June 19th, 2008
01:39 PM ET

It had to be the chicken...

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/19/art.pip.friends.jpg caption="Some of the Planet in Peril team- Anderson Cooper, Neil Hallsworth, Phil Littleton, and Dr. Sanjay Gupta"]

Editor's note: The Planet In Peril crew is back stateside, and some are doing better than others... and by 'others' we mean Cameraman Phil Littleton. Seems he caught a stomach bug. He writes us this blog:

Phil Littleton
Senior Photojournalist

For the past five weeks I’ve been in Africa, the land of my birth, the continent I love. We traveled from Chad, through Rwanda, and into Cameroon. We ended our journey deep in the forests of the DRC and all along the way, there was plenty of hospitality. The folks of the continent have always given of their hospitality, even if it were meager, they were always willing to share. The fare at times did not seem palatable, when dressed in its original clothing, once cooked, it was quite enjoyable… and so not to offend our hosts, we ate everything…


June 19th, 2008
12:58 PM ET

Six severed feet wash ashore... What's going on?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/CRIME/06/19/canada.feet/art.foot.jpg caption ="An investigator places the shoe and severed foot found on a Canadian beach on Wednesday inside of a container."]

Program Note: Watch Randi Kaye's full report on Anderson Cooper 360°, tonight 10p ET.

Randi Kaye
AC360° Correspondent

UPDATE: 4:10p ET
(CNN) - What was believed to be the sixth human foot to wash up on the shores of British Columbia in recent months was a fake, authorities said Friday. The British Columbia Coroners Service confirmed that the remains found in a shoe on Thursday were a "skeletonised animal paw" that was put in the shoe with a sock and packed with dried seaweed.

This goes down as one of the most bizarre stories I have ever been asked to report.

It's a mystery that began nearly a year ago, when a random foot was discovered on the shores of Canada. Soon, more followed.

Now, six feet in all have been discovered. All of them in the waters of the Georgia Strait area between Vancouver Island and the B.C. mainland.

The first two feet washed up in August 2007, one on Gabriola Island, the other on Jedidiah Island. Then in February another foot appeared on Valdes Island.

On Wednesday this week, the sixth human foot dressed in a running shoe was found.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Randi Kaye
June 19th, 2008
12:50 PM ET

Obama refuses public financing: The Raw Data

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/06/19/obama.public.financing/art.obama.wi.gi.jpg caption="Sen. Barack Obama repeatedly broke campaign fundraising records during the Democratic primary season."]
Robert Yoon
CNN Political Research Director

  • Obama will become the first major party presidential nominee to refuse general election public financing in the history of the program
  • In February 2007, Obama asked the Federal Election Commission whether federal rules allowed presidential candidates to begin raising money for the general election and then later return that money should the candidate decide later to participate in the general election public financing program.... FULL POST

Filed under: Barack Obama • Raw Politics
June 19th, 2008
12:25 PM ET

How can the candidates win the middle?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/19/art.split.candidates.jpg]
Eric Bloom
AC360° Staff

We have been largely focused on how Obama and McCain can unite their respective parties and turn out the base. But some believe the real battleground will take place among independents, which account for 37% of the voters (Pew). According to two recent polls- Washington Post and CNN – independents are evenly divided between the two candidates. So how do Obama and McCain appeal to independents? Now with the general election in full gear, how much will the candidates move to the middle? What issues are important to independents? Please let us know what you think.

Filed under: AC360° Staff • Barack Obama • John McCain • Raw Politics
June 19th, 2008
11:52 AM ET

Money, politics, flip-flops and principle

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/19/art.obama.jpg]

Barclay Palmer
360° Senior Producer

Barack Obama seems to have changed his mind. And who can blame him. His campaign had indicated he would take public financing, but today says it'll opt out.

Hey, this guy raised $272 million during the primary, compared to John McCain's $99 million. Principle is one thing, but money wins elections. And when you have that many supporters giving that much money, another principle pops up: shouldn't your supporters have a voice?

Since when does money equal voice? Well, those who oppose campaign finance limits have long argued limiting campaign donations violates the First Amendment. Money's always had a voice, hasn't it.

And as so often happens in politics, the desirable principle outweighs the undesirable principle. At least we have principles. In some countries, of course, it's about nothing but power.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Barclay Palmer • Raw Politics
June 19th, 2008
10:46 AM ET

Welcome to AC360.COM

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/18/art.newhomepage.jpg]

Anderson Cooper

Hey everyone...

Drum roll please…

After months of top-level meetings with pie charts, turkey wraps and consultants using internet phrases I never knew existed, today we are happy to announce we have re-designed the 360° page.

I've given it a few test runs and it seems very user friendly. My mom still can’t figure it out, but I think just about everyone else will find the new design much better. I invite you to check it out. Look at it. Touch it. Smell it. Whatever.

We got rid of that blue background that used to fill the screen. (Cyber Consultants say blue "pops". I always thought “popping” was a good thing, but what do I know?)

One of the biggest improvements is with our blogs. Before the redesign, it could be tough trying to find the blog you were interested in reading. Now, we've streamlined the categories, and organized the posts according to topic and blogger. If you're interested in reading up on a Keeping Them Honest entry, scroll to that headline and click on the link.

Yes, it's that easy! (I know, I’ve been watching too many infomercials for miracle cleaners.)

Crowd pleasers like The Shot and Beat 360° are on the right and much more visible.

We've also added a ton of video from the show, our correspondents and beyond.

As always, send us your feedback. Let me know what you think.
Here's a guide from our digital producer David Reisner:


Filed under: AC360° Staff • Anderson Cooper • Behind The Scenes • David M. Reisner • Live Blog • T1
June 19th, 2008
06:41 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Floods, First ladies and feet?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/19/art..vert.leveefailure.jpg caption="A break in the Indian Grave levee caused flood waters to rush in north of Quincy Illinois, Wenesday." width=292 height=320]

Morning folks...

This just in: Another levee breach...The swollen Mississippi River's relentless push downstream claimed new tracts of low-lying farmland overnight in the breach of a levee north of St. Louis. The 150-foot breach, in Winfield, Missouri, sent flood waters racing toward a secondary levee and prompted emergency officials to issue evacuation orders for residents east of Winfield, according to Andy Binder, a spokesman for Lincoln County.

A quick flood re-cap: Water spilled over two levees on the Mississippi River on Wednesday, bringing the number of levees compromised in recent Midwest floods to 20...More than 28,000 people have registered for FEMA assistance, $2 billion in disaster aid has been allocated to areas in the Midwest...At least two dozen people have been killed in the floods and 148 have been injured...AND between 35,000 and 40,000 people evacuated the area, putting just about 600 people were in shelters...and it ain't over... President Bush and John McCain, though NOT together, tour the flood zone today....Gary Tuchman will be LIVE with the latest...

Filed under: The Buzz
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