American Morning

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February 5th, 2010
08:00 AM ET

Was missionary Laura Silsby in over her head?

There are new developments today involving the leader of a Baptist missionary group charged with kidnapping 33 Haitian children out of the country.

Laura Silsby didn't have experience running an orphanage, she didn't have papers necessary to cross the border legally, and it appears most of the children she had weren't orphans at all.

Was she in over her head? Our Dan Simon digs deeper.

Related: Dominican official: I warned U.S. church leader about Haitian kids

Filed under: Haiti
February 5th, 2010
06:00 AM ET

The Tea Party's five key players

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Protesters march to Capitol Hill during the Tea Party Express rally on September 12, 2009 in Washington, DC."]

By John Avlon
From The Daily Beast

It’s Super Bowl weekend, but the big event in politics is the first national Tea Party Convention in Nashville.

As with all pre-game press, there’s plenty of hype that offers more heat than light. There have been last minute injuries and substitutions—wingnut Rep. Michele Bachmann dropped out from her long promised speaking role, while Sarah Palin has stuck with her $100,000 speaking fee and been rewarded with prime-time speech coverage from cable outlets during the Saturday night banquet.

There is plenty of second guessing and insider scandals—the convention’s for-profit status has rubbed many grassroots activists the wrong way. They see themselves as defenders of the American Revolution, and this twist has some asking whether John Hancock would have rented out Independence Hall and tried to make money off the concessions.

But the big game, the “Thrilla in Vanilla,” goes on. If you’re keeping score at home on cable news or via The Daily Beast, here are the top five key Tea Party players to keep an eye out for.

Keep reading this story »

Filed under: Politics • Welcome to the Tea Party
February 5th, 2010
06:00 AM ET

Tebow's anti-abortion ad uproar

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Quarterback Tim Tebow of the Florida Gators celebrates after defeating the Cincinnati Bearcats on January 1, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana."]

By Carol Costello and Ronni Berke

The most anticipated Super Bowl commercial this weekend won't be selling Doritos or Pepsi, electronics or automobiles. It will simply be, according to a spokesman for its sponsor, "celebrating life."

Even some abortion rights activists are conceding the Focus on the Family ad, featuring college football star Tim Tebow and his family, is a savvy piece of marketing from the advocacy group, a longtime abortion opponent.

Tebow is famous, not just for his Heisman Trophy, but because his mother, Pam, decided to defy a doctor's recommendation that she undergo an abortion after falling ill while pregnant with him.

Tim Tebow, a devout Christian, calls his mother "a very courageous woman, and wouldn't say no in a lot of circumstances. So that's the reason I'm here and I'm very thankful for that."

To those who criticize his decision to appear in the ad: "I do stand up for what I believe. And at least you can respect that."

Focus on the Family will not release the commercial – or even a transcript of it – before Sunday's game. However, the group says that the 30 second commercial is not "anti-anything," according to spokesman Gary Scheeberger. "It's an ad that's very pro-family and it's really about celebrating family and celebrating life."


Filed under: Controversy
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