American Morning

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December 7th, 2010
09:45 AM ET

Bad benjamins

More than 1 billion brand new 100 dollar bills slated to be released next year have been quarantined because of a printing problem. The bills that have been rendered useless, have a creasing problem on one of its edges that when unfolded, reveals a blank portion on the bill where a security ribbon should be. The new design was supposed to make them more resistant to counterfeiting.

The error puts the February 2011 release date in jeopardy. Each bill costs 11.8 cents to print which amounts to $120 million in lost production costs. The notes have not been put into circulation, and are sitting in lockup in Fort Worth, Texas and Washington, D.C. CNN's Christine Romans explains.

Filed under: U.S.
December 7th, 2010
09:07 AM ET

Raising kids has rising price tag, new figures show

Having children is expensive. Just how expensive? Think a $220,000 price tag, before college. New numbers are out that show how the cost of raising a child is getting higher every day.

Today on American Morning, John Roberts talks to Brett Graff, financial reporter at the Miami Herald, about how much it costs the average parent to raise a child.

For more, check out Graff's writing on The Home Economist at

Filed under: American Morning • Parenting
December 7th, 2010
08:43 AM ET

Former DC schools leader takes public education reforms national

Monday, Michelle Rhee, former DC schools chancellor, unveiled Students First, a non-partisan group that she says will advocate for education reform. Rhee intends to raise a billion dollars for programs.

Today on American Morning, Rhee explains to AM's John Roberts how the group will encourage reform, why politics must be apart of the equation, and her work in DC, where she closed two dozen failing schools, laid off hundreds of teachers, and brought private money into schools.

Filed under: American Morning • Education
December 7th, 2010
08:32 AM ET

Where does U.S., WikiLeaks fit into founder Julian Assange's arrest?

London (CNN) - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested Tuesday on a Swedish warrant, London's Metropolitan Police said. Assange was arrested at a London police station at 9:30 a.m. and will appear at the City of Westminster Magistrate's Court at 2 p.m., police said. Swedish authorities had issued the warrant for Assange so they can talk to him about sex-crime allegations unrelated to WikiLeaks' recent disclosure of secret U.S. documents. At court, Assange will be able to respond to the arrest warrant, and the court will then have roughly 21 days to decide whether to extradite him, said Mark Ellis, executive director of the International Bar Association.

This morning, Ellis joins John Roberts and Carol Costello on American Morning to talk about what the UK arrest means, and whether Assange may be one step closer to being extradited to the United States.

Read more: Assange making arrangements to meet police, lawyer says

Filed under: American Morning • Top Stories
December 7th, 2010
07:46 AM ET

Elizabeth Edwards stops cancer treatment, releases statement

(CNN) – Elizabeth Edwards is surrounded by family and friends in her North Carolina home after being informed by her doctors that further cancer treatment would be unproductive.

"Elizabeth has been advised by her doctors that further treatment of her cancer would be unproductive," the Edwards family said Monday in a statement. "She is resting at home with family and friends and has posted this message to friends on her Facebook page."


Filed under: Politics • Top Stories
December 7th, 2010
07:44 AM ET

Out of work? Hit the party circuit, but bring tact

By Christine Romans, CNN
Christine Romans is anchor of CNN's "Your $$$$$" and author of the new book "Smart Is the New Rich: If You Can't Afford It, Put It Down."

(CNN) - All I want for Xmas is a job!

According to Consumer Reports, you'll spend an average of 15 hours at holiday gatherings this year. That means plenty of opportunities for networking for a job. The trick is to do it tactfully or don't do it at all.

If you are out of work, you'd be crazy to skip the holiday party scene. You might not feel like going, but put on a tartan plaid tie or a little black dress and get out the door.

Have a 30-second pitch - a soft-sell, if you will - at the ready in case you run into an old work colleague or a make a new connection who may be in the position to hire.

It should be something simple, like, "I've been volunteering and doing some research in (insert your field here) since the layoffs this summer. But I'm ready to get back in. I've got some great ideas for how to increase sales. Let me know if you hear of anyone ready to start moving forward in this economy."

Sound smart (and sober)

Small talk is critical. Ask questions, don't just talk about yourself, and be well-read on news and the economy so you can sound current.

If you're Generation Y, troll for internships or part-time work, or ask whether you can do research for your uncle's college roommate's wife's advertising agency (or whoever it is you land next to at the dinner table or on New Year's Eve.) Just getting a foot in the door is key right now, because businesses are more likely to hire temp work or part-time before they are sure the economy is stronger. Then, there you are, already there and willing to move up.

Do not drink too much, and do not be too aggressive or negative.

Don't sound desperate, either. "If I don't get a job by January, I am going to lose the house." Who wants to hire the buzz-kill at the holiday party? Keep it brief, focused and light. If the conversation appears to be going your way, ask for a business card. If it doesn't, cut your losses and move on. The key here is mixing a little bit of job-hunting "business" with holiday "pleasure."

Job experts see a treasure trove for job-seekers at these holiday gatherings. Etiquette experts are more circumspect.

Peter Post, great-grandson of manners doyenne Emily Post and director of the Emily Post Institute, advises against walking into a party and attacking guests, asking for a job.

"But if you are having a conversation with a person, almost naturally one of the things a person asks is, 'How are you doing? How are things going in your life?' At which point, that allows you to say, 'you know, I'm actually in between jobs, and I am really looking for something, and if you were to ever hear of something, I'd sure appreciate knowing it.' "

"But to overtly walk up and say, 'Hi, John, nice to meet you. I hear you work for So-and-so Company and you are the HR person, and I'd love to come in and see you next week.' That's not the way to do it."

Post ran an ad agency for 20 years and said he routinely found new clients at parties. The same holds true for jobs today, if handled with "tact, honesty and a little bit of restraint."

Follow up

If you've had a nice, brief connection with someone at a holiday party, don't be afraid to ask the host or hostess a few days later whether it would be okay to call or e-mail that person with your résumé. If the host is your friend, they will be glad to help.

Holiday parties, of course, should not be your only job-search technique. But with 4.6 job-seekers for every available position, every little connection helps to put you ahead of the line for a job

Read Christine's full story

Filed under: American Morning • • Economy
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