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April 7th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 04/07/09

Tonight on AC360°, new details on the pilot who stole a plane from Canada and led F-16 fighters on a chase here in the U.S. Investigators revealed today the pilot had a death wish. They say he was hoping the jets would shoot him down. He's behind bars tonight in Missouri. All this led us to wonder, what if a pilot was carrying a dirty bomb into the U.S. What would authorities do then? Find out tonight.

And, don't miss Erica Hill's webcast on the aerial threat 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
April 7th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Can Iraq "Stand on its Own?"

President Obama greets troops during a visit to Camp Victory on Tuesday.
President Obama greets troops during a visit to Camp Victory on Tuesday.

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

At 10pm ET on AC360°, a look at President Obama's surprise visit to Iraq. The commander-in-chief met with about 600 U.S. troops at Camp Victory, near Baghdad International Airport, where he called on the Iraqi government to "stand on its own."

The president also praised the work being done by the U.S. troops saying "They're just putting their heart and soul into this."

Last month, Pres. Obama announced plans to withdraw most U.S. forces from Iraq by the end of August 2010. A residual force of up to 50,000 troops will remain until the end of 2011. Right now, there are 142,000 troops in Iraq.

Do you think the Iraqis can "stand on their own"?
Share your thoughts below.

We'll also have the latest on the pilot who's accused of stealing a plane from Canada and then leading U.S. fighter jets on a mad dash through several states last night. Investigators say the pilot had a death wish.

Join us for these stories and much more in about 15 minutes.
See you then!


Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
April 7th, 2009
05:33 PM ET

Mr. President, next stop Jakarta

Editor's Note: Arsalan Iftikhar is an international human rights lawyer, founder of TheMuslimGuy.com and contributing editor for Islamica magazine in Washington.

Arsalan Iftikhar
Special to CNN

During his visit to Turkey, President Obama sought to officially reach out to the Islamic world after eight years of tension by declaring in a speech to the Turkish Parliament that he is determined to have a lasting "partnership with the Muslim world."

"Let me say this as clearly as I can: The United States is not - and will never be - at war with Islam," President Obama said toward the conclusion of his remarks delivered in Ankara to Turkish members of Parliament on Monday.

In his true Chicago political style, he even added a little treat for NBA fans in Turkey and Europe: "As a basketball fan, I've even noticed that Hedo Turkoglu and Mehmet Okur have got some pretty good game...."

Read more...

April 7th, 2009
05:07 PM ET

Obama to troops: 'Thank you'

Program Note: Tune in to AC360° tonight at 10 p.m. ET for Candy Crowley's full report.

President Obama thanks U.S. troops for their service to their country on his surprise visit to Baghdad.


Filed under: Iraq • President Barack Obama
April 7th, 2009
05:03 PM ET

Beat 360° 4/7/09

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:

US President Barack Obama speaks during a visit to Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq on April 7, 2009.

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
April 7th, 2009
04:49 PM ET

Search for survivors

Program Note: For more on the earthquake in Italy, tune in to AC360° tonight at 10 p.m. ET.

Dozens thought to still be trapped in earthquake rubble. CNN's Diana Magnay reports.

April 7th, 2009
04:33 PM ET

With veto overrides, Vermont legalizes same-sex marriage

Program Note: Tune in tonight for more details from Jeffrey Toobin about legalizing same-sex marriage in America on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

CNN

Vermont's House and Senate voted Tuesday to override the governor's veto of a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in the state.

The Senate voted 23-5 to override Gov. Jim Douglas' veto, according to the Senate office. Shortly afterward, the House overrode the veto on a 100-49 vote. The votes surpassed the number needed - two-thirds of those present - to override the veto.

The action makes Vermont the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriages. The others are Massachusetts, Connecticut and, as of last week, Iowa.

Read more...

April 7th, 2009
04:18 PM ET

Aftershock rattles quake zone

Program Note: For more on the earthquake and its aftershocks in Italy, tune in to AC360° tonight at 10 p.m. ET.

CNN's Diana Magnay was sitting outside in Celano, Italy when a powerful aftershock struck the area.

April 7th, 2009
03:37 PM ET

How dangerous is this?

The Cessna 172 aircraft ended up on a road in southern Missouri after a 783-mile journey from Canada.
The Cessna 172 aircraft ended up on a road in southern Missouri after a 783-mile journey from Canada.

David Doss
AC360° Senior Executive Producer

What if…

What if the pilot who allegedly stole a Cessna and flew from Canada into the US had had a dirty bomb—or a biological weapon—or some other kind of weapon…

Or what if—it were a coordinated attack—

What if several young men from different flying schools throughout Canada all entered US airspace at precisely the same time…

Yes—the F-16s and the slower Customs plane did fly-bys to see who was flying—but they did not shoot him down.

And when the pilot was flying at altitudes as low as 3,000 feet—what would the F-16s really do? Shoot him down—could that trigger a bomb or the release of biologicals?

FULL POST

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