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April 3rd, 2009
04:40 PM ET

Pakistan’s Taliban leader squares up to U.S.

Reza Sayah
CNN Correspondent

Program Note: For more on the situation in Pakistan, tune in tonight to AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

Few people get to meet the leader of the Pakistani Taliban Baitullah Mehsud, so when Pakistani journalist Behroz Khan was invited to one of his rare press conferences last year, he admits his heart started thumping a little harder.

“You know he’s behind the deadliest attacks and these suicide bombers,” Khan told CNN. “It is, I would say, a bit scary.”

What Khan saw was not the long-bearded, menacing giant he expected. Khan said Mehsud was no more than 5 feet 4 inches tall (1.62 meters), portly, neatly dressed and a bit of a jokester.

Read more...


Filed under: Afghanistan • Pakistan
April 3rd, 2009
04:40 PM ET

Moment of silence

New York Governor David Paterson asks for a moment of silence in honor of the victims in Binghamton.


Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Crime & Punishment
April 3rd, 2009
04:38 PM ET

Madonna's adoption rejected by Malawian judge

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

Madonna is pictured leaving a court in Malawi late last month.

Madonna is pictured leaving a court in Malawi late last month.

CNN

Madonna's petition to adopt a second Malawian child was rejected by a local judge Friday, an official said.

"The decision came down to residency requirement and the fact that the judge believes she was being well taken care of in the orphanage," said Zione Ntaba, a spokeswoman for the Malawi Justice Department.

"For the Malawians, the fact that the child is at an orphanage, is being taken care of and is going through the school education system, that does qualify as the best interests of a child," Ntaba added.

The 50-year-old pop star had filed a petition to adopt a girl, Chifundo James, 4, whose first name translates to mercy in Chichewa, the country's national language. She has three other children, including a son she adopted from the southern African nation in 2006.

Read more...


Filed under: 360º Follow • Madonna
April 3rd, 2009
04:27 PM ET

Beat 360° 4/3/09

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 First Lady Michelle Obama, US President Barack Obama, French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy are pictured during the NATO summit arrival ceremony at the Palais Rohan on April 3, 2009 in Strasbourg.

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 3rd, 2009
03:31 PM ET

The Department of “Justice”

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

Jami Floyd
AC360° Contributor
In Session Anchor


Former Sen. Ted Stevens was convicted in federal court on seven counts of making false statements and various ethics violations. But now, the indictment underlying that conviction has been withdrawn. Why? Because the prosecution cheated.

The federal prosecutors on Stevens’ case continually cheated — throughout the trial — to the point that they were held in contempt. The judge, Emmet G. Sullivan was outraged. He actually said on the record that he was “flabbergasted.”

Enter, the new Attorney General, Eric Holder. Holder, it just so happens, started his career in the public integrity section at the Justice Department. He had watched the trial. He was angry — very angry — at these prosecutors – six of whom have resigned.

So let this be a warning to prosecutors across the agency. You cannot hide evidence. You cannot lie to the court. The job of a prosecutor is not to win at all costs. The job of a prosecutor, especially at the Department, is to seek Justice. And that’s the last word.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Jami Floyd • Ted Stevens
April 3rd, 2009
03:20 PM ET

Photos from the scene in Binghamton

Program Note: For more on the situation in Binghamton, tune in tonight to AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

Pictures of the hostage situation in Binghamton NY.

FULL POST


Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Crime & Punishment
April 3rd, 2009
03:15 PM ET

Official: Hostages held after 'multiple' shootings

Program Note: Tune in tonight for more on the shootings on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

CNN

At least one gunman began shooting Friday in an immigration services building in Binghamton, New York, killing at least 12 people, Gov. David Paterson said.

A gunman is among the dead, law enforcement officials said.

"This is a horrible situation," Paterson said. "There's no available data on what's going on there other than the fact that lives have been lost."

The local police command center said SWAT teams are still inside, clearing the building.

A law enforcement source said that more than a dozen people were wounded.

Two people were seen being led from the building in plastic handcuffs, WBNG reported. It was not immediately known whether the two were under arrest.

The shootings began about 10:30 a.m. ET at the American Civic Association, which helps immigrants and refugees, the source said.

Read More from CNN...

Read the latest Twitter reports on the situation here.

And check out this live blog for the latest on the shooting.

April 3rd, 2009
02:55 PM ET

If NATO didn't exist we'd have to invent it

Mirek Toplanek
Wall Street Journal

I think often about the lessons of history. Against the backdrop of our global economic crisis, I refer to the ill-fated experience of protectionism in the 1930s. When discussing the ratification of the European Union's (EU) Lisbon Treaty, I remind others of the fact that independence, regained only about two decades ago by the Czech Republic, remains a sensitive issue for our country. And when defending priorities such as the energy security of the EU and the strategic importance of relations with our eastern neighbors, I mention recent crises over security in Georgia and gas in Ukraine.

But the past also teaches positive lessons. One of them is success of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). It was undoubtedly this alliance that stabilized the countries of Western Europe - which had for centuries been beset by power struggles - and created a block capable of resisting potential threats from the eastern part of the bipolar world.

NATO's victory over the Warsaw Pact was not one of arms, but of democratic principles that were alien to the communist pact. The Czech Republic - then Czechoslovakia - had a first-hand experience of this when the Prague Spring, an attempt to humanize socialism, died under the tanks of the Warsaw Pact armies. However, while the end of the Cold War meant the end of the Pact, the North Atlantic Alliance has stayed relevant.

So far, NATO has been extended to include 28 members; one-third are former enemies from the Warsaw Pact. Is there any better example of NATO's openness and love of freedom? As the only functioning international military alliance, NATO has also been active in operations outside its member states. Is there a better example of its legitimacy? At present, NATO operations comprise not only military activities, but also infrastructure restoration and the training of local security forces. Is there a better example of respect for third-party countries? I don't think so.

Read more...


Filed under: 360° Radar
April 3rd, 2009
02:41 PM ET

President Obama's European Town Hall

An audience member asks President Obama if he regrets running for president.


Filed under: 360° Radar • President Barack Obama
April 3rd, 2009
02:03 PM ET

Torture in Iran: Anderson interviews Ahmad Batebi for 60 Minutes

Much of the attention on Iran over the last few years has focused on its mysterious nuclear program. Another mystery that’s received far less attention is torture in Iran’s prisons. It’s a story the Iranian government doesn’t want you to hear; a story the man you’ll meet tonight, risked his life to tell. His name is Ahmad Batebi and quite by accident he became one of the most famous dissidents in Iran. He says he endured years of torture in an Iranian prison, after his picture appeared on the cover of The Economist magazine. He escaped from Iran last year. Tonight he’ll tell us how. We warn you that some of the pictures in this report are disturbing.

Watch a clip from Anderson's interview here.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Anderson Cooper • War on Terror
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