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March 30th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 03/30/09

Tonight on AC360°, Madonna is coming under fire for trying to adopt a second child from Malawi. She reportedly wants to become the parent of a 4-year old girl. But her plans are on hold. She went before a judge in the African nation today. The court won't decide whether she can adopt the child until Friday. Some child advocacy groups charge that Madonna is getting fast-tracked for the adoption because she's rich. One even accused of her of being a "rich bully." Do you think Madonna should get the child? Sound off below.

And, don't miss Erica Hill's webcast on Madonna's adoption controversy during the commercials. Watch our WEBCAST

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

Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you 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 (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
4) No links
5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

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


Filed under: Live Blog • T1
March 30th, 2009
09:33 PM ET

Global war on terror – no more

Elise Labott

CNN State Department Producer

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday the Obama administration has made a conscious choice to stop using the phrase "Global War on Terrorism."

The phrase, which has alienated the Muslim world, was coined by the Bush administration in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

"The Administration has stopped using the phrase, and I think that speaks for itself, obviously," Clinton told reporters aboard her plane en route to a conference on Afghanistan at The Hague in the Netherlands.

The phrase is not forbidden, mind you. But Clinton suggested it was so last administration.

"I haven’t gotten any directive about using it or not using it.  It’s just not being used," she said.


Filed under: Elise Labott • Hillary Clinton • War on Terror
March 30th, 2009
09:06 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Pres. Obama Ousts GM Chief

Rick Wagoner, who became CEO of General Motors in 2000, announced his resignation Monday.

Rick Wagoner, who became CEO of General Motors in 2000, announced his resignation Monday.

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

At the request of the Obama administration, General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner announced his resignation today.

"On Friday I was in Washington for a meeting with Administration officials. In the course of that meeting, they requested that I 'step aside' as CEO of GM, and so I have," Wagoner said in a statement posted to the GM Web
site.

This will likely get you a little upset. Wagoner is eligible to receive more than $20 million in his retirement package, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Do you think he should get that cash? Also, do you think the Obama administration has gone too far in pushing for Wagoner to step down? Share your thoughts below.

Wagoner is being replaced by GM's president and chief operating officer, Fritz Henderson.

The shake-up came as Pres. Obama rejected new business plans at GM and Chryser. He's giving GM 60 days to come up with a better one or lose support from Washington. He's also giving Chrysler one month to make a turnaround, most likely while undergoing a merger with Fiat.

At GM, the company's new leader said significant changes are already underway to meet the deadline.

"The administration has made it clear that it expects GM to expand and accelerate its restructuring efforts. I want the American people to know that we understand and accept this guidance. The road is tough, but the ultimate goal – a leaner, stronger, viable GM – is one we share," said Fritz Henderson.

Tonight we're also keeping an eye on the new weather threat for the folks in and around Fargo, North Dakota. The Red River is receding, but a snow storm is now pounding the area that could lead to more flooding. 360's Gary Tuchman will be reporting live from North Dakota. The new storm may dump up to 10 inches of snow and pack wind gusts of 35 mph.

Join us for these stories and more starting at 10pm ET.
See you then!


Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
March 30th, 2009
06:55 PM ET

Missile launch would be N. Korea's big win

The latest satellite image shows a rocket sitting on its launch pad in the north east of the country.

The latest satellite image shows a rocket sitting on its launch pad in the north east of the country.

Mike Mount
CNN Senior Pentagon Producer

Talk at the Pentagon about the expected missile launch by North Korea early next month is not what you might expect.

Most, if not all, officials we have spoken to are underwhelmed at the prospect that Pyongyang could fire a ballistic missile.

“Look there’s not much we can do, if they want to launch it, they’re going to launch it,” said one senior Pentagon official, echoing the thoughts of many in the building.

Don't get me wrong, there is definitely a worry about where the missile will go and what it will do, the real worry is what the missile launch means for the future of North Korea's missile program.

Pyongyang has said they will launch a communications satellite sometime in the first week of April. But the test is widely thought to be a cover for testing a ballistic missile the North Koreans would be able to use if it ever wanted to launch a nuclear weapon. Both actions are banned by a United Nations Security Council resolution.

FULL POST


Filed under: Mike Mount • North Korea • Pentagon
March 30th, 2009
05:51 PM ET

Why aren’t stars adopting US kids?

Program Note: For more on the Madonna adoption controversy, tune in to AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

Madonna holds her adopted Malawian son, David Banda, in 2007.

Madonna holds her adopted Malawian son, David Banda, in 2007.

Roland S. Martin
CNN Contributor

Pop star Madonna is back in the news; this time, heading back to the African nation of Malawi to adopt her second child.

You might remember all of the drama a few years ago when Madonna adopted a Malawi boy. Now she wants to adopt a girl, and a judge has said she will have to wait until Friday to see if she will get the go-ahead.

Madonna has been quoted in the Malawi newspaper Nation as saying, "Many people, especially our Malawian friends, say that David should have a Malawian brother or sister. It's something I have been considering, but would only do if I had the support of the Malawian people and government."

Keep Reading...


Filed under: 360° Radar • Madonna • Roland S. Martin
March 30th, 2009
05:45 PM ET

People v. Spector: The sequel

Editor’s Note: You can read more Jami Floyd blogs on
“In Session.”

Jami Floyd
AC360° Contributor
In Session Anchor

Phil Spector is on trial—all over again–for the 2003 murder of actress Lana Clarkson at his Los Angeles mansion. Spector’s first trial in 2007 ended with a hung jury, after five months of testimony, more than 70 witnesses and hundreds of exhibits. Even with all of that, the prosecution still couldn’t convince twelve jurors that Spector was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

A lot has changed this time around. Spector has a new team of lawyers. Gone are the colorful Bruce Cutler, who famously coined the phrase “accidental suicide” and the brilliant Linda Kenney Baden (she is spending her days down in Florida defending Casey Anthony).

But some things remain the same: Alan Jackson is still on the case and remains one of the finest prosecutors you will ever see in a court of law; but the evidence hasn’t changed either—or the lack of it. As terrific a lawyer as Mr. Jackson is, the facts are the facts; and the fact is that there were only two people in the foyer that night: One maintains his innocence, and the other is dead. With that, we can never really know what happened.

Read more...


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Jami Floyd
March 30th, 2009
05:08 PM ET

Beat 360° 3/30/09

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:

President Felipe Calderon Of Mexico Receives Royal Welcome
LONDON – General view of the guard of honour at the official ceremonial welcome for President Felipe Calderon of Mexico and his wife Senora Margarita Zavala at Horse Guards in London, England. (Photo by Indigo/Getty Images)

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.

UPDATE: Check out our Beat 360° Winners!

________________________________________________

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
March 30th, 2009
04:17 PM ET

Twitter takes Hollywood

Leslie Sanchez | BIO
CNN Contributor

Twitter, the social networking phenomena that is taking the country by storm, has already changed politics and the news business and now may be changing the way Hollywood operates too. A micro-blogging service that lets people talk about anything they want, as long as they do it in 140 characters or less per message, Twitter has its own vocabulary and social structure and now, according to some people, may become the new medium for building a buzz.

In what may be a Twitter first, Australian director Rob Luketic, who directed “Legally Blonde” and “21”, recently started “tweeting” (the word for posting messages to the forum) extensively from the set of his new feature film, “Five Killers,” currently in production in Nice, France.

Luketic regularly responds to followers and posts pictures or video of location scouting, what they eat, where they stay, yachts they rent, and even stunts gone wrong.

He does this, he told me by email, “because it gives me the freedom to connect with people interested in my work in manner that is immediate and uncensored. People seem to love my daily pictures and musings from the set; they feel part of the process as it happens. Rather than the usual cookie cutter studio leaks.”

FULL POST

March 30th, 2009
04:15 PM ET

Graveyard myths

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more from Peter Bergen on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

The New York Times
Peter Bergen

As President Obama orders an additional 21,000 troops to Afghanistan, he faces growing skepticism over the United States’ prospects there. Critics of the troop buildup often point out that Afghanistan has long been the “graveyard of empires.” In 1842, the British lost a nasty war that ended when fierce tribesmen notoriously destroyed an army of thousands retreating from Kabul. And, of course, the Soviets spent almost a decade waging war in Afghanistan, only to give up ignominiously in 1989.

But in fact, these are only two isolated examples. Since Alexander the Great, plenty of conquerors have subdued Afghanistan. In the early 13th century, Genghis Kha n’s Mongol hordes ravaged the country’s two major cities. And in 1 504, Babur, the founder of the Mughal Empire in India, easily took the throne in Kabul. Even the humiliation of 1842 did not last. Three and a half decades later, the British initiated a punitive invasion and ultimately won the second Anglo-Afghan war, which gave them the right to determine Afghanistan’s foreign policy.

The Soviet disaster of the 1980s, for its part, cannot be credited to the Afghans’ legendary fighting skills alone, as the mujahideen were kept afloat by billions of dollars worth of aid from the United States and Saudi Arabia and sophisticated American military hardware like anti-aircraft Stinger missiles, which ended the Soviets’ total air superiority.

Read more...

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