April 7th, 2008
09:46 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 4/7/08

Tonight as authorities pull hundreds of children from a compound in Texas, the secrets of their polygamist way of life begin to emerge. Allegations of systematic child abuse, statutory rape, forced marriages and more. We have late details you won't see anywhere else.

Also, new information about the battle for Baghdad and Iraq. Gen. David Petraeus reports to Congress tomorrow. We've got the outlines tonight, and a fresh look at the facts on the ground.


Filed under: Live Blog
April 7th, 2008
07:41 PM ET

All I want for my 18th birthday is a 'voter registration card'

On Saturday, my wife and I walked through the National Civil Rights Museum, and nothing was more moving to me than to see the wall honoring those killed during the movement. And what so powerful was that most of them were killed over the right to vote.

Forgive me if I don't have any patience for those who continue to suggest that voting doesn't matter. Sorry if I offend any African American who proudly proclaims they don't care about voting and they get a verbal pimp slap for being so callous, stupid and ignorant.


April 7th, 2008
06:39 PM ET

Gunfire and mosquito bites


CNN's Harris Whitbeck tours Rio de Janeiro's most violent slum, which is ground zero in the dengue fever epidemic.

The shots rang out just as I had finished greeting a motherly, smiling shopkeeper in front of her storefront in the Caxias district of Rio de Janeiro.  For a brief second, I was taken back to Baghdad, where gunfire at all times of the day or night is commonplace.  As it turns out, it is just as commonplace in the densely populated slums that surround Rio.

I never knew if the shots were fired by police or by the notorious drug gangs that control many of Rio’s slums- I was told gang members have lookouts at the edges of their neighborhoods on the watch for police- and that they fire warning shots to let other gang members know when an incursion is about to take place.


Filed under: Dengue Fever • Harris Whitbeck
April 7th, 2008
06:31 PM ET

Hard topics in the Arab world find the Internet

An Egyptian man with AIDS finds his voice on the internet website YouTube.

In a carefully crafted eight-minute clip, he highlights the stigma surrounding living with AIDS in the Arab world.

"I haven't seen my family in 5 years. I left them when I felt that their life will be easier without me. You know how rude neighbors and friends can be? I got tired so I left."

He then describes his family’s rejection: "my sister once said, 'leave us alone I don't want my kids to be... queer like you.' The words hurt me. Queer means abnormal, scandalous, and disgraceful."

With some 40,000 views on YouTube, the posting is inspiring debate. The kind that is generally missing in the Arab world. 


Filed under: Internet • Octavia Nasr
April 7th, 2008
06:25 PM ET

Nic Robertson: Firefight in Sadr City

Nic Robertson

CNN's Nic Robertson sees the fighting in Sadr City and discovers the city isn't under government control

What was weird about going in to battle in Sadr city was leaving with the fighting still raging. The best way I can describe it is like going home from a football game before the final whistle.

We were sprinting away from the fight, across open alley ways where snipers lay in wait to take you down if you hesitate. Automatic gunfire was bursting through the air and I wanted to go back. I wanted to know who was going to win.


Filed under: Iraq • Nic Robertson
April 7th, 2008
06:18 PM ET

Erica's News Note: Snuffed out


The Beijing Olympics don’t begin until August, so I can only wonder what else the next few weeks will bring. Between the protests in London this weekend, and in Paris and San Francisco today, it is clear the citizens of the world don’t plan to let the games go quietly. Even the International Olympic Committee is now starting to pay more attention. LINK TO STORY

Jacques Rogge, head of the IOC, admitting he is “very concerned” about the situation in Tibet, but isn’t worried about talk of boycotting the games. I wonder if that tune will change, and I’m curious to see if any countries do sit this one out, even if it’s just the opening ceremonies.


Filed under: Erica Hill
April 7th, 2008
05:24 PM ET

Afternoon Buzz

There's a lot going on this afternoon. More than 400 children have now been removed from a polygamist ranch in Texas that's home to followers of sect leader Warren Jeffs. Authorites gave that shocking new number in a news conference in the last hour. In Iraq, deadly fighting continues in Sadr City. On the campaign trail, we're tracking the buzz on Condi Rice for Vice President. Are the rumors true or false? And, a bride and groom spent their wedding night in an odd place. Here's your Afternoon Buzz:

Top Stories
401 children taken from polygamist ranch
Authorities say more than 400 children have been taken from a polygamist compound and placed in state custody as they continue to investigate whether one of them had been an underage bride.

Sadr City clashes rage for a second day
Nine Iraqis were killed and 65 wounded in clashes lasting into Monday between U.S. backed Iraqi forces and Shiite militias in Baghdad's Sadr City that already killed 20 people Sunday, an Interior Ministry spokesman said.

Chaos during Olympic torch relay
Paris' Olympic torch relay descended into chaos Monday, with protesters scaling the Eiffel Tower, grabbing for the flame and forcing security officials to repeatedly snuff out the torch and transport it by bus past demonstrators yelling "Free Tibet!"

Protestors scale Golden Gate bridge
Three protesters scaled the Golden Gate Bridge on Monday where four others were arrested in a likely precursor to large planned protests when the Olympic torch arrives Wednesday in San Francisco.

Raw Politics
Vice President Condoleezza Rice?
Sen. John McCain said Sunday he hasn't seen signals Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is interested in running as vice president.

Tracking McCain's donations
In March, Advisers say Republican Sen. John McCain has raised...

Penn ousting follows months of bad blood
Mark Penn's decision to step down as Hillary Clinton's chief strategist comes after months of bitter campaign infighting over disappointing performance and questionable judgment.

Crime & Punishment
Jury: Driver, Paparazzi killed Princess Diana
A coroner's jury returned the most serious verdict within its power Monday, ruling that Princess Diana and her boyfriend were unlawfully killed because their driver and pursuing paparazzi were reckless — behavior tantamount to manslaughter.

Teen accused in grad student's death
A 14-year-old boy was charged with manslaughter in the death of a Columbia University graduate student who was punched and chased into traffic, hit by a car and killed, police said Sunday.

What YOU will be TALKING about TONIGHT
Bride, Groom spend wedding night in jail
A weekend wedding turned into an unforgettable first night for two newlyweds.

Gator blood to help you?
Call it a case of gator aid. New research suggests that alligator blood could serve as the basis for new antibiotics targeting infections caused by ulcers, burns and even drug-resistant "superbugs."

Filed under: The Buzz
April 7th, 2008
05:15 PM ET

White conservative talkers should have been in Memphis


During the controversy surrounding the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, I saw many conservative talk show hosts, all white, reference the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as they model for what a black pastor should be. Several kept uttering his words taken from the "I Have A Dream" speech from the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

And as I looked at all the African American talk shows hosts in Memphis, I had to ask, "Where are the conservative talk show hosts?"


April 7th, 2008
04:53 PM ET

David Gergen: A Clinton campaign without Mark Penn


Hillary Clinton

If Mark Penn had been a favorite within the Clinton campaign, it is difficult to believe that he would have been forced out over the Colombian affair.  Sure, it was a dumb mistake – a “what was he thinking” moment.  Still, it was a far cry from what one of Barack Obama’s top advisers did when he met with Canadian officials on NAFTA and his mistake properly set off a mini-firestorm.  So, in the ordinary course of things, Mark Penn’s apology and a few days of reassuring labor unions would have been enough to quiet things down – and Penn would still be calling the shots.



Filed under: David Gergen • Mark Penn • Raw Politics
April 7th, 2008
03:40 PM ET

Olympic protestors halt the torch


Before things got underway the police were in complete control. Police boats worked the river...a bridge across the Seine was shut down... there was a six square block security area around the Eiffel tower and to the confusion of the tourists who hadn't gotten the e-mail, Paris' most visited landmark was suddenly off limits.

But hey, the media? We can usually get through those police lines with our press cards held high. Not this time. We walked from one check point to the next, joking with the cops, but getting nowhere. Finally at a makeshift press tent we got through... and there, to our amazement, we were practically alone. Dead underneath the tower just as the first torch runner was coming down the stairs.


Filed under: Olympics
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