OKC brought back memories of my ten years living in the area as a student.
Then, I was eager and very impressionable. How I loved the city! The topography was wide open, the people so down to earth and so tolerant. This had to be the safest city in America, I remember telling myself. And I believed it.
As I approached the city on Interstate 40, I could feel those same old emotions rise within me. The spires of scores of churches climbed above the welter of new suburban development. I had not remembered so many churches, but the sight brought back to mind the way the people of Oklahoma City treated each other with respect and civility.
Experts: 'zero levels of atmospheric ash safe for flying.'
Commercial European flights will be severely disrupted as long as some levels of ash are detectable in the air, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) told CNN on Monday.
Despite growing pressure from air travel groups such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and major airlines like British Airways, the CAA said that all current jet engine manufacturers specify zero levels of atmospheric ash for safe flying.
The CAA added that unless jet engine manufacturers changed their operating specifications, something it added was highly unlikely in the short-to-medium term, the restrictions will continue to apply.
Addressing calls from some quarters of the European travel industry to lift or ease flight restrictions, a CAA spokesman said: "We need evidence to prove that it is safe to fly... we have evidence that ash adversely affects aircraft and at the moment the manufacturers' guidelines are zero rating with respect to ash."
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:
A stranded airline passenger queues for information at El Prat international airport on April 18, 2010 in Barcelona, Spain. All flights in and out of Barcelona's El Prat and 16 other Spanish airports have been grounded due to a plume of volcanic ash drifting across Europe resulting from the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland.
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:
“Five hours in this line’s really got me thinking. First Iceland declares itself bankrupt...then they set their island on fire. Anyone else smell the mother of all insurance frauds?”
"I could kick myself in the ash for not getting here sooner."
The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press
By almost every conceivable measure Americans are less positive and more critical of government these days. A new Pew Research Center survey finds a perfect storm of conditions associated with distrust of government – a dismal economy, an unhappy public, bitter partisan-based backlash, and epic discontent with Congress and elected officials.
Program Note: Don't miss Randi Kaye's report on the case tonight on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.
Two unknown individuals were seen exiting a vehicle owned by a Washington, DC public school principal a day before he was found shot to death in his home, authorities said.
The Montgomery County Police Department, which has ruled the death of Brian Betts, 42, as a homicide, said the two people were observed getting out of the victim’s 2007 Nissan Xterra last Wednesday afternoon between noon and 3pm. The navy blue SUV was discovered abandoned the following morning on a Washington street.
Betts, who led the Shaw Middle School, did not show up for work that same Thursday. According to the authorities, a concerned colleague “entered the home, observed a light, observed a light on, exited the residence, and called the police.
Offices who arrived at the scene found his body. Investigators said he suffered “from at least one gunshot wound.”
Police, who said they had no description of the individuals seen leaving Betts’ vehicle, have also developed a timeline of the victim. Officer Brenner told CNN Betts was alive as of Wednesday, April 14 at 11:30pm.
Authorities have not ruled out the possibility that Betts may have known his assailant. “We’re looking into all of those things,” said Officer Brenner. “I don’t think we’ve narrowed down one.”
In an unsettling revelation, Officer Brenner said the home that Betts lived in was the scene of a double homicide in 2002. She said a man and his daughter were murdered in the home and that an arrest had been made. “There is no connection,” she added. “It’s just a weird coincidence.”
The death of Betts, who was a popular educator among faculty and students, has shaken the school community. “He was an inspiration al leader for the teachers and the students, and that leadership was bringing results,” said a statement by the District of Columbia Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee. “He knew what the children under his care were capable of, and he was determined to show them how to get there. Brian Betts’ death is an incredible loss of a young and dedicated school leader.”
Past and current students, as well as employee members have posted online their thoughts and memories of the murdered principal.
“Mr. Betts was one of those teachers you could never forget,” wrote one former student. “Yes, he was a teacher, a figure of authority, but he felt more like an older brother, and made us feel comfortable about coming to him about almost anything….Our area has lost an amazing person.”
Anyone with information on the death of Brian Betts is asked to contact the Montgomery County Police at 240-773-5070.
For more crime coverage go to cnn.com/crime.
In a 22-page complaint filed Friday, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Goldman Sachs with defrauding investors on real estate securities likely to go bust.
The legal document reads less like a court filing, and more like a twisted story of how actions by Wall Street's most notorious investment bank allegedly caused losses of $1 billion for investors.
Here's what it said:
The opportunity: real estate bubble
In late 2006 and early 2007, when the United States housing market is beginning to show signs of distress, hedge fund Paulson & Co. takes a "bearish view on subprime mortgage loans," according to the SEC complaint.
The fund - run by John Paulson - identifies more than 100 bonds with the lowest credit ratings, which are likely to experience defaults. Paulson cherry-picks these bonds by favoring adjustable rate mortgages, borrowers with low credit scores, and mortgages in states like Arizona, California, Florida and Nevada, where the real estate bubble hit the hardest.
Gary Tuchman | BIO
The power of Iceland's volcano is intimidating. We flew in a helicopter within a few hundred feet of it; its force seemed other worldly.
Boulders were catapulted out of it; lightning bolts could be seen every few seconds from the black and white smoke coming out of the crater. We were transfixed by what we were seeing so close.
But what also took me aback was the effect of the volcano from a bit farther away.
We took a drive to the south of Iceland to see where the ash was falling. A brilliantly blue sunny sky started to turn gray, and then, in no time at all, turned black, like we were driving into a tornado.
The ash cloud above Europe has left air travelers stranded. Most of the airspace around the United Kingdom has been shut since Thursday morning after the eruption beneath southern Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier worsened last week.
The UK is sending Royal Navy vessels to bring home stranded travelers, according to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Tonight, Anderson talks to Richard Quest about what this means for the airline industry, future travel plans and the economy. Do you have questions? Let us know!
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