July 18th, 2008
05:40 PM ET

My interview with Mandela … breasts and sheep aside

CNN's Robyn Curnow had a chance to sit down with Nelson Mandela and his family as they celebrated his 90th birthday.
CNN's Robyn Curnow had a chance to sit down with Nelson Mandela and his family as they celebrated his 90th birthday.

Robyn Curnow | BIO
CNN Correspondent

Qunu, South Africa

As Nelson Mandela’s grandchildren sang a birthday song for him, little did I know that soon afterwards I’d been surrounded by about 40 young topless Xhosa maidens, wearing grass skirts, and singing traditional songs as they wandered around my live shot position.

The girls, who are from the local village community, were practicing for a show they are going to perform for Nelson Mandela and his family and friends at a 90th birthday party on Saturday, here in his family compound in Qunu in South Africa’s Eastern Cape region.

No matter how tight your deadline – it’s very distracting having about 40 pairs of breasts dancing around you as you try to write a story and prepare to go live on CNN International.


Filed under: Behind The Scenes • Global 360°
July 18th, 2008
04:52 PM ET

Beat 360° 07/18/08

Hey there 360° bloggers! 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. Today's contest is a web only.

Tune in every night at 10p ET to see if you are our favorite! Can you Beat 360°?

A dog disguised as policeman makes a ride on a motorroller during the 'Rose Monday' parade February 19, 2007 in Cologne, Germany. Hundreds of thousands people flood the streets of Cologne for the traditional 'Rose Monday' procession.

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: Congratulations to the viewer winner, Dee with her caption, "Big Brother is watching your ankles."

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
July 18th, 2008
02:27 PM ET

Erica's News Note: Up with the sun

Erica Hill
AC360° Correspondent

Rhode Island isn't much farther north than NYC, yet the sun seems to rise far earlier in the Ocean State.

I woke up in Newport this morning; I came up yesterday for a conference (hence my comment via Gary re: last night's Beat 360°). What a gorgeous city! I haven't been here in years, and even then I was visiting a friend when we were both in college...not really a get-up early kind of visit.

This morning, I couldn't resist some quality time with the rising sun. If only I could be this motivated every day.

The familiar, sticky salt air instantly made me feel at home. The scenery (shops, restaurants, beautiful old homes, the mansions, the beach!) was more beautiful with each mile, but what really stood out to me on my run were the people.

Everyone was so friendly! Lots of waves, "mornin'"s and hellos...I wish we could all be a little friendlier when running in NYC.


Filed under: Erica Hill
July 18th, 2008
01:37 PM ET

Global 360°: Pregnancy, Grief, Celebration

Global 360°: Memorable moments and insights from CNN’s 30 newsgathering bureaus around the world...

Michael Schulder
CNN Executive Producer


As Al Gore was presenting his plan for making America a country that eliminates oil and coal in favor of 100 percent renewable energy – a small study we were tipped off to out of China this week points to the potential health benefits of such a plan. In the Chinese city of Tongliang a coal-fired power plant was shut down four years ago. Which presented an unusual opportunity to measure the health benefits of cleaner air for developing fetuses. Columbia University’s Center for Children’s Environmental Health moved in to test the air that pregnant Chinese women in Tongliang were breathing. What the researchers found was that children conceived after the coal plant was shut down were, overall, developing better, especially in terms of motor skills, compared to the children who were in the womb when their mothers were breathing the polluted air from the coal plant. You can read the study online...


Filed under: Global 360° • Michael Schulder
July 18th, 2008
01:02 PM ET

iReport Interrupted


Introducing the iReport Film Festival!

We want YOU to make a short film for iReport Film Festival: Campaign 2008!, an online festival of short films from the campaign trail.

Put your creativity to the test and give us a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes whether you are organizing in your community or following the campaign… Learn more

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/13/art.vert.jackgray.jpg]

Jack Gray
AC360° Producer

It wasn’t the way I envisioned my trip to San Francisco concluding...

You see, I was scheduled to spend the evening with the Young Republicans of San Francisco (no, that’s not a typo) to discuss how a group of political conservatives exist in arguably the most liberal city in the country. It was to be the ying to the yang of my visit with the Young Democrats of Utah. But, a few hours before we were to get together, I fell. In broad daylight. Getting into a cab. Sober. It’s lame, I know.

The irony is that I had just moments earlier – according to the San Francisco Police Department – narrowly escaped getting my “ass kicked” by an encampment of drug addicts in Golden Gate Park. Apparently the park is a de facto sovereign nation and it was sheer luck that two bike patrolmen came along just as the unhappy crowd began to converge on me and my $3,000 CNN video camera. By the way, special thanks to the guy on the corner of Haight and Ashbury Streets who suggested the park would be a great place to get footage. Hilarious, pal. Anyway, after getting out of the park alive I realized I had pushed my luck enough for the day and it was time to go back to the hotel.

So I hailed a cab, told the driver where I was going and asked that he make a quick stop at City Hall as I needed to get a few quick exterior shots. Easy as pie, right? Not quite, as it turns out. I got the exterior shots alright but as I was getting back into the cab things fell apart – literally. It was one of those mini-van cabs. I had my left hand on the top of the door frame and my right hand (which was also holding the camera) on the right side of the door frame. Any idiot could handle it, right? Well, not me.


Filed under: iReport Film Festival • Jack Gray
July 18th, 2008
12:10 PM ET

Remembering a medical legend, with gratitude

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/18/art.debakey.cnn.jpg caption="Dr. Michael DeBakey"]

Dr. Sanjay Gupta
Chief Medical Correspondent

If you mention Michael DeBakey’s name to just about any surgeon in the country, you are likely
to get a colorful story. Called a “rock star,” and the greatest surgeon of the 20th century, Dr.
DeBakey no doubt had a profound influence on the world of medicine. He saved tens of
thousands of lives, created the modern MASH unit, and helped found the National Library of
Medicine. On a personal note, it was Michael DeBakey who pioneered the coronary artery
bypass procedure to prevent heart attacks, which is the reason my own father is with me
today and doing so well.

More recently, Debakey in his 90s developed a ventricular assist device. It is an incredible
machine that is used to give patients with heart failure a little boost while they are waiting for
a transplant. If you ask him where he got so much life inspiration, he will tell you he read a new
book at least once a week, and in his case it was the Encyclopaedia Britannica. He read it
cover to cover. While he was a professor and a “maestro,” it turns out he was also an eternal


Filed under: Dr. Sanjay Gupta • Medical News
July 18th, 2008
11:38 AM ET

Beating a murder rap


Introducing the iReport Film Festival!

We want YOU to make a short film for iReport Film Festival: Campaign 2008!, an online festival of short films from the campaign trail.

Put your creativity to the test and give us a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes whether you are organizing in your community or following the campaign… Learn more

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/15/art.hadad.farmer.jpg]
Chuck Hadad
AC360° producer

My boss pulled me into his office one afternoon in late May and dropped a bombshell: “We want you to do a short documentary about the election. Come back to us with an idea and as long as we're on board, we want you to go for it."

I was thrilled with the assignment but also overwhelmed with the endless possibilities. It was like when your 9th grade English teacher told you to write an essay on "anything you want". You loved the freedom but at the same time were crushed with the limitless options.

"This is going to be part of an iReport film festival and your film will be a model for people to get an idea of what we're looking for," he said. Now the pressure was really on. America was counting on me.

I came back a week later with an idea that was as ambitious as perhaps it was foolish. I wanted to know what the country thought about the election and I planned to find out by driving across the country asking as many different people as possible. In talking to individuals, I hoped to discover some universal truth. FULL POST

Filed under: Chuck Hadad • iReport Film Festival
July 18th, 2008
10:30 AM ET

Kenya’s epic migration under threat


All of those small dots represent Wildebeest. The annual Wildebeest migration is an event tourists flock to see... its also bringing out many more poachers. Watch our David McKenzie's report

David McKenzie | BIO
CNN Correspondent

It’s one of the natural wonders of the world.

Over a million animals trek annually across the African plains. They cross national boundaries, forge rivers thick with crocodiles, and find the greener pastures of Kenya’s Masai Mara.

And it’s happening right now. Just imagine it for a second: herds thousands strong streaming through the golden grass of the savanna. There is always a single file of Wildebeest in the lead with a deluge following behind. Some of the herds are so massive that their front is in Kenya and their back in Tanzania.

This annual migration is now under threat by poachers.

Filed under: David McKenzie • Global 360° • Planet in Peril • TV
July 18th, 2008
09:00 AM ET

Murderer Turned hero

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/18/art.samir.kantar.jpg]

Octavia Nasr
Arab Affairs Editor

With pomp and circumstance Lebanon welcomed Samir Kuntar home... The man considered a symbol of evil in Israel, convicted of killing an Israeli father and bludgeoning to death the man's four-year-old daughter. The year was 1979; Kuntar was 16. He was sentenced to 542 years in prison.

In Lebanon today, he is hailed as a hero.

Speaking to a huge crowd on Wednesday, Kuntar said, “...I came from Palestine, only to return to Palestine.” Promising that he will be back along with his “brothers, the mujahideen of the Islamic Resistance.”

A reference to the Hezbollah militia who negotiated his release along with 4 others and the remains of nearly 200 of Arab and Lebanese militants.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Global 360° • Octavia Nasr
July 18th, 2008
08:30 AM ET

Etiquette of the N-word

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/11/art.jessejackson2.jpg]
Susan Chun
AC360 Producer

Debate over the N-word has intensified in the past couple years.

Remember when Michael Richards from “Seinfeld” was caught on tape two years ago using the n-word in a comedy routine? People were outraged and Richards had to apologize.

The NAACP last year held a symbolic funeral to bury the N-word. And the Rev. Jesse Jackson has called on rappers and entertainers to stop using it in their performances.

Filed under: AC360° Staff • Race in America • Susan Chun
« older posts