June 25th, 2008
09:23 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 6/25/08

For what’s in the program take a look at tonight’s Evening Buzz.

Be sure to check out Anderson and Erica on our live web camera from the 360° studio. We’ll turn the camera on at 945p ET and turn it off at 11p ET. LINK TO THE BLOG CAMERA

We’ll start posting comments to this blog at 10p ET and stop at 11p ET.

Filed under: Live Blog
June 25th, 2008
09:18 PM ET

AC360° Radar for June 26th

Lisa Ort
AC360° Producer

Here’s a look at some of the stories on our radar for tomorrow:

RAW POLITICS: Sen. John McCain will be in Cincinnati, OH where he’ll meet with some local pastors, go to a finance event, and have a town hall meetinf.  Sen. Barack Obama will be in Pittsburgh, PA at an economic summit in the morning and at a fundraiser in DC later in the day.  Michelle Obama will be on the campaign trail in Manchester, NH and in New York City. 

LONG ISLAND SLAVERY SENTENCING: Scheduled date of sentencing for Varsha Sabhnani, convicted of enslaving and torturing two Indonesian housekeepers in her family's Long Island mansion. Her husband, Mahender, will be sentenced tomorrow on the slavery charges.

MYSPACE SUICIDE CASE: Scheduled date of court hearing for Lori Drew, accused of portraying herself online as a teen boy and tormenting a 13-year-old neighbor. The girl, Megan Meier, later committed suicide.

OUTLOOK FOR SUMMER AIR TRAVEL HEARING: Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee’s Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security Subcommittee holds hearings to “examine the growing problem of congestion and delay in the National Airspace System (NAS) and steps the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and airlines are taking to address it.”

NATION’S FINANCIAL CHALLENGES HEARING: Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security Subcommittee holds a hearing entitled “In the Red: Addressing the Nation’s Financial Challenges.”

CATCHING FUGITIVES IN THE 21st CENTURY HEARING: Senate Judiciary Committee’s Crime and Drugs Subcommittee holds hearings to “examine effective ways to catch fugitives in the 21st century.”

CLIMATE CHANGE HEARING: House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee holds a hearing entitled “Climate Change: Costs of Inaction.”



Filed under: 360° Radar
June 25th, 2008
09:16 PM ET

Evening Buzz: He said what?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/06/25/nader.obama/art.nader.file.gi.jpg caption="Ralph Nader is running for president as an independent."]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

A reminder – independent Ralph Nader is also running for President.  You know the one. Yep, the one many dems say threw the 2000 election.  Well, fast-forward to today.  Nader is throwing some verbal punches at Senator Barack Obama.   He's accusing Obama of attempting to "talk white" and appealing to "white guilt" in his quest to win the White House.   It's sure to be an explosive debate tonight on 360.  Among Anderson's guests is the Rev. Al Sharpton, who wrote a "Dear Ralph" letter.   Hear what Sharpton has to say about playing the race card.  And, we'd love to hear what you think of Nader's comments.  Is he right or wrong?

Also tonight, a pregnant soldier found dead in a N.C. hotel.  Was it murder?


Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
June 25th, 2008
08:39 PM ET

James Dobson doesn't speak for me

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/25/art.caldwell.jpg caption="Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell of the Windsor Village United Methodist Church speak at a campaign rally Oct. 2004." width=292 height=320]

Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell is Senior Pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas.  Windsor is the largest United Methodist Church in the nation.  He is one of President George W. Bush's most influential spiritual advisors. Today he sent this letter to his supporters:

Kirbyjon Caldwell
Senior Pastor, Windsor Village United Methodist Church

Dear friends,

My name is Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell. Some folks know me as one of President Bush's spiritual advisors. I'm also a strong supporter of Barack Obama, because he's a Christian who's unashamed of his faith and wants to bring Americans of all faiths and backgrounds together.

Today, Dr. James Dobson from Focus on the Family attacked Barack Obama for a thoughtful, powerful speech that Obama delivered on faith and politics in June of 2006. You can read Obama's speech here and Dobson's attack here.

In his speech, Obama spoke about his own Christian journey. He called on progressives to recognize the power of faith in the lives of millions of Americans. He called on conservatives to uphold the separation of church and state. And he called on both sides to work together to find common ground.

I didn't agree with everything in his speech, but I agreed with Obama's courage, his compassion and his message of healing.

But what did Dr. Dobson say in response? FULL POST

Filed under: Barack Obama • Raw Politics • Religion
June 25th, 2008
05:12 PM ET

Foley is flooded

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/25/art.foley.jpg caption="Frankie Davis and her husband paddle a boat through floodwaters back to their house in Foley, Mo., Wenesday."]
Kay Jones
AC360° Staff

We just arrived in Foley, Missouri, a small town of about 150 people in Lincoln County. From where I'm standing, it looks as if the entire town is under water.

There are some hilly areas to the west of Main Street that are obviously dry. But Foley is flooded.

The police chief thought this would be the worst, as the river was supposed to be cresting now. But as we were speaking we got word that there is a new, higher crest prediction for Friday night, four inches more than what it is today.

He said it's still lower than what they saw in '93 and that he thinks most people will come back and rebuild.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Severe Weather
June 25th, 2008
04:57 PM ET

Erica’s News Note: What a long strange trip

Erica Hill
AC360° Correspondent

The situation in Zimbabwe is unbelievable and frightening. Hundreds of Zimbabweans are seeking refuge at the South African embassy today, help they see as a matter of life and death. They support Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition leader who dropped out the presidential run-off earlier this week, because he feared for his supporters’ safety.

Many Zimbabweans are reporting rapes, maiming and other “intimidation tactics” from militias loyal to Robert Mugabe, the man who has ruled Zimbabwe since it gained independence in 1980… and who clearly is not ready to give up that power.

CNN.com has put together a special section dedicated to the situation in Zimbabwe, with updates not only on the political struggle, but also on how citizens are dealing with the increasingly difficult day-to-day situation.

In New Zealand, a huge settlement for the Maori. Seven indigenous Maori tribes signed a $319 million agreement with the NZ government, to return 435,000 acres to the tribes.

Filed under: Erica Hill
June 25th, 2008
04:29 PM ET

Anderson's View: Enough is enough

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/25/art.vert.mugabe.jpg caption="Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe" width=292 height=320]
Anderson Cooper

It is hard to watch what is happening in Zimbabwe. Sickening to see thugs armed with steel clubs beating people whose only crime is to want a fair election.

For years Robert Mugabe has sent out his henchmen to intimidate his own people. For years he has run Zimbabwe into the ground. Enough is enough.

This used to be one of the most prosperous countries in Africa. I first went there in 1985, when I was seventeen and driving across southern Africa in a truck. I was there again in 1992 when I was working in Africa as a reporter.

It is a beautiful country, and the people deserve better than this. Robert Mugabe helped bring independence to Zimbabwe, but he makes the mistake all tyrants do. He believes he is indispensable, he believes he has a right to rule. He has been president for nearly 30 years. Enough is enough. The people have a right to replace him...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Anderson Cooper • TV
June 25th, 2008
04:19 PM ET

Beat 360° 06/25/08

David M. Reisner
360° Digital Producer

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 the ‘Beat 360°’ pic of the day: U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Hillary Clinton leave after they spoke to the media yesterday on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Clinton joined the House Democratic leaders to speak to the media after she spoke to a closed House Democratic Caucus meeting.

Beat 360°

Have fun with it.

Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.

Beat 360° Challenge

But wait!... There's more!

When you win ‘Beat 360°’ not only do you get on-air prime-time name recognition (complete with bragging rights over all your friends, family, and jealous competitors), but you get a “I Won the Beat 360° Challenge” T-shirt!

Read more here....

Good luck to all!

UPDATE:Check out our Beat 360° winners

Filed under: Beat 360° • David M. Reisner • T1
June 25th, 2008
01:18 PM ET

James Dobson IS NOT an evangelical leader

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/25/art.vert.jamesdobson.jpg caption="Dr. James Dobson, talks in in Louisville, Ky. April 2005." width=292 height=320]

Roland S. Martin
CNN Political Analyst

Focus on the Family founder, Dr. James Dobson, is in the news as of late for ripping Sen. Barack Obama over a 2006 speech dealing with faith and public policy.

My issue isn't the speech or Dobson's criticism. I want to know why in the world we in the media keep holding Dobson up as an influential Christian leader or evangelical leader when the guy says with his own mouth that is nothing of the sort?

In a radio interview discussing the speech, Dobson was critical of Obama who said, "And even if we did have only Christians in our midst, if we expelled every non-Christian from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools? Would we go with James Dobson's, or Al Sharpton's?"

Dobson took offense to that and made this interesting comment.

"I'm not a reverend. I'm not a minister. I'm not a theologian. I’m not an evangelist. I'm a psychologist. I have a Ph.D. in child development from the University of Southern California. There is no equivalence to us," he said.

Yea. I had the same reaction you likely did. Here is a guy who is often declared a religious leader who now says, "Nope. Not me."

Now, if the guy who is held up as an evangelical leader says he's not, then why do we even care what he has to say about religion? FULL POST

Filed under: Barack Obama • Raw Politics • Roland S. Martin
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