September 8th, 2008
03:38 PM ET

They're not giving Upp (on Hannah)

 [cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/08/art.vert.hannah.upp2.jpg caption="23-year-old Hannah Upp has been missing since Friday when she was last seen at her Hamilton Terrace apartment in Harlem, NY." width=292 height=320]Gabe Falcon
AC360° Writer

The media has been spending a lot of attention this summer on the search for 3-year-old Caylee Anthony.

You know that already.

And you are also well aware that there other heartbreaking stories of missing people that should be told, like the one involving Hannah Emily Upp.

The 23-year-old New York city public school teacher disappeared on Friday, August 29th. At the time she vanished, Upp was about to start her second year teaching Spanish to junior high students at Thurgood Marshall Academy for Learning and Social Change in Manhattan.

Upp came from Portland, Oregon, and graduated from Bryn Mawr College. She lives in the heart of Harlem in an area called Hamilton Terrace. Her roommates say she was last seen inside their apartment that Friday afternoon, and had plans for a quick getaway that weekend. They became concerned when she did not return on Sunday. That’s when the police were called.

The search for Hannah has spread across the Internet, especially on social networking sites. On Facebook, a page asking for help in finding Hannah has more than 2,000 members. Many of them say they are personally looking for her – like a woman named Faith who wrote, “I'm going to ask around to the homeless and street kids I have contact with throughout the city. If anyone's sure to have seen a pretty 20-something, it'll be them.” You can see the Facebook page here: We're Not Giving Upp (on Hannah)


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
September 8th, 2008
03:26 PM ET

What's the chance of Gov. Palin becoming president?

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Will Fairbrother
Assistant Professor of Biology, Brown University

The presidential line of succession starts with the vice president and it extends deep into the cabinet. This line specifies who will assume the office in the event of the death, resignation, removal or incapacitation of the president. In U.S. history there have been 9 cases where a president has been replaced. In each case, the progression through this line has never gone beyond the vice president.

While in a modern campaign the presidential candidate is heavily scrutinized during the primaries, the vice president is generally regarded as playing a peripheral role in the voting decision. Vice presidential picks are often described as:

  1. targeted appeals to certain geographical or gender constituencies,
  2. a means of offsetting some perceived deficiency of the presidential candidate or
  3. simply the candidate who ran second in the primary.

The general political wisdom is that voters do not regard the VP as an important factor in voting for a ticket. If this is true, is this a rational way to vote?


Filed under: John McCain • Raw Politics • Sarah Palin
September 8th, 2008
02:55 PM ET

Kicking the dead: Outrage over soldiers' deaths

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Jim Bitterman
CNN Senior European Correspondent

It’s what’s made French magazine Paris Match’s reputation…taking risks, bending the rules to get the edgy photos that everyone talks about. This time, though, many here furiously say, the magazine went too far.

A photographer and reporter from the magazine daringly returned to the rough country in Afghanistan where the Taliban killed 10 French soldiers only days before, to try to meet those who ambushed them.

The result is a ten-page story that includes and interview and four photos with the guerrillas, one dressed in a uniform stripped off a dead French soldier, and others displaying their war prizes: helmets, flak jackets, a walkie talkie, assault rifles and the wristwatch of one of the slain soldiers.

The Afghanis knew exactly the message they wanted to send through Paris Match …warned their leader , “If the French leave, all will be fine…if they stay here, we’ll kill them…all of them.”


Filed under: Global 360° • Jim Bitterman
September 8th, 2008
02:42 PM ET

AC360° Exclusive: Palin's former Pastor speaks

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Program Note: Sarah Palin’s former pastor describes how he expects her religious beliefs to influence her decision-making… Watch Rani Kaye's exclusive report 360° tonight 10 ET.

Randi Kaye | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Since joining the Republican ticket, Sarah Palin hasn't said a peep about her religion so we decided to look into her beliefs for a piece on AC360 tonight.

She calls herself a Christian, but identified herself more specifically as a Pentecostal for most of her life. She had been a member of the Wasilla Assembly of God church from the time she was a young girl until 2002, when she left the church to join a non-denominational church that is more mainstream.

The McCain campaign has said Palin doesn't consider herself a Pentecostal.

Some Pentecostals speak in tongues, and believe in "faith healing" and "end times", a violent upheaval that will bring the second coming of Jesus and only believers will be saved.

We'll have an interview with Palin's pastor from the Assembly of God and let you know if Palin ever spoke in tongues.


Filed under: Randi Kaye • Raw Politics • Religion • Same-Sex Marriage • Sarah Palin
September 8th, 2008
12:55 PM ET

OJ Simpson: The final chapter?

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Editor's Note: You can read more Lisa Bloom blogs on In Session”

Lisa Bloom
AC360° Contributor
In Session Anchor

O.J. Simpson walked out of court a free man after acquittals in his 1995 double murder trial and his 2001 Florida road rage case. Today jury selection begins in his Las Vegas robbery trial, where he faces a maximum of life in prison if convicted. Will he be 3-0?
Based on what we know now, it’s going to be a close call. The prosecution case is built on the testimony of a colorful band of O.J. cronies, including a stalker, an arsonist, a thief, and an alleged pimp. Notice that I have to say “alleged” only as to the maybe-pimp. The stalker also has a criminal history that includes receiving stolen property, assault and battery, and he’ll be hauled in from prison to testify. And he is one of the two alleged victims.

This caper may be the most-taped alleged crime in history. There are three secret audiotapes of the planning of the caper, a tape of the incident itself (sold immediately to TMZ.com for over $100,000, reportedly), recordings of phone messages after the incident, and a surreptitious audio recording of OJ and one of the co-conspirators at a bar that night. Even the “You Ring We Spring” bail bondsman had the presence of mind to stick a recorder in his pocket and capture O.J.’s words as he transported him. O.J. Simpson should buy stock in Radio Shack.


Filed under: Lisa Bloom • O.J. Simpson Trial
September 8th, 2008
12:16 PM ET

Obama wrong to spurn Hillary, pick Biden

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Editor's note: Ed Rollins, who served as political director for President Reagan, is a Republican strategist who was national chairman of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's 2008 presidential campaign.

Ed Rollins
CNN Contributor

Ten days ago, Sen. Joe Biden was the most brilliant vice presidential pick imaginable. He was going to add the experience and foreign policy credential that Sen. Barack Obama's thin resume was missing.

The so-called expert commentators were arguing that blue-collar Joe was going to guarantee Pennsylvania (because he was born in Scranton) and other states and get Catholic voters because he is a pro-choice Catholic.

I guess they forgot that Joe didn't do so well with Iowa Catholics (23 percent of the population) when he campaigned there for more than a year in the Democratic caucus race. But then getting less than 1 percent of the vote and coming in fifth place showed he didn't do real well with any voter group in Iowa. Nor did he do well anywhere else, other than Delaware.

Then, after Sen. John McCain chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, people laughed and said Biden was going to wipe the floor with Palin in the vice presidential debate. Now, after her incredible convention speech, Biden is saying that he's the underdog because he's not a very good debater.

If Obama had done the smart thing, he would have picked Sen. Hillary Clinton for vice president. If he had, he would have united his party for sure and energized his base.


Filed under: Ed Rollins • Raw Politics
September 8th, 2008
11:25 AM ET

Girl Fight! Part Two

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Amy Holmes | Bio
CNN Political Analyst

On Friday, the Obama campaign put out the spin that they were deploying Hillary to take shots at Palin. Upon reading it, I wrote that it was rather awkward to tout the woman they passed over as the answer to the woman the other guy chose as his VP.

I also wrote that a female democratic strategist told me, "Don't think that Hillary hasn't noticed."

I don't know if that same strategist brought my blog to Hillary's attention, or if the irony of the situation was just too glaring.

But in less than 24 hours, Hillary has made it known that she intends to go after McCain, not Palin. Check it out.

Filed under: Amy Holmes • Raw Politics
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