Filmmaker Sean McAllister tells Anderson Cooper he was arrested by Syrian authorities and heard others tortured.
There's never a dull moment around here, but throw costumes and competition into the mix and the newsroom is downright hilarious. The Halloween contest was a first for our staff, but definitely not the last time we'll be shamelessly chasing after an extra vacation day and a bucket of chocolate. Go behind the scenes for a glimpse of why this TV family keeps things interesting. Happy Halloween from Anderson Cooper and AC360°!
Herman Cain is denying any knowledge of a settlement following allegations of sexual harassment made by two women. Anderson Cooper is Keeping Them Honest.
(CNN) - Robin Lim is helping thousands of low-income women in Indonesia have a healthy pregnancy and birth.
Lim is a midwife and founder of the Yayasan Bumi Sehat (Healthy Mother Earth Foundation) health clinics, which offer free prenatal care, birthing services and medical aid to anyone who needs it. She and her team have been working to combat the country's high maternal and infant mortality rates since 2003.
CNN asked Lim for her thoughts on being chosen as one of the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2011.
CNN: Where were you when you got the call that you'd been selected as a top 10 CNN Hero?
Robin Lim: It was breakfast time, and the family was gathered in our big, open-air kitchen at home in Bali. Someone was cutting up papaya and mangoes. I could smell toast being made. I was pouring tea, still quite sleepy from the birth I had attended the night before.
Reporter's Note: I took today off to celebrate Halloween, but that does not keep me from posting my daily letter to the White House.
Dear Mr. President,
I realize that this may sound ridiculous, but frankly I don’t care. I have been reading more reports lately about towns and counties around the nation changing Halloween from October 31st to just the last Friday or Saturday in October, complete with specified hours for trick or treating.
In other words, (in my view) they want to change it from a deliciously wild departure from the staid and sane that comes without fail on the witching, final way of October, into just another chore to caged by convenience and relegated to a corner where it won’t interfere with work or school. What a shame.
The point of a holiday is to take a departure from the normal, and to accept that departure when it comes, not just when we want it. If this is a good idea, why don’t we just move all holidays to Saturdays…Christmas included? Why not say the New Year starts, oh sometime around the beginning of January?
Why, we could even extend it beyond the holidays! Election day? Make that a Saturday too, after all we would not want to upset the delicate work day with people doing something as frivolous as deciding who should run the government.
I think holidays should be on the days they commemorate; no matter how capricious or silly the original selection of those dates may seem to us now. I enjoyed the ebb and flow of Halloween as a child; knowing that if it happened to fall on a weekend it might prove wilder than usual, and yet if it fell during the week it was a thrilling break from the mundane.
I’m not sure how far your powers extend, but since presidents seem to have no hesitation about sticking their noses into all sorts of business, how about helping out on this front? You could issue some sort of executive order commanding that Halloween must be celebrated on the 31st, or violators will be turned over to the Death Eaters, or something like that.
Anyway, for now at least, our neighborhood still celebrates on the proper day, so I have to go…lay out some candy, crank up the sound effects, and get ready to scare some kids out of a few years’ growth. Ha! Come by if you wish…or if you dare…mwah ha ha ha!
Reporter's Note: I write to the president all the time. I mean every single day. And you thought Friday the 13th was scary!
Dear Mr. President,
I think I have asked you this before, but since you never respond I have no idea what your answer would have been: Do you ever help decorate the White House for holidays, and whether you do or not, how come we never seen any Halloween decorations?
At our home, I can’t imagine ever letting the end of October pass without a suitable display of ghoulery and gobblinery outside. We just love the buzz of unexpected fear rippling through the air.
One of our favorite purchases of recent years is a life-size mummy that has light-up eyes, and sort of screams when you get near it. Usually sometime around October 5th or 6th, one of us will drag it out of the attic unannounced and hide it somewhere in the house. Sooner or later, another family member will roam up on it and fill the air with shrieks.
It is effective because it is just so darn big it always seems like an actual person standing there. The noise and moving eyeballs just heighten the illusion.
Our mummy friend has shown up in virtually every room. Sometimes he is hiding in a closet when you reach for a shirt, or hovering at the top of the stairs as we trudge up to bed. He’s been known to pop up in someone’s bathroom overnight so that the new day begins with a jumpstart to the heart. Most recently, he was even found reclining in a bed in the dim light, looking for all the world like some wayward lunatic.
Anyway, you could have a lot of fun with something like that around the White House. Just imagine the amusement. Lights out. A big howl from the West Wing, followed by wild giggling, and the Secret Service guys chuckling in the guard house. “Looks like the president is up to his old tricks!”
If you get a moment, call this afternoon. I’ll give you the low down on the Marine Corps Marathon this morning.
Reporter's Note: The president gets a lot of mail, but I’m guessing there is no letter he more eagerly awaits each day than mine.
Dear Mr. President,
Amid your busy schedule, did you get to see any of the World Series? I usually scope out a few of the championship games each year, and these seemed particular exciting this year.
That said, I am not much of a baseball fan. I realize that this is practically a heresy in DC where folks still heave around phrases like “as American as mom, apple pie, and baseball.” But for my taste it is just too slow. Too much standing around; waiting for pitchers to change, waiting for batters to scratch themselves, and waiting for managers who’ve called meetings out on the mound.
I mean, I don’t know of any other sport in which a new player to the field is allowed to make the entire stadium wait while he practices a little in the middle of everything. For crying out loud, they have a bullpen where they seem to warm up endlessly.
And seriously, what other sport allows the coaches to roam onto the field at will and call a conference?
Still, I know that plenty of other folks just love it the way that it is, so I suppose that is that.
Funny thing is, football is so much more popular, you would think by now that the old saying would have changed to something like, “As American as Dancing with the Stars, funnel cakes, and football.”
But I guess those are some other things that may take a while to change.
Hey, I’ll be running the Marine Corps Marathon tomorrow morning. I don’t suppose you are entered, but if you wanted to jump in I’ll bet you could! Give me a call if you need a ride.
Reality TV wonder Snooki convinces Regis to go shirtless. For that, he earns a spot on the RidicuList
Michael Moore says the 'Occupiers' believe capitalism is broken and government only serves the interests of Wall Street. Anderson Cooper spoke with him about the future of the movement and the ultimate goal.