American Morning

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April 24th, 2009
12:00 PM ET

McCain: It's torture but we need to move on

 Sen. John McCain disagrees with any possible prosecutions over the release of Bush-era torture memos.
Sen. John McCain disagrees with any possible prosecutions over the release of Bush-era torture memos.

We had a chance to talk to Senator John McCain today on the show.

He was and still is a fierce opponent of interrogation tactics used during the Bush administration. Tactics like waterboarding, which he says is torture. But this POW also says getting bogged down in a politcal blame game over the past gets us nothing.

He also weighed in on what it was like in the final weeks of the campaign when the chance of victory seemed to be slipping away. And, of course, we had to ask him about his daughter Meghan, the "new" voice for the GOP.

Watch or read the interview.

I'm taking a long weekend. See you Tuesday!


Filed under: Roundup
April 22nd, 2009
01:58 PM ET

Credit crunch – Washington to the rescue, yet again?

Sen. Robert Menendez speaks to CNN about urging President Obama to crack down on credit card companies.
Sen. Robert Menendez speaks to CNN about urging President Obama to crack down on credit card companies.

Have you noticed your finance charges climbing higher on your credit card statement? Or maybe you've been late paying your electric bill and next thing you know your credit card percentage rate jumps?

Well, Washington is apparently sitting up and paying attention to the pain of many consumers already drowning in credit card debt who are finding new fees and surcharges making it worse.

President Obama meets Thursday with credit card company executives to try to push for changes to predatory practices. There are also bills in the House and Senate to do the same.

New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez joined us this morning because he is spearheading one effort. Watch the interview

Sen. Menendez is calling for a stop to "blanket rate increases," an end to "universal default." This means if you are late on one card it can bump up your rate on another, which then requires penalties and other fees be tied to their actual cost. It is getting ugly! But there are two sides to every story. Lenders say they've been hurt by the rise in defaults and delinquencies and that legislating the way they do business will restrict the flow of credit and slow the economic recovery.So all eyes will be on the White House to see if and how this gets resolved.

We are going to continue to follow this debate and see where things go tomorrow on American Morning. We'd like to hear from you. Call our show hotline at 1-877-MYAMFIX. And follow us on Twitter @amFIX and @kiranchetrycnn.

See you in the morning!


Filed under: Roundup
April 21st, 2009
01:38 PM ET

AM's surprise arrival

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Happy Tuesday!

How's this for dedication? Our graphics operator, Charleen Toussaint, worked up until the very last second of her pregnancy, literally! She went into labor in the control room during the show yesterday!

After promptly heading to the hospital, she gave us word of her precious little arrival. Morgan Geneva Sharpe. Born at 5:02 pm. Weighing in at 7 lbs 11 oz and 20 ½ inches.


Meantime, imagine what it says about how used to chaos and surprise everyone in the control room is. No one even mentioned it to me out on set! There was a lot of breaking news on the hijacked plane in Jamaica, new econ numbers, etc. So I guess someone's water breaking during the show was just one more unexpected event!

My son turned one Friday and Charleen and I swapped tips about dealing with morning sickness, etc. I am so happy for her and her family. And the most ironic thing about the morning show hours... Maternity leave feels exactly the same. Youre still getting up in the middle of the night. Although there's less crying at home. Or rather at work. 🙂

See you in the morning,


Filed under: Roundup
April 20th, 2009
02:00 PM ET

Hijacking in Montego Bay

CNN's Kiran Chetry speaks to Jamaican Information Minister Daryl Vaz about the end to a hostage situation in Montego Bay.
CNN's Kiran Chetry speaks to Jamaican Information Minister Daryl Vaz about the end to a hostage situation in Montego Bay.

When we arrived at work this morning, our producers were monitoring the latest on a story that broke overnight. CanJet Airlines Flight 918, a 737 charter flight from Canada with 174 passengers and 8 crew members, was being held hostage by a young man on the runway at Jamaica’s airport in Montego Bay.

When we went to air all we knew was that the gunman slipped on the flight late last night and ended up releasing all of the passengers but was still holding members of the crew.

Then during the 8am hour of our show Jamaica’s Information Minister Daryl Vaz joined us by phone and broke the news on our air that police entered the plane, nabbed the Hijacker and got the rest of the hostages out safely. Watch the interview

We were happy to be able to report that this tense standoff finally ended peacefully before we got off the air.

Speaking of planes, we got a lot of comments from many of you on and our show hotline 1-877-MYAMFIX regarding United Airlines “fat passenger policy.” Watch the debate

As always we want to hear from you. Follow us on Twitter @amFIX and @kiranchetrycnn.

See you in the morning!


Filed under: Roundup
April 1st, 2009
11:21 AM ET

Behind the scenes covering the start of the G-20 summit

Twitter Fake Out!

Everyone's on Twitter these days, apparently even 10 Downing Street. And our producers were following their tweets as we prepared to go on air an hour early this morning to cover President Obama and Prime Minister Brown's news conference.

So imagine our surprise when one of Downing Street's tweets (ok that rhymes) claimed the press conference was starting at 4:30am ET not 5:15am as we previously thought.

That set off a mad scramble to get ready for air even earlier. And believe me, when a sleep-deprived bunch like our AM crew scrambles, you'd never know we were all getting by on 3-5 hours sleep!

So in the end we went to air a little before 5am to be safe and the news conference went as scheduled at 5:15am.

We had TJ Holmes filling in for John Roberts and Christiane Amanpour and Christine Romans with us on set as well. Behind the scenes, we were all furiously typing and scribbling notes as we listened to President Obama and PM Blair speak and answer questions.

A little later in the show we got a first person account of the protestors and police activity around London with our Becky Anderson. Most were peaceful but we watched a few dust-ups between police and demonstrators live on our air.

And thanks to Twitter we got minute by minute accounts from people in the crowds about what was happening, what streets were closed, how packed the streets were. Fascinating technology.

One of the most interesting parts of covering breaking or developing news is literally watching it unfold right along with the viewers. I always try to ask the questions I would want answered if I were sitting at home watching.

Finding out what you guys want to know is also why we've been getting more interactive on AM with our blog, email, hotline and Twitter accounts.

We want to hear from you, and we'll post some of your comments on the blog as well.



Filed under: Roundup
March 31st, 2009
01:07 PM ET

Model Ford?

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="A talented fan, Mario Della Casa, sent Kiran this painting."]

Hi Everyone,

Have you driven a Ford lately?

Mark Fields sure hopes you do. He's the EVP of Ford Motor Company and I spoke with him this morning. Ford is the only "big 3" Detroit automaker who isn't getting bailout money from Americans to stay afloat. As we've been reporting, the Obama Administration has ousted GM's CEO and given the company an ultimatum, "show us you're viable in 60 days or no more money." Chrysler's been told, "merge with Fiat and we want your plan to stay afloat in 30 days or else." Read more

So how did Ford manage to stay afloat in the worst year for the company in its 105 year history? And how will Fields continue to operate? Because he says his company is still passing on taxpayer money. Watch

So, as the 3 companies pledge to do what they can to stay above water, there are still huge questions that remain about their future. Where does the U.S. government draw the line on how involved it gets in the decisions of these private companies? And to what extent can the U.S. government back the warranties, and guide and finance the futures of the once mighty automakers? President Obama has said "These companies – and this industry – must ultimately stand on their own". So maybe 2009 will be a better year for them. But in the end, people have to want to buy their cars. And they need credit to finance them in many cases. And they certainly want guarantees that they are buying cars from companies that won't go under in 6 months.

So Ford is hanging tough for now and in the end may be the last man standing in the Motor City.

As always we want to hear from you. Follow us on Twitter: @kiranchetrycnn and @amfix



Filed under: Roundup
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