Confronted with photos of a 13 year-old boy's tortured and mutilated body, Syria's dictator denies any wrongdoing.
Anderson Cooper does some fact-checking into Gov. Perry's remarks that the left is waging a war on religious traditions.
Anderson Cooper talks to Syrian activist Zaidoun who challenges the statements made by President Assad denying violence against civilians in Syria.
CNN's Jason Carroll reports on Jerry Sandusky's arrest and new alleged victims in the child sex abuse investigation.
CNN's Gary Tuchman talks to the New York district attorney who says an au pair supports abuse claims against Bernie Fine.
Anderson Cooper puts Stephen Colbert on notice for showing the "third eagle of the apocalypse" after he was on the RidicuList months ago.
Reporter's Note: I write to the president every day. He never answers.
Dear Mr. President,
Well, I took another day off in the middle of the week, ostensibly to continue celebrating my birthday, but also to attempt to shake this cold which has me sniffling like a kindergartener with a scraped knee. I ended up running errands all day in a steady December rain, so I'm guessing I did not do much to help myself on that front. But then, knowing what is best and doing what is best have often been at odds in my life, as they are for most of us, I suppose.
Right now I am sitting in the kitchen with the dog roaming around, my younger daughter watching a recorded episode of "Glee," and my wife puttering with an acorn squash which will go nicely with the small steaks I will be grilling in the rain shortly. Infirmity or not, I have rarely found any reason to retreat from backyard grilling whatever the season or weather.
I am also snacking on a bowl of Christmas M&M's which I placed within dangerously easy reach. I should move them....but...not yet.
See? There is that problem again. I know what course I should pursue, but my more immediate desires trump wisdom and so I may be making a mistake, and I think most people are this way. Sometimes we make mistakes because we really don't know any better, but more often I think we see the folly of our ways even before we begin, we just can't overcome the temptation. We want what we want and we will often go after it even if we realize it may be wrong or at least ill-advised.
This is an idea that I try to remind myself of from time to time, and one that I happily mention to you as the presidential race heats up, because politicians too have a bad tendency...despite all their advisors and polls and focus groups...to make rash decisions at times. Sometimes it is driven by pride. Sometimes by anger. Sometimes by sheer stubbornness. Whatever the cause, I would suggest that you, and indeed any candidate, should keep in mind this simple notion: When you feel like acting rashly, pause a moment, and ask yourself why. If the fundamental answer is "because I want to" that is really not an answer at all.
Now, I need to wrap up. There is a bowl of M&M's which must be moved to the other side of the room immediately.
Call if you have a moment. If I don't feel better, I may be home tomorrow too.
What everyone’s talking about:
The Milton Hershey School in Pennsylvania rejected an honors student because he has HIV. Anderson talked to the school’s Vice President of Communications, Connie McNamara, earlier this week. She said the student poses a “direct threat” to the campus if, hypothetically, he had sex with other students. However, medical professionals we spoke with say he is not a risk. We’re Keeping Them Honest. Would you be worried if your child went to this school with an HIV-positive classmate?
GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is surging in polls this week, placing him in the lead in a number of key states. With his front-runner status come renewed questions about an ethics investigation from his time as House Speaker.
What do Ed Schultz and Courtney Stodden have in common? They both made our RidicuList!
A mysterious crate marked "FRAGILE" arrived in the AC360° newsroom today. For hours the staff waited and wondered what was inside the box nailed-shut. Anderson personally opened the package to reveal...a model of his head! Madame Tussauds kindly sent the clay replica of our boss, which they used to construct his wax figure. With Anderson's real glasses and a little imagination, it's not a bad copy. What do you think?
(CNN) - Syria's embattled President Bashar al-Assad disputed claims he is responsible for the violence engulfing his country and distanced himself from the behavior of his armed forces.
"They are not my forces," al-Assad contended in an interview with ABC's Barbara Walters, aired on Wednesday and posted on the network's website. He had been asked if he thought his forces cracked down too hard on protesters over the past nine months.
"They are forces for the government. I don't own them. I'm president. I don't own the country. So they are not my forces."
Wouldn't al-Assad, the commander in chief, have had to give the order for any military actions? "No, no no," he said.
Not by your command? "No," he said, "on no one's command. There was no command to kill or to be brutal."
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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