American Morning

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February 25th, 2011
07:57 PM ET

CNN Heroes: Church leader reverses stance on HIV, reaches out to those affected

Kitale, Kenya (CNN) - HIV is a curse from God. That's what Patricia Sawo used to tell others as a church leader in Kitale, Kenya.

"I thought it was a moral issue and a punishment for the disobedient," Sawo remembers.

Then one morning in 1999, Sawo awoke to find her body covered in shingles, a rash commonly associated with HIV. Scared and upset, she cried in the bathroom for two hours. A test soon confirmed her fears: She was HIV-positive.

"I couldn't believe it," said Sawo, now 45. "It was, 'Oh my God, how could this happen to me?' "

Sawo suspects that a blood transfusion was to blame, but at that time she didn't dwell on how she'd been infected. She just wanted to rid herself of the virus.

She had always told others that God could heal people if they'd fast and pray as penance for their sins. But when she followed her own advice, she still tested positive. She continued to fast and pray repeatedly for the next four years, hoping for a different outcome. But the results remained the same.

When her status became public, she became a victim of the prejudices that she had helped spread throughout her community. Within weeks, she and her husband had lost their jobs, she'd lost her leadership role in her church and their landlord had kicked them out of their home.

Read more on Sawo here.

Filed under: CNN Heroes
February 25th, 2011
02:14 PM ET

The Road to Gold: Predicting Academy Awards winnners

With all the great movies that were released in 2010, this year's Oscar race has come down to a cinematic battle between King George VI and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

The 83rd Annual Academy Awards is this Sunday, and with the "The King's Speech" and "The Social Network" expected to win big, could there be any shakeups? Any upsets?

This morning on American Morning, CNN's Kiran Chetry and TJ Holmes spoke with David Edelstein, chief film critic for "New York Magazine" and Jessica Coen, editor in chief with, predict who will win the biggest categories this weekend and what we should expect to see.

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Filed under: American Morning
February 25th, 2011
01:43 PM ET

Report: School lunch is only meal for some U.S. kids

It's hard to learn when your biggest concern is an empty stomach.

In a startling new study from Share Our Strength, a national non-profit dedicated to ending childhood hunger in American, 86% of teachers say that many of their kids are coming to school hungry and 65% say that most kids rely on school meals as their primary source of nutrition.

CNN's Kiran Chetry spoke with Bill Shore, founder and executive director of "Share Our Strength" and Stacey Frakes, a former teacher and instructional coach at Greenville Elementary School in Madison, Florida. In the interview, she asked what can be done to ensure that children are getting the nutrition they need.

Filed under: Education • Hunger
February 25th, 2011
10:30 AM ET

What's killing the dolphins?

Baby bottle-nose dolphins are washing up dead in record numbers on the shores of Alabama and Mississippi, alarming scientists and a federal agency charged with monitoring the health of the Gulf of Mexico. CNN's Kiran Chetry speaks to senior scientist of the National Wildlife Federation, Doug Inkley and he says the BP oil spill may have had a negative impact on the dolphins' fitness.

Filed under: Wildlife
February 25th, 2011
09:56 AM ET

College student's 'Jihad' plot

A Saudi national, Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, 20, of Lubbock, Texas,was arrested Wednesday for allegedly researching and acquiring chemicals to make a bomb, authorities said Thursday. He researched several possible targets, including the Dallas home of former President George W. Bush. along with nuclear power plants and hydroelectric dams. CNN's T.J. Holmes and Kiran Chetry speak to CNN contributor and former FBI assistant director, Thomas V. Fuentes about the case.

CORRECTION: When reporting this story, we incorrectly said that all of the 9/11 hijackers from Saudi Arabia entered the United States on student visas. Only one entered the U.S. on a student visa.

For more information, read the 9/11 Commission Report here.

Filed under: Terrorism
February 25th, 2011
08:30 AM ET

American who fled Libya: “It was like a tsunami hit Tripoli”

Americans are fleeing Libya as unrest in the country continues. CNN's T.J. Holmes speaks to George Sayar and Cyrus Sany who just arrived back in the United States from Libya. Sayar was in the country to build infrastructure such as roads and bridges. Cyrus has been there 28 times since 2008 to develop the technology infrastructure, specifically port security. They both discussed a chaotic scene. “Me and my colleague finally made it out after three hours of kicking and shoving and kicking," Sayar says. Sany described taking "six hours from the parking lot to the ticket counter."

Filed under: Libya