March 21st, 2008
05:24 PM ET

Erica's News Note: Let's end the week on a high note

All three presidential candidates’ passport files have been breached. If big names are getting a look from contractors, are the rest of us also being checked out? So many questions today, including:

– If the computers immediately flagged the breaches, why did it take so long to let Clinton, McCain and Obama know?

– How did these contractors get access?

– What information is in the files and how much did they see?

– Is this politically motivated?

– What other files were these contractors checking out?

Some answers are available for you HERE. For the rest, we’ll see you tonight at 10p ET.

One Colorado city is under a state of emergency after a local salmonella outbreak was linked to its tap water. More than 130 people have fallen ill, from infants to the elderly; seven people are still in the hospital. CHECK OUT THE STORY  

Remember the AP study on water a couple of weeks ago? Tap water in 24 metropolitan areas comes with more than just hydrogen and oxygen; anti-depressants, sex hormones, and antibiotics were also found in the water. I try to opt for tap water when I can to cut back on the waste from bottled water, but I admit that study gave me pause, even after being assured the H2O was OK to drink. After reading the story of Alamosa, CO, I’m a little leery again. The town is shutting down its water supply for up to two weeks to clean and disinfect it… though they still don’t know how the salmonella got into the water supply. Great.

The "Grande Dame of Piano Jazz" just celebrated her 90th birthday with two sets at Jazz at Lincoln Center and tributes from some of music’s biggest names. Not only is Marian McPartland still playing, she also has a radio show on NPR and isn’t even close to slowing down. I love her energy, her music, her zest. THIS  is who I want to be at 90.

– Erica Hill, 360° Correspondent

Filed under: Erica Hill
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. jimmy velman

    Bill Richardson of New Mexico who was in the Bill Clinton Cabinet
    endorsed Barack Obama just about the time Judas Iscariot betrayed
    the Son of GOD. Richardson did his thing contrary even to the caucus
    votes of his own State who voted for Hillary Clinton..!!! WOW.
    The nerve of the guy ! He is just an opportunist and compares in his actions to Benedict Arnold , traitor to George Washington and the American revolution

    March 24, 2008 at 10:52 am |
  2. jimmy velman

    CEO of Company and contractor with the State Department where passports of the candidated had been breached is a Contributor and Adviser to Barack Obama.

    March 24, 2008 at 10:44 am |
  3. rina

    Voice of AC360 suggestion: Morgan Freeman

    March 24, 2008 at 10:24 am |
  4. andy

    If you run for the office of the President of the United States and expect not to be very very very thoroughly checked out by every organization secret or non secret than you my friend should not run for office because you are too naive.... On the other hand wouldn't a typo while filing for passport make a great story for the New York Times?

    March 23, 2008 at 11:04 pm |
  5. Sandy/ in NC

    Yall get some rest this weekend and we'll see you Monday

    March 23, 2008 at 10:23 pm |
  6. jimmy velman

    I read where the CEO of the Company that had a contract with the
    government on security at the State Department is adviser and contributor to the Obama Campaign. Curiousity or coincidence?
    The passport files of the three candidates were breached.
    If only one of the candidates files was breached, it would point
    the finger of suspicion to the other candidates camp. NICE TRICK, except for the Obama connection of the company CEO.
    This passport breach is only one of security problems that have
    arisen from the Bush Adminstration. The Valerie Plame outing is serious enough and the subsequent pardoning of the culprit is worse.

    March 23, 2008 at 9:32 pm |
  7. Mark

    Hi Erica,
    I am a properly bonded and licensed investigator. The access I have to individual's private information is substantially greater than the average citizen. However I want to assure you and other readers that for the most part the information industry is already highly regulated in ways that provide a very high level of protection for the average citizen. In my case, for example, the sources that provide individual data to me for legitimate buisness purposes have built in systemic checks that ensure even authorized users of data like myself don't stray from the rules. I am concerned that the media is inadvertantley portraying that the average American is at risk of his or her private data being improperly accessed; this is simply not accurate. I think it ill advised to restrict access to properly screened and licensed parties such as myself. If my access to this information were restricted or eliminated, hundreds of my clients each year would lose out financially and their economic standing would be reduced.

    March 23, 2008 at 9:15 pm |
  8. Joanna

    I have a bi-racial child and we've always lived in the south. I know exactly how racism works because I have heard the negative remarks about other races (I happen to be white) BEFORE they know I have a bi-racial child. Barack Obama needs to succeed for numerous reasons and one of the main ones for me personally is to put an end to the flagrant underhanded remarks by the Clinton duo to undermine the first candidate to ever try to bring all races and classes together. I hope Hillary can't scheme her way into the White House!

    March 23, 2008 at 3:43 am |
  9. Alex, Calgary, Canada

    That bit about sex hormones in the water supply sounds like something right out of science fiction. Actually - it IS right out of science fiction, as there was a character talking about this same topic in an episode of the British sci-fi series Torchwood last year...

    March 23, 2008 at 1:02 am |
  10. JT

    Obama wanted and investigation on who snoop on his passport.

    Well, his adviser did.

    What in the world the Obama people are doing. Maybe they are hoping they can blame Hillary.

    Sounds like Obama is playing same old politics although he claim he wants to change it.

    Obama can not be trusted.

    Hillary is a better choice!!!

    Erica, I just want to say the Richardson is a traitor. The Clinton helped him to be who he is today.

    March 23, 2008 at 12:18 am |
  11. frah ottawa

    happy easter Erica and to all!!

    March 22, 2008 at 10:42 pm |
  12. Kent Fitzsimmons,Illinois

    I can't tell you how tired this subject of Rev. Wright is. I'm taking a break from watching all the news channels for a few days. Maybe, you people will move on to something worth listening to.

    March 22, 2008 at 9:46 pm |
  13. rose

    why are you so intrersred in what Rev Wright has to say. He is not runnig for President – Obama and Clinton are.

    March 22, 2008 at 7:28 pm |
  14. From Wheeling

    Yes! Erica, let's hear some positive, happy news for a change, eh?

    Please visit Wheeling, WV, a town of dying coal mines and out-of-work steel workers, who recently honored one of our poorest residents, a guy nicknamed "MoonDoggie" with a BOBBLEHEAD. We are the antithesis of what a town with a superhero should be, and he's not like a superman from the comic books. He's BETTER!! He's Moondoggie!

    He rides a bike around town that has flags attached to it, looking a bit like a peacock. He's been bringing smiles to the faces of Wheeling-ites for 30 years; maybe more. Never bothering a soul but doing his best to keep the streets safe. Private a man as all get out so it's wild that he posed for a Bobblehead, which by the way, people are FRANTIC to get. Moondoggie sorry to say, has been roughed up by some bad folk, but let me tell you we cuss those bad men out when we of hear Moondoggie's been hurt. Hope the man knows he is loved and admired. That's how strong we feel for the man. Tonight at a hockey game, 2,500 fans will be leaving with his Bobblehead. Now if that isn't Good News, I don't know what is, excepting of course Moondoggie winning the lottery; God knows he deserves it.

    Oh, and although Wheeling is largely white, everybody loves Moondoggie, who's doesn't look like some of us, live like some of us or, or have our background. Maybe America failed this man, just like America has failed many of us poor of every color here in Appalachia, but to see him riding around with his flags all blowing in the wind makes me proud to be seen as an American, warts and all.

    March 22, 2008 at 6:57 pm |
  15. Ed Krajewski

    Erica, First of all let me state that I think they should give you your own show.
    I have seen Sen. Obama's Speech and heard his comments about typical white people. I am an older white male from Pennsylvania. Why are the news organizations condemning Obama for telling the truth ? I know that most older white people are typical. If they see one or more black people walking down a lonely street, they cross to the other side of the street. I think it's time for change in this Country. Let's all try and reach out and change the way we think. Let's all get along and make America a better place.
    I am from Pennsylvania. I was a registered Republican until 2 days ago. I changed to the Democratic Party to vote for Obama. I am also upset at CNN and other news organizations. Let's quit worrying about what some one's pastor said. The Candidate didn't say it. If he did. I wouldn't vote for him. Let us get the news organizations to start reporting on the issues. Not side topics.

    March 22, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  16. Alys

    bottled water is often less regulated than tap water which is usually subject to more treatment processes....though this can vary by location and their municipal water regulations.

    I guess the lesson is to conserve water no matter where you get it from, and if you can, drink less bottled water as manufacturing all those plastic bottles takes a huge toll on our environment.

    March 22, 2008 at 11:36 am |
  17. M&M (Nevada)

    I'm amazed at how Bill Richardson's endorsement of Obama is being belittled by a lot of the black community. some jokes made by them about him being disloyal is odd to say the least when the 91% of Africian American's all turned their back on Clinton. But let the one and only Hispanic Governor make a stand and he gets jokes made about it. my question is: Do they really want to bring the minorities together or not?

    March 22, 2008 at 3:30 am |
  18. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    Well, I guess we have equal opportunity in snoopsville. Let's hope we all take a breath and get the facts, not speculation on this.
    Take Care..Happy Easter to all.

    Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.

    March 21, 2008 at 9:49 pm |
  19. xtina

    what's so special about passport files?

    March 21, 2008 at 9:30 pm |
  20. Genevieve M, TX

    I have not tasted tap (striaght from the faucet) water for several years– not even to brush my teeth. I purchase water either from the machines that process it or bottled from the store.

    The local water is supposedly high in fluoride and other good-for-the-body minerals, but I just cannot get past the water's strong chlorine smell to drink it as is- ew.

    March 21, 2008 at 8:21 pm |
  21. Megan Dresslar

    Hi Erica,
    No, I don't trust the goverment snooped breach all candidate or me. I think they need private own business, I found out that I was so mad at goverment who snooped or sneak passort files, they no reason excuse snoop all other people files, I am so glad that they already fired their jobs. I also agree with Hillary Clinton's campaign spokesman, I will watch you and AC360 tonight what will happen to them. and Happy Easter to you Erica!
    Megan D.
    Shoreline, Wa

    March 21, 2008 at 7:35 pm |
  22. Mischelle from Illinois

    That was a high note? Oh, I get it, music analogy. I really thought you might have been refering to the guy in Australia who reported that his house was broken into and he said that the thieves stole a canibis plant. Well...the police came back with a warrant to look through the house and found MORE canibis. He was arrested! Duh!

    Hey, the "other network" has a really neat link to the reporter's notebook who is covering the RESKO Trial. The heart of this trial is based on the Hospital scam that happened in my town -Crystal Lake, IL. Some very interesting stuff. You guys should do something like that...or at the very least....report what is happening in this very BIG corruption trial. Big stuff, Big stuff INDEED!

    Did you also know that your network is now fondly refered to as an "Obama Safe Zone"? Thought you should know.

    March 21, 2008 at 7:33 pm |
  23. Jan from Wood Dale, IL

    Have you seen the new "Papaya" dance on YouTube? Maybe the AC 360 floor crew could perform that one some night.

    Have an egg-celent Easter! Sorry for the bad pun, but I'm mutli- tasking while coloring eggs with the kids.

    March 21, 2008 at 7:30 pm |
  24. Judy

    I agree with you Erica, if all three passports were breached, it makes you wonder how much securtiy or privacy the ordinary citizen has. Is this all part of the Patriot Act under an administration that has done a multiple of unconstitutional acts? An administration that has shown little constraint in the name of protecting us from terrorism and foreign interests abroad? Just why did this breach occur? Of course we will be told that it was a "lower level" employee that was just over-zealous in his pursuit.
    On another topic: I much prefer it when AC posts his blogs rather than having a live blog. I realize we don't get to vote but at least in a regular post you have time to think the topic through and formulate your thoughts. Many times people will spend time writing and there is really NO CONVERSATION, taking place. I know you try to blog live, but from what I can asscertain, Anderson spends little time doing so, I know this is not his fault, because of time limitations, I think management might rethink this latest gimmick. We either watch and listen or write, but not both.

    March 21, 2008 at 7:09 pm |
  25. Jim- Kearny, NJ

    Hi Erica!

    I hope you can be like Marian McPartland at 90. She's quite inspirational.

    Also, sorry about UConn today. Don't feel too bad though. They cost me 2 losses in my bracket pool : )

    Have a great weekend!


    March 21, 2008 at 6:45 pm |
  26. Tammy

    Well, at least they aren't playing favorites while snooping. I would like for someone to get to the bottom of this. I feel like Big Brother is less Orwellian fantasy and more reality after today. What is private about us to our government anymore? I wish someone would get answers for us.

    As for the drinking water, I'll stick with bottled, too. Post-Katrina and Rita, I don't think tapwater is safe in South Louisiana. And even if there are issues with bottled water in general, I'm still thinking in my part of the world it's the better bet. Call me paranoid if you will, but I'm not taking chances even though it'll be three years in August.

    At 90, I want to be her, too. Very impressive. Sounds like a wonderful birthday concert to celebrate a wonderful lady.

    Happy Easter weekend!!!

    March 21, 2008 at 6:39 pm |
  27. Michelle

    The question is who is using that information and what is it being used for? Also, did these guys get paid to do the break in? Considering either Clinton, McCain or Obama will be the next president, I'd say, "Yes, indeedy, this needs to be investigated". Our National Security system is apparently not working. Hmm?

    I don't drink tap water, my dear.

    Music keeps one young! Keep playing Marian!

    Happy Easter Erica!

    March 21, 2008 at 6:34 pm |
  28. John


    Since all three candidates passport's were breached I don't think it was politically moticated. Some people are just nosy! Still the current administration has to be held accountable for this lapse in security.

    I would like to see more of you on the air.

    Eugene, Oregon (where Obama will be tonight)

    March 21, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  29. Annie Kate

    Salmonella in the tap water; its getting to where you can't take the safety of anything for granted. Bottled water that comes in the plastic containers is bad for the environment – the container not the water. You'd think that all the safety concerns would help us diet.

    I'm not surprised about the passport data being accessed – the more you open your system up to other agencies the more chances you have of someone finding a way into the system to look. Sounds like they had a good monitoring system but many don't.. If you want scary though think about the number of companies that have offshored their human resources to other countries – including direct deposit info, social security numbers, etc That scares me worse than the passport stuff.

    Listening to jazz at least is still safe – keep the music coming. At least its food for our souls and one of the best de-stressors around. Have a great weekend.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    March 21, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  30. Lilibeth

    Hi Erica, it's unbelieveable that the passport breach happened. I agree with the Clinton campaign spokesman when he said that the current administration has to get to the bottom of this. I look forward to more follow-ups to this story.

    So what can we do about the tap water? I'm thinking of getting a water filter/purifier...do they really take all the bad stuff out?

    Wow...that 90-year old is still sharp as a tack! Thanks for sharing her story!

    Happy Easter Erica!

    Edmonds, Washington

    March 21, 2008 at 6:00 pm |
  31. barb

    Don't blame Bush again for passport snafu. How do you know it's Bush or McCain operatives? it looks like everyone's fair game in the snooping business.

    p.s. I don't care if they look in my passport. I have nothing to hide!

    March 21, 2008 at 5:57 pm |
  32. flippr

    I'll stick with bottled water thanks ! I also heard on news that some processed food has growth hormones in it. Ewww

    March 21, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  33. Ruby Coria, LA., CA.

    Erica, we can't drink water, can't eat beef (i'm cool with that), can't buy gas, the mortgage payment coming up in a week., but it's all good hopefully we'll live to be 90 like Ms. McPartland and to top if of surrounded by Jazz music. Erica have a good week.end "Happy Wk."

    March 21, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  34. Cindy

    I think that a lot of the pundits on 360 and elsewhere need to eat their words tonight!! They were all yelling that it was the Reps that were looking into Obama trying to get dirt! Well now we see someone looked at all three of the candidates. Now why would a Rep look at McCain if they want dirt on the other two? Yeah...let's see how they change their story tonight.

    Cynthia, Covington, Ga.

    March 21, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  35. Sandy Jay, Newfoundland, Canada

    I can honestly say that there is nothing that I feel totally comfortable with eating anymore, either because of content or safety concerns. You would think that water would be the safest bet, but obviously it is not.

    March 21, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  36. ender

    What's in someone's passport file anyway?

    It's no secret when you use the passport to travel out of the country.

    March 21, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  37. cary

    It's not that I don't trust the water filtration process of my local government, it's the many miles of pipes between the filtration plant and our homes that I don't trust. We don't know where the water travels to to get to us, do we??!! 🙁

    March 21, 2008 at 5:28 pm |