May 7th, 2009
11:59 PM ET

Parents, Kids & Swine Flu Parties?

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David Puente
AC360° Producer

You can probably picture the scene. Well, sort of...

Parents gather in a suburban living room, eating cookies, having coffee and discussing how quickly their children outgrow their new clothes.

Meanwhile, in the play room, the kids lay on mats and cushions, tired from an intense hide-and-seek and tag session. But then, the parents encourage the children to share ice cream spoons, whistles, soda cups even bubble gum.

Does that sound strange? Maybe. But this is exactly what happened at chicken pox parties that some of us grew up with. And the point is to have the boy with the red dots on his face infect all of the small children in the room.

Usually parents who want their healthy children to get chickenpox believe it will help them build immunity against more virulent strains. Others oppose vaccination.

Now there's a buzz on the Internet about “swine flu parties,” and it has medical experts across the country up in arms as the H1N1 virus continues to spread across the U.S. In fact the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC), says it “expects that more cases, more hospitalizations and more deaths from this outbreak will occur over the coming days and weeks”.

The latest numbers in the US according to the CDC: There are 43 states reporting cases, in total there are 1,639 cases and two deaths.

The “swine flu party” chatter on flu web sites and public health blogs like Effectmeasure and flutrackers.com has even gotten the attention of a top US health official.


Filed under: 360° Radar • David Puente • H1N1
May 7th, 2009
09:44 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 05/07/09

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Tonight on AC360°, we'll have the latest on the arrest of Drew Peterson. Tonight, he has been charged with killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio. Could he also faces charges in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson? He has denied harming either of them.

Don't miss Erica Hill's webcast on the case and tonight's other headlines 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
May 7th, 2009
09:30 PM ET

Saving Chicago's kids

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more from David Mattingly on the violence in Chicago on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/05/06/art.chicago.memorial.jpg caption="A memorial honoring the children victimized by the violence in Chicago."]

David Mattingly | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

So often we see grieving communities reacting to Chicago's youth violence by targeting guns. There have been marches protesting gun shops and legislation filed aimed at tougher background checks for gun buyers. But veterans of the fight against the killing are starting to change their tactics. They are looking past the guns and focusing on the shooters.

Ron Holt, whose son Blair was shot and killed two years ago, was a key lobbyist pushing for a tougher Illinois gun law. He failed by five votes. Today he says he is seeing success by going straight to the the would-be gangbangers.

Holt now joins other men in the group called CeaseFire. Groups go out onto the street and try to settle conflicts and diffuse confrontations before they turn violent. Holt says it's working. He's probably helping save more young lives than he did in the state legislature.

Filed under: Chicago Killings • David Mattingly • Gun Violence
May 7th, 2009
09:22 PM ET

Wesleyan University Will "Begin to Return to More Regular Operations"

Editor's Note: A letter from the President of Wesleyan University to the university community after the shooting of a student at a bookstore-cafe near campus. More on the situation tonight at 10 p.m. ET.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/05/07/connecticut.shooting/art.morgan.suspect.police.jpg caption="Police are conducting a nationwide search for suspect Stephen Morgan and fear he might target others."]

Michael S. Roth,
President, Wesleyan University

I want to express my heartfelt thanks for the many messages of concern and offers to help that we have received from you after yesterday’s tragic shooting of Johanna Justin-Jinich ’10. As you might imagine, this is a very difficult time at Wesleyan. To know that we are in your thoughts is a great comfort.

After extensive consultation with law enforcement officials, we have decided to begin to move the campus to more regular operations, starting with opening Usdan for a few hours this evening. My wife Kari and I (along with many other faculty and staff) have just come from eating there. We are instructing students to remain indoors after dinner tonight, but meals are being served, tomorrow morning the library will re-open, and before noon tomorrow there will be an announcement of a new, very flexible schedule for final assignments.

But we are still grieving; we still mourn.

Tomorrow at 1 p.m., two days after the shooting that took the life of Johanna Justin-Jinich , Wesleyan will hold a brief memorial vigil in the Huss Courtyard behind the Usdan Center. There will be time for Johanna’s friends and family to plan other ceremonies at Wesleyan, and perhaps elsewhere. But tomorrow we will gather just to be with one another and remember. We will pay our respects to Johanna’s all-too-brief life.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Crime & Punishment • Gun Violence
May 7th, 2009
09:11 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Drew Peterson Arrested

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/05/07/peterson.murder.arrest/art.peterson.file.gi.jpg caption="Drew Peterson was arrested Thursday on murder charges relating to his third wife, Kathleen Savio."]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight on AC360°, we're covering breaking news on the arrest of Drew Peterson. Remember him? He's the former police sergeant in Illinois who authorities call the prime suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson. But just hours ago a grand jury indicted him for the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

Savio's death had been ruled an accidental drowning after her body had been found in an empty bath tub in March 2004, just days away from divorce. But her family insisted the death was linked to foul play. Authorities exhumed the body, tests were performed, and her death was then ruled a "homicide staged to look like an accident."

The same grand jury that has indicted Peterson on the death of his third wife is looking at whether he should also be charged in Stacy Peterson's disappearance. She vanished October 2007. Peterson has said repeatedly that she left him for another man.

Peterson is now engaged to a woman that would become his fifth wife. But that wedding may be put on hold, since he  faces this new legal battle.

Join us for more on this breaking story and tonight's other headlines starting at 10pm ET.

See you then!

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
May 7th, 2009
08:53 PM ET

Drew Peterson charged with murder, authorities say

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/05/07/peterson.murder.arrest/art.peterson.file.gi.jpg caption="Drew Peterson was arrested Thursday on murder charges relating to his third wife, Kathleen Savio. "]


Drew Peterson, the former police sergeant who authorities call the prime suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, has been indicted on murder charges related to his third wife, the Illinois state attorney's office said.

Illinois state police said Peterson was taken into custody Thursday.

Charles B. Pelkie, state attorney for Will County, Illinois, said a grand jury indicted Peterson in the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, whose death had been ruled an accidental drowning.

He said the grand jury continues to meet and is studying the possibility of charges in Stacy Peterson's disappearance.

After Stacy Peterson went missing in October 2007, media frenzy and police scrutiny on Peterson revealed Savio had died mysteriously a few years earlier during a nasty divorce.

Savio died just before the division of the marital assets was finalized, making Drew Peterson the sole beneficiary.

Keep Reading...

May 7th, 2009
06:54 PM ET

The ugly truth behind the first U.S. face transplant

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/HEALTH/05/04/face.transplant.patient/art.bf.clv.cln.jpg caption="Culp, an Ohio mother of two, lost the mid-portion of her face after a gunshot wound in September 2004."]

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/HEALTH/05/04/face.transplant.patient/art.face.transplant.cnn.jpg caption="Connie Culp, 46, was identified as the first recipient of a face transplant in the United States."]

Cate Vojdik
AC360 Writer

A shot gun blast fired at point blank range blew away much of Connie Culp’s face five years ago. Think about those words for a second. A shot gun blast. To the face. Fired at point blank range.

Culp’s husband pulled the trigger.

We learned those chilling facts Tuesday, when the first U.S. recipient of a face transplant revealed her identity for the first time.

Culp’s press conference at the Cleveland Clinic got a lot of coverage, most of which focused on the extraordinary surgical procedures that gave Culp a new face. The fact that she was left horribly disfigured–to the point where children ran from her–because her husband shot her in the face didn’t get as much attention. Culp herself has said she wants to move on with her life and has forgiven her husband, who is serving a seven-year prison sentence.

Today we’re following another story involving a woman shot at point-blank range, allegedly by a man she knew. Johanna Justin-Jinich, a junior at Wesleyan University, was working at a bookstore-café near the campus when she was killed yesterday afternoon. Police have launched a nationwide search for 29-year-old Stephen Morgan, against whom Justin-Jinich filed a harassment complaint nearly two years ago. He’s the main suspect.


Filed under: Cate Vojdik • Gun Violence • Medical News
May 7th, 2009
06:25 PM ET

Ronnie interviews his Mom

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

Student activist Ronnie Mosley interviews his mother, Yolanda McBride. She describes how family members have been affected by the violence in Chicago and what it was like to become a parent at the age of 13.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Chicago Killings • Gun Violence
May 7th, 2009
05:25 PM ET

Me? A Terrorist?

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear Drew Griffin's full report tonight on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

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Drew Griffin | BIO
CNN Investigative Correspondent

And I thought it was just me.

It was shortly after we did some pretty scathing reporting on the Federal Air Marshalls service that I found myself labeled a potential terrorist at airports. I never could connect the dots to say there was some sort of retribution, but the hassle of being stopped every time I flew (which is a lot) and asked to provide identification, even my mother’s maiden name, before being allowed to print a ticket, slowed me down and created quite an issue when I was running late.

Instead of suffering alone, I decided to bring you all along for the ride, exposing what I thought was a complete blundering of the terror watch list. My first report focusing on how I found myself on the terror list erupted into a flood of calls from people just like me. All walks of life, even a commercial airline pilot, we were all on that list. And every time I filed a report I got the same retort from the Department of Homeland Security: “Mr. Griffin, you are not on the list.”

Well guess what? Thousands of us are really on that list, and yes, thousands of us are on it by mistake. A just released Inspector general’s report lays it all out. And the report also reveals who’s not on it. I’ll share that with you tonight

Filed under: 360° Radar • Airline Safety • Drew Griffin • Terrorism
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