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November 29th, 2010
09:51 PM ET

The Birthers are Back: Join the Live Chat

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a case about President Obama's citizenship, but a Texas lawmaker isn't listening. He has a new bill based on birther doubts about where Mr. Obama was born. How does he reconcile his birther beliefs against the facts? We're keeping him honest. Plus, tonight's other headlines.

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
November 29th, 2010
05:22 PM ET

Beat 360° 11/29/10

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:

First lady Michelle Obama smells the Douglas fir as her daughters Sasha, right, and Malia, second right, look on as the first family receives the White House Christmas Tree for 2010, on November 26, 2010 at the White House in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Rod Lamkey/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
Ben Finley
"The First Lady inspects the Christmas tree for any Wikileak bugs."


Viewer

John Farley, NYC
"Organic dietary fiber, it's part of my healthy food campaign. And you're going to like it."

___________________________________________________________________________Beat 360° Challenge


Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
November 29th, 2010
04:44 PM ET

Portland mayor to revisit opting out of FBI's terrorism task force

Mohamed Osman Mohamud is a naturalized U.S. citizen from Somalia..
Mohamed Osman Mohamud is a naturalized U.S. citizen from Somalia..

CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - Three days after the arrest of a suspected terrorist in Portland, Oregon, Mayor Sam Adams is rethinking a decision he made five years ago not to participate in the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force, according to officials.

Apparently the mayor was so impressed with how well they city's police worked with the FBI to capture Mohamed Osman Mohamud, he has requested a meeting with federal officials to discuss the matter, said communications director Roy Kaufmann.

The 19-year-old was arrested Friday after he attempted to detonate what he thought was a vehicle bomb near a tree-lighting ceremony in Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square, law enforcement officials said.

Kaufmann said concerns over civil rights issues led to Adams' decision not to become a member of the regional joint task force, which is composed of representatives from local, state and federal agencies.

"It's a very precarious battle between civil rights and security," said Kaufmann, "and we want to make sure that people's civil rights are not violated."

New leadership in the Justice Department and the White House has been cited as a reason for the mayor wanting to revisit his decision, Kaufmann said.

Full story


Filed under: 360° Radar • Terrorism
November 29th, 2010
04:15 PM ET

Leaks offer less-than-flattering look at some world leaders

Xuan Thai
CNN White House Producer

Washington (CNN) - Among the volumes of diplomatic communications released by WikiLeaks are frank observations about the character of world leaders, their quirks and their weaknesses.

In an initial review of the documents turns up a number of observations from U.S. staffers that provide unusual insight into foreign leaders' thinking and behavior, from "voluptuous" companions to attention-seeking personalities.

Full story


Filed under: 360° Radar
November 29th, 2010
03:15 PM ET
November 29th, 2010
12:00 PM ET

Poll: Majority support gays serving openly in military

Paul Steinhauser
CNN Deputy Political Director

Washington (CNN) – A national poll released Monday indicates that a majority of Americans say they favor allowing gays to serve openly in the armed forces.

The Pew survey's release comes one day before the Pentagon is expected to release a report on how military personnel feel about the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which bans openly gay troops for serving in the armed forces.

According to the poll, 58 percent of the public approves of allowing homosexuals to serve openly, with 27 percent saying they are opposed. Pew surveys indicate little change over the past five years, but the 31-point margin in favor of allowing gays to serve is much larger than than the seven-point margin in Pew polls from the summer of 1994, when President Bill Clinton put the controversial policy in place.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll conducted earlier in November indicated that more than seven in 10 Americans said that people who are openly gay or lesbian should be allowed to serve in the military, with 23 percent opposed.

Full story on the CNN Political Ticker


Filed under: 360° Radar • Gay & Lesbian Issues
November 29th, 2010
11:40 AM ET

Justices turn aside another challenge over Obama's citizenship

The Supreme Court rejects latest appeal without comment.
The Supreme Court rejects latest appeal without comment.

Bill Mears
CNN Supreme Court Producer

Washington (CNN) - The Supreme Court has again cast aside an appeal that raised doubts about President Barack Obama's U.S. citizenship, a grass-roots legal issue that has gained little legal or political footing, but continues to persist in the courts.

The justices without comment Monday rejected a challenge from Charles Kerchner Jr., a Pennsylvania man who sought a trial in federal court forcing the president to produce documents regarding his birth and citizenship.

Kerchner's attorney, Mario Apuzzo, had argued in a petition with the Supreme Court that Obama did not fit the definition of a "natural-born citizen" required for the nation's highest office, as defined by Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution.

Full story


Filed under: 360° Radar
November 29th, 2010
11:15 AM ET

Letters to the President: #679 'Growing older … and up'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: The president took a little smash mouth from a basketball opponent over the holiday. And as if that weren’t bad enough, now he has to receive another letter from me!

Dear Mr. President,

Sorry to hear about the elbow you caught in your basketball game. Stitches are no fun, as I know all too well from my failed attempt to jump onto that desk at work. So if your reflexes are slowing down a bit, maybe you should take up running with me. Ha! Just kidding. But I did run about 16 miles over the long holiday weekend. Enjoyed the cool air, the leaves, the woods around my house. That’s a lot more fun than bumping around with a bunch of sweaty guys. But maybe that’s just me.

It is interesting (and our wives would probably say a tad ridiculous) the degree to which men, as they grow older, act as if they are growing younger. There is some good in this, of course. Standing up to your aches and pains, pushing yourself as your natural agility, flexibility and strength fade is a fine way to keep yourself mentally strong. It’s good for your heart, your lungs, and your overall outlook. The bad side, however, is that sometimes we delude ourselves. We may slow the effects of aging, but we can’t stop the process.

Aging well, in both body and mind, is something that we do not respect nearly enough these days. Properly done, it should bring a certain grace, confidence, and conservation of energy with it. Gone are the self-conscious, herky-jerky movements of our overly enthusiastic 20’s, and in their place should be the elegant, self-assured symphony of surety. Our pump fake should work because we’ve learned how to sell it. Our drive to the net should be like a magic trick. Where once we relied on quickness and power, now we count on cunning, calculation, calm, and a sort of sporting sleight of hand.
FULL POST

November 29th, 2010
11:05 AM ET
November 29th, 2010
11:00 AM ET

McCain says 'don't ask, don't tell' is working

Gabriella Schwarz
CNN

(CNN) – Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain criticized the Obama administration's decision to try to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that prevents gay service members from serving openly in the military, saying Sunday that "the system is working."

"The military is at its highest point in recruitment, in retention, in professionalism, in capability," McCain said on CNN's "State of the Union." "So to somehow allege that this policy has been damaging the military is simply false."

Instead, McCain called the attempt at repeal "a political promise made by an inexperienced president or candidate for president of the United States."

His comments come as two top American defense officials are scheduled to head to Capitol Hill this week to discuss a new Pentagon report gauging the effects of repealing the policy.

McCain, who serves as the ranking Republican member of the Senate Armed Services Committee was critical of the report.

Full story on the CNN Political Ticker


Filed under: 360° Radar • Gay & Lesbian Issues • John McCain