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October 1st, 2009
01:46 PM ET

What’s Going on in Chicago?

     This Saturday, 16-year-old Derrion Albert will be laid to rest. The Chicago honor student was beaten to death in an attack captured by cell phone video.

     Now, we’re learning about an attack on a 14-year-old boy in the city’s Edgewater neighborhood. Police say he suffered massive head trauma. At last report, the teenager was listed in critical condition.

     The city is also dealing with its share of gun violence. 37 public school students were killed in Chicago during the last school year. That’s compared with 23 in Los Angeles.

     This Saturday, we’re taking a special look at the violence in Chicago in our 4 p.m. Eastern hour. We’ll also focus on a case out of Chicago that’s going before the Supreme Court on whether state and local governments can limit gun ownership. We would like to hear from you. Please leave us your questions and comments.

You can also share your iReports from Chicago by clicking HERE.

Filed under: Anchors • Fredricka Whitfield • Josh Levs
October 1st, 2009
01:39 PM ET

The 30 Second Pitch: A grad student and a former Marine need your help

On Thursday's show we had two memorable pitches.

Justin Drezner is a grad student who got in touch with us through this blog.

As you watch the pitch we think you'll be struck by his effervescent personality and his candor in speaking up for the deaf who are looking for work.

If you have a job for him you may reach him at

Ex-Marine Darrien Clyne also reached out to us through this blog.

He's looking for work in information technology, is willing to relocate and has a can-do attitude.

If you have a job for him, you may e-mail him at:

If you want to be part of the pitch tweet us @KyraCNN.

Filed under: :30 Second Pitch • Kyra Phillips
October 1st, 2009
09:53 AM ET

2016 Summer Games

Which city will host the 2016 Summer Olympics; Chicago, Rio de Janeiro, Madrid or Tokyo?

Which city do you think will win the bid to host the Olympics in 2016?

The world will find out Friday when the much anticipated announcement is made in Copenhagen, Denmark. We’ll carry the announcement live in the CNN Newsroom.

We also want to hear from you.
Take our quick vote and leave us a comment.

Filed under: Tony Harris
October 1st, 2009
09:48 AM ET

New technology tracks movement on ground

What if you could take Google Earth, combine it with the many cameras out there watching us, and end up with a technology that lets you watch live movement from above? Traffic, football games, what’s going on at the park… all at your fingertips.  Cool or Big Brother?  In the 10a ET hour in the Newsroom, I’ll show you.

Here’s some info from

Here’s the info from the researchers at Georgia Tech, with YouTube:

Thanks to Kihwan Kim and Professor Irfan Essa.

Filed under: Heidi Collins • Josh Levs
October 1st, 2009
09:46 AM ET

Drinking Alone

From CNN Writer Jim Dexter     

      Here's something to think about over your next cup of coffee. There's a new book about one of America's most familiar modern icons. It's called "Everything but the Coffee: Learning about America from Starbucks."

      As part of his research for the book, Professor Bryant Simon of Temple University visited hundreds of Starbucks coffee houses, presumably drinking a lot of coffee but also watching his fellow customers, and here's something he discovered: very few of them talk to each other.

      We drink our coffee, we type on our laptop computers, we may read our books. If we came in with friends or business associates, we talk to them, of course. But Professor Simon writes that he saw very few spontaneous discussions among strangers.

      He's disappointed about that because, "Talk and ideas are crucial to the making of community."

      In some ways, Professor Simon's new book reads like a sequel to a best-seller from 2000, "Bowling Alone." Harvard University sociologist Robert Putnam wrote about membership declines in everything from bowling leagues to churches to the PTA, and linked those declines to a breakdown in civic participation.

      Once upon a time, big ideas were discussed in coffee houses. In 17th Century Britain, people sometimes called them "penny universities." Coffee house discussions in colonial America helped set the stage for the American Revolution, and the New York Stock Exchange started at a coffee house in 1792.

      These days, we have other places to share our ideas: we can blog, we can tweet, we can call radio talk shows. But based on Professor Simon's observations at Starbucks, we may need a little more help communicating face-to face. Perhaps  we're all just too busy with our laptops, but maybe the solution could be something as simple as changing the furniture: I was in an independent coffee house outside Pittsburgh recently. Customers there sat around a semi-circular counter, and the conversation flowed as freely as the coffee.


Be sure to catch “Everything but the Coffee” author Bryant Simons on CNN Newsroom with Fredricka Whitfield this Saturday, October 3, at 3 p.m. ET.

Filed under: Anchors • Fredricka Whitfield
October 1st, 2009
09:23 AM ET

Pres. Obama, The Olympics and Political Implications

President Obama heads to Denmark later today to lobby for Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 Olympics.

The first lady, who is already in Copenhagen, says they plan to treat it like a political campaign.

However, many critics say the President should stay home to focus on the big issues like health care, the call for more troops in Afghanistan and nuclear talks with Iran.

Chicago is competing with Tokyo, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro in wooing the International Olympic Committee in Copenhagen.

A decision is expected Friday.

Are there political risks? Tell us your thoughts.

Filed under: Heidi Collins