April 30th, 2009
11:51 PM ET

Anderson interviews the hosts of 'The View'

Mary Anne Fox
AC360° Producer

My heart skipped a beat when I heard I was producing Anderson’s interview with the women of ‘The View’ and it isn’t the reason you’re thinking. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of the show and I grew up wanting to be Barbara Walters, but it was the thought of the sheer logistics behind such a shoot that caused my heart to go pitter patter. First, there was the usual, how are we going to find a day and time to block for the interview that works for Anderson and all five of ‘The View’ women? Thank god that doesn’t fall under my domain. But once we had a date and time (30 minutes), I had to figure out how to pull it off without using a studio set and staff to do so. Oh, and did I mention I’m on a tight budget?

We settled on using a room in the ABC building, so the ladies could walk right off their set and into the interview. The room was tight (and pink), but we somehow managed to fit four cameras, a jib (a contraption with a camera on it that does all kinds of funky moves), an audio designer & board, lighting (we used lots of it) and our CNN crew. It took over six hours to set up, but when we had all four of the ladies seated (Whoopi was out sick) things looked pretty good.

Anderson talked to Barbara, Joy, Elisabeth and Sherri about inserting themselves into the political conversation last year and whether or not in hindsight they thought they were fair. He also asked about guests they would love to have on their show, hot topics and of course the question we all want to know: Do they honestly like each other?

For nearly twenty minutes the ladies gave us a glimpse into what it’s like to be a part of their little club. They seemed honest, real and very funny. Just one note: don’t go calling them the ladies of ‘The View’. Tune in tomorrow night to find what the ladies would prefer to be called.

The Time 100/AC360 special “The World’s Most Influential People” airs tomorrow night at 11pm. Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People issue also hits newsstands on tomorrow.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Anderson Cooper
April 30th, 2009
10:59 PM ET

Forecaster says recession is almost over

Program Note: Tune in tonight for a full report from Ali Velshi on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

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Ali Velshi | Bio
CNN Chief Business Correspondent

One of America’s most reliable economic forecasters says the current recession – the longest in half a century – will end this year, possibly as early as this summer.

Lakshman Achuthan, Managing Director at the Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI), was one of the first to declare that the US was in a recession. Now he’s one of the first to say its ending. ECRI, he says, is the research group in the world that studies business cycle recessions and recoveries for a living, and has a near-perfect record of predicting. They do it by crunching various pieces of data and creating “leading indicators” which show where the economy is headed

The indicator that looks the furthest into the future actually started showing signs of future growth as early as last November, as the worst of the credit crisis started to ease. Another indicator, with a shorter lead-time into the future, started pointing toward growth in early December. Both indicators have showed steady growth since then and that, says Achuthan, is enough data for him to say this recession is ending. That’s because, over the last 75 years, when those indicators turn up, the recession ends within four months. No exceptions, says Achuthan.


Filed under: Ali Velshi • Economy • Finance
April 30th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 04/30/09

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Tonight on AC360°, the swine flu flight risk.  Vice President Joe Biden took a lot of heat today for saying "I would tell members of my family - and I have - I wouldn't go anywhere in confined places right now.  It's not that it's going to Mexico.  It's you're in a confined aircraft. When one person sneezes, it goes all the way through the aircraft."  Is that true? Tonight, 360's Randi Kaye is Keeping them Honest.   She spoke with a doctor who studies germs and viruses like swine flu to find out how they spread in air travel.  Don't miss her report.

Don't miss Erica Hill's webcast on germs in flight during the commercials. Watch our WEBCAST

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

Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you 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 (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
4) No links
5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

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

Filed under: Live Blog • T1
April 30th, 2009
09:00 PM ET

Why isn't Obama's top pandemic expert in her job yet?

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Jonathan Cohn
The New Republic

If you had to conjure up the perfect official to advise President Obama about the swine flu outbreak, it'd probably be somebody who had a strong background in public health–say, somebody who had run the public health department for a vast, densely populated city like New York City.

It'd be better, still, if this person had experience in the federal government, as well, perhaps in the Department of Health and Human Servcies. And it'd be just perfect if this person's portfolio included crafting the federal pandemic response strategy.

Of course, you'd want this person to have a record of achievement. You'd be pleased to learn this person was the youngest ever to serve as that city's health commissioner–and that, in the job, that person had managed to increase the child vaccination rate while reducing the incidence of tuberculosis.

You'd also want to see evidence of this person's judgment and vision–like if, hypothetically, this person had testified to Congress about the threat of bioterrorism in 2001, months before the 9/11 attacks and anthrax scare.

As you've probably guessed by now, President Obama has already appointed just such a person to his administration. It's Maragaret Hamburg, who is in line to become commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration–one of the key agencies dealing with the swine flu outbreak.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Public Health
April 30th, 2009
08:40 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Swine Flu or Not? The Name Debate

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Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight on AC360°, we'll have the latest developments on H1N1.  What's H1N1, you ask? That's the clinical name for the latest flu outbreak.

The World Health Organization announced today it would stop using the term "swine flu" to avoid confusion over the perceived danger posed by pigs.  WHO will now refer to the illness as "H1N1 influenza A" after two of its genetic markers.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also opting for "H1N1."

Richard Besser, the CDC's Acting Director said today, "What we call this matters much less than what we do.  We continue to be very aggressive in our approach and we're going to continue to do that until the situation tells us that we no longer need to do so."

The pork industry has been hit hard by reports of "swine flu",  even though it's not spread by eating pork. That is important. Let me repeat it.  "Swine flu" is not spread by eating pork.

"This flu is being called something that it isn't, and it's hurting our entire industry," said Dave Warner, communications director for the National Pork Producers Council.

But others disagree.

Dr. Raul Rabadan, a professor of computational biology at Columbia University told the Associated Press, six of the eight genetic segments of this virus strain are purely swine flu and the two other segments are bird and human.

"Scientifically this is a swine virus," said virologist Dr. Richard Webby to the AP.  He's a researcher at St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.  He's also director of the WHO Collaborating Center for Studies on the Ecology of Influenza Viruses in Lower Animals and Birds.

Back at the WHO, while the health agency says it's dropping the term "swine flu", it seems the message hasn't been passed along to the folks who handle their web site. "Swine Flu" is still part of the internet address for the WHO.

What do you think of the name debate? Should it be called swine flu or not? Sound off below.

And, join us for the latest on the outbreak at 10pm ET.
See you then!

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
April 30th, 2009
06:31 PM ET

Beat 360° 4/30/09

Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption and our staff will join in too. Tune in tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite! Here is the 'Beat 360°' pic:

US President Barack Obama during a meeting with Senator John McCain ,R-AZ, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, April 30, 2009.

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
April 30th, 2009
06:28 PM ET

Do you have questions about the swine flu?

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Submit your H1N1 (swine flu) questions for CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Carlos del Rio, Professor of Global Health at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health. We'll give you answers tonight on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Public Health
April 30th, 2009
05:29 PM ET

DNA leads to suspect in 1970s Los Angeles serial killings

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more about the suspect in the L.A. killings on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/04/30/westside.killings/art.william.bratton.gi.jpg caption="Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton will reveal more about the cases at a news conference Thursday."]

Alan Duke

DNA evidence has linked a 72-year-old man to a pair of cold-case murders in Los Angeles, police said Thursday, and the man may be linked to as many as 30 murders and dozens of rapes during the 1970s and 1980s.

The Los Angeles Police Department identified the suspect as John Floyd Thomas Jr., who was charged this month with killing two Los Angeles women more than three decades ago.

Thomas was arrested April 2.

"Detectives believe that this suspect could be linked to as many as 25 other unsolved murder cases and numerous sexual assault cases," an earlier police statement said.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: 360º Follow • Crime & Punishment
April 30th, 2009
05:21 PM ET

Scientists dig for lessons from past pandemics

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Caleb Hellerman
CNN Senior Medical Producer

If there's a blessing in the current swine flu epidemic, it's how benign the illness seems to be outside the central disease cluster in Mexico. But history offers a dark warning to anyone ready to write off the 2009 H1N1 virus.

In each of the four major pandemics since 1889, a spring wave of relatively mild illness was followed by a second wave, a few months later, of a much more virulent disease. This was true in 1889, 1957, 1968 and in the catastrophic flu outbreak of 1918, which sickened an estimated third of the world's population and killed, conservatively, 50 million people.

Lone Simonson, an epidemiologist at the National Institutes of Health, who has studied the course of prior pandemics in both the United States and her native Denmark, says, "The good news from past pandemics, in several experiences, is that the majority of deaths have happened not in the first wave, but later." Based on this, Simonson suggests there may be time to develop an effective vaccine before a second, more virulent strain, begins to circulate.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Public Health
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