April 2nd, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 04/02/09

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Tonight on AC360°, Anderson has a wrap of the G20 summit in London – the hits and misses. See what the world leaders are vowing to do to fix the global economy.

Plus, don't miss Erica Hill's webcast on the G20 and the indictment of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich 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")
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And take a look at our live web camera from the 360° studio. Watch the WEBCAM

Filed under: Live Blog • T1
April 2nd, 2009
08:14 PM ET

Evening Buzz: $1 Trillion to battle the Recession

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Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Pres. Obama is calling his debut on the world stage at the G-20 summit a success, though he didn't get everything he wanted.

The world leaders agreed to pump $1.1 trillion into the global economy. That's one area of success for Pres. Obama, who won over objections from France and Germany to get that cash infusion. Though, here's the catch. A large chuck of it will go to the International Monetary Fund to help developing countries. Therefore, that economic boost the president wanted may not be felt.

Along with the cash, the G-20 leaders committed to a six-point plan:

– repair the financial system to restore lending
– restore confidence, growth and jobs
– strengthen financial regulations to rebuild trust
– fund and reform our international financial institutions to overcome this crisis and prevent further ones
– promote global trade and investment and reject protectionism, to underpin prosperity
– build an inclusive, green and sustainable recovery

Do you agree with this plan? Or is something missing? Share your feedback below.

Tonight, Anderson will be reporting on the summit live from London. Don't miss his interview with Treasury Secretary Timothy  Geithner, who attended the G-20 Summit.  Does he agree with European newspapers which have called this the most economic summit since WWII? His answer tonight on AC360°.

Don't miss our special coverage starting at 10pm ET.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
April 2nd, 2009
07:57 PM ET

Blagojevich – the "biggest loser" in Chicago

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Ismael Estrada
AC360° Producer

It really wasn’t that long ago when people outside of Illinois didn’t know who Rod Blagojevich was. The Chicago Cubs held the crown of the biggest loser in Chicago. The Cubs faithful were fooled once again when the 2008 team, which was “supposed” to go to the World Series, was swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Order was restored in windy city. Then Chicago sent one if its own to the White House. The city was buzzing, White Sox and Cubs fans were getting along, people were happier than they have been since Michael Jordan had this city on his shoulders.

Then the headlines on December 9th, 2008: “Governor Busted” “Prosecutors: Blagojevich tried to sell Obama’s vacant senate seat!”

It was as if the air had been let out of the city. The allegations were eye opening. Did our Governor really do what the U.S attorney Patrick Fitzgerald says he did? The prosecutors touted wire taps where conversations were recorded. There were allegations that he tried to have Chicago Tribune editorial writers fired in return for the state of Illinois helping structure a sale of Wrigley Field. Suddenly, everyone forgot about the Cubs. Everyone was talking about Rod Blagojevich.


April 2nd, 2009
07:38 PM ET

Man tries to sell home on twitter

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Josh Green

It was a week ago Sunday when DJ Waldow decided to start an experiment from his laptop computer. And it began with a simple question:

"Is it possible to leverage power of Twitter to sell our house," he typed.

Call it "Tweal Estate" if you want. Call it an extra outlet for selling in a down economy. But Waldow is hoping the 1,150 people who follow him on the social networking site will help him and his wife sell their home near central Durham.

"When I first started talking about it on Sunday, I had 108 different clicks on the site," Waldow said. "When I Tweet something out - it could potentially be seen by a thousand people following me. But when somebody else re-Tweets it - it can be seen by a thousand people following them. So it spreads pretty quickly."


Filed under: 360° Radar • Housing Market • Twitter
April 2nd, 2009
06:12 PM ET

Anderson interviews Geithner at the G-20 Summit

Program Note: Tune in tonight for more of Anderson's interview with Treasury Secretary Geithner on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

CNN's Anderson Cooper talks to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner at the G-20 Summit in London.

April 2nd, 2009
05:54 PM ET

Eyewitness to Murder – The King Assassination

Program Note: In CNN's Black in America series, Soledad O'Brien examines the successes, struggles and complex issues faced by black men, women and families, 40 years after the death of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Watch Eyewitness to Murder: The King Assassination this Saturday & Sunday, 8 p.m. ET


Through first-hand witnesses and original documents from that time, special correspondent Soledad O'Brien reconstructs the evidence and the story of the death of Martin Luther King Junior. Her CNN Presents documentary, "Eyewitness to Murder: the King Assassination," airs this Saturday and Sunday at 8 pm, ET.

Among those contributing to this special program are former ambassador Andrew Young, Congressman John Lewis, various policemen and firemen, the medical examiner, and the brother of accused killer James Earl Ray. We look at the man on the balcony who joined the CIA, the military intelligence agents on a nearby firehouse roof, the FBI officials who tried to drive King to suicide, but in the end, find no hard evidence pointing to any one other than Ray.

Editor's Note: In ‘Black in America 2,’ Soledad O'Brien investigates the innovative and unexpected ways people are confronting the most difficult issues facing their community in "Black in America 2." Watch this July on CNN.

Filed under: Black in America
April 2nd, 2009
05:41 PM ET

Madonna and adoption: what's race got to do with it?

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Carmen Van Kerckhove
President, New Demographic

Madonna’s present attempt to adopt a second child from the African nation of Malawi has reopened a discussion on the question of why so many Americans choose to adopt internationally instead of domestically.

Unfortunately, this conversation rarely gets beyond complaints about the red tape involved in domestic adoption on the one hand, and sweeping statements about how international adoptive parents are saving the lives of helpless children in impoverished countries on the other.

What’s missing from the discussion is a clear-eyed look at how race impacts the adoption and child welfare system in America.

Here’s one sobering fact: adopting a black child can cost half the amount of adopting a white child. And although every state has its own rules and regulations regarding adoption, many adoption agencies have separate programs that provide fee reductions for parents willing to adopt children with special needs or those of African descent.

Anyone who has taken a basic economics course can draw conclusions about what this price structure reveals regarding the relative supply and demand of black children versus white ones, as distasteful as it is to think about the lives of children in terms of market dynamics.

And it’s no secret that black children are over-represented in the child welfare system. For example, 21.4% of the children in foster care in the state of Minnesota in 2003 were African-American - even though African-American children made up only 5% of Minnesota’s overall population at that time.

Right-wing pundits enamored with the idea of “welfare queens” and “crack babies” may blame the over-representation on some flavor of inherent dysfunction among blacks, but the reality is that racial bias greatly influences the ways in which child welfare laws are interpreted and enforced.

Contrary to popular belief, most children who end up in the foster care system are put there due to neglect, not abuse by their parents, according to adoption expert Jae Ran Kim:

Neglect covers a wide berth of issues including a lack of or inadequate shelter, supervision, nutrition, and education. The standards for these differ from state to state. In Minnesota, for example, a child 12 or over is considered responsible enough to get themselves to school. A child who misses 25 days of school in a semester would be considered truant if the child is 12, but the parents would be charged with educational neglect if the child is 11.

Racial discrepancies in the ways cases are handled suggest that social workers are far more likely to place children of color in foster care than they are white children:

A 1997 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services study found that social workers were more likely to place African American and American Indian children in foster care [rather than] in-home services when compared to white children with the same family issues. Once in foster care, African American children typically stay there twice the length of white children. Often this is a result of bias all the way from the social worker to the judge, says Jae Ran Kim.

We’ll never be able to carry on a rational, honest conversation about adoption - its challenges and solutions - until we take a hard look at how it is impacted by race.

April 2nd, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Al Qaeda under the bed

Editor's Note: The Taliban and their al Qaeda allies are moving in dangerously close to Islamabad, the capital of nuclear-armed Pakistan. Officials there say Taliban militants have set up checkpoints and taken control over the Buner District in the North West Frontier Province - just 60 miles away. That's the closest they’ve ever been. This alone is dangrous, but coupled with increasing political conflict in Pakistan, the situation looks like it could become explosive.

On Monday Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari signed into law a peace deal for a Northwest region on the Aghan border called Swat Valley. The deal approved the strictest interpretation of Islamic law, known as Sharia Law.

Critics said the Pakistani president was caving to pressure from Taliban clerics who threatened to pull out of any peace deal on Swat Valley unless Sharia Law was approved. For anyone tracking the radicalization of Swat Valley since 9/11, the arrival of Sharia law is no surprise. The burning question now is, how safe is the US’ nuclear ally Pakistan from the threat of extremists and their military advancement?

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Octavia Nasr
CNN Senior Editor
Middle East affairs

Is al Qaeda operating freely and enjoying support inside our nuclear ally Pakistan? A frightening notion. But the new US strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan seems to reinforce that view.

The US had already stepped up its attacks on the tribal regions of Pakistan since 2007 against what it called al Qaeda targets, and has reportedly launched at least five drone attacks since President Obama took office. And the newest information is even more sobering. In a background briefing with reporters last week, one official said, al Qaeda has relocated itself to Pakistan and "succeeded in regenerating itself." He said, "they're plotting against the United States. They are working with their friends and partners, the Taliban, against American interests" and they operate "within a very sophisticated syndicate of terrorist organizations in Pakistan and Afghanistan.”

A grim picture for the West, but it seems to match the rhetoric from al Qaeda’s leadership. In a March 19 audio message, Osama bin Laden mentioned the Swat valley of Pakistan as a place where Muslims are “successfully resisting America.” He said, “All intelligent people are aware of America’s combating of Islam, and its past rejection of its establishment in Somalia, as well as in Iraq and Afghanistan; and here they are protesting its establishment in the Swat region of Pakistan.” This quote might suggest that bin Laden recorded his message while somewhere in the Swat region.

Filed under: 360° Radar • al Qaeda • Octavia Nasr
April 2nd, 2009
03:55 PM ET

N. Korea warns Japan against targeting rocket

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North Korea says it will attack the Japanese military and "major targets," if Japan shoots down a rocket Pyongyang plans to launch in the coming days, North Korea's state-run news service, KCNA, reported Thursday.

Japan recently deployed its missile defense system in anticipation of North Korea's planned rocket launch.

"If Japan recklessly 'intercepts' [North Korea's] satellite for peaceful purposes, the [Korean People's Army] will mercilessly deal deadly blows not only at the already deployed intercepting means but at major targets," KCNA reported.

Japan recently mobilized its missile defense system in response to the planned North Korean launch, Japanese officials said. The move, noteworthy for a country with a pacifist constitution, is aimed at shooting down any debris from the launch that might fall into Japanese territory.

U.S. Navy ships capable of shooting down ballistic missiles have also been moved to the Sea of Japan, a Navy spokesman said.

The threat of retaliation comes as North Korea has begun fueling its long-range rocket, according to a senior U.S. military official familiar with the latest U.S. intelligence on the matter.

The fueling signals that the country could be in the final stages of what North Korea has said will be the launch of a satellite into space as early as this weekend, the senior U.S. military official said Wednesday.


April 2nd, 2009
03:36 PM ET

Brandon Craig: not guilty

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Jami Floyd | Bio
In Session

Brandon Craig has been acquitted of all charges related to the brutal murders of three teenagers, ten years ago; and it’s a good thing.

Don’t get me wrong: Three innocent kids were gunned down, in cold blood, before their lives had really even begun. Their families have suffered immeasurably in the ten years since. But the “not guilty” verdict is a good thing because of what it says about our system of justice. The verdict signals a return to the principles upon which our system was founded — that every man is innocent until proven guilty.

In recent years, we have lost sight of those fundamentals; in too many cases the desire for retribution has replaced reason, and reasonable doubt was the first casualty. Now, however, the pendulum of justice is swinging back to center. Juries, like this one, are once again finding the courage to hold the prosecution to its proof.

Filed under: Crime & Punishment • In Session • Jami Floyd
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