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April 13th, 2011
09:45 PM ET

Raw Politics of $4 Trillion: Join the Live Chat

Tonight we have the Raw Politics of President Obama's proposal to cut the deficit by $4 trillion dollars over 12 years. The GOP is blasting the plan.   LensCrafters takes issue with Rep. Michele Bachmann's message about Planned Parenthood.  Plus, inside the search for a possible serial killer on Long Island, New York. Eight sets of human remains have been found.

Want more details on what 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
April 13th, 2011
09:37 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Mission Impossible in Libya?

Delegates from Arab and African nations, as well as NATO, met at a summit in Qatar on Wednesday.

Delegates from Arab and African nations, as well as NATO, met at a summit in Qatar on Wednesday.

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight we're Keeping Them Honest, with questions about the mission in Libya.

Last month President Obama said the United States "has done what we said we would do" when handing over the mission to NATO.

But is NATO doing enough?

Gadhafi forces continue to pound cities and opposition forces are calling for more help.

"We're not seeing really a great effort to protect civilians since NATO took over the operation," said Mahmoud Shammam, a spokesman for the opposition.

Shammam spoke at a summit in Qatar today where delegates from Arab and African Nations and NATO discussed the fight for Libya.

We'll dig deeper with CNN's Ben Wedeman in Benghazi, retired Army General Mark Kimmitt and Jill Dougherty at the U.S. State Department.

We also have the Raw Politics of President Obama's big speech today outlining a plan to fix the deficit by $4 trillion over 12 years.

"It's about the kind of future we want," Pres. Obama told the crowd at George Washington University.

Republicans are blasting the White House proposal.

"I'm very disappointed in the president," House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said this afternoon.

"The president's policies are committing us and our children to a diminished future," he added.

Former White House Chief of Staff for President G.W. Bush will join us, along with Democratic Strategist Paul Begala.

And we'll have more on the effort to help Japan's dogs. A lot of you are wondering what's being done to help those survivors of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. We've shown you video of the four-legged survivors left stranded in the radiation zone. Now see what's being done to make sure they aren't left to die.

Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET on CNN.


Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
April 13th, 2011
07:08 PM ET

Beat 360° 4/13/11

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 meets with bipartisan House and Senate leadership on fiscal policy including House Speaker John Boehner, R-OH, April 13, 2011 in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC. (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Update: Beat 360° Winners:

Staff
Steve Brusk
“By the way, John. It’s $12 for the coffee. Sweet and Low’s extra."


Viewer

San
“See, we CAN pretend to get along!"

___________________________________________________________________________Beat 360° Challenge


Filed under: Beat 360°
April 13th, 2011
07:05 PM ET

Aerial imaging to be used in search for more Long Island remains

CNN Wire Staff

New York (CNN) - Aircraft soon to be flying over a Long Island, New York, beach will shoot high-resolution photographs of the area where the investigation into a report of a missing woman has led to the remains of at least eight people.

Airplanes and helicopters will begin circling the barrier island beach later this week as federal, state and local search efforts continue, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer told reporters on Wednesday.

"The high-resolution technology should be able to provide a detailed representation of the area and will extend through Nassau County," Dormer said. "We're hoping the technology will help identify skeletal remains that may still be out there."

The aerial imagery will supplement police-dog search units, which expected to resume searching later this week. Meanwhile, diver teams are already scouring the waterways on the north side of the barrier island.

Eight different sets of confirmed human remains have been found in Suffolk County, Long Island, since December, in what police say could be the work of a serial killer or killers.

Killings scare some in beach towns

Additional remains - including a human skull - were uncovered earlier this week.

Full story


Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
April 13th, 2011
07:00 PM ET

U.S. jets have struck at Libyan targets, even after NATO takeover

Barbara Starr and Adam Levine
CNN

Washington (CNN) - U.S. fighter jets have been flying bombing and strike missions against Libyan air defenses even after control of the operation was handed over to NATO, Pentagon spokesman Col. David Lapan said Wednesday.

Public comments by U.S. officials since the handover had previously indicated that the U.S. mission had largely been limited to support roles, such as refueling and electronic jamming.

The U.S. aircraft assigned to NATO for these roles include six F-16 fighter jets and five EA-18 jets, which are equipped to jam electronic signals but also are capable of firing missiles. They have flown 97 sorties since April 4, and on three occasions U.S. aircraft fired ordnance, according to data provided by the Pentagon.

The revelation comes as divisions have arisen within NATO over the mission. British Foreign Secretary William Hague and French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe both called Tuesday for NATO to get more aggressive in Libya, and Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, deputy chairman of the Libyan National Transitional Council, urged the international community to implement a U.N. Security Council resolution that calls for "all necessary measures to protect civilians under threat of attack."

At the time of the mission handover to NATO control, U.S. officials, including President Barack Obama, said the American input would be more support than kinetic.

Full story


Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
April 13th, 2011
06:45 PM ET

Obama calls for $4 trillion in deficit reduction over 12 years

Alan Silverleib and Tom Cohen
CNN

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama unveiled his long-awaited deficit reduction plan Wednesday, calling for a mix of spending reductions and tax hikes that the White House claims would cut federal deficits by $4 trillion over the next 12 years without gutting popular programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

Obama's plan includes a repeal of the Bush-era tax cuts on families making more than $250,000 annually - something sought by Democrats but strongly opposed by Republicans. The president also called for the creation of a "debt fail-safe" trigger that would impose automatic across-the-board spending cuts and tax changes in coming years if annual deficits are on track to exceed 2.8% of the nation's gross domestic product.

The president claimed that by building on or adjusting the health care reform bill passed last year, $480 billion would be saved by 2023, followed by an additional $1 trillion in the following decade. For example, he proposed tightly constraining the growth in Medicare costs starting in 2018.

"Doing nothing on the deficit is just not an option," Obama said in the speech at George Washington University, adding that "our debt has grown so large that we could do real damage to the economy if we don't begin a process now to get our fiscal house in order."

Obama's approach seeks to carve out a political middle ground between conservatives - who are pushing for deficit reduction based solely on spending cuts and expected economic growth - and liberals, who are generally resisting entitlement reform and seeking higher corporate and personal taxes.

Full story

April 13th, 2011
06:15 PM ET

Pet rescuers brave Fukushima danger zone

Kyung Lah and Whitney Hurst
CNN

Tokyo (CNN) - The image was horrific: A whimpering beagle, ribs showing through its fur, tethered to a post inside the no-go zone around the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

The scene was captured by freelance journalists who drove through towns within a few kilometers of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and who left food for the animal. But animal rescue activists who have braved the exclusion zone around the plant say there many others like it.

"I understand the nuclear danger and everything, but they're just being left to starve to death, basically," said Isabella Gallaon-Aoki of Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support.

Gallaon-Aoki and others like her have been slipping into the 20-km radius around Fukushima Daiichi to retrieve pets and feed livestock left behind when their owners were forced to evacuate. Pet owners have sent her group their addresses, accompanied by pleas to rescue their animals, left behind when they fled for what was supposed to be a short time.

Full story


Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
April 13th, 2011
05:15 PM ET

Biden's catnap during Obama's speech

Shawna Shepherd
CNN White House Producer

WASHINGTON (CNN) – It's not easy living under the glare of the spotlight, especially when you are caught on camera drifting to sleep while your boss delivers a major speech. That's what happened to Vice President Biden, who appears to nod off while President Obama is presenting his deficit reduction plan at George Washington University Wednesday afternoon.

Full story on The 1600 Report


Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
April 13th, 2011
04:34 PM ET

Letters to the President: #814 'Oprah? Oh no'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: President Obama and the first lady are going on Oprah - which is strange, because I’m pretty sure Oprah is some kind of first lady herself.

Dear Mr. President,

Oh please, you’re going on Oprah? After all your carping about “the rich” and how they have too much influence, and they enjoy too many privileges, (or whatever it is that you say about them,) here you go playing house party with one of the wealthiest, most powerful women in the world.

What, do you think that somehow her ratings will suffer if you and the first lady don’t get on board? Not likely. It can’t be that you need to be seen with Lady O for re-election purposes; I mean, for crying out loud, you’re President of the United States. All you have to do any day is say that you want to talk to the nation, and Bob’s-your-uncle the cameras start warming up on channels all up and down the dial.

Why not, in the spirit of your whole “let’s help those who are struggling” routine, pick some obscure little talk show host and join him or her for a chat? They would certainly appreciate it. You would look more as if you really want to connect with ordinary folks. Talk about spreading the wealth. It’s a win-win!
FULL POST

April 13th, 2011
01:32 AM ET

The RidicuList: People paying Snooki

Editor's note: Anderson Cooper welcomes a whole new group of people to Club RidicuList.

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