May 8th, 2008
10:17 PM ET

Myanmar: How Can You Help?

These are some of the reports coming in to CNN from the victims in Myanmar:

"All people I saw are crying so much and searching for the bodies of loved ones. There is bad smell from the dead bodies on the way we came. There are bodies where they have not yet searched. We found about 40 dead bodies on this way. A group of cows and buffalos are among victims. Everywhere... In the bushes, and in the streams. Everywhere..."

"The tide came up. Trees fell on people. There are many dead bodies lying under trees. Now many people do not have home to live in. I found so many dead bodies on the way, and so many animals that were terribly killed. A large group in each location. Not just children, also adults, elderly ones, all. Only 6 are left alive in the entire village." FULL POST

Filed under: Myanmar
May 8th, 2008
09:34 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 5/8/08

Tonight, is Hillary Clinton injecting race into the race, again? We’ll show you what she said and you can decide for yourself.

We’ll also have Barack Obama’s first interview since his win in North Carolina. See what he says about Clinton and also what he said that upset the McCain campaign.

Plus, the latest news out of Burma where military dictators are keeping cyclone relief to a trickle while bodies rot and survivors go hungry.

And almost 40 years after Charles Manson and his twisted followers painted Southern California red with the blood of seven people there’s new evidence that the Manson Family body count may be even higher. We'll take you to the ranch where more bodies may be buried.

We want to know what you think so we’ll start posting comments at 10p ET and stop at 11p ET. Take a look at 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 live web camera from the 360° studio. The shot features Anderson and Erica behind the scenes on the set. We’ll turn the camera on at 945p ET and turn it off at 11p ET. LINK TO THE BLOG CAMERA

Filed under: Live Blog
May 8th, 2008
04:51 PM ET

Who will decide the Democratic Party's nomination?

Leslie Sanchez
GOP Strategist and 360 Contributor

My friend Donna Brazile is upset with me.

On Tuesday night, I explained that Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspiration will ultimately rise or fall on the deal making that will occur among the Democratic Party elite in smokeless back rooms at the Denver convention.

When I spoke this truth on CNN, Donna looked at me like those were fighting words. She pointed out that she is a “superdelegate.

”Well, Donna, I respect you greatly and I know you’re not an elitist, but it’s not you I am talking about. Nevertheless, you are defending a system that gives the insiders—rather than the people—final say over who will be your Party’s nominee.

In Denver, Hillary has several options open to her. She can twist the arms of “superdelegates.” She can force a floor fight over the seating of the disputed delegations from Florida and Michigan, both of which are in her pocket.

The folks who pull the levers of the machinery that makes all this work are, by and large, in debt to one or both Clintons for something.

For Hillary Clinton it’s not about the wishes and aspirations, hopes and dreams of millions of Democratic voters across the country. It’s about the deal she can cut with the Democratic Party elite (meaning elected officials and party bosses) to get her the nomination.

There are some—like my friend Donna—who don’t play that game. But most of the superdelegates are professional politicians.  And as longtime FDR aide Louis Howe once said, “You can’t adopt politics as a profession and remain honest.”




Filed under: Leslie Sanchez • Raw Politics
May 8th, 2008
04:47 PM ET

Erica’s News Note: Just take the aid!

Erica Hill
360° Correspondent

I know the military government of Myanmar is allowing some aid through, but why has it taken so long? Why deny your own people the help they need?

I understand there’s a whole lotta bureaucracy and pride at play here, but is all that really so important when lives are at stake? Suck it up and accept the help; don’t subject your people to further tragedy. The people of Myanmar need basic help right now, and it’s available. What government - or better yet, what person – in their right mind would deny their own people what they so clearly need? The situation is getting worse and it seems the junta is only exacerbating the problem.

If the junta continues to stall the waiting aid, the US is considering food drops…though not everyone is behind the idea.

While you may feel helpless – especially as we hear about aid ready to go, waiting on the junta’s OK – you’re not. You can help the people of Burma / Myanmar – log on here for more information.

This is comforting. A commercial plane – passengers on board - made the 9 ½ hour trip from Dallas to Paris last month after losing a “large panel” off the underside of the aircraft as the flight took off. FULL POST

Filed under: Erica Hill
May 8th, 2008
04:31 PM ET

Beat 360° 5/8/08

Hey Bloggers!

Hot off the press... 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: Vice President Dick Cheney tours the Philadelphia Financial Center, which disburses payments on behalf of federal agencies... Cheney says the economic stimulus checks going out to more than 130 million Americans are "a shot of energy at the right time and in the right way."

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


Filed under: Beat 360°
May 8th, 2008
02:32 PM ET

If there are bodies behind the ranch...

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://cnnpreview.turner.com:82/2008/CRIME/05/08/bts.rowlands.manson/art.barker.cnn.jpg caption="Authorities could decide this week to start digging for more bodies at Barker Ranch, Charles Manson's hideout." ]

Program Note: Are there more victims buried on a remote ranch in Death Valley where Charles Manson and some of his cohorts were arrested nearly 40 years ago? Watch Ted Rowlands' report tonight on 360° 10p ET

Ted Rowlands
360 Correspondent

One person that should know if there are bodies behind the Barker Ranch is Charles "Tex" Watson, Manson's right hand man. Watson was one of the first 30 some family members to relocate to the ranch in Death Valley after the Tate Labianca murders. Watson, who's now a quasi preacher at Mule Creek state prison in Northern California, is serving a life sentence for the Helter Skelter murders. He admitts being largely responsible for the actual killing of actress Sharon Tate and six others in 1969.

About a month ago we contacted Watson by mail asking for permission to come visit. Usually when we send letters to prisoners we don't get a response, but about a week later we got a letter back from Watson! He didn't want to meet, but he did say in his two page hand written letter that he didn't know anything about bodies at Barker Ranch. Read Watson's letters to CNN

After traveling to the insanly remote Barker Ranch (read Gabe Ramirez blog) its hard for me to believe that Watson wouldn't know about any other murders, unless he's lying, which seems unlikely considering he's a 60 something man who's already admitted to hacking seven people to death, and is serving a life sentence.

We also wrote to the other Manson family members in prison (including Charlie) but have not heard anything.

If there are bodies behind the Barker Ranch, its unlikley we'll ever know who they are without some help from the Manson family.

Read the full story

Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Ted Rowlands
May 8th, 2008
12:15 PM ET

More bodies buried at Manson’s Death Valley ranch?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/08/art.manson.jpg]

Program Note: Are there more victims buried on a remote ranch in Death Valley where Charles Manson and some of his cohorts were arrested nearly 40 years ago? Watch Ted Rowlands' report tonight on 360° 10p ET

Gabe Ramirez
CNN Photojournalist

After 90 minutes of driving down dirt roads and up narrow rocky trails in our four-wheel-drive truck I finally said it, “Wow, this place is in the middle of freaking nowhere”. It’s not hard to understand why Charles Manson and his “family” decided to make the Barker Ranch in Death Valley, California their hideout.

Even today when it seems no part of Southern California is without a sub-division and a Starbucks, the infamous ranch exists in another dimension. Abandoned gold mines dot the steep canyon walls. Old mining equipment rusts half buried in the hot sand. As retired local prospector Emmett Harder likes to say, “These canyons are full of ghosts”. This place sure feels that way.

Correspondent Ted Rowlands, producer Sara Weisfeldt and I are navigating these trails to find ghosts. After the infamous “Helter Skelter” murders in Los Angeles almost forty years ago Manson and his followers fled to the Barker Ranch. It was the last place Manson would breathe free air. In the end police found him hiding inside a bathroom cabinet.

Recently, a police investigator and his K-9 partner put the Barker Ranch back in the news. Over the years Mammoth Lakes Police investigator Paul Dostie had come across reports that Manson family members, various wannabes and ill-fated passers by were murdered and buried at the ranch...

Filed under: Crime & Punishment
May 8th, 2008
11:22 AM ET

Rare access inside a FLDS household

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/08/art.tuchman.polygamy.jpg%5D

Program note
: For the first time, a family of Warren Jeffs' devotees allows us into their home, and into their lives... watch Gary Tuchman's full report tonight on 360° 10p ET.

Gary Tuchman
360° Correspondent

We have been doing stories about Warren Jeffs FLDS church for about two years now. And now, for the first time, devoted followers of this mysterious sect have allowed us into their home to give us a look at their lives.

Chris and Lydia Wyler are not polygamists; although they are open to the possibility of that in their future. They are still young; 30 and 31 respectively, and have six children...ages 8 months to 12 years.

Frankly, they decided to allow us in their home after I made repeated requests over a period of months. Like every family that is part of the FLDS, they are told not to have contact with outsiders; particularly reporters. They still feel that way. But following the raid in Texas, in which hundreds of children were taken away from their parents, they had a desire to show how they have a normal life with a loving family.


Filed under: FLDS update • Gary Tuchman • Polygamy
May 8th, 2008
10:53 AM ET

The U.S. Jaguar: Threatened by the Mexico border-fence?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/TECH/science/05/05/jaguars.fence/art.recent.jag.jpg
caption="Rancher Glenn calls the jaguar a 'beautiful, magnificent cat' that must be saved for future generations."]

Rusty Dornin
CNN Correspondent

When most people think of jaguars they think of the jungles of Central and South America, not the remote desert ranges between the United States and Mexico. When I heard jaguars were coming north across the border and that some there believe the border fence might stop that, I was intrigued.

It was a 20 mile drive on a dirt road south of Douglas, Arizona to reach Warner Glenn's ranch. At six foot six, with his tanned face and steely blue eyes, Glenn may be close to seventy years old, but he is every inch the American cowboy. With Glenn and his daughter Kelly, we saddled up mules and rode up steep canyons to nearly 6 thousand feet. We could see more than 50 miles in every direction, as Glenn pointed out the craggy outcropping where he took the very first picture of a live jaguar in the United States in 1996.

Despite the fact jaguars might prey on his cattle, Glenn’s passionate in his belief that this elusive cat should be allowed to roam back and forth across the border. “I’d be willing to donate a few calves to this animal, says Glenn, ‘it’s a beautiful magnificent cat and I would had to see us do anything that could cause the survival of the cat to go backwards”.

May 8th, 2008
06:52 AM ET

Morning Buzz

Morning folks...

The calls for Hillary to step down continue...five more undecided superdelegates declared their support for Obama....It appears now that Hillary Clinton is facing insurmountable odds....AND now pouring more salt in the wound is Rush Limbaugh, the conservative radio talk show host. After once encouraging Republicans to vote for Hillary Clinton to show their DISDAIN for John McCain, he NOW really wants Obama to be the party nominee..."I now believe he would be the weakest of the Democrat nominees," Limbaugh said "I now urge the Democrat superdelegates to make your mind up and publicly go for Obama...." BUT despite an overwhelming defeat in North Carolina and a narrow victory in Indiana, Sen. Hillary Clinton vowed to stay in the race yesterday until her party has a nominee. "I, obviously, am going to work as hard as I can to become that nominee. That is what I've done; that's what I'm continuing to do," she said Wednesday in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. TODAY she is hopscotching across the country, with stops in West Virginia, South Dakota and then Oregon....while Obama stays in Washington DC to raise money and woo superdelegates. Our Candy Crowley will have all the drama from the campaign trail...

Also tonight...we dip back into Polygamy...Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard and his counterpart in Utah, Mark Shurtleff, will host a town hall-style meeting in an effort to build trust with members of polygamous communities. CNN affiliate reporter Mike Watkiss will give us the details... FULL POST

Filed under: The Buzz