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May 17th, 2009
10:37 AM ET

GM layoffs a "bitter pill"

A HUNDRED THOUSAND JOBS COULD BE WIPED OUT BY THE COMBINED G-M AND CHRYSLER DEALERSHIP CUTS. THAT'S WHAT THE NATIONAL AUTOMOBILE DEALERS ASSOCIATION SAYS.

ON FRIDAY CHRYSLER ANNOUNCED ITS PLANS TO DROP A QUARTER OF ITS DEALERSHIPS. GM PLANS TO ELIMINATE 20 PERCENT OF ITS DEALERS.

THE CLOSURES ARE EXPECTED TO HAVE A SNOWBALL EFFECT, IMPACTING JOBS AND TAX REVENUES.

GEOFFREY POHANKA WAS THE DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL AUTOMOBILE DEALERS ASSOCIATION FROM 2001 UNTIL EARLIER THIS YEAR.

HE HAS 18 DEALERSHIPS IN THE WASHINGTON AREA. HE LEARNED THURSDAY HE'S LOSING HIS CHRYSLER DEALERSHIP. HE SPOKE WITH FREDRICKA WHITFIELD SATURDAY.


Filed under: Anchors • Fredricka Whitfield
May 17th, 2009
10:27 AM ET

Religion, politics and protest: Obama at Notre Dame

The President of the United States will be the commencement speaker at the University of Notre Dame.

Despite President Barack Obama's popularity across the country, there is a deep divide around this south bend, Indiana campus about his planned visit.

Why?

His views on abortion and embryonic stem cell research are at the root. Or are they?

Fredricka Whitfield explores.


Filed under: Anchors • Fredricka Whitfield
May 17th, 2009
10:15 AM ET

Helping quake kids stand tall

This week marks the one year anniversary of the worst earthquake to hit China in over 30 years. The earthquake struck Sichuan province on May 12, 2008, at 2:28 p.m., when students were taking lessons in schools. Thousands of schools collapsed in the earthquake, trapping students under the debris.

Among the victims, 5,335 students died or are missing, said Tu Wentao, head of Sichuan's education department, according to state-run Xinhua news agency. More than 500 were permanently disabled. In Hong Kong, Professor K.M. Chan, an Orthopedic Surgeon, knew that many children, who were caught in the debris and had to have amputations in order to survive, were now facing a very long-term rehabilitation. He founded with a group of doctors the aid organization 'Stand Tall'. Its aim - to fit some of the most severely injured with prosthetic limbs. This group has treated thousands of patients, bringing some to Hong Kong, for checkups and rehab work, and is now working with officials in Hong Kong and Mainland China to build a new rehabilitation center closer to the patients' homes back in Sichuan province.

As CNN's Alex Zolbert reports for Impact Your World, this inspiring team of doctors is helping survivors of the Sichuan quake 'Stand Tall.'

To learn more about Stand Tall, visit their website: http://www.standtallchina.org/

To learn more about this and other organizations that are helping earthquake victims in China, please visit our Impact Your World page.


Filed under: Anchors • Fredricka Whitfield
May 17th, 2009
08:02 AM ET

Do You Remember?

This morning we were all sitting around our desks in the newsroom talking about the controversy surrounding President Obama’s commencement speech at Notre Dame. TJ asked, does anyone remember who spoke at their college graduation? Both TJ and Betty did not remember. Our Executive Producer Tenisha Abernathy remembered because she said her friend’s father gave the commencement address, former Surgeon General David Satcher. One of our producers Deanna Siste graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. She said Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison spoke at her graduation. I graduated from Arizona State University. I have no clue who spoke that day years ago. Interesting enough, President Obama gave the commencement address at my alma mater this year. Anyway, needless to say we liked the topic so much it became our Facebook topic this morning.

Here are some other questions to think about... do we not remember because the speaker was not very memorable? Or were we just so happy to graduate it didn’t really matter? I think it was a little bit of both.

May 17th, 2009
05:34 AM ET

Education Equality

People gathered outside the White House Saturday morning to mark the 55th anniversary of Brown versus the Board of Education. The landmark Supreme Court case out of Kansas overturned segregation in public schools. In Little Rock, Arkansas the NAACP registered nine African-American students to attend the previously all white Little Rock Central High.

The students who came to be known as the Little Rock Nine were selected for their excellence in academics and attendance. Now 55 years later some people say our education system continues to deny ethnic students access to good teachers and schools. They're calling "education equality" the civil rights issue of our time.

TJ Holmes spoke with Reverend Al Sharpton and one of the Little Rock Nine, Minnijean Brown Trickey.

Watch TJ Holmes and Betty Nguyen in the CNN Newsroom every Saturday & Sunday morning starting at 6am ET/3am PT.

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