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December 10th, 2009
10:15 PM ET

New border tunnel discovered

Editor's Note: Authorities have uncovered an underground tunnel between Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, California. Anderson will be live from this new tunnel tonight at 10 p.m. ET.

Anderson Cooper | BIO
AC360° Anchor

Heading to San Diego, where once again an enormous tunnel has been discovered. It was being built to smuggle people and/or drugs from Tijuana into the US.

The level of sophistication of these tunnels is extraordinary. In addition to lighting, electrical, and ventilation systems, this new one even has an elevator on the Tijuana side. It was still being built when it was discovered, and authorities arrested more than a dozen men inside.

A few years ago we got an exclusive look at another tunnel U.S. authorities had just discovered that opened up into a warehouse on the U.S. side. It wasn't clear how long that one had been in operation. Watch our report from 2006 here.

Tonight we'll take you deep underground inside the new tunnel, and we'll update you on the war Mexico is fighting against drug traffickers - a war that has claimed more than 7,000 lives this year alone.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Anderson Cooper • Mexico
December 10th, 2009
10:10 PM ET

Inside a border tunnel

Editor's Note: Authorities have uncovered an underground tunnel between Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, California. Anderson will be live from this new tunnel tonight at 10 p.m. ET.

Inside the border tunnel.
Inside the border tunnel.

Charlie Moore
AC360° Senior Broadcast Producer

Authorities have uncovered an unfinished tunnel under the border between the United States and Mexico. The tunnel, complete with an elevator, electricity and a ventilation system, extends from Tijuana, Mexico to Otay Mesa, Calif., in San Diego.

The tunnel was discovered by Mexican law enforcement working with the San Diego Tunnel Task Force, which includes agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the U.S. Border Patrol.

The tunnel would have been used primarily, if not exclusively, for moving drugs under the border, according to DEA agents. Thirteen people were arrested inside the tunnel last week and an investigation into others responsible for planning and building the illegal tunnel is ongoing.

CNN photojournalist Neil Hallsworth takes a dummy car down 90 feet into the tunnel.
CNN photojournalist Neil Hallsworth takes a dummy car down 90 feet into the tunnel.

The tunnel is approximately 900 feet long and reaches a depth of up to 100 feet. Law enforcement agents estimate it has been under construction for roughly three years. The Otey Mesa exit point had yet to be finished, but agents say it was very close to completion.

FULL POST


Filed under: Charlie Moore • Mexico
December 10th, 2009
10:00 PM ET

Sex, fame, and the case of Roman Polanski

The case surrounding the arrest of director Roman Polanski has both supporters and critics.
The case surrounding the arrest of director Roman Polanski has both supporters and critics.

Jeffrey Toobin | BIO
AC360° Contributor
New Yorker

ABSTRACT: ANNALS OF LAW about Roman Polanski. Writer describes Polanksi’s arrest in 1977 by Detective Philip Vannatter. Polanski was accused of raping Samantha Gailey, a thirteen-year-old girl. On August 8, 1977, pursuant to a plea bargain, Polanski pleaded guilty to the least serious of the charges against him, statutory rape. On the eve of his sentencing hearing, which was scheduled for February 1, 1978, Polanski fled to Europe and has not returned. Earlier this year, on September 26, he was arrested in Switzerland after the American authorities made a provisional request for his arrest. After spending sixty-seven days at a Zurich detention center, Polanski was transferred to house arrest at his chalet in the ski resort of Gstaad on Friday. Polanski is one of the most famous fugitives from American justice in the word. The question of whether Polanski’s celebrity has helped or hurt him hovers over his long legal battle. In Polanski’s case, the effect of his celebrity was doubly, and inconsistently, pernicious; it obscured both how badly Polanski treated his young victim, and how badly the legal system treated him. Tells about Polanski’s early life: his escape from the Warsaw ghetto and his career as a director. Polanski came to Hollywood in 1963. He married Sharon Tate in 1968. Tells about Tate’s murder by members of Charles Manson’s “family.” Describes the events leading up to Polanski’s sexual encounter with Samantha Gailey, whom he was ostensibly photographing for a feature on adolescent girls in Vogue Hommes. Discusses the legal case that followed in detail. Polanski was represented by Douglas Dalton; Gailey by Lawrence Silver; the judge was Laurence J. Rittenband. Considers how criminal sentencing has changed in California since the nineteen-seventies and gives an account of the legal wranglings that preceded Polanski’s flight. Polanski’s status as a fugitive has made it difficult, but not impossible, for him to continue to direct major films. Describes various attempts by Polanski’s lawyers to broker a resolution. In 2003, Polanki won the Oscar for Best Director for “The Pianist.” Mentions Marina Zenovich’s documentary, “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired.” Gives an account of the events leading up to Polanski’s arrest in Switzerland and describes the public response after he was arrested: the initial support for Polanski from other celebrities and the backlash that followed. It appears likely that at some point Polanski will be returned to California, and there he will face a legal situation of daunting complexity. Describes how Polanski continued to work on his new film, “The Ghost,” from his prison cell. The movie will be released, on schedule, next year.

Read More...

December 10th, 2009
09:44 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 12/10/09

Tonight, we take you inside a massive drug tunnel along the U.S.-Mexico border, used to shuttle drugs and illegal immigrants. Plus, war and peace. Pres. Obama accepts the Nobel Peace Prize just days after boosting the U.S. war power in Afghanistan. We've got the raw politics.

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
December 10th, 2009
07:52 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Drug Tunnel Discovered

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight on 360°, Anderson will be reporting live from San Diego, along the U.S.-Mexico border, where authorities have discovered a very sophisticated drug tunnel. 13 people were arrested inside the tunnel last week.

Anderson and his team have just fed us video from inside the tunnel, which we will show you tonight on the program. You will be amazed at the work that went into this tunnel. The entrance is in a bathroom, inside a Tijuana, Mexico warehouse. It looks like any other bathroom, until you look closely and notice it has a false floor that can lower down about eight feet.

The tunnel covers approximately 900 feet in total and reaches a depth of about 100 feet, with several rooms. Though, the main shaft is five-feet by four-feet and the people who built it even installed an elevator, electricity and pipes for water.

Anderson will give you a tour of the drug tunnel. He'll also talk with DEA and Immigration officials on the scene. Hear what they're facing on the job and how they're trying to secure the U.S. border.

We'll also give you an up close look at the drug war in Juarez, Mexico, along the border with Texas.

Michael Ware and his producer Ismael Estrada went on patrol with a task force in Juarez, where they discovered it's still a deadly place to be.

And, we'll take you to Olso, Norway where Pres. Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize today, just days after he ordered more U.S. troops to Afghanistan.

A commander-in-chief at war, accepting a peace prize. How does he reconcile the two?

We’ll play you parts of his speech. We’ve got the raw politics.

Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET on CNN. See you then!


Filed under: Live Blog • The Buzz
December 10th, 2009
04:52 PM ET

Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors without Borders

Editor's Note: Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international humanitarian aid organization that provides emergency medical assistance to populations in danger in more than 70 countries.

Kira Kleaveland
AC360° Production Assistant

I’ve always been intrigued by people who give up a safe and comfortable life, who are even willing to put their own lives in danger, to help complete and total strangers. What could possibly compel someone to act in a manner many would say is irrational?

The doctors of MSF risk their own lives every time they go on a humanitarian mission. Whether it’s to provide emergency medical assistance to civilians caught in the middle of a war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, or to Liberia where most people have no access to basic healthcare after a civil war ravaged the country, MSF and its staff work selflessly to improve the lives of others, in what small way they can.

FULL POST


Filed under: Beyond 360 • Global 360° • Kira Kleaveland • Medical News
December 10th, 2009
04:31 PM ET

Beat 360° 12/10/09

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:

First Lady Michelle Obama removes dust from Nobel peace prize laureate, US President Barack Obama's suit as Norway's King Harald looks on at the Royal Castle in Oslo on December 10, 2009.

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.

Staff:

Tom Foreman

"Amid suggestions he does not deserve the Nobel Prize, the First Lady brushes a chip off of the president’s shoulder."

Viewer:

Terri, Atlanta

"There, there, Barack, calm down. The Norwegians have assured us that the Salahi's will not be able to sneak in here..."

_________________________________________________________________________________ Beat 360° Challenge


Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
December 10th, 2009
04:07 PM ET

Map: On the front lines of the drug war

Ismael Estrada
CNN's AC360

It's an all-too common scene on patrol with a joint Mexican law enforcement task force in Juarez, Mexico.

Two people are shot dead in broad daylight Wednesday in a city lost in a drug war between rival cartels over the lucrative drug route into the United States.

Gunmen fire on a car, killing the driver; the passenger starts to flee and is gunned down in the street. These are the 11th and 12th killings in the Mexican city that day. Locals said killings are more frequent in the evenings. At this point, the sun hasn't even started to go down.

Juarez has become a deadly city where bodies, blood and gun-shell casings are commonplace in the streets.

In 2008, more than 1,600 people were killed in drug-related violence; this year local government officials put that number at more than 2,400. The carnage is taking place in a city with a population of around 1.5 million, literally at America's doorstep. Mexican President Felipe Calderon has declared a war on drug cartels and the way they operate their businesses.

Go here to keep reading and scroll down to view a map of Juarez


Filed under: Mexico
December 10th, 2009
02:38 PM ET

World Vision's 'Spirit of Christmas' tour

Girls working as sex workers in Cambodia wait for their next clients. Scenes like this are common in the streets of Phnom Penh and outside the city in rural villages like this one. Many of the girls are still teenagers. It is estimated that nearly 80,000 women and young girls are enslaved in the sex trade here.

Laura Blank
World Vision

Over the past four weeks, a team from World Vision's Gift Catalog has been traveling around the world on the "Spirit of Christmas" tour to answer the question that so many have at this time of year - "If I donate to a charity this holiday, how do I know that my donation is really making a difference?"

The team has meet single mothers in the South Bronx, alpaca farmers in Ecuador, street children in Cambodia, and rural villagers in Zambia. Next week, they will travel to Ethiopia to see what happens when a community has access to clean water, a basic need for many of us that often goes unmet in the developing world.

Along the way, the team has been talking to these families about what donations through charities like World Vision can do to help change their lives.

"For families living in poverty, the holidays don't bring thoughts of good cheer and gifts," said Devin Hermanson, campaign manager for the tour.

"While the holidays prompt us to think about people less fortunate than ourselves, many people still think of poverty as a problem for someone else to deal with. But there is a way to make a difference. I'm traveling around the world to meet people who's lives have been changed through these gifts. I can attest to the life-changing impact; I've seen it first-hand." FULL POST

December 10th, 2009
02:24 PM ET

Financial Dispatch: Home foreclosures down, net worth up

Top executives at Goldman Sachs will receive no cash bonuses this year.
Top executives at Goldman Sachs will receive no cash bonuses this year.

Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

Foreclosure filings fell by 8% in November, making it the fourth consecutive month of improvement in the housing market.

There were 306,627 filings last month, according to RealtyTrac, an online marketer of foreclosed properties. That decline follows a 3% drop in October, 4% in September and 1% in August.

However, while there are signs of improvement, the industry has yet to turn around: Foreclosure filings were still a lofty 18% above November 2008's levels.

Household net worth in the United States rose for the second quarter in a row, growing 5% to an estimated $53.4 trillion in the third quarter, according to the Federal Reserve.

The $2.7 trillion rebound in net worth, which is the difference between a household's assets and liabilities, comes as stock prices have rallied this year, boosting the value of Americans' investment portfolios.

Stock holdings rose by nearly 17% to $7.4 trillion, according to the central bank's quarterly flow of funds report.

Net worth was also supported by improvements in the housing market. Real estate values increased by 2% to $16.5 trillion in the third quarter, after rising in the second quarter for the first time since late 2006.

On the jobs front, the number of Americans filing initial claims for unemployment insurance jumped unexpectedly by 17,000 to 474,000 in the week ended Dec. 5 - the first increase in five weeks.

But the numbers are a little inflated, because state offices were closed for thanksgiving two weeks ago, delaying some claims.

And the number of people who continue to receive benefits for one week or more dropped by 303,000 to 5,157,000.

Speaking of jobs, are you out of work and looking for a new profession? You might want to consider becoming a computer systems designer or home health care aid.

Even with unemployment at 10%, some industries like professional service and health care will grow in the years ahead, according to a report from the Labor Dept.’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Professional and business services and health care and social assistance are expected to have the largest employment growth from 2008 to 2018, the Labor Dept. said.

Professional and business services will add 4.2 million jobs over that 10-year period while health care will increase its employment by 4 million.

Within professional and business services, consulting, computer systems design and employment services will have the most growth.

In the health care and social assistance industry, the top gainers are home health care, services for the elderly and those with disabilities, nursing care facilities and employment in offices of physicians.

Top executives at Goldman Sachs will receive no cash bonuses this year. Instead, the 30 members of Goldman’s management committee will be paid in a special form of company stock that would be subject to certain restrictions, the company says.

The changes, which will impact CEO Lloyd Blankfein among others, are part of a larger plan to revamp the company's compensation practices which was announced last spring.

Goldman Sachs, which has come under fire in recent months amid speculation that it’s on track to pay some of its biggest bonuses since the financial crisis erupted, also says it will give stockholders a “say on pay” vote for top executives at next year's shareholder meeting.

And Citigroup is reportedly working to reach an agreement with federal officials to return a portion of its bailout funds, which would free the company from the government's most restrictive limits on executive pay.

Citigroup, which received $45 billion in taxpayer funds, will seek to repay $20 billion raised at least in part through a stock offering, according to various reports.

This follows news yesterday that Bank of America has cut a check to the government for the $45 billon in bailout money it received from the TARP.

Follow the money… on Twitter: @AndrewTorganCNN


Filed under: Andrew Torgan • Economy • Finance
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