American Morning

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March 19th, 2010
01:00 PM ET

Heat rises on the China-U.S. relationship

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="CNN business correspondent Christine Romans examines the ever-complicated relationship between China and the United States of America."]

By Christine Romans, CNN

(CNN) – The Chinese are mad at the Americans, mild-manned economists are bashing each other, and the heat rises on the China-U.S. relationship.

That heat has risen every day, all week since Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s uncharacteristic tongue-lashing of the United States in his annual press availability last weekend.

He blasted the U.S., its president, and its policies and warned in very clear language that we don’t want to make China our enemy. It wouldn’t be good for either country.

He’s right about the last point, but what is less clear is the path out of this mess.

The Chinese are angry that the U.S. is selling arms to Taiwan, that the president met with the Dalai Lama and that U.S. officials have urged China to let its currency rise. An artificially low yuan makes anything “Made in China” cheaper than U.S.-made goods.

Two years into a crushing recession, the political winds are blowing in the direction of anything that will help American jobs. A bill this week introduced in the Senate would slap Chinese products with tariffs as retaliation for China keeping its currency artificially low.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell told PBS anchor and Bloomberg contributor Judy Woodruff that the U.S.-China relationship began strongly under this president and has deteriorated ever since. Usually, the conflict over Taiwan and the Dalai Lama is an exercise in diplomacy: the Chinese scream, we say we have our principles, and then everyone gets over it.

This time is different. Action against China in Congress is more likely than anytime in the last four years, the Google dispute adds a new wrinkle, and, as Powell described it, the Chinese are “more stiff” in their talks and diplomacy with the U.S. than they have been in recent years.

After this difficult and uncomfortable week for the world’s most important financial marriage, Reuters is reporting that the Chinese are now trying to cool down the rhetoric and are sending a special trade envoy to Washington later this month.


Filed under: Business • China
March 19th, 2010
12:00 PM ET

Building Up America: Golf helps Alabama through tough times

(CNN) – Today in our Building Up America series, a major success story in the south.

A man who made some big bets with the pension fund for 300-thousand state employees is buying up everything from TV stations to a busted airline – and building a mini empire. It's happening down in Alabama and our Tom Foreman has the story.

Filed under: Building Up America • Business
March 19th, 2010
11:00 AM ET

Mayo Clinic hailed as model for health care

(CNN) – With just two days before a crucial vote on health care reform there's still a lot of debate over how to keep health care costs down.

One of the world's top hospitals, the Mayo Clinic, is being hailed as a model for doing just that. Our chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta sat down with the former head of the clinic for this report.

Filed under: Health
March 19th, 2010
09:00 AM ET

Are bullet trains worth the billions?

(CNN) – The Obama administration is betting that bullet trains are the magic bullet to solving a lot of our problems, from unemployment to pollution.

It's investing $8 billion in stimulus money in high-speed rail lines connecting cities across the country. A lot of the cash is heading to congested California.

But will it pay off? Our Casey Wian takes us on the long commute for answers.

Filed under: Transportation
March 19th, 2010
08:00 AM ET

Fmr. U.S. general: Gay military allowed genocide

(CNN) – Explosive accusations emerged yesterday during Senate hearings on the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, which prevents gay and lesbian Americans from serving openly.

A former U.S. general made some inflammatory claims, saying the Dutch army wasn't able to save thousands of Muslims from being killed in Bosnia in 1995 – because gays were allowed to serve openly. Our Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr has the details.

Filed under: American Morning
March 19th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

Sandbags in place as Red River rises

(CNN) – (CNN) - The Red River kept rising to dangerous levels Friday as those in the area hoped they'd done enough to protect themselves.

Though the river is in a major flood stage, folks in Fargo, North Dakota, and Moorhead, Minnesota, said they were optimistic after filling more than a million sandbags and stacking most of them.

"We're in good shape, and we have a lot of things in place in case there are any problems," Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker said.

Walaker said the river is expected to crest in the next day or two at a level close to 3 feet below last year's record flood level.

In 2009, the Red River set a record 40.8 feet at Fargo. As of 12:15 a.m. ET Friday, the river was at 34.61 feet, more than 16 feet above the flood stage of 18 feet.

Last week, warm weather and rain melted snow south of Fargo and Moorhead, causing the Red River to swell. Upstream, snow and ice have yet to melt, pushing water back toward the two cities.

In Fargo, more than 700,000 sandbags had been placed around the city. FULL STORY

Filed under: Weather
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