AC360 Tuesday 8p

Ferry crew members answered questions about why more life rafts were not deployed. Tonight on AC360, the latest from South Korea on the effort to reach victims.
October 1st, 2009
07:51 PM ET

Common tries to curb Chicago violence

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more from Common on the violence in Chicago. AC360° 10 p.m. ET.

Derrion Albert, 16, was beaten to death last week. His death was captured on video.
Derrion Albert, 16, was beaten to death last week. His death was captured on video.

Common Ground Foundation

The family of a Chicago teenager whose beating death was caught on video hope that the attention the incident has garnered will spur healing locally, a relative said at a news conference Wednesday evening.

Four suspects have been charged with first-degree murder in the September 24 killing of Albert, and police say they are looking for three more people in connection with the beating captured on videotape.

Prosecutors said that Albert, an honors student, was an innocent bystander who ended up in the middle of a street fight between two factions of students from Fenger High School.

The violence among youth in Chicago seems to go unabated. Over the course of last year's school year, 34 children were killed.

The Common Ground Foundation was created by Hip Hop artist, actor and children’s author Lonnie Rashid Lynn, known as “Common”. Common’s social-conscience message serves as inspiration for equality, opportunity and hope among youth in underserved communities. The Foundation is committed to empowering youth in urban neighborhoods and providing life skills needed to achieve their dreams.

Check out the foundation here.


Filed under: Chicago Killings
October 1st, 2009
07:22 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Pres. Obama's Wrong Focus?

The Obamas hope an appearance in Copenhagen will boost their chances of bringing the Olympics to Chicago.
The Obamas hope an appearance in Copenhagen will boost their chances of bringing the Olympics to Chicago.

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Right now, Pres. Obama is on his way to Copenhagen to try to persuade Olympic officials to award Chicago the 2016 Summer Games. First Lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey are already there making their "sales pitch." But not everyone is happy with the White House efforts.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said at this time of war and a recession Mr. Obama's trip isn't needed.

"I think the First Lady would have been and should have been the lead here," Steele said to reporters today. "Let her go and sell Chicago," he added.

In the Daily Beast, former McCain and Palin Adviser Nicolle Wallace is also slamming the President. "In ordinary times, it would be charming for a president to tag along on the Michelle and Oprah tour, but these are not ordinary times," Wallace writers.

What do you think? Should Pres. Obama be making the face-to-face pitch to Olympic officials?

Also tonight, we continue to demand answers from Chicago. You likely saw the video of honors student beaten to death on the south side, while dozens watched and did nothing. Now, no one is helping police bring the killers to justice. Joe Johns is in Chicago tonight and keeping them honest. We'll also talk about this stop snitchin' way of life with rapper Common and CNN Education analyst Steve Perry.

Plus, a confession in the Roman Polanski saga. A retired prosecutor admits he lied in an HBO documentary about Polanski's rape case. That's tonight's crime and punishment report.

We're also bringing you the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2009. Don't miss their remarkable stories and find out how you can vote for your top pick.

Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10pm ET.


Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
October 1st, 2009
07:05 PM ET

CNN Hero: Derrick Tabb

Program Note: CNN Heroes received nearly 9,000 submissions from 100 countries. A Blue Ribbon Panel selected the Top 10 CNN Heroes for the year, and over 1 million of you voted for your CNN HERO OF THE YEAR

WATCH Change the World, You Vote, CNN Heroes
Tonight 11 p.m. ET


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Derrick Tabb's program provides free tutoring, instruments and music instruction to more than 100 students.
Derrick Tabb's program provides free tutoring, instruments and music instruction to more than 100 students.

CNN Heroes

Drumsticks in hand, Derrick Tabb has found a way to transform New Orleans children from troublemakers to tuba players.

Tabb, wearing a gold chain and a baseball cap, doesn't look the part of a typical band teacher. But every weekday evening in the French Quarter, he beats out the rhythm on his music stand as students play their chosen instruments. In doing so, he gives them an alternative to New Orleans' rough streets.

"I tell everyone I'm competing with the drug dealers," said Tabb, 34. His program, The Roots of Music, offers free tutoring, instruments and music education to more than 100 students.

Reformed class clown Terrence Knockum credits Tabb with changing his life. The 15-year-old tuba player joined the band eight months ago, when he was failing in school and "heading up the wrong road," said Tabb. Today, Knockum is the band captain. He hopes to make music his career and teach it himself one day.

Keep Reading...
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To learn about ways you can make a difference, visit Impact Your World.


Filed under: CNN Heroes • Impact Your World
October 1st, 2009
06:58 PM ET
October 1st, 2009
06:05 PM ET

CNN Hero: Efren Peñaflorida

Program Note: CNN Heroes received nearly 9,000 submissions from 100 countries. A Blue Ribbon Panel selected the Top 10 CNN Heroes for the year, and over 1 million of you voted for your CNN HERO OF THE YEAR

WATCH Change the World, You Vote, CNN Heroes
Tonight 11 p.m. ET


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Efren Peñaflorida's Dynamic Teen Company offers Filipino youth an alternative to gangs through education.
Efren Peñaflorida's Dynamic Teen Company offers Filipino youth an alternative to gangs through education.

CNN Heroes

At 16, Rhandolf Fajardo reflects on his former life as a gang member.

"My gang mates were the most influential thing in my life," says Fajardo, who joined a gang when he was in sixth grade. "We were pressured to join."

He's not alone. In the Philippines, teenage membership in urban gangs has surged to an estimated 130,000 in the past 10 years, according to the Preda Foundation, a local human rights charity.

"I thought I'd get stuck in that situation and that my life would never improve," recalls Fajardo. "I would probably be in jail right now, most likely a drug addict - if I hadn't met Efren."

Keep Reading...
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To learn about ways you can make a difference, visit Impact Your World.


Filed under: CNN Heroes • Impact Your World
October 1st, 2009
05:05 PM ET

CNN Hero: Doc Hendley

Program Note: CNN Heroes received nearly 9,000 submissions from 100 countries. A Blue Ribbon Panel selected the Top 10 CNN Heroes for the year, and over 1 million of you voted for your CNN HERO OF THE YEAR

WATCH Change the World, You vote, CNN Heroes
Tonight 11 p.m. ET


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Bartender Doc Hendley has tapped his regular customers to help provide funds for clean water around the world.
Bartender Doc Hendley has tapped his regular customers to help provide funds for clean water around the world.

CNN Heroes

Behind the bar at a local restaurant, Doc Hendley leans in to hear his customer over the band. "You like the pinot? Cool," he says.

It's a seemingly average interaction, but Hendley is not your average bartender. As he pours wine in the United States, he's also helping to save thousands of lives on the other side of the world - and he's tapped into his regulars to help.

"[They] sit on the same stool, drink the same drink, pay the same tab every day. I felt like they really did want to be a part of something," Hendley says. "They just were waiting for somebody to bring that something to them."

That something is Wine to Water, Hendley's organization that provides clean water to people in developing countries through funds raised at wine tasting events.

Since 2004, Hendley has traveled to Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda and Cambodia, working with local communities to build clean water wells and sanitation systems.

Keep Reading...

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To learn about ways you can make a difference, visit Impact Your World.


Filed under: CNN Heroes • Impact Your World
October 1st, 2009
04:56 PM ET

Beat 360° 10/1/09

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:

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama sits with television talk show host Oprah Winfrey at the opening ceremonies of the 121st International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Copenhagen. (Photo by CHARLES DHARAPAK/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 360º WINNERS

Staff:

Kirk McDonald

"And what about that time that you hauled that wheelbarrow full of fat out on stage?"

Viewer:

Josh, Los Angeles, California

"Michelle Obama to Oprah: 'Barack promised us puppies if we can deliver the Olympics for Chicago."

_________________________________________________________________________________ Beat 360° Challenge


Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
October 1st, 2009
04:18 PM ET
October 1st, 2009
04:18 PM ET

Obama administration reacts to Chicago violence

From left, Eugene Riley, Silvanus Shannon and Eugene Bailey have been charged with murder of 16 year old Derrion Albert.
From left, Eugene Riley, Silvanus Shannon and Eugene Bailey have been charged with murder of 16 year old Derrion Albert.

Suzanne Malveaux
CNN White House Correspondent

President Obama is sending Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder to Chicago Wednesday to visit the Chicago school where an honors student was beaten to death last Thursday.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said "it's a great concern to the President as somebody who lives in Chicago but would and should be a concern for every American."

Gibbs said President Obama spoke with his advisors Wednesday in the Oval Office about the student murder and directed Duncan and Holder to meet with officials from the school, the students, the community to "talk about the issue of school violence."

FULL POST

October 1st, 2009
04:05 PM ET

CNN Hero: Betty Makoni

Program Note: CNN Heroes received nearly 9,000 submissions from 100 countries. A Blue Ribbon Panel selected the Top 10 CNN Heroes for the year, and over 1 million of you voted for your CNN HERO OF THE YEAR

WATCH Change the World, You vote, CNN Heroes
Tonight 11 p.m. ET


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Betty Makoni founded the Girl Child Network to help Zimbabwe's young sexual abuse victims.
Betty Makoni founded the Girl Child Network to help Zimbabwe's young sexual abuse victims.

CNN Heroes

Hope was 14 years old when her uncle raped her.

"He trapped me to the ground and covered my mouth with his hand," said the 18-year-old from Zimbabwe. "He threatened to kill me if I ever told anybody."

So, she kept quiet.

"After a while people around the villages started saying that I looked pregnant," she said.

Hope was not only pregnant, but her uncle had infected her with HIV.

Like many young girls in Zimbabwe, Hope was the victim of a widely held belief that if a man with HIV or AIDS rapes a virgin he will be cured of his disease. This so-called virgin myth, perpetuated by Zimbabwe's traditional healers, has led to the rape of hundreds of girls, according to UNICEF. Some of those victims are too young to walk, much less protect themselves.

Keep Reading...

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To learn about ways you can make a difference, visit Impact Your World.


Filed under: CNN Heroes • Impact Your World
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