American Morning

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November 12th, 2009
10:59 AM ET

Education secretary: H1N1 vaccines can't come soon enough

The CDC has revised its swine flu estimates today to say that 4,000 people have died from H1N1. The virus is hitting schools so hard in some cases they've been forced to shut down altogether. About 350 schools were forced to close because of swine flu last week alone.

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says everyone must work together to keep students safe from H1N1."]

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke to Kiran Chetry on CNN’s American Morning Thursday. Below is an edited transcript of the interview.

Kiran Chetry: We'll be talking about a new initiative you guys are launching today. First, swine flu is on the minds of a lot of parents and a lot of teachers out there. How should schools be dealing with swine flu right now?

Arne Duncan: I've actually been really proud. I think schools have done an extraordinary job of trying to stay open in keeping sick students at home. We're actually seeing declines in the number of schools closing. We've been working very, very hard on prevention, making sure students are washing their hands frequently and thoroughly, coughing into their sleeves, not into their hands.

Now we're really moving into the chance to get vaccinations. And we want schools to be open and many schools around the country are opening their doors so that students can receive vaccines within those school buildings. We think that's very, very positive. Obviously, parents have the option, the choice of whether or not their students will receive the vaccine. I can tell you my wife and I are going to make sure that when the vaccination is available for our children that they will receive it.


Filed under: Education
November 12th, 2009
10:12 AM ET

Andre Agassi opens up about tennis, drug use

For years he dominated the world of tennis. In his new book, Andre Agassi admits he actually hates the game. The memoir is called "Open: An Autobiography."

In the book, Agassi opens up about using Crystal Meth and a whole lot more. He joined Kiran Chetry and T.J. Holmes on CNN's American Morning Thursday.

Read an excerpt from Agassi's book

Filed under: Sports
November 12th, 2009
08:47 AM ET

Cantor's colleagues believe he has sights set higher than Congress

By Brianna Keilar, CNN Congressional Correspondent

Washington (CNN) - As Republicans swept the top three offices in Democratic-leaning Virginia last week, Rep. Eric Cantor was in Richmond, shaking hands with supporters and rallying GOP troops as he proclaimed, "The Republican resurgence begins tonight."

He was also taking notes.

In an election that Republicans claim is an indicator that the American electorate is unnerved with the sweeping changes President Obama and congressional Democrats are making in Washington, the GOP sees an opportunity in the 2010 congressional midterm elections, where one in three Senate seats and every seat in the House of Representatives will be on the ballot.

"We're going to take the model that worked in Virginia, so we can unite our party and begin to appeal to independents with solutions that affect our lives," Cantor told reporters in a Richmond ballroom shortly before Bob McDonnell was projected to be the state's next governor.

Jumping from one interview with a television reporter to the next, Cantor showed why as the No. 2 House Republican he is his party's most visible congressman. Cantor, a lawyer, is nearing his tenth year in Washington, almost 18 years after he left his family's real estate business to enter politics as a Virginia state legislator.

Now the House minority whip, Cantor is tasked with keeping his party together on votes, a job often described - on both sides of the aisle - as herding cats.

Read the full story »

Filed under: GOP: The Next Chapter
November 12th, 2009
06:24 AM ET

Charges dropped against U.S. father in Japan custody case

(CNN) - Authorities have officially dropped all charges against an American who tried to snatch back his children from his ex-wife in Japan, the Fukuoka prosecutor's office said Thursday.

Charges had been technically "on hold" since Christopher Savoie was released from jail in October, though legal experts had said the move essentially meant the charges had already been dropped.

Read more »

Filed under: World
November 12th, 2009
06:00 AM ET

'Open' by Andre Agassi

Open: An Autobiography
By Andre Agassi


I open my eyes and don’t know where I am or who I am. Not all that unusual—I’ve spent half my life not knowing. Still, this feels different. This confusion is more frightening. More total.

I look up. I’m lying on the floor beside the bed. I remember now. I moved from the bed to the floor in the middle of the night. I do that most nights. Better for my back. Too many hours on a soft mattress causes agony.
I count to three, then start the long, difficult process of standing. With a cough, a groan, I roll onto my side, then curl into the fetal position, then flip over onto my stomach. Now I wait, and wait, for the blood to start pumping.

I’m a young man, relatively speaking. Thirty-six. But I wake as if ninety-six. After three decades of sprinting, stopping on a dime, jumping high and landing hard, my body no longer feels like my body, especially in the morning. Consequently my mind doesn’t feel like my mind. Upon opening my eyes I’m a stranger to myself, and while, again, this isn’t new, in the mornings it’s more pronounced. I run quickly through the basic facts. My name is Andre Agassi. My wife’s name is Stefanie Graf. We have two children, a son and daughter, five and three. We live in Las Vegas, Nevada, but currently reside in a suite at the Four Seasons hotel in New York City, because I’m playing in the 2006 U.S. Open. My last U.S. Open. In fact my
last tournament ever. I play tennis for a living, even though I hate tennis,
hate it with a dark and secret passion, and always have.

As this last piece of identity falls into place, I slide to my knees and in a whisper I say: Please let this be over.

Then: I’m not ready for it to be over.

Read more »

Filed under: Sports