We have breaking news out of North Carolina where new subpoenas are issued in the investigation of former presidential candidate John Edwards. Plus, the student body president at the University of Michigan breaks his silence. Hear what Chris Armstrong has to say about the attacks by the state's assistant district attorney. Anderson also talks with talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw on bullying.
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Filed under: Live Blog
Tonight in an exclusive 360° interview, the openly gay student body president at the University of Michigan whose been attacked by the state's Assistant Attorney General breaks his silence.
Hear what Chris Armstrong has to say about the blog written by Andrew Shirvell. In postings the assistant A.G., who is an alum of the university, claims Armstrong has a "radical homosexual agenda."
Shirvell has taken a voluntary leave of absence from his state job, according to the Michigan A.G.'s office. Meanwhile, Armstrong is seeking an order of protection against Shirvell.
We've talked with Shirvell and his boss, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, who say the blog is covered under the first amendment as free speech. Though, Cox did admit Shirvell's actions didn't amount to cyberbullying. Still, Cox said there are no laws against cyberbullying in Michigan. Tonight, don't miss what Armstrong has to say about the controversy that’s gained national attention.
There's also breaking news out of North Carolina where a federal grand jury in Raleigh has issued a "sizable number of subpoenas" in its investigation of former presidential candidate John Edwards. That information is coming from Edwards' attorney. We'll bring you the latest.
Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET.
AC360° Digital Producer
New York (CNN) – In an exclusive interview that will air Wednesday on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360°, college student Chris Armstrong said the recent rash of headlines about gay teens who have committed suicide has motivated him to break his silence about his own experience of being targeted online.
For months, Armstrong has been the subject of the blog “Chris Armstrong Watch” which is published by Andrew Shirvell, a lawyer in the Michigan attorney general’s office; Shirvell and Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox have both maintained that the blog is a personal project of Shirvell’s done during non-work hours and without any official resources.
Armstrong, a college senior, is University of Michigan’s first openly gay student body president, and Shirvell is an alum of the university who has taken issue with what Shirvell calls Armstrong’s “radical homosexual agenda.”
After his blog garnered national media attention in the past week, Shirvell placed it behind a privacy firewall, making it only available to invited readers. The lawyer, who is an assistant Michigan attorney general, has also taken a voluntary leave of absence from his state job, according to the Michigan AG’s office. Shirvell has also been barred from University of Michigan’s campus, and Armstrong is seeking a personal protection order against Shirvell.
In his first national interview about the situation, the college student told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he did not ask to be the subject of Shirvell’s attention on- and offline. But Armstrong said he has decided to use the spotlight to try to reach other gay teens who may be going through something similar.
“Given what’s happened in the past week, and given the suicides that have happened in the past few weeks, it’s been, it’s been – it’s hard not to say something,” Armstrong explained.
(CNN) - A national Christian organization will stop sponsoring an annual event that encourages school students to "counter the promotion of homosexual behavior" because the event has become too divisive and confrontational, the group's president told CNN on Wednesday.
"All the recent attention to bullying helped us realize that we need to equip kids to live out biblical tolerance and grace while treating their neighbors as they'd like to be treated, whether they agree with them or not," said Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International, the group that sponsored the event this year.
Called the Day of Truth, the annual April event has been pushed by influential conservative Christian groups as a way to counter to the annual Day of Silence, an event promoted by gay rights advocates to highlight threats against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.
The Day of Truth, held on the same day as the Day of Silence, "was established to counter the promotion of homosexual behavior and to express an opposing viewpoint from a Christian perspective," according to a manual for this year's event published by Exodus International.
CNN Wire Staff
(CNN) - Michigan Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell - who for nearly six months has blogged about an openly gay college student - has taken a voluntary leave of absence, the state's attorney general's office confirmed to CNN Friday.
The office does not know the length of Shirvell's leave, but says that it will hold a disciplinary hearing upon his return.
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:
President Barack Obama pauses after his presidential seal fell off his podium, during his address to the 2010 Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit, on October 5, 2010 in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Leslie E. Kossoff-Pool/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.
Update: Beat 360° Winners:
“Well, hello, my approval ratings.”
Dwight Thistle, Trenton, Ontario, Canada
"Damn Budget Cuts"
(CNN) - A tide of toxic red mud burst through the walls of a giant storage reservoir at the Ajkai Timfoldgyar alumina refinery on the outskirts of Akja, a small town in the county of Veszprem, Hungary on Monday, October 4.
So far, four people are known to have been killed by the torrent, six people are missing and more than 120 people have been injured by the sludge which inundated the villages of Kolontar, Devecser and Somlovasarhely, around 150 kilometers southwest of the capital, Budapest.
According to Zoltan Illes, Hungary's Environmental Affairs State Secretary, around one million cubic meters of sludge has leaked from the reservoir covering over 40 square kilometers of land.
Illes described the flood as Hungary's worst chemical accident and an "ecological catastrophe."
Why did the reservoir wall break?
Filed under: 360° Radar
Programming Note: CNN Heroes received more than ten thousand nominations from 100 countries. A Blue Ribbon Panel selected the Top 10 CNN Heroes for the year. Voting for the CNN Hero of the Year continues through November 18th (6am ET) at CNNHeroes.com
Editor's Note: With her weight-loss challenge, Shape Up Vicksburg, Linda Fondren is helping her Mississippi hometown banish the bulge. Through the group’s free fitness activities and nutrition classes, residents have lost nearly 15,000 pounds to date.
When I answered the phone and heard “This is CNN”, I thought ‘Oh! A follow-up of how things are going.’ It did not cross my overloaded mind about being a CNN Top Ten Hero.
But, there was something different the caller’s voice. My eyes watered first, as I clutched the phone a little tighter. She explained something about the Blue Ribbon Panel and said…”selected as one of the top ten”. I had to contain my emotions as my office has a glass door so members of the gym can see me … I turned my chair away from the glass door and looked at the blue sky. I was overjoyed, my heart sang with moments of ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you!’ It was going pitter-pat, pitter-pat, but I know it’s OK, because I work out!
I feel like someone is paying attention and am extremely honored… I feel like a gift has been given and I can really use it to help others who are struggling.
Filed under: CNN Heroes
CNN Political Unit
(CNN) – Sarah Palin's husband, Todd, explained on Wednesday a fiery e-mail he sent to Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller last month after the GOP nominee made an appearance on a Sunday morning political talk show.
The e-mail was in response to an appearance by Miller on Fox News Sunday where he stopped short of endorsing Sarah Palin when asked if she was qualified to be president.
In his original e-mail to Miller, Todd Palin copied the treasurer of his wife's PAC and told him to "hold off on any [fundraising] letter for Joe. Sarah put her ass on the line for Joe and yet he can't answer a simple question, 'is Sarah Palin qualified to be president?'"
Filed under: 360° Radar
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