American Morning

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December 3rd, 2009
11:54 AM ET

Stricter rules for NFL concussions

The NFL is set to enforce its toughest rules yet for when players can return to games or practices after suffering head injuries. The new guidelines go into effect this week in the latest move by the league to address a hot-button issue.

For an analysis of the new concussion policy we spoke with Dr. Julian Bailes, chairman of neurology at the West Virginia School of Medicine and former team doctor for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He spoke to Kiran Chetry on American Morning Thursday.

Filed under: Sports
December 3rd, 2009
10:28 AM ET

A Soldier's Story: Off to the Army

Editor's Note: Today we're beginning a new American Morning original series that will track three military recruits from their final days as civilians through deployment. Our Jason Carroll has been given unprecedented access by the Pentagon as the president outlines a new strategy for the war in Afghanistan. In the first piece, it's off to the Army for a high school football star who traded the gridiron to be all he can be.

By Jason Carroll

Will McLain is 18-years-old and a week away from taking the oath to enlist in the United States Army. We gave him a video camera to show us how he was passing the time; there were lots of parties.

“It’s always funny because even when I'm partying with my friends or something like that they always got to throw those Army jokes in. … They think I'm doing a good thing. They figure it’s better than just rotting away in Rosamond."

Rosamond, California is Will's hometown. It’s in the western Mojave Desert; a large stretch of land with a small population of about 14,000. A place Will McLain can't wait to leave.

“I'm kind of glad to be getting out of this little town because it gets old, but there's a lot of things you will miss, you know.”

It’s a place where dirt bike riding is surpassed only by motorcycle racing in popularity. We met up with Will the day before he was set to leave Rosamond. A day his 12-year-old brother didn't want to leave his side.

“I think it hits them more that I'm leaving. This last week, I think it's truly hit them,” says McLain.


Filed under: A Soldier's Story • Military
December 3rd, 2009
09:11 AM ET

'Slave labor' blamed for falling shrimp prices

By Sean Callebs and Jason Morris

It's an absolutely beautiful New Orleans sunset, the kind of night that used to be a bonanza for shrimpers like Paul Willis.

"We are trying to make a living, but because these foreign countries are using cheap labor, slave labor – call it whatever you want – we can't compete, we just can't compete. This pass on an evening like this would have had 300 vessels in here ready to shrimp. You are going to see eight tonight, that's what's happened to this industry."

Willis says the U.S. shrimp market has completely crashed. Fuel costs and Mother Nature may be a never-ending battle, but Willis says his biggest foe is cheap shrimp pouring in from Asia. He only makes as much per pound today as he did 15 years ago. While cut-rate Asian shrimp are sold for three dollars a pound, by the time he pays for fuel and crew wages, he's looking at spending more than four dollars to harvest a pound a shrimp just to break even.

A three-year investigation by the AFL-CIO affiliated Solidarity Center, funded in part by the U.S. State Department, found several leading U.S. retailers received shrimp from plants in Thailand and Bangladesh where workers as young as 8-years-old are subject to sweatshop conditions.


December 3rd, 2009
09:00 AM ET

White House forum aims to get Americans working again

The president shifts his focus from Afghanistan to jobs today. He's hosting a forum at the White House, looking for ideas to put 16 million unemployed Americans back to work. And he has his work cut out for him. Our Jim Acosta reports.

CNNMoney: White House job summit seeks solutions

Filed under: Economy • Politics
December 3rd, 2009
08:00 AM ET
December 3rd, 2009
07:00 AM ET

Can war zone handle 30,000 new soldiers?

Secretary of State Clinton and Defense Secretary Gates will be back on Capitol Hill today to answer more questions about the president's new plan for Afghanistan. They'll be joined by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen.

Admiral Mullen spoke to Kiran Chetry on American Morning Thursday to talk about the unique challenges of sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan's rugged terrain by the summer of 2010.

Read more: Logistical problems could plague Afghan troop surge

Filed under: Afghanistan • Military
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