Program Note: Don't miss an AC360° special investigation, "Gangs of Hollenbeck," this Friday at 11 p.m. ET and Saturday and Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.
Anderson Cooper | BIO
Five years ago we spent months talking to police and gang members while reporting in the Hollenbeck division of Los Angeles. It’s a place where thousands of young men and women were – and still are – members of gangs.
There is a long history of gangs in Hollenbeck, some current gang members have grandfathers who were once gangsters themselves. Since then, gang killings have dropped in Los Angeles, and we wanted to return to Hollenbeck to see what’s happening there now.
We tracked down some of the gang members we talked to five years ago, and re-connected with cops and social workers who are trying to reduce the strength of gangs in the neighborhood.
But even though killings are down, we found that the code of silence is still strong in Hollenbeck, and it’s letting people get away with murder.
Police can only do so much to solve crimes, they need citizens to come forward and report what they’ve seen and what they’ve heard. Too often that doesn’t happen in Hollenbeck.
Note to readers and viewers: The Anderson Cooper 360 series "Scientology: A History of Violence," which reported competing claims and denials about violence at the top of the Church of Scientology has attracted a number of complaints from senior members of the Church of Scientology (including Mr. Miscavige) and the Church of Scientology itself.
The series is now the subject of a letter of legal complaint in the United Kingdom. The complainants strongly dispute the allegations and the assertions made against them and covered in the course of the series by former members of the Church of Scientology.
Anderson Cooper | BIO
This week we begin a five-part investigation into allegations made by a number of former high ranking members of the Church of Scientology. The allegations are about physical abuse they say took place within the Sea Organization, the international management branch of the church.
These former members, many of whom dedicated their lives to Scientology, allege that the leader of the church, David Miscavige, has used physical violence against a number of Sea Organization members. The church adamantly denies these allegations, and back up their denials with numerous affidavits and testimonials defending Mr. Miscavige and attacking those who are speaking out.
Interestingly, the church spokesman, Tommy Davis, admits there was a history of violence in the Sea Organization, but the people he blames for it are those who are making the allegations against David Miscavige. He says they were demoted by Mr. Miscavige, and are bitter and disgruntled. Some of those making the allegations admit they did engage in violent acts, but say it was at the urging of Mr. Miscavige.
There is no real proof offered by either side, but viewers can make their own assessment. We have spent several months working on this series, and believe it is a fair look at the allegations and the counter claims made by the church.
I have already received a number of emails from church members complaining about the series, and accusing me of attacking the church, its beliefs, its membership, and its activities.
Given that the emails are all very similar in content, I assume this is some sort of organized email campaign. None of those writing the emails have seen the series, but I appreciate hearing from all concerned viewers, and I certainly understand any church member, of any religion, being concerned about the portrayal of their beliefs.
For the record, I just want to point out that this series is not about the beliefs or activities of the Church of Scientology. It is not about the religion or the vast majority of Scientologists. This series simply has to do with what some former high ranking church officials say went on within the upper management of the church, and what happened to them when they left the church.
Tonight on 360°, the done deal on health care. The House and Senate both approving "fixes" to the bill today. We've got the raw politics. Plus, police in New Jersey say they've solved what is one of the state's oldest cold case. Hear what they say happened to five teenage boys who vanished 32 years ago.
Want to know what else we're covering? Read EVENING BUZZ
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The final vote on health care reform came just moments ago. The House approved "fixes" to the legislation by a vote of 220 to 207.
The measure returned to the House tonight after the Senate made two minor changes involving student loan funding, but those changes did not impact the law Pres. Obama signed into law on Tuesday.
The reconciliation bill now goes to Pres. Obama for his signature.
The President focused on health care reform in a speech today.
"This is the reform that some folks in Washington are still hollering about, still shouting about. Now that they passed it, now that we passed it they're already promising to repeal it. They're actually going to run on a platform of repeal in November, you've been hearing that. And my attitude is: go for it!," Mr. Obama told the crowd at the University of Iowa.
That's not the only tough talk on the subject. There are also reports of death threats and vandalism - a vast majority targeting Democrats.
Some new developments involving Dems:
– Minnesota Rep. Betty McCollum said she received an opened condom with a vulgar message.
– New York Rep. Anthony Weiner's district office became a crime scene after someone sent an envelope containing white powder and a threatening note.
– The FBI joined an investigation of threats to New York Rep. Louise Slaughter, who had a brick thrown through her district office and a voicemail that she says mentioned "well-trained snipers."
But today two Republicans also reported trouble. GOP Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite of Florida released a statement saying she received a voicemail from an unidentified person stating that people "are going to make sure that this b-- does not live to see her next term." Meantime, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor said someone fired a bullet through a window at his old campaign office in Richmond, Virginia. Cantor then accused Democrats of using the threats for political gain. We're keeping them honest.
We'll also wrap up our special series "Kids in Peril: Obesity in America" with a big 360 interview with celebrity chef and best-selling author Jamie Oliver. He's on a special mission to make sure children eat healthy foods. See what he discovered and what you can do to help your children.
Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET. See you then.
President Obama signed sweeping health care reform into law Tuesday. The Senate must now pass a package of changes that will reconcile the differences between Senate and House bills. If those changes are worked out, here is how health care reforms will affect you:
Within the first year
• Young adults will be able stay on their parents' insurance until their 27th birthday.
• Seniors will get a $250 rebate to help fill the "doughnut hole" in Medicare prescription drug coverage, which falls between the $2,700 initial limit and when catastrophic coverage kicks in at $6,154.
• Insurers will be barred from imposing exclusions on children with pre-existing conditions. Pools will cover those with pre-existing health conditions until health care coverage exchanges are operational.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
One of 7 low-income, preschool-aged children is obese, but the obesity epidemic may be stabilizing. The prevalence of obesity in low-income two to four year-olds increased from 12.4 percent in 1998 to 14.5 percent in 2003 but rose to only 14.6 percent in 2008.
American Indians and Alaska Natives are the only race or ethnic groups with increasing rates between 2003 and 2008. Obesity prevalence among these children continued to rise about a half percentage point each year from 2003 to 2008.
In 2008, obesity prevalence was highest among American Indian or Alaska Native (21.2 percent) and Hispanic (18.5 percent) children, and lowest among white (12.6 percent), Asian or Pacific Islander (12.3 percent), and black (11.8 percent) children.
In 2008, only Colorado and Hawaii reported 10 percent or less of low-income preschool-age children were obese. The only gruop with rates over 20 percent were Indian Tribal Organizations.
Editor’s Note: Two men charged in the 1978 disappearance of five teenagers in Newark, New Jersey, pleaded not guilty to five counts of murder Wednesday morning as about 40 family members of the victims looked on. Tonight, in our crime and punishment report, we’ll look into the case.
The story got us thinking about cold cases and missing persons cases around the country. Check out the National Missing Persons Database. It allows you to search nationwide for missing persons using a variety of search features. Anyone may search the database, but by registering in the system both law enforcement professionals and the general public will also be able to:
Over the past 20 years, childhood obesity in the United States has:
– more than tripled among adolescents
– more than doubled among children ages 6 to 11
It's a serious issue that can have consequences well into adulthood. Kaiser Permanente is taking action to help families tackle this problem head on.
Take a look at the recommendations from Kaiser Pemanente to see what families can do to prevent childhood obesity.