September 24th, 2008
02:28 PM ET

"Don't say any guns were involved and this S@#* will blow over."

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.


[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/24/art.walteroj.jpg caption= "Walter Alexander testifies during O.J. Simpson's trial in Las Vegas."]
Paul Vercammen
CNN Senior Producer

Walter Alexander told a Las Vegas jury that O.J. Simpson told him to bring a gun to a sting to recover sports memorabilia.

Alexander, one of four former co-defendants who made a plea deal, also said Simpson tried to cover up the use of weapons after the alleged armed robbery and kidnapping.

Alexander testified that Simpson said, "Don't say any guns were involved and this S@#* will blow over."

Alexander seemed embittered and Simpson repeatedly shook his head no and raised his eyebrows in seeming disbelief while listening.

September 24th, 2008
01:27 PM ET

A better beginning for the world's babies

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/09/23/kalil.newborns/art.tom.kalil.jpg caption="Tom Kalil says an inexpensive kit can save the lives of many newborns."]

Editor's Note: The Clinton Global Initiative, founded by former President Bill Clinton, is meeting in New York this week, focusing on issues such as health, poverty and climate change. Tom Kalil is chairman of the initiative's global health working group and special assistant to the chancellor for science and technology at the University of California, Berkeley.  In the Clinton administration, Kalil was deputy assistant for technology and economic policy and deputy director of the White House Economic Council.

Tom Kalil
Special to CNN

Last year, 9.2 million children didn't make it to their fifth birthday. Of these, roughly 4 million children died within the first 28 days of life - the newborn period.

Many of these newborns die for reasons that are easily treatable or preventable. Their lives could be saved with very simple and low-cost interventions. For example, birth attendants can wash their hands before helping with a delivery, and use a clean blade to cut the umbilical cord.

Mothers can breast-feed their babies within an hour after birth and provide exclusive breast-feeding for the first six months.

This week, a group of leading organizations are joining together to help give moms and dads around the world tools and information to help their newborns survive. PATH (a Seattle-based nonprofit), Save the Children, and Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health will commit to create and distribute a "Better Beginning for Babies" kit.

Their goal is to raise at least $20 million over five years and reach 2 million newborns, and set the stage for a much larger and more ambitious global movement.


Filed under: Bill Clinton • Medical News
September 24th, 2008
12:39 PM ET

Toxic milk and poisonous practices: What's next?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/24/art.chinababyformula.jpg caption = "A baby suffering from kidney stones receives treatment at a hospital in Lanzhou, northwestern China's Gansu province."]

John Vause | BIO
CNN Correspondent

Food security is a bit like Homeland security – you can only protect against what you know, and what you think the bad guys might do.

So, now we know they put the toxic chemical melamine in the milk – what’s next? It’s a pretty safe bet that people who poison baby’s milk for a few extra bucks, aren’t going to stop there.

Last year, melamine was found in the pet food which killed and sickened thousands of dogs and cats across the United States. Back then it was done for exactly the same reasons – melamine is normally used to make stuff like plastic, but when added to substandard pet food ingredients and water-downed milk, it can fake high readings of protein which means you can sell it for a higher price. A colleague of mine suggested maybe this time it was an innocent mix up . . . putting the plastic in the milk, not the milk into the plastic.

So, now melamine has been unveiled as serial offended, it begs the question – what other toxic chemicals are being added to what food to marginally boost profits?


Filed under: Global 360° • John Vause • Tainted Milk
September 24th, 2008
11:40 AM ET

3 more FLDS members indicted on felony charges

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/24/art.polygamy.jpg]

David Mattingly | Bio
AC360° Contributor

Three more members of a polygamous sect led by Warren Jeffs are now facing sexual assault charges associated with the "marriage" of teenage girls to adult men.

That brings the total number of FLDS men indicted by the Texas grand jury to 9. Does that sound like a lot to anyone?

It's been eight months since Texas authorities raided the Yearning for Zion Ranch–taking 400+ children into custody. It's been four months since the courts ordered the state to send them all home.
We don't know the names of the three new defendants. The other six, including Warren Jeffs haven't gone to trial yet..

Texas authorities say the investigation is on-going. I hope we will learn soon where this investigation is actually going and when they plan to get there.

Filed under: David Mattingly • Polygamy
September 24th, 2008
11:05 AM ET

O.J. Trial: Prosecution testimony denied

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.


[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/24/art.davidcook.jpg]
Paul Vercammen
CNN Senior Producer

8:48a PT
Judge Jackie Glass ruled a lawyer for the Goldman estate will not testify for the prosecution in the O.J. Simpson case. (Get background info on David Cook)

Glass called Goldman lawyer David Cook’s relevance "marginal."

Glass added the Cook's testimony's prejudice against Simpson would "outweigh the probative value" of having the lawyer testify.

Cook was waiting in a nearby witness room and grabbed his roller bag of legal documents after his dismissal and headed toward the elevator.

"The judge made a ruling and if you read between the lines, I think she thought my appearance would bring up the Ghost of Christmas Past," Cook told CNN.

"If I testified, I could be reading the Manhattan phone book, and it would roll in images of Ron Goldman, Nicole Brown and Fred Goldman."


September 24th, 2008
08:30 AM ET

269 tie: An electoral college 'doomsday'?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/23/art.obama.mccain.split.jpg]
Joseph Curl
The Washington Times

President Obama, with Vice President Palin? President Biden? President Pelosi? Call them the "Doomsday" scenarios - On Nov. 5, the presidential election winds up in a electoral-college tie, 269-269, the Democrat-controlled House picks Sen. Barack Obama as president, but the Senate, with former Democrat Joe Lieberman voting with Republicans, deadlocks at 50-50, so Vice President Dick Cheney steps in to break the tie to make Republican Sarah Palin his successor.

"Wow," said longtime presidential historian Stephen Hess. "Wow, that would be amazing, wouldn't it?"

"If this scenario ever happened, it would be like a scene from the movie 'Scream' for Democrats," said Democratic strategist Mary Anne Marsh. "The only thing worse for the Democrats than losing the White House, again, when it had the best chance to win in a generation, but to do so at the hands of Cheney and Lieberman. That would be cruel."

Sound impossible? It's not. There are at least a half-dozen plausible ways the election can end in a tie, and at least one very plausible possibility – giving each candidate the states in which they now lead in the polls, only New Hampshire – which went Republican in 2000 and Democratic in 2004, each time by just 1.5 percent – needs to swap to the Republican column to wind up with a 269-269 tie.

Read more

Filed under: Barack Obama • John McCain • Raw Politics
September 24th, 2008
08:19 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Grilling on the Hill

Penny Manis
AC360 Senior Producer

Do you smell smoke? Because there’s gonna be another grilling on Capitol Hill today. Financial leaders will gather again to negotiate a $700 billion dollar bailout plan. Despite efforts from the Bush Administration to push this through in its original form, both Republican and Democratic congressional members are saying ‘hold your horses’ let’s take a good look at this rescue package and make adjustments.

Some congressional members want more oversight power over how this plan is executed, others are uncomfortable with the level of government regulation instilled in the plan, but there seems to be bipartisan support on the issue of limiting compensation paid to executives whose companies get a piece of this billion dollar pie. Would you guys feel bad for CEO’s who may not get their full paychecks? FULL POST

Filed under: The Buzz
September 24th, 2008
08:00 AM ET

Sarah Palin goes to the U.N.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/23/art.palin.kissinger2.jpg caption="Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin meets former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in New York City, Tuesday."]Ed Henry
CNN White House Correspondent

As she breezed through the vice presidential version of Foreign Policy 101 on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meetings, Sarah Palin seemed to be enjoying her first big test on the international stage.

"It went great!" she told reporters after a meeting with Republican foreign policy guru Henry Kissinger here in Manhattan on Tuesday.

During their actual one-on-one, the microphones picked up only one little snippet of subtance when Kissinger spoke briefly about last month's crisis in Georgia.

"And you'll give me more insight on that, also, huh?" Palin told Kissinger. "Good."

It was even lighter when Hamid Karzai sat down with Palin and she patted her heart as Afghanistan's president told her about his relatively-new baby boy.


Filed under: Global 360° • Raw Politics • Sarah Palin • United Nations
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