American Morning

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February 24th, 2010
08:00 AM ET

Woman relives her runaway ride

Today, Toyota's CEO, who has come all the way from Tokyo, will answer questions on Capitol Hill. There have been accusations that the company has been arrogant and way too late with its response to reports of "runaway cars."

Yesterday, his chief of sales in the U.S. sat down and listened to a woman re-live her runaway ride in a Lexus. Her name is Rhonda Smith and she and her husband Eddie joined us on Wednesday's American Morning.

CNNMoney: Toyota chief to testify

Filed under: Business
February 24th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

Billboard campaign sparks race debate

A controversial billboard campaign has sparked a debate over abortion and race. The billboards feature a picture of a black infant with the message: "Black children are an endangered species."

Some 80 billboards are now up in the Atlanta area. The groups behind them say abortion clinics target black women and are, in effect, threatening the African-American population.

Catherine Davis is the director of minority outreach at Georgia Right to Life, which co-sponsored the billboards. She and Dr. Artis Cash, founder of Shreveport's chapter of the National Action Network, joined us on Wednesday's American Morning.

Filed under: Controversy
February 24th, 2010
06:00 AM ET

Broken Government: Can we gamble our way out of recession?

Editor's Note: All this week in our special series "Broken Government," CNN is taking a hard look at our nation's government; the frustrating problems and the potential solutions. Today, our Carol Costello looks at states trying to gamble their way out of the recession. And tomorrow on American Morning, President Obama says he wants to double U.S. exports in the next five years. So what's the plan and how can America even compete with cheap foreign labor?

By Bob Ruff and Carol Costello, CNN

Our cameras were rolling at The Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh as a contestant spun the “Wheel of Luck.” On this particular day the “Wheel” lived up to its name, coming to a rest on $5,000. A small crowd erupted in cheers and applause at the elderly man’s good fortune.

The owners of Pennsylvania’s newest casino are hoping that promotions like the “Wheel of Luck,” along with more than 3,000 slot, virtual roulette and Black Jack games, will entice big crowds and big bucks.

Someone else is hoping that the casino is a big winner: the state of Pennsylvania. Why?

Pennsylvania gets a cut – a very big cut – from every dollar spent in every one of the nine up-and-running casinos licensed by the state legislature. 34% of gaming revenues go directly to the state. Additional amounts go to municipalities, firefighters, and the horse racing industry.

Pennsylvania is not alone. In fact, there is a virtual stampede by states to authorize legalized gambling. 39 states either have or soon will have gaming available to one and all over the age of 21. And if you throw in lotteries, that leaves just two states without some form of legalized gambling: Hawaii and Utah.

Why are so many states betting on gambling? One word: recession.


Filed under: Broken Government • Economy
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