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January 8th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 1/8/09

Here's how you can be a part of tonight's program. Just scroll down and share your thoughts on the headlines.

Want to know what we're covering tonight? Read EVENING BUZZ

If you want to take part in our Live Blog (and we hope you do) please follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (we don't like screaming)
3) Use your real name

Don't miss Erica Hill's webcast during the commercials. Watch our WEBCAST

And take a look at our live web camera from the 360° studio. Watch the WEBCAM


Filed under: Live Blog • T1
January 8th, 2009
09:01 PM ET

Polygamy Teen Bride: Two sides to every story

Melanie Whitley
CNN Assignment Editor

The story of this alleged 14-year-old "wife" is disturbing…See the pictures of her kissing her "husband" Warren Jeffs, leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS). He is in prison after being convicted for his role in arranging the marriage of another underage girl.

The girl in court today should be out playing with her friends..on a soccer team or at the roller skating rink. Instead, the state of Texas is trying to keep her in foster care instead of releasing her back to the polygamist ranch. Court documents show that the 14 year old (who’s name we are not revealing since she is a minor) was only 12 when she allegedly was married to Jeffs. The girl's mother continues to reject all allegations that she's an unfit parent.

This child also thinks her mother did no wrong…They were raised in this polygamist world and they knew no other. This little girl was ripped away from all that she knew and placed in the hands of total strangers.

And the mother has been separated from her daughter..I cannot imagine what the two are going through, but can't help wondering: are they both victims? The goal should be what is best for the child.. What would that be, right now?


Filed under: Melanie Whitley • Polygamy
January 8th, 2009
08:10 PM ET

Evening Buzz: War & Peace Efforts

Smoke rises in Gaza City after an Israeli airstrike Thursday.
Smoke rises in Gaza City after an Israeli airstrike Thursday.

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

It got uglier in the Mideast today. Israeli forces fired on a U.N. aid convoy near the Israel-Gaza border, killing at least one contract worker. The attack led the U.N. to halt some of its humanitarian efforts. Much needed food, water and medical supplies aren't getting where they need to go.

At least four U.N. workers have been killed and two U.N. schools used as civilian shelters have been hit by Israeli artillery since the fighting began nearly two weeks ago.

"This is a horrific situation," said UNRWA director John Ging today.

"We have horrific stories coming out now... you have to brace yourself for more."

The Israeli military says its goal is to halt the firing of Hamas rockets into southern Israel. But they are still being fired.

Today more than 20 rockets hit Israel.

While the fighting rages so do peace efforts.

Tonight diplomats say the U.N. Security Council has reached agreement on a draft resolution calling for a ceasefire in the region. The resolution also welcomes efforts by Egypt's President to broker a peace deal. The U.N. Security Council could vote on the measure sometime tonight.

We'll have all the latest developments from the Mideast and the day's other headlines tonight on AC 360°.
Hope you can join us at 10pm E.T.


Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
January 8th, 2009
06:28 PM ET

Palin takes digs at Fey, Couric

Palin had tough words for Fey and Couric.
Palin had tough words for Fey and Couric.

Sarah Palin is credited with making Tina Fey a world-wide star and boosting Katie Couric's ratings at CBS.

But in a recent interview with conservative John Ziegler, Palin said both "exploited" her twelve-week candidacy — a fact, she said, that "says a great deal about our society.”

Fey's widely-applauded portrayal of the Alaska governor boosted SNL's ratings, while Couric’s audience grew after a series of interviews during which Palin now-famously faltered.

“I did see that Tina Fey was named entertainer of the year and Katie Couric’s ratings have risen," Palin said in the interview. "I know that a lot of people are capitalizing on, oh I don’t know, perhaps some exploiting that was done via me, my family, my administration — that’s a little bit perplexing, but it also says a great deal about our society.”

The Alaska governor was particularly upset with an SNL skit during which Fey's version of Palin said, "I believe marriage is meant to be a sacred institution between two unwilling teenagers."

The line was a clear reference to Palin's 18-year-old daughter Bristol and her fiancé Levi Johnston. The two announced shortly before the GOP convention that they were expecting a baby and had plans to marry.

"The mama grizzly rises up in me, hearing things like that," she said of a skit. "Here again, cool, fine come attack me. But when you make a suggestion like that that attacks a kid, it kills me."

In the wide-ranging interview, Palin also faulted the McCain campaign for agreeing to a series of sit-downs with Couric after the first one appeared to go so poorly.

Read more...


Filed under: Raw Politics • Sarah Palin
January 8th, 2009
06:06 PM ET

Beat 360° – 1/8/09

Ready for today's Beat 360°?

Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption and our staff will join in too.

Tune in tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite!

Here is the 'Beat 360°' pic:

A group of Oriental small-clawed otters line up on a rock at the ZSL London Zoo during the zoo's annual stocktake (census) on January 8, 2009 in London, England.

Have fun with it. We're looking forward to your captions!

Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.

________________________________________________

Beat 360° Challenge

But wait!… There’s more!

When you win ‘Beat 360°’ not only do you get on-air prime-time name recognition (complete with bragging rights over all your friends, family, and jealous competitors), but you get a “I Won the Beat 360° Challenge” T-shirt!


Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
January 8th, 2009
05:04 PM ET

Tales from the backline: Waiting for the third shoe to drop

AC360°'s main audio board.
AC360°'s main audio board.

Jason Greenspan
AC360° Audio Designer

There I was last night before the show, busily making hand-puppets with the sleeve of my fleece sweatshirt to try and entertain a co-worker when the Director, Eli, not-so-nonchalantly yet fairly calmly tells me to fire up the back-up control room's audio board as the video switcher in our main control room developed a serious case of what we in the business call "not working." This was about 15 minutes before our first live event, Anderson's much anticipated nightly Larry King Live tease.

This last-minute-things-not-working-right-before-going-live stuff was beginning to get annoying! First Monday's madness that Brooke Turnbull, our Technical Production Manager, had to deal with, and now this! They say bad things happen in threes, so I'm wondering what else will go wrong this week. It's like waiting for the third shoe to drop.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Behind The Scenes • Jason Greenspan
January 8th, 2009
04:30 PM ET

An Unnecessary War

Smoke rises in Gaza City after an Israeli airstrike Thursday.
Smoke rises in Gaza City after an Israeli airstrike Thursday.

Jimmy Carter
The Washington Post

I know from personal involvement that the devastating invasion of Gaza by Israel could easily have been avoided.

After visiting Sderot last April and seeing the serious psychological damage caused by the rockets that had fallen in that area, my wife, Rosalynn, and I declared their launching from Gaza to be inexcusable and an act of terrorism. Although casualties were rare (three deaths in seven years), the town was traumatized by the unpredictable explosions. About 3,000 residents had moved to other communities, and the streets, playgrounds and shopping centers were almost empty. Mayor Eli Moyal assembled a group of citizens in his office to meet us and complained that the government of Israel was not stopping the rockets, either through diplomacy or military action.

Read More...


Filed under: Israel • Palestine
January 8th, 2009
03:46 PM ET

Create a tech-friendly U.S. government

Jimmy Wales and Andrea Weckerle
Special to CNN

The incoming Obama administration's plan to appoint the first national chief technology officer unequivocally emphasizes the new team's belief that technology isn't ancillary or extraneous to governance, and instead that it's an integral part of the effective running of a democratic superpower.

It's no wonder that the online world nearly burst with excitement upon hearing the news.

But to fully and effectively implement its mission, the CTO position must be nonpolitical and, at least initially, internally focused. Here are our recommendations for what we believe are core components of a structurally sound, technologically savvy federal government:

Keep Reading...


Filed under: Barack Obama • Technology
January 8th, 2009
03:27 PM ET

Obama's dire economic warnings...

Program Note: Be sure to tune in tonight to watch Tom Foreman report on the how some people are struggling with the economic downturn on AC360° at 10pm ET.

Barack Obama says failure to act quickly on his economic plan would have devastating consequences.
Barack Obama says failure to act quickly on his economic plan would have devastating consequences.

President-elect Barack Obama on Thursday said Congress must take "dramatic action" on his economic aid package as soon as possible, warning that a failure to do so would have devastating long-term consequences for the nation. Here are a few of the President-elect's warnings:

Obama's Warnings:
“We start 2009 in the midst of a crisis unlike any we have seen in our lifetime – a crisis that has only deepened over the last few weeks. Nearly two million jobs have now been lost, and on Friday we are likely to learn that we lost more jobs last year than at any time since World War II.”

“If nothing is done, this recession could linger for years. The unemployment rate could reach double digits. Our economy could fall $1 trillion short of its full capacity, which translates into more than $12,000 in lost income for a family of four. We could lose a generation of potential and promise”

FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama • Economy • Unemployment
January 8th, 2009
03:09 PM ET

Rockets not from Hezbollah

CNN's Cal Perry reports it appears rockets fired from Lebanon into Israel were from Palestinian groups in southern Lebanon.


Filed under: Global 360° • Israel • Palestine
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