For what’s in the program take a look at tonight’s Evening Buzz.
Wolf Blitzer fills in for Anderson Thursday. And Erica Hill is back and will be blogging! Check them out 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 start posting comments to this blog at 10p ET and stop at 11p ET.
Hi everyone! Here’s a look at some of the stories on our radar:
RAW POLITICS: Both candidates are in Florida on Friday. Sen. McCain delivers a speech in the morning and makes an appearance at a concert in the evening. Sen. Obama will be at a town hall meeting in the morning and at a BBQ in the evening.
COMBAT TOURS SHORTENED: Starting August 1st the combat tours for U.S. military forces in Iraq will be reduced from 15-months to 12-months.
CLINTON FUNDRAISER FRAUD CASE: Scheduled date of court hearing for Norman Hsu, former fundraiser for Hillary Clinton. He has been charged with various fraud charges.
TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE: The eclipse will be visible from northern Canada, northern Greenland, the Arctic, central Russia, Mongolia, and China.
ANNUAL TWINS FESTIVAL: Twins from around the world gather at this annual twins festival in Twinsburg, OH. This is the largest twins festival in the world.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/31/art.racecard.gi.jpg%5D
Is Barack Obama playing the race card on the campaign trail? Yes, if you ask the John McCain campaign. And, they say Obama is playing it "from the bottom of the deck." The fiery words come a day after the McCain camp says Obama alluded to his own race during several campaign stops in Missouri.
Yesterday, Obama told audiences that his opponent is trying to make voters "scared" of him because he doesn't look like past presidents and has a funny name. Today, McCain's campaign manger Rick Davis said Obama's comments are "divisive, negative, shameful and wrong".
The Obama camp responded saying, "Barack Obama in no way believes that the McCain campaign is using race as an issue, but he does believe they're using the same old low-road politics to distract voters from the real issues in this campaign, and those are the issues he'll continue to talk about."
We'll let you decide. Is Obama playing the race card?
Also tonight, a Florida congressman under fire. Democrat Robert Wexler now says he'll now lease an apartment in South Florida after some people have questioned his committment to his constituents because he wasn't living in his district. He wasn't even living somewhere else in Florida. Wexler, his wife and three children were living in Maryland. He has never hit the fact he doesn't live in his district. He was using his in-laws' address in Delray Beach to meet residency requirements. He insists he still effectively did his job. He says, "I had two goals as a person as I was sworn into Congress. One, to be a full-time devoted Congressman who stood up for his constituents. And, two, to be a devoted full-time father." Is what Wexler did legal? We'll tell you what we uncovered tonight on 360.
And, what do you think: Should Wexler have a home in his distrct?
Plus, cha-ching! Exxon Mobil has reported the biggest quartely profit in U.S. history - $11.6 billion dollars. We did the math. That's $1,485.55 a second! Of course, you're paying high prices at the pump. They're cashing in. And, spending a lot of money to find more oil, right? We'll show you how big oil is really spending your money. We're keeping them honest.
All that and more tonight on 360°.
Hope you'll join us!
“He seemed totally normal." That’s how one traveler described the man who beheaded a fellow passenger on board a Greyhound Canada bus. The man who was killed was sleeping at the time.
Why is it that horrific stories seem to involve phrases like, “He seemed totally normal.” Or “He seemed like such a nice, quiet guy.”? There is no universal answer to why people commit unspeakable acts, but I have to believe it is not because they are normal, quiet or nice.
Hello 360° bloggers! Ready for today's Beat 360°?
Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption and our staff will join in too.
Tune in every night at 10p ET to see if you are our favorite!
Here is 'Beat 360°’ pic of the day:
Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine playfully closes the door on a radio station employee taking a cellphone photo prior to his appearance on the program "Ask the Governor" at the studios of WRVA radio in Richmond, Va., Thursday.
Have fun with it. We're looking forward to your captions!
Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.
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!
Good luck to all!
UPDATE: Check out our Beat 360° Winners!
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One year ago I came to Minneapolis to report on the Interstate 35W bridge which had collapsed suddenly into the Mississippi River.
It happened during rush hour. Thirteen people died and more than 100 were injured. You may remember the terrifying images of a school bus full off children trapped on top off the bridge and the cars dangling from the bridge.
I lived and worked in this city for seven years so it felt very personal to me. I was a reporter here and crossed that bridge hundreds of times. I never expected it would collapse, nor did anyone else. But our infrastructure isn’t what it used to be. I’ve talked the folks who study this stuff.
Most of our bridges were built around World War II. They were designed to last about 50 years. I’m told the average age of a bridge in our country is about 43. Here’s what’s really scary though: the Federal Highway Administration said in 2006, one quarter of the nation’s nearly 600,000 bridges were rated structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Can you imagine?
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/31/art.vert.clarkrockefeller.jpg caption="In this undated photo provided by the FBI, Clark Rockefeller carries his daughter Reigh on his shoulders. Authorities say Rockefeller, who is going through a bitter divorce with his wife Sandra Boss, snatched 7-year-old Reigh in Boston on Sunday, July 27, 2008 and may be trying to flee on a yacht from Long Island" width=292 height=320]
Reigh Storrow Boss may nave no idea she is the focus of a massive land and sea search to find her and her enigmatic father, Clark Rockefeller.
Rockefeller, described as wealthy and eccentric, is divorced from Reigh’s mother, Sandra Boss, a London-based director of a management consulting firm.
This past Sunday, the police say he abducted his 7-year-old daughter in what they call a custodial kidnapping. According to authorities in Boston, the crime was daring and occurred in broad daylight on.
Here’s the incident report from the Boston Police Department:
On July 27, 2008, at approximately 12:44pm, officers from District D-4 (Back Bay/South End) responded to the intersection of Arlington and Marlborough Streets for a custodial kidnapping.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/31/art.egyptmom.jpg caption="A mother screams following the verdict by an Egyptian court over the 2006 ferry accident in the port city of Safaga, 600km from the capital Cairo on Sunday."]
Octavia Nasr | BIO
CNN senior editor for Arab affairs
A mother screams at the top of her lungs.. Accusing the Egyptian judicial system of corruption.
She's joined by other families who came to an Egyptian court expecting a conviction and a maximum sentence. Instead, they witnessed an acquittal of five men they believe are responsible for their loved ones' death.
Arab media were on hand to report the outrage and provide context.
In 2006 a ferry carrying some fourteen hundred people–mostly pilgrims and workers–from Saudi Arabia to Egypt sank in the Red Sea.. resulting in the death of more than a thousand people.
The Dubai-based Al-Arabiya tracked the last hours of the ferry and reported the following about the investigation:
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I had heard that China is tightening its borders ahead of the Olympics in August, but I didn't think getting through customs was going to be this tough.
My crew and I have been trapped at the border between Hong Kong and Shenzhen for over an hour now.
For the first time since moving to Hong Kong four years ago, I have had to drag all my luggage to a special room to get everything X-rayed. Customs officials are painstakingly looking through all our camera equipment and scrutinizing our papers and documents. (My cameraman looks tired and we haven't even started working yet.). Every car making the short trip from the Hong Kong side of the border to Shenzhen is driving over with an open trunk ready for inspection by dozens of Chinese officials.
Normally, crossing the Chinese border from Hong Kong is a breeze. Chinese immigration officers happily stamp your passport and off you go.