April 9th, 2008
09:35 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 4/9/08

Breaking news. New information about what allegedly went on inside one of Warren Jeffs' polygamist compounds. The young woman, whose allegations touched off a massive raid, reportedly directed authorities to a bed in a temple where she said acts of abuse took place.

Also, new polling on the Clinton-Obama race, and a McCain dream ticket that could beat either him, her, or both, get this, in her homestate New York. So who's John McCain's magic running mate? Tune in.

Please check out a post that may be helpful if you wonder why some comments get posted while others do not. LINK TO COMMENTS POST

And be sure to check out our new live web camera from the 360° studio. The shot features a behind the scene look at the set. We’ll turn the camera on at 945p ET and turn it off at 11p ET. LINK TO THE BLOG CAMERA

We’ll start posting comments to this blog at 10p ET and stop at 11p ET. 

Filed under: Live Blog
April 9th, 2008
09:18 PM ET

Randi Kaye: Are you paying for polygamy?


I hope you have some extra cash lying around because Warren Jeffs and his polygamist sect may be dipping into your wallet.

I’ve been following the money for about two years now and I have some bad news for you: It seems you, the taxpayer, may be helping finance this polygamist sect and Jeffs’ FLDS church.

How, you ask?

Here’s what I know: Investigators and former followers tell me the sect is beating the welfare system in a couple of ways. Some members are applying for food stamps, then sending that food to Jeffs’ compounds around the country, including the recently-raided compound in Texas.


Filed under: Polygamy • Randi Kaye
April 9th, 2008
07:25 PM ET

Olympic torch protests: what the flame means on both sides

[cnn-photo-caption image= "http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/US/04/09/torch.protest/art.torch.protests.ap.jpg" "Tibetan monks protest in San Francisco along the Olympic torch's 85,000-mile route toward Beijing"]
The San Francisco leg of the Olympic Torch journey was getting very intense. As the run approached, thousands of people lined the streets, and the emotions on both sides, pro- and anti-Chinese were running hot.

Steven Lin, a Chinese-American, told me the pride he feels that Beijing is hosting the Olympics is incredible. Thousands of others feel the opposite, disgusted by China's human rights record, and seeing this as an opportunity to shine a negative light on the People's Republic of China.

Our first skirmish came a few hours before the fun: someone with a Tibetian flag was surrounded by a pro-Chinese group. No violence, but lots of screaming and some pushing.


Filed under: Olympics
April 9th, 2008
07:07 PM ET

Kelli Arena: Inside story on the FBI's investigation of polygamists

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/CRIME/04/09/texas.ranch/art.tex.cmpd.mon.12.ap.jpg caption=" Authorities load members of the FLDS onto buses as they search their Texas ranch for clues of abuse"]
First, a CNN colleague got a tip that the feds were putting together a case on the breakaway polygamist sect, the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS).

I've got a lot of friends in law enforecement in Texas, and called a few. I heard his info was true–and in fact–the feds had had their eye on the colony for quite a while.

Suddenly greasing the skids: The state's raid to remove children allegedly at risk of sexual abuse through marriages at ages as young as 13.


Filed under: Polygamy
April 9th, 2008
06:01 PM ET

Dan Simon: Why protest the Olympic Torch?

Sadr City

The majority of the people protesting along the torch relay route are aligned with Tibet. The hard feelings against China have lasted for decades. The Chinese invaded Tibet in 1950, claiming it was historically part of China, a claim disputed by Tibetans. Since then, Tibet has been a province of China, and the government has sent waves of ethnic Chinese into the sparsely populated mountainous area, leading to ethnic and economic tension.

Things heated up in the last few weeks when China began cracking down on Tibetans demanding greater autonomy.


Filed under: Dan Simon • Olympics
April 9th, 2008
04:36 PM ET

Erica’s News Note: Things that make you go “huh?!”

I’m not someone who freaks out about flying. Yes, every now and then – and especially now that I am a Mom – I have the fleeting “what if…” thoughts, but I believe if it’s my time to go, there isn’t much I can do. Still, the details emerging about the shape of the planes we all travel aboard makes me wonder if at some point engineering – or lack thereof –could mess with the universe’s plans for me.

This is sick on so many levels. A British mother is charged in connection with the alleged abduction of her daughter. Nine year old daughter Shannon Matthews disappeared in February. She was found three weeks later at the home of a family friend, under a bed. There are other sketchy details emerging – the mother’s boyfriend has been charged in an unrelated case with possessing child porn, and more familiy members have been brought in for questioning. If she is involved, I am ill. Who fakes their child’s abduction?


Filed under: Erica Hill
April 9th, 2008
04:04 PM ET

Taking on the Mehdi Militia: Big risks for Prime Minister al-Maliki

Sadr City

The death toll in taking down the Mehdi Militia in Baghdad’s Sadr city slum is climbing. We only get an overall death toll from the Ministry of the Interior here so it’s hard to tell how many militia members are being killed. Today they said 20 people had been killed, 87 wounded, among them women and children. 
That’s going to be a problem because the Mehdi Militia will say the civilians are being targeted by US and Iraq troops. Although it’s a blatant lie, it is incredibly frustrating for American commanders. Iraqi government officials tell us when they try to take humanitarian aid in to neighborhoods worst affected by the fighting, militia men attack them and scare residents away from getting help.

The information war is a very hard one to win....

Filed under: Iraq • Nic Robertson
April 9th, 2008
03:30 PM ET

Iraqi oil earns billions, but Americans pay for reconstruction

oil fields in Iraq

Think of Iraq and oil and we often think of pipelines blown up. That happens but Iraq this year is pumping and exporting more oil than at any time in the past five years. U.S. government auditors expect Iraq to earn approximately $60 billion in oil revenues this year alone. With oil hitting $111 a gallon it could be even more.

But, when it comes to the reconstruction of Iraq, U.S. taxpayers are footing the bill. They’ve already paid nearly $50 billion.

That’s not how it was supposed to work. In 2003, then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said “We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon.”

Iraq has money in the bank but, ironically, it’s having trouble spending it.  Barham Saleh, Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister, tells me “People should not be too judgmental.” He blames it on Iraq’s bureaucracy, the transition from a socialist command economy, corruption, terrorism.


Filed under: Iraq • Jill Dougherty • Oil
April 9th, 2008
02:11 PM ET

A look ahead at 360 tonight

On 360 tonight, 416 children removed from a polygamist compound: what next?

Good afternoon friends.. Tonight, we dig on that and more:

David Mattingly on the investigation into alleged sexual and physical abuse at the Texas compound of the polygamous FLDS sect, and what's happening to the 416 children put into protective custody.

Randi Kaye is Keeping Them Honest, examining the compound of self-proclaimed prophet Warren Jeffs, in prison after being convicted as an accomplice to rape for arranging the wedding of an underage girl. How did he pay for the temple and support the "chosen few" living there?  Randi follows the money…

Gary Tuchman is at FLDS headquarters in Colorado City/Hilldale, talking with church members anxious about whether the same might happen to them.

Turning to the skies, are airlines safe?  Drew Griffin has the latest in a series of exclusive investigative reports revealing safety proglems. Tonight, as American Airlines continues to ground hundreds more flights to address maintenance problems on its 500 MD-80 planes, Drew is Keeping Them Honest again, revealing there have also been at least 23 landing gear incidents on American's MD-80s in the past couple months. Pilots say any of these incidents could have resulted in disaster.

In Washington today....


Filed under: Barclay Palmer • Iraq • Polygamy • Raw Politics
April 9th, 2008
01:24 PM ET

“No Blood No Foul” approach to air safety

American Airlines

If you fly every week, or sometimes three times a week, like I do, you must be wondering “what is going on?” Day after day another report of aircraft being grounded, inspections missed and safety warnings being issued.

It’s no different on this story, only this warning is coming straight from the cockpit. American Airlines pilots are telling us they are losing faith in the safety of their aircraft, and the fear is American Airlines is a trendsetter in the industry.

Tonight, we report on one specific problem: landing nose gear that won’t retract into the aircraft after take off. At American there have been nearly 2 dozen of these incidents in just the past month. And though American Airlines tells us it is not a major concern, Captain Sam Mayer will tell you how he nearly had a catastrophic event take place when his landing gear incident led to much more serious problems on a freezing day in Minneapolis.


Filed under: Airline Safety • American Airlines • FAA
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