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A former government contractor employee, Edward Snowden, revealed that the National Security Agency has secret programs to collect records of domestic phone calls in the U.S. and Internet activity of overseas residents, according to documents he provided to The Guardian and The Washington Post. His disclosures prompted reactions from both major political parties in Washington. Republican Rep. Peter King told Anderson that Snowden put American lives at risk and that he believes journalists involved in reporting stories about classified programs should face consequences. However, columnist Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who broke the story for The Guardian, said he was “staggered” by Rep. King suggesting he be prosecuted for his reporting, and King's claims that Greenwald threatened to release the names of CIA personnel. Greenwald called that completely false. As for Snowden, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange had some advice for him: “Go to Latin America." Speaking from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Assange told Anderson, "Latin American has shown in the past 10 years that it is really pushing forward in human rights. There’s a long tradition of asylum.”
The man accused of murder, rape and holding three women in his Cleveland home pleaded not guilty on Wednesday. Ariel Castro was indicted last week on 329 counts. Anderson spoke with kidnapping victim Jaycee Dugard’s psychologist, Rebecca Bailey, about how victims cope and rebuild their lives after the trauma endured in captivity.
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Erika Brannock, the last Boston bombings victim to leave the hospital, lost her left leg in the blast and broke her right leg. She said that she could have died if it wasn’t for a stranger named “Joan” who made a tourniquet out of a belt to stop the bleeding that day. “It was almost instantaneously … this woman kind of crawled over to me and she grabbed my hand… She said ,‘My name is Joan from California and I’m not going to let you go,’ and she stayed with me the whole time,” Erika told CNN’s Randi Kaye. The preschool teacher was determined to find the woman who helped save her life. After AC360 set up an email account for tips from anyone who knew the good samaritan, Amanda North replied that it was her who had helped Erika. The two met for the first time since the attack in a tearful reunion on Wednesday. CNN’s Randi Kaye was there for the special moment. Amanda also spoke to Anderson about the dreadful day of the bombings and what it was like to see Erika more than a month later.
An audit of the Internal Revenue Service shows that the agency spent at least $4.1 million of taxpayer money on everything from parody videos to event planners’ commissions on a 2010 conference in Anaheim, California. While the focus of the Treasury Department’s inspector general report was on the 2010 conference, the audit also shows that the agency held 225 conferences between 2010 and 2012 at an estimated cost of $49 million. CNN’s Dana Bash reports.
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This week marks the one month anniversary of the deadly Boston Marathon bombings that killed three people and injured hundreds more. Among the wounded was Adrianne Haslet-Davis, a dance teacher who lost part of her left leg. She has agreed to let AC360° follow her journey back to the dance floor. Adrianne spoke candidly with Anderson about her hardest struggles in the recovery process, including a recent fall that made the amputation seem more real to her. Adrianne jokes that she was “not behaving” when she hopped from her bed to grab something from her closet, but lost her balance. “It definitely woke me up and made me realize that I need to take a little bit better care of myself and slow down.” She is determined to dance again and reminded Anderson of his promise to be her student when she’s ready.
Today we learned a fascinating new detail about the Boston bombings investigation. In a note left on the boat in Watertown, Mass. where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured by police, he wrote that the bombings were payback for U.S. wars in Muslim lands. Details have also emerged about the manhunt for the suspect and his brother. CNN’s Drew Griffin returned to Watertown to investigate what really happened during the shootout between the Boston police and the Tsarnaev brothers.
Stories of heroism, strength, and solidarity have poured out in the aftermath of the explosions that shook the Boston Marathon on April 15 killing three and injuring more than 260. Since that day, Anderson Cooper has been reporting from Boston and has met with remarkable survivors and courageous bystanders who took action.
Anderson spoke to a dance instructor, Adrianne Haslet-Davis, who is determined to get back on the dance floor after losing her left foot. She was thrown in the air from the blast and crawled to a nearby bar with her husband where a stranger tried to use belts as tourniquets to stop the bleeding. Both Adrianne and her husband, Air Force Capt. Adam Davis, are angry about what happened, but they are optimistic about their future: “I am defiant and I want to come out stronger,” she told Anderson. Haslet-Davis was one of at least 14 who are now amputees because of last week’s blasts.
Senators Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey, a Democrat and a Republican, announced they drafted a compromise on expanding background checks for buyers at gun shows and for people making purchases on the Internet. Anderson spoke with one lawmaker who wanted to block the bill via filibuster. Republican Sen. James Risch says while background checks might catch criminals, they won’t prevent them from getting guns. The news comes after Sandy Hook families made the trip to Washington to lobby members of Congress for stricter gun control. Nicole Hockley, who lost her son in the Newtown shooting, said background checks shouldn’t be “for some and not all.” A CNN undercover investigation demonstrated how easy it is to get weapons at gun shows without showing any identification. Anderson asked NRA President David Keene for his reaction to the hidden camera report. "Private sales and gun shows are not the source … of guns for criminals. The current system doesn't work very well, and we think it needs to be fixed," he said.
In an AC360 exclusive, CNN’s Dana Bash talks to former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly about why they still own guns, their campaign for universal background checks and her remarkable recovery after being shot in the head two years ago.
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments about the legality of California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act this week. CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin and Gloria Borger gave all the details of what happened inside the courtroom. Anderson spoke to civil rights activist Julian Bond who compares the fight for gay rights to the civil rights movement. He says “these are the same issues, the same struggle.” HLN’s Dr. Drew Pinsky addresses the argument that same-sex couples have a negative effect on children. He says studies show there's no harm done. Anderson also spoke with NFL punter Chris Kluwe of the Minnesota Vikings, who has been outspoken about marriage equality. Kluwe believes everyone should have the right to marry the person they love, just as he was able to do with his wife.
On Thursday President Obama urged Americans to pressure their elected leaders to pass stricter gun laws. 100 days after the Newtown school massacre, family members of the victims were present at the president's press conference to show their support. “We need everybody to remember how we felt 100 days ago and make sure what we said wasn’t just a bunch of platitudes, that we meant it,” he said. Anderson spoke with Democratic Strategist Cornell Belcher and The Washington Times’ Emily Miller about the politics of gun control and the president's efforts.
Venezualen president Hugo Chavez died on Tuesday at the age of 58. He was considered a hero to the lower economic class during his 14 years in office. CNN’s Christiane Amanpour and Larry King discuss Chavez’s legacy and the power vacuum left behind.
Jodi Arias has taken the witness stand for 16 days now testifying about her relationship with Travis Alexander and his death in June 2008. Jurors were able to ask Arias questions via the judge on Wednesday. CNN’s Randi Kaye was in court and has the story. Anderson also had a lively discussion with CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin, Mark Geragos, and HLN’s Nancy Grace about the jury’s “perceptive” questions.
In a dramatic courtroom scene, Oscar Pistorius was granted bail today. Earlier in the week, South African police pulled the lead investigator, Hilton Botha, from the case because he’s currently accused of attempted murder for a 2011 incident. Pistorius is accused of premeditated murder in the death of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius claims he accidentally shot Steenkamp because he thought she was an intruder. CNN’s Jake Tapper spoke with Steenkamp’s brother, Adam, who said his family was uncertain whether she was intentionally murdered. “It could be either way. We just don’t know until the truth comes out,” said Adam. And while criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos believes the case against the “Blade Runner” is already unraveling, forensic scientist Lawrence Koblinsky says the trajectory of the bullets will be a key piece of evidence.
The March 1 forced spending cuts deadline is fast approaching and Congress is unlikely to act before the automatic cuts kick in. Lawmakers’ own salaries won’t be affected. We’re Keeping Them Honest. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer spoke to Sen. Rand Paul about the deadline and the consequences.
The search for Christopher Dorner is over in California, but law enforcement officials view it as a bittersweet ending. By the conclusion of the manhunt, five people had died, including two police officers. CNN’s Gary Tuchman reports on the battle Tuesday near Big Bear Lake, California, that led to Dorner’s demise. Anderson spoke with Rick Heltebrake, the man who Dorner let go unharmed after stealing his truck to get away from police. Kyle Martin, whose family owns the cabin where Dorner sought refuge before it went up in flames, was determined to see what was left of it – CNN’s Randi Kaye has the story.
Pope Benedict XVI surprised many all over the world by announcing his resignation on Monday making him the first pope to resign in nearly 600 years. Anderson talks to Barbie Latza Nadeau and CNN’s Sr. Vatican Analyst John Allen about the decision and what’s next for the Vatican.
Two bombs were discovered Thursday inside the bunker of Jimmy Lee Dykes, the man who kidnapped a 5-year-old boy in Alabama last week. CNN’s Martin Savidge has the story on how the FBI rescued Ethan, and how they killed the hostage taker. Fortunately, the child was released from the hospital just in time for his sixth birthday this week, according to state police. Katie Beers, a former child hostage, spoke to Anderson about her captivity underground at the age of 10 and the recovery process Ethan and his family will most likely go through. And amidst reports that the kidnapper was a survivalist, CNN’s Gary Tuchman goes inside the prepper movement by looking at one Utah man’s $65,000 bunker stocked for the breakdown of civilization.
California’s system for seizing illegally owned guns from those who were ordered to relinquish them to the police is “smart and effective,” according to the state’s Attorney General Kamal Harris. Anderson spoke to Harris about the program and why it’s currently underfunded. CNN’s Randi Kaye rode along with California special agents as they searched for and confiscated illegally owned weapons.
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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