Here’s a look at some of the stories on our radar for tomorrow:
KEEPING THEM HONEST: When the International Olympic Committee awarded the Olympics to China there was controversy but the organization assured the world that a Beijing games would promote a more open society. Chinese officials said it would "enhance all social conditions, including education, health and human rights." Seven years later, has China lived up to its promises.
RAW POLITICS: Sen. McCain is spending the day in Ohio where he has a town hall meeting and a finance event on his schedule. Sen. Obama will be in Chicago with no scheduled public events.
U.S. AFRICAN EMBASSY BOMBINGS 10TH ANNIVERSARY: In 1998 bombs exploded outside of the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing over 200 people.
JFK BOMB PLOT: Scheduled date of court hearing for Kareem Ibrahim, Abdul Kadir, Abdel Nur, and Russell Defreitas, accused of plotting to blow up fuel supplies at JKF Airport.
KWAME KILPATRICK CASE: Scheduled date of court hearing for Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who is embroiled in a sex scandal and charged with perjury, obstruction of justice and other charges.
ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON OUTLOOK UPDATE: NOAA is scheduled to issue its 2008 Atlantic hurricane season update.
NATIONAL BLUEBERRY FESTIVAL: It takes place in South Haven, MI. and events include a blueberry pie eating contest, a 5k run and an arts and craft sale.
HOPE WATERMELON FESTIVAL: This festival in Hope, AR. attracts over 50,000 and includes such events as the melon toss, watermelon eating and seed spitting.
GREAT RIVER TUG FEST: The highlight of this festival is the annual tug-a-war across the Mississippi River.
HUMONGOUS FUNGUS FEST: This annual festival celebrates the world’s largest fungus which covers 38 acres, weighs about 100 tons and is believed to be over 1000 years old. It's in Crystal Falls, MI.
For what’s in the program take a look at tonight’s Evening Buzz.
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We’ll start posting comments to this blog at 10p ET and stop at 11p ET.
Cha-ching! Oil revevues are making Iraq rich, very rich. According to a new U.S. audit, the Iraqi government will have a budget surplus of up to $80 billion by the end of the year due to soaring oil prices. But auditors say over the last two years, Iraq only spent $947 million dollars to pay for maintenace of roads, bridges, vehicles, buildings, water and electricity projects and weapons. At the same time, the U.S. was spending a lot of your tax dollars in Iraq. Auditors say since 2003, Congress has approved $48 billion for so-called stabilization and reconstruction efforts in Iraq. As you might imagine, some lawmakers on Capitol Hill who voted on that cash assistance are angry. Democratic Michigan Senator Carl Levin said today, "This is not rocket science. They've got tens of billions of dollars in surplus in banks around the world, 10 billion in American banks alone, they wrote a check to get that money into the bank, they can write a check to reimburse us for the reconstruction costs." This may leave you asking: Why isn't Iraq paying more? Tonight, find out why. We're keeping them honest.
And, we're on the trail with the latest developments in the veepstakes. Who do you think John McCain and Barack Obama will pick as their running mates? Tonight, we'll show you some possible auditions for the job.
Plus, there are new details in the search for little Caylee Anthony. The 2-year-old Florida girl vanished in early June. Her mom is behind bars and was charged yesterday with child neglect and filing a false statement, but not with her daughter's disappereance. Investigators say Casey Anthony didn't report her daughter missing for more than a month. Today they took a new step in their investigation that's made a lot of headlines. That's in our crime and punishment report.
All that and more tonight on 360°.
Hope you'll join us!
Ahmed M. Rehab
Executive Director, Chicago Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations
There are many words I can use to describe Mazen Asbahi’s fresh resignation from his position as the Obama campaign’s national liaison for Muslim American affairs, and the circumstances behind that decision. But I will suffice with one that I think says it best: “sad.”
I have known Mazen for many years now. He is exactly the type of person many in this country would love to see step up and serve in a campaign that promises change. He is energetic, enthusiastic, and harbors a deep sense of patriotism. A brilliant student, Mazen graduated Northwestern University’s Law School, cum laude. He subsequently worked for the prestigious law firm of Schiff Hardin LLP. Throughout, he has remained ever active as a community volunteer in various social charitable causes.
Of course, he is also a Muslim.
The Asbahi affair is sad for three reasons:
One, it is a victory for the anti-pluralist forces who lurk in the anarchic shadows of the internet where they are at liberty to churn false allegations and conspiracy theories against a vulnerable American Muslim community. They wish to block its efforts to become politically involved alongside America’s other diverse communities, and instead wish to project it as a fifth column growing in our midst.
Two, it is a lapse of judgment on the part of a respected news agency like the Wall Street Journal that curiously chose to parrot baseless allegations from a dubious “internet newsletter” sans the requisite scrutiny and professional journalist integrity.
Three, it sends a terrible message to the young Mazen’s out there who had come close to believing that they too stand a fair chance of one day serving their country, working for change, and being embraced as equal Americans. They read the news today and feel that regardless of how qualified you are, and what credentials you possess, you may be denied an opportunity the moment someone so much as levies a baseless allegation against you – proven or not.
Islamophobia on the presidential campaign trail is a reality that needs to be addressed.
The course of the 2008 presidential campaign is replete with examples of anti-Muslim innuendo uttered by some of the candidates or their surrogates. In the meantime, internet smear campaigns against mainstream Muslim groups, such as my own, that are calling on their constituents to join the democratic process, fuel the climate that makes such rhetoric surprisingly acceptable.
Yet, we the nation’s Muslim minority have not lost hope. We still believe that the ideals of pluralism and equal opportunity that are enshrined in our constitution will one day reign supreme. We are working hard to make sure, for our sake and that of all Americans, that this much awaited day is sooner than later.
For now, Mazen will have to lick his wounds.
In college, a couple of girlfriends looked into selling their eggs to make some extra money. I remember walking down Newbury St in Boston, imagining what we’d do with $4,000. We could buy shoes, maybe a car, a fancy handbag, nice dinners… oh, the possibilities! But none of my girlfriends ever followed through. The main reason? It was a lot of work for a 20-something college student, not to mention the hurdles you have to jump just to be approved. The requirements can also severely hinder a college kid’s social life…if she were ever chosen.
As I got older, whenever I’d see a story on egg donation, my mind went back to that walk in Boston. The more I’ve learned about egg donation, I am in awe of the women who do follow through. While a few thousand dollars sounds like a lot, you will put your body through so much to get there. It is an amazing gift for a couple, but the toll on the donor is stiff.
Still, in this sagging economy, the dollar signs are again peaking interest.
This is just strange and creepy – a pastor accused of staging two car accidents to cover up the fact that he was stealing money from an elderly man found guilty in that millionaire’s death. Clearly, he didn’t take his vows too seriously.
One less drive-thru staffed by nearly-naked women – darn.
A Washington town has booted the so-called “bikini baristas”, likening the coffee servers to “adult entertainment” that should be age-regulated and hidden behind blacked-out windows.
I’m steering clear of that debate, but there is something else that baffles me about these ladies – they’re barely clothed and they’re dealing with hot coffee. Outrage aside, what about the potential for some serious burns? It’s just not safe to serve a latte in pasties.
Wall Street Journal/pool reporter
Portage, Indiana is a little town about an hour and a half bus ride from Elkhart. Here, they have a diner called Schoops Hamburgers but everyone calls the place Schoops Portage on account of it being a local chain. It's one of those faux-Happy Days joints – railcar layout, clad in shiny aluminum, plopped down in a strip mall and capped with a red neon sign. Most everyone inside was in on the joke – they all knew Obama and Bayh were coming – they heard from their momma down at city hall, from local reporters, the mailman – via the usual Mayberry grapevine.
Obama and Bayh came in the front, turned right and started working the booths, ropeline style. Obama passed a table of steelworkers and reached beyond them. A bulky steelworker, a local named Tony Capriglione, shouted out at Bayh, "you get a job offer yet?"
The table fell out laughing. Bayh shifted his eyes with mock stealth and discomfort. "Shhhh," he said, walking his eyebrows in Obama's direction.
Check out the amazing photographs from the Planet in Peril team's trip to South Africa. They investigate the mysteries behind the great white shark–a mysterious animal struggling to survive its poor reputation. In their journey the meet people who have encountered these sharks first-hand and finds out what they are doing to protect them.
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Here is 'Beat 360°’ pic of the day:
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich scratches his face during a news conference in Washington, DC. Wednesday.
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Editor's Note: You can read more Jami Floyd blogs on “In Session”
In Session Anchor
Rarely has the word “guilty” meant as little as it does in the case of Salim Hamdan, the first prisoner to stand trial for war crimes at Gitmo.
Because it’s not a trial really. It’s a Military Commission, which means different rules, a wider scope of evidence, a jury of six military officers and a military judge. The former driver for Osama Bin Laden was accused of swearing his loyalty to Al Qaida and helping Bin Laden to escape after 9/11. Now that he’s been convicted, Hamdan faces life in prison.
The chief military prosecutor in the case calls the trial "an open and fair and thorough process," one which strikes a balance between security and Hamdan’s right to present his case. But I respectfully disagree. This proceeding was neither speedy nor public. And in this country, that is not a fair trial at all.
Read more of Jami Floyd’s comments on the In Session blog.