American Morning

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September 29th, 2010
06:00 AM ET

LIVE Blog: Chat with us during the show

Editor's Note: Welcome to American Morning's LIVE Blog where you can discuss the "most news in the morning" with us each week day. Join the live chat during the show by adding your comments below. It's your chance to share your thoughts on the day's headlines. You have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules: 1) Keep it brief 2) No writing in ALL CAPS 3) Use your real name (first name only is fine) 4) No links 5) Watch your language (that includes $#&*) 6) Stay relevant to the topic.

Europe warned of Mumbai-style terror attacks

(CNN) – A German citizen of Afghan descent was the source of much of the information on a potential "Mumbai-style" terror plot in Europe, a German counterterrorism official said Wednesday.

The man, Ahmed Sidiqi, was detained in Kabul in July and transferred to U.S. custody where he has "revealed details about the terror plot," said the official, who did not want to be named because he is not authorized to talk to the media.

The man and several other Germans traveled from Hamburg to the Afghan-Pakistan border area in 2009, where he joined the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, an extremist group allied with al Qaeda, German intelligence officials said. FULL STORY

Obama takes economic road show to Iowa, Virginia

(CNN) – President Obama will meet with families in Des Moines, Iowa, and Richmond, Virginia, Wednesday as he continues a multi-state tour to talk about economic issues.

The president also will answer questions from small groups of people in each city, according to the White House.

In a similar event in New Mexico on Tuesday, Obama talked about immigration and his views on his faith in addition to his plans for jump-starting the economy. There was also an emotional exchange with a young man about veterans' benefits.

The visit to Iowa comes as a Des Moines Register Iowa Poll shows 59 percent of Iowans are dissatisfied with how the president is handling the economy, up 5 points from February. 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: LIVE Blog • Top Stories
September 28th, 2010
05:54 AM ET

LIVE Blog: Chat with us during the show

Editor's Note: Welcome to American Morning's LIVE Blog where you can discuss the "most news in the morning" with us each week day. Join the live chat during the show by adding your comments below. It's your chance to share your thoughts on the day's headlines. You have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules: 1) Keep it brief 2) No writing in ALL CAPS 3) Use your real name (first name only is fine) 4) No links 5) Watch your language (that includes $#&*) 6) Stay relevant to the topic.

Tapes describe U.S. servicemen killing for sport in Afghanistan

Atlanta, Georgia (CNN) - Tapes obtained by CNN of interrogations of a group of U.S. servicemen charged with unprovoked killings of Afghan civilians describe gruesome scenes of cold-blooded murder.

"So we met this guy by his compound, so Gibbs walked him out, set him in place, was like standing here," says Cpl. Jeremy Morlock, detailing how, on patrol earlier this year and under the command of his sergeant, Calvin R. Gibbs, he and others took an Afghan man from his home and killed him.

"So, he was fully cooperating?" the military investigator asks on the tapes in a May 2010 interview.

"Yeah," Morlock responds.

Investigator: "Was he armed?"

Morlock: "No, not that we were aware of."

Investigator: "So, you pulled him out of his place?"

Morlock: "I don't think he was inside. He was by his little hut area ... and Gibbs sent in a couple of people."

Investigator: "Where did they stand him, next to a wall?"

Morlock: "Yeah, he was kinda next to a wall ... where Gibbs could get behind a wall when the grenade went off. And then he kind of placed me and [Spc. Adam] Winfield off over here so we had a clean line of sight for this guy and, you know, he pulled out one of his grenades, an American grenade, popped it, throws the grenade and tells me and Winfield, 'Alright, wax this guy. Kill this guy, kill this guy.'"

Investigator: "Did you see him present any weapons? Was he aggressive toward you at all?"

Morlock: "No, not at all. Nothing, he wasn't a threat." FULL STORY

Emanuel all but certain to run for Chicago mayor, sources say

(CNN) – Three Democratic sources close to Rahm Emanuel tell CNN that the White House chief of staff informed senior colleagues he is all but certain to run for mayor of Chicago, and will leave the White House to take the final exploratory steps.

Close associates are already building a campaign team according to sources.

An announcement by Emanuel is expected to be scheduled for Friday, sources said.

One of the sources, a prominent Democrat close to the White House chief of staff, told CNN, "We see nothing that will stop a run. But you don't announce a campaign for mayor of Chicago in Washington, D.C. You leave and go home and finish your business there."

The second source said Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg's research of a possible mayoral run for Emanuel was "very positive. He has some obvious things to deal with, but it was very encouraging."

Asked what the potential issues were, the source said "nothing you wouldn't expect. Just reminding people Chicago always was before Washington."

Assuming there is no hitch – and none is expected – longtime Obama adviser Pete Rouse is in line to be tapped as interim chief of staff, two of the sources said.

All of the sources spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the White House personnel turnover and the campaign planning.


Americans' religious IQ lacking

Odds are that you know Mother Teresa was Catholic, but what religion is the Dalai Lama?

How about Maimonides?

And – no Googling – what's the first book of the Bible? How about the first four books of the New Testament?

Americans who can answer all of those questions are relatively rare, a huge new study has found.

In fact, although the United States is one of the most religious developed countries in the world, most Americans scored 50 percent or less on a quiz measuring knowledge of the Bible, world religions and what the Constitution says about religion in public life.

The survey is full of surprising findings.

For example, it's not evangelicals or Catholics who did best – it's atheists and agnostics.

It's not Bible-belt Southerners who scored highest – they came at the bottom. 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
September 27th, 2010
05:59 AM ET

LIVE Blog: Chat with us during the show

Editor's Note: Welcome to American Morning's LIVE Blog where you can discuss the "most news in the morning" with us each week day. Join the live chat during the show by adding your comments below. It's your chance to share your thoughts on the day's headlines. You have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules: 1) Keep it brief 2) No writing in ALL CAPS 3) Use your real name (first name only is fine) 4) No links 5) Watch your language (that includes $#&*) 6) Stay relevant to the topic.

Obama to sign $42 billion bill aimed at helping small businesses

(CNN) - President Obama will sign a $42 billion bill to aid small businesses Monday. The bill seeks to create thousands of jobs and will offer about $12 billion in tax breaks.

Last week, the House of Representatives approved the Small Business Jobs Act by a 237-187 vote.

The measure is also expected to create 500,000 jobs, according to a summary of the bill from the Senate.

Among other things, it would authorize the creation of a $30 billion fund run by the Treasury Department that would deliver ultra-cheap capital to banks with less than $10 billion in assets.

The idea is that community banks do the lion's share of lending to small businesses, and pumping capital into them will get money in the hands of Main Street businesses.

Televangelist Eddie Long: 'I'm going to fight' sex allegations

Lithonia, Georgia (CNN) - Baptist televangelist Eddie Long said Sunday he will fight allegations that he coerced young male church members into having sex with him.

"I am not the man that has been portrayed on television," he told his congregation.

Speaking publicly about the accusations for the first time, Long did not address the specific allegations contained in four lawsuits filed against him earlier this week.

"I've been accused, I'm under attack," he said, lowering his head and softening his voice behind the pulpit at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in suburban Atlanta.

"I want you to know, as I said earlier, that I am not a perfect man. But this thing, I'm going to fight," he said. "I feel like David against Goliath, but I've got five rocks and I haven't thrown one yet."

With that, the 57-year-old pastor put down his microphone and walked off stage, receiving deafening applause from the thousands who had come to hear him.

The lawsuits accuse Long of using his power and influence within the 25,000-member church to lure young male church members into sexual relationships. The suits allege that the relationships, which began when the men were in their teens, lasted over many months. 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
September 24th, 2010
05:50 AM ET

LIVE Blog: Chat with us during the show

Editor's Note: Welcome to American Morning's LIVE Blog where you can discuss the "most news in the morning" with us each week day. Join the live chat during the show by adding your comments below. It's your chance to share your thoughts on the day's headlines. You have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules: 1) Keep it brief 2) No writing in ALL CAPS 3) Use your real name (first name only is fine) 4) No links 5) Watch your language (that includes $#&*) 6) Stay relevant to the topic.

Senate Democrats give up push for pre-election tax cut vote

Washington (CNN) - Senate Democrats will not vote on extending Bush-era tax cuts for families making less than $250,000 a year before the upcoming congressional elections, the spokesman for Majority Leader Harry Reid confirmed Thursday.

"We will come back in November [after the elections] and stay in session as long as it takes to get this done," said a statement from Reid's spokesman, Jim Manley.

The announcement followed reports by CNN, citing senior Democratic sources, that Senate Democrats would hold off for now on forcing a vote on the measure pushed by President Obama.

"The reality is, we will not pass what needs to be passed to change this either in the Senate or the House before the election," said Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate.

Obama and other Democratic leaders have repeatedly expressed their desire to extend the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts - currently slated to expire at the end of the year - only for families earning less than $250,000 and individuals earning less than $200,000.

Republicans have stood firm on supporting extensions of the tax breaks for all taxpayers, including the wealthiest Americans. FULL STORY

Police search for suspects in Nicaraguan diplomat's slaying

New York (CNN) - Investigators are still looking for suspects in the apparent homicide of a Nicaraguan diplomat found with his throat slashed in his New York apartment, police said.

Two knives were involved in the death of Cesar Mercado, the consul of Nicaragua in New York, police said late Thursday.

A 12-inch steak knife was found beside the blood-filled bathroom sink, New York Police Department Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said. A second knife, a 4- to 6-inch paring knife, was found in the sink, Browne said.

Mercado, 34, was last seen alive Wednesday.

His body was found just inside the door of a small, sixth-floor studio apartment in the Bronx on Thursday by a driver who had arrived to take him to the United Nations. FULL STORY

U.N. delegates walk out during Iranian president's speech

United Nations (CNN) - Delegates from the United States and other nations walked out of the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered a fiery speech that criticized Washington, capitalism and the world body itself.

Though incendiary statements from Ahmadinejad are nothing new, tension in the hall grew as the Iranian leader recounted various conspiracy theories about the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

"Some segments within the U.S. government orchestrated the attack," Ahmadinejad told the General Assembly. He followed with the claim that the attacks were aimed at reversing "the declining American economy and its scripts on the Middle East in order to save the Zionist regime. The majority of the American people, as well as most nations and politicians around the world, agree with this view."

That appeared to be the last straw for many of the diplomats. Representatives from the United States, Britain, Sweden, Australia, Belgium, Uruguay and Spain walked out while Ahmadinejad asserted that U.S. government was involved in the attacks or allowed them to happen as an excuse to go to war in Afghanistan and Iraq. 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
September 22nd, 2010
05:00 AM ET

LIVE Blog: Chat with us during the show

Editor's Note: Welcome to American Morning's LIVE Blog where you can discuss the "most news in the morning" with us each week day. Join the live chat during the show by adding your comments below. It's your chance to share your thoughts on the day's headlines. You have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules: 1) Keep it brief 2) No writing in ALL CAPS 3) Use your real name (first name only is fine) 4) No links 5) Watch your language (that includes $#&*) 6) Stay relevant to the topic.

Fish or Frankenfish? The FDA debates the issue

(CNN) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration held a hearing Tuesday as it considers genetically engineered salmon for human consumption. The hearing specifically focused on the food labeling policies that might be made for the AquAdvantage Salmon.

Speakers included AquaBounty Technologies Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ron Stotish; Alison L. Van Eenennaam of the University of California Davis; and Abby Brandel, Associate Chief Counsel at Food and Drug Administration

Consumer protection advocates said food should be labeled as such if it derives from a genetically modified organism. AquaBounty, on the other hand, argued that genetically modified salmon should not be required to display additional labeling as it has the same qualities as the non-GMO Atlantic salmon.

“We do not believe there is any material difference between AquAdvantage Salmon and an Atlantic salmon. This fish meets the definition as defined and accepted by the FDA,” said Stotish.

“I think we all can understand the label can play an important role in consumer purchase decisions and dietary choices,” said Abby Brandel. She added that “the FDA may not be able to require this information, it's important to note that a company can choose to include this information on a food label [or] can choose to provide the information about whether a food is or is not made from a GE organism.”

Currently, the FDA does not require special labeling for foods developed using recombinant DNA techniques.

Alison L. Van Eenennaam questioned the push for labeling, “…when we do not have or require analogous information on the fish we currently consume.”

The final verdict on GMO salmon’s place in the consumer marketplace has not been made.

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


Filed under: LIVE Blog • Top Stories
September 21st, 2010
06:00 AM ET

LIVE Blog: Chat with us during the show

Editor's Note: Welcome to American Morning's LIVE Blog where you can discuss the "most news in the morning" with us each week day. Join the live chat during the show by adding your comments below. It's your chance to share your thoughts on the day's headlines. You have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules: 1) Keep it brief 2) No writing in ALL CAPS 3) Use your real name (first name only is fine) 4) No links 5) Watch your language (that includes $#&*) 6) Stay relevant to the topic.

Western defense source: 9 killed in Afghanistan crash were Americans

(CNN) – Nine American service members died in a helicopter crash Tuesday in southern Afghanistan, where an international coalition has stepped up efforts against the Taliban, according to a Western defense source.

The source spoke on condition of anonymity when revealing the nationalities of the nine, who've added to the grim toll for Operation Enduring Freedom.

According to a CNN tally last updated Monday, 517 coalition troops had been killed in Afghanistan this year, including 341 Americans.

Even without the inclusion of the latest numbers, the figures make 2010 the deadliest year for Operation Enduring Freedom since it began nine years ago. FULL STORY

Iranian president to speak at UN summit

(CNN) – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is among the world leaders scheduled to speak in Tuesday at a United Nations summit on global goals to fight poverty, hunger and disease.

Government leaders and heads of state are discussing the Millennium Development Goals, which they agreed to a decade ago. The goals have a deadline of 2015 and include a target for halving extreme poverty

Ahmadinejad is on a public relations offensive this week in New York, addressing the session on tackling world poverty, giving interviews and speaking Thursday in the assembly's general debate. 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: LIVE Blog • Top Stories
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