April 8th, 2008
07:23 PM ET

The heat of battle shifts to Washington... for a day

Watching Ambassador Crocker’s and General Petraeus’s testimony today I heard nothing that would surprise Iraq’s leaders. Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh found the assessment fair although he sees more room for optimism now than has done for several years. Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki’s crackdown on the Mehdi militia of Shia cleric Moqtada al Sadr is a point in case for Saleh. He told me this evening by taking on his own Shia constituency the Prime Minister has taken a big step toward garnering more support from Sunnis and Kurds, increasing the possibility of political compromise and advancing the country on a unified nationalist agenda.


Filed under: Iraq • Nic Robertson
April 8th, 2008
07:21 PM ET

Erica’s News Note: Eye on helping

Google maps is teaming up with the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to let you see how the world is changing, as refugees move about looking for safe haven and basic needs we often take for granted: clean water, food and shelter. A new feature on Google maps now lets you zoom in on those refugee camps. The maps will also be used by humanitarian aid organizations. The UN will offer information about the refuges – where they’re from and the problems they’re facing.


Filed under: Erica Hill
April 8th, 2008
07:15 PM ET

We’re Webby Award Nominees!

Bloggees, we have some great news to report.
We’re Webby Award Nominees!
“You liked us! You really, really liked us!”    (More to come on what we’ll say if we win)

So where was I…. oh yes… We are Webby Award Nominees!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the award, it’s the leading international honor for the Web. The NY Times has called it the "Oscars of the Internet."

The Webby Awards honor excellence on the Internet, including Websites, Interactive Advertising, Online Film & Video, and Mobile Websites.
Established in 1996, the 12th Annual Webby Awards received nearly 10,000 entries from all 50 states and more than 60 countries.

"We made it!"

What do we need?   


     – On the site, click the 'WEBSITE VOTE NOW' icon
     – Set up a quick login- its painless – dont worry, no junkmail
     – click 'CELEBRITY/FAN' category – and vote for us!!!

So hop on, spread the word!  Run, don't walk! Tell your co-workers, friends and family, set grandma up in front of the computer– and let’s make this happen!

So what will we say if we win? (I told you I’d get back to that)
Well... The award-show's acceptance speeches are famous... Why? Because they are limited to five words, tops.

You know what I’m thinking, don’t you?  An online 360 blog contest!

So I’ll sum all this up into 5 words for you…. to all the great minds out there who read our blog, and got us to where we are today… we ask...

Hey, THAT was just five words. A good start?
Send us YOUR ideas.. Thank you! 

For inspiration, here are some 5-word speech examples given by past winners:

  • TripAdvisor – Because some hotels still suck.

  • DIYNetwork.com – Now, let's get hammered.

  • CNNMoney.com – More popular than Lou Dobbs.

  • Yahoo! Real Estate – There's no place like home.

  • Smithsonian Education – Remember those who taught you.

  • FindLaw – Anyone need a good lawyer?

  • HubbleSite – Houston, we have a winner.

    – David Reisner, 360° Digital Producer

Filed under: Webby Awards
April 8th, 2008
05:09 PM ET

Afternoon Buzz

The top U.S. commander in Iraq goes to Washington and gets grilled by lawmakers.  He says a U.S. troop withdrawal wouldn't be a good idea. 

Start saving your cash!  You might be paying $4 for a gallon of gas this summer.

And, in California, a bizarre attack on a taxi cab driver turns deadly.  While on the other side of the globe, a two-headed baby is born in India.  Here's your Afternoon Buzz:

Top Stories
General reports 'fragile' progress in Iraq 
Iraq is making "fragile but reversible" progress on security, but it's too early to set dates to pull out all U.S. troops, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq told Congress on Tuesday.

$4 gas this summer? 
Retail gas prices could climb as high as $4 a gallon this summer, but prices at such lofty levels will make many Americans think twice about hitting the road this summer, the Energy Department said Tuesday.

Raid shines light on secretive polygamous sect 
Until the raid on their compound, the women and girls of the Yearning for Zion Ranch spent their days caring for its many children, tilling gardens and quilting, dressed in pioneer-style dresses sewn by their own hands.

Protests as Olympic flame arrives in U.S. 
The Olympic flame arrived in San Francisco early Tuesday and was being kept in an undisclosed location before continuing an international torch relay that has been marked by passionate protests.

Raw Politics
Obama gaining on Clinton in Pennsylvania  
Sen. Barack Obama continues to chip away at Sen. Hillary Clinton's lead in the crucial state of Pennsylvania, a new Quinnipiac poll out Tuesday showed.

Clinton: Penn flap won't hurt us 
Sen. Hillary Clinton predicted Tuesday the recent controversy surrounding her top adviser's meeting with the Colombian government wouldn't prove damaging to her campaign.

Rice: No interest in McCain ticket 
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice dismissed rumors Tuesday that she is angling to be Sen. John McCain's running mate, instead telling reporters she plans to...

Crime & Punishment
2 woman killed in taxi crash; cabbie stabbed in the neck 
The cabdriver told police that one of the women attacked him, causing him to lose control and slam into a concrete barrier.

NAACP: 'Barbie Bandits' got slap on wrists 
The head of the Georgia NAACP called for the state to investigate the sentences given in the so-called "Barbie bandits" bank theft case, saying the two white defendants got less prison time than two black men.

Famed Pathologist's fraud trial  
A federal judge declared a mistrial Tuesday in the fraud case against celebrity pathologist Cyril Wecht, who was accused of using his staff at the county coroner's office to do work for his lucrative private practice.

What YOU will be TALKING about TONIGHT
Teens arrested over taped beating 
Eight teenagers have been arrested after filming the beating of another teen and threatening to post the video on the Internet.

Baby with 2 faces born in India 
A baby with two faces was born in a northern Indian village, where she is doing well and is being worshipped as the reincarnation of a Hindu goddess, her father said Tuesday.

Filed under: The Buzz
April 8th, 2008
03:57 PM ET

A look ahead at 360° tonight

Good Afternoon bloggers,

It's all about Gen. David Petraeus today as the presidential candidates, who want to be his boss, question him and Ambassador Ryan Crocker about the war.  Or is it?  Something tells me it'll also be all about them. Will light be shed.. or will there just be a scrum for the spotlight?

Here's what we're thinking for tonight:

Tom Foreman will look at the key points of the Patreaus hearing. Michael Ware will give us a reality check on the Surge: What did it accomplish? Can it be sustained? Must it be sustained?

Nic Robertson is live in Baghdad, just back from the front lines, as the U.S. Tries to get Iraqis to fight the fight. Is it working? Yes and no..not so well during the mid-battle lunch break.

Candy Crowley will look at the the three candidates while David Gergen and others deconstruct today's developments. What do you think: is it realistic or reckless for candidates to suggest we can get out quickly?

On a very different story– David Mattingly on the 401 children removed from the polygamist sect in Texas, and the  struggle to persuade them to talk about what abuse happened on the compound built by jailed polygamist leader Warren Jeffs.

Gary Tuchman with the personal story of a 6-year-old girl swept up in first major raid on the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints – 55 years ago.

We'll talk with local reporter Mike Watkiss, who has been investigating the FLDS for years, and Kathy Jo Nicholson , a former FLDS member.

Thank you for joining us at 10p... 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 8th, 2008
03:26 PM ET

Mark Penn's fall is about women, not a meeting

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/14/art.faye.wattleton.jpg caption="Faye Wattleton, President, Center for the Advancement of Women"]

Mark Penn’s resignation as chief strategist for Sen. Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign was a long time coming. A meeting with the Colombian government to discuss a free trade pact by the head of a major PR firm is, in and of itself, not sufficient to warrant the resignation of the campaign chief.  The simple reality is that Mark Penn has led Ms. Clinton’s campaign with a losing strategy.

Perhaps the primary omission is the candidate’s attack mode and her failure to mobilize and excite half the electorate – women. Week after week, in spite of the fact that Sen. Barack Obama did not speak to women either, Ms. Clinton's polls have been in free fall. While blacks and new entrants to the world of politics, young people, were excited by the rhetoric and yes, even the racial controversy in Mr. Obama’s candidacy, Ms. Clinton can’t seem to find her stride.

 – Faye Wattleton, 360° Contributor/President of the Center for the Advancement of Women

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

April 8th, 2008
02:13 PM ET

More children killed, more children changing the world

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/08/art.gunviolence.jpg caption="Enough desks to fill a classroom sat empty in a downtown plaza Tuesday, each bearing a pair of sneakers and representing one of 20 Chicago Public Schools students killed by gunfire this school year. (AP)"]

On Monday morning, March 31, I visited Simeon Career Academy in the wake of another senseless shooting of a teenager. This one took the life of Chavez Clarke, a young man who on March 29 was attending Saturday classes at Simeon to try to work toward graduation. He was gunned down in the school’s parking lot shortly after finishing classes.

As I talked with students on Monday, I was struck by their sense of outrage over the prevalence of guns in their lives and by their passion to do something about it. Led by Simeon junior Ronnie Mosley, the school quickly organized 10 busloads of students to attend an anti-violence rally that was being organized for the next day in downtown Chicago by Father Michael Pfleger, the pastor of St. Sabina Church who has been a tireless advocate for stronger gun-control laws.


April 8th, 2008
10:31 AM ET

Alzheimer's: another clue

Wouldn’t it be great to know if you were likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease? I think about it all the time, especially when I forget something, lose my keys or lose my train of thought, which really seems to happen more and more lately. Truth is, everyone does that from time to time, and it often has no relationship to developing dementia. But researchers think they have found something that may serve as a warning sign. Depression.

Filed under: Dr. Sanjay Gupta • Medical News
April 8th, 2008
07:20 AM ET

Beat 360° 4/8/08

Hey Bloggers!

Here's your chance to stand out from the crowd, because its 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:

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

UPDATE: Check out our winner!

Filed under: Beat 360°
April 8th, 2008
06:58 AM ET

Morning Buzz

Good Morning folks...Iraq, Petraeus and politics collide this morning....As 4 U.S. soldiers were killed in Iraq  General David H Petraeus takes center stage on the hill today and guess who will be peppering him with questions? Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain... Stay tuned to CNN for all the drama...

In Raw Politics this morning...Bill Clinton is dominating the headlines. While he campaigns in Puerto Rico, the money he made for speaking engagements is being scrutinized back home.  AND upon his departure from the Clinton campaign strategist Mark Penn left a whopping bill...a $2.5 million dollar bill... Yikes!!!

AND authorities announced they removed  401children from the polygamous compound in Texas. 401 CHILDREN!!! David Mattingly will be live from the compound again tonight for AC360... Sooo grab your coffee and lets get right to today's headlines....

Top Stories
Iraq takes center stage today...
The emotional debate over the war will once again dominate presidential politics when all three candidates have opportunities to question the top U.S. general in Iraq during congressional hearings Tuesday.

Congress to hear of gains in Iraq...
In a reprise of their testimony last September, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crockerplan to tell Congress today and tomorrow that security has improved in Iraq and that the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has taken steps toward political reconciliation and economic stability.Soldiers on the ground give mixed assessment...
Behind the recitation of facts and figures by Gen. David H. Petraeus in Capitol Hill testimony beginning today, the fluctuating moods and emotions of U.S. troops here are much harder to gauge.

4 US Soldiers killed in Iraq...
Four U.S. soldiers were killed in Baghdad, Iraq, on Monday in three incidents, according to the U.S. military.

Crackdown on militias...
A crackdown on the Mahdi Army militia is creating potentially destabilizing political and military tensions in Iraq, pitting a stronger government alliance against the force that has won past showdowns: the street power wielded by the radical cleric Moktada al-Sadr.

IOC will consider stopping torch relay...
The IOC will consider scrapping the international leg of the Beijing Olympic torch relay as a result of the anti-Chinese protests.

Iran expands uraniumenrichment program...
Iran has begun installing 6,000 new centrifuges at its uranium enrichment plant in Natanz, state television quoted President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying Tuesday.

Raw Politics
Ex-president fees under microscope...
When London socialite Renu Mehta sought to urge Britain's super-rich to give more to charity, she threw a fundraising dinner headlined by former President Bill Clinton, who has used his global star power to encourage large-scale philanthropy that stresses accountability.

Bill Clinton ion Puerto Rico...
The four sound trucks filed onto potholed streets at 8 o'clock Monday morning, weighed down by the 800-pound speakers rigged to their roofs. They drove past the pineapple plantations, past the black-sand beaches, past the multicolored tiendas downtown.

Clinton owes Penn $$$...
The latest campaign-finance reports show that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign owes about $2.5 million to the firm of Mark J. Penn, who quit as chief strategist after embarrassing the campaign and left a leadership shake-up in his wake.

Obama's young backers twist arms...
The daily phone calls. The midnight e-mail. And, when college lets out, those dinner table declamations? Oh, please.

Is Hillary's hospital story true?
The New York Times had a real attention-grabbing story over the weekend  indicating that Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, had been irritating an Ohio hospital by telling a false story about a poor, pregnant woman denied health care.McCain's ties with Arizona black strained...
Oscar Tillman heads the Phoenix area branch of the NAACP and is a former statewide president of the group. He has been a leader of Arizona’s small, tight-knit African-American community for decades. 

Keeping Them Honest
Simpson owes $$$...
The state of California has a tax bill it would like to discuss with O.J. Simpson.

Bottom line for nursing homes...
California nursing homes bolstered their bottom lines with much of the $590 million that state lawmakers provided them to better tend to the poor, while patient care declined by several key measures, according to a study to be released today.

Challenges arise for border fence...
Securing the nation’s borders is so important, Congress says, that Michael Chertoff, the homeland security secretary, must have the power to ignore any laws that stand in the way of building a border fence. Any laws at all.

Toxic fears extend beyond trailers...
When Shelly Higdon went camping in her new 27-foot trailer, she didn't expect to get a headache and sore throat or lose her voice, or her 8-year-old son to get a nosebleed.

Crime & Punishment
401 children removed from Texas compound...
Authorities said Monday they have taken legal custody of 401 children who lived on an isolated West Texas polygamist retreat built by imprisoned "prophet" Warren Jeffs.

AC360 follow
New job for FAA official...
A Federal Aviation Administration official who was criticized last week for the agency’s handling of missed inspections at Southwest Airlines has been reassigned, an agency spokeswoman said Monday.

What YOU will be talking about TODAY
Kansas wins NCAA...
Memphis kept missing. Mario Chalmers wasn't about to. Chalmers' 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds left in regulation put the game in overtime, and Kansas pulled away to a 75-68 victory on Monday night for its first national championship since Danny and the Miracles 20 years ago.

Runaway bus...
Rolling downhill in a bus with his screaming classmates and no driver, a fast-acting 11-year-old jumped behind the wheel Monday and steered the bus into a pillar, stopping it from careening out of control.

Filed under: The Buzz