May 8th, 2009
11:59 PM ET

America and its Food Dilemma

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Mariel Hemingway
Author, "Mariel's Kitchen"

Let's be honest with ourselves: America has a weight problem.

Before I go any further, let me say: Weight problems and ensuing poor health are, in part, due to circumstances early on in our lives, a lack of exercise and the fast-paced society in which we live.

I am not saying weight problems are simple and can be explained in a few sentences. But I can say for sure that our society attaches value to speed and convenience – a combination detrimental to our connection with food, nature, ritual and health.

So, whether or not your weight issues come from childhood problems, unspoken fears, or because of a slowed metabolism (due to a toxic load inside the body caused by food choices), it's important to take a good, close look at yourself, your health and how you eat.

Do you eat at the fridge, or on the run? Coffee shops or drive-thrus? Are you convinced that the ritual of food is merely for homemakers and people without your busy schedule?


May 8th, 2009
11:58 PM ET

Mama said there'll be blogs like this

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Jack Gray
AC360° Producer/Writer

Michelle Obama says her most important job is that of Mom-in-Chief. I can't imagine anyone would disagree with her. George Washington once said, "All I am I owe to my mother." The same is true for me. No one has had more of an impact on my life than my mother. Except for perhaps the good people at Hostess Powdered Donettes.

To know my mother – her name is Maria, cue the song from West Side Story – is to love her. Smart, funny, beautiful, the list of her attributes goes on and on. At least it will until she pays off my credit card.

It's a bittersweet thing to consider, one's relationship with a parent. My mother is the person who tucked me in at night, cut the crusts off my sandwiches and taught me that stealing candy bars is wrong. But enough about her visit to New York last week.


May 8th, 2009
11:57 PM ET

Arlen Specter's Valley of Death

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Michael Schulder
CNN Senior Executive Producer

The Valley of Death is Arlen Specter’s turf. It’s hard to keep track of how many times he has crossed it. This is true regarding his health. And, given the twists and turns of the past week, it is truer than ever politically.

Never Give In

It’s been nearly a year since Arlen Specter beat Hodgkin’s disease - for the second time. CNN had behind the scenes access to the senator’s “never give in” approach to cancer, which you can witness here.

“How you feelin’ today, Senator” asked Dr. Sanjay Gupta last spring. “Not so hot,” said Specter. The senator had woken up at 4 in the morning with a piercing headache from his chemo. What did he do? “Got my squash partner out at 5:30, played a little squash.”

Specter coped with chemo by keeping up his 30 year daily squash routine. It’s been about 30 years since Specter was diagnosed with the incurable Lou Gehrig’s disease. Several months passed before he was told he had been MISdiagnosed - a false positive. Then there were two brain tumors, cardiac arrest, and his first bout with Hodgkin’s disease at age 75. All these journeys out of the valley of death highlight Specter’s resilience. They also help us understand his keen interest in health care issues.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Michael Schulder
May 8th, 2009
11:56 PM ET

The World According to Lavrov

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CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent
Jill Dougherty

U.S.-Russian relations “seriously deteriorated” late last year but don’t blame Moscow. That’s how Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov sees it.

“The choice has not been ours,” he says in a speech at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C. “The plans of the previous U.S. administration have carried with them a serious damage to Russia’s security, security interests, and if realized would inevitably demand our response.”

Among other things, Lavrov points to U.S. plans to install a strategic missile defense system in Eastern Europe, the “hectic, unjustified” NATO expansion and “attempts to punish Russia” after its brief war with Georgia in August of last year.

If Russia and the United States are serious about “resetting” their relations they have to “get rid of the toxic assets, he says.


Filed under: Global 360° • Jill Dougherty • Russia
May 8th, 2009
11:54 PM ET

From a Crack House to Redemption

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Dave Schechter
CNN Senior National Editor

Cope Moyers should be dead.

The fact that he’s alive makes me pay attention when he talks about America’s “war on drugs.”

You can hear a pin drop in the room when Moyers tells his story. (Read about it in “Broken: My Story of Addiction and Redemption.” ) In short, he is recovering (there is no “cure”) from addictions to alcohol and crack cocaine.

Moyers worked at a couple of major newspapers before coming to CNN in the early 1990s. His first name is William, but here he was “Cope,” not playing on the celebrity of his father, Bill Moyers, who was White House press secretary under President Lyndon Baines Johnson and is now a well-known author and commentator. We got on well, often talking about our families.

Moyers worked hard to maintain the appearance of being a good employee, husband and father. His colleagues – myself included – were unaware of his descent into a form of hell.

“From the outside, I still looked like a healthy, balanced, ethical young man. On the inside, however, I was raging against everything and everyone, especially myself. I didn’t understand what was happening to me and because no one else could see it or name it for what it was, I was left alone with my tormented self. All my energy became focused on one goal – to keep the inside from showing on the outside, to hide the truth of my misery and my shame from others and even from myself,” Moyers wrote in “Broken.”


Filed under: David Schechter
May 8th, 2009
11:50 PM ET

Dear President Obama #110: Dinner Time!

Reporter's Note: President Obama believes Americans should help determine the future of their country by sending suggestions to him. I believe they should help determine the college plans of my children by sending checks to me. So far I am helping him with his plan, with a letter a day to the White House.

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Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

Hey, it just occurred to me that we’re going to have dinner together tonight! In a manner of speaking. It will be me, you and about four-thousand other journalists and their guests, but still I feel we’ve grown to share a special bond and I look forward to the occasion.

And that’s saying something. DC is a city that loves big, hot shot, black tie dinners packed with Senators, diplomats, and movie stars. Congressmen too, although, as you know, they are about a dime a dozen in this town. Can’t swing a dead cat without hitting one, but still they give the Senators someone to push around, so they serve a purpose. And the White House Correspondents dinner is one of the hottest tickets of the year. I’ve chatted up Bo Derek, Tim Gunn, Michael Bloomberg, Joe Biden, and a host of others during this dinner (or at least at some dinners a lot like it) in the past, and it’s pretty good fun.

On the other hand, I’ve never felt entirely comfortable socializing with political types. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to insult you and your pals. I just think when we journalists start walking around in tuxes and gowns with you all, (and yes, I will be wearing a gown) sharing drinks, and laughs, and meeting your spouses, it can look an awful lot like we’re friends. And by our very nature, I don’t think we should be. We don’t have to be enemies or antagonists. But people already think (rightfully so, I’m afraid, sometimes) we’re too chummy as it is.


May 8th, 2009
11:45 PM ET

Video: Dalai Lama on hatred

The Dalai Lama speaks to CNN's Fareed Zakaria about hatred and what should be done to combat it. Watch Fareed Zakaria's full interview with the exiled Tibetan leader on GPS on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

Filed under: Fareed Zakaria • Tibet
May 8th, 2009
11:07 PM ET

Economic rebound?

Anderson Cooper and panelists discuss whether or not the economy is rebounding, despite the increase of unemployment.

Filed under: Ali Velshi • David Gergen • Economy
May 8th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 05/08/09

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Tonight, we'll have the latest on the Wesleyan University student shot and killed by an alleged stalker. Tonight the suspected gunman is being held on $15 million dollars bail. We're learning more about his life and the alleged threats he put on paper.

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 8th, 2009
09:41 PM ET

Raw Data: Chicago's guns

David Mattingly
AC360° Correspondent

I found some numbers today that were very interesting and help put perspective on the enormity of Chicago's gun violence.

Keep in mind this is city where (with some exceptions) it's illegal to buy, own and carry firearms.

  • Chicago Police confiscate an average of 1 assault weapon a day.
  • 10 thousand guns are recovered from crimes in Chicago each year and traced by the ATF.
  • It's estimated that 800 of those traced guns are bought by people with no criminal background for someone who does have a criminal background.

Filed under: Chicago Killings • David Mattingly • Gun Control • Gun Violence
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