July 2nd, 2008
03:24 PM ET

Anderson's View: Competing to win

Anderson Cooper

Thank You.

I just wanted to take a moment and thank all of you who watch our broadcast for helping us win against our competition again this quarter. It’s the second quarter in a row we’ve won in the most important demographic, and it is all because of you. We’ve focused a lot on politics these past six months, and our viewers have responded. It’s great to win, but it’s even better to win reporting on things that are important. So, thank you, and I promise we will continue to work hard to bring you in depth coverage of the day's most important stories.

I know it’s popular to attack one’s competition in cable news. Some people seem to spend as much time trashing their rivals as they do reporting the news. I understand why they do it, I get it, but I don’t want to take part in it, and I respect the fact that my competition on FOX, Greta Van Susteren has chosen not to do that as well. She has her program, I have mine. They are very different, but I respect her hard work and intelligence. I think the competition between us makes both our broadcasts better.

Filed under: Anderson Cooper
July 2nd, 2008
02:38 PM ET

Texas Justice: The Case of Joe Horn

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/02/art.vert.joe.jpg
caption="In his first media interview, Joe Horn talks Tuesday, July 1, 2008, in Houston." width=292 height=320]

Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

Eight months after he pulled the trigger and days since a grand jury refused to indict him, Joe Horn is finally speaking out about the moments that changed his life, ended two other lives and touched off a furious debate on guns in America.

The opinions about the deadly incident reveal how deeply divided many people are over the killings. Here are just two from the 360° blog:

“Joe Horn is a murderer. He called 911, police were on the way, he was in no danger and he killed two people. I can't see how he is justified.”

“Dear criminals, if you steal someone’s property, you will be stopped, lawfully in Texas. Now you know the risk.”

Much continues to be said about Horn’s motives and actions.

But he wants everyone to know he is not proud of what he did last November.

"For 61 years I was never a vigilante,” the retiree told Good Morning America. “Why would I be a vigilante over this incident?"

Horn also spoke to the Houston Chronicle, saying, “I know what a hero is, and that's not me. I'm a human being that was in a situation that I'd never been in before, and I didn't want to die."

On 360° last night, radio host Lars Larson said Horn did the right thing: FULL POST

Filed under: AC360° Staff • Crime & Punishment • Gun Control
July 2nd, 2008
11:37 AM ET

Shark Fin Soup – altering an ecosystem

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/02/art.pip2.sharkfin.jpg caption=""Shark fins piled at the port in Kaohsiung, Taiwan."]

Editor’s note: CNN’s award-winning Planet in Peril returns this year to examine the conflict between growing populations and natural resources. Anderson Cooper, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and Lisa Ling travel to the front lines of this worldwide battle. Ling has been a co-host of The View, correspondent for The Oprah Winfrey Show, National Geographic and Channel One. She filed this blog from Taiwan on how shark-finning operations that have helped deplete the oceans of more than 90 percent of shark species.

Lisa Ling
AC360° special correspondent

Arrived in Taipei after flying 13 hours from LA. After looking for lost luggage and equipment–which is standard these days–we hopped into a car for a 4-hour drive to the south.

I have spent a fair amount of time in Taiwan as my mother is from here. It's one of my favorite countries to visit primarily because the food is so excitingly exotic and delicious.

The irony is that we are here to report on the impact that the overfishing of sharks is having on the overall shark population and how it's affecting the ocean's ecosystem. Shark meat and shark skin are used for food and textiles, but the most desirable part of a shark is its fins. Shark Fin Soup is one of the great delicacies in Asia–particularly China. It symbolizes wealth and prosperity. One is not considered a good host if he/she omits Shark Fin Soup from a celebratory dinner.


Filed under: Lisa Ling • Planet in Peril • T1
July 2nd, 2008
10:40 AM ET

Death in custody – the investigation begins

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/02/art.inmmatestrangled.jpg caption="Bobby G. Henry Jr., attorney for the family of inmate Ronnie L. White speaks to reporters outside the Prince George County Courthouse, Tuesday."]

Joe Johns
AC360° Correspondent

I’ve been in and around Washington DC and its suburbs for a long time. When I first got here I covered the police beat. I’m not doing that anymore, but I’ve gotta tell you they’ve got one hell of a mess in Prince Georges County, Maryland right now. The kind of mess that sounds completely new, and somehow very familiar.

First a county police officer gets run over and killed with a stolen pickup truck. Then a 19-year-old gets arrested and charged with murder. Then the suspect ends up dead in custody.

And now, the preliminary ruling by the medical examiner is strangulation. Hint: its darnn near impossible to strangle yourself.

So the facts are gruesome enough. But here’s why it’s a real mess: FULL POST

Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Joe Johns
July 2nd, 2008
10:36 AM ET

The hunt for a "spree" murderer

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/02/art.nicholas.sheley.jpg]
Ismael Estrada
AC360° Producer

This is not what people are used to seeing here. Rock Falls, IL is a small town and most people have been here their entire lives.

Neighbors here, on a street of small homes and families, are stunned at what happened inside an apartment on their block. They watch as investigators pull evidence bags from the apartment where four people, including a small boy, were brutally murdered.

Outside as reporters gather to report news of the manhunt, neighbors gather to express anger about what happened here. They are upset that the man wanted by police, Nicholas Sheley is still on the run.


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Ismael Estrada
July 2nd, 2008
07:16 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Murder and Politics on the menu this am...

Good Morning...

Was he a serial killer or a "spree" killer? Well, we might find out in court today...Nicholas Troy Sheley, 28, of Sterling, was arrested Tuesday evening at a shopping center in Granite City, Illinois, just 10 miles east of St. Louis, Missouri. Just before he was arrested, Sheley stopped at Bindy's bar in the shopping center, prompting at least two patrons who recognized him from news reports to excuse themselves and notify police. He is accused of killing 8...yes, 8 people over the course of a week. The victims - six in Illinois and two in Missouri - all apparently died from blunt force trauma to the head, the FBI said. While at large, Sheley was considered armed and dangerous, with a criminal history of armed violence and resisting arrest.....David Mattingly is in St Louis with the latest....

Ted Rowlands takes a look at another infamous killing spree...40 years ago, 8 ½ month pregnant actress Sharon Tate begged for mercy from her “Manson family” killers, including Susan Atkins. Now, Atkins is begging for mercy....


Filed under: The Buzz
July 2nd, 2008
01:04 AM ET

Deja Vu

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/02/art.neil.taiwan.jpg caption="Neil Hallsworth shooting port of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, a hub for shark fins. The majority of the fins make their way from here to china, where they're eaten as a delicacy."]

Neil Hallsworth
Senior Photojournalist

I'm having Deja Vu, 2 weeks ago I was pulling up at the same JFK terminal, dealing with the same baggage issues

Its Sunday and after the rain, thunder and lightning. Shortly before I arrive at JFK airport I can't believe the flight actually going to leave on time...we board early...then get stuck on the tarmac for nearly 2 hours. It's painful. To ease the pain stuck on the tarmac the airline offers us cocktails On the small TV screen in front of me there is a slide show of 3 tempting specialty drinks, one called the Mile High Mohito…I'm so bored at this point I flick through the sky mall magazine and actually consider buying the hot digity dogger (pop up hot dog maker).

Finally we're airborne. But we land so late in San Francisco our connecting flight to Taipei is long gone.

Now the fun starts—finding the baggage—12 cases of gear that was checked all the way to Taipei, so we can get on the next available flight. But finding it is proving somewhat difficult. Neither airline admits responsibility for having the baggage. All we are told is, "they're in the system."

Over the next 5 hours the words "they're in the system" haunt me. No one can find them in "the system."

The system...the system!!! My mind drifts to a scene form the matrix...right now though I'm hoping Morfeus of the Matrix will pop out open is left hand and offer me the blue transporter pill...then I can wake up in Taipei with all my equipment.

We eventually arrive on a different airline 12 hours later, minus 2 bags.....one of which I really need for the first shoot. Muphy's law I suppose.

Filed under: Neil Hallsworth • Planet in Peril
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