Editor's Note: Authorities have uncovered an underground tunnel between Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, California. In 2006, Anderson reported on the drug tunnels under the U.S. border with Mexico. Watch his report here. We'll broadcast live from this new tunnel on Thursday at 10 p.m. ET.
Anderson Cooper | BIO
The Amazon rainforest is the largest in the world and covers nearly 70 percent of Brazil. The rainforest produces about 20 percent of the Earth's oxygen and plays a big role in controlling the climate of the entire planet. The Amazon also is home to more species of plants and animals than any other ecosystem on Earth, 30 percent of the world's total.
About one-fifth of the Amazon has disappeared in the past three decades. The causes are many: Logging, both legal and illegal; construction of homes and roads; and agri-business clearing land to plant crops or graze cattle.
The Brazilian government says the situation is getting better and that federal police are cracking down on illegal logging, in particular. But critics say there aren't enough agents on the ground and that more land needs to be put under federal protection.
Tonight on 360°, five American arrested and accused of terrorist ties in Pakistan. We'll have the latest.
Plus, new details on the health care fight on Capitol Hill. Do Senate Democrats have enough votes to get their new plan passed? We've got the raw politics.
Want to know what else we're covering? <strong><a href="http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/category/the-buzz/" target="_blank">Read EVENING BUZZ</a></strong>
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Editor's Note: Five people arrested in Pakistan had been reported missing in the United States, and police are confident they were planning terrorist acts, a Pakistani police official told CNN. Tune in tonight to hear more about the increasing amount of homegrown terrorism on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.
Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Laura Grossman
The Center for Terrorism Research
This study, Homegrown Terrorists in the U.S. and U.K.: An Empirical Study of the Radicalization Process, is a product of over a year and half of research into the phenomenon of homegrown terrorists–Westerners who have chosen to take up arms against the society in which they were born or raised.
Homegrown Terrorists in the U.S. and U.K. examines six different steps are particularly significant as homegrown terrorists radicalize: the adoption of a legalistic interpretation of Islam, coming to trust only a select and ideologically rigid group of religious authorities, viewing the West and Islam and irreconcilably opposed, manifesting a low tolerance for perceived religious deviance, attempting to impose religious beliefs on others, and the expression of radical political views.
These steps have recurred frequently among homegrown terrorists, and they help to provide insight into these individuals’ state of mind as they hurtle toward the embrace of violence again innocents.
A British motivational speaker is being held in connection with the murder of a woman in Las Vegas, authorities said.
Michael Lane, who also uses the name “Chae Saville,” was arrested without incident in California, according to a media release from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. “He has waived extradition,” police spokesman Bill Cassell told CNN. “He is being brought back to Las Vegas.”
Lane has been named a suspect in the death of Ginger Candela. The 44-year-old resident of Las Vegas was reported missing on November 30. Officers who searched the home found her body in the garage. Her residence had been ransacked and items were taken, police said. But they believe it was the killer’s attempt to derail the investigation. “This is not a robbery,” said Cassell, who declined to disclose the cause of death.
Lane had recently met Candela, the police said in the media release. “It’s not a stretch to say he knew the victim,” Cassell told CNN.
Tonight, we are following several new developments in the war on terror. Five missing Virginia men have turned up in Pakistan where they have been arrested and accused of planning terrorist attacks. Meanwhile, a Chicago man appeared in court today and pleaded not guilty to charges he's tied to terror plots in India and Denmark. Here's the chilling reality: The suspects are all Americans, who are suspected of homegrown hate here on U.S. soil.
If you think you've been seeing a lot of stories like this one lately, the sad fact is you're right. Tonight, Anderson will show you the reach of homegrown extremism. The accused arrested within the last year have ties to cities across America: Denver, New York, Detroit, Minneapolis, Raleigh, North Carolina and more.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano recently talked about the homegrown threat.
"Home-based terrorism is here. And, like violent extremism abroad, it will be part of the threat picture that we must now confront," she said.
Tonight, we will give you the facts on today's arrests in Pakistan of the five Americans. The men all disappeared recently from their homes in Northern Virginia. Their families contacted the FBI soon after they vanished.
One of the men left behind a video.
"I recall the video is about 11 minutes. It's like a farewell, and they did not specify what they will be doing. But just hearing and seeing videos, similar on the internet, it just made me uncomfortable, " said Nihad Awad, Executive Director of The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), at a news conference this afternoon.
The video "juxtaposed certain verses of the Quran," and Awad suggested the verses were interpreted incorrectly.
CAIR officials said they're "going to launch a major campaign of education to refute the misuse of verses in the Quran, or the misuse of certain grievances in the Muslim world."
Kaiser Family Foundation
Comprehensive health reform legislation is currently being debated in Congress. On November 7, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Affordable Health Care for America Act and the U.S. Senate introduced the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on November 18, 2009. The following summaries of these bills focus on provisions to expand health care coverage, control health care costs, and improve the health care delivery system. These summaries will be updated to reflect changes made during the legislative process.
House Leadership Bill
Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962)
Date plan announced: October 29, 2009 (passed by the House November 7, 2009)
Overall approach to expanding access to coverage:
Require most individuals to have health insurance. Create a Health Insurance Exchange through which individuals and smaller employers can purchase health coverage, with premium and cost-sharing credits available to individuals/families with incomes up to 400% of the federal poverty level (the poverty level is $18,310 for a family of three in 2009). Require employers to provide coverage to employees or pay into a Health Insurance Exchange Trust Fund, with exceptions for certain small employers, and provide certain small employers a credit to offset the costs of providing coverage. Impose new regulations on plans participating in the Exchange and in the small group insurance market. Expand Medicaid to 150% of the poverty level.
Senate Leadership Bill
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590)
Date plan announced: Nov. 18, 2009
Overall approach to expanding access to coverage:
Require most U.S. citizens and legal residents to have health insurance. Create state-based American Health Benefit Exchanges through which individuals can purchase coverage, with premium and cost-sharing credits available to individuals/families with income between 100-400% of the federal poverty level (the poverty level is $18,310 for a family of three in 2009) and create separate Exchanges through which small businesses can purchase coverage. Require employers to pay penalties for employees who receive tax credits for health insurance through an Exchange, with exceptions for small employers. Impose new regulations on health plans in the Exchanges and in the individual and small group markets. Expand Medicaid to 133% of the federal poverty level.
CNN Political Editor
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley won the Democratic nomination and Sen. Scott Brown won the Republican nod Tuesday night in a special primary election to narrow the field of candidates vying to succeed the late Sen. Edward Kennedy.
Top Republicans and Democrats congratulated the respective winners of the seat long occupied by Kennedy, a fixture in national politics who established himself as one of the most powerful lawmakers to serve in the Senate.
Coakley's Twitter account claimed victory shortly after polls closed Tuesday. "We did it! Thank you for your support!" On her Web site, Coakley released a statement to Massachusetts voters.
"You helped me convince the voters to send a different kind of leader to Washington, one who can see all the possibilities and who will get to work on those problems that have seemed impossible to change," she said.