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August 18th, 2010
02:58 PM ET

Dashed Dreams In Unforgiving Economy

Behind every "Going Out of Business" sign there is a story.

Every day except Sunda for the past 5 years, the lunch crowd in Lilburn, Georgia could count on a great piece of New York pizza.

But now the Slice-O-Rama pizza parlor is closed for good.

The bad economy wrecked the American Dream for owners David Maddlone and Terry Odom.

Watch this story CNN photographer David Rust, editor Mike Welter and I put together on one of the Slice-O-Rama's final days serving up pizza.


Filed under: Anchors • Tony Harris
August 18th, 2010
02:51 PM ET

Today's XYZ...

It's a controversial topic. The Islamic Center near Ground Zero…
It's an emotional topic and one I wasn't sure I should bring up in these last few moments with you.
But you have talked about it with me on Facebook and Twitter so here goes -
Did you know as an American citizen you have two Freedoms granted by the First Amendment of the Constitution when it comes to Religion?
The first part is known as the Establishment Clause.
The Establishment Clause essentially says the government can't pass laws that will establish an official religion.
This is commonly interpreted as the separation of church and state.
The second is the Free Exercise Clause...and it prevents the government from interfering with or controlling a person's practice of his or her religion.
Religious freedom is an absolute right in this country and includes the right to practice any religion OR no religion at all for all Americans.
The founders of this country crossed the ocean in the early 1600s seeking freedom of religion from an oppressive church and government.
I don't know how this situation in downtown New York City will play out but I know these are potentially dangerous times for our freedoms.
Suppose our government leaders or New York state leaders do step in, in some capacity, whether official or non-official and assist in moving the mosque somewhere else…then what?
What kind of precedent does that set?
Timothy McVeigh was raised Catholic and remained a Christian-do we then entertain petitions of moving Catholic churches away from the Oklahoma bombing site?
I'm sure you are thinking it sounds ludicrous but ask yourself this…is it ludicrous because Catholicism is familiar to you?
Or is your argument that what he did was different?
Or is your argument that Timothy McVeigh didn't kill in the name of Allah?
For every religion under the heavens there will always be extremists…the key is to understand that the extremists do not make up the masses.
Linda Lee on Facebook wrote me today…"Islam and terrorism are NOT synonymous. By fighting the mosque for those reasons, you are supporting Bin Laden's idea that the west is at war with Islam. Please don't be the cause of what you are so desperately trying to fight."
If you are an American citizen and choose to remain in this country -then whether you are for or against the Islamic Center *should* be irrelevant.
I say should be-in an ideal world. Because as an American citizen, we all should be for the Constitution that so many have fought, lived and died for-including the 2,976 souls who died on September 11th at Ground Zero.. at the Pentagon.. and in a field in western Pennsylvania.

Filed under: Ali Velshi • XYZ
August 18th, 2010
08:17 AM ET

More and more teens are suffering from hearing loss in the U.S.

Do you ever get the impression your teen is just not hearing you? Well, maybe he's not. Literally. According to a new study, more American adolescents may be suffering from early signs of hearing loss than previously estimated.

Researchers looking at hearing loss in people ages 12 to 19 found that when compared with data from the mid-1990s there has been a 30 percent increase in the development of minimal levels of hearing loss, and a 77 percent increase in more serious hearing problems - those where obvious communication difficulties can be observed. About one in 20 children experienced hearing loss in 1994, and that number jumped to about one in 5, or an estimated 6.5 million adolescents, by 2006.

"What we're seeing is a big jump in the prevalence of hearing loss in a very short period of time, in less than one generation," says Dr. Roland Eavey, an author on the study. "That means we're on the front edge of an epidemic." The results were published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers say more studies are needed to determine the exact cause but many point to noise, music and earbuds. So, how do we convince teens to turn the music down?

Email us your ideas and Kyra will read some of your comments in the 10am hour of CNN Newsroom

Read more about this story on CNNhealth.com.


Filed under: Anchors • Kyra Phillips
August 18th, 2010
06:28 AM ET

Failing to Educate Black Males

Another huge problem facing America's public schools, a new study on black males in public education titled "Yes, We Can" shows that only 47 percent of African American males graduate from high school compared to 78 percent of white male students. The study also looks at possible solutions to closing that gap. I dig a little deeper into this problem with John Jackson, president and CEO of the Schott Foundation for Public Education, the organization that conducted the study and Geoffrey Canada, who heads the Harlem Children's Zone. Check out the video below:

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