American Morning

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March 3rd, 2010
02:00 PM ET

Child directs air traffic in NYC

Washington (CNN) - The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating after an air traffic controller at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport brought his young child to work and allowed the child to communicate with planes, a source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN.

"Pending the outcome of our investigation, the employees involved in this incident are not controlling air traffic," the FAA said in a statement. "This behavior is not acceptable and does not demonstrate the kind of professionalism expected from all FAA employees."

However, Dave Pascoe, owner of, a Web site where the recording of the air traffic communications is posted, told CNN he believes the incident is "ridiculous" and has been "blown out of proportion."

In the recording, a child can be heard saying "Jet Blue 171, cleared for takeoff."

A man is then heard telling the plane, "Here's what you get, guys, when the kids are out of school."

The pilot chuckles and says, "Wish I could bring my kid to work." The same pilot later tells the child he did an "awesome job."

During the recording, which is dated February 17, the child also speaks to an apparent Air Mexico flight.

The source confirmed the incident to CNN. A second controller who was supposed to be in charge at the time "should be making sure that things like this don't happen," the source said. FULL STORY

Filed under: Controversy
March 3rd, 2010
01:00 PM ET

Group helps school kids get much-needed supplies

(CNN) – They say one person's garbage is another's treasure. That's proving true for a group of teachers and students in Los Angeles, thanks to one non-profit making a big difference.

L.A. SHARES is a program that helps school kids get much-needed supplies. Our Casey Wian visited them for another example of everyday people "Building Up America."

To learn more about how you can get involved and make a difference, visit Impact Your World.

March 3rd, 2010
12:00 PM ET

Churches focus on problems facing the black community

By Don Lemon and Jason Morris, CNN

Columbia, South Carolina (CNN) - Instead of letting her son spend his spring break at a beach with friends, Sheila Wilson-Freelon took him to another gathering this week: a convention of black church leaders aimed at finding solutions to the problems that plague young African-Americans.

The three-day summit, known as the Great Gathering, is the first time in more than 45 years that the African Methodist Episcopal, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion and Christian Methodist Episcopal churches - with a combined membership of more than 5 million - have come together.

The Rev. Staccato Powell, one of the driving forces behind the summit, said one of the main goals of the week is to create a support network for young people, which includes tangible role models like teachers, families, and members of the faith-based community.

"We have to let them know that we have people that have demonstrated character and values, and that can be transmitted," Powell said. "We're saying the greatest role model is the father that's in the home. The greatest role model is somebody you can access everyday." FULL STORY

Filed under: U.S.
March 3rd, 2010
11:00 AM ET

Watch out Tea Party, 'Coffee Party' gaining steam

(CNN) – We've heard a lot about the Tea Party movement recently. It's been spreading like wildfire with tens of thousands turning out for rallies and protests. Now, there is a new political movement also gaining some steam. It is called the Coffee Party USA.

While the two share similar names and a frustration with gridlock in Washington, the similarities may end there. The founder of the Coffee Party USA, Annabel Park, spoke with John Roberts and Kiran Chetry on CNN’s “American Morning” on Wednesday. Below is an edited transcript of the interview.

John Roberts: The question many people might have right off the bat is the Tea Party has got some historical context to it, so why the name the Coffee Party, and why the need?

Annabel Park: First of all, I love coffee. Although at times I definitely like tea as well. But there is actually a historical reference as well. During the American Revolution, after they dumped tea into the harbor, they actually declared coffee the national drink. That was the solution to the problem. So I associate coffee not only with solutions, but also with people working, working hard. Because we need to wake up and work hard to get our government to represent us.

Kiran Chetry: What are some of the principles? What do you guys stand for? What do you want to see change in Washington?

Park: Well, we basically, just like in the American Revolution, are looking for real representation. We don't feel represented by our government right now and we don't really feel represented well by the media either. So it's kind of a simple call to action for people to wake up and take control over their future and demand representation. And it requires people standing up and speaking up. That's what we're encouraging people to do by getting together and start the conversation going.


Filed under: Opinion • Politics
March 3rd, 2010
10:00 AM ET

Prescription for waste: Pricey & unnecessary procedures

Editor's Note: All this week, in the American Morning original series "Health care – Prescription for waste," we're examining more waste in the health care system – and this time it could involve your money. Today, our Elizabeth Cohen looks at one hospital's war on unnecessary and outrageously expensive procedures.

(CNN) – The number of women giving birth by cesarean is on the rise. It's estimated that one in three moms have a c-section, but often the pricey procedure is done out of convenience rather than to avoid complications. As our senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen tells us, it's putting a strain on our health care system.

March 3rd, 2010
09:00 AM ET

Jobless benefits bill passes

(CNN) – The Senate passed a $10 billion bill Tuesday that extends unemployment benefits for one month. Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY), a former major league pitcher, ended a high-stakes game of hardball by calling off his one-man filibuster.

President Obama wasted no time signing the measure into law last night. Our senior congressional correspondent Dana Bash has the report.

Read more: Bunning backs off, jobless benefits OK'd

Filed under: Politics
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