American Morning

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July 21st, 2010
11:00 AM ET

'The Blind Side' actor helps pair at-risk kids with mentors

(CNN) – The lesson of the film "The Blind Side" is that one act of kindness is all it takes to turn a life around. Actor Quinton Aaron starred with Sandra Bullock in the Oscar-winning film, and he's taking that lesson to heart. He's in Washington today promoting the nonprofit group, "Children Uniting Nations," which pairs at-risk and foster kids with mentors. He joined us on Wednesday's American Morning, along with Beatrice Franklin who was mentored through the program.


Filed under: Living
July 21st, 2010
10:00 AM ET

Exclusive look at Navy airship aiding Gulf cleanup effort


A U.S. Navy MZ-3A manned airship provides logistical support for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. (U.S. Navy photo via Getty Images)

(CNN) – Rough seas, high winds and thunderstorms are the last thing cleanup crews in the Gulf of Mexico need right now. It's challenging enough to spot oil slicks and skim them off the ocean surface in calm conditions. But a new tool is helping crews put a small dent in this enormous disaster. It's a blimp, and we have been granted exclusive access to climb aboard. Our Rob Marciano and Amber Lyon report. Watch Video

FULL POST


Filed under: Exclusive • Gulf Oil Spill
July 21st, 2010
09:00 AM ET

Shirley Sherrod: 'I worked for fairness'

The agriculture secretary will review the case of former employee Shirley Sherrod, who resigned after controversy over a video about her work with a white farmer.

The agriculture secretary will review the case of former employee Shirley Sherrod, who resigned after controversy over a video about her work with a white farmer.

(CNN) – A black former Agriculture Department official who resigned under pressure after a video clip surfaced of her discussing a white farmer said Wednesday the agency's decision to review her case is "bittersweet," but said she isn't sure she would accept her job back if it is offered.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said early Wednesday that he will review the case of Shirley Sherrod, who resigned Monday after the video clip first appeared on a conservative website and later on Fox News.

In the video, Sherrod, the former USDA director of rural development for Georgia, seems to tell an audience at an NAACP function in March that she did not do her utmost to help a white farmer avoid foreclosure.

However, Sherrod later said the clip only shows part of her comments, and that she tells the story of her experience - from nearly a quarter century ago when she was not a federal employee - to illustrate the importance of moving beyond race.

"I am, of course, willing and will conduct a thorough review and consider additional facts to ensure to the American people we are providing services in a fair and equitable manner," Vilsack said in a statement.

The USDA's decision is "bittersweet," Sherrod told CNN's "American Morning" on Wednesday. Watch Video


Filed under: Controversy
July 21st, 2010
08:00 AM ET

Tea Party activists get caucus in the House


Members of the Tea Party movement protest on May 25, 2010 in San Francisco, California. (Getty Images)

(CNN) – There will be a big "tea party" on Capitol Hill today. The newly-minted congressional Tea Party Caucus holds its first official meeting on Wednesday. How will the new status impact the growing Tea Party movement? Our Jim Acosta takes a look. Watch Video

Tea Party Caucus: Who's in and who's out


Filed under: Politics • Welcome to the Tea Party
July 21st, 2010
07:00 AM ET

Agriculture secretary to review resignation of USDA official


Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack testifies on Capitol Hill July 22, 2009. (Getty Images)

(CNN) – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said early Wednesday that he will review the case of a former Agriculture Department official who resigned after a video clip surfaced of her discussing a white farmer.

"I am, of course, willing and will conduct a thorough review and consider additional facts to ensure to the American people we are providing services in a fair and equitable manner," Vilsack said in a statement.

Shirley Sherrod – an African-American – resigned Monday under pressure after the video clip first appeared on a conservative website and later on Fox News. In the video, she seemed to tell an audience she did not do her utmost to help a white farmer avoid foreclosure. However, Sherrod later said the clip only shows part of her comments, and that she tells the story of her experience - from nearly a quarter century ago when she was not a federal employee - to illustrate the importance of moving beyond race. Watch Video

FULL POST


Filed under: Controversy • Politics
July 21st, 2010
05:47 AM ET

LIVE Blog: Chat with us during the show

Editor's Note: Welcome to American Morning's LIVE Blog where you can discuss the "most news in the morning" with us each week day. Join the live chat during the show by adding your comments below. It's your chance to share your thoughts on the day's headlines. You have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules: 1) Keep it brief 2) No writing in ALL CAPS 3) Use your real name (first name only is fine) 4) No links 5) Watch your language (that includes $#&*).

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said early Wednesday he will review the case of a former USDA worker who quit after a video surfaced of her discussing a white farmer.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said early Wednesday he will review the case of a former USDA worker who quit after a video surfaced of her discussing a white farmer.

Agriculture secretary to review resignation of USDA worker

(CNN) – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said early Wednesday that he will review the case of a former Agriculture Department official who resigned after a video clip surfaced of her discussing a white farmer.

"I am of course willing and will conduct a thorough review and consider additional facts to ensure to the American people we are providing services in a fair and equitable manner," Vilsack said in a statement.

Shirley Sherrod - an African American - resigned this week under pressure after the video clip first appeared on a conservative website and later on Fox News. In the video, she seemed to say she withheld services from a white farmer.

The video initially brought condemnation from the NAACP, which it later retracted after the context of the clip became clear.

The NAACP said in a statement Tuesday that it was "snookered by Fox News" and conservative website publisher Andrew Breitbart.

"Having reviewed the full tape by Shirley Sherrod, who is the woman who was fired by the Department of Agriculture, and most importantly heard the testimony of the white farmers mentioned in this story, we now believe that the organization that edited the documents did so with the intention of deceiving millions of Americans," the statement from NAACP President Benjamin Jealous said. Read more

Sound off: We want to hear from you this morning. Add your comments to the LIVE Blog below and we'll read some of them on the show.


Filed under: LIVE Blog • Top Stories