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April 7th, 2010
09:45 PM ET

Who's in charge of the GOP?: Join the Live Chat

Tonight on 360°, new calls for RNC Michael Steele to resign after a series of gaffes on his watch. Meantime, Sarah Palin with Congresswoman Michele Bachmann at an event in Minneapolis today and giving a shout-out to the tea party movement. We've got the raw politics. Plus, the U.S. government targeting an American-born Muslim cleric. It says Anwar al-Awlaki needs to be killed or captured. Details in tonight's crime and punishment report.

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
April 7th, 2010
08:02 PM ET

Eco-enlightenment at college

UC Boulder's students make $15  a ton for their recycling efforts.

UC Boulder's students make $15  a ton for their recycling efforts.

Jim Spellman
CNN All-Platform Journalist

I felt like a schnook pulling into the campus parking lot at the University of Colorado, Boulder in my gas-guzzling SUV. I dodged an endless stream of bicycles on my way, almost got hit by a biodiesel bus and squeezed into a spot between two Priuses.

I normally wouldn’t notice these things but I came to check out the college that topped the Sierra Club’s “Cool Schools” rankings of the most “Eco-enlightened” universities.

Suddenly I was “that guy”, the only square on campus who hadn’t gone green.

It’s doesn’t take long to notice all of the green efforts underway. We’re all used to recycling by now but they take it to a whole new level. In the student union “compost goalies” man the garbage stations. There are bins for recycling, composting, reusables and finally trash.

Kat Stuart is on duty as I approach with a soda bottle.

“I stand here and I tell people what is and what isn’t compostable, what’s trash and even help with recycling if they need it," she says. "If it gets contaminated we have to pay to put it in the landfill.”

Once the recycling gets past Kat’s careful eye it heads over to the recycling center where students put it through another sorting process. The white paper goes with the white paper, the plastic with the plastic. That’s the secret to getting top dollar for it.

They do such a good job of separating their recycling that even after paying students to sort it all out they actually turn a modest profit: 15 bucks a ton.

A film student named Musa works a conveyor belt sifting through empty bottles and stacks of paper. This is where my soda bottle will end up. It’s pretty gross and a little smelly, but Musa doesn’t seem to mind.

“At the end of the day I feel like I’ve done something by recycling this paper, you know?” he says. "As I walk in the world every day I apply what I learn here to what is happening outside. It takes each individual to make that change.”

It’s that personal commitment to the environment that is so impressive about the efforts of the students here at CU Boulder. So many of us seem to think, or at least hope, that the government or maybe a non-profit organization will take care of protecting the environment. These students seem to realize that if they don’t take on the task then it’s possible no one will.

Scot Wooley is a senior from Aspen, Colorado. He’s studying environmental policy and plans on a career that helps the planet, but for him being green is a much more personal pursuit.

“For me it is a personal responsibility to be sustainable and act green,” he says. “I think it does boil down to individual personal choices made by everyone so that it’s cool to be green. It’s our future.”

As I pull out of campus I can't help but feel that with young people like Kat and Musa and Scot on the case the future looks a little bit brighter, or at least a little greener.

April 7th, 2010
07:25 PM ET

Mine accidents in the United States

The explosion at West Virginia's Upper Big Branch coal mine killed at least 25 people.

The explosion at West Virginia's Upper Big Branch coal mine killed at least 25 people.

CNN

An explosion at the Massey Energy Co. mine in Montcoal, West Virginia, killed at least 25 miners. The cause of the explosion had not been determined as rescuers worked Tuesday to bore ventilation holes into the Upper Big Branch Mine. This is a chronological list of notable coal mine accidents in the United States over the last century. The list is not all-inclusive.

* December 6, 1907 - Worst coal mine disaster in U.S. history: 362 miners are killed in an explosion at the Monongah Nos. 6 and 8 Coal Mines in Monongah, West Virginia.

* November 13, 1909 - 259 miners are killed in a fire at the Cherry Mine in Cherry, Illinois.

* October 22, 1913 - An explosion kills 263 at the Stag Canon No. 2 Coal Mine in Dawson, New Mexico

Keep reading...

April 7th, 2010
06:31 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Confederate History Month Controversy

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Virginia's Republican governor has opened some deep wounds by issuing a proclamation declaring April as Confederate History Month in the state.

That is because the proclamation quietly posted on Gov. Bob McDonnell's web site on Friday did not mention slavery.

That led McDonnell to apologize today for the omission and add the following language to the proclamation:

"It is important for all Virginians to understand that the institution of slavery led to this war and was an evil and inhumane practice that deprived people of their God-given inalienable rights and all Virginians are thankful for its permanent eradication from our borders, and the study of this time period should reflect upon and learn from his painful part of our history..."

McDonnell points out in his press release late this afternoon that "Virginia history undeniably includes the fact that we were the Capitol of the Confederacy, the site of more battlefields than any other state, and the home of the signing of the peace agreement at Appomattox." He adds, "The state... was also the first in the nation to elect an African-American governor, my friend, L. Douglas Wilder."

But Wilder is quoted in various news reports today saying it is "mind-boggling" that McDonnell didn't reference slavery in his original proclamation. He just spoke on CNN's Campbell Brown and said he's satisfied with the governor's addition to the proclamation that addresses slavery.

Others don't see it that way. Virginia State Sen. Henry Marsh III said the mea culpa was not enough. We'll have all the angles tonight on the program. You'll also hear from Brag Bowling. He's the commander of the Virginia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, who advised McDonnell on the proclamation.

McDonnell said the move was made to "promote the study of our history" and "encourage tourism" in advance of the 150th Anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War.

But two previous Democratic administrations in his state refused to so. It was Virginia's Republican Gov. George Allen who first made the proclamation in 1997, with no condemnation of slavery. His successor, Gov. James Gilmore - another Republican - continued the practice the next year, but added anti-slavery language to the decree. Gilmore also later changed the name of the month to "Virginia's Month of Remembrance of the Sacrifices and Honor of All Virginians Who Served in the Civil War."

Tonight we'll also have the latest developments on the mine explosion in West Virginia. A drill pierced the mine where four missing miners are believed to be, but the levels of carbon monoxide, methane and hydrogen are too dangerous to let rescuers in. 25 other miners died in Monday's blast.

Plus, tennis legend Martina Navratilova in her own words sharing her battle against breast cancer. She has a message she wants every women to hear.

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


Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
April 7th, 2010
05:08 PM ET

Breast cancer: Mayo Clinic fact sheet

Tennis great Martina Navratilova was diagnosed with cancer after a routine mammogram revealed a cluster in her left breast.

Tennis great Martina Navratilova was diagnosed with cancer after a routine mammogram revealed a cluster in her left breast.

Mayo Clinic

Breast cancer is cancer that forms in the cells of the breasts. Breast cancer can occur in both men and women, but it's far more common in women.

After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in the United States. But breast cancer rates have fallen in recent years, though doctors aren't certain why. Still, for many women, breast cancer is the disease they fear most.

Public support for breast cancer awareness and research funding has helped improve the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Breast cancer survival rates have increased and the number of deaths has been declining, thanks to earlier detection, new treatments and a better understanding of the disease.

Keep reading...


Filed under: 360° Radar • Health Care • Medical News
April 7th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Raw Data: Political fundraising by party

Center for Responsive Politics


Filed under: Raw Politics
April 7th, 2010
04:51 PM ET

Beat 360° 4/7/10

Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture 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:

Actors Ben Stiller and Steve Carell attend the after party for the premiere of 'Date Night' at Aureole on April 6, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/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.

________________________________________________________________________________ Beat 360° Challenge


Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
April 7th, 2010
04:19 PM ET

State Department downplays rift with Afghanistan president

Karzai: 'ally in a shared struggle.'

Karzai: 'ally in a shared struggle.'

Charley Keyes
CNN Senior Producer

The U.S. State Department Tuesday stiff-armed what it called “outrageous allegations” against Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai and praised him as an ally in a shared struggle.

“We’re committed to this partnership. There is too much at stake, Afghan lives, American lives, coalition partners. There is shared vital interests in this struggle. We share President Karzai’s desire to lead Afghanistan to greater sovereignty and we support the goals he has laid out from his Inauguration speech until today.”

In recent days former United Nations diplomat Peter Galbraith suggested that Mr. Karzai may have been using drugs. Earlier Mr. Karzai accused the United States and other countries of interfering in elections widely believed to have in fact been manipulated by Karzai himself. Another report said Karzai had boasted that he would join the Taliban if U.S. pressure continued.

State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said the U.S. supports none of Galbraith’s allegations which he called “outrageous” and that the U.S. had no concerns about Karzai’s behavior.

“To the extent we have differences with President Karzai we will work through them constructively in the spirit of the long term partnership we have established with Afghanistan,” Crowley said.

And he stepped back from suggestions voiced Monday by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs that the U.S. might take back an invitation to Washington next month. “The visit is still on and there has been no change,” Crowley said.

“He is the president of Afghanistan and he has been significantly engaged with us on a regular basis. The Secretary talked to him Friday … we have no information to support the charges that Peter Galbraith has leveled,” Crowley said.

“Will we see eye to eye on every step – no we don’t,” Crowley said. “and where we have concerns we wil respectfully engage the government, not just the president but others, and work through these in a spirit of respect and partnership.”

And Crowley suggested that some of Karzai’s comments may be aimed at politicians inside Afghanistan, not at Washington.

“We have concerns about some of the things he has said, just as I think that probably president Karzai and others may take issue with some of the things that are said in this country,” Crowley said.

“We do understand that there is a political process that has emerged in Afghanistan. That’s a good thing. And politicians in Afghanistan and around the world sometimes will feel a need to say things of importance to their own populations and that may cause us some discomfort.”


Filed under: Afghanistan • United Nations
April 7th, 2010
04:03 PM ET

Video: Al-Awlaki father speaks

Paula Newton | BIO
CNN International Security Correspondent


Filed under: Middle East • Paula Newton • Yemen
April 7th, 2010
03:39 PM ET

Martina Navratilova has breast cancer

Tennis great Martina Navratilova was diagnosed with cancer after a routine mammogram revealed a cluster in her left breast.

Tennis great Martina Navratilova was diagnosed with cancer after a routine mammogram revealed a cluster in her left breast.

Lorenzo Benet
PEOPLE.com

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova has been diagnosed with breast cancer. The disease was detected early, and the prognosis is said to be excellent.

"I cried," Navratilova, 53, told PEOPLE about the moment in February when a biopsy came back positive after a routine mammogram revealed a cluster in her left breast. "It knocked me on my ass, really. I feel so in control of my life and my body, and then this comes, and it's completely out of my hands."

She was diagnosed with a non-invasive form of breast cancer called ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS, which in her case was confined to the milk ducts and had not spread to the breast tissue. "It was the best-case scenario you could imagine for detecting breast cancer," Dr. Mindy Nagle, a good friend of Navratilova's (and her ob gyn), told PEOPLE.

Keep reading...


Filed under: 360° Radar • Medical News
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