June 26th, 2008
09:53 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 6/26/08

We want to hear what you think about tonight's show. We’ll start posting comments to this blog at 10p ET and stop at 11p ET.

And don't forget about 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

Filed under: Live Blog
June 26th, 2008
09:51 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Big Money Meeting

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/06/26/clinton.obama/art.unity.gi.jpg ="Sen. Barack Obama will make his first campaign appearance with Sen. Hillary Clinton on Friday"]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Just a short time ago, a big money meeting wrapped up between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama with HER cash supporters.  We have exclusive cell photo photos from inside the meeting at a Washington hotel.  And, we're just getting an audio tape of the high-stakes talks.   We'll bring it all to you tonight on 360.  The two are back together in public for the first time since Clinton dropped out of the race. And, they'll hit the campaign trail tomorrow.  But is it truly a united front?  What are your thoughts?  We'd love to hear from you.

Also tonight, the principal of a  Massachusetts high school speaks out.


Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
June 26th, 2008
08:39 PM ET

AC360° Radar for June 27th

Lisa Ort
AC360° Producer

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

RAW POLITICS:  Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton will hold a “Unite for Change Rally” in Unity, NH.  Sen. John McCain will take a tour of a GM plant in Warren, Ohio and then will hold a town hall with employees

CA WILDFIRES: Firefighters face another tough day on the fire lines as they struggle against two wildfires burning in Monterey County. Fire officials say a lightning-sparked wildfire is moving closer to the community of Big Sur, where it threatens 500 homes.

NORTH KOREA: North Korea is set to implode a cooling tower on its Yongbyon
nuclear reactor.

KWAME KILPATRICK HEARING: Scheduled date of court hearing for embattled Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, embroiled in a sex scandal. The hearing is part of a lawsuit attempting to block the removal from office of Kilpatrick by the city council.

Filed under: 360° Radar
June 26th, 2008
06:01 PM ET

Erica’s News Note: Updates

Erica Hill
AC360° Correspondent

One of the wildfires burning in California is approaching Big Sur. My husband mentioned this to me before I left for work today – and it hit me like a rock. He has a much closer tie to Big Sur, but the magic of this coastal town is infectious. It’s impossible to explain how Big Sur makes you feel, but trust me when I say once you’ve experienced the beauty, peace and energy of this coastal community, you will never be the same.

Hundreds of homes across the state are threatened and the damage, sadly, won’t be limited to California. New Mexico is also dealing with several fires.

Eleven years behind bars. Plenty of time for Varsha Sabhani to think about what she and her husband did to two Indonesian women they were convicted of abusing. Actually, “abuse” doesn’t really cut it. The actions of this couple led to allegations of “modern-day slavery." The details are insane. We covered this story several times on my show at Headline News, and each time the Prime News show team was left speechless by the alleged abuses these women suffered. FULL POST

Filed under: Erica Hill • Erica's News Note
June 26th, 2008
05:37 PM ET

North Korea's nuclear secrets

CNN's Christiane Amanpour reports on North Korea's planned destruction of a nuclear cooling tower

Filed under: 360° Radar • Christiane Amanpour • North Korea
June 26th, 2008
04:58 PM ET

Dispatch from FLDS: Testimony on sexual abuse

Chuck Johnston
CNN National Desk

Grand Jury recesses in Eldorado, will reconvene in July, no indictments yet.

A Texas grand jury recessed last night after hearing allegations of sexual abuse in the polygamist FLDS sect.

The grand jury is considering criminal charges arising from the raid on the sect's Yearning for Zion (YFZ) Ranch in April. FLDS members have denied abuse allegations.

The grand jury reviewed evidence for eight hours, and recessed without issuing indictments. It won't resume until late next month.

The state of Texas removed over 450 children from the YFZ Ranch in Eldorado that an underage girl was being forced to marry and have sex. The children were placed in foster homes around the state.

But the Texas Supreme Court later ruled the evidence of abuse was insufficient, and children must be returned to their parents while the investigation continues.

June 26th, 2008
02:15 PM ET

Megan Touma: What we know now

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/26/art.vert.megan.touma.jpg caption="This undated photo, supplied by the U.S. Army, shows Spc. Megan Lynn Touma, 23, whose body was found Saturday morning, June 21, 2008, in a Fayetteville, N.C., motel room." width=292 height=320]

Editor's Note: watch Randi’s report tonight on 360°

Randi Kaye | BIO
360° Correspondent

We are still here in Fayetteville, North Carolina, digging deeper on the death of that 23-year-old pregnant soldier from Fort Bragg. It’s quite a mystery, and today, so many questions about how her absence on the base was handled. The Army says it is investigating Specialist Megan Touma’s unit to see if proper procedures were followed.

Here’s what we know: Megan Touma, who was 7 months pregnant, had requested to be based at Fort Bragg back in February. She arrived here in Fayetteville on June 12 and the Army says she checked in at base at about 2am.

That same day she showed up for roll call at about 3:15pm. That was the last time anyone on the base heard from her or saw her.

Friday, June 13, through Sunday, June 15, was a holiday on base so no requirements, but on Monday, June 16, the Army says Touma didn’t show up for roll call.

On Tuesday, June 17, she should’ve been declared AWOL per Army policy but she wasn’t... FULL POST

Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Randi Kaye
June 26th, 2008
02:13 PM ET

Beat 360 06/26/08

David M. Reisner
360° Digital Producer

Bear with me here ok?! 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: Children from local schools in the Paddington area of London celebrate Paddington Bear's birthday with the bear himself on yesterday in London, England. Paddington Bear's birthday is celebrated on the 50th anniversary of the first of Michael Bond's Paddington Bear books being published.

Beat 360°

Here's one to get you started:

Paddington Bear feels the backlash from today’s court ruling; giving citizens of Washington D.C. “the right to ‘bear’ arms.”

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: Our staff winner is David with, "In DC today, Ms. Smith’s 2nd grade class misunderstands today’s court ruling; Taking “The right to ‘bear’ arms” a bit too literally". For the viewers, Erin wins with, "Paddington Bear exercises his right to bear hugs and not arms."


Filed under: Beat 360° • David M. Reisner • T1
June 26th, 2008
12:55 PM ET

Mandela to supermodel: Get to steppin’

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/26/art.vert.mandela.jpg width=292 height=320]

Roland S. Martin
CNN Political Analyst
AC360° Contributor

Finally, somebody has the decency to tell one of these crazy celebrities that their wild antics will not be tolerated.

Supermodel Naomi Campbell was supposed to participate in the 90th birthday celebration of former South African president Nelson Mandela. But after she was fined and sentenced to 200 hours of community service for her bad girl behavior against two cops at Heathrow Airport, Mandela ordered her removed from the celebrity lineup.

Now that’s a man of principle!

A source told the Daily Mail that Mandela personally intervened.

The man himself intervened and she was pulled off the list. He was disappointed with her recent arrest – particularly as she was wearing a 46664 baseball cap at the time,' the source said, noting that was which was the prison number of Mandela when he served 27 years in jail.

Mandela gets big props for checking Naomi and making it plain: You can't act a fool and expect to be rewarded.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Roland S. Martin
June 26th, 2008
11:58 AM ET

Afraid to vote...

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/26/art.zimbabwe.southafrica.jpg caption="Zimbabweans and South Africans demonstrate against election related violence in Zimbabwe on Nelson Mandela Bridge in downtown Johannesburg, South Africa"]

Program Note: Zimbabwe's opposition party warned Thursday of growing political genocide at the hands of government supporters, urging the world to intervene immediately before the situation gets worse. Watch full report tonight on 360°

David McKenzie | BIO
CNN Correspondent

It is the eve of a vote here in Southern Africa.

It’s the eve of a vote with one candidate. A ‘sham’ of democracy.

Despite the calls from regional leaders, international heads of state and even Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, Robert Mugabe is determined to go to the polls.

I had to get out of our studio where I am on live duty and see what ordinary Zimbabweans are thinking.

The Refugees I talked to in downtown Johannesburg are fed up. After years of economic meltdown and weeks of political violence, they have had enough.

In March, at the first vote, these refugees headed home to vote, many of them for the opposition. Now they see no point.

“There is no reason to go and vote since they are beating us like this,” said one man at the Park station, “It doesn¹t make sense.” Another agreed, I can't use any of their names, they are afraid that Mugabe’s government might monitor CNN’s broadcasts and website, “Even if we go back and vote, Mugabe would not accept it. It is better for us to stay here, we are free here.”

Free yes, but safe? Not always.

Foreigners in South Africa, many of them from Zimbabwe, were ruthlessly targeted in xenophobic attacks here. This is a country with rampant inflation and the foreigners are often seen as taking jobs and space from locals. Scores were killed.

But still they are forced to live outside of their homeland. At the station they pack big sacks of goods for their families. They take rice and sugar and warm blackest for their families suffering through the brutal winter months. Commodities are impossible to find in Zimbabwe. They take their simple gifts to their families and then come back to South Africa to toil at jobs often way below their station.

As the politicians bicker and the leaders join in to try and condemn Mugabe the loudest, it is these ordinary Zimbabweans who will suffer in silence

Filed under: 360° Radar • David McKenzie • T1 • Zimbabwe
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