American Morning

Tune in at 6am Eastern for all the news you need to start your day.
August 17th, 2009
12:52 PM ET

Scientists analyze blood to test for toxic airplane air exposure

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Terry Williams hugs her two boys - Jake, left, and Zack - in 2006, before she says toxic cabin air made her sick."]

By Allan Chernoff and Laura Dolan

(CNN) - Inside a freezer in a research laboratory at the University of Washington are blood and blood plasma samples from 92 people who suffer from mysterious illnesses, including tremors, memory loss and severe migraine headaches.

They are mostly pilots and flight attendants who suspect they've been poisoned in their workplace - on board the aircraft they fly.

Clement Furlong, University of Washington professor of medicine and genome sciences, leads a team of scientists who have been collecting the samples for 2 ½ years.

Furlong said his team is a few months away from finalizing a blood analysis test that will be able to definitely confirm whether the study participants were indeed poisoned by toxic fumes.

Results of Furlong's research could expand recognition of what a select group of researchers believes is a largely unrecognized risk of flying: the chance that poisonous fumes enter the cabin.

"There's a danger of inhaling compounds that are coming out of the engine," said Furlong in his laboratory.

The air we breathe on board a plane is a 50-50 mix of filtered, recirculated air and so-called "bleed air" - which bleeds off the engines, and then is pressurized and cooled before being sent into the cabin through vents. If an engine oil seal leaks, aviation engineers and scientists say, the bleed air can become contaminated with toxins.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Airline safety
August 17th, 2009
12:05 PM ET

Sour times for dairy farms

If you went grocery shopping this weekend, you might've noticed you paid less for a gallon of milk. That's good for your family budget, but as our Deb Feyerick found out – it's hurting a lot of mom and pop dairy farmers out there.

Behind the scenes: A baby is born

By Stephen Samaniego

Our assignment was to shoot a story on the economic plight of the dairy farmer, but we got so much more than we bargained for. We were lucky enough to take part in the birth of a calf, while not rare for a farm with over 400 cows, it was a thrill for us nonetheless. We were taking a tour of the farm with owner Alan Bourbeau when we heard a loud groan come from the woods across the street. After we gave him looks of confusion, he explained to us that one of his heifers was in labor. So, we all jumped into the back of his truck and drove across the street to trek through cow patties to find the cow.


Filed under: Economy
August 17th, 2009
11:56 AM ET

Webb: New push to secure Suu Kyi's release

BANGKOK, Thailand (CNN) - There is a new push to free Myanmar's pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi, Sen. Jim Webb told CNN's "American Morning" Monday.

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Jim Webb speaks at a press conference in Laos Thursday as part of a two-week Southeast Asia trip."]

Webb spoke after a weekend visit to Myanmar, also known as Burma, in which he secured the release of an American man who was sentenced to seven years of hard labor for visiting Suu Kyi.

ASEAN, a powerful economic and political bloc of Southeast Asian nations, may petition Myanmar to release Suu Kyi on the grounds of amnesty, according to Webb.

"(That) would be a major step forward in resolving this situation," the Virginia Democrat said.

ASEAN - the Association of Southeast Asian Nations - has been reluctant in the past to address Suu Kyi's detention in Myanmar, one of its 10 member nations.

But it has been under increased pressure to suspend Myanmar after the country's military junta convicted Suu Kyi last week for violating the terms of her house arrest.

That conviction stemmed from a May 3 incident in which American John Yettaw swam to her house, uninvited, and stayed for two days. Webb secured Yettaw's release, and he is currently being treated at a hospital in Bangkok. Yettaw suffers from diabetes.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: World
August 17th, 2009
11:22 AM ET

The War at Home: Homeless veterans

Today we're beginning a special series focusing on American soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. How are they coping after months, in some cases years, on the battlefield.

Back from the front lines, many are fighting "The War at Home." Our Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr begins our week-long series with a report on homeless veterans.

Filed under: Military • The War at Home
August 17th, 2009
10:47 AM ET

Michael Vick opens up about jail & dog fighting

For the first time since he was released from prison, Michael Vick is opening up about his time behind bars as well as his involvement in dog fighting. Vick sat down with James Brown of CBS Sports for a piece on “60 Minutes” that aired last night.

Brown spoke about the interview with John Roberts and Kiran Chetry on CNN’s “American Morning” Monday. The following is an edited version of the transcript.

Kiran Chetry: Let’s listen to just a little bit of what he told you about what he might have learned behind bars.

From "60 Minutes" interview:

James Brown: Do you understand why people are outraged?

Michael Vick: I understand why, but I’m going to say it again. It sickens me to my stomach and it was, you know, the same feeling I’m feeling right now is what people was feeling.

Brown: And the feeling you’re feeling right now is?

Vick: Disgust. Pure disgust.

Chetry: He also went on to say that he cried the first night in his cell. Did you walk out of that interview feeling he was someone who was truly remorseful for what he had done?

Brown: Kiran, the frame of reference that I have in saying yes is that I did visit with him in Leavenworth, Kansas during his incarceration and also during home confinement in Norfolk, Virginia where I had about a three hour sit down with him just to do some background work prior to the interview. And Kiran, I can say that he was very consistent in all three visits and there certainly seemed to be a real resolve and understanding of why folks are so outraged and him understanding why in fact what he was doing, although introduced early to this, that it was in fact the wrong thing and cruel indeed.


Filed under: Sports
August 17th, 2009
06:25 AM ET

PolitiFact Truth-O-Meter: Health care fact vs. fiction

Editor's Note: is a project of the St. Petersburg Times that aims to help you find the truth in politics. Every day, reporters and researchers from the Times examine statements by members of Congress, the president, etc. They research their statements and then rate the accuracy on their Truth-O-Meter.

Obama claims Medicare benefits will not be cut under the health care bill

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="President Obama speaks at a town hall meeting August 11, 2009 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire."]

"I just want to assure [you] we're not talking about cutting Medicare benefits."

-Barack Obama on Tuesday, August 11th, 2009 in a town hall meeting.

The Truth-O-Meter says: HALF TRUE

Half True

Read more: Cuts to Medicare? Sort of

Palin claims Obama misled when he said end-of-life counseling is voluntary

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sarah Palin serves the public hot dogs during the annual Governor's Picnic July 26, 2009 at Pioneer Park in Fairbanks, Alaska."]

A provision in the health care reform bill for end-of-life counseling for seniors is not "entirely voluntary."

-Sarah Palin on Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 in her Facebook page

Truth-O-Meter says: FALSE


Read more: If you don't have to do it, it's voluntary

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Ad says health reform plan would mean big tax increases

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="TV ad from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce posted on"]

The health care reform plan being proposed in Congress would mean "big tax increases."

-U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 in a TV ad

The Truth-O-Meter says: HALF TRUE

Half True

Read more: Tax increases would be borne mostly by wealthy

Filed under: Truth-O-Meter
« older posts