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August 11th, 2010
09:46 PM ET

Ground Zero Mosque Controversy: Join the Live Chat

A mosque planned just two blocks from the World Trade Center site. Protesters say don't build it near hallowed ground. But, as you'll see, there's growing pressure, all across the country, not to build any mosque, anywhere. Plus, Steven Slater, the most famous former flight attendant on the planet. He's speaking out about his JetBlue breakdown

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
August 11th, 2010
08:57 PM ET

Evening Buzz: 'Terror Babies' Taking Aim at U.S.?

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight on 360°, we dig deeper into one of the most explosive claims being made in the battle over immigration. It's what we reported last night about how some Texas Republican lawmakers are claiming that illegal immigrants are having 'terror babies.'

Here's the accusation: Children born on U.S. soil to illegal immigrants, who are granted U.S. citizenship under the 14th amendment, are taken back to their home countries to be raised as terrorists. Then decades later the children, now adults, could be sent back to attack the U.S.

This controversial claim is linked to Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert.

"I was talking to a retired FBI agent, who said that one of the things they were looking at were terrorist cells overseas who had figured out how to game our system, and it appeared they would have young women, who became pregnant, who would get them into the United States to have a baby," Gohmert said on the House floor on June 24. "Then they could return, where they could be raised and coddled as future terrorists. And then, they could return, 20 or 30 years in the future because they realize how stupid we are being in this country," he added.

Gohmert mentioned a retired FBI agent as his source. Then later he changed his story to say his source was actually a terrorist grandmother.

Then last night on 360°, another Texas lawmaker, Debbie Riddle, came on the program. The Republican member of the Texas State Legislature said her office is getting information on the so-called terror babies from former FBI officials. We called the FBI today to see what they thought of these claims. We'll have that for you tonight.

We also have a remarkable report from 360's Gary Tuchman. He has an up close look at the birth tourism movement. He'll introduce us to a Mexican woman who came to Texas on a tourist visa while pregnant, specifically to give birth to a U.S. citizen.

"I wanted him to have duel citizenship, so one day, if he moves to the United States he will not have any problems," she told Gary about her now 3-year-old son.

We'll also take you inside the hunt for a serial killer who's accused of stabbing to death five people and wounding 15 others. He may be linked to attacks in three states and authorities say he appears to be choosing his victims by the color of their skin. Investigators say the man often pretends to need help before stabbing his victims.

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


Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
August 11th, 2010
05:56 PM ET

FBI: 'Grandad Bandit' caught

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A suspected serial bank robber dubbed the “granddad bandit” was arrested in Louisiana Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.

FBI Special Agent Sheila Thorne told CNN Michael Francis Mara, 53, was captured at his home in Baton Rouge. According to Thorne, the FBI went to the residence to execute an arrest warrant when Mara retreated into the house. “After 6 hours he came out and was placed under arrest,” she said.

Mara has been charged with one count of bank robbery and is being held pending an identity, detention and removal hearing, Thorne said.

The “granddad bandit” was wanted for at least 25 bank heists in 13 states since 2008, the FBI said in a statement. He was given the name because he appeared elderly, Thorne told CNN.

In recent weeks, the FBI launched a billboard campaign featuring surveillance pictures of the granddad bandit in the hopes that he would be identified.

Follow the Falcon File on Twitter @FalconCNN


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
August 11th, 2010
05:13 PM ET
August 11th, 2010
04:41 PM ET

Kids on Race: Doll Study revisited

AC360°

Program Note: In May, some parents were shocked by what their children really thought about race. So now, what are they doing about it? All this week, “AC360°” revisits the doll study to see how children view race. Don’t miss “Black or White, Kids on Race,” all this week at 10 p.m. ET on CNN.

Kids on Race Part 1

Kids on Race Part 2

AC360° Results
The goal of the CNN Study was to determine the status of children’s racial beliefs,
attitudes and preferences as well as skin tones biases at two different developmental periods. Read our findings here.


1947 Original Doll Test

Read the original Doll Study here


Filed under: 360° Radar • Race in America
August 11th, 2010
04:31 PM ET

Chicago girl jumping rope shot dead

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Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

An 8-year-old girl, in Chicago, who was jumping rope with a playmate was shot to death by unknown gunmen who opened fire from their bicycles, authorities said. The other girl, who is 7, was grazed in the head by a bullet and is listed in fair condition at a local hospital, police said. Published reports identified the injured girl as the victim’s cousin.

The incident happened Tuesday shortly before 8pm in the south side of the city, investigators said. Officer Robert Perez, a spokesman for the Chicago Police, told CNN two African-American men riding on bikes approached the girls who were jumping rope on the porch of a home.

“We don’t know who or what the target was,” Perez told CNN, “that hasn’t been determined.” Police said they did not know if the shooting was gang related. Detectives “are looking at all possible leads and they do not have anyone arrested for the incident and they are still interviewing witnesses,” Perez said.

The girl who was killed was in the 3rd grade at Kohn Elementary School, said Chicago schools spokeswoman Monique Bond.

The shooting comes just two days after the Chicago Police announced that murders were down 1.5% in July after a 4-month increase.

Follow the Falcon File on Twitter @FalconCNN


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
August 11th, 2010
04:30 PM ET

Reporter's Notebook: How common is 'Birth Tourism'?

Gary Tuchman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution declares in part that "all persons born...in the United States..are citizens of the United States."

That is precisely why a Mexican mother I just met came to the U.S. while pregnant. Lupita did not want to use her last name, but told me she used a tourist visa to come to the U.S. in order to give birth to her son who is now 3 years old.

Hector is now a dual citizen of Mexico and the U.S. His parents remain only Mexican citizens. The whole family remains in Mexico, but Lupita wants her son to have options to live in the United States some day if he so chooses.

Also, she acknowledges that when he is an adult, Hector can help his parents become U.S. citizens.

There is a movement underway by some political leaders to make changes to the 14th Amendment as part of a broader plan to implement immigration reform. But Lupita believes that is unfair. She says all the world's children deserve the same treatment in life.

How common is "birth tourism?" Apparently, quite common. In the year Hector was born in Fort Worth, Texas, the state reported at least 60,000 births to undocumented mothers. And amazingly, in the public hospital where Hector was born, officials tell us they estimate 70 percent of their births are to undocumented mothers. Not all those mothers come to the U.S. specifically to have their children; but all the children have something in common. They are all U.S. citizens.


Filed under: Gary Tuchman • Immigration
August 11th, 2010
04:28 PM ET

Video: 'Why do you want that skin color?'

Program Note: In May, some parents were shocked by what their children really thought about race. So now, what are they doing about it? All this week, “AC360°” revisits the doll study to see how children view race. Don’t miss “Black or White, Kids on Race,” all this week at 10 p.m. ET on CNN.


Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Race in America
August 11th, 2010
01:34 PM ET

GOP victories this fall not guaranteed

Ed Rollins
CNN Senior Political Contributor

Rollins says Republican victories in midterms are not assured
Rollins says Republican victories in midterms are not assured

Trying to read the tea leaves and predict elections this year is a gut-wrenching exercise in futility. And my party's march to Election Day glory is having a lot of bumps along the way.

The obvious thing that repeats itself over and over in polls and primary election is the public is fed up with the status quo and is not going to support Washington-endorsed candidates or incumbents automatically.

The big exception to that statement was the Colorado Senate primary Tuesday, which finally gave President Obama and the Democrat establishment a primary victory, with appointed Sen. Michael Bennet easily beating former Colorado House Speaker and Bill Clinton-endorsed candidate Andrew Romanoff.

The Republican establishment didn't do so well in Colorado with its favored candidate, former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton, who was beaten by Tea Party-endorsed conservative candidate Ken Buck, a local prosecutor.

Keep Reading...


Filed under: Ed Rollins • Opinion
August 11th, 2010
01:32 PM ET

U.S. Marshals: Arizona escapee, accomplice changed appearances

CNN Wire Staff

John Charles McCluskey is now believed to have black hair and a black beard, the U.S. Marshals Service says.
John Charles McCluskey is now believed to have black hair and a black beard, the U.S. Marshals Service says.

An escaped Arizona convict and a woman wanted as an accomplice have changed their appearance in recent days, according to the U.S. Marshals office.

John Charles McCluskey is now believed to have black hair and a black beard, while Casslyn Mae Welch has dyed her hair blonde, according to a bulletin from the Marshals office Wednesday.

New photo composites are being prepared to help in the search, it said,

The search for the couple is focused on western Montana and southwest Canada, it said.

Keep Reading...


Filed under: Crime
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