March 7th, 2008
09:30 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 3/7/08

Welcome to the end of a long week.  It’s going to be even longer for Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton who spent some of today in Wyoming, suddenly, and perhaps for the first time, the center of the political universe.

We’ll also have an up close look at Cindy McCain.  Many people have already read Randi Kaye’s blog  and hundreds of people have commented.  Tonight we’ll have Randi’s full report.

Anderson has the night off (he said he wants a vacation). Soledad O'Brien is filling in and ready to blog.

We’ve been getting complaints about how long it takes to post some comments.   We wish we could post them all, but with more than 1000 every night, it is not possible.

Here’s a tip: shorter comments are more likely to get posted. If they are short AND relevant to what is on the program, even better.

So no more 500-word essays on who you think is the best candidate and why.  There are other forums for that.

As always, we’ll start at 10p ET and stop at 11p ET.  See you then!

Filed under: Live Blog
March 7th, 2008
06:07 PM ET

A brother's view of murder


360° exclusive with Anita Shaw, mother of Jamiel Shaw; a young victim of Los Angeles gang shooting.

Editor's note: Jamiel Shaw was shot to death Sunday night near his home in the Arlington Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. Police say two men jumped out of a car and asked Shaw if he was a gang member.  He did not answer and the men shot him. Police say Shaw had no gang affiliation.

Tonight on 360° we'll hear from Shaw's mother, who is a soldier serving in Iraq, but has returned home to bury her son.  CNN Producer Paul Vercammen talked to the family:

Thomas Shaw and I were sitting on the sidewalk next to the memorial of flowers, candles, and cards to his murdered brother, Jamiel Shaw Jr.  The popular, church-going, football star was just 17 when he was killed 40 yards or so from his front door. READ BACKGROUND ON THE STORY

On a sunny day, on a quiet street, with no camera around, 9-year-old Thomas told me “I want to be just like him. He was a great big brother. He always played with me.  I play football too.  I play quarterback.”

Thomas paused for what seemed a half minute, and wiped away tears.  I could only think of my own kids – a 13-year-old boy who plays flag football and an eight-year-old daughter.  This is one of the saddest stories I have ever covered and it seems it haunts every parent in L.A. right now.

“I wish I could somehow go back to right before they shot him.  And I would tell Jamiel they have a gun.  And he would punch the guy take the gun away.”

– Paul Vercammen, CNN Los Angeles Sr. Producer

Filed under: Crime & Punishment
March 7th, 2008
05:35 PM ET

Afternoon Buzz

It's NOT a happy friday on Wall Street.  Stocks took a big dive today. Uggh! And, it's a tough day for the Obama camp.  A top adviser has resigned after speaking out against Hillary Clinton.  And, DON'T FORGET - spring ahead Sunday morning.  Set your clocks ahead one hour for daylight saving time.  If you're wondering why it's done, check out the link below for the 411.  Enjoy the Afternoon Buzz!

Top Stories
Stocks hit lowest level in more than a year
Stocks tanked Friday, falling to the worst levels in nearly 18 months after a weak February employment report and more financial sector woes exacerbated recession fears.

Sources: Israel attack linked to Hezbollah
The deadly attack on a Jewish seminary in Jerusalem Thursday was planned by an operation with purported ties to Hezbollah, the Shiite militant group in Lebanon, Palestinian militant sources in Gaza said.

Raw Politics
Barack Obama adviser resigns
A former adviser to Barak Obama resigned Friday after calling rival Hillary Clinton a....

Florida, Michigan do-overs comes down to money
Democrats agree that new voting is needed to determine convention delegates for Florida and Michigan, but they can't figure out how to pay for it.

Clinton, Obama focus on Wyoming
Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were in Wyoming on Friday, wrangling last-minute votes before Saturday's caucuses.

Spokesman: Ron Paul will end presidential run
A spokesman for Ron Paul's presidential campaign said Friday that the Texas congressman is ending his run for the White House.

McCain heads back to New Hampshire, then abroad
Sen. John McCain's campaign has a plan to keep him in the public eye while providing what aides hope is a contrast with the Democrats who are still fighting for their party's nomination

Crime & Punishment
Slain UNC student's car found
Police in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, said Friday they have found a vehicle belonging to a slain UNC student, and are examining it for possible evidence.

Mom arrested after power-washing daughter
The mother who was videotaped while spraying her 2 1/2-year-old daughter with a high-pressure water hose at an Orlando car wash last month has been arrested and charged with.... 

What YOU will be TALKING about TONIGHT
Pregnant Lisa Marie Presley hurt by 'vicious' remarks
Lisa Marie Presley contends she was pressured into revealing her pregnancy after...

Spring forward this weekend 
Why save daylight? Here's why...

March 7th, 2008
02:55 PM ET

Beat 360° 3/7/08


TGIF bloggers! What a week huh? Super Tuesday II, we now have a presumptive GOP nominee, and the Democrats are divided over Florida and Michigan... and Saturday the race heads to Wyoming! I guess the week isn't over yet for some! Gosh, what's a superdelegate to do?

I'll tell you what YOU can do... help me out with this litte thing we have called 'Beat 360°' Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption. Our staff will get in on the action too.

Tune in every night at 10p ET to see if you are our favorite! Can you Beat 360°?

Here is today’s “Beat 360°” pic of the day.

Beat 360

Have fun with it.

Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.

– David Reisner, 360° Digital Producer

Filed under: Beat 360°
March 7th, 2008
02:37 PM ET

Parents in vaccine case still see good in shots


Hannah Poling

I had a chance to meet the Poling family last night. Their 9-year-old daughter Hannah was diagnosed with "symptoms of autism spectrum disorder" and the government has recommended the federal vaccine court pay the family compensation (read more about Hannah's underlying condition here). Dr. Jon Poling, a neurologist, and Terry Poling, a nurse, are Hannah's parents. With all that has happened (watch video of Hannah's father talking about her reaction to the vaccinations) to their daughter, they still made it very clear they are not anti-vaccine. They agree, as most people do, that vaccines have been a great medical accomplishment and have saved and improved countless lives. The question they seem to raise, though, are they as safe as they can be?

I want to continue the discussion today. Couple of points. First of all, it seems as if parents bring up concerns about vaccines, they are automatically portrayed as anti-vaccine. Why is that? Is it possible to completely believe in the power and benefits of vaccines, but still have legitimate and credible concerns?

Given that thimerosal, the mercury-laden preservative, is now essentially out of vaccines (it may be present in trace amounts according to the FDA) except for flu vaccines, does that put that issue to rest for you? Or, do you believe there is something about the vaccines themselves – even without the thimerosal – that might be problematic? And, what would you do about it? Split up the shots? Delay them?

– Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Chief Medical Correspondent
Editor'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: Autism • Dr. Sanjay Gupta
March 7th, 2008
02:32 PM ET

Still confused over Michigan, Florida delegate dilemma

Can someone really explain to me what the real issue is over the seating of the Michigan and Florida delegation?

Here’s my problem.


Voters line up at a polling station to vote in Florida's presidential primary in this Jan. 29, 2008

Everyone keeps saying seat the delegates. Sen. Hillary Clinton has made that a huge part of her talking points for the last month. Now Florida Sen. Bill Nelson is saying they need to be seated.

But what everyone keeps trying to skirt is that the real issue is the awarding of the delegates.

If you want the delegates from Florida and Michigan to be represented at the convention, this is simple: you split them down the middle and award them to Clinton and Obama. No need to spend $25 million. Florida and Michigan will have their say at the convention. We can all go home and be happy.

The real issue that no one wants to say is that those supporting Clinton want the delegates seated based on the votes in those primaries. The Obama folks don’t want to see that happen.

So can we cut the nonsense about “seating the delegates.” That IS NOT the real issue.

– Roland S. Martin, 360° Contributor

Filed under: Raw Politics • Roland S. Martin
March 7th, 2008
12:00 PM ET

Can Cindy McCain really be that perfect?

Randi Kaye takes a look at Cindy McCain, wife of presumptive GOP nominee John McCain.
Randi Kaye takes a look at Cindy McCain, wife of presumptive GOP nominee John McCain.

Randi Kaye | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

She’s always dressed in a killer suit and never has a hair out of place. We went to Phoenix, where Cindy McCain grew up, to talk with those who know her best. Good friend Betsy Bayless, a former Arizona secretary of state, says Cindy is a “fun down to earth person with a great sense of humor.”

She had a privileged upbringing. Her father started one of the largest beer distributorships in the country and today Cindy is the Chairman of the Board. The company is reportedly worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Cindy graduated from the University of Southern California with a teaching degree and went on to become a teacher, but meeting John McCain changed all that. They met before he was in politics at a cocktail party in Hawaii. He is 18 years older than she is.

They apparently had instant chemistry. John was separated from his first wife at the time.  About a month after his divorce, Cindy and John McCain got married.

They had three children and adopted a fourth child from Bangladesh. That adoption got attention during the 2000 primary in South Carolina, Sen. McCain’s first run to be president. There were claims Bridget was actually McCain’s illegitimate black child.  That’s not true – that’s dirty politics.

The McCains had another negative story to deal with during that campaign.  During that 2000 primary, she was painted as a drug addict. It wasn’t pretty.

Here’s the back-story: In 1989, Cindy had a bad car accident and started taking prescription pain killers for her back injury. Four years later, she was still addicted to pain killers. Friends say her mother confronted her and she admitted her addiction, then immediately stopped taking the pills.

So now the McCain’s are at it again. Cindy seems more relaxed this time around and seems to be having more fun, according to the blog that McCain’s daughter Meghan keeps from the campaign trail.

Still, she hasn’t forgotten what happened back in 2000. In fact, friends say she kept a “grudge list.”

– Randi Kaye, 360° Correspondent Editors note: The feedback has been immense. Please be sure to watch the full report airing tonight on 360° at 10p ET

Click here for more blogs from the 360° team

Filed under: John McCain • Randi Kaye • Raw Politics • TV
March 7th, 2008
07:01 AM ET

Morning Buzz

Good morning Folks!!!  It is Friday!!! It has been a long week, so let's skip the idol chatter this morning...Grab your coffee and let's head right to today's headlines... 

Top Stories
Person of interest in Times Square bombing...
The FBI announced on Friday that federal agents in Los Angeles, California, are questioning a "person of interest" about letters sent to members of Congress after an explosion in Times Square in New York.

Reputed arms dealer arrested...
Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout was usually a careful man, dealing with customers through intermediaries and ordering subordinates to throw away cellphones, receipts and anything else that could be traced.

Israeli seminary attacked...
Neighbors of the Mercaz Harav seminary in Jerusalem at first thought the noise was the popping of firecrackers for the upcoming Jewish holiday of Purim. But it was gunfire and, in fact, the deadliest terror attack in the city in the last four years.

Raw Politics
Ron Paul to drop out?
Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is hinting that his run for the White House is about to end, saying the "presidential campaign will soon wind down."

Dems divided over what to do with Florida & Michigan...
With the two Democratic presidential candidates in near-deadlock and battling for every delegate, party leaders and the rival campaigns started searching in earnest on Thursday for a way to seat barred delegations from Florida and Michigan. But they remained deeply divided over how to do so.

McCain's team forged ahead...
In the second week of July 2007, a pall settled over the half-empty headquarters of John McCain in an Arlington, Va., skyscraper. The campaign was nearly broke. The top two officials had resigned. Two-thirds of the staff had been fired or left, and those who remained worried the campaign might never recover.

It all comes down to money...
For all the success that Democratic presidential candidates have had in raising money — taking in a combined total of over $500 million in the current race — the Republicans are beating them in one crucial area of fund-raising: the money being raised by the parties themselves.

Democratic fundraiser trial begins...
A prosecutor on Thursday described Antoin Rezko, a businessman and political fund-raiser, as “the man behind the curtain, pulling the strings” in an influence-peddling scheme to extort millions of dollars from companies that wanted to do business with the State of Illinois.

McCain leads in cross-over votes...
The two new political demographics–like Soccer moms and NASCAR dads before them–are quickly emerging as the potential election-busters of the 2008 presidential race.

Hillary a monster?
HILLARY Clinton has been branded a "monster" by one of Barack Obama's top advisers, as the gloves come off in the race to win the Democrat nomination.

Crime & Punishment
Thousands mourn, cops search for killer...
Thousands of students from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill gathered Thursday to remember student body president Eve Carson, who was shot and killed in a suburban neighborhood near campus.

He killed a man and faked his own death...
More than 100 family members and friends attended Ari Squire's memorial banquet last week and signed his online condolence book, mourning a man they said was kind, selfless and gentle.

Keeping them Honest
Southwest flew unsafe planes...
Discount air carrier Southwest Airlines flew thousands of passengers on aircraft that federal inspectors said were "unsafe" as recently as last March, according to detailed congressional documents obtained by CNN.

Family insurance scam...
They say nothing makes a man prouder than watching his children follow in his footsteps.
But one has to wonder how Curtis H. Connor is feeling, now that his alleged career path has led two generations of his brood into handcuffs.

What YOU will be talking about TODAY
13 year old blazes her way to Olympic trials...
Back and forth the swimmers went, one lap in the 25-yard course turning into four, four laps becoming 400 by the end of the two-and-a-half-hour practice. In one lane, the chain of bodies skimming the surface had a strong link in the middle, the swimmer two behind the leader commanding the eye with her long, fluid strokes.

Filed under: The Buzz