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October 20th, 2010
11:59 PM ET

Yoko Ono recounts John Lennon on his 70th birthday anniversary

CNN Wire Staff

Editor's note: Watch more of Anderson Cooper's exclusive interview with Yoko Ono Friday night on AC360° beginning at 10 pm ET.

(CNN) - John Lennon would have turned 70 years old this month, and were the late Beatle alive today, he might be sitting in a rocking chair in Cornwall, England, with wife Yoko Ono waiting for a postcard from their son, Sean, Ono said in an exclusive interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper.

But eventually his spirit for activism would have roused him out of his retirement rocker, Ono added.

"I'm sure that, if he got to be 70, then he would have forgotten all of that: No, we have to do something now. And I'm sure this is when he would have been totally activist," Ono said. The wide-ranging three-part interview continues with the second installment on Cooper's "AC360" Wednesday night.

Video: Watch Part 2 of the interview

In the interview, Ono spoke about being unfairly blamed for the breakup of the Beatles and how she can't forgive Mark David Chapman, the maniacal fan who fatally shot Lennon in 1980.

She also strolled with Cooper through Central Park's Strawberry Fields, dedicated to Lennon and named after the song "Strawberry Fields Forever," written by Lennon and fellow Beatle Paul McCartney.

Lovers of Lennon's music should celebrate his 70th birthday anniversary, which occurred October 9, by remembering his expansive spirit, Ono said.

Full story


Filed under: 360º Follow • Big Interview
October 20th, 2010
09:44 PM ET

Controlling the Political Message: Join the Live Chat

Tonight on 360°, they want your vote but they don't want the accountability that comes with earning your trust. Politicians dodging reporters. One even had his security team put a reporter in handcuffs. We're keeping them honest. Plus, a one-on-one exclusive interview with Yoko Ono. She talks about the day John Lennon was killed and the man convicted of the murder.

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
October 20th, 2010
06:38 PM ET

Beat 360° 10/20/10

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:

A woman signs a giant banner printed with the Preamble to the United States Constitution during a demonstration against the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling at the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall October 20, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla/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:

Staff
Eli Lazar
“Ms O’Donnell, I circled the Amendment for you.”


Viewer

Wyatt Knight, NY
“Ironically, the Constitution is too big to fail.”

___________________________________________________________________________Beat 360° Challenge


Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
October 20th, 2010
05:06 PM ET

NAACP goes after Tea Party again

CNN Political Unit

(CNN) – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People released a new study Wednesday that claims to tie members of the Tea Party to white supremacist groups, anti-immigration organizations, anti-semitic groups and independent militias.

The study, conducted by the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights analyzed the membership of six Tea Party organizations in the country.

According to the NAACP, five of the six Tea Party groups are headed by "birthers," people who believe President Obama is not a citizen of the United States.

The study looked at Tea Party literature as well as their websites and information about those associated with the Tea Party movement to analyze their ties. The report claims that Tea Party events are now forums for extremists "hoping to push these (white) protesters toward a more self-conscious and ideological white supremacy."

"These groups and individuals are out there, and we ignore them at our own peril," Ben Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP said in a statement. "They are speaking at Tea Part events, recruiting at rallies… the danger is not that the majority of Tea Party members share their views, but that left unchecked, these extremists might indirectly influence the direction of the Tea Party and therefore the direction of our country."

Amy Kremer, Chairman of the Tea Party Express responded to the report.

"Here we are two weeks out from a historic midterm election and they're doing this to attack us and change the message," Kremer said. "This is ridiculous, that's not what this movement is about. We're focused on the issues and we're going to continue to work to get conservatives elected."

Full story on the CNN Political Ticker


Filed under: 360° Radar
October 20th, 2010
02:02 PM ET
October 20th, 2010
12:36 PM ET

Letters to the President: #639 'Preparing for the morning after'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: The much anticipated midterm elections are bearing down on us now like a grizzly that sniffs a Snickers in your backpack. So I have only a few letter writing days left before the big event. I mean, it’s not like I’ll stop at that point, but still…

Dear Mr. President,

Two weeks from today you’ll be looking at the big board and counting up the seats following the big midterm vote, and no doubt you are already calculating what you’ll say. If your Democrats escape with relatively little damage or none at all (hey, it could happen….well, ok, probably not...) your task is easy. You stand up in front of the TV cameras and say, “That was interesting. Now, what’s for lunch?”

But if they get slammed to the turf as so many of the political pundits are predicting, then I think you may need to choose your words more carefully. Fortunately, you have me to help with that, and I’ve already given it some thought.

Here’s what I have in mind:
FULL POST

October 20th, 2010
12:00 PM ET

Judge strikes some potential jurors in Levy murder trial

Chandra Levy disappeared nine years ago. Her remains were found in a park more than a year later.

Chandra Levy disappeared nine years ago. Her remains were found in a park more than a year later.

Paul Courson
CNN

Washington (CNN) - The judge in the Chandra Levy murder trial struck several potential jurors Wednesday because of their answers on a jury questionnaire.

The potential jurors are being considered to hear the case of Ingmar Guandique, who's charged in Levy's 2001 murder.

The suspect, a reputed member of the Salvadoran gang Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, was led into the courtroom in handcuffs. As on Monday, when the jury pool was initially called up, Guandique again wore a turtleneck shirt beneath a gray suit jacket. The high collar is thought to be a way to hide tattoos that could be interpreted as a gang affiliation.

Levy's disappearance nine years ago received widespread publicity because of her relationship with a sitting congressman. The revelation contributed to the political downfall of Rep. Gary Condit, who now is on the list of those who may be called to the witness stand. The California congressman lost in a 2002 Democratic primary and left at the end of his term.

Police said Condit was never a suspect in the case, although he was questioned intensively as investigators tried to find Levy, who vanished after a going-away party at the end of her federal internship at the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

Her remains were found more than a year later in a wooded area of Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C.

Authorities believe Guandique attacked Levy, 24, as she jogged in the park, allegedly killing her when she began to scream.

Full story


Filed under: 360° Radar
October 20th, 2010
10:59 AM ET

U.S. expected to appeal order lifting 'don't ask, don't tell' policy

Adam Levine
CNN

Washington (CNN) - The Obama administration is expected to appeal a federal judge's order barring the military from enforcing its ban on gays and lesbians serving openly.

Any government challenge would go before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, California.

Late Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips in California denied the government's request for an emergency stay of her order barring the military from expelling openly gay service members.

The ruling came as the Pentagon has begun advising recruiting commands that they can accept openly gay and lesbian recruit candidates, according to a Pentagon spokeswoman.

The guidance from the Personnel and Readiness office was sent to recruiting commands on Friday, according to spokeswoman Cynthia Smith.

The recruiters were told that if a candidate admits he or she is openly gay, and qualify under normal recruiting guidelines, their application can be processed. Recruiters are not allowed to ask candidates if they are gay as part of the application process.

The notice also reminded recruiters that they have to "manage expectations" of applicants by informing them that a reversal of the court decision might occur, whereby the "don't ask, don't tell" policy could be reinstated, Smith said.

Groups representing gays and lesbians have warned against coming out to the military because the policy is still being appealed in courts.

Full story


Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Gay & Lesbian Issues
October 20th, 2010
10:45 AM ET
October 20th, 2010
10:30 AM ET
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