January 6th, 2009
11:59 PM ET

Covering the conflict - and the message control

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/06/art.gaza.hamas.rockets.jpg caption="Palestinian Qassam rockets are fired by Hamas militants inside the Gaza Strip towards the Israeli town of Sderot on Tuesday, as seen from Israel's border with the Palestinian territory."]

Program Note: Watch Anderson report LIVE from Israel tonight on AC360° tonight at 10pm ET.

Anderson Cooper

I spent the morning with Israeli police, looking at a collection of Hamas rockets that have landed in Ashkelon over the past month. They have shelves full of handmade Qassam rockets, and the larger more effective factory made Grad rockets. Both are loaded with fuel and shrapnel, designed to spray hot metal and ball bearings upon impact. It’s a wonder more Israelis haven’t been killed.

Israel is targeting hidden weapon caches as well as the underground tunnels Hamas uses to get more rockets and supplies, but after a week of Israeli bombings and four days of a ground assault, the Hamas rockets keep coming. Today a small child was slightly injured in one Israeli town. Since this current crisis began, four Israelis have been killed by incoming rockets.

In Gaza, more than 600 Palestinians have been killed so far, and medical sources estimate more than 100 of them are women and children. Details on an Israeli tank strike near a UN school are still emerging at this hour, but the UN says at least 30 people were killed at the school where many Palestinians had sought shelter. Many of the dead are children. Israel says it’s investigating, but also says initial reports indicate mortars were fired from the facility. It is a public relations blow to Israel, at a time when international pressure is building for some kind of ceasefire to be reached.


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Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Crisis in Gaza
January 6th, 2009
11:58 PM ET

Covering the Gaza crisis

Program Note: Watch Anderson's full report LIVE from Israel tonight on AC360° at 10pm ET.

Anderson Cooper explains the challenges reporters face in trying to cover the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

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Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Crisis in Gaza
January 6th, 2009
09:56 PM ET

90 seconds to air, and the anchor can't hear!!!

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Brooke Turnbull
AC360° Technical Production Manager

Maybe you've heard that saying about ducks - all calm and serene above the water, but paddling like hell underneath. That’s a good way to describe AC360 the other night.

With Anderson half way across the world - near the Israeli border in this case - things tend to get a lot more complicated. There’s a lot of equipment, personnel, and time that goes into making sure things go smoothly. And luck. And sometimes things don’t work according to plan.


Filed under: Behind The Scenes • Brooke Turnbull
January 6th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 1/6/09

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Here's how you can be a part of tonight's program. Just scroll down and share your thoughts on the headlines.

Want to know what we're covering tonight? Read EVENING BUZZ

If you want to take part in our Live Blog (and we hope you do) please follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (we don't like screaming)
3) Use your real name

Don't miss Erica Hill's webcast during the commercials. Watch our WEBCAST

And take a look at our live web camera from the 360° studio. Watch the WEBCAM

Filed under: Live Blog
January 6th, 2009
08:38 PM ET

Sticky wicket

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/06/burris-umbrella-1-6.jpg caption="Senate-designate Roland Burris is turned away from Senate Tuesday."]Editor’s Note: You can read more Jami Floyd blogs on “In Session.”

Jami Floyd
AC360° Contributor
In Session Anchor

Sticky wicket.”

That was one of my grandmother’s favorite expressions. As in, "That sure us a sticky wicket you've gone and gotten yourself into this time".

And I love the sound of it; but it's not all that often that I can say "sticky wicket" and really mean it. Now thanks to Governor Rod Blagojevich, however, we have a real sticky wicket up on Capitol Hill. We have a governor who has been charged,with unimaginable corruption but who still has the power to appoint a replacement for an empty senate seat. Not just any senate seat but the seat vacated by Barack Obama. And before that governor can be removed from office he quickly makes his choice, naming Roland Burris, a man with 30 years of public service under his belt and untainted by the stink of the Blagojevich scandal.

And that’s the sticky wicket.

Because whoever takes the seat will have to win it again. And it's a seat democrats cannot afford to lose. But since they likely can't challenge Burris on the legal merits, their only choice will be to challenge him as a political matter. Tough to do with no other African Americans in the senate, support for Burris at home and no indication that he's done anything wrong.

And so as my Granny used to say, it sure is a sticky wicket we’ve gotten ourselves into this time. And it’s anyone’s guess how it will turn out.

Keep reading...

Filed under: In Session • Jami Floyd • Rod Blagojevich
January 6th, 2009
08:24 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Gaza School Hit

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/01/06/israel.gaza/art.chopper.idf.gi.jpg caption="In a handout photo from Israel Defense Forces, troops deploy Tuesday in northern Gaza."]Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

The Mideast conflict in Gaza has taken its bloodiest turn. Today Israeli artillery shells hit a U.N. school where hundreds of Palestinians were seeking shelter. Israel is defending the strike saying Hamas militants were firing mortars from the school.

The attack killed at least 40 refugees and wounded dozens more.

Israel's military still surrounds Gaza City. Eyewitnesses have also seen Israeli forces near the southern city of Khan Younis. Will they move deeper into both cities? If so, that would take the battle to a new level.

There are also diplomatic efforts underway. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is at the U.N. tonight pushing for a cease-fire resolution.

Anderson will be reporting again tonight from the Israel/Gaza border with the latest developments on the conflict.

We'll also be discussing President-elect Barack Obama's comments on the crisis today. For the first time, he talked about the casualties.

"The loss of civilian life in Gaza and in Israel is a source of deep concern for me. And after January 20th, I am going to have plenty to say about the issue," said Obama.

He is vowing to get actively engaged in the Mideast, but not until after he's sworn in.

How would you like to see President Obama deal with the Mideast? Share your thoughts with us below and we hope you'll join us at 10pm ET.

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Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
January 6th, 2009
05:36 PM ET

Victory for our summer interns

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Drew Griffin | BIO
CNN Investigative Correspondent

Well they aren't summer interns anymore. Actually most of them are probably working real jobs, but their work two years ago for CNN's investigative team has finally brought the entire congressional earmark process into the wide-open.

In the summer of 2007, we assembled a team of interns to ask every member of Congress to disclose their pork barrel requests, known as earmarks. The requests in the past have been done in complete secrecy. Most of us found out about pork barrel spending only after it was included in budget bills.


Filed under: Drew Griffin • Raw Politics
January 6th, 2009
05:17 PM ET

Beat 360 1/6/09

NOTE: Today's Beat 360° will be a web-only, but check the site to see if you are the winner!

Ready for today's Beat 360°?

Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption and our staff will join in too.

Check the site to see if you are our favorite!

Here is the 'Beat 360°' pic:

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (L) accepts the gavel from Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) during the first session of the 111th Congress in the House Chambers January 6, 2009 in Washington, DC.

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.

UPDATE: Check out our Beat 360° Winners!


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!

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
January 6th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Both sides wrong in Gaza

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/01/06/israel.gaza/art.burial.afp.gi.jpg caption="Palestinians prepare Tuesday to bury members of a family they said died in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City."]

Program Note: Watch Anderson report LIVE from Israel tonight on AC360° at 10pm ET.

Arsalan Iftikhar
Special to CNN

The recent carnage in Gaza has left little doubt that within the tortured dynamic of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, both the chicken and the egg have completely and utterly lost their minds.

Regardless of who's to blame for the origins of the conflict, shame on both Hamas and Israel for their recent violations of international law that have led to a humanitarian inferno in Gaza and southern Israel.

Hamas is to be blamed for its sophomoric provocation of its neighbor's military wrath by firing missiles into southern Israel. Israel also should be condemned for its disproportionately inhumane onslaught in Gaza, which has currently left 555 people dead and 2,750 injured, according to Palestinian medical sources cited by CNN. The United Nations estimates that at least 25 percent of Palestinians killed have been civilians.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Israel • Palestine
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