American Morning

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October 1st, 2009
03:10 PM ET

We Listen – Your comments 10/01/2009

Editor's Note: The majority of Thursday’s American Morning audience supported more gun control measures. Those opposed argued that “most, if not all, gun violence is perpetrated with illegal guns.”

  • Ken: As a society. we should talk about health care rights before we talk about gun rights.
  • Bernadette: Wayne LaPierre and his powerful Gun Lobby are dangerous to my life and the life of my grandchildren. The U.S. needs and must have better protection against guns. It is about time for people to realize that guns with bullets kill. We are a very backward thinking society to believe that they are a means of protection.
  • Linda: No one talks about the right to bear arms in the context of an early America where it really was wild–American Indians, wild animals, the need to kill for food, and I believe a historical context of bearing arms to defend against a tyrannical Great Britain which we were defeating in the Revolution. We are in the 21st century with guns more powerful than any early American could EVER imagine. Why do gun rights advocates need semi-automatic weapons, yet they will fight for their right to have them? Why do they need a loaded weapon at a Presidential event with our history of gun violence against Presidents and prominent figures? Last, I believe states and municipalities should have the right to reduce gun violence in their towns just like they did in our American west. Why does the Right argue states rights for everything but this?
  • Ray: Please explain to viewer what the words, 'A well regulated militia' mean, and why it is always ignored in the understanding of the Second Amendment. Reading the one sentence Amendment it refers only to members of militia like the national guard having the right to keep and bear arms. It does not refer to Joe Bloggs keeping a gun for 'protection of the state' unless he was a member of a 'well regulated militia'. All to often only the last part of the Amendment is ever quoted destroying its total meaning. It was written at a time in history when all Americans had to muster against an enemy and keep arms in their farm houses etc. to protect land (state) against invasive military action.
  • Wes: Gun control isn't about guns, it's about control. Most, if not all, gun violence is perpetrated with illegal guns. Why can't we focus on enforcing the laws already on the books and crack down on ILLEGAL guns and the people that deal in that. Self defense is a God (replace with your deity) given right, some would say obligation. What the media often doesn't do is emphasize that the gun used in the story is illegal, painting the entire gun owning community with a broad brush as being evil, but I'm the guy next door, law abiding and patriotic. If we lose the second amendment I expect the first will not be far behind. Semper sic tyrannis.

Who should be in charge of gun control – states or the federal government? How do you feel about the viewer’s statement that “most gun violence is perpetrated with illegal guns”?

Filed under: We Listen
October 1st, 2009
10:52 AM ET

Don't threaten Iran, Carter says

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) — The United States and other nations should take a diplomatic approach toward Iran in negotiations over that nation's nuclear program, former President Jimmy Carter said Thursday.

Iran's nuclear chief and representatives from the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, as well as Germany, are scheduled to start talks Thursday in Switzerland over a recently revealed nuclear facility in Iran.

Tehran says it is developing its nuclear program for energy purposes, but many nations believe Iran wants to make nuclear weapons and will be able to do so in the near future.

A deliberate approach will work best, Carter said.

"I hope and pray that Iran will be induced to permit international inspectors to come in and observe their entire nuclear program, because what they're doing so far is completely illegal under the nonproliferation treaty," the former president said in an interview with CNN's Candy Crowley.

"They have a right to purify uranium and plutonium to use for nuclear power. If Iran is on the borderline, the constant threats that we or the Israelis are going to attack Iran is the best thing to force them to say, 'Let's defend ourselves.' I don't think Iran has made up their mind what to do, and I think the best thing we can do is engage them and stop making these idle threats."

Iran said Tuesday it will allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency to inspect the new facility, but it did not offer a timetable for those visits.

Filed under: Iran • Politics
October 1st, 2009
10:23 AM ET

Dream Teamer wants home court for 2016

There will be an all-star entourage on hand tomorrow in Copenhagen, Denmark trying to convince the International Olympic Committee to select Chicago for the 2016 games. President and First Lady Obama will be joined by other big names, such as Oprah Winfrey. So what could Chicago bring to the Olympics and how big of a deal is it?

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Former Chicago Bull Scottie Pippen feels Chicago has a good change at being selected to host the 2016 Olympic Games."]

Former Chicago Bull Scottie Pippen was a member of the original Olympic “Dream Team” and is lending his efforts to Chicago’s bid. He spoke to Kiran Chetry on CNN’s “American Morning” Thursday. Below is an edited transcript of the interview.

Kiran Chetry: It's very tight competition. And it's down to the wire now, just a little more than 24 hours before the International Olympic Committee makes this vote. So how are you feeling about the chances of Chicago getting the games?

Scottie Pippen: Well, I feel really good. I think the mayor and his staff have done an excellent job of really getting out and pushing for these games in the last few months and now that we have the first lady and President Barack Obama, as well as Oprah Winfrey, a lot of athletes who have really gotten behind this push, I think the movement is going to be felt, especially when the voting comes.


Filed under: Olympics
October 1st, 2009
10:00 AM ET

Romans: Don't give your money away

By Christine Romans

Banks are jumping on every little mistake you make with your bank account, debit card and credit cards, and slapping record fees on your slip-ups. Congress and consumers are howling, but the fact remains bank fees are at record highs and rising.

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="One quarter of consumers account for most of the tens of billions of dollars of bank fees, according to an FDIC study."]

A new analysis by shows these fees are skyrocketing. Bounce a check? Expect an average charge of $29.58. Use your debit card but don't have enough money to draw out of the account? Wham! Bankrate says expect an average overdraft charge of $33.88.

If you are a repeat offender with your debit card, the overdraft charges go up, topping $36. And many banks are shuffling the order of your purchases, so you can get the overdraft charge again and again on the same day. That's the bad news.

Most people pay no fees

The good news – an FDIC study last year found that 75 percent of bank accounts suffer no fees at all. That means most of you out there are balancing your checkbook, not overdrawing your account, and paying your bills on time. The other quarter of consumers account for most of the tens of billions of dollars of bank fees. For them, obviously their finances are tight and they get caught in a vicious cycle.

Consider this: The purchase of a, say, $20 Barbie doll with a debit card puts the consumer over the limit on their account. They are slapped with a $27 overdraft charge. Two weeks later, the consumer pays off the Barbie and the charge in full. The FDIC found the annualized interest rate on that overcharge would be 3,520 percent.

Imagine that same Barbie on a credit card that you've paid late and are carrying a balance. Unless you pay off the card's balance in full right away, Barbie gets more expensive every month when you tack on $39 late penalties and interest rates as high as 30%.

And then there are ATM surcharges. If you use an ATM machine that is not owned by your bank, the fees are rising sharply. says ATM surcharges rose a whopping 12.6 percent last year to an average $2.22.


Filed under: Business
October 1st, 2009
08:56 AM ET

What you need to know about the H1N1 vaccine

By Elizabeth Cohen
CNN Senior Medical Correspondent

(CNN) - Next week, the long-awaited H1N1 vaccine is expected to arrive. At least three of the four vaccine makers have begun shipping their products to undisclosed distribution centers.

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Clinical trials to test the effectiveness and safety of the H1N1 vaccine have been under way since the summer."]

There are two types of the vaccine available: the flu shot, an inactivated vaccine containing fragments of killed influenza virus, and a nasal-spray, which is made using a weakened live flu virus. The nasal spray will most likely be the first to be widely distributed, however certain groups, including pregnant women, young children and people with compromised immune systems, cannot receive the nasal spray.

So far officials of the National Institutes of Health say that in clinical trials they've seen no serious side effects and that study subjects who have been immunized have generated a good response.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the vaccine for certain high-priority groups because they are more likely to have serious complications if they develop swine flu. These groups include: pregnant women; caregivers and household contacts of children younger than 6 months; everyone between the ages of 6 months and 24 years; and people ages 25 to 64 with existing health problems.

Read the full story »

Filed under: Health
October 1st, 2009
07:41 AM ET

Justices to rule on Chicago's handgun ban

By Bill Mears
CNN Supreme Court Producer

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Setting the stage for a dramatic battle over gun rights, the Supreme Court on Wednesday accepted an appeal challenging the ability of state and local governments to enforce strict limits on handguns and other weapons.

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="The question before the courts will be whether Second Amendment protections apply to local gun ordinances."]

The high court returned from its summer recess, meeting in private to consider thousands of pending appeals that have piled up the past three months.

The Second Amendment case from Chicago was the most anticipated of the petitions, and oral arguments will be held sometime early next year. Nine other cases were also accepted for review.

At issue is whether the constitutional "right of the people to keep and bear arms" applies to local gun control ordinances, or only to federal restrictions. The basic question has remained unanswered for decades, and gives the conservative majority on the high court another chance to allow individuals expanded weapon ownership rights.

The appeal was filed by a community activist in Chicago who sought a handgun for protection from gangs.

The justices last year affirmed an individual right to possess handguns, tossing out restrictive laws in Washington.

Read the full story »

Sound off: Should states and cities be allowed to pass gun control laws or is that stepping on a constitutional right?

Filed under: Gun rights
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