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April 26th, 2010
02:28 PM ET

Judge drops kidnapping charge against U.S. missionary

Lonzo Cook
CNN

Charisa Coulter, left, and Laura Silsby are two of the missionaries facing charges in Haiti.

Charisa Coulter, left, and Laura Silsby are two of the missionaries facing charges in Haiti.

American missionary Laura Silsby will stand trial in Haiti on a charge of arranging irregular travel, a judge ruled Monday, but more serious charges against her and nine fellow missionaries were dropped.

Judge Bernard Saint-Vil dropped kidnapping and criminal association charges against Silsby and nine other missionaries who were stopped while trying to take 33 Haitian children out of the country after a devastating earthquake rocked Haiti in January.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Haiti • Haiti Earthquake
April 26th, 2010
12:05 PM ET

Ripple effects after an offshore oil rig explosion

Bryan Walsh
TIME

A boat works to clean up oil where the Deepwater Horizon oil rig sank last week in the Gulf of Mexico.

A boat works to clean up oil where the Deepwater Horizon oil rig sank last week in the Gulf of Mexico.

When a massive explosion occurred on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig off the coast of Louisiana on April 20, the first concern was for the 11 workers missing after the accident. A secondary fear was the environmental impact of the oil and natural gas that could be spilled in the accident — especially once the rig sank on April 22.

The rig was producing up to 336,000 gallons of oil a day and carrying some 700,000 gallons of fuel oil at the time of the accident. A major spill would have threatened the sensitive Louisiana coast, and resulted in the worst man-made environmental disaster since the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Alaska in 1989.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Environmental issues • Oil
April 26th, 2010
12:03 PM ET

Wall Street didn't cause crash of '08

Wall Street should not be blamed for the crash of 2008, says Frum.

Wall Street should not be blamed for the crash of 2008, says Frum.

David Frum
CNN Contributor

Financial reform? Not exactly. The bill before Congress does nothing to address the fundamental background causes of the crash of 2008.

Wall Street may have been the instrument of the crash. But the crash was made elsewhere: in Washington's failed policies for middle-class families - and in China's distorted rush for economic growth.

The story is not a simple one. But I hope you will pay attention to the details. If you don't, you may find that the pocket that has been picked is your own.

As you've heard, the crash begins with the huge excess load of debt built up in the last two decades by American households. Why did Americans borrow so much? Some like to tell a story of irresponsibility: We borrowed too much because we were self-involved yuppies who just could not deny ourselves the latest flat-screen doodad for our McMansions.

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Filed under: Economy • Wall St.
April 26th, 2010
11:56 AM ET

Cleanup begins after twisters kill 12 in South

The tornado devastated areas from Mississippi's central western border with Louisiana northeastward to Alabama.

The tornado devastated areas from Mississippi's central western border with Louisiana northeastward to Alabama.

CNN

Massive cleanup efforts got under way Monday after several tornadoes ripped through the South, killing at least 12 people - 10 in Mississippi - and leaving a swath of devastation in the region, from Louisiana to Alabama.

A 3-month-old baby and two other children were among the fatalities. Dozens more were injured, and scores of homes leveled.

The tornado devastated neighborhoods from Mississippi's central western border with Louisiana northeastward to Alabama. It sheared roofs off houses, overturned cars, snapped hundreds of trees and plunged large parts of the state in darkness as it toppled power lines.

Five of the dead were from Choctaw County in north-central Mississippi; four were from Yazoo County, north of Jackson; and one was from Holmes County, also in north-central Mississippi, said spokesman Greg Flynn of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

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Filed under: Tornadoes • Weather
April 26th, 2010
11:44 AM ET

Obama hosts Muslim-focused entrepreneurship summit

CNN Wire Staff

President Obama will host a two-day entrepreneurship summit beginning Monday designed to improve relations with the Muslim world.

President Obama will host a two-day entrepreneurship summit beginning Monday designed to improve relations with the Muslim world.

Delivering on a promise he made nearly a year ago, President Obama will host a two-day entrepreneurship summit beginning Monday designed to improve relations with the Muslim world.

"It represents an opportunity to highlight and support business and social entrepreneurship in Muslim-majority countries, including their minority populations, and Muslim communities around the world," a statement from the summit's website said.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Islam • President Barack Obama
April 26th, 2010
11:38 AM ET

Interactive: Medical Procedure Prices

Scroll down and look to the left to find a chart comparing the cost of medical procedures around the world.

CNN


Filed under: Health Care
April 26th, 2010
11:14 AM ET

A $2.95 lesson for Wall Street

The public's wariness of Wall Street is growing, with Goldman Sachs being accused of fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The public's wariness of Wall Street is growing, with Goldman Sachs being accused of fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Bob Greene
CNN Contributor

I wish the titans of Wall Street could meet Mark Dalton.

Not that it would be likely to change anything. But I wish the leaders of Goldman Sachs and of the other big banking firms could talk to Mark Dalton for just a few minutes.

They might learn a few things about how to better connect with the American people.

I didn't know Dalton's last name until a few days ago. For almost two years, I've held onto something he mailed to me. There was no reason not to throw it out, yet I had a feeling that someday I'd want to refer to it.

That day is now. With the public's wariness of Wall Street growing, with Goldman Sachs being accused of fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission (even as Goldman was announcing first-quarter profits of $3.46 billion, nearly twice as much as in the first quarter a year ago), with investors wondering if they're being given a fair shake by the firms to which they have entrusted their money, Mark Dalton's way of doing business might be worthy of at least a moment's attention.

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Filed under: Economy • Wall St.
April 26th, 2010
11:03 AM ET

Washington has always helped set rules for Wall Street

Republicans say the new financial legislation would allow the federal government to control decisions in the private sector on Wall Street

Republicans say the new financial legislation would allow the federal government to control decisions in the private sector on Wall Street

Julian E. Zelizer
Special to CNN

On Sunday, Sens. Chris Dodd and Richard Shelby said that they were close to a bipartisan compromise on financial regulation, which could be reached as early as this week.

Yet many Republicans are attacking the regulations by painting them as yet another example of big government taking over private markets. Even if the bill will likely pass, GOP leaders are planning to use this floor debate to raise philosophical concerns about the role of government in economic life.

As with health care, these Republicans said, the legislation would allow the federal government to control financial decisions in the private sector on Wall Street and squelch private initiative. In The Washington Post, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has called the Obama-Reid-Pelosi team a "secular-socialist machine."

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Filed under: Republicans • Wall St.
April 26th, 2010
10:56 AM ET

'I can't afford surgery in the U.S.,' says bargain shopper

Surgery in the U.S. was prohibitively expensive for Godfrey Davies.

Surgery in the U.S. was prohibitively expensive for Godfrey Davies.

Sabriya Rice
CNN

When Godfrey Davies learned he needed surgery to remove polyps blocking his nasal airways, the self-described bargain shopper set out on a mission to find an affordable surgeon. He quickly learned a good deal is hard to find.

"The total numbers they were throwing at me were just incredible. I couldn't believe it," he says.

Davies, who is semiretired from his real estate business and uninsured, says he received estimates from two surgeons. When hospital, anesthesia and incidental fees were all tallied, the cheapest price he could find in Indianapolis, Indiana, was $33,127 - which he would need to pay out of pocket.

"I was speechless." Davies recalls. "It was absolutely out of the question financially for me to have this done under those circumstances."

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Economy • Health Care
April 26th, 2010
10:31 AM ET

Morning Buzz: How much would you spend to save a loved one?

Tonight we kick off a weeklong series on the cost of health care in America.

Tonight we kick off a weeklong series on the cost of health care in America.

Clare O'Connor
AC360° Intern

Dr. Sanjay Gupta anchors tonight and kicks off our weeklong series on the cost of health care in America. We begin by asking a difficult question: How much would you spend to save the life of a loved one? Amanda Bennett tells the story of her husband’s battle against kidney cancer over the course of seven years. In the end, it cost $618,000 to save him, with the Bennetts shouldering approximately $10,000 of the total cost. Randi Kaye talks to Bennett about how money inevitably plays into end-of-life decisions. She tells Randi she was shocked by how expensive the health care costs were and how insurance companies seemed to succeed in raising the price of care. Despite the spiraling costs, she says she’d do it all over again.

As part of our health care coverage, we’ll also be looking at the cost of health care for the elderly. What percentage of your lifetime health care expenditures comes in the last five years of your life? Is it money well spent? Could that money be better spent at other times in your life? Don’t miss Sanjay’s report tonight.

Yesterday, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s internal watchdog said that he will launch an investigation into the SEC’s decision to pursue fraud charges against Goldman Sachs. The SEC Inspector said the probe will examine “serious allegations” raised by several Republican congressmen regarding the charges. Is this an investigation into the investigation?

Meanwhile, a deal is apparently close on a Senate financial reform bill, but Republicans warn they are not yet prepared to launch debate on the measure. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has set a showdown vote for later on today to move ahead on the reform but does he have enough votes? We’ll have the latest developments tonight.

We’re also following Florida Governor Charlie Crist as he makes his big decision: will he abandon the GOP and run for the Senate as an Independent, or not at all? He trails the young Cuban-American Marco Rubio by double digits as they fight it out for the Republican nomination. Rubio has the support of Tea Party activists and other conservatives. Crist has until this Friday to decide, and the entire country will be watching. Florida has long been a bellwether for national politics, and a defection by Crist may be seen as a sign of growing Tea Party influence in the state. John Zarrella is reporting on the story from Florida.

And there could be significant developments in court today in Haiti in the case of the 10 American missionaries charged with kidnapping 22 Haitian children and trying to take them to the Dominican Republic. Nine of those Americans have been released from custody and returned to the U.S., but Laura Silsby – the leader of the group – remains in Haiti and her case will likely be the focus of today’s court action.

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


Filed under: Haiti • Health Care • The Buzz
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