American Morning

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December 17th, 2009
12:00 PM ET

U.S. dad says he hopes to bring son home

New York (CNN) - An American father said he hopes to be bringing his 9-year-old son home from Brazil on Thursday after a long international custody battle that has involved U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and many Brazilian courtrooms.

A Brazilian court on Wednesday ordered that the boy, Sean Goldman, be returned to the custody of his father in the United States. The father, David Goldman, spoke to CNN's "American Morning" on Thursday shortly after his plane touched down in Brazil.

Filed under: World
December 17th, 2009
10:00 AM ET

WSJ: Militants used $26 software to hack U.S. drones

There's a new report out today that says militants were able to hack one of the most effective weapons in finding and killing al Qaeda members. Insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan were reportedly able to intercept live video feeds from U.S. unmanned drones, allowing them to see on the ground what the drones were seeing in the air.

On Thursday's American Morning we spoke with the reporter who broke this story, Wall Street Journal Intelligence Correspondent Siobhan Gorman.

Filed under: Afghanistan • Iraq • Military
December 17th, 2009
09:00 AM ET

Coupon-cutting becomes big business

Our Ali Velshi is on the road again. He's taking the CNN Express bus down south this week, having a conversation with real Americans about how they're getting by in this rough economy.

Today he's talking to a woman who turned coupon cutting into a money making business. Ali joined us on Thursday's American Morning from Savannah, Georgia with day four of his series, "Recovery Road."

Filed under: Business
December 17th, 2009
08:00 AM ET

Church gives away cash in tough times

Editor's Note: CNN Business Correspondent Christine Romans is exploring how we balance faith and finances in a time when money is tight. Watch her special series, "In God We Trust," this Saturday at 8 p.m. ET – only on CNN.

Today our Christine Romans is taking us to a church where it pays to pray. Instead of giving to the poor, some parishioners are leaving with more cash in their pockets – an incentive to keep the faith in tough times.

Filed under: Business • Economy
December 17th, 2009
07:00 AM ET

WSJ: Insurgents hack U.S. drones

By Siobhan Gorman, Yochi J. Dreazen and August Cole
From The Wall Street Journal

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="U.S. enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan have used off-the-shelf programs to intercept video feeds from Predator unmanned aircraft."]

WASHINGTON - Militants in Iraq have used $26 off-the-shelf software to intercept live video feeds from U.S. Predator drones, potentially providing them with information they need to evade or monitor U.S. military operations.

Senior defense and intelligence officials said Iranian-backed insurgents intercepted the video feeds by taking advantage of an unprotected communications link in some of the remotely flown planes' systems. Shiite fighters in Iraq used software programs such as SkyGrabber - available for as little as $25.95 on the Internet - to regularly capture drone video feeds, according to a person familiar with reports on the matter.

U.S. officials say there is no evidence that militants were able to take control of the drones or otherwise interfere with their flights. Still, the intercepts could give America's enemies battlefield advantages by removing the element of surprise from certain missions and making it easier for insurgents to determine which roads and buildings are under U.S. surveillance.

Read the full story »

Filed under: Afghanistan • Military
December 17th, 2009
06:00 AM ET

Walk in My Shoes: Inside the teen brain

Editor's Note: This week, American Morning is examining the causes of youth-on-youth violence across the country. Yesterday, in part three of the series, "Walk in My Shoes," we walked to school with two students and witnessed the dangers they face every day. Today, we examine the teenage brain to look for an explanation for some of their behavior.

By T.J. Holmes, CNN

Mix the constant presence of violence kids on Chicago's west side face with the developing teen brain, and researchers say you've got a recipe for danger.

“The frontal lobe right here [points to image], is very late to mature. Not to about age 25,” and so teens are prone to act more impulsively, says Dr. Jay Giedd, a neuroscientist at the National Institutes of Health.

“Whenever there's high emotion then this part of the brain is really taxed. It really has to work extra hard to sort it all out.”

That's true even for teens living in the best of circumstances, but add a constant barrage of violence to a kid's life and that risky behavior can become magnified.

“They misinterpret signs of danger. They overreact to it all the time and they have trouble calming themselves down and seeing the world the way other people see it," says Gene Griffin, assistant professor at Northwestern Medical School.

Dr. Giedd says the brain can actually get used to the violence, taking even more violence to shock it.


Filed under: Crime • Walk in My Shoes