American Morning

Tune in at 6am Eastern for all the news you need to start your day.
June 1st, 2011
10:47 AM ET

Should college athletes be paid?

The stunning resignation of Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel has raised a lot of questions about college athletics, with some people suggesting that it may be time to overhaul the entire system.

This morning, ESPN senior writer and CNN columnist LZ Granderson discusses the pros and cons of paying college athletes and the various options for reform of the NCAA.


Filed under: Football • Sports
June 1st, 2011
10:47 AM ET

The World Science Festival: Making science sexy

The four-day World Science Festival kicks off today in New York City, promising to attract leading scientists, performers, and thousands of attendees.

Actor Alan Alda and physicist Brian Greene join the AM crew this morning to discuss the importance of making science accessible and exciting to a broad audience. Author of the bestseller "The Elegant Universe," Greene co-founded the festival where Alda's play on Marie Curie will be featured in tonight's opening gala.


Filed under: Science
June 1st, 2011
10:07 AM ET

What the debt ceiling is and why it matters

By Michael Milhaven, Producer, CNN American Morning

If your eyes glaze over when you hear the words "debt ceiling," you're not alone. It's a concept that typically only economists and heads of state need worry about. But if you want to understand the current political debate and why both parties are fighting so hard to limit or raise the debt ceiling, read on.

Let's break this down for everyone in easier terms - what is the debt ceiling is and what it means for you?

Think of it as America's credit limit. The country only has so much it can spend to pay its bills and interest payments. If you have a credit card, you know there's only so much that you're allowed to put on that card.

The debt ceiling is that credit card limit for the U.S. government.

Right now, our "credit card limit" is at $14,293,975,000,000 (yes, that reads $14 TRILLION).

That's a lot of dough. Stacked on top of each other, $14 trillion dollars would go from Earth to the Moon and back...more than four times. Or, at $500 a pop, you could by 28 billion iPad 2's. Also, consider the estimated cost of rebuilding Joplin, Missouri after the devastating tornado damage. That price tag is around $3 billion. If we had $14 trillion towards rebuilding, we could rebuild the town 4,700 times.

To find out more about the debt ceiling, watch Christine Romans explain it in the video below. For more information and complete coverage of the debt ceiling debate, check out CNNMoney.com.


Filed under: Debt • Debt ceiling
June 1st, 2011
09:58 AM ET

In Depth: The black market for prescription drugs

On American Morning this morning we're continuing CNN's In Depth look at our use of drugs and medication in the U.S.

Today, we're taking a closer look at the black market for prescription drugs. It's a billion-dollar business, and both dealers and addicts will do anything to get their hands on them. Some 1800 pharmacies have been robbed over the last three years across the country because the street value of these drugs is so high.

See the chart below, as reported by CNN's Poppy Harlow and CNNMoney.com:

Oxycontin – could get $50 to $80 on the street, vs. $6 when sold legally
Oxycodone – could get $12 to $40 on the street, vs. $6 when sold legally
Hydrocodone – could get $5 to $20 on the street vs. $1.50 when sold legally
Percocet pill – could get $10 to $15 on the street vs. $6 when sold legally
Vicodin – could get $5 to $25 on the street vs. $1.50 when sold legally

This morning, pharmacist and executive committee member of the National Community Pharmacists Association Keith Hodges speaks with AM's Kiran Chetry. He's had to beef up security at his pharmacy, after a number of attempted break ins. He'll talk about how big a problem this is for him and other pharmacists across the country.


Filed under: Drugs • In Depth • Prescription drugs
June 1st, 2011
08:57 AM ET

What the WHO cell phone announcement means for you

(CNN) - Radiation from cell phones can possibly cause cancer, according to the World Health Organization. The agency now lists mobile phone use in the same "carcinogenic hazard" category as lead, engine exhaust and chloroform.

Though the cell phone industry denies the claims, the announcement is enough to make most cell phone users question the safety of their use.

Today, Michael K. Hansen, senior scientist with Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, joins American Morning's Ali Velshi, Kiran Chetry and Christine Romans to explain what these findings mean and talk about safe ways to use your cell phone.


Filed under: Cell phones • Health
June 1st, 2011
05:13 AM ET

Will the risk of cancer change the way you use your cell phone?

(CNN) - Radiation from cell phones can possibly cause cancer, according to the World Health Organization. The agency now lists mobile phone use in the same "carcinogenic hazard" category as lead, engine exhaust and chloroform.

Read the whole story here.

Question of the Day: Will the risk of cancer change the way you use your cell phone?

Tell us what you think. American Morning could read your response on the air this morning.


Filed under: AM Asks