January 30th, 2008
04:31 PM ET

What was Wesley Snipes thinking?

The multimillionaire movie star paid no taxes – none at all, didn’t even file returns – from 1999-2004. Now on trial for tax fraud, his lawyers concede he must pay millions of dollars in back taxes, penalties and fees, but they claim no fraud took place because he was open in his refusal to pay.


Wesley Snipes makes a point.


The jury is out as I write. He could face up to 16 years in prison if convicted, and his lawyers say even if acquitted, he’ll have to work for the next 20 years to repay his civil debt to the IRS. Read about the trial

Reminds me of Michael Vick. A man at the top of his game, who had it all, and who threw it all away for illegal behavior that is incomprehensible to most of us. He risked losing his high-flying NFL career over . . . dog fighting?

Wesley Snipes. Riding high as a worldwide film star, who risked his reputation, wealth and freedom to . . . join a merry band of tax avoiders? Guys who claim the IRS has no jurisdiction over wages earned in the U.S.?


– Lisa Bloom, 'In Session' anchor/360° contributor

Check out more Lisa Bloom blogs on "In Session"

Filed under: Lisa Bloom
January 30th, 2008
12:40 PM ET

And then there were two.

We learned today that John Edwards was dropping out of the presidential race, leaving just the two bitter rivals , Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton, to fight it out for the democratic party’s nomination.
Despite his populist ideals, Edwards was never popular with voters during the primary season. And although he insisted he wasn’t going to withdraw, he did. But why? A source tells CNN the decision wasn’t about money. We’re being told it had to do with the reality of not having enough delegates after Super Tuesday. We’ll find out more when he makes his speech in just a little while.

As for the republicans, another shake-up, but one not as surprising. Like Edwards, Rudy Giuliani is also exiting the race. Not too long ago, he was leading the GOP pack. So what happened? What’s behind the former front-runner’s spectacular decline?

We’ll have our panel offer their explanation this evening. Meantime, share your thoughts with us about Edwards and Giuliani.

– Gabriel Falcon, 360° Writer

Filed under: AC360° Staff • Raw Politics
January 30th, 2008
11:21 AM ET

It can happen to you

The Number 1 cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States is unpaid medical bills. As we found, it is not just the uninsured, but also the underinsured. It is also people who think they have excellent health insurance, but it is simply not enough.


The Zeiglers hold baby Brooke

Dawn and William Zeigler were living the American dream with a nice house, cars and plenty of money. When their daughter Brooke was born too early and required multiple surgeries, they never considered the cost because they thought they were covered. And, they were, at least for a while. They were amazed at how quickly the bills piled up, though. Tens of thousands of dollars a day, and soon their policy no longer provided any money. (Watch Video)

Brooke Zeigler died when she was 18 months old. Her father told me that he had to tell the doctors to stop working on her. It was the hardest thing he ever had to do in his life. The bills that arrived for nearly a million dollars may pale in comparison to losing one's child, but the Zeiglers are now at real risk of losing their dreams.

The health care debate is complicated. Again, the Zeiglers were covered, but not enough to cover little Brooke's millions of dollars of expenses. This is the reality of our broken health-care system and continues to be one of the biggest domestic issues on the minds of voters. Any thoughts on how to address this specific issue within of our health-care system?


– Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Chief Medial Correspondent

Programming note: Watch "Broken Government: Health Care – Critical Condition" on Thursday and Sunday at 11 p.m. ETEditor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.

Filed under: Dr. Sanjay Gupta • Health Care
January 30th, 2008
06:16 AM ET

Morning Buzz

Ladies and gentlemen...drum roll please...we NOW officially have a GOP front runner. Put your hands together for Senator John McCain.  He squeezed by Mitt Romney in last night's Florida Primary.  AND on the Dem side...no clear front runner, but Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in Florida, there were no delegates up for grabs because of some political infighting...imagine that!!!  NOW..word has it Rudy, who put all his eggs in the Florida basket will bow out... Never a dull moment on the campaign trail!!! 

TONIGHT on CNN - the GOP candidates, what is left of them, will square off in a debate and our Anderson is the moderator.  It takes place at the Ronald Reagan Library, so lets count and see how many "Reagan" references there are....

There are LOTS of headlines to get through this morning...so let's not waste any time...

Top Stories
Giuliani expected to back Florida winner McCain...
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani plans to drop out of the presidential race and endorse McCain at an event in California, two GOP sources with direct knowledge of the plans said.

White House Shows Signs of Rethinking Cut in Troops...
Four months after announcing troop reductions in Iraq, President Bush is now sending signals that the cuts may not continue past this summer, a development likely to infuriate Democrats and renew concerns among military planners about strains on the force.

Allies fall short on Iraq aid pledges...
Nearly five years after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, allied countries have paid 16% of what they pledged to help rebuild the war-torn country, according to a report scheduled for release today.
Taliban on the rise....
In the better times that followed the U.S.-led invasion, Kabul's famous Chicken Street used to attract hundreds of foreigners seeking a bargain on Afghan rugs, leather goods and gemstones such as lapis lazuli.
'Ethnic cleansing' in Kenya?
An American diplomat has described the violence in Kenya's Rift Valley as "clear ethnic cleansing" aimed at chasing out members of the Kikuyu tribe who are loyal to President Mwai Kibaki.
China in lockdown...
China's worst winter in more than half a century showed no signs of abating Wednesday as forecasters told citizens to brace for three more days of snow and sleet.

Raw Politics
Hillary Clinton trumpets win in Florida...
Sen. Hillary Clinton will win Florida's Democratic presidential primary Tuesday, CNN projects, although party sanctions have stripped the state of its convention delegates and no Democrats campaigned there.

Obama Gives Away Money Tied to Donor...
Barack Obama is giving to charity more than $70,000 in contributions linked to an indicted Chicago businessman whose past connections to the Democratic presidential candidate have created a distraction and raised questions about his judgment.

For Giuliani, a Dizzying Free-Fall...
Perhaps he was living an illusion all along. Rudolph W. Giuliani's campaign for the Republican nomination for president took impressive wing last year...

Crime & Punishment
Police Shooting of Mother and Infant...
The air of Southside is foul-smelling and thick, filled with fumes from an oil refinery and diesel smoke from a train yard, with talk of riot and recrimination, and with angry questions: Why is Tarika Wilson dead? Why did the police shoot her baby?

Keeping them Honest
FBI investigating 14 companies for mortgage fraud...
Complaints about potential mortgage fraud are up during the subprime mortgage crisis, and the FBI has opened criminal investigations of 14 companies related to subprime mortgage loans, the agency said Tuesday.

Papers Show Wider Focus in Inquiry of Artifacts...
A federal investigation into the smuggling and sale of looted Asian and American Indian antiquities has expanded to include stolen artifacts from Central America

AC360 follow
Molina's skid row crusade..
Los Angeles county social workers said 3-month-old Mikeal Wah-hab looked well-fed, healthy and safe when they examined him at a skid row mission. His father had brought him to the shelter, saying that his wife had abandoned them and taken their belongings.

What YOU will be talking about Today
Tom Cruise gets a new toy...
Tom Cruise is the first on the list to get Ducati's newest motorcycle — a $72,500 superbike bristling with titanium, magnesium and carbon fiber technology that can scoot up to 200 mph.

Girl's letter returned by a FISH?
A letter that a young girl in Japan sent into the sky in a balloon some 15 years ago has been found on a fish hauled from 1,000 metres (3,300 feet) below the Pacific.