We were riding the bus from John McCain's speech on his vision for 2013, after his 4 years as president.. a somewhat utopian speech.
We had just finished going 'round and 'round with him over whether his vision - or promise - of an end of the Iraq war by then, constituted a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. He repeatedly denied that and called it a false interpretation.
We asked him about President Bush’s comments before the Knesset, suggesting Democrats favor "appeasement" of terrorists in the way some Western leaders appeased
Hitler in the run-up to World War II. Noting that Barack Obama took that to be a shot at him, we asked Senator McCain if he agreed.
Mccain responded that he takes Bush at his word, but then criticized Obama repeatedly for saying he would talk with the president of Iran.
He was clearly eager to talk about this, saying,
"It is a serious error on the part of Sen. Obama that shows naivete and
inexperience and lack of judgment to say that he wants to sit down across the
table from an individual who leads a country who says that Israel is a stinking
McCain also recently charged that Obama is the favored candidate of Hamas, which the U.S. has listed as a terrorist group. Obama called that McCain remark a "smear," and today called Bush's comment, "a false political attack."
I later asked Senator McCain how much of an issue this will be and he said that of course national security – and their differences on it – will be big.
A taste of the general election campaign to come.
Tonight, an extraordinary decision by the California Supreme Court. In a 4-3 ruling they struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional, clearing the way for the state to become America's second to legalize same-sex marriage. We're covering all the angles on this tonight: legal analysis, debate, the political implications and an interview with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.
Also, President Bush, in Israel, not naming names, but clearly suggesting Barack Obama would have sucked up to Adolph Hitler. Wait until you hear how Democrats responded.
And in one of his most important speeches yet, Sen. John McCain painted a picture of what life will be like after he's in the White House. He talked about Iraq, the military and Osama Bin Laden. And in doing so, he may have given us the best idea of his plans if elected.
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David M. Reisner
360° Digital Producer
Wanted to update you on the latest rescue efforts in southwest China after the massive earthquake three days ago. The government says the death toll could rise from nearly 20,000 now to more than 50,000.
More soldiers scrambled to the hardest-hit areas, using 110 helicopters. More than 2,000 medical workers have moved to the region.
Parents are waiting at destroyed schools, hoping their children will be pulled alive from the debris.
CNN's John Vause reached the epicenter, and describes his journey here:
Megan Meier was a beautiful 13 year old who hanged herself after becoming the victim of a cruel online prank. Her death became known as the “MySpace Suicide” and garnered international attention.
Today the woman - who posed as a teenage boy on MySpace, pretending to be interested in Megan Meier - was indicted on federal charges. At one point, prosecutors say this ”boy” told Megan Meier the world would be a better place without her. Now Lori Drew, the mother who created the fake MySpace account is facing charges of conspiracy and accessing protected computers without authorization to obtain information to inflict emotional distress. If convicted, she could be looking at some serious prison time.
I covered this story extensively on my show at Headline News, and tonight 360 will have the full report for you.
The stories coming out of China defy my best efforts to define them…there are not words. Incredible images and words from CNN colleagues and from those who lived through it. Check out their iReports.
Almost a year ago, a Louisville teen’s feet were severed on an amusement park ride.
David M. Reisner
360° Digital Producer
A follow-up to an AC360° story from last year:
A federal grand jury on today indicted a Missouri woman for fraudulently using an account on the social networking website Myspace.com to pose as a teenage boy who feigned romantic interest in a 13 year-old girl. That girl later committed suicide after the “boy” spurned her and told her, among other things, that the world would be a better place without her.
(Watch Gary Tuchman's original AC360° report)
Lori Drew of O’Fallon, Missouri was charged with one count of conspiracy and three counts of accessing protected computers without authorization to obtain information to inflict emotional distress on the girl.
Drew allegedly helped create a Myspace account on false premises to contact Megan Meier, who thought she was chatting with a 16-year-old boy named Josh Evans, who turned out not to exist.
Due to juvenile privacy rules, the U.S. attorney's office said, the indictment refers to the girl as M.T.M. Each count in the indictment carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
You can read the indictment here:
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Here is today’s 'Beat 360°' pic of the day: Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, tours the Ohio eWaste Recycling plant with Guy Wolfenbarger (what a cool name!) in Obetz, Ohio.
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– David M. Reisner, 360° Digital producer
CNN Supervising Producer
The ruling by the California Supreme Court this morning was one of the most hotly anticipated rulings in recent memory. This ruling essentially brought to a close the debate over the legality of same-sex marriages in California. The battle all began in 2004 when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom surprised everyone by issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples in 2004. In the see-saw legal battles that followed, the issue seemed to polarize many, and it seemed no one was void of a view on the matter.
The crux of the issue is whether or not the State of California has the authority to legalize same sex marriage. The ruling today, following oral arguments in March 2008 in front of what is generally considered a conservative Supreme Court of California, was at first not quite as straight forward as the issue itself. The ruling began by stating essentially that the same-sex marriages conducted by the City and County of San Francisco were unlawful, but then went on to overturn the ban on same sex marriage in California. Essentially, past same-sex marriages we’re deemed unlawful, but could proceed going forward.
David M. Reisner
360° Digital Producer
Wanted to share another speech today that’s making headlines.
Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, made a speech in which he envisions the state of affairs at the end of his first term if he is elected president.
"What I want to do today is take a little time to describe what I would hope to have achieved at the end of my first term as president. I cannot guarantee I will have achieved these things,"
In this speech he lays out benchmarks during his first term in office on which he could be judged.
"By January 2013, America has welcomed home most of the servicemen and women who have sacrificed terribly so that America might be secure in her freedom…”
"The Iraq War has been won. Iraq is a functioning democracy, although still suffering from the lingering effects of decades of tyranny and centuries of sectarian tension…"
“[The] threat from a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan will be greatly reduced but not eliminated" ... U.S. and NATO forces will remain in the country "to help finish the job, and continue operations against the remnants of al Qaeda."
McCain envisions that Osama bin Laden, and his chief lieutenants, would be captured or killed.
He also believes that in 2013, there still will not have been a "major terrorist attack in the United States since September 11, 2001."
Here are a list of other milestones McCain hopes to see at the end of what would be his first term:
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/15/art.abbie.boudreau.jpg caption="Abbie Boudreau is a correspondent for CNN Special Investigations Unit."]
By Abbie Boudreau
Correspondent, CNN Special Investigations Unit
It was toward the end of the day, and my producer, Scott Zamost and I were scrolling through story tips from CNN viewers.
There was one that jumped out at us. It read, “Please, help me,” and the subject line said, “YouTube Video of Crying 16-year-old Rape Victim Pleas for Help.” There was a link to a video posted on YouTube by a Florida girl.
Right away, we watched the video, and the first thing we thought was, "Can this be real?"
Within minutes, we contacted the young girl, Crystal. We talked at length with both Crystal and her father, Dennis. Quickly, we learned this girl was real, and she had a real story she wanted to share.
Two days later, we flew to Florida to meet Crystal and to learn more about why she posted a video about her most private moments, for the world to see and judge.
She told us she felt she had nothing to lose, and she was desperate to find someone who would listen to her story.
360° Senior Producer
Barack Obama had already seemed to take a page from his forebear on the other end of the political spectrum - yes, Ronald Reagan - by running on a platform of optimism, which he has branded as "change."
And last night, the Illinois Democrat evoked the widely admired stagecraft of the Gipper, who could turn a speech into a celebratory rally timed perfectly for evening newscasts, complete with hundreds of balloons falling from above, and cheering, nearly ecstatic crowds.
Fast forward to Obama last night: he comes bounding in before a roaring crowd. With his slow and pausing manner of speech, which somehow builds rather than depletes the drama, he promises "something special," then introduces John Edwards, who comes bounding in to even greater cheers. What is this, a prize fight?