Program Note: President Obama makes his first official trip to Ghana today. He is the first African-American President to visit the African continent. Anderson sits down with President in Ghana to talk about the significance of his trip and the President's own African history. Tune in tonight for more from Anderson next week for the interview. AC360°, 10 p.m. ET.
AC360° Senior Broadcast Producer
These pictures were taken at the Cape Coast Castle in Ghana, which was used in the trans-Atlantic slave as the final departure point for slaves bound for the western hemisphere. Thousands of slaves were held in the dungeons of the castle before being transferred to boats. More on the slave trade next week during our special, "President Obama's African Journey."
The courtyard of the Cape Coast Castle.
The "door of no return." Slaves would exit this door and board ships bound for the western hemisphere.
Editor's Note: Anderson is in Ghana today where he will meet up with President Obama for an exclusive interview. He is talking to people in Ghana about what they think of the significance of the first African-American president to visit the West African country. And we're also looking into the history of the African slave trade routes. Anderson visited the Cape Coast Castle where many slaves were transferred to ships bound for the Western hemisphere.
Anderson Cooper | BIO
From ac: just arrived in ghana. A lot of excitement here about Obama's trip. Everyone wants to see him. I'll be tweeting all weekend.
Follow Anderson's twitter updates here @andersoncooper
The coal ash spill more than six months ago left this area of Eastern Tennessee devastated.
Being asked to help the people of Tennessee who have been so devastated by the coal ash disaster has been bittersweet.
It is bitter because it is so shameful that a community should have their homes and lives torn apart by a corporation that could have taken steps to avoid this impending disaster, which they knew was imminent. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) knew of breeches and leaks but did nothing to stop them.
It is bitter because people are experiencing sickness since the disaster and are fearful for their children and families; who wouldn’t be?
One billion gallons of ash, debris and other muck laden with arsenic and radionuclide came roaring down upon them in the night, and they are now having difficulty breathing and have developed skin rashes, debilitating headaches and respiratory problems. What's worse is that they are being told that these materials can’t harm them, yet their bodies tell them otherwise.
CNN Senior Mideast Affairs Editor
Marwa is already dubbed the “Hijab Martyr.” Many believe she was murdered because she’s Muslim and wears her religion on her head in a Hijab, the Muslim head cover. Her heinous cold-blooded murder in a Germany courtroom has sent shockwaves across the Middle East and now it is spreading across the world.
Marwa was 31 and three months pregnant, when she appeared at a Dresden courtroom to testify against a man who had already been convicted of verbally attacking her by calling her a “terrorist” at a playground with her 3-year-old son. Instead of justice, Marwa and her family were met by a tragic fate.
On July 1st, in the Dresden courtroom, the same man identified only as Alex M. stabbed her 18 times in front of her son and husband. As her husband tried to defend her, he got his share of the stabbing and he was shot by a police officer who mistook him for the assailant. Marwa later died in the hospital. Her husband is still in critical condition.
Two Egyptian researchers at Dresden University, Mohammed Ahmed Khalif and Magdi Khalil, told CNN that on that fateful day, their trust in Germany was shattered.
"We have fear about our family here, about our children” said Khalif. He said he is disappointed by what he believes is a muted response by the German public and its politicians.
Khalil agrees with Khalif. He adds that some people in Germany could possibly harbor an anti-Muslim sentiment. He suggested twisting this around to see how people would react to the same story. “What do you think if we have an Egyptian guy who kills a German woman in a court? What do you think would happen,” he asked.
Germany’s government spokesperson Thomas Steg stressed that, “In Germany we cannot tolerate, right wing extremism, hatred of foreigners nor Islamophobia."
For many in Egypt and across the Middle East, this response came late and wasn’t enough.
Egyptians mourned the death of Marwa with shock and outrage. As it is customary in the Middle East when someone dies young, the 31-year-old pregnant mother was buried in a procession fit for a bride, while across the nation people continue to take to the streets in sympathy.
Underneath the sadness of mourning, anger is brewing at what people in the Middle East call a hate crime. They are moved by news reports of how Marwa died.
Many have taken to the streets, waving banners that call her stabbing death a hate crime and that it’s racially motivated. They say Marwa was killed because she's Muslim and wore the Muslim headscarf.
When they felt their calls for justice were going unnoticed, Egyptians along with other Arabs and supporters from around the world, took to the Internet, which has become the voice for the voiceless in the Middle East region.
They accused the media of failing to highlight the murder.
They criticized Europe in general and Germany in particular for becoming increasingly extreme towards minorities, especially Muslims.
And on Facebook, they asked for justice; calling for the harshest possible sentence for the assailant and an apology from Germany. They created pages where people can pay homage to a woman who has now become known simply as the "Martyr of the Hijab."
Program Note: Tune in tonight to learn more about the environmental disaster in Kingston, Tennessee. Dr. Sanjay Gupta went there to speak to residents of the region and to Erin Brockovich, who is advocating on behalf of the local community. More tonight at 10 p.m. ET.
CNN Supreme Court Producer
These rulings or cases are from Sonia Sotomayor's service as a trial judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan), from 1992-98; and most prominently, an appeals judge on the U-S Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, from 1998. That New York City-based court handles appeals from New York, Connecticut, and Vermont.
Most federal appeals are heard by a three-judge panel that changes from case to case, from a larger pool of full-time judges, which in the 2nd Circuit numbers 12. A particular panel normally hears oral arguments, and has the option of issuing a full opinion. Sotomayor wrote opinions in many of the appeals listed below, but not all. In some bigger cases, the full circuit court will re-hear a case.
Tonight on 360°, Anderson is reporting live from the African nation of Ghana where Pres. Obama arrived this evening. Plus, new details in the Michael Jackson death investigation. And, 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta teams up with activist Erin Brockovich to cover America's largest environmental disaster. It happened just months ago and dozens of families are leaving in fear.
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Anderson is in Ghana where President Obama arrived just a couple hours ago. Tomorrow, Anderson will sit down with the President for an exclusive interview. Tonight, we’ll look at why Mr. Obama chose to visit the West African nation. Anderson joins us from the capital city Accra to share the excitement on the streets. And, he’ll take us inside a centuries-old trading post, a dark and eerie place where African slaves were kept before being shipped across the Atlantic.
We also have new developments on the Michael Jackson death investigation. A friend of Michael Jackson for 30 years says the singer was so weak and frail, he shouldn’t have had to prepare for 50 sold-out concerts in London. Concert prompter AEG says Jackson passed a five-hour medical exam. The friend is also sharing new details on what he says was Jackson’s addiction to prescription drugs.
And, we have a 360º follow from Gary Tuchman. He’s traveled to a small town in Mexico where two Americans who were members of polygamist sect have been shot and killed by drug cartels this week. The victims’ families share their emotional story. They talk about how 25 commandoes in camouflage ran up to their house - and the chaos and heartache that followed.
Also tonight, Dr. Sanjay Gupta teams up with activist and lawyer Erin Brockovich for a stunning report out of a small town in Tennessee. In December, one billion gallons of oil mixed with toxic sludge spilled over 300 acres. It’s the largest environmental disaster in U.S. Yes, bigger than the Exxon Valdez disaster. Who’s to blame? And, what’s being done to clean up the mess? We’re keeping them honest.
From Ghana to L.A. to Mexico to Tennessee, we give you a 360º view of the world tonight. See you at 10pm ET!
Alan Duke and Saeed Ahmed
Singer Michael Jackson took more than 10 Xanax pills a night, asking his employees to get the prescription medicine under their names and also personally traveling to doctors' offices in other states to obtain them, said a confidential document from 2004 that CNN obtained Thursday.
The document from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department contains confidential interviews conducted with two of Jackson's former security guards as officials prepared for Jackson's child molestation trial in 2005.
The singer was acquitted after the 14-week trial. But the information about the pills, and the lengths Jackson went to get them, adds to a growing mountain of claims tying the insomniac singer to drugs in recent days.
According to the drug's Web site, Xanax is for the treatment of panic disorder.
Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton said Thursday detectives have spoken to a number of doctors who have treated Jackson over the years, and are looking into the singer's prescription drug history.