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August 6th, 2008
03:12 PM ET

Anthrax – still a mystery

Anthrax clean-up demonstration in Washington, 2001

Anthrax clean-up demonstration in Washington, 2001

Joe Johns
360
° Correspondent

This is a story I truly hate. I was at the Capitol the day the anthrax letters arrived. Like thousands of people I took Cipro for a while just in case I had gotten too close. There was something so insidious about trying to protect yourself from a substance you can’t see, mailed by someone you don’t know, who basically was trying to kill people he/she/they had probably never met.

Also, reporting on this thing was difficult because it was a grand jury case – and unless you’re inside the grand jury, you never know what you don’t know. So we talked to a former guy with the FBI and a conservative watchdog group that has been searching for answers on behalf of postal workers who really had it tough (two died in Washington) when the anthrax hit the mail service.

Today the FBI released documents showing what it had on Dr. Paul Ivins – the microbiologist who killed himself while under investigation for the anthrax attacks back in 2001. Family members of the anthrax victims were invited to its briefing.

But there is still a lot of skepticism about this case… partly because the last time we were led to believe the government had identified a person of interest - Dr. Steven Hatfill - Uncle Sam ended up paying the guy millions because he wasn’t the right guy. So we're looking at what we know about Dr. Ivins – and while there's plenty of evidence that he conducted the attacks, some isn't conclusive.

And now, saying it needs to sort out administrative details, the FBI is calling the case "solved," rather than "closed."


Filed under: 360° Radar • Joe Johns
August 6th, 2008
02:07 PM ET

Obama's Muslim affairs coordinator resigns

Obama’s campaign says it is looking for a new Muslim outreach adviser.

Obama’s campaign says it is looking for a new Muslim outreach adviser.

Alexander Marquardt
CNN Political Producer

After barely a week on the job, Barack Obama's Muslim outreach adviser resigned from the campaign after an old business connection with a fundamentalist Islamic imam surfaced last week.

Mazen Asbahi, a Chicago corporate lawyer, stepped down Monday after joining the campaign on July 26 as its national coordinator for Muslim affairs. The Wall Street Journal first reported the resignation on Tuesday night.

In a letter to the campaign, Asbahi wrote, "I am stepping down from the volunteer role I recently agreed to take on with the Obama campaign as Arab American and Muslim American outreach coordinator in order to avoid distracting from Barack Obama's message of change."

Read more...


Filed under: Barack Obama • Islam • Raw Politics
August 6th, 2008
02:01 PM ET

Bill Clinton desperate to get his black card back

Roland Martin
AC360° Contributor

Poor, Bill.

Stuck in no man's land, no longer able to stand before adoring crowds of African Americans who would welcome him as the "nation's first black president" with thunderous applause and all kinds of pats on the back, he clearly is having issues dealing with the new world order.

Almost two months after Sen. Barack Obama captured the Democratic presidential nomination, the former president is at a loss, trying to figure out what happened along the way. And his chief complaint? That the Obama camp accused him of being a racist.

Never mind that the Obama camp – loaded with white male advisers – was so afraid to bring up race that it wasn't funny. What Bill doesn't understand is that it was the masses of black people who know what it feels like to be marginalized, and they saw that with some of Clinton's comments.

In an interview with ABC's Kate Snow, Clinton desperately wants his black mojo back, and when she asked him a question about regrets in the campaign, he immediately threw out, "I am not a racist."
FULL POST


Filed under: Bill Clinton • Raw Politics • Roland S. Martin
August 6th, 2008
01:12 PM ET

McCain hits the gridiron

Sen. John McCain gives the Marshall University football team a pep talk during practice, Wednesday.

Sen. John McCain gives the Marshall University football team a pep talk during practice, Wednesday.

Senator McCain walked out of the field house onto the Marshall University football field in West Virginia today, accompanied by University President Stephen Kopp and head football coach Mark Snyder.

He stopped briefly to chat with a few men and women seated in the lower corner of the stadium, then came back onto the field and marched up the sidelines to the far end of the field where defensive drills were taking place. The trio then chatted with defensive coordinator Rick Minter, former head coach at the University of Cincinnati.

McCain and the men chatted with a handful of players. Following this, the senator stood in the middle of the field, again with Kopp, Snyder and another assistant coach, who began to call some plays for the offense. They ran about four of them. The assistant coach then asked McCain what play to call next. McCain replied, jokingly, “I’m out of plays.”

Coach Snyder called his players in for a pep talk and introduced McCain.

He called him a hero. He said people like McCain, who served in the military, were what make this country great. He seemed to choke up a bit.

FULL POST


Filed under: Behind The Scenes • John McCain
August 6th, 2008
12:46 PM ET

After mocking Obama, McCain says inflate your tires

The McCain and Obama camps have sparred in recent days over Sen. Obama's suggestion that vehicles could get better gas mileage with properly inflated tires.

The McCain and Obama camps have sparred in recent days over Sen. Obama's suggestion that vehicles could get better gas mileage with properly inflated tires.

Peter Hamby
CNN Political Producer

John McCain appeared to make a serious U-turn Tuesday on the practice of keeping one’s tires inflated to save fuel.

McCain and his campaign have ruthlessly mocked Obama for telling cash-pinched gas consumers in Springfield, Missouri last week to keep their tires inflated to conserve gas.

The presumptive GOP nominee got a big laugh at a massive biker rally on Monday when he mockingly told the crowd, “My opponent doesn’t want to drill, he doesn’t want nuclear power, he wants you to inflate your tires.”

But on a conference call with Philadelphia voters Tuesday night, McCain offered support for the fuel-saving tip.

“And could I mention that Sen. Obama a couple of days ago said that we ought to all inflate our tires, and I don’t disagree with that,” he said on the call. “The American Automobile Association strongly recommends it. But I also don't think that that's a way to become energy independent."

Read more...


Filed under: Barack Obama • John McCain • Raw Politics
August 6th, 2008
12:13 PM ET

The nitty gritty on Beijing’s air

Dr. Sanjay Gupta
Chief Medical Correspondent

With the Olympics coming up, there is a lot of concern surrounding the pollution. As the athletes have started to arrive, many of them are wearing masks. They say it is to protect themselves, whereas some in the Chinese government say it is only to be insulting.

Here are a few things to consider. According to a new study out of Northwestern University, the level of particulate matter in the air in Chicago is 20 micrograms/m3. That probably means nothing to you, other than telling you the average level of pollution of a big U.S. city. Here is what caught my eye. The level of particulate matter in Beijing: 260 micrograms/m3 — 13 times as much as Chicago. (See Study)

It is well known that high levels of particulate matter can cause inflammation in the lungs, and that a protein called Interleukin 6 is released in response. The end result may be that your blood gets a little stickier and thicker. That can cause problems such as heart attacks or strokes, especially in those with a pre-existing history.

Read more...


Filed under: Dr. Sanjay Gupta • Olympics
August 6th, 2008
09:26 AM ET

18 million cracks in the presidential glass ceiling

Ambassador Swanee Hunt
Eleanor Roosevelt Lecturer
Harvard Kennedy School

A few days ago, standing front row, right, in a strangely barren room at a Boston hotel, I watched Hillary Clinton walk onto a stage with a rather lonely American flag, and again capture the admiration and imagination of every person in the audience. But this group was 80 of her closest New England supporters. Before and after our ovation for her, our voices were hushed. We all felt like we had walked into a wake.

I thought back a few weeks, watching my friend end her campaign. I was among millions of women who literally cried. No, not millions. Tens of millions. I've been working abroad a lot. Colombia to China, Lebanon to Liberia, Moldova to Mongolia, women have pulled me aside and insisted, "She must win - for us."

Among the 18 million Americans who supported her presidential bid, none will be more important to a November win than women. So what's with us?

I've known Hillary since her husband's 1992 campaign. She obviously had the right stuff to be president, but few of us imagined she would take the plunge into politics. That year, our "Serious Issues, Serious Women, Serious Money" symposium in Denver became a template for women's engagement that has been replicated over the years, most recently by Hillary herself. She has brought women into the political process with an intensity not seen since the early 20th century, when women campaigned passionately for suffrage. For many, the Hillary Clinton candidacy called forth a similar passion.

Read more...
Editor's Note: This essay originally appeared on The Huffington Post.


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Raw Politics
August 6th, 2008
08:25 AM ET

Under the Iranian cloak – designer clothes, hip-hop and tears

Reza Sayah
CNN Islamabad Correspondent

The tears came pouring. They belonged to a 29-year-old Iranian man who drove me to a story shoot. I’ll call him Amir to protect his identity. He started crying next to me in the car, midway through a song about Iran’s soccer team. “I cry every time I hear this,” he said.

Amir tells me Iran’s soccer team represents the freedom he and millions of young Iranians yearn for, a freedom to let loose, celebrate and scream in public, a freedom to dance, a freedom to hold a girlfriend’s hand on a city street, a freedom to follow dreams.

When the Iranian soccer team made it to the world cup in 2006, tens of thousands poured onto the streets of Tehran and danced. “There’s a lot of emotion built up inside,” said Amir, “we need to let it out. Soccer is how we let it out.”

Amir’s tears reminded me how different my life could’ve been. I was born in Iran but left with my family when I was 10. We took a few suitcases and started a new life in Philadelphia. That same year both Amir and Iran’s Islamic Revolution were born. Amir never left. He grew up with the revolution. They’re the same age.

The revolution changed everything in Iran.
FULL POST


Filed under: Global 360° • Reza Sayah
August 6th, 2008
08:22 AM ET

Topless contest for Mrs. McCain?

Editor's note: Sen. John McCain jokingly volunteered his wife for a beauty pageant that often features topless contestants at the Buffalo Chip’s annual Tribute to American Veterans and Active Duty Servicemen. But perhaps unlike Sen. McCain, the audience knew what they often take off to take first place in this contest.


Filed under: 360° Radar • John McCain
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