January 8th, 2011
12:00 PM ET

Letters to the President: #719 'Counting all the unemployed'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: President Obama is going into the new year still facing a very tough job - finding jobs for millions of Americans who are out of work.

Dear Mr. President,

I suppose the holidays are really, truly, finally over. Our elder daughter is headed back to Georgia Tech and our younger one so deeply buried beneath a new load of school work that she’ll be shoveling through the weekend. We’re packing the decorations away, and if I have the ambition I will climb into the attic and wrestle the giant wreath from the highest window in the house.

In the same sense, you must feel as if you’re doing some wrestling of your own. These latest unemployment numbers are still pretty awful. I know many folks may look at the decline in the jobless rate and say, “That’s good!” What they would be overlooking, however, is something that you and I know: A big reason the unemployment rate dropped is because another quarter-million people quit looking for work altogether. And we don’t count them.

This year, I think we should.

January 8th, 2011
11:45 AM ET

The Shot: Pee-wee Herman

Editor's note: Watch Anderson Cooper's interview with Pee-wee Herman Monday beginning at 9pm ET on a Special Edition of AC360°

Filed under: 360° Radar • The Shot
January 8th, 2011
11:35 AM ET

Sisters reunite with family after 16 years behind bars

Kay Jones and Ric Blackburn

Pensacola, Florida (CNN) - Evelyn Rasco started crying early Saturday morning as soon as she saw the cars carrying her daughters turn the corner.

Minutes later, her voice took on a tougher tone: "I'll tell you one thing, y'all ain't going back to the state of Mississippi. I'll tell you that. Y'all ain't going there to get a drink of water."

Her daughters, Gladys and Jamie Scott, were released from a Mississippi prison Friday after 16 years behind bars. Gov. Haley Barbour suspended their armed robbery sentences on one condition - that one sister donate a kidney to the other.

Jamie Scott, 38, is gravely ill and needs a kidney transplant, said attorney Chokwe Lumumba.

Barbour said last week it "should be scheduled with urgency." And Jamie Scott told CNN she feared at one point that she would die in prison.

The sisters were convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to life in prison for their role in a 1993 ambush in Scott County, Mississippi. Authorities accused the sisters of leading two men to a group of three teenagers, who hit them with a shotgun and took their wallets. The robbers netted between $11 and $200, according to CNN affiliate WLBT.

Full story

Filed under: 360º Follow
January 8th, 2011
11:15 AM ET
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09:45 AM ET