American Morning

Tune in at 6am Eastern for all the news you need to start your day.
March 31st, 2009
08:36 AM ET

Ford still passing on taxpayer money

What do you think? How can Ford remain a viable company?


Filed under: Business
March 31st, 2009
08:03 AM ET

Congress wants playoffs

Congress is now debating how college football teams will compete to become national champions.

Congress is now debating how college football teams will compete to become national champions.

March Madness and who will rule college basketball is topic number one right now in the sports world. So why exactly are the Senate, the House, and even the President also talking up another game?

Three big letters: BCS. That’s why.

BCS stands for the college football “Bowl Championship Series”. There may be nothing more controversial in the intercollegiate athletics than the way the football champion is crowned every year.

Unlike all other major college sports, football does not have a series of playoff games that result in the last man standing. Instead they use a complicated formula based on polls to determine team rankings. At the end of the season, the 2 teams with the highest rankings play each other in one of the major bowls games to determine who actually is number one. The other teams ranked below them play in other bowls, but the winner of the top bowl game has always been crowned national champion. The past season it was Florida, which was ranked #1, beating Oklahoma, which was ranked #2, by the score 24-14. Read the story.

FULL POST


Filed under: Sports
March 31st, 2009
07:00 AM ET

Fast Forward

Here are some of the stories that will be making news later today:

More child advocacy groups are piling on against Madonna's petition to adopt a four-year-old girl from Malawi. New critics are now accusing the singer of using her money and celebrity status to manipulate the adoption process. A court will decide Friday if Madonna can adopt the little girl whose mother died in childbirth.

New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress is scheduled to appear in court today in his gun possession case. Law enforcement officials are reportedly considering a plea deal, but say any agreement would require him to serve jail time. Burress accidentally shot himself in the leg with an unlicensed handgun at a Manhattan nightclub last fall.

And President Obama's second pick for Health and Human Services Secretary makes her Senate debut. The Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pension's Committee will hold a hearing on Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius nomination. Sebelius is expected to face questions regarding her pro-choice views.


Filed under: Fast Forward
March 31st, 2009
06:04 AM ET

What’s on Tap – Tuesday March 31st, 2009

Here are the big stories we’re following for you today:

  • President Obama is leaving for Europe at 8 AM eastern time, for a high-stakes economic summit in the midst of a global economic meltdown.  His popularity overseas isn’t giving him a free pass.
  • Don’t Eat Pistachios:  That’s the warning from the FDA today.  First peanuts now pistachios and anything made with them. Two million pounds are already being recalled.  What’s up with our food supply?
  • Easing the Cuba Travel Ban: Senators will introduce a potentially historic bill today that would allow all Americans to travel to Cuba.  This comes a few weeks after the government lifted restrictions for families.  What do you think? Let us know at 877-MYAMFIX.
  • Happy Retirement, GM Guy!: It looks like Rick Wagoner, who President Obama effectively fired – will get a 20 million dollar package on his way out.  Another example of screwing UP in today’s world?  Let us know…

Filed under: What's On Tap
March 30th, 2009
03:00 PM ET

We Listen!

Here’s your daily recap of the best feedback we got from YOU on the blog, Facebook, Twitter, Email. Continue the conversation below. And remember, keep it brief, and keep it clean. Thanks!

Email

American Morning viewers were fired up about the GM, including the CEO dismissal, calling for GM and other automakers to get their bailouts from big oil:

  • “So, the auto companies want money...Then why don't they just go to the oil industries and tap their huge bank rolls? After all, it appears they collude to keep the miles per gallon vehicles get to a minimum to keep those tax funds rolling in!”

Some defended the GM CEO and blamed unions for GM’s financial woes, saying the head of the union should have been fired. Others noted the obvious disconnect the autoworkers have with the current retail market:

  • “Watching the autoworkers' comments on American Morning (‘we didn't cause the economic problem’) it's obvious they do not understand their situation. No they didn't ‘cause’ the problem, but they are not responding properly to a bad retail environment. I seriously do not understand why these companies are not forcefully or voluntarily broken up into their many brand names – it's no wonder they are failing when they compete against themselves!”
  • “Why would Obama fire the GM CEO? The person who should be fired is the head of the union!”
  • “I am sorry to hear about Mr. Wagoner stepping down, as a GM worker who is laid off I don't like to see anyone lose employment. However I feel that making him a scapegoat is not the answer. More than just Mr. Wagoner has made the decisions for the company. Gm has been transitioning for as long as I can remember. Yes it could have been faster and more efficient but we have always had two many chiefs. I remember the day our floor supervisors came up from the floor and knew every aspect of what we were doing; now we have floor managers who come out of an engineering school that have absolutely no clue except trying to fire employees and make a name for themselves. We need to go back to the basics. I am an Obama supporter but I feel also that the bank CEOs should have met the same fate. That’s when my consumer confidence will be restored. Clue folks the banks still are not lending, stake out a dealership and see how many can't get approval. Or maybe that’s just for the American car companies also.”

So, do you believe GM is to blame for its financial crisis, or is it the retail environment…or something else? Should GM’s CEO a scapegoat for the difficult economy? Tell us your thoughts.

FULL POST


Filed under: We Listen
March 30th, 2009
01:52 PM ET

Save the Children? The Madonna Question

CNN's Kiran Chetry talks to Dominic Nutt, spokesman for Save the Children UK, about Madonna's plans to adopt.
CNN's Kiran Chetry talks to Dominic Nutt, spokesman for Save the Children UK, about Madonna's plans to adopt.

Happy Monday!

Madonna is in Malawi today trying to adopt a second child from the African nation. Amid some controversy, she adopted a 13-month-old boy named David Banda back in 2006.

And things are no different this time around, with many opinions on whether or not this is the right thing for little 4-year-old Mercy James. According to our reporting, Mercy's mother died in childbirth and her father is also dead. She does have other relatives but lives in an orphanage.

Today I interviewed Dominic Nutt, the spokesman for Save the Children UK, who strongly feels the little girl would be better off staying in Malawi than living with the newly divorced Madonna and her three other children. Here's his take.

It should be noted that the 50-year-old pop icon is a big supporter of Malawi. She made a documentary, "I Am Because We Are," about the country's struggle with poverty, AIDS and disease.

Her nonprofit group, Raising Malawi, also donates money and time to help the country's children. And they need that help. According to UNICEF, for every 1,000 births, 120 children will die, the life expectancy in Malawi is only 44-years-old and most children over the age of 10 don't attend school.

Today when I posted the question "what do you think about Madonna wanting to adopt another child from Malawi?" to those following me on twitter.com/kiranchetrycnn, we got a lot of great responses and many different opinions!

On a personal note, I can understand the tough choice that goes with deciding whether or not to send your child away in hopes of a better life somewhere else.

I was born in Kathmandu, Nepal to a native Nepali and an American Peace Corps volunteer. My father and his 4 siblings took very different paths in life. My dad and his youngest brother came to the U.S. to study and eventually live. His other brothers and sister didn't come here themselves, but scraped together every cent they could to make sure all of their children came to the United States for their educations. Nepal is quite a poor nation and my cousins' prospects for a better life were definitely improved by having an American education and access to healthcare. Now, it's not the same as giving up parental rights by any means, but my aunts and uncles sacrificed a lot in their decision to send their children away. They had to trust that they were cared for from afar and could only communicate with letters and the occasional phone call. That is why I understand why some of the relatives of children like David and Mercy decide to give their children away when faced with bleak circumstances at home.

In the case of Madonna and Malawi, the question of how to best help the other children left behind is an even harder one.

Kiran


Filed under: Roundup
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