Anderson and Erica are ready to blog. Last night, Anderson had a few technical glitches but he swears things are worked out tonight.
We'll start with the latest from the campaign trail, Roger Clemens and a potential Justice Department investigation, and a shark attack that killed a diver.
Variety – the spice of 360°
The blog opens for comments at 10p ET and closes at 11p ET.
What would lead police to shoot and kill an unarmed young mother holding her baby boy in her arms? We flew to Lima, Ohio to find out.
We found a community with a deep distrust of its police force that was brought to the surface with the shooting of Tarika Wilson.
This past January, Lima police stormed Wilson's home with a warrant for her boyfriend who was a suspected drug dealer. Wilson’s family says during the raid, police shot Wilson while she held her 14-month-son in her arms.
Wilson died, and her baby was hospitalized with a gunshot wound to his shoulder and hand. The raid is now under investigation.
Lima has been under scrutiny since the raid. Many people have pointed to racial tension in the town between the residents, many of whom are African American, and police, who are mostly white.
The tension is reflected in emails sent from angry community members to a local newspaper.
Many emails were critical of Tarika Wilson, pointing to the fact she had several children with different fathers. These comments are troubling to her family and supporters. What does her having several children have to do with circumstances surrounding the shooting?
We wanted to speak with Police Chief Greg Garlock about the rift between the community and his force. Garlock initially agreed, but then canceled the interview with no explanation.
To his credit, Lima’s mayor was candid about the problems facing the community, and urged everyone to wait for the results of the investigation.
But the facts remain, Tarika Wilson was unarmed; she's dead; her wounded son is left without a mother; and so far no one has been able or willing to explain why.
-Jason Carroll, CNN Correspondent
The euro has finally made it past the $1.50 mark, and I’m not too happy about it. Sure, it’s great news for my sister who lives in France and is paid in euros. Not so stellar for the rest of the family on this side of the pond. I remember back in the days of the French franc when the tables were turned; during one visit, it was something absurd like 6+FF to the dollar. Ahhh, the salad days…
Add the euro news to ever-rising gas prices ($4 this summer, eh? Kids, we’re going on a picnic for vacation, and we’re walking there; it’s in the backyard), the drop in home sales (anyone in the market for a great loft in Atlanta?), and those depressing holiday sales numbers and you’ve got a nasty economic combo. I always try to focus on the positive, but it’s tough with this one. I can only hope that we – and I mean all of us as a country – learn that living within our means (read: not on credit or home equity loans) isn’t the worst way to be. Trust me, I’ve got some work to do on my end.
Fed Chief Ben Bernanke didn’t make things sound much better today on Capitol Hill; he, too, is concerned. Beef up on his take here:
And speaking of cutting back… the drought in Georgia is getting some more ink. Remember, I just left Atlanta (that loft is still available), where at one point last fall it seemed like the world was 90 days from ending. We were told we were on the verge of running out of H2O. Turns out, the situation is bad, but wasn’t quite the doomsday scenario it originally seemed to be.
Fast forward to today, and a little “wet kiss” from the mayor of Chatanooga, TN: 2,000 bottles of water delivered to Georgia lawmakers. Last week, those same Georgia lawmakers passed a resolution stating a survey done nearly 200 years ago mistakenly put Georgia’s northern line just shy of the Tennessee River. They want the map redrawn, which would give Georgia access to said river, and lots of the wet stuff. You can bet the Tennesseeans aren’t exactly volunteering to comply… But, hey, they did bring Georgians a little refreshment to tide them over.
If the water delivery can’t bring everyone together, maybe our favorite dancing prisoners can. They’re back in tonight’s Shot, with some new moves you won’t want to miss. See you at 10!
-Erica Hill, 360° Correspondent
Editor's note: Last weekend, diver Markus Groh died after being gnawed during a shark dive in Bahamian waters. Rob Stewart is an photographer and documentary filmmaker who has vast experience with sharks. He is a guest on Wednesday's 360° at 10p ET.
This is a tragedy that should be thought of as a terrible accident. It's the first death in history from any shark diving tourism.
The shark that bit Markus Groh was biting at a box of fish very close to the diver, and when the sand was stirred up and the visibility decreased, the shark bit Markus' calf instead.
The shark didn't remove any flesh, and didn't come back for a secondary bite. That alone shows that the intention of the shark was not to eat him, it was to eat the fish that attracted the shark to the area.
Shark populations have dropped so dramatically that it's extremely difficult to find sharks underwater without bringing food into the water to attract them.
Hopefully, this incident will not further our fear of these important and threatened animals, and demonstrate that sharks are not predators of people.
Shark diving is still a safe and effective way of changing the public's view of sharks.
– Rob Stewart, Photographer/Documentary filmmaker
A day after the New York Philharmonic's triumphant debut in Pyongyang, I was invited for tea and a chat with North Korea's chief nuclear negiotiator at the Foreign Ministry. It was an exclusive meeting, but off camera, and Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan was evidently basking in the aftermath of the orchestra's successful trip.
Relaxed and welcoming, he called it "wonderful and very successful art-diplomacy." I was stunned when he laughed and said the performance of the US national anthem anywhere in North Korea, much less in a full public outing in an unprecedented live brodcast to the nation, "was a political breakthrough" that took "great political courage...the courage of both nations." Mr. Kim reminded me the U.S. and North Korea are afterall still technically at war; only an armistice was signed to end the Korean conflict in 1953.
A day before the concert I had been allowed exclusive access to their Yongbyon nuclear facility, where with U.S. technical expertise, they shut down the plant last summer, and are disabling it. He told me that it is 90% done, and that despite slowing down the process while they wait for the U.S. to fulfill its promises in return, such as lifting sanctions, they remain committed to the nuclear talks and disarmament process.
As for the Philharmonic's performance, the ovations, the applause and the waving, he seemed as suprised as everyone else who watched at the enthusistic reaction of the North Korean audience and the American musicians, telling me the visit would contribute to better understanding between the two nations. As I left after about an hour of conversation through an interpreter, Minister Kim kye Gwan noted "music can be communicted between people without any interpreters."
– Christiane Amanpour, Chief International Correspondent
It is not the least bit surprising that Roger Clemens may now be investigated by the Justice Department. His sworn deposition testimony and his statement under oath to the House Oversight Committee always seemed to me to be a setup, a slow pitch, for this obvious end result: legal action against him. If they can't get him for the steroids, they can try to get him for perjury.
Why on earth would Clemens, represented by competent counsel who surely advised against it, fall into this trap? Why do prominent people testify under oath when they don't have to, knowing this will give hostile authorities new ammunition? Must be a combination of ego and denial that scientists have not yet cracked.
– Lisa Bloom, “In Session” Anchor/360° Contributor
Hi, bloggers. Here are the latest headlines from the campaign trail and beyond. Grab a snack and click on the links below. Let us know what you think of the Afternoon Buzz. We'd love to hear from you.
National Review founder and conservative commentator William F. Buckley Jr. was found dead Wednesday in the study of his Stamford, Connecticut, home, officials at the magazine said.
Turkey's armed forces stepped up their offensive against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq on Wednesday amid rising diplomatic tensions between Baghdad and Ankara.
The building where a gunman killed five people at Northern Illinois University two weeks ago will be demolished, state officials said Wednesday.
Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama engaged in a pointed exchange over al Qaeda in Iraq on Wednesday.
"John McCain threw me under a bus - under the 'Straight Talk Express,' " Bill Cunningham told CNN on Tuesday, referring to McCain's campaign bus.
Crime & Punishment
Jurors spared the life of a former Canton, Ohio, police officer who killed his pregnant girlfriend and tearfully asked them for mercy. A judge then sentenced Bobby Cutts, Jr. Wednesday to 57 years to life in prison.
Virgina Beach Police arrested a man in a grocery store parking lot after they say he put nude pictures of himself near people's cars.
Keeping them Honest
Leading members of the House of Representatives asked the Justice Department on Wednesday to probe whether baseball great Roger Clemens "committed perjury and made knowingly false statements" during a congressional hearing.
What YOU will be TALKING about TONIGHT
"All this started about a week and a half ago when I was waiting tables," A.D. Carrol said. "There were two men drinking coffee and I had to ask them to move to make way for a larger group. One of the men just asked me if I wanted a horse. I said, 'sure.' Two days later he came back with the trainer's phone number and Mailman was mine."
Ann Frank called Peter Schiff her “one true love.” Now his photograph is to be displayed in the Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam, which is dedicated to her memory.
"I understand they have a dress code. I understand he has a uniform. But this is total discrimination," said the boy's mother. "They can't tell me how I can cut his hair."
For some time now a trio of self-proclaimed ex-terrorists has been making the rounds of the lecture circuit, charging thousands of dollars for their fantastical tales of life as murderous Muslim extremists.
Walid Shoebat, Kamal Saleem – both US citizens – and Zacharia Anani, a Canadian national, all claim to have been members of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Anani claims personal responsibility for the deaths of over two hundred people. Shoebat says he was part of a terrorist cell inside the United States.
Their most recent appearance was at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, which hosted the three at its 50th Annual Academy Assembly on the topic, "Dismantling Terrorism: Developing Actionable Solutions for Today's Plague of Violence."
Shoebat, Saleem, and Anani were asked to speak about their personal experiences as Islamic terrorists, to provide the next generation of US soldiers with an inside account of radical terrorism.
The selection by the Air Force Academy of these speakers was criticized by both the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Why? Because it turns out these guys are not ex-terrorists at all but—wait for it—fundamentalist Christians posing as ex-terrorists. Their fervently anti-Islamic message, in which all Muslims are labeled as radicals, is a prelude to a testimony about how accepting Jesus into their hearts and becoming born again saved them from a life of terrorism.
Last night I missed the Democratic debate because I was flying back from Miami from a gathering of leading social entrepreneurs - young men and women whom I greatly admire. But I did manage to catch a chunk of the debate in a re-run.
What I saw was a Hillary Clinton who was once again poised, energetic and masterful in command of policy. Yes, she was more argumentative, constantly criticizing her opponent and even the moderators (her worst line was about Saturday Night Live and how the press treats her so badly by always asking her the first question - imagine how some of her earlier rivals feel about that after barely getting any questions at all). Still, this was very much the same woman who went on stage in the first debate in New Hampshire and clobbered Barack Obama. Debates have been her best forum - her trump card.
Her problem is that the man showing up against her is not the same one on that stage in New Hampshire. Gone is the tentativeness and the stumbles, the hems and the haws. No, Obama has grown in this campaign into a polished, thoughtful, confident debater - and let there be no doubt, a man who is also substantive and subtle. He is the single most improved candidate of the entire campaign. In the last two debates, he has easily held his own against her. When she goes after him to excess, he has even learned how to look more presidential than she does.
The net result is that he has seemingly taken away her trump card.
When Clinton beat Obama in New Hampshire, the big news was that she had saved her campaign - and that he may have lost his moment. There was great sadness in the Obama camp. Looking back, the Obama camp ought to be thankful for that loss: the longer campaign has given him a chance to show most of the country who he is and how capable he is of personal growth. He will need that and more if he now becomes the Democratic nominee and faces John McCain in the fall.
– David Gergen, CNN Sr. Political Analyst
Editors note: See David Gergen tonight on 360°
My cell phone and blackberry were confiscated by the North Koreans when I entered the country, but I was given a government issued cell phone, so I was able to call in this blog to my producer in New York.
I traveled with the New York Philharmonic to Pyongyang. It’s the first time an American orchestra has been invited to play in this secretive country. The Philharmonic included both the North Korean and the U.S. national anthems in its opening concert.
Seeing and hearing this premier American orchestra play "The Star Spangled Banner" for a North Korean audience was something else.
The concert ended with the Korean folk song "Arirang," one of the few popular on both sides of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separates North and South Korea. It’s a love song about longing and reunion.
That song brought back childhood memories for violinist Michelle Kim, one of eight Korean-Americans in the orchestra tonight. Michelle's parents were born in the North but fled south during the Korean War, never to see their homeland again.
Michelle says she has a sense of awe visiting the country where her parents were born. She calls herself the "eyes and ears" for her parents, since it’s likely they will never have a chance to go back to the North.
Michelle also expressed sadness at being in North Korea because the people are, in her words "so bright" yet the country is still divided. I'll have more on her story on 360° tonight.
-Alina Cho, 360° Correspondent