May 12th, 2009
11:38 PM ET

The strategic debate over Afghanistan

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

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/05/12/afghanistan.fighting/art.khost.file.jpg caption="A U.S. soldier on patrol in Khost province in February 2009."]

George Friedman
Global Intelligence Report

After U.S. airstrikes killed scores of civilians in western Afghanistan this past week, White House National Security Adviser Gen. James L. Jones said the United States would continue with the airstrikes and would not tie the hands of U.S. generals fighting in Afghanistan. At the same time, U.S. Central Command chief Gen. David Petraeus has cautioned against using tactics that undermine strategic U.S. goals in Afghanistan — raising the question of what exactly are the U.S. strategic goals in Afghanistan. A debate inside the U.S. camp has emerged over this very question, the outcome of which is likely to determine the future of the region.

On one side are President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and a substantial amount of the U.S. Army leadership. On the other side are Petraeus — the architect of U.S. strategy in Iraq after 2006 — and his staff and supporters. An Army general — even one with four stars — is unlikely to overcome a president and a defense secretary; even the five-star Gen. Douglas MacArthur couldn’t pull that off. But the Afghan debate is important, and it provides us with a sense of future U.S. strategy in the region.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Afghanistan • Global 360° • Pakistan • Taliban
May 12th, 2009
09:47 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 05/12/09

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Tonight on 360°, new insight on the Army sergeant accused of killing five comrades at Camp Liberty in Iraq. His dad and his son are talking about what they say drove John Russell to allegedly pull the trigger. Who they blame may surprise you.

Don't miss Erica Hill's webcast on this story 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
May 12th, 2009
09:15 PM ET

CNN Money & Main Street

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Times are tough; tougher than most Americans have witnessed in their lifetimes. People are losing their jobs, watching their homes fall into foreclosure and seeing their savings disappear.

But in small towns and big cities across the country, Americans are fighting back by starting a new business because the old one shut down; by finding a way to pay the mortgage and stay in their homes, and by rebuilding their communities to save them from becoming economic statistics.

Anderson Cooper, Ali Velshi and a panel of financial experts will explore how the country is picking up the pieces, moving on and moving ahead in the next CNN Money Summit: Money and Main Street, airing Thursday night at 8p.m. ET.

We want you to be part of this hour by telling us about your personal economy … click here to submit your i-report.

Filed under: CNN Money Summit
May 12th, 2009
07:38 PM ET

Wife-slapping not ok in Islam

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/05/12/ahmed.saudi.women/art.qanta.ahmed.courtesy.jpg caption="Ahmed shops for an abbaya in a high-end store in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia."]

Qanta A. Ahmed
Special to CNN

A judge in Saudi Arabia has said husbands are allowed to slap their wives if they spend lavishly, a Saudi newspaper reported this past weekend. In one fell swoop, the judge debased Islam, vilified the kingdom and disregarded the ideals the Saudi monarch himself embraces.

Islam is very clear on this issue: Both a husband physically chastising his wife for "overspending" and a judge "upholding justice" by sanctioning this abuse would be acting counter to Islam's ideals of compassion and justice.

There is no basis in Islamic theology to support domestic abuse of any kind and specifically none pertaining to the matter of a wife's spending pattern.

What is critically important to note is that the judge is flagrantly in opposition to King Abdullah's very public stance against both domestic violence and myopic clerics.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Islam • Women's Issues
May 12th, 2009
07:24 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Panic in the Cockpit

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/05/12/buffalo.crash.hearing/art.buffalo.crash.afp.gi.jpg caption="An investigator walks past the wreckage from a plane crash in Clarence Center, New York, in February."]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

There are disturbing new details tonight on the deadly plane crash near Buffalo, New York in February. According to the cockpit voice recorder transcript released today, Pilot Marvin Renslow screamed "Jesus Christ" and moments later First Officer Rebecca Shaw screamed as Flight 3407 plunged to the ground killing one person in a house and 49 others on the plane.

The transcripts also shows the two pilots discussed their lack of experience flying planes under icing conditions.

The information comes as federal investigators gather in Washington this week to figure out what went wrong during the deadly flight.

About two dozen relatives and friends of passengers killed watched a simulcast of today's hearing. They got to watch a  startling animation of the flight's final moments.

"The beginning animation was stomach-turning," said Ruthann Stilwell, whose sister Mary Abraham was killed on the flight. "I know they said it was two minutes but it seemed long."

Tonight, 360's Randi Kaye has a timeline of what happened inside the cockpit.  Did the pilot make a fatal mistake?

Colgan Air, which operated the flight, acknowledged Captain Renslow never had trained in a flight simulator with the emergency system activated. But it turns out, the FAA does not require such hands-on training. But would a pilot will more experience have met the same fate? Captain Renslow had just 110 flying hours in the type of plane that crashed. Colgan Air says he was fully qualified to fly the plane but had failed five training tests in his career.

"I just can't understand why they wouldn't have put the best in those cockpits. If their loved ones were flying in those planes, wouldn't they want the best captain they could get?," asked Karen Kuwik, whose son's girlfriend died in the accident.

Join us for this story and tonight's other headlines starting at 10pm ET.
See you then!

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
May 12th, 2009
05:29 PM ET

Beat 360° 5/12/09

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:

Donald Trump puts the Miss California USA sash back on Miss California USA, Carrie Prejean during a press conference at Trump Tower on May 12, 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 12th, 2009
05:06 PM ET

Soldier charged in deaths of 5 U.S. troops

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

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/05/12/iraq.soldiers.killed/art.liberty.gi.jpg caption="U.S. troops based at Camp Liberty near Baghdad, Iraq, wait while a robot disarms a roadside bomb in 2005."]


The U.S. soldier who killed five fellow troops at a stress clinic in Iraq apparently used a weapon he wrested away from another soldier to carry out the act, a defense official said Tuesday.

The shooter was identified as Army Sgt. John M. Russell, according to Maj. Gen. David Perkins, the military spokesman who briefed reporters in Baghdad.

Russell has been charged with five counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault after Monday's shooting at Camp Liberty, near Baghdad International Airport, Perkins added.

A 44-year-old communications specialist from Sherman, Texas, Russell is serving his third tour in Iraq and has previously deployed to Bosnia and Kosovo, Perkins' office said.

Russell recently had been referred to counseling by his commander due to unspecified words and actions, Perkins said. The commander also ordered that the sergeant's weapon be taken away.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Iraq • PTSD
May 12th, 2009
04:35 PM ET

The path of Flight 3407

The pilot of a doomed plane that crashed, killing 50 people, said "Jesus Christ" and "We're down," seconds before the plane hurtled from the night sky into a house outside Buffalo, New York, in February.

The last sounds heard in the cockpit were First Officer Rebecca Shaw saying "We're" and then screaming at 10:16 p.m. on February 12, according to a transcript of the cockpit recording.

Seconds earlier, the pilot, Capt. Marvin Renslow, said, "Jesus Christ," as a sound "similar to stick shaker" was heard, the transcript said. Renslow said, "We're down," and a thump was heard before Shaw said, "We're" and screamed.

We'll have more on the cockpit recordings on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

May 12th, 2009
03:51 PM ET

Video: PTSD causes, symptoms

Watch this video for more on the symptoms and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Filed under: 360° Radar • PTSD
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