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October 13th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 10/13/09

With a GOP vote, a health care bill clears a Senate panel on Capitol Hill. Tonight, what the vote means for you and your family. Plus, we begin our special series "Politicians Behaving Badly" with an update on the governor who claimed he was hiking the Appalachian Trail, but was actually with his mistress in Argentina.

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 $#&*)


Filed under: Live Blog • T1
October 13th, 2009
09:38 PM ET

28 things I wish I'd known before I started traveling

The Palace of Happiness in Bhutan.

The Palace of Happiness in Bhutan.

Chris Guillebeau
AC360° Contributor

When you first head off to places in the world that are a lot different from where you live, a number of things change. You have to learn to adapt.

I still make a lot of mistakes everywhere I go, but I try to learn from each of them. Here’s a short list of things I wish I’d known before I started my routine of extensive overseas travel, especially in countries in Africa, South Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America that are not part of the tourist circuit.

Health Care

1. You can legally buy safe medicine, including prescription drugs, for very little money overseas. When in Africa or Asia, I stock up on anti-malarials that cost $5 a day in Seattle. On location, it’s more like $1 for a 10-day supply.

Editor's note: While drugs may be cheaper in other countries, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention don't recommend buying drugs while traveling as they may be counterfeit, expired, a different drug than expected or may contain too much or too little active ingredient. Click here for more information about the CDC's recommendations regarding counterfeit drugs and travel and here for the CDC's recommendations about counterfeit and substandard antimalarial drugs.

2. The best health care is not in the U.S., Canada, or the U.K. The best healthcare is in places like Thailand and Costa Rica; that’s why the practice of medical tourism will continue to surge as both travel and overseas healthcare become more accessible.

Editor's note: Click here for information from the CDC about medical tourism.

Money

3. Take a lot of cash with you, and make sure the bills are new and have no writing on them. If you go to a place that accepts credit cards, then you can just redeposit the cash when you get home. It is far worse to end up short of cash with no credit card option.

4. If you do use your credit card, check the online statement at least once a week while traveling to make sure there are no fraudulent charges. Keep all your receipts, especially for large purchases such as hotel stays, and compare the amounts charged when you get back.

5. When you exchange money, hang on to the receipt you get until you’ve left the country. Once in a great while, someone at the airport will want to see proof of all your foreign exchanges.

Outside the Tiger's Nest Monastery in Bhutan.

Outside the Tiger's Nest Monastery in Bhutan.

FULL POST

October 13th, 2009
09:00 PM ET

Making schools safe takes money

Derrion Albert, 16, was beaten to death two weeks ago in Chicago, IL. His death was captured on video.

Derrion Albert, 16, was beaten to death two weeks ago in Chicago, IL. His death was captured on video.

Dewey Cornell
Special to CNN

I was saddened, but not surprised, by reports of the Chicago, Illinois, street fight that resulted in the death of 16-year-old Derrion Albert.

The problem of youth violence is described in great detail by New York University Professor Frederic Thrasher in his 500-page report of 1,313 gangs in Chicago. He points out how typical it is for unsupervised boys in disadvantaged neighborhoods to form into groups that attack rival groups who trespass into their territory.

Some groups are loosely organized - hardly more than mobs - while others are more formal gangs with names and rituals of membership. All these groups typically arise under conditions of poverty, social discrimination and familial distress that leave the boys desperate for any claim of respect, power or authority.

What may surprise readers is Thrasher published his study in 1927.

Keep Reading...


Filed under: Chicago Killings
October 13th, 2009
08:39 PM ET

Interactive: Side-by-side comparison of major health care reform proposals


Kaiser Family Foundation

Achieving comprehensive health reform has emerged as a leading priority of the President and Congress. President Obama has outlined eight principles for health reform, seeking to address not only the 45 million people who lack health insurance, but also rising health care costs and lack of quality. In Congress, a number of comprehensive reform proposals have been announced as the debate proceeds over how to overhaul the health care system.

This interactive side-by-side compares the leading comprehensive reform proposals across a number of key characteristics and plan components. Included in this side-by-side are proposals for moving toward universal coverage that have been put forward by the President and Members of Congress. In an effort to capture the most important proposals, we have included those that have been formally introduced as legislation as well as those that have been offered as draft proposals or as policy options.

Click here to read more and find out about the major components of these health reform proposals...


Filed under: 360° Radar
October 13th, 2009
07:17 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Crucial Health Care Vote

Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe announces her support for a health care bill Tuesday before the committee vote.

Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe announces her support for a health care bill Tuesday before the committee vote.

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

With one surprise vote from a Republican, Pres. Obama got a boost today in his fight to get health insurance for more Americans.

Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe became the first GOP lawmaker to support one of the Democratic health care plans in a Senate Finance Committee vote of 14-9. 13 Democrats backed the plan and Snowe was the crucial 14th vote to get the so-called Baucus plan approved.

"I think it's critical to move this bill along and see how far we can go and it's going to be a step by step journey", said Snowe.

The plan's price tag of $829 billion over 10 years is less than the $900 billion target set by Pres. Obama. It requires that all Americans have health insurance.  Plus, insurance companies can't deny claims due to a preexisting condition.  It's also the only bill without the government-funded public option. Instead the plan calls for a non-federal health care co-op.

We'll have the raw politics of the vote and let you know what this vote means for health care reform.

In the meantime, what do you think of the plan? Sound off below.

Also tonight, we're looking at whether the state of Texas put an innocent man to death and did the Governor try to cover it up? We're keeping them honest. Randi Kaye has uncovered a stunning new fact about what happened in the final moments of the execution that could have changed everything.

In Florida we're covering the intentional burning of a 15 year old boy. Police say the teen was attacked by five boys who go to his school after he told police one of them stole his father's bicycle. Investigators say when the boy was burned one of the five juveniles in custody yelled several times "He's a snitch." Police also say some of the suspects were laughing when questioned about the incident.

Tonight we'll give you an up close look at the paparazzi. California's governor has signed a bill to crack down on them. Is it justified? We'll have all the angles.

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


Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
October 13th, 2009
04:16 PM ET

Glossary: Key health reform terms

Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe announces her support for a health care bill Tuesday before the commitee vote.

Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe announces her support for a health care bill Tuesday before the commitee vote.

Kaiser Family Foundation

Comprehensive health reform is once again on the national agenda. As Congress begins to discuss the elements of reform, the proposals that emerge promise to be as complex as the problems they seek to fix—45 million uninsured, skyrocketing health care costs, increasingly limited access to care, and lackluster quality.

This glossary is intended to serve as a resource for understanding the concepts included in health reform proposals. It provides simple and straightforward definitions of key terms that will likely be part of the health reform debate.

Click here to read more and access the full glossary...


Filed under: Health Care
October 13th, 2009
04:15 PM ET

The price of fame: How much are celebrity wedding photos worth?

Khloe Kardashian met Lamar Odom at a party and wed the basketball star a month later.

Khloe Kardashian met Lamar Odom at a party and wed the basketball star a month later.

Kate Torgovnick
The Frisky

Cha-ching. Word on the street is that Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom banked $300K selling the exclusive rights to their wedding photos to OK! Magazine. That’s not too shabby for a week’s work. Could this be why they super fast-tracked their nuptials?

While that sounds like a lot of money for pics of Lamar smearing cake in Khloe’s face, this is actually kind of a bargain-basement price. Here’s what other celebs made for their wedding photos.

When Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz tied the knot in 2008, People paid them $1 million smackeroos for their photos.
OK! beat out People magazine in a bidding war for the photos of Eva Longoria and Tony Parker’s wedding in 2007. Going price? $2 million.

Read More...

October 13th, 2009
04:12 PM ET

Quiz: Big political sex scandals

Republican Gov. Mark Sanford admitted having an affair with an Argentine woman.

Republican Gov. Mark Sanford admitted having an affair with an Argentine woman.

Paul Slansky
Time

From Larry Craig to Mark Sanford, nothing quite rivets the attention of the media and the public like a public official getting caught with his pants down. How much do you remember about the celebrated sex scandals of the recent past?

Click here to read more and test your knowledge in this excerpt from Paul Slansky's new book The Little Quiz Book of Big Political Sex Scandals

October 13th, 2009
04:08 PM ET

The Innocence Project on the Willingham case

Program Note: Tune in tonight for more on the Willingham case from Randi Kaye. Tonight AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

A family photo shows Cameron Todd Willingham with his wife, Stacy, and daughters Kameron, Amber and Karmon.

A family photo shows Cameron Todd Willingham with his wife, Stacy, and daughters Kameron, Amber and Karmon.

The Innocence Project

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has removed a fourth member of a state commission charged with investigating claims that an innocent man may have been executed, his office said. The Texas governor has now replaced all of the four members that, under law, he is allowed to appoint to the commission. The remaining five members are appointed by the state's lieutenant governor and attorney general.

Innocence Project Co-Director Barry Scheck called the move “troubling."

The Innocence Project ("IP") was established in 1992 at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law by civil rights attorneys Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld and is dedicated to exonerating the innocent through post-conviction DNA testing. Since its inception, more than 215 people in the United States have been exonerated, including 16 who were at one time sentenced to death. In many of these DNA exonerations, the Innocence Project either was the attorney of record or consulted with the defendant's attorneys.

Read more about the Innocence Project and its work here.


Filed under: Keeping Them Honest
October 13th, 2009
03:41 PM ET

Beat 360° 10/13/09

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:

Recording artists Snoop Dogg and Paula Abdul pose during the 2009 American Music Awards press conference in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for AMA)

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.

_________________________________________________________________________________ Beat 360° Challenge


Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
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