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October 25th, 2009
09:42 PM ET

Chat Room: Beyond the Headlines

What does washing your hands have to do with Baby Einstein videos?

They're both topics in our Chat Room.

Filed under: Anchors • Fredricka Whitfield
October 25th, 2009
09:14 PM ET

H1N1 Declaration Gives Hospitals Flexibility

President Obama's declaration that the swine flu is a national emergency is supposed to give more flexibility for how the outbreak is handled.

So what exactly does that mean?

Fredricka Whitfield put that question to Dr. Manoj Jain, an infectious disease specialist in Memphis, Tennessee.

Filed under: Anchors • Fredricka Whitfield
October 25th, 2009
08:11 PM ET

Can Balloon Mom's Confession be Used against Her Husband?

A Colorado legal document reveals the mother in the so-called "balloon boy" incident confessed that she and her husband planned the hoax.

Can a wife's confession be used against a husband?

It's a point of law our legal analysts, Avery Friedman and Richard Herman, enthusiastically debate.

Filed under: Anchors • Fredricka Whitfield
October 25th, 2009
03:11 PM ET

The Deadliest City

Juarez, Mexico, is just across the border from El Paso, Texas, which makes it prime real estate for drug traffickers to move narcotics into the U.S. Rival drug gangs have now turned the city into a battlefield, with more than 2,000 murders so far in 2009. That's 10 times more than in 2007. CNN's Don Lemon speaks with the Juarez mayor and a reporter from the Los Angeles Times about why the city has become the deadliest in the world.

Filed under: Don Lemon
October 25th, 2009
10:08 AM ET

"This Is IT" Opens Nationwide Wednesday

We're hearing that advance tickets for the Michael Jackson documentary are going fast. "This Is IT" opens nationwide Wednesday, but will only be in theaters for two weeks. The film chronicles Jackson's tedious rehearsals for a tour that never took place. TJ Holmes asked Ian Drew, the senior music editor for US Weekly, if the documentary will deliver – and who will cash in if it’s a hit. One hint: It won't be Jackson's family:

Join Betty Nguyen and TJ Holmes weekend mornings in the CNN Newsroom, 6am ET/ 3am PT.

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Filed under: Clips from CNN Newsroom
October 25th, 2009
09:55 AM ET

The Newspaper and Me

By CNN Writer Jim Dexter

      The letter has been sitting on the table near the stairs for more than a week now, unanswered. It's from my local newspaper, asking me to renew my subscription.

      I've been reading newspapers almost as long as I've been reading. At first, I just read the comics, then I began looking at the sports section, and eventually I started going through the whole thing. It's become as much a part of my morning routine as brushing my teeth or eating breakfast. Over the years, I've lived in a lot of places: big cities where the Sunday paper landed on the doorstep with a reassuring thud; small towns where it might blow away with a strong breeze. Some of those papers were better than others, but I read them all.

      Now something is changing, and I don't think it's me.

      The newspaper industry is sick, and it's obvious my local paper has lost a lot of weight. Like a frail old man grown too thin for his clothes, the scaled-down front page doesn't even fill the window of the newspaper rack anymore.

      It's not just the result of a weak economy. A new report by Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism notes that the internet revolution has accelerated a long-term drop in newspaper readership, and contributed to "rapid declines in print advertising." It's pretty obvious that even when the economy eventually bounces back, newspapers will still be in trouble.

      Although there are fewer pages in my local newspaper these days, the price has doubled over the past couple of years. The paper has to pay its reporters, after all; and with so many people reading the paper for free on the web, those of us who still get the print edition have to take up the financial slack.

      It sure feels like I'm getting the raw end of this deal. After all these years, is it time to get off the paper trail?

      Part of me hesitates. Even with all the recent cutbacks, most local newspapers still maintain larger reporting staffs than their TV or radio counterparts. Newspaper reporters still sit through routine school board and planning commission meetings, covering the nuts and bolts of government that are so important to a functioning democracy, but usually not very important to television ratings. If I don't help pay for this reporting, who will?

      If newspapers fade away, maybe bloggers will help take up the slack. Or maybe there's some other solution no one is even thinking about yet.

      In the meantime, I have a decision to make.

      That letter is still sitting on my table.


Jim Dexter once worked as a copyboy at the Chicago Daily News. He's been a radio news director in Oklahoma, Illinois and Missouri, and has written for CNN since 1985.

Filed under: Anchors • Fredricka Whitfield
October 25th, 2009
09:14 AM ET

Do You Have H1N1?

With a click of a mouse you can track H1N1 flu symptoms. Our tech expert showed our Betty Nguyen.

October 25th, 2009
07:09 AM ET

Fighting H1N1 Online

President Obama has declared a national emergency over H1N1, and health officials are encouraging people to take a series of steps to protect their families. One of them: Harness the power of the Internet.
In the Newsroom, we're showing you some key Web sites to use. Below are links to sites with updated information, maps, advice, and more.

CNN's special section, packed with info – a great first stop.

The CDC:

Also this from the government:

To see how the virus is spreading in your area, or anywhere, check out:

Google is tracking how much people around the world are searching for information about H1N1:

Google has also created a special "layer" to use if you have Google Earth. It shows relative activity in different U.S. states:

Have these worked for you? Are there others you use? Post below and we just might share your responses on the air.

Filed under: Fredricka Whitfield • Josh Levs
October 25th, 2009
04:23 AM ET

Coming up in the CNN Newsroom...

A double bombing in central Baghdad this morning kills or wounds dozens of people. We'll have a live report.

President Barack Obama declares a national emergency to deal with the "rapid increase in illness" from the H1N1 flu virus.

A gasoline distribution center is burning in Puerto Rico - two days after an explosion sent flames shooting into the sky over San Juan. CNN has a crew there.

A church janitor is charged in the slaying of a Roman Catholic priest in New Jersey.

And police say a CNN viewer has identified a young woman who turned up in Manhattan two weeks ago, claming to have no memory or her home or name.

Join TJ Holmes and Betty Nguyen this morning in the CNN Newsroom, beginning 6am ET/ 3am PT.

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Filed under: CNN Newsroom