The AC360 Weekly Buzz: Negative campaigning, Syria, snake-handling, mysterious death, Bachmann, Springsteen
July 18th, 2012
07:12 PM ET

The AC360 Weekly Buzz: Negative campaigning, Syria, snake-handling, mysterious death, Bachmann, Springsteen

What everyone’s talking about:

As we get closer to the general election, President Obama and Mitt Romney’s campaigns are increasing their negative ads, but is Obama running more? We’re Keeping Them Honest. Anderson spoke with David Axelrod, a senior strategist for the Obama campaign, about the issue. Anderson also spoke with CNN Political Contributors Paul Begala and Ari Fleischer about why campaigns go negative. “If we run a single positive ad, I’ll be disappointed,” said Begala.

Churches in the heart of Appalachia use deadly snakes as part of their services. For one man, the practice turned deadly. CNN’s Gary Tuchman explores the history and dangers of the illegal snake-handling tradition.

217 people were killed in Syria Thursday, according to the Local Coordination Committees. And the violence seems to be escalating, especially in the country’s capital. On Wednesday, four top officials in President Assad’s inner circle were killed in an explosion at a national security building in Damascus, State TV reported. Anderson spoke to NOS TV’s Sander Van Hoorn about the strange scene he witnessed after the explosion and what life is like in Damascus now.

Today’s Scoop:

Eva Rausing, the wife of a Swedish billionaire, was found dead in the home she shares with her husband Hans Kristian Rausing, the son of one of the world’s richest men. Her body was badly decomposed when it was discovered, and Mr. Rausing was initially arrested on suspicion of murder but hasn’t been charged with that crime. CNN’s Nima Elbagir reports on how this couple’s extravagant life, and the promise it once held, crumbled.

Five members of Congress, including Rep. Michele Bachmann, are demanding an investigation into potential infiltration of the U.S. government by the Muslim Brotherhood. One of their claims involves Huma Abedin, Hilary Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff. But where is the evidence? We’re Keeping Them Honest.

Earlier in the week Rep. Keith Ellison called their allegations against Abdein “a bizarre game of six degrees of separation.” Anderson also spoke with the president of the Arab American Institute, as well as Salon.com staff writer Alex Seitz-Wald about the letters the lawmakers sent to five government agencies calling for an investigation. Today Anderson talks to Rep. Ellison again about new claims Rep. Bachmann is making about his association to the Muslim Brotherhood.

A look ahead:

Drew Griffin continues his investigation into claims the Disabled Veterans National Foundation made about helping vets, and the value of their contributions.

Just for laughs:

Music legends Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney teamed up to give fans a once-in-a-lifetime show in London’s Hyde Park – until the clock struck the late hour of 10:30 p.m. That made for angry fans and a new addition to the RidicuList!

Follow Deena Sami on Twitter.

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