June 11th, 2012
08:23 PM ET

Mary Kennedy's tragic last days

New details have emerged about the last days of Mary Kennedy, the late wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and they paint a tragic picture.

According to sources close to the Kennedy family, Mary Kennedy was drinking heavily and severely depressed about her impending divorce and ongoing custody battle with Robert in the days and weeks before she hung herself on May 16. Newsweek contributor Laurence Leamer has more.

Filed under: News
June 11th, 2012
08:06 PM ET

Graphic testimony from first witness in Sandusky trial

The trial of former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky got underway today as the first witness took the stand and gave graphic testimony alleging years of sexual abuse at the disgraced coach's hands.

"Victim No. 4" told the court how things escalated once he began showering with Sandusky as a 13-year-old in 1997, which eventually led to forced touching and oral sex. He also detailed the "love letters" that Sandusky sent him and said that Sandusky treated him "like his girlfriend."

Sandusky's lawyer hinted after the trial today that the former coach may take the stand in his own defense. Erin Burnett and legal contributor Paul Callan discuss the case that is now riveting the nation.

Filed under: Crime • News
June 11th, 2012
08:05 PM ET

Dems hatch plan to avoid America's "fiscal cliff"

You've read about it here recently... America's "fiscal cliff." A daunting combination of the Bush tax cuts expiring and drastic spending cuts is set to kick in this year and could seriously derail the country's economy recovery.

Republicans are pressuring Democrats in Congress to extend the Bush cuts this year, and won't negotiate on partial extensions for certain income levels. So some high level Democrats are hatching a plan to regain the political upper hand.

It's simple – simply let the tax cuts expire at the end of this year, then quickly vote on a new package of cuts focused on the middle class. It would be political poison for the GOP to vote against middle class tax cuts, and that way the cuts would still expire for wealthy individuals. But will it work?

Filed under: Economy • Politics
June 11th, 2012
07:59 PM ET

Florida, federal government battle over planned voter registry purge

After weeks of back and forth through official letters, statements, and the media, the U.S. Justice Department announced today that it is suing the state of Florida over its controversial plan to examine and purge state voter registry of non-citizens.

Florida Governor Rick Scott has stated that the goal of the plan is to cut down on voter fraud, but opponents fear it could be used to suppress the minority vote, which tends to lean Democrat.

In addition, Florida is suing the federal government back, claiming that the Department of Homeland Security is blocking access to databases that could make the process much more efficient and accurate.

All this as Florida is poised to play a crucial role as a big swing state in the upcoming presidential election. John Avlon, Reihan Salam, and Roland Martin discuss.

Filed under: Crime • Politics
June 11th, 2012
07:58 PM ET

Could the U.S. be on the hook for Europe's bailouts?

Just how much will it cost to fix Europe?

That is the question on investors' minds all across the globe. The markets fell today on fears that the proposed bailout of Spain's banks won't do enough in the long run to keep the Eurozone from crumbling apart.

Why? Partly because Spain is now the fourth European country to ask for a bailout – Greece, Italy, and Portugal have as well. Partly because no one knows how much it will actually cost to fix the European economy – some estimates run as high as several trillion dollars, dwarfing their bailout fund.

But also because the overall economic picture is just too uncertain and unpredictable right now. And to top it all off – the American taxpayer could end up on the hook for all this.

Filed under: Economy • Euro • International
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