April 23rd, 2009
06:58 PM ET

Educating children about bullying

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more about bullying on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/23/art.barbara.coloroso.jpg caption="Barbara Coloroso teaches parents, kids and teachers about ending bullying." width=292 height=320]

Jason Rovou
AC360° Producer

Tonight, David Mattingly tells the story of 11 year-old Jaheem Herrera, who hanged himself last week after being taunted at his elementary school outside of Atlanta.

This comes just a week after AC360° discussed the suicide of 11 year-old Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, who also hanged himself after being bullied at his school in Springfield, Mass., bullies are back in the news.

Tonight Anderson will be interviewing Barbara Coloroso, a speaker, anti-bullying coach and author of: “The Bully, the Bullied and the Bystander” about what parents, teachers and kids need to know right now about stopping this cycle.

Today, 39 states have anti-bullying laws on the books. Many schools around the country have “zero-tolerance” for bullying. But do they make any difference? Coloroso says no. Check out what she has to say tonight at 10pm.

For more information and handouts about bullying and steps you can take to help your kids, go to Coloroso’s website.

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Education
April 23rd, 2009
06:29 PM ET

An evangelical's plea: 'Love the sinner'

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Jonathan Merritt
USA Today

One of the mantras of evangelicalism over the past quarter-century regarding gay men and lesbians has been "hate the sin, love the sinner." If, however, you Google the public statements made by evangelicals regarding our gay neighbors, you'll uncover a virtual how-to manual on hating sin and little if anything about loving sinners. To wit:

• In 1993, fundamentalist televangelist D. James Kennedy reacted to the notion of gay men and lesbians in the military with a letter asking, "Honestly, would you want your son, daughter, or grandchild sharing a shower, foxhole, or blood with a homosexual?"

• In 1994, founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network Pat Robertson declared that for him, "(Homosexuality) is sodomy. It is repugnant."

• In 2001, the late Jerry Falwell, founder of the Moral Majority, blamed lesbians and gay men for 9/11.

• In 2002, Ten Commandments crusader and Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore called homosexuality an "abhorrent, immoral, detestable crime against nature" that should be punishable by law.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Gay & Lesbian Issues
April 23rd, 2009
05:56 PM ET

Beat 360° 4/23/09

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:

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama gestures as she allows two more questions from children during the 'Take Your Child to Work Day' event at the East Room of the White House April 23, 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
April 23rd, 2009
05:39 PM ET

All’s well that ends well

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Jami Floyd | Bio
In Session

Happy Birthday Bill! As in Bill Shakespeare. The bard’s actual date of birth isn’t known for certain, but most scholars put it on April 23, 1564.

So if you are among those who consider the bard the greatest writer ever, today is the day to unleash thy inner bard. Mayor Daley in Chicago has decreed it: “Talk Like Shakespeare Day” so, “screw your courage to the sticking place” and celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday—with his words.

Shakespeare contributed more than 1,700 words and phrases to the English language. So all day long, you can pepper your conversation with phrases like “prithee” and “fie”. Or, if you’re at lunch, “pass yonder salt and pepper.” If you’re the boss: “come hither sirrah.” Need to yell at that driver who just cut you off? “a pox on both your houses. Why settle for ‘idiot’, when you can say “thou rank fly bitten canker-blossom”? So much more satisfying.

All you lawyers out there can add weight to your arguments, start them with “methinks,” “mayhaps,” “in sooth” or “wherefore.” And speaking of lawyers, Shakespeare didn’t really want us to “kill all the lawyers”. His point was precisely the opposite: eliminate the lawyers and social unrest results. “Sweets to the sweet” has come to mean an amorous gesture. But Hamlet’s mother was talking about funeral flowers. Most of the time we get it right, which is saying something four-hundred and forty-four years after the fact. It says something about the power of words: then and now.

Filed under: In Session • Jami Floyd • The Buzz
April 23rd, 2009
05:28 PM ET

'Lifting the Veil': Child Bride

Program Note: Tune in tonight to watch all of the CNN Special Lifting the Veil at 11 p.m. ET.

In this clip from the CNN Presents special "Lifting the Veil", Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy speaks to a child bride.

Filed under: Global 360° • Islam
April 23rd, 2009
04:33 PM ET

First lady welcomes kids

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more on Michelle Obama's day with the children on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

First lady Michelle Obama welcomes and takes questions from the children of White House staffers on "Take Your Child to Work Day."

Filed under: 360° Radar • Michelle Obama
April 23rd, 2009
02:00 PM ET

Financial Dispatch: Jobless claims keep climbing

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Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

More troubling news on the unemployment front today... the number of Americans filing initial claims for jobless benefits increased last week while the number of people continuing to claim benefits set yet another record high.

First-time claims for unemployment insurance rose by 27,000 to 640,000 from the previous week revised figure of 613,000. And the number of people receiving benefits for one week or more rose by 93,000 to 6,137,000 million. That’s the highest number on records dating back to 1967.

Earlier this month, the government reported that 2 million jobs have been lost since the beginning of 2009 through March, bringing the nation's unemployment rate to the 25-year high of 8.5%.

Home sales drop in March

Sales of previously-owned homes fell in March but analysts say the housing market is showing signs of stabilization.

The National Association of Realtors said that so-called “existing home sales” fell last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.57 million units, 3% lower than the downwardly revised rate of 4.71 million in February.


April 23rd, 2009
12:40 PM ET

Is “blue” the new “green”?

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more on the Secrets to a Longer Life from Dan Buettner as he reports from the island of Ikaria. AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/22/art.bluezones.gianlucacolla.jpg caption="Buettner gets a ride on one of the All-Terrain-Vehicles popular in Ikaria given the steep terrain."]

Dan Buettner
AC360° Contributor

Seven years ago, I first had the idea to explore longevity by finding places where people lived the longest and study their lifestyle. So I called a man who lived down the street, near my home in Minneapolis.

A friend of mine had given me his name and I cold-called him. He picked up the phone enthusiastically and listened to my idea. He liked it and told me to fax over some information.

It was only after I sent my fax, explaining the details of what was to become the Blue Zones project, did I realize who I'd contacted. My neighbor, as it turned out, was Ansel Keys, an absolute titan in the world of diet research. His concern about diet as a public health issue began in the 1950s, decades before the word obesity entered the common vernacular.

As I prepared for my research, Keys encouraged me and essentially provided the entree to the world's best longevity scientists who helped me launch my project.

In the 1960s, he undertook the Seven Country Study, which first identified that saturated fats (like meat fat) are the villains in our diet. He also first identified the power of a diet rich in cereals, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, fish, wine, very little meat and olive oil-what he later coined the “Mediterranean Diet.”

People in Spain, Italy, France, Greece – all olive-producing countries - eat the diet and, not surprisingly, are among some of the longest-living people in the world. And Greece leads this pack of longevity superstars.

In the 1960s, 45 year-old Greek men had the greatest life expectancy in the world, four years longer than their counter parts in Japan and the United States–countries that were far more developed and offer better medical care according to scientists.

Here in Ikaria, people eat arguably the healthiest variation of the Mediterranean diet. And their diet was initially shaped by hardship.

Ikaria is a rocky, harsh island that rises sharply out of the sea. Angry ravines etch the slopes vertically in the rainy north, rocky step-like terraces corrugate the hills horizontally. People lived in remote villages away for the sea and the pirates it carried. They had to work hard to live off of this harsh terrain; the sea was a day's journey by foot. Therefore their diet favored the easy-to-grow and gather foods like figs, citrus, beans, vegetables, nuts and greens. Meat was a once-a-week treat and fish arrived only occasionally when a fish monger ventured up the steep hills into the villages.

As we've visited people aged 90 and over this week, we discovered over and over again that their diet is simple, seasonal and served fresh. And it the food is all cheap. Ikaria, like other Blue Zones in Sardinia, Costa Rica, and Okianawa, has very inexpensive foods and foods that have a very light impact on the environment. It makes me wonder: Could the recession be good for our health? (A pound of dried beans costs about a buck.) Perhaps “Blue” is the new “Green.”

Dan Buettner is the New York Times Bestselling author of Blue Zones: What the World’s Longest-lived People Can Teach You About Living Longer.

For more information on the Blue Zones Quest, go to: http://www.aarp.org/bluezones.

And are you curious about how long you’ll live? Check out Dan’s vitality compass, a quiz that will tell you what your biological age is, how old you’ll be when disease is likely to kick in and how long you’ll most likely be on this planet.

April 23rd, 2009
12:30 PM ET

Congress Knew About the Interrogations

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more on the torture memo debate on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

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Peter Hoekstra
The Wall Street Journal

Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair got it right last week when he noted how easy it is to condemn the enhanced interrogation program "on a bright sunny day in April 2009." Reactions to this former CIA program, which was used against senior al Qaeda suspects in 2002 and 2003, are demonstrating how little President Barack Obama and some Democratic members of Congress understand the dire threats to our nation.

George Tenet, who served as CIA director under Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, believes the enhanced interrogations program saved lives. He told CBS's "60 Minutes" in April 2007: "I know this program alone is worth more than the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency put together have been able to tell us."

Last week, Mr. Blair made a similar statement in an internal memo to his staff when he wrote that "[h]igh value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa'ida organization that was attacking this country."


Filed under: 360° Radar • President Barack Obama • Raw Politics • Torture
April 23rd, 2009
12:25 PM ET

Video: Troops leave Iraq for Afghanistan

CNN's Frederik Pleitgen travels with a U.S. battalion pulling out of Iraq and heading to Afghanistan.

Filed under: Afghanistan • Iraq
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