April 7th, 2008
02:40 PM ET

Anniversary of Dr. King's death: why Obama should have been there

For many, the week leading up to the 40th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a walk down the memory lane.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/07/art.mlk.anniv2.jpg caption="Martin Luther King III and his sister Bernice observe a moment of silence with the Rev. Al Sharpton at 6:01pm, the moment when Martin Luther King Jr. was shot on the balcony of the Lorraine Hotel, on the 40th anniversary of his assassination."]

Hordes of reporters talked to ministers, civil rights leaders, sanitation workers and others about what it was like to march with Dr. King, and the events surrounding his last hours were like.

But for Martin Luther King III, he stayed on message: remembering April 4 was about recommitment to the causes his father fought for.

That point seemed to be in conflict during the five days I was in Memphis. I guess because remembering all of King's work is pretty easy compared to forging your own path.

During the last year of his life, King was focused on two primary issues: poverty and the war in Vietnam.

According to the latest CNN/Opinion Research poll, the top two issues today are the economy and the war in Iraq. Different times, but the issues remain the same...


Filed under: Barack Obama • Raw Politics
April 7th, 2008
12:37 PM ET

A look ahead at 360° Tonight

Good morning friends... What's on your mind this morning?  Please let us know your morning thoughts about the news. 
Here's what we're thinking so far for 360 tonight:
– On the eve of General Petraeus’ testimony on the Hill, Michael Ware does a reality check on the Surge. What has it accomplished. Can it be sustained? Must it be sustained?
– Nic Robertson on the difficulty in getting Iraqi troops to take over on the front lines.
– Candy Crowley on the resignation of top strategist Mark Penn from Hillary Clinton's campaign. Did he really think such a conflict of interest would be ok, or wouldn't be discovered? 

– Tom Foreman on reports Condoleezza Rice wants to be VP. The NY Times says it's news to McCain's camp.

– David Mattingly on the more than 200 women and children removed from the Texas compound of the FLDS polygamist sect led by the self-proclaimed prophet now in prison: Warren Jeffs. Authorities have not identified the girl who called them with allegations of abuse.

– Planet in Peril: Harris Whitbeck on the mysterious Dengue fever in Rio, which has killed at least 58 and sent thousands to the hospital.

See you tonight!


-Barclay Palmer, 360° Senior Producer

Comments to the 360° blog are moderated. What does that mean?

Filed under: Barclay Palmer • Iraq • Polygamy • Raw Politics
April 7th, 2008
11:45 AM ET

What made Mark Penn think this could work?


How does one of the sharpest minds in politics (Mark Penn) let himself get caught in such a conflict of interest (to boil it down: advocating a free trade agreement that his candidate/boss opposes) that he loses on both counts: he loses a key contract for his company, AND he has to step down from Hillary Clinton's campaign.


Hello.  Wasn't there an obvious problem on the front end of this situation?  Or, maybe more to the point, in an age of relentless scrutiny of presidential campaigns, not to mention almost everything else, why would he think it could be ok–or remain a secret?  Nothing remains a secret for long these days.


But then, maybe even more to the point of Mark Penn's resignation and loss of a valuable contract–does anyone really care? Sure, we political junkies do. But voters are weighing more weighty issues... Right?


– Barclay Palmer, 360° Senior Producer

Comments to the 360° blog are moderated. What does that mean?

Filed under: Barclay Palmer • Hillary Clinton • Mark Penn • Raw Politics
April 7th, 2008
10:33 AM ET

Endorsements and Watermelons: Can you really compare?


Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter joins Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton at a rally in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The State's Pivotal, delegate-rich primary is April 22.

When I interviewed Philadelphia's Mayor Michael Nutter a couple of weeks ago he seemed a bit uncomfortable with all the questions about why he endorsed Hillary Clinton. After all, Nutter is African American and finds himself at the center of a debate about whether high profile African Americans should automatically be endorsing Barack Obama.
At the time, I asked Nutter if he felt any pressure because of his color to back Barack Obama? He told me, "This is not a campaign for high school class president—this is the campaign for the President of the U.S. I’m only hoping voters will take a lot more factors in when voting than just the issue of race...  I’m mostly under pressure from my constituents to make sure that potholes are getting filled, trash is getting picked up, and that the city is running well and proper. I understand those concerns but folks of Philadelphia, we just went through a mayor’s race, had three African-American candidates and two white candidates. I received the majority of votes of the African-American community and the white community—the first time any African-American has done that in a mayor’s race."
Any chance he'll change his mind? Nope. He told me, "People in the city know once I make a commitment to do something I’m going to follow through and do it. If I say I’m endorsing a candidate, I have a good reason for it and they know I’m not going to change my mind."


April 7th, 2008
08:23 AM ET

Brazil's Dengue fever epidemic

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/07/art.dengue.jpg caption="Suspected of being affected by dengue fever, three-year-old Maria Eduarda Lopes receives medical treatment at an Air Force hospital near downtown Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Brazilian military set up three field hospitals to help treat people suspect of being affected by the dengue fever. The dengue fever is a tropical virus disease transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito which in extreme cases can cause hemorrhage and death. No vaccine is yet commercially available"]

Covering any story of death and disaster is hard. Reporting on the death of a ten year old boy is especially difficult.

But the death of young Israel Marques of hemorrhagic fever in Rio de Janeiro is just one of many I've heard about in reporting on the dengue epidemic in Brazil. Rio de Janeiro- the “cidade maravilhosa,” better known for its lively partying and joie de vivre, is facing somber times.

I spent the better part of today at one of three military field hospitals set up around the city. Hundreds of worried people came in and out, complaining of intense headaches and bone-crunching fevers. The latent concern, that there is really nothing much you can do to either prevent dengue or to fight it once it is in your system. The only act of prevention is slathering your exposed skin with DEET repellent- which, if it doesn’t melt your skin off, will keep the dengue-bearing mosquitoes at bay.

The more far-reaching concern, and one that gave pause for thought as I hung out at the field hospital, was on the underlying causes of the largest dengue outbreak Brazil has ever experienced- that the epidemic could have been brought on by humanity itself.

The Pan American Health Organization explicitly blames urban sprawl and climate change for the development of dengue epidemics. Overcrowded and unsanitary living conditions provide fertile breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and heavy rains provide the heat and humidity they thrive on. Yes, poverty and global warming cause sickness and death.

Apparently so does violence- there are reports that violent drug gangs that control the slums around Rio are preventing sanitation authorities from fumigating their neighborhoods- but more on that later.

– Harris Whitbeck, CNN international correspondent

Comments to the 360° blog are moderated. What does that mean?

Filed under: Dengue Fever
April 7th, 2008
07:21 AM ET

Beat 360° 4/7/08

Hey Bloggers!

What's going on? How was your weekend? Dreading the work-week? fear not! Because 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: The world's smallest humanoid robot displayed last year in Tokyo, Japan. The 16.5 centimeter robot is able to walk, play the drums and keep its balance (Whatever! Our blog can do all those things and more... ). I'm guessing the little lady (pun intended) next to him is to represent scale – but ill let you decide!

Beat 360°

Here's one to get you started:

“No! I think you’re great... Really! …It’s just that don’t date guys under 17 centimeters”

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

Update: Check out our winner!

Filed under: Beat 360°
April 7th, 2008
07:02 AM ET

Morning Buzz

Morning folks...Happy Monday! Big shake ups in the Clinton campaign...how will it impact the race? New polls in North Carolina and PA...can Obama be stopped? Also, scroll down to What YOU will be talking about TODAY and read the bizarre story of man who received a heart transplant and 12 years later killed himself much like his original donor did....strange coincidence?  There are lots of headlines to chew over, sooo grab your coffee and lets get to it.

Top Stories
Flight complaints high...
Late flights and lost bags, to say nothing of higher fares, are making air travelers grumpy, an annual survey of airline quality says.

219 women & children taken from Polygamy ranch...
More than 200 women and children have been removed from a Texas ranch that's home to members of a polygamist sect, but authorities have not identified the girl who called them with allegations of abuse.

Violence continues in Iraq...
When Gen. David H. Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker brief Congress this week, they will be hard-pressed to depict Iraq as moving toward stability in the wake of recent violence that sent deaths soaring to their highest level in seven months.

Iraq effort heads to the hill...
On the heels of tough fighting in southern Iraq and renewed concerns over strains on the U.S. military, the conversation on America's long-term prospects in Iraq has shifted once again, creating an altered backdrop for an appearance on Capitol Hill this week by Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker.

No pact for Bush & Putin...
President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin brought their turbulent seven-year partnership to a close Sunday without a concrete deal on the issues dividing their wary nations but left behind a road map for their successors.

Brazilian residents and dengue fever...
The battle against a massive and deadly outbreak of dengue continues Monday, but obstacles remain in at least one sprawling neighborhood.

Olympic torch protests in Paris...
The Olympic flame started its relay through Paris Monday, a day after anti-Chinese demonstrators made its journey through London more like running the gauntlet than a journey of celebration.

Raw Politics
Top Clinton advisor out...
Sen. Hillary Clinton's chief presidential campaign strategist is quitting his post amid criticism of his public relations firm's contacts with the Colombian government over a pending free-trade deal, Clinton's campaign announced.

Is Obama ready to be President?
Is Barack Obama qualified to serve as president? "Absolutely,’’"Sen. John McCain said today – with a qualifier that he, of course, considers himself more qualified.

Campaigning on the hill...
When Army Gen. David H. Patreus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker travel to Capitol tomorrow, they might be the ones before the microphones, but the cameras will be trained on three of their inquisitors: Senator John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barcak Obama. 

McCain gets frank with voters...
The striking thing about Sen. John McCain's series of speeches this week was how often he apologized for or explained youthful indiscretions, his temper or his bad congressional votes.

Superdelegate count tough for Clinton...
The hill that Hillary Rodham Clinton must climb to beat Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination will grow a little steeper on Monday, as it has most days lately.

States see leap in voter registration...
Nominating a Democratic presidential candidate has become a marathon, but primary voters are going the distance: Voter registration is surging in six of the eight states with upcoming Democratic primaries — a sign that turnout could continue to break records.

Obama talks patriotism...
Barack Obama wants to make something clear: He loves America.

New poll: Obama has huge lead in NC...
Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama has a commanding lead over Hillary Rodham Clinton in North Carolina, but he might face greater difficulties than she against likely Republican nominee John McCain in the general election.

Keeping Them Honest
More UCLA records abuses...
A UCLA Medical Center worker who sneaked into the confidential medical records of '70s TV icon Farrah Fawcett last year also improperly viewed the electronic files of 32 other celebrities, politicians and high-profile patients, including California first lady Maria Shriver, according to interviews with hospital and state officials Sunday.

Pork remains  hidden in US Budget...
Sometimes on Capitol Hill, lawmakers find that it pays to ask nicely instead of just ordering the bureaucrats around.

Crime & Punishment
Teens rampage through school...
Five teenagers brandishing baseball bats and a machete rampaged through a school in Sydney on Monday, smashing windows, terrorizing students and hitting a teacher over the head, police said. Eighteen other people were slightly hurt.

What YOU will be talking about TODAY
GA man kills self 12 years after receives transplant...
A man who received a heart transplant 12 years ago and later married the donor's widow died the same way the donor did, authorities said: of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Filed under: The Buzz
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