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June 8th, 2009
05:07 PM ET

Faces of AF 447

A week after the Air France crash, and the daily coverage continues. The sunken wreckage – and the mystery of what brought the plane down – are compelling angles. They’ve tapped into our fears. They’ve also overshadowed those 228 lost souls.

As far as I know, this six minutes of sound aired just once across our networks - on CNN International. It's a reminder of the human pain, behind all the facts and figures.


Filed under: Kyra Phillips
June 8th, 2009
12:49 PM ET

Looking for a Job?

Have you got that college degree, but no job to go with it?

You're not alone.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers says fewer than 20 percent of this year's grads had a job waiting for them when they were handed the sheepskin.

If you're a new grad, or soon to be one, CNN Personal Finance Editor Gerri Willis has this advice:

    First, stay active.Use your college alumni office.

    Find out if there are professional organizations you can join.

    If you have time, consider volunteer work or an internship in your field.

    You may also need to hone your expectations.

    Don’t expect to land a six-figure job right away.

    And be prepared to look for work outside your field.

    Many job recruiters use the Internet for find job seekers, so promote yourself online.

    Have an online resume and an appealing social network profile – and remove any embarrassing or non-professional photos.

For more ideas, check out these Web sites:

Visit Gerri Willis' website at Your Bottom Line

Filed under: Gerri Willis • Tony Harris
June 8th, 2009
10:12 AM ET

Toymaker Pays the Price

From Sabriya Rice
Medical Producer

Toymaker Mattel Corp. agreed Friday to pay $2.3 million in civil penalties for violating a federal lead paint ban that resulted in the recall of millions of popular-branded toys in 2007. Surface paints on the toys could contain excessive levels of lead, which if ingested by young children can cause adverse health effects. There are usually no symptoms of lead poisoning until the level of lead in the blood is very high. Chronic exposure can lead to symptoms like stomachaches, cramping, constipation, nausea, unexplained fatigue and muscle weakness.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission said the fine was the highest ever for the agency's regulated product violations and the third largest in its history. See a list of the recalled items here.

Filed under: Heidi Collins
June 8th, 2009
09:34 AM ET

Presidential Date Night in Paris

So, they’re at it again! The City of Light has now become the City of Presidential Date Night.

"I would love nothing more than to have a leisurely week in Paris, stroll down the Seine, take my wife out to a nice meal, have a picnic in Luxembourg Gardens. Those days are over, for the moment," President Obama said while speaking with the French President Nicholas Sarokzy.

Despite the security detail and the crowds wrapped around the block to catch a glimpse, the president was able to take his wife out to dinner at La Fontaine de Mars, a restaurant that specializes in rustic French dishes. After dinner, they took a ride along the Left Bank of the Seine.

This is not the first “date night.” The Obamas recently flew to New York City for a Broadway show and dinner. They dined at Citronelle in WashingtonD.C. last month and went to their favorite restaurant in Chicago for Valentines Day.

Filed under: Nicole Lapin • Tony Harris
June 8th, 2009
08:01 AM ET

Director’s Cut: Escape from Beijing

By Roger Strauss, CNN Senior Director, “CNN Newsroom with Don Lemon”

“We are all going to spend time in Chinese jails,” CNN anchor Bernard Shaw told me. “We are never going to get out of this country.” I had just finished working 32 out of the last 38 hours, and this was the last thing I wanted to hear. It was May of 1989 and I was sitting in the makeshift CNN offices at the Beijing Sheraton. The Chinese government had just pulled CNN off the air from Beijing. We were all exhausted and all I wanted to do was sleep. But I had to think about how I was going to get back home to Atlanta, and Bernie’s assessment of our departure was not exactly a sleep-inducing scenario.

I directed all of CNN’s coverage out of Beijing, and I was working in the control room the day the Chinese government shut us down. I remember when the Chinese government official came into the room with two machine gun-toting soldiers and began negotiating with CNN producer Alec Miran. ABC News was watching CNN and sensed trouble, so they sent a nearby camera into our work space. When I saw the cameraman walk in, I told him he could tape all he wanted to, but I was going to put his camera on live until we could get a CNN camera going. That’s how we were able to get the pictures out of the control room when the Chinese troops marched in. After some intense on-air negotiations, Alec was unable to persuade the government representative to let us keep broadcasting, and we shut down our signal.

As Bernie so eloquently said before we went off the air, “we came to cover a historic summit, and we walked into a revolution.” We were in Beijing because Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev had come to meet with China’s Deng Xiaoping and normalize relations between the two countries. Little did we know that we would stumble into the Tiananmen Square protests and all learn a first-hand lesson in how the Chinese government handles the freedom of the press.

“Hide everything that says you work for CNN,” I was told two days later, just before I went to the airport. “If Chinese Customs sees that you work for CNN, they will arrest you.” I got rid of everything that said CNN on it. Business cards, pins, pens, t-shirts, and credentials were all given away or deposited in Beijing garbage cans. I breezed through customs and left the country with no problem. When I got back to the United States, I had to go through customs in Portland. “Where have you been?” the customs agent asked. “China,” I replied. “What were you doing there?” “Working for CNN,” I said. “Do you have anything that proves you work for CNN?” he asked. After fifteen minutes of spirited explanation and discussion, I was finally allowed to enter the United States. Although I was hassled a bit at US Customs, it was a lot better than the Chinese alternative. It was good to be home.

Filed under: Anchors • Don Lemon
June 8th, 2009
06:40 AM ET

Boy, 5, in Traffic Class

With all the major stories and breaking news we bring you each weekend, we can’t get to all of the news stories, features, and quirky video that we’d love to show you. So our Josh Levs has a new task on top of his other duties: exploring CNN affiliates each weekend and giving viewers a taste of what’s out there.

Sunday, he introduced us to the first African-American female rabbi, a 5-year-old boy sentenced to traffic school, (for real!), and the ultimate sandcastle competition in Galveston, Texas.

For more from our affiliates, check out

And join Josh Levs, Betty Nguyen, TJ Holmes and Reynolds Wolf weekend mornings in the CNN Newsroom beginning 6am ET/3am PT.