March 24th, 2008
10:13 PM ET
March 24th, 2008
05:41 PM ET

Erica’s News Note: The miracle of life

When word of the Alaska Ranger’s distress call popped up on my BlackBerry yesterday, my thoughts immediately turned to the unforgiving, frigid waters off the coast of the Aleutian Islands, where the boat was taking on water. I’m a huge fan of “Deadliest Catch”, the reality show that follows crab fisherman in that same area. Last year, I learned a lot about the intense danger of the waters these men and women work in, including the importance of their survival suits. Without one, Coast Guard officials tell us your survival time is less than 30 minutes.

Even with that suit, these waters are more than just cold. The Alaska Ranger was in 10 foot seas early Sunday with winds of 30 to 35 miles per hour when it began taking on water. Sea temperatures were 29 degrees while the air temps were in the mid-30s. More than a dozen crew members were trying to stay alive in the water, with only those survival suits and strobe lights to save them; they were without a life raft. They were eventually plucked from the ocean, along a mile stretch.

This afternoon as I write this, one crew member is missing, four are dead, 42 survived. The story, which you can see here, is heartbreaking and eye-opening.

As many Americans focus on rising gas prices, dropping home sales and what we’re giving up as recession looms, the situation in Egypt reminds me how lucky we are, even in the midst of this downturn. A bread shortage there has left seven people dead and has the government scrambling to fix this situation.

In Egypt, the demand for subsidized bread – which sells for less than a penny a loaf - is climbing as fewer people can afford unsubsidized bread. Flour and other ingredients are getting more expensive, as is the end product. Lines for the government loaves can stretch on for hours, and have also led to violence. Police say two people have been stabbed in line, and others have died of exhaustion and medical complications from waiting in the spring heat. See the story here.

It’s the outcome no one expected, but everyone wanted. Doctors told Zach Dunlap’s family he was gone. His father looked at the brain scans for his 21 year old son, and saw nothing – no blood flow, no activity; his son was brain dead. As his parents prepared to say goodbye, doctors were getting ready to harvest the young man’s organs, in hopes of saving another life. The, the miraculous happened: Zach moved. Today, 48 days after hearing doctors declare him brain dead, Zach is out of the hospital and says he’s feeling “pretty good”.

It’s a story that leaves me feeling that way, too. Check it out for yourself.

Erica Hill, 360 Correspondent

Filed under: Erica Hill
March 24th, 2008
05:23 PM ET

Afternoon Buzz

This afternoon parts of Arkansas are under water as flooding trouble heads south.  On the other side of the globe,  a grim discovery is made in Iraq.  While in the battle for the White House, it's getting nastier between the Clinton and Obama camps.  The infamous 'blue dress' in the Clinton-Monica Lewinsky affair is coming into play. We can't make this stuff up! And, it's not easy being 8 feet 5 inches tall.  Here's your Afternoon Buzz:

Top Stories
Rivers Rage
The White River flooded low-lying areas of Des Arc, Arkansas on Monday and continued to rise, as other towns along the river were warned they could suffer their worst flooding in more than a quarter-century.

FBI: Bodies of kidnapped U.S. contractors found
The remains of two U.S. contractors who were kidnapped in Iraq have been found, FBI officials said Monday.

Detroit Mayor faces felony charges
Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and an ex-aide were charged Monday with perjury and obstruction of justice after prosecutors said sexually explicit text messages between the two contradicted their sworn court testimony.

Raw Politics
Obama backer cites 'blue dress' in Bill Clinton attack
Sen. Hillary Clinton's advisers blasted Sen. Barack Obama's campaign Monday after a major Obama supporter referenced the blue dress that was at the heart of former President Bill Clinton's impeachment scandal.

High court rejects anti-Clinton movie case 
The Supreme Court has rejected a conservative group's legal fight to air commercials promoting a movie critical of Sen. Hillary Clinton

Crime & Punishment
Chauffeur denies killing millionaire boss
A chauffeur charged with conspiracy to commit murder says he didn't kill a wealthy developer who had been days away from pleading guilty in a multimillion-dollar fraud case

Drew Peterson: It's 'very lonely' without Stacy 
Jobless and with no prospects, Drew Peterson spends his days taking care of his four children: cooking meals, washing clothes, helping with homework. All the while, he does so knowing that most of the world believes he killed his last two wives.

What YOU will be TALKING about TONIGHT
Man declared dead, says he feels 'pretty good' 
Zach Dunlap says he feels "pretty good," four months after he was declared brain dead and doctors were about to remove his organs for transplant.

Pilots gun goes off on flight 
Federal authorities are investigating how a pilot's gun accidentally discharged in the cockpit on a U.S. Airways flight from Denver to Charlotte, N.C.

World's tallest man struggles to fit in 
Leonid Stadnik's phenomenal height has forced him to quit a job he loved, to stoop as he moves around his house and to spend most of his time in his tiny home village because he cannot fit in a car or bus

Filed under: The Buzz
March 24th, 2008
03:28 PM ET

Beat 360 3/24/08

Hey Bloggers!

It’s time for ‘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:


Have fun with it.

Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.
UPDATE: Check out last night’s winner!

Filed under: Beat 360°
March 24th, 2008
03:06 PM ET

Chauffer framed in Millionaire's Murder?


Andrew Kissel, seen here, was murdered in 2006. His former driver, and another man, are being charged with the murder.

He was once a successful real estate developer, drove flashy cars and lived in a gated estate in one of the country’s wealthiest suburbs. But nearly two years ago, the weekend of April 2, 2006, millionaire Andrew Kissel was found dead in the basement of his mansion. His hands and feet were bound and he’d been stabbed in the chest. His murder shocked this community. Kissel’s lawyer told CNN he had started using drugs and in 2005, he was charged with more than 25 million dollars in fraud, including millions stolen from  the owners of a Manhattan apartment building where he served on the board. He was killed two days before he was supposed to testify. His lawyer said he was planning to plead guilty and go to prison. Then suddenly, just days before his meeting with prosecutors, he was murdered.


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Randi Kaye
March 24th, 2008
12:08 PM ET


Good afternoon all.. Tonight, the presidential race: Obama spin: Hillary is near death.. Hillary spin: she's got the big-state muscle needed to win. The truth: neither is close to enough delegates. Joe Johns outlines the electoral map, and what increasingly looks like a slo-mo train wreck..

We'll talk with James Carville about his comparison of Gov. Richardson to Judas–and about the governor's motives–after Richardson dumped longtime Clinton allies to endorse Obama. Also, Greg Craig, Bill Clinton's defense attorney in the impeachment hearings, vehemently endorsed Obama.. what gives? With friends like these....

Also, as the U.S. death toll in Iraq passes a number never predicted in war planning, Michael Ware reports the U.S. still can't trust anyone there, with Iran and al Qaeda planting roots faster than the US can eradicate them.. Plus–conflicting visions–what happens if/when the US pulls out as the Dems promise... Or... as Fractured Fairytales might put it, who lost Iraq?

Drew Griffin breaks an investigative exclusive: the much-vaunted federal air marshals are on far fewer airline flights than you might think. Did someone say security?

And back in la-la-land, Randi Kaye checks out to Greenwich, CT, where police announce a major break in a mystery: who gagged, bound and murdered a multi-millionaire real estate developer just days before he was to plead guilty to fraud-and why?? Hello! Police say the chauffeur and his cousin did it, with the candlestick in the library.

What's on your mind? Please send us your thoughts.. thank you!!!

-Barclay Palmer

360 Senior Producer

Filed under: Barclay Palmer • The Buzz