By Beth Anne Rotatori – Producer, CNN's American Morning
When Guadalupe Mendoza first heard the news that Donald Trump was developing a new resort in Baja California back in 2006, she chalked it up to rumor. She knew Baja had been booming – but she was still skeptical it had attracted the attention of one of the most successful real estate tycoons in the world.
But Mendoza of Downey, California, was intrigued, so she did some investigating and says she discovered the buzz was true: that the Trump Organization had partnered with Irongate, a Los Angeles-based real estate development and investment company, to build a luxury oceanfront resort at Punta Bandera in Baja.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/16/craigslist.art.jpg caption="Craigslist has become a meeting place for those hurt by the economic downturn."]
From Traci Tamura, CNN Senior Producer
For the past couple of years, I have been producing economy stories for CNN. We profiled a family facing foreclosure back in December of 2006. I remember sitting in the living room where we interviewed a couple who cried as they talked about the prospect of losing their home. I really had no idea that over 2 years later I'd still be covering these same types of stories.
The most recent economy story I produced was for American Morning – "Craiglist S0S". I found the idea for this story as I was surfing the internet on craigslist doing research on another story. I happened to be looking for people who are in such a tight financial bind they have resorted to renting out their living rooms to make ends meet. I found Alicia. She is a 29-year-old who has been unemployed for several months and continues to job search daily. She is currently behind a few months rent on her 1 bedroom apartment and is now desperately trying to rent out her living room space. For the first time in her life, Alicia has had to turn to public assistance and is living off unemployment and food stamps but that doesn't even cover her living expenses.
With the civilian job market crashing, more American troops are electing to re-enlist.
But some of them are finding that even parts of the military are cutting back – and letting people go.
CNN Pentagon correspondent Chris Lawrence reports.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/16/ogunnaike.freestore.art.jpg caption=" Crowds line up to shop at a store where everything is free."]
It was a frigid morning in downtown Manhattan. A day made for blankets and good books. But instead of hibernating at home, dozens of people were shivering in front of the Free Store, waiting to walk away with the ultimate bargain. The old adage says that “nothing in life is free”, but at this New York City store, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Everything—and I do mean everything—is F-R-E-E, Free.
Naturally I was skeptical when I walked in, after all, I’m a journalist, paid to be skeptical. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that nothing in this place had a price tag. The store’s “owners,” Athena Robles and Anna Stein, don’t have to worry about turning a profit because the space is actually an art exhibit funded by grants. Instead, they just do their best to manage the frenzied customers.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/16/minding_your_busi_art.jpg caption=" CNN Business Correspondent Christine Romans is Minding Your Business everyday here on amFIX"]
Somehow over the past week, we've taken the edge off the desperation in the markets and economy.
Let me be clear: there is a lot of work to do and many difficult months ahead. I'm not ready to say confidence has returned, but certainly the gloom is not so thick.
Why? A more unified message is emerging (either by accident or by design) that yes, there IS a road to recovery and yes, we are trying to get on it.
The chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, sat down with 60 Minutes because, he said, he wanted to speak directly to the American people. His message? The Fed is doing everything possible to support the economy. A recovery doesn't happen until the banks are stabilized. There is a plan for that but it will take time and patience.
The stories that will be making news later today:
We're standing by for more insight from the White House on President Obama's promise to revamp the nation's food safety net. During his weekly radio address the President announced the creation of a new food safety group to update laws untouched since President Theodore Roosevelt.
In a few hours actress Lindsay Lohan will have a court hearing regarding an arrest warrant issued Friday. Lohan's attorney told CNN the warrant was issued "Out of a misunderstanding." It's believed to be connected to a possible parole violation. Lohan is currently serving three years probation following two d-u-i arrests in 2007. She's not expected to appear at the hearing.
We'll also be learning new details of an interview Levi Johnston gave to ABC. The former fiance of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's daughter reportedly says he and Bristol Palin have split... But he's also not ruling out a reunion in the future