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April 18th, 2008
06:10 PM ET

FLDS Hearing: 'Which children are least at risk?'

Katherine Wojtecki
CNN producer

Attorneys asking that their clients' cell phones be returned so they can communicate... most attorneys are returning home for weekend.Orange group representing pregnant teenagers asks state psychiatrist Dr. Perry if young mothers should be allowed to remain with their babies.

Perry:
-would need info on specifics of child, father, all kinds of stuff needs to be gathered in regards to mothers, which will take time.

Orange group asks about a 27-year-old mother who is with her children in the coliseum, where the state took children removed from the FLDS compound. If a mom with 2 kids would accept services from Child Protection Services and lived away from the ranch, would you determine that children are at risk or should kids be removed from mom?

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Filed under: FLDS court hearing • Polygamy
April 18th, 2008
06:06 PM ET

The OTHER global religious leader visiting America

Reza Aslan
Author, “No god but God”

The media spotlight on Pope Benedict’s first trip to the United States seems to have completely overshadowed the American tour of another global religious leader, the Aga Khan.

The Aga Khan is the spiritual leader of some 20 million Ismaili Muslims. The Ismailis are Shiah who broke off from the main Shiite branch of Islam, known as the Ithna Ashari, or Twelvers, in the middle of the 8th century. Ismailis live primarily in South Asia, while some 300 million Twelver Shia live mostly in Iran, Iraq, and other parts of the Middle East.

The Aga Khan - the title means something like “the Noble Lord” - is believed to be a direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad. As such, his position among followers is absolute. He has sole authority to interpret the Quran and Islamic law, and his word on both subjects is infallible. But this Aga Khan, the 49th imam in a line that stretches back 13 centuries, is unlike any other spiritual leader.

He is a graduate of Harvard University. His personal worth is estimated to be in the billions. He jaunts around the globe in private jets and yachts. His father, the previous Aga Khan, was once married to Rita Hayworth. In his fitted suits and silk ties, he looks more like a well-aged movie star than a spiritual leader.

But don’t let the clothes and the fabulous riches fool you. The Aga Khan is not only a devout and transcendent man of deep religious faith, he is also one of the most generous philanthropists in the world.

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Filed under: Aga Khan • Reza Aslan
April 18th, 2008
05:40 PM ET

FLDS Hearing: Color coding the children of polygamy

David Mattingly
360° Correspondent

The custody hearing for 416 FLDS children has come down to color... that is, color-CODING.

To help the court handle so many the cases, the hundreds of attorneys representing the children are divided into color-coded groups based on the age and gender of the child.

Each color group is meeting, choosing a leader, and preparing to tell the judge if they believe their client(s) should be returned to their parents.

We are still waiting to see if any of the parents will take the stand–that might happen tonight. I'm told that testimiony from parents is unusual in normal hearing.

But nothing about this case is normal.

Here are the color codes:

GIRLS:
Pink is birth to 4 years old
Purple is girls 5 to 11 years old.
Orange is teen age mothers
Green is 12 to 18 girls who don't have children but some of them ARE pregnant.

BOYS:

Blue is boys birth to 4
Grey is Boys 5 to 11
Brown Boys 12 to 18
And then special needs are black-for example down syndrome

Blue is boys birth to 4


Filed under: David Mattingly • FLDS court hearing • Polygamy
April 18th, 2008
05:29 PM ET

Erica’s News Note: Shocking Reality

Erica Hill
360° Correspondent

I have watched this video three times now and I keep rereading the story, but I still can’t believe what I’m seeing. Families – including small children – living in heaps of rotting waste. For some of these children, including a seven year old you’ll meet, this dump is the only home they’ve ever known.

I can’t imagine living in a dump, but even more disturbing is one mother’s matter-of-fact answer when asked if she thought she’d ever get out. Her reply? “Never.”
Hearing the details of a child destined to live his life hunting for scraps in the putrid dump he calls home only makes this next story more disgusting.
FULL POST


Filed under: Erica Hill
April 18th, 2008
04:33 PM ET

Dispatch from the FLDS hearing: 'Blessing to have multiple children'

Katherine Wojtecki
CNN Producer

On the stand, Dr. Bruce Perry, child psychiatrist for the State of Texas, specializes in child maltreatment & child development, he has had some experience dealing with FLDS members.

Questions for Perry:
Are you saying as the state it's time for a change as to underage marriage and sex?

Haven't you said in writing and your research that a child develops 90 percent of his brain in his first 3 years?

In your writings, you've said words such as "hope" are extremely important for children? What about the hope of being home for these children? Perry replied, I wouldn't doubt that.

You are the expert who has said there are some problems here and parents are saying they want their kids back.

Perry: What would help me is if a parent came forward and said, 'I don't believe young women should not marry until they are 18.' To not be afraid of outside world. Needs to be transparent boundaries with outside world. Parents need to say we aren't perfect but let's figure out how to create a healthy environment for these kids.

FULL POST


Filed under: FLDS court hearing • Polygamy
April 18th, 2008
04:15 PM ET

The Pope (not Elvis) has left the building

Amy Sahba
CNN
 

The UN is a pretty interesting place to be at even on a quiet day, let alone on a day like today, with such a high profile personality visiting.

Security was tight, and movement throughout the building was very limited once the Pope arrived. Squawk boxes alerted us to close all of our windows and updated us as to what sections of the building were being frozen. We watched the Pope’s motorcade pull in to the driveway from our office window and followed nearly every second of his tour and speeches from our monitors.

Benedict XVI was received by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who does not belong to any particular religious affiliation, and they proceeded together to the Secretary’s office...
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Filed under: Pope Benedict
April 18th, 2008
02:21 PM ET

Dispatch from the FLDS hearing: On the stand

Ismael Estrada
CNN Supervising Producer

Still on the stand: Dr. Bruce Perry...the State is asking the questions

*Says his role in this was AFTER the raid, his office was contacted by CPS because of his role in secondary trauma.

*Perry says that the decision to keep children with mothers was a respectful thing to do, because of the world that these children lived in was isolated. Perry Thought it was a reasonable and flexible thing to do.

*He says that he would not be surprised if the family would cooperate to a point, and NOT talk about many things. He says that children who live in an insulated environment would be very slow in offering information. He says that he felt that the mental health team needed to spend time with the children.

FULL POST


Filed under: FLDS court hearing • Ismael Estrada • Polygamy
April 18th, 2008
01:18 PM ET

Dispatch from the FLDS hearing

Ismael Estrada
CNN Supervising Producer

Court proceedings this morning have been very choppy....lots of questions filled with many objections...here are my notes thus far:

On the stand: Angie Voss, Supervisor of investigations for Child Protective Services...

This is Cross examination...

*Voss says there was evidence of broken bones....

*She says she does not believe it is safe to return the children in the home.

*Judge then asked to hear from the attorney who represents the parents, there is some questioning about "serving" the parents and the children, whether there is difficulty in determining what parent is attached to what child...

FULL POST


Filed under: FLDS court hearing • Ismael Estrada • Polygamy
April 18th, 2008
12:39 PM ET

Beat 360° 4/18/08

Hey Bloggers!

It's Friiiiday! We did it, only a few hours until the weekend – but before you go, can you help us out with something? It's time for tonight's ‘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: Here we see a couple exchanging rings during an underwater ceremony at Hong Kong's Ocean Park .

Beat 360°


Here's one to get you started

‘Love is in the air’ as Sam and Betty decided to ‘Take the plunge’ and get married...
...Sam would later discover Betty’s confession of having ‘cold feet’ was a product of poorly constructed flippers…

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


Filed under: Beat 360°
April 18th, 2008
12:24 PM ET

A Rabbi on the Pope's olive branch

Sherre Hirsch is the author of We Plan, God Laughs

Sherre Hirsch is the author of We Plan, God Laughs

Editor's note: Sherre Hirsch was a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles for eight years and is the Spiritual Life Consultant and a speaker for Canyon Ranch. She appeared regularly on Noami Judd’s New Morning. She has been featured on Today, Tyra, and PBS’s Thirty Good Minutes and is also a contributor to Momlogic.com. Hirsch lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three children.

Rabbi Sherre Hirsch

This Saturday night begins the holiday of Passover, the most widely observed holiday in the Jewish religion. Jews around the world will “open the door” metaphorically for Elijah, symbolically to herald the coming peace. During his first papal visit to the United States, Pope Benedict XVI has made it a point to be at a synagogue in New York City during Passover. By going out of his way to meet a rabbi in a synagogue, the Pope is opening the door to a dialogue, and taking a step forward to remove barriers and promote understanding. This is certainly better than a step back or not having the courage to take a step at all.

It brings to mind the words of Abraham Isaac Kook, a prominent 20th century religious thinker and the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel, who spoke of the unity we can find despite our many different points of view, beliefs, and cultures.

Rav Kook said,
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Filed under: Pope Benedict
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