American Morning

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September 30th, 2010
05:59 AM ET

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Congress OKs stop-gap spending, ready to go home

Washington (CNN) - Congress on Thursday passed a measure to fund the federal government another two months, their last major legislative action before shutting down and returning to the campaign trail for the Nov. 2 elections.

The House voted 228-194 early Thursday morning and the Senate voted 69-30 on Wednesday to pass a stop-gap effort that effectively keeps the lights on at agencies and major federal programs until Dec. 3. The tab for the 64 days tops $219 billion, meaning the overall budget for the new fiscal year will be $219 billion lighter, a congressional aide explained.

The move marks Congress' second major accomplishment since returning from summer break in September. Congress also passed a bill giving tax breaks to small businesses. The Senate also confirmed two of three nominees to the Federal Reserve board of governors, a seven-member board which has been operating short by three members.

"We may not agree on much," said Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who is facing a tough re-election fight. "But with rare exception, all 100 senators want to get out of here and get back to their states."

Army's largest base reeling from four apparent suicides in one weekend

(CNN) - Four soldiers from Fort Hood, Texas died over the week. In all four cases, it appears the soldiers, all decorated veterans from the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, took their own lives, according to Christopher Haug, a Fort Hood spokesman.

If confirmed as suicides, it would be on top of 14 other suicides on the base this year. Base officials called a news conference for Wednesday afternoon to discuss the problem of suicides at the huge base in central Texas.

"Every one of these is tragic," said Maj. Gen. William Grimsley, the post commander. "It's personally and professionally frustrating as a leader."

Grimsley did not announce any major action or response during the news conference. "I don't think there is a simple answer," he said.

The recent spate of incidents, began Friday Sept. 24 when the body of Pvt. Antonio E. Heath, 24, of Warren, New York, was found in Temple, Texas, the victim of a gunshot wound. Heath was deployed to Iraq for most of 2009 and earned a number of medals including the Army Commendation Medal. FULL STORY

Student's apparent suicide linked to webcast of sexual encounter

(CNN) - A Rutgers University student who apparently committed suicide was the unknowing target of an internet broadcast showing him in a sexual encounter, New Jersey authorities said Wednesday.

Two other Rutgers students have been charged with invasion of privacy after they allegedly placed a camera in 18-year-old Tyler Clementi's dorm room without his knowledge and then broadcast Clementi's sexual enounter, according to the Middlesex County prosecutor's office.

"If the charges are true, these actions gravely violate the university's standards of decency and humanity," Rutgers President Richard L. McCormick said in a statement Wednesday.

Although Clementi's body has not been found, an attorney for the Ridgewood, New Jersey, family said Wednesday, "On behalf of the family of Tyler Clementi, I can confirm that Tyler committed suicide last week by jumping from the George Washington Bridge."

"The family and their representatives are cooperating fully with the ongoing criminal investigations of two Rutgers University students," attorney Paul Mainardi added.

A law enforcement source confirmed with CNN that while a body has not yet been recovered, Clementi's wallet and cell phone were found on the bridge that spans the Hudson River between New Jersey and New York. FULL STORY

Sound off: We want to hear from you this morning. Add your comments to the LIVE Blog below and we'll read some of them on the show.

Filed under: American Morning • LIVE Blog • Top Stories
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Michele Chelf

    I am so sorry for the loss the parents of Tyler must feel. I am also really tired of hearing that everyone who does not agree with homosexuality is homophobic. Why are we not teaching our children to delay having sex until they are at least adults. If our young children were not exposed to sexuality at every turn, they may stand a better chance of living a healthy long life.

    September 30, 2010 at 10:52 am |
  2. tm1946

    The military is just like every other segment of society. Be it your neighborhood or a prison, things happen.

    I guess we do not learn from the past,....Rememer Vietnam? There were National Guardsman who joined to escape active duty but when their units were call up, did they squell. Our current military has young folks who joined with no intention of ever waging a military action, not everyone but some. So there are folks in the military who have no business being there. Until the military begin releasing these folks, without any benefits, there will be tragedies over and over. Did you notice I suggest NO BENEFITS, it did not work out so everyone goes their own ways, no paycheck and med, withour honorable service? Hard but that is the way it should be (for all you warm and fuzzy types).

    September 30, 2010 at 9:47 am |
  3. Darrell A Adkins

    Thank you very much for airing the incredible homophobia that seems to be sweeping the country. Yesterday Kira Philips aired a segment about an assistant Attorneys General in Michigan making outrageous comments on his blog about a student elected by his peers. Last night there was a story of young boy in Ohio that was beat up for being a cheerleader. Now today another young college student kills himself over someone invading his privacy. We need stronger laws to protect people from bullying. Keep up the good coverage and bringing this to light.

    Darrell A Adkins
    New Orleans, LA

    September 30, 2010 at 8:50 am |
  4. Average American

    How could two kids tat are/were bright enough get in Rutgers do something so hateful and stupid that they not only destroyed some innocent victim's life but always their own?

    I'm sure their parents are so proud of them.

    September 30, 2010 at 8:49 am |
  5. vic nashville tn

    Studies after studies says soldiers come from war zone need help . last week local news reported 18 soldiers suicide or attempt everyday its sad

    Our politician want to privatizes veterans care . sad

    September 30, 2010 at 8:44 am |
  6. Steven Jankowski

    Is this toy recall because of the on going issues with the quality of workers and engineers in China and the lack of regulations in China? When will these companies wake up and bring ther operations back to the best minds and workers in the world? When will our government stop recognizing these companies as american since they are apparently not operating in America, not employing Americans and are apparently producing products not meeting U.S. standards and not operating under U.S. regulations??
    Parents should boycott these companies for their kids health and safety. We have the power to force change no matter how big the bully!

    September 30, 2010 at 7:44 am |
  7. mike sey

    I find it equally difficult to understand why Mexican troops are not permitted to operate in force in Arizona, or why Iranian troops don't have free rein in Iraq . Get real!

    September 30, 2010 at 7:43 am |
  8. Average American

    The US drone attacks have killed thousands in Pakistan. The US "claims" they are all "insurgents" or "terrorists" but that doesn't make it the truth.

    The US shouldn't be allowed to run willy nilly in Pakistan and kill whomever they want to. The US demands that every other country respect America without giving those countries the same respect America demands. America needs to retract it's own head from it's collective butt and actually start to care about others besides just themselves.

    September 30, 2010 at 7:41 am |
  9. Dan

    So, instead of staying in Washington and finishing the work of the people, our wonderful politicians voted on the stop-gap measure and headed home.
    So, they are once again looking out for themselves. They would rather try and get themselves re-elected instead of taking care of the hard work.
    Let's remind ourselves who could have voted to stay in session and complete this work, instead of bailing out: The DEMOCRATS.

    September 30, 2010 at 7:32 am |
  10. Don Straub-Euclid, Ohio

    U.S. relations with Pakistan have always been a sensitive issue. One aspect of this relationship, that I simply can't comprehend, is the fact that our troops are not permitted to enter Pakistan.
    Enemy forces organize and plan their attacks into Afghanistan from within Pakistan. But, our own forces are forbidden from attacking across the border. It is an insane policy.
    Drones cannot adequately contain the threat from Pakistan. Somehow, our government must fight to alter this wayward policy and permit our troops to operate within Pakistan.

    September 30, 2010 at 6:51 am |
  11. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    A little bit of rock n roll makes a good morning time for John to jam .

    September 30, 2010 at 6:31 am |
  12. Average American

    Well.. if the politicians aren't in Washington – they can't inflict anymore damage on America.

    Every suicide is tragic. How could the military have helped/prevented these deaths from occurring?

    September 30, 2010 at 6:20 am |