May 8th, 2009
08:34 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Priest in Steamy Photos Speaks Out

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/05/06/florida.priest.photos/art.tvnotas.cover.jpg caption="The photos of the Cuban-American priest appeared on the cover of this week's TV Notas magazine."]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

The Catholic priest who has been removed from his posts in Florida after published photos showed him in an embrace with a woman on a beach says he's not ashamed for loving a woman.

In an interview today with the Spanish-language TV network Univision, the Rev. Alberto Cutié said, "I'm in love and she's in love with me. In addition to the way she looks, I like her faith in Jesus." He went on to say, "One doesn't plan love, it is spontaneous, I always followed the church I have had all the tools of the church friends, family, other priests, and I tried with all of my heart to be faithful to Jesus to all that God asked of me, but I failed. "

Rev. Cutié, 40, won't apologize for how he feels about the woman. "I am never going to say sorry for loving a woman. God made me a man, I am not sorry for falling in love," he said.

The photos of the priest appeared on the cover and on eight inside pages of this week's TV Notas magazine. The cover (shown above) says in Spanish: "Good God. Padre Alberto. First photos of a priest 'in flagrante' with his lover."

When this story broke earlier this week, Archbishop John C. Favalora wrote on the Miami archdiocese web site:

"Father Cutié made a promise of celibacy and all priests are expected to fulfill that promise with the help of God," Favalora said. "Father Cutie's actions cannot be condoned despite the good works he has done as a priest."

But Rev. Cutié's supporters say the Church's chastity vow is outdated. Yesterday more than 60 people gathered outside his Miami Beach church in support of him. The crowd shouted in Spanish "Celibacy no! Choice yes! 21st century" and "I admire, I respect, I pardon Father Alberto!"

Do you the think the chastity vow should be dropped by the Roman Catholic Church? Share your thoughts below.

And, tonight on AC360°, Anderson will talk with a former Catholic priest and nun who've been married 30 years. Both are members of the Voice of the Faithful, a group dedicated to Catholic reform.

Join us for this story and more starting at 10pm ET.

See you then!

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
May 8th, 2009
05:24 PM ET

The Father Cutie Scandal: Sex and the Single Priest

Tim Padgett

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://img.timeinc.net/time/daily/2009/0905/cuban_amer_priest_0506.jpg caption="Cuban American Catholic Father Alberto Cutie, a popular latin TV show host, poses for photographers upon his arrival to the Latin Billboard Music Awards in Miami."]

If only it were the worst thing that a Roman Catholic priest has been caught doing. The Mexican celebrity magazine TVnotas recently published 25 paparazzi photos of the Rev. Alberto Cutié, the popular Miami Beach priest famous for his Spanish-language television and radio talk shows, cavorting amorously on a Florida beach with an attractive woman. Over a three-day period, the pictures also captured him kissing her in a bar. In one of TVnotas's "in fragranti" shots [Note to TVnotas copy editors: it's "in flagrante"] the woman wraps her legs around Cutié; in another, Cutié has a hand down her swimsuit, fondling her rear end.

Because of the scandal, the Archdiocese of Miami says Cutié, 40, is no longer the administrator of his Miami Beach parish, and it has barred him from leading Sunday mass there. His media work seems up in the air now, and the popular website padrealberto.net has only a blue screen with a message from Cutié asking forgiveness.

Most Catholics probably don't approve of Cutié's affair. Still, will they back the archdiocese? Cutié's punishment is understandable at first glance, at least for his hypocrisy if not for the betrayal of his oath of celibacy. To the Catholic Church, priestly ordination means a marriage vow to the church — the "bride of Christ." In a statement, Miami Archbishop John Favalora said Cutié's actions "cannot be condoned despite the good work he's done as a priest."


Filed under: 360° Radar
May 8th, 2009
05:09 PM ET

Pakistani offensive sparks 'massive displacement' of civilians

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/05/08/pakistan.swat.taliban.fighting/art.civilians.flee.afp.gi.jpg caption="Tens of thousands of Pakistani civilians have been forced to abandon their homes in the past few days."]

The United Nations' refugee agency warned Friday of a "massive displacement" of civilians as Pakistan's military broadens its offensive against Taliban militants in the country's troubled northwest.

In the last few days, an estimated 150,000 to 200,000 Pakistanis have fled to North West Frontier Province, just south of the military operation, according to U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees spokesman Ron Redmond, citing provincial government data.

Another 300,000 Pakistanis are on the move or expected to flee the fighting, he said Friday.

The massive displacement is a result of "more widespread" fighting between Pakistani forces and Taliban militants as well as people taking "advantage of the partial lifting of curfews to move into safer areas," according to a UNHCR news release.

Those fleeing the recent fighting are in addition to 555,000 previously displaced civilians who have fled their homes in Pakistan's tribal region and North West Frontier Province since August, according to the U.N. agency.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Pakistan • Taliban
May 8th, 2009
04:37 PM ET

Beat 360° 5/8/09

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:

Kiefer Sutherland arrives at 1st Precinct in Manhattan on May 7, 2009 in New York City.

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

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
May 8th, 2009
02:56 PM ET

How Google Earth explains the financial crisis

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/05/08/art.google.earth.financial.crisis.jpg]

Foreign Policy

Want to get a sense of just how bad things are? Take a spin on Google Earth.

The latest issue of International Economy, edited by FP contributor David Smick, has a clever graphic showing the depth of the economic crisis, so I thought I'd share.

The above image, pulled today from Vesseltracker.com's Google Earth file, shows container ships languishing off the Singapore coast. Welcome to the largest parking lot on Earth. International Economy explains:

The world's busiest port for container traffic, Singapore saw its year-over-year volume drop by 19.6 percent in January 2009, followed by a 19.8 percent drop in February. As of mid-March 2009, 11.3 percent of the world's shipping capacity, sat idle, a record.

It's a rough time to be an Asian tiger, or to be in the shipping business. The IMF projects that Singapore's economy will shrink significantly in 2009. Globally, bulk shipping rates have dropped more than 80 percent in the past year on weak demand, and orders for new shipping vessels are cratering. In Busan, South Korea, the fifth-largest port in the world, empty shipping containers are piling up faster than officials can manage.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Economy • Global 360°
May 8th, 2009
02:43 PM ET

The Pope in the Middle East – and the Cosmos

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/05/08/jordan.pope.visit/art.pope.afp.gi.jpg caption="Jordan's King Abdullah II speaks with Pope Benedict XVI at the international airport in Amman on Friday."]

John L. Allen Jr.
CNN Senior Vatican Analyst
Amman, Jordan

For reporters covering the foreign travels of Pope Benedict XVI, head of the Roman Catholic Church and arguably the most important religious leader in the world, the hardest part of trying to handicap these events is knowing which pontiff will show up.

Will it be the Benedict of Regensburg, Germany, in 2006, who delivered a speech linking Muhammad to violence that set off a firestorm of protest all across the Islamic world? Or will it be the Benedict of highly successful expeditions to Turkey in 2006 and the United States in 2008, where the pontiff turned in bravura performances that went a long way toward healing wounds and improving his public image?

After four years as pope, Benedict XVI has shown a host of impressive qualities: theological brilliance, personal humility, and a teacher’s aptitude for clarity. His track record at public relations, however, is spottier, making any turn on the public stage something of a roll of the dice.


Filed under: Global 360° • Middle East • Pope Benedict • Religion
May 8th, 2009
01:51 PM ET

Video: New tactics aim at shooters

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

A change of tactics means the targeting of potential gang-bangers. CNN's David Mattingly reports.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Chicago Killings • David Mattingly
May 8th, 2009
01:35 PM ET

Video: Inside a Chicago ER

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

Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta takes us inside a Chicago ER that treats young shooting victims.

May 8th, 2009
01:12 PM ET

Afternoon Buzz: Strife at home – and abroad

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/05/08/chicago.children.slain/art.boy.walker.cltv.jpg caption="Martrell Stevens survived being hit by a stray bullet as he slept in a car in Chicago, but he was partially paralyzed. "]

Kay Jones
AC360° Coordinating Editorial Producer

President Obama has met with the presidents of both Afghanistan and Pakistan this week, as the growing threat from militants has made both countries top headaches for the White House. We’ll have a report from the region tonight on the latest. How will Richard Holbrooke - the White House special envoy to the region Ambassador known for his tough diplomacy under President Clinton - handle these two international hairballs?

And speaking of strife, what about Chicago? And no, I’m not talking about Drew Peterson’s arrest on charges that he killed his third wife. (And his fourth wife, you know, is still missing.) But here's what we're wondering: Why are more and more school age kids are getting killed in the Chicago area - at least 36 so far this year. And it seems no one has figured out a way to stop it.


Filed under: Kay Jones • The Buzz
May 8th, 2009
01:00 PM ET

Financial Dispatch: Job losses ease, Fannie wants more money

[cnn-photo-caption image=

Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

The unemployment rate hit a 25-year high of 8.9% in April, but there were signs of hope that the recession is easing as the monthly job loss total fell to the lowest level in six months.

Employers cut 539,000 jobs from payrolls last month. That's an improvement from the revised reading of 699,000 that were lost in March, and the best reading since October, when the economy shed 380,000 jobs.

Still, that brings job losses since the start of 2008 to 5.7 million, and a good deal of the improvement in April came from temporary government hiring in advance of next year's Census.

As for the breakdown of the numbers by demographic, the biggest increases in unemployment were seen by blacks (to 15% from 13.3%), adult men (to 9.4% from 8.8%), and adult women (to 7.1% from 7.0%), while teenagers and Hispanics saw declines.

Wall Street bouncing back

Stocks on Wall Street rose out of the starting gate today, boosted by those better than expected jobs numbers, as well as the results of the government's “stress tests” of the nation’s biggest banks.

On Thursday, we learned that 10 of the nation's 19 largest banks will need to raise a total of nearly $75 billion in capital, bringing an end to relentless speculation about how much more money they would need to withstand the recession.


Filed under: Andrew Torgan • Economy • Finance • Unemployment • Wall St.
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