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January 16th, 2009
06:35 PM ET

Go ahead, geese, make my day

Jack Gray
AC360° Associate Producer

I didn’t think anything could possibly make the pilot who brought that engineless jetliner in for a perfect landing on the Hudson River any cooler. That was until I learned his name is Chesley B. Sullenberger III.

Unless you’re Roland Burris and you’ve spent the past 24 hours focused on recording your Senate office voicemail and wondering where all those reporters went, you know that Captain Sullenberger – “Sully” to his friends and the citizens of South Boston – is our newest national hero. A genuine national hero who deserves his time in the limelight. Unlike some people. Joe the Plumber, I’m looking in your direction.

FULL POST

January 16th, 2009
05:58 PM ET

Pilot's wife: We're 'proud

The wife of the pilot who crash-landed a jet in the Hudson River says she was stunned to hear about the incident.


Filed under: Airline Safety • Top Stories
January 16th, 2009
05:40 PM ET

Working together for change

Editor’s Note: You can read more Jami Floyd blogs on “In Session.”

Jami Floyd
AC360° Contributor
In Session Anchor

Tomorrow I am headed to Washington for the inauguration of Barack Obama; but I won’t be going to any of the balls or parties or A-List events. Instead, my husband and I are taking our children with us, because we want them to understand this moment in history. We want them to understand how significant this day will be and why.

America has come a long way since our birth as a nation — a long way in a relatively short time; but we face enormous challenges in the weeks and months and years ahead. There is still so much work to be done and we have a long way to go. All Americans will need to be a part of the effort, including our children.

So on Monday, the day we celebrate the life and work of Martin Luther King, please consider participating in the national day of service as our new president has asked us to do. Go to USAservice.org for a list of volunteer opportunities in your area.

And then, if you can, spend the next day, Inauguration Day, with your children or a young person. This is a big moment in history, but it’s not about us. It’s about them — and their future.


Filed under: Barack Obama • In Session • Jami Floyd • Raw Politics
January 16th, 2009
03:45 PM ET

Judge's emergency order – preserve White House email

David Gewirtz | BIO
Editor-in-Chief, ZATZ Publishing

Magistrate Judge John Facciola issued an emergency order Thursday for the preservation of White House emails. In his groundbreaking opinion, he definitively affirms that White House email messages are documents of major historical importance:

"I have always begun with the premise that, as just indicated, the emails that are said to be missing are the very heart of this lawsuit and there is a profound societal interest in their preservation. They are, after all, the most fundamental and useful contemporary records of the recent history of the President's office. If Napoleon was right when he said that he did not care who wrote France's laws if he could write its history, then the importance of preserving the emails cannot be exaggerated."

The lawsuit he's talking about has been going on for a few years now, with the Executive Office of the President as defendant. This is the lawsuit that originally brought out the story of missing email messages at the White House and the claim that there were at least 5 million missing.

FULL POST


Filed under: 360º Follow • Justice Department • Technology
January 16th, 2009
03:15 PM ET

Anything helps, even if you're broke

Jessica Keenan, 34, is getting married January 24, thanks to the Dream Foundation.

Jessica Keenan, 34, is getting married January 24, thanks to the Dream Foundation.

Paul Vercammen
CNN Senior Producer

You may not be stone cold broke, but you are watching your money. You want to help terminally ill adults, but how are you going to do it without writing a hand-cramping check?

Check out Dream Foundation - your donated frequent flier miles, hotel points or corporate connections can ease the pain of dying adults and their families.

Help send Ed and his wife off to Florida. Bone cancer is expected to kill the 41-year-old Missouri man in six months or less. They could use a hotel room.

There are plenty of wishes to grant on the Dream Foundation website.

A Quincieniera celebration for a daughter who sticks by her dying mother.

A woman who is a Lakers fan and just wants to go to one game before she joins late great announcer Chick Hearn in heaven.

Maybe you know companies that would love to help.

I showed up at a Beverly Hills boutique, Monique Llhuillier, which went all-out for a brave young woman.

What a funny scene: there I am under-dressed alpha male CNN producer with a gaggle of bridesmaids watching their girl try on wedding dresses in this upscale store.

Really cool to see how Dream Foundation hooked up Jessica, a stage four breast cancer patient, with an awesome wedding.

Hey, even a 25 dollar check helps out.

Multiply that times four other people donating the same amount and you have a good start on the snacks for the Quincieniera.

Know any cool D.J.s in So Cal?

Anything helps.

Editor’s Note: Read Paul’s story on how the Dream Foundation helped a breast cancer patient plan her wedding.


Filed under: Health Care • Paul Vercammen
January 16th, 2009
01:57 PM ET

I sought suicide gun with Christmas money

Jena 6's Mychal Bell sits down to talk to CNN's Sean Callebs about his latest struggles, including a shoplifting charge and a suicide attempt.

Jena 6's Mychal Bell sits down to talk to CNN's Sean Callebs about his latest struggles, including a shoplifting charge and a suicide attempt.

Sean Callebs
CNN Correspondent

Mychal Bell says he felt pressure to be perfect after his part of 2006's "Jena 6" assault case was over. When police alleged last month that he wasn't, the Louisiana teen took his Christmas money and sought to buy a gun to kill himself.

Distraught after being arrested on suspicion of shoplifting and battery, the 18-year-old Bell says, he pointed the gun at his head and pulled the trigger.

FULL POST

January 16th, 2009
01:41 PM ET

Miracle on the Hudson – Boy, we needed that!

The New York Fire Department rescued passengers from the downed plane in the Hudson River.

The New York Fire Department rescued passengers from the downed plane in the Hudson River.

Dr. Gail Saltz
Psychiatrist and AC360° Contributor

2008 has been a dismal year for so many and 2009 is shaping up to be very difficult as well. Most people have been engrossed in the economic impact, which is huge. But what of the impact on the nation's psyche?

I have watched with great concern as we have been bombarded by “systems” not working. Whether it be financial institutions, corrupt politicians and businessmen, the failure of accountability for money, for military action, there has been a constant message that our system is broken, nothing works right, certainly not the way its supposed to.

And trust has been shattered by money mangers who absconded with others' money, by politicians who lied and cheated their constituents, by companies who put their own needs so before those of employees and stockholders that they were willing to devastate their victims.

When our national trust is so violated, the tenor of our people risks becoming cold, cynical and despondent.

The incredible story of the US Airways flight is that it is a shining example of just how well an American System can work.

There was skill, heroism, humanism, organization, use of incredible training and professionalism. Professionals in various arenas did a superb job, and people involved were kind to one another, helpful, caring deeply about their fellow man and willing to be brave to do so.

This is the America we have all been missing, this is the America we all want to see return.

That's why I see this as a real “shot in the arm” for our national psyche. We all really needed to feel there is someone you can trust, particularly each other.

This was no doubt a terrible event and a near tragedy which I hope, like everyone else will never happen again. But curiously it is also a boost for our nation’s mental health, an example that the system can work and that we are good competent people at heart who will help each other.

We all needed some optimism back. And the genuine heroism demonstrated in that rescue gave it to us.


Filed under: Airline Safety • Gail Saltz
January 16th, 2009
01:05 PM ET

Getting aid into Gaza: Deteriorating by the day

Program Note: Be sure to tune in for the latest on the situation in Gaza tonight on AC360° at 10pm ET.

A Mercy Corp worker delivers aid to a family in Gaza.

A Mercy Corp worker delivers aid to a family in Gaza.
Children in Gaza receive humanitarian aid from a Mercy Corps delivery.

Children in Gaza receive humanitarian aid from a Mercy Corps delivery.

Cassandra Nelson
Mercy Corps

January 15

It is noon and things have really started to deteriorate. I just found out some bad news about our staff in Gaza and the events that are unfolding there now.

We just heard from the director of the Mercy Corps office in Gaza City. She told us that Hazar, one of our field coordinators, and her family are stuck in their apartment in Gaza City. Their building is surrounded by Israeli tanks and there is plenty of shooting going on in their area. They are seeking cover in their corridor from the bullets; the shelling of nearby targets blew out the windows in their apartment.

They are anxiously waiting for the cease-fire to take effect which was announced for today from 11:00 to 15:00 to seek refuge elsewhere. It is just past noon and the shooting has not stopped.

FULL POST


Filed under: Crisis in Gaza • Hamas • Israel • Palestine
January 16th, 2009
01:00 PM ET

Bush saved 10 million lives

Bill Frist
Special to CNN

A legacy of President George W. Bush will be that he saved 10 million lives around the world.

His critics ignore it, but name another president about whom one can say that with such certainty. It is what historians will say a decade from now looking back. Not bad for a president who leaves office with the lowest approval rating in recent memory.

The bottom line is: George Bush is a healer.

First, a surprise proclamation came on January 29, 2003.

Read More...


Filed under: Africa • AIDS • President George W. Bush • Raw Politics
January 16th, 2009
12:20 PM ET

Obama and our new Cold War

Program Note: Be sure to watch Tom Foreman tonight on AC360° at 10pm ET.

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

When Abraham Lincoln took the oath and became President in 1861, the Capitol dome loomed shattered and stark behind him. Like a poached egg with the top chipped away, the signature building of D.C. was being renovated and improved, but to our modern eyes, aided by the hindsight of history, it looks as if it is crumbling amid the rumbles of coming war.

Lincoln inherited a nation fracturing over ideas of slavery, states’ rights, and self-determination. Two weeks earlier, Jefferson Davis had been sworn in as President of the Confederacy. The rail-splitter from Illinois had to sneak into D.C. to avoid an assassination plot.

And yet, even as he bent to the terrible task of war, he argued for political unity, social unity, unity to transcend the fury of the day.

FULL POST


Filed under: Tom Foreman
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