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September 19th, 2008
02:13 PM ET

O.J. Trial: A room with no view

Editor’s Note:
O.J. Simpson is on trial for robbery and kidnapping charges nearly a year after police arrested him in Las Vegas, Nevada. Prosecutors say Simpson and five other men stormed into a Las Vegas hotel room last September 13 to recover sports memorabilia that Simpson said belonged to him. They say at least two men with Simpson had guns as they robbed two sports memorabilia dealers. The following dispatches come from our Paul Vercammen covering the trial.

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Paul Vercammen
CNN Senior Producer

The model of the room where O.J. Simpson and five cronies allegedly pulled off an armed robbery, is just sitting there in the basement of the Clark County Regional Justice Center.
The court won’t let us take pictures or shoot video. Yet.

But I toured the mock up and you can see why Judge Jackie Glass pushed the jury to tour the actual crime scene at the Palace Station.

The small fake room is made up of light brown hardboard, it looks like particle board or plywood.
So the exact replica of the bed is this hardboard rectangle.

There a boxy fake armoir, where witness Tom Riccio hid a tape recorder to get audio of the purported Simpson sting.

The mock up is supposed to be to scale and it’s small.

FULL POST

September 19th, 2008
01:42 PM ET

Todd Palin: 'first dude' or 'shadow governor?'

Critics want to know why Todd Palin was copied on hundreds of state e-mail correspondence.

Critics want to know why Todd Palin was copied on hundreds of state e-mail correspondence.

Randi Kaye
AC360° Correspondent

He's the man Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin affectionately calls her "first dude."

Todd Palin was introduced to the nation at the Republican National Convention as a blue-collar oil worker, a laid-back father of five and a world-record-holding snowmobile racer.

Todd and Sarah met in high school at a basketball game and eloped in 1988, six years after graduation. Todd grew up in Alaska and is part Eskimo. He's an avid outdoorsman and champion of the Iron Dog snowmobile race.

He's worked in Alaska's oil industry and as a fisherman. But in recent times, he's had another role. Some call him the "Shadow Governor."

In government circles and among the family's acquaintances, Todd Palin is known as his wife's greatest adviser and most loyal protector. One family friend said, "Todd is incredibly supportive and is willing to do whatever it takes to help Sarah."

Todd may appear quiet, almost shy, but he's made quite an impression on his wife's running mate, Sen. John McCain. On the campaign trail this month in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, McCain said, "He's not afraid of Washington, D.C.! He can take them on!"

Alaskans interviewed by CNN say Todd Palin has plenty of influence.

Read More...


Filed under: Randi Kaye • Raw Politics • Sarah Palin
September 19th, 2008
11:24 AM ET

O.J. Trial: Jurors get tour of Hotel room

Editor’s Note:
O.J. Simpson is on trial for robbery and kidnapping charges nearly a year after police arrested him in Las Vegas, Nevada. Prosecutors say Simpson and five other men stormed into a Las Vegas hotel room last September 13 to recover sports memorabilia that Simpson said belonged to him. They say at least two men with Simpson had guns as they robbed two sports memorabilia dealers. The following dispatches come from our Paul Vercammen covering the trial.

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Paul Vercammen
CNN Senior Producer

8:50a PT

O.J. Simpson has arrived at the Clark County Regional Justice center almost an hour later than usual due to a jury tour of the Palace Station Hotel.

8:40a PT

A photo of a Palace Station hotel room where O.J. Simpson allegedly commited felony kidnapping, armed robbery and conspiracy related to a confrontation with sports memorabilia dealers

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Sommermeyer reports the tour was arranged in a Thursday night deal with the Palace station Hotel.
"The lawyers are stayed outside the hotel while the jurors looked over the room."

Sommermeyer said the jury was at one point going to tour a replica of the alleged crime scene built in the basement of the courthouse.

But according to the court, Judge Jackie Glass was "unimpressed with the replica room constructed by the district attorney.".

The court spokesman adds Glass reversed an earlier view that the jury should not go off site to see the hotel room and the tour was worked out.

FULL POST

September 19th, 2008
08:41 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Throw US a lifeline

Penny Manis
AC360 Senior Producer

Last night we reported on a dramatic meeting between leaders of the Bush Administration, Congress, the Federal Reserve and Treasury. They met on Capitol Hill to find a solution to the financial turmoil we have seen all week, which will take hundreds of billions of dollars to succeed. We are hearing some news of this plan taking shape this morning. We have reported on an emergency order to temporally ban short-selling of financial stocks, and the Treasury Dept announced it will provide temporary guarantees for the nation’s money market mutual funds. We can expect more news like this to trickle in throughout today as the nation’s top political and economic leaders converge to solidify a rescue plan which will stabilize the financial system.

These Wall Street woes have dominated the candidates’ focus all week. Obama and Mccain have each been trying to present himself as the candidate capable of fixing this current crisis. In truth, neither one is in a position to actually do anything about it here and now, (beyond their role as Senators) but the key is to sound and seem like the one who is Mr. Fix-It while implying the other guy is incapable.

FULL POST


Filed under: The Buzz
September 19th, 2008
08:30 AM ET

John McCain and the lying game

Joe Klein
AC360° Contributor
TIME Columnist

Politics has always been lousy with blather and chicanery. But there are rules and traditions too. In the early weeks of the general-election campaign, a consensus has grown in the political community — a consensus that ranges from practitioners like Karl Rove to commentators like, well, me — that John McCain has allowed his campaign to slip the normal bounds of political propriety.

The situation has gotten so intense that we in the media have slipped our normal rules as well. Usually when a candidate tells something less than the truth, we mince words. We use euphemisms like mendacity and inaccuracy ... or, as the Associated Press put it, "McCain's claims skirt facts."

But increasing numbers of otherwise sober observers, even such august institutions as the New York Times editorial board, are calling John McCain a liar. You might well ask, What has McCain done to deserve this? What unwritten rules did he break? Are his transgressions of degree or of kind?

Keep Reading


Filed under: Joe Klein • John McCain • Raw Politics
September 19th, 2008
07:30 AM ET

Beauty shots take some work

Randi Kaye
AC360° Correspondent

Hi everyone. Today is my last day covering Sarah Palin in Alaska – at least for this trip. I've been here 17 days and every minute of it has been exciting.

I wanted to leave you with a little behind the scenes look at how we get to the roof of the local hotel for our live shots. The photo you see here is the beautiful backdrop you see on television.

But it not so easy to get here. It's a bit of a workout.. especially on the way out...

WATCH VIDEO OF RANDI'S JOURNEY

Let me know what you think.. all for the magic of television.

See you back in the "lower 48"...


Filed under: Behind The Scenes • Randi Kaye
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