.
September 11th, 2008
10:07 PM ET

ON THE RADAR: Friday

Lisa Ort
AC360° Producer

The Pope visits Lourdes…and some other stories on our radar:

 

ON THE TRAIL: Sen. John McCain is in New York City where he’ll make some television appearances.  Sen. Barack Obama will be in New Hampshire.  Sen. Biden is scheduled to be in San Antonio and Austin, TX and Sen. Palin will spend the day in Alaska. 

 

NYPD CORRUPTION CASE: Scheduled date of court hearing for Sgt. William Valerio, charged with bank fraud, conspiracy and making false statements. Allegedly, Valerio advised Detective Luis Batista on ways to avoid being caught dealing crack cocaine.

 

BORDER PATROL AGENTS ARREST: Scheduled date of court hearings for U.S. Border Patrol contract workers Christopher Saint Lucero and Manley Smith. Allegedly, the two were supposed to transport illegal aliens back over the border, but instead took money from the men and let them go.

 

POPE BENEDICT VISIT: The Pope will meet with President Sarkozy and will also visit the Shrine at Lourdes to commemorate the 150th anniversary where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to a peasant girl Bernadette Soubirous.

 


Filed under: 360° Radar
September 11th, 2008
10:05 PM ET

Weather Service to residents: Leave, or face "certain death"

Gary Tuchman
AC360 Correspondent

We're on Galveston Island just southeast of Houston which will be a very poor place to be Friday night.

Hurricane Ike is on the way, and the national weather service has released the most dire statement I have ever seen in my career.

"Life threatening inundation likely!" according to the weather service, and then this startling sentence.

"Persons not heeding evacuation orders in single family one or two story homes will face certain death."

The weather service is not supposed to use hyperbole, so what is being said at this hour is chilling.


Filed under: Gary Tuchman • Hurricane Ike
September 11th, 2008
09:37 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 9/11/08

For what’s in the program take a look at tonight’s Evening Buzz.

Don’t forget to watch Erica Hill’s webcast during the commercials.  LINK TO WEBCAST

Be sure to check out Erica on our live web camera from the 360° studio. We’ll turn the camera on at 945p ET and turn it off at 11p ET. LINK TO THE BLOG CAMERA

We’ll start posting comments to this blog at 10p ET and stop at 11p ET.


Filed under: Live Blog
September 11th, 2008
08:51 PM ET

9/11: Cowards and courage

Editor's Note:
We are devoting many posts today to the anniversary of 9/11, with first-hand accounts, insight, and commentary dedicated to that day seven years ago that changed our world.
_____________________________________________________

New Yorkers gather to hold a vigil to remember the victims of the 9/11 attacks.

New Yorkers gather to hold a vigil to remember the victims of the 9/11 attacks.

Gary Tuchman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

For seven years, I have marveled at the utter cowardice of the 9/11 hijackers. Could there be anything lower than knowing you're going to die, and deciding that you want to take as many innocent human beings who have families, hopes and dreams with you? It also astounds me so many people did and still do consider Osama Bin Laden a hero.

Certainly, it's a terrible disappointment the guy hasn't been brought to justice. But really; if he is still alive, he's too afraid to stick his face out in public. It's all part of the cowardly terrorist tradition.

Now, let's talk about the courageous. . I started meeting them seven years ago, when I watched rescuers search for survivors at the World Trade Center site as fires raged and tons of metal from the ruined complex hung precariously.

FULL POST

September 11th, 2008
08:50 PM ET

Keeping everyone connected as the phones went down

Editor's Note:
We are devoting many posts today to the anniversary of 9/11, with first-hand accounts, insight, and commentary dedicated to that day seven years ago that changed our world.
_____________________________________________________

Memorial today at the World Trade Center towers site.

Memorial today at the World Trade Center towers site.

Jonathan Wald
CNN Producer

I was about to go to bed after pulling an all-nighter. I had just put the finishing touches to my project – the final requirement of a postgraduate journalism degree – when my brother called me from London and told me to turn on the television. I sat in front of the television with my grandmother, both of us transfixed by the unfolding events.

I struggled to comprehend what I had just seen. Any tiredness was replaced by agitation. Struck by an overpowering sense of helplessness I left the apartment block. I tried to give blood but hospitals turned me away, as they were afraid I might be incubating mad cows disease, having lived in the United Kingdom during the late 80's. I tried to act as a volunteer but volunteer groups turned me away, as they already had enough people to fulfill their needs.

FULL POST

September 11th, 2008
08:50 PM ET

Evening buzz: Palin’s first interview, Ike’s second wind

Presidential candidates Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain are followed by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Cindy McCain as they descend the ramp into ground zero

Presidential candidates Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain are followed by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Cindy McCain as they descend the ramp into ground zero

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

Anderson is in Texas tonight where Hurricane Ike is taking aim and authorities have issued mandatory evacuation orders for hundreds of thousands of people. After cutting a deadly swath through the Caribbean, Ike is expected to hit the U.S. coast sometime tomorrow between Corpus Christi and Houston. (The region is home to 26 refineries that account for one-fourth of U.S. refining capacity.) Things could get really ugly. We’re gearing up for a long weekend.

With Ike looming, American today marked the seventh anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. The familiar rituals of grief unfolded in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. After days of sniping on the trail, John McCain and Barack Obama set aside politics and made a show of unity at Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. While in New York today, Obama had lunch with Bill Clinton at his Harlem office. (What we would have given to be a fly on the wall.) At this very minute, both McCain and Obama are attending a forum hosted by Columbia University. Even though they won’t share the stage, the forum is being framed as another show of unity, in the name of national service. We’ll have full coverage and analysis of what both candidates say tonight.

In short, there’s plenty of politics for our panels to chew over tonight, including Gov. Sarah Palin’s long-awaited first interview with a reporter. In the portion ABC News aired tonight, Charlie Gibson asked Palin about her foreign policy and national security views. How did she do? Did we learn anything new? You can count on a spirited discussion from our panel tonight. If you saw the Palin interview, we’d love to hear your take.

We’ll also talk with CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen about al Qaeda and the war on terror. The U.S. death toll in Afghanistan has surged this year; 112 American troops have been killed since January – the highest annual toll since the fighting. That’s grim news. On the other hand, there hasn’t been a single terrorist attack on U.S. soil in the seven years since 9-11. What do both facts say about the war on terror? Who’s winning?

We’ll see you at 10 eastern.


Filed under: The Buzz
September 11th, 2008
08:28 PM ET

Should I fly today?

Editor's Note:
We are devoting many posts today to the anniversary of 9/11, with first-hand accounts, insight, and commentary dedicated to that day seven years ago that changed our world.
_____________________________________________________

Watch Deborah Feyerick's report on the verdict of eight men who changed the way we fly.
Watch Deborah Feyerick's report on the verdict of eight men who changed the way we fly.

Deborah Feyerick
CNN New York Correspondent

I boarded a plane this morning in Des Moines, Iowa. The sun was barely up. For a split second I wondered whether I should fly today. It is, after all, September 11th. Seven years later. I wonder whether Al Qaeda might use today as a day to show the world they can still strike. I wonder if somehow flying today is disrespectful to the people who died seven years ago - people who started the day just like I did, wheeling a small suitcase through the airport just before dawn to get someplace else - people with plans on an ordinary day.

The security line is longer than I expect. TSA agents have created a window-box display showing items you can carry on and items you can’t– like full size shampoo, and Scope, and lotion - fixed behind glass like a piece of modern art. “Oh, I like that shampoo,” says the woman in front of me who then tosses a 20oz Pepsi into the gray, plastic bin and sends it through X-ray where it is promptly confiscated by a TSA agent wearing the new royal-blue TSA shirt.

FULL POST

September 11th, 2008
08:14 PM ET

We run toward disasters

Editor's Note:
We are devoting many posts today to the anniversary of 9/11, with first-hand accounts, insight, and commentary dedicated to that day seven years ago that changed our world.
_____________________________________________________

2006 Memorial in Jersey City, NJ for victims of the September 11 attacks, looking out at the NYC skyline.

2006 Memorial in Jersey City, NJ for victims of the September 11 attacks, looking out at the NYC skyline.

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

Seven years ago this morning a ringing phone woke me. I glanced at the clock; it was sometime after 9 a.m. I picked up and heard my friend Catherine asking with urgency, "Are you watching this? Is your television on?" It wasn't. A storm the previous night had knocked out the satellite dish at the cabin north of Manhattan where I'd been spending weekends.

Sept. 11, 2001 fell on a weekend for me. At the time I was a news writer at a weekend broadcast at another network and Monday and Tuesday were my days off.

"Two planes crashed into the twin towers," Catherine continued. It took a moment for her words to sink in. After shaking the sleep from my brain, I thanked her for the heads up and flipped on the radio in time to hear that a plane had hit the Pentagon. I began tossing my clothes into my duffle bag. Before I'd finished packing up, the World Trade Center’s south tower fell. I wouldn't see the images until much later that day. The radio channel with the best reception at the cabin was broadcasting Dan Rather's reporting. Listening to him describe the tower as it crumbled, my mind's eye filled in the horrifying blanks.

FULL POST

September 11th, 2008
07:05 PM ET

The long fruitless hunt for Osama bin Laden


Editor's Note: We are devoting many posts today to the anniversary of 9/11, with first-hand accounts, insight, and commentary dedicated to that day seven years ago that changed our world. Peter Bergen is CNN’s national security analyst. He produced bin Laden’s first television interview which aired on CNN in 1997. He shares his thoughts below:
_____________________________________________________

Peter Bergen | Bio
AC360° Contributor
CNN National Security Analyst

Seven years after 9/11 the author of the largest mass murder in American history is free, almost certainly living in Pakistan, which is, at least nominally, a close ally in the US-led ‘war on terror’. As he no doubt savors the anniversary of his greatest “triumph” Osama bin Laden seems untroubled by serious kidney illness as was once rumored, nor does he appear to be troubled by American efforts to find him.

Since his disappearance at the battle of Tora Bora in eastern Afghanistan in mid- December 2001 US intelligence agencies have not had any definitive information about the al Qaeda’s leader’s whereabouts. While there are informed hypotheses that he is in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan, on the Afghan border, perhaps in one of the more northerly areas such as Bajaur, these are simply hypotheses not actionable intelligence. In other words, American intelligence agencies have nothing of any substance on bin Laden. Given the hundreds of billions of dollars that the ‘war on terror’ has consumed the failure to capture or kill al Qaeda’s leader has been one of its signal failures.

FULL POST

September 11th, 2008
07:03 PM ET

Erica’s News Note: To Remember

Editor's Note:
We are devoting many posts today to the anniversary of 9/11, with first-hand accounts, insight, and commentary dedicated to that day seven years ago that changed our world.
_____________________________________________________

Erica Hill
AC360° Correspondent

This is my first 9/11 in New York. Everywhere I go today – the bank, the park, the subway – I can’t help but wonder what the people around me are feeling and thinking on this somber anniversary. Were they downtown that morning? Did they lose someone they loved on that terrible day? Are they also new to NY, scanning the faces of their neighbors, wondering what the protocol is?

On our family walk this morning, we witnessed something incredibly moving by chance…and feel lucky to have been a part of it. Making our way uptown, we noticed Riverside Drive was closed, and there were a number of firefighters on our path wearing their dress uniforms. Initially I figured they were coming from a memorial ceremony somewhere downtown. I’d forgotten about the beautiful monument in Riverside Park dedicated to New York’s Bravest: the Firefighters.

FULL POST

« older posts