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July 28th, 2009
09:29 PM ET

Michael Jackson’s hair: A real gem?

Jennifer Wolfe
CNN Entertainment Unit Supervising Producer

At first I thought it had to be a joke: making diamonds from the DNA of Michael Jackson? Following his recent death, entrepreneurs rushed to get unauthorized biographies, memorabilia and other Jackson-themed items to market. But diamonds from DNA? It sounded macabre.

Apparently, it’s possible. LifeGem “specializes in creating diamonds from locks of hair,” and according to founder Dean VandenBiesen, the company plans “to give people an opportunity to own a diamond made from Michael Jackson’s DNA.”

Keep reading...


Filed under: 360° Radar • Michael Jackson
July 28th, 2009
08:48 PM ET

US gives Israel "big hug" with parade of US officials

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, left, shakes hands with his Israeli counterpart, Ehud Barak.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, left, shakes hands with his Israeli counterpart, Ehud Barak.

Elise Labott
CNN State Department Producer

Don't you just love a parade? Apparently the Obama administration does too, as evident by the steady stream of top US officials visiting Israel this week. A bevy of heavy hitters are there, the likes of which Jerusalem hasn't seen since the Persian Gulf War.

Just as Defense Secretary Robert Gates wrapped up his meetings there, Mideast peace envoy Mitchell arrived for talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He will be followed later this week by National Security Advisor James Jones and Dennis Ross, the White House's point main on Iran.

Aaron Miller, a former Mideast peace negotiator under president Clinton and author of "The Much Too Promised Land: America's Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace," calls it "the big hug," a show of reassurance to Israel that the US Israeli relationship remains strong despite the current squabble over settlements.

To be sure, ties between the countries have been strained over President Obama's firm insistence that Israel halt all settlement as part of his drive for a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace, including a Palestinian state. And Israel is concerned Obama's engagement policy vis-à-vis Iran will come at the expense of its own security.

But the flurry of diplomatic activity sends a strong signal that these disagreements are minor in comparison to how central the US-Israel relationship is, and how large Israel looms in every piece of the American policy puzzle in the Mideast.

Which is why Gates offered Israel security reassurances with talks on Iran and missile defense. And why Mitchell emphasized the enduring strength of the friendship between the US and Israel and has been working on a deal with the Israelis on settlements, which is expected to include a freeze on construction but would allow several hundred buildings already under construction to be exempted.

One question remains about this diplomatic A-team, though. Where is Hillary Clinton? The Secretary of State hasn't visited the Middle East March, when held one day of talks with Israeli officials. She has not been to Israel since Netanyahu took office.

To be fair, Clinton just returned from a 7-day trip to Asia and spent the beginning of the week hosting top Chinese officials for two days of strategic talks. Next week she leaves for a seven-nation tour of Africa.

But on Sunday Clinton appeared Sunday NBC's "Meet the Press," where she missed an opportunity to frame the week's visits within the context of the Obama administration's plans for Mideast peacemaking. She spent a fair amount of time insisting she was President Obama's chief diplomat and and deflecting criticism that she was "sidelined" by President Obama's team of foreign policy heavyweights and because of an elbow injury. "I broke my elbow, not my larynx," she told David Gregory.

Yet in the full hour President Obama's chief diplomat didn't mention the Mideast peace process, one of Obama's stated top foreign policy priorities, even once. Clinton already enjoys a healthy dose of Israeli respect from her days as a pro-Israel senator from New York. Now Clinton must also define herself, both in word and in deed, as a key player on the President's Mideast peace team.

President Obama, too, has to work at his relationship with Israel. His aides can only do so much to ease Israeli fears about his intentions. Candidate Obama got high marks for visit to Israel during the campaign. But if he wants to now been seen as the kind of honest broker that can achieve true Mideast peace, he needs to make his own trip to Israel. His Cairo speech in June established his credentials with the Arab world. Now it's Israel's turn.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Elise Labott • Israel
July 28th, 2009
08:19 PM ET

Documents: Scott Roeder's letter from jail

Scott Roeder is charged with killing Dr. George Tiller at a Kansas church.

Scott Roeder is charged with killing Dr. George Tiller at a Kansas church.

AC360°

Two weeks after the murder of Dr. George Tiller, Lindsay Roeder received this letter from her ex-husband Scott Roeder in jail.

Click here to read the original letter.

----

6-12-09

Lindsay,

I heard bits and pieces from second hand sources about your interview on the news. Do you care to share what took place during that interview? If you're willing to share with the world your views, and since I didn't see it myself, would you mind telling me what you told them? Although, my guess is that I'll never hear back from you because that would keep in character with being the grown up spoiled brat that you are. You exhibit the same character the hundreds of times you've hung up on me when talking on the phone, in the past.

FULL POST


Filed under: 360° Radar • Crime & Punishment • Gary Tuchman • George Tiller
July 28th, 2009
07:47 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 07/28/09

We have new information tonight on the Michael Jackson autopsy and toxicology reports. 360's Randi Kaye will have the breaking details. Plus, allegations of homegrown terror. Seven men arrested, an eighth wanted. We'll tell you where and what authorities say they were plotting to do.

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

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. 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
July 28th, 2009
07:44 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Homegrown Terror?

Daniel Patrick Boyd, left, and Mohammad Omar Aly Hassan are two of the seven men charged in a N.C. terrorism case.

Daniel Patrick Boyd, left, and Mohammad Omar Aly Hassan are two of the seven men charged in a N.C. terrorism case.

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

It's a busy night here in the 360° newsroom. We're covering several stories for you tonight. We'll start off with the search of the Las Vegas home and office of Michael Jackson's personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray. Investigators said they were "looking for a lot of things." This new raid comes just days after officials raided his office and storage unit in Houston, Texas. We'll have the new developments in the case.

Also tonight, federal authorities are searching for an eighth alleged member of a North Carolina group that authorities say plotted "violent jihad" overseas. So far, seven suspects have been arrested on charges of supporting terrorism and conspiracy to commit murder abroad. Tonight a look at where they got their alleged training and find out who the feds say they were planning to target.

And, Scott Roeder, the man accused of killing abortion provider George Tiller, was in court today entering a not-guilty plea. A witness to the murder gave the court chilling details today on the how Tiller was gunned down in a church foyer. We'll have those developments and you'll hear from Roeder's ex-wife about what she thinks of her ex-husband's alleged crime. He sent her a letter from jail. She'll share part of it with you tonight in a 360° exclusive report.

From Kansas to North Carolina and California, join us at 10pm for these stories and much more. See you then!


Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
July 28th, 2009
05:38 PM ET

The dangers of texting while driving

Program Note: A new transportation study reveals the dangers of cell phone use while driving. The Virginia Tech Transporation Institute made the following findings in the table below. Tune in to AC360º at 10 P.M. ET tonight for a behind-the-wheel look at the effects of cell phone use. You can also read more about this story at CNN.com.

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute

Several largescale, naturalistic driving studies (using sophisticated cameras and instrumentation in participants’ personal vehicles) conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), provide a clear picture of driver distraction and cell phone use under realworld driving conditions. Combined, these studies continuously observed drivers for more than 6 million miles of driving. A snapshot of risk estimates from these studies is shown in the table below.

CELL PHONE TASK

Risk of Crash or Near Crash event

 

 

Light Vehicle/Cars

 

 

Dialing Cell Phone

 

 

2.8 times as high as non

distracted driving

 

Talking/Listening to Cell Phone

 

 

1.3 times as high as non

distracted driving

 

Reaching for object (i.e. electronic device and other)

 

 

1.4 times as high as non

distracted driving

 

Heavy Vehicles/Trucks

 

 

Dialing Cell phone

 

 

5.9 times as high as non

distracted driving

 

Talking/Listening to Cell Phone

 

 

1.0 times as high as non

distracted driving

 

Use/Reach for electronic device

 

 

6.7 times as high as non

distracted driving

 

Text messaging

 

 

23.2 times as high as non

distracted driving

 

 

Read the full press release here.

Read driving tips from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration here.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Tom Foreman
July 28th, 2009
05:02 PM ET

Beat 360° 7/28/09

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:

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner stretches to fetch Chinese vice premier Wang Qishan in the right direction to the meeting room after posing for photographs with other principals before for the Economic Track Principal Meeting of the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC. (Photo credit : JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/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 – BEAT 360 WINNERS:

Staff Winner:

Kirk Mcdonald

No, no, no! I promise Red Rover is not a communist reference!

Viewer Winner:

Lee Arphai, Chapel Hill

Not knowing what to do next, Geithner dances around the issues.

__________________________________________________________________________________ Beat 360° Challenge


Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
July 28th, 2009
04:38 PM ET

How do they radicalize others?

Police identified the suspect as Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, formerly known as Carlos Bledsoe.

Police identified the suspect as Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, formerly known as Carlos Bledsoe.

Program Note: Watch Daveed Gartenstein-Ross TONIGHT on AC360° 10p ET.

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross
For The Washington Times

The shooting in Arkansas last week that claimed the life of a 24-year-old soldier and the bomb plot that was disrupted in the Bronx in late May put questions about homegrown terrorism into sharp focus. Why do some Americans, like Arkansas shooter Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, decide to take up arms against the society where they were born and raised?

There has been debate among those who study terrorism over the extent to which ideology - such as al Qaeda's dark worldview - helps make a terrorist. Some observers think it is an important factor, while others argue that the feeling of grievance (legitimate or not) is critical and ideology provides only a veneer of pretext.

Read more...


Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
July 28th, 2009
04:09 PM ET

Should Diprivan (propofol) be a controlled substance?

Dr. Arnold Klein, who was Michael Jackson's dermatologist, said he warned the singer about drug use.

Dr. Arnold Klein, who was Michael Jackson's dermatologist, said he warned the singer about drug use.

Elizabeth Landau
CNN.com Health Writer/Producer

The general anesthetic Diprivan (propofol) has been making headlines as questions about Michael Jackson’s death abound. A nurse who had worked for the singer told CNN that Jackson requested the drug because he had trouble sleeping, and The Associated Press reported that it had been found in his home. Diprivan is not approved as a sleep aid by the Food and Drug Administration.

It turns out that propofol, used routinely for surgeries and procedures such as colonoscopies, has been a point of concern among some anesthesiologists because of the potential for abuse by health care workers. A 2007 study published by the International Anesthesia Research Society found that about 18 percent of the 126 academic anesthesia programs in the United States had at least one reported instance of propofol abuse within the previous 10 years.

Researchers also found that six out of 16 residents (about 38 percent) who abused propofol died from it. While these are small numbers, lead author Dr. Paul Wischmeyer, professor of anesthesiology at the University of Colorado, believes this is indicative of a larger problem.

Read more...


Filed under: Health Care • Michael Jackson
July 28th, 2009
03:37 PM ET
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