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So this was it.
The 25-minute sex tape that could send R&B superstar R. Kelly to prison for fifteen years on child pornography charges.
Some reporters said they'd seen parts of it – or heard about it – but this was it.
On the opening day of Kelly's trial, the judge ordered the lights lowered and the blinds drawn in the courtroom. What is the jury thinking? Can't see them up in the front, in the dark. What's R. Kelly thinking? He seems to be staring at the defense table, not watching.
What are reporters thinking? I don't know about the rest of them, but I know what I'm thinking. I'm thinking I'm a paid voyeur. This tape is so hot that even courtroom sketch artists were warned that if they drew any depiction of what's on it, they could be charged with child pornography themselves. And I'm going to watch every bit of it, so I can see what this trial is all about. Oh boy. Here we go.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/20/art.kennedyfamily.jpg caption="Sen. Edward Kennedy and family at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston this afternoon."]
AC360° Associate Producer
In a way, I now realize, I have always subconsciously considered Ted Kennedy to be immortal. I remember the first time I saw him in person. It was the summer of 1994 and I was at the Yankee Homecoming Parade in Newburyport, Massachusetts, a few miles from where I grew up.
The senator was at the time locked in a tough re-election bid against a little-known businessman named Mitt Romney. From my perch on the sidewalk I heard the crowd down the street start to cheer. And then I saw him. The famous face, the wavy hair, the stylish polo shirt. And then I heard the voice – that inimitable sound.
He bounded down the street with his beautiful new wife Vicki in tow, shaking hands and greeting the crowds in that uniquely Kennedy way. For a teenage news junkie like me, shaking the hand of the man whom I had read about and watched on television for my entire life was a thrill beyond words. He was – and is – one of the original political rock stars.
From a pool reporter inside the courtroom
Update from Courtroom A
1 year old boy
Mother: 17 ½ years old
Attorneys asked for a continuance because the mother, who is a minor, has not been able to meet with her attorneys because she is 8 months pregnant and located in a shelter in San Antonio. The judge granted the continuance and the hearing will now be held 6/3. Attorneys expressed concern that they are not able to have private conversations, that social workers are taking notes on phone conversations.
9 ½ year old child
Father: Warren Steed Jeffs (incarcerated)
Highlights: The attorney asked which version of the Book of Mormon the children were given (new version of Book of Mormon condems polygamy). CPS worker Irene Schwaninger "Polygamy is not the issue, underage marriage is the issue here." Mother has signed CPS plan.
GOP Strategist and AC360° Contributor
Today in Miami, Sen. John McCain criticized Sen. Barack Obama's flip-flopping on the Cuban embargo and his voting record on limiting broadcasting to the island. McCain's message of a strong and resolute America that stands for something resonates with the Cuban-American community; Senator Obama's expressed intent to meet with rogue leaders such as Fidel and Raul Castro without preconditions does not.
As Cubans mark their independence, it is important to recognize the significance and contributions Cuban-Americans have made to the political processes of both countries. Many Cubans continue to speak out against their government despite the continuing risk of doing so; they have been a vibrant culture and have long been reliable Republicans.
A major contribution to Sen. John McCain's January victory in Florida was a result of his overhwhelming support from Hispanics, specifically Cuban-Americans. According to the New York Times, McCain led his nearest rival, Rudy Giuliani, by 30 points among Hispanics and also carried the Cuban-American demographic.
This pivotal primary propelled the Arizona senator into the Super Tuesday races and helped him secure the Republican nomination for president. Just by participating in the democratic process, Cuban-Americans are sending a clear message to the world: they support and value freedom.
It is this yearning for liberty and transparency that speak loudly of Cubans' intrinsic spirit. The same determination that brought about their independence will continue to resonate wherever it is allowed to express itself.
From a pool reporter inside the courtroom
2 cases so far:
2 ½ year old girl
Janet Jeffs, the mother, was not in the courtroom, but she and her attorney spoke via speakerphone from Austin, TX. Janet and her child are living together at a shelter in Austin. There were questions about whether Janet was a minor, but at this morning's hearing the state agreed to accept the fact the she was over 18. The mother's court-appointed attorney had to withdraw from the case because she was assigned to represent Janet as a minor. The judge has given Janet a week to find an attorney who will represent her as an adult. Janet says she last saw the father, Raymond Jessop, about a year ago at the ranch. No one knows where he is now.
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent
I am one of those people who is on his cell phone all the time. Between the hospital and my job as a reporter, I get a lot of calls, especially when I am on the road. So, like many people, I pay attention when I read new studies about cell phones and possible health effects. The good news is that most of the studies out there have shown no reason to worry. In fact one study out of Denmark of 52,000 cell phone users who’d used cells for 10 plus years found the incidence of tumors was even less than the general population. The cell phone industry is quick to point out that “the overwhelming majority of studies show wireless phones do not pose a health risk.”
So, what to make of the fact that Dr. Vini Khurana out of Australia and Dr. Keith Black out of Los Angeles, who are both neurosurgeons, have voiced concerns about cell phones and brain cancer? And, just today, there is a new study of cell phones and pregnant women. That study found women who used cell phone two to three times a day while pregnant had children that were 54 percent more likely to develop ADHD and other behavioral problems. And, if those children used cell phones before age 7, they were 18 percent more likely to develop ADHD. (Watch Dr. Gupta’s report here)
Editor's note: Dr. Sanjay Gupta is CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent. He is also a practicing neurosurgeon and an assistant professor of neurosurgery. Following is what he told CNN's Don Lemon right after news of Sen. Kennedy's brain tumor broke.
Sen. Ted Kennedy had an operation back in October on the carotid artery. That was a prophylactic, preventive operation to prevent someone from having a stroke.
What they saw when they started to examine the senator after the seizure was some sort of abnormality on the left side of the brain, specifically the left parietal lobe. Was that a tumor, was that a sort of the characteristics of a stroke? They didn't know exactly what it was.
So it sounds like they performed a biopsy, essentially taking a little bit of tissue from that area of the brain and look at that under the microscope. What they found was that this is, in fact, a malignant tumor.
There are different courses of treatment that can be taken at this point; they will depend on exactly the boundaries of this tumor. Some will depend on exactly how these cells react to radiation and chemotherapy. Some will be based on the senator's preference, what he would like to do now that he has this diagnosis.
This is something that obviously the doctors are going to have to deal with in a relatively expeditious fashion. He's doing well. It's not surprising.
The seizures are controlled probably with readily available medication. How exactly you take care of the tumor is something they're going to have to think about along with the senator and his family over the next couple of days.
BOSTON (AP) - Doctors say Sen. Edward Kennedy has brain tumor; condition discovered after he had seizure.
Statement from Dr. Lee Schwamm, Vice Chairman, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Dr. Larry Ronan, Primary Care Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital:
"Over the course of the last several days, we've done a series of tests on Senator Kennedy to determine the cause of his seizure. He has had no further seizures, remains in good overall condition, and is up and walking around the hospital. Some of the tests we had performed were inconclusive, particularly in light of the fact that the Senator had severe narrowing of the left carotid artery and underwent surgery just 6 months ago. However, preliminary results from a biopsy of the brain identified the cause of the seizure as a malignant glioma in the left parietal lobe. The usual course of treatment includes combinations of various forms of radiation and chemotherapy. Decisions regarding the best course of treatment for Senator Kennedy will be determined after further testing and analysis. Senator Kennedy will remain at Massachusetts General Hospital for the next couple of days according to routine protocol. He remains in good spirits and full of energy."
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UPDATE: Here are last night's winners:
360 staff – Joey: “I may be reckless and naïve but this feels so right.”
360 viewer – Putzel: The Cha-Cha Face Off on “Dancing With The Stars” goes terribly wrong when the contestants can’t agree who will be the one to lead.