May 18th, 2009
10:30 AM ET

Legal fight brews over 'Farrah's Story'

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Alan Duke

As Ryan O'Neal walked the red carpet at the premiere of "Farrah's Story," he stopped every few feet to answer reporters' questions about Farrah Fawcett's battle with cancer.

CNN's Douglas Hyde was at the end of the line and the last to interview the actor, who was almost in tears after a string of intense explanations about his longtime companion's condition.

"She was OK in the first interview, but now I'm worried," O'Neal said, visibly drained after focusing on Fawcett's battle.

The documentary, which airs Friday night on NBC, is not a celebration of Fawcett's career, but an intimate look at her life since being diagnosed with anal cancer three years ago.

"Basically, it's a gonzo trip," O'Neal said.

It was shot by Fawcett's close friend, Alana Stewart.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Health Care
May 18th, 2009
10:25 AM ET

Morning Buzz: GOP v. Nancy Pelosi

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Penny Manis
AC360° Senior Producer

What's shaking people? Possibly some CA residents as a 4.7 earthquake hit Los Angeles last night. There are no reports of major damage or injuries though-phew.

There is another type of rumbling going on though- we'll watch for fallout from President Obama’s speech at the University of Notre Dame graduation over the weekend when he stuck a big toe into the abortion debate.

He acknowledged the anger arising from his appearance and called on both sides to look for common ground.

President Obama soon names his choice to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter.
The President has appointed Stephanie Cutter, currently in the Treasury Department and considered skillful at behind-the-scenes politicking, to guide a nominee through the confirmation process.

The Mideast come to the Oval office today as President Obama hosts Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and takes another stab at establishing peace in the region.


Filed under: Penny Manis • The Buzz
May 18th, 2009
09:42 AM ET

Obama a Champion at Notre Dame

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Eboo Patel
Interfaith Youth Core
AC360° Contributor

One concrete result of the controversy at Notre Dame this weekend was a much larger audience for President Obama's Commencement Address. What we witnessed was a near perfect demonstration of public leadership in an environment of polarization. Obama is at his best when others are squabbling and he plays the role of saying, "We can do better than this."

I confess to a special interest. I owe my American citizenship to Notre Dame. The University accepted my father's application to its MBA program thirty years ago (at the time, he was one of only a handful of international students on campus, and doubly in the minority as a Muslim). He loves the University with all his heart – it was his gateway to America. I grew up watching Notre Dame football players touch the yellow "Play Like a Champion Today" sign as they ran out of the locker room onto the field. The President must have touched that sign before his speech, because it was worthy of all those great Notre Dame legends, from Knute Rockne to Joe Montana to Touchdown Jesus.

Harvard scholar Howard Gardener says that the most important thing that leaders do is tell a new story about the possibility of the world, and then embody it themselves. Obama accomplished that masterfully in three basic steps in his speech.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Eboo Patel • President Barack Obama • Religion
May 18th, 2009
09:40 AM ET

He Came, he Spoke, he Conquered

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Thomas J. Reese, S.J.
Senior Fellow, Woodstock Theological Center, Georgetown University
For The Washington Post


President Obama's reception at Notre Dame showed once again that a new generation of Americans, including Catholics, is looking for a different kind of leader, not one who speaks down to his audience, demands strict loyalty and demonizes opponents, but one who addresses complexity with honesty, acknowledges disagreements and tries to bring people together for the common good.

President Obama showed himself to be respectful of Catholic views, of Catholic institutions like Notre Dame and of Catholic leaders like Notre Dame's former president, Father Ted Hesburgh, and Chicago's former archbishop, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin.

In his speech, he praised Notre Dame for being, in the words of Father Hesburgh, both a lighthouse and a crossroads. "The lighthouse that stands apart, shining with the wisdom of the Catholic tradition, while the crossroads is where 'differences of culture and religion and conviction can coexist with friendship, civility, hospitality and especially love.'"


May 18th, 2009
09:39 AM ET

Judge says Alton Telegraph must disclose two who posted online

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Robert Kelly
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The Alton Telegraph must provide authorities with the identities of two people who put comments about a murder investigation on the newspaper's website, a judge ruled Friday.

But Madison County Circuit Judge Richard Tognarelli, said the names of three others who posted comments need not be disclosed because what they wrote appears to be irrelevant.

The paper sued to quash subpoenas for the information, contending the identities of the five people were protected by an Illinois law shielding journalists from disclosing their sources.

Tognarelli wrote that the law "does not address the applicability of the Act to online bloggers." He said that is up to the Legislature.

Officials contended that posting comments on a newspaper website does not make someone a news source.

Missouri has no equivalent law.


Filed under: 360º Follow • Crime & Punishment • Snitching
May 18th, 2009
09:00 AM ET

War on women in Congo

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Eve Ensler
Special to CNN

I write today on behalf of countless V-Day activists worldwide, and in solidarity with my many Congolese sisters and brothers who demand justice and an end to rape and war.

It is my hope that these words and those of others will break the silence and break open a sea of action to move Congolese women toward peace, safety and freedom.

My play, "The Vagina Monologues," opened my eyes to the world inside this world. Everywhere I traveled with it scores of women lined up to tell me of their rapes, incest, beatings, mutilations. It was because of this that over 11 years ago we launched V-Day, a worldwide movement to end violence against women and girls.

The movement has spread like wildfire to 130 countries, raising $70 million. I have visited and revisited the rape mines of the world, from defined war zones like Bosnia, Afghanistan and Haiti to the domestic battlegrounds in colleges and communities throughout North America, Europe and the world. My in-box - and heart - have been jammed with stories every hour of every day for over a decade.

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May 18th, 2009
08:45 AM ET

Dear President Obama #119: Speaking in tongues

Reporter's Note: President Obama gave his speech at Notre Dame, and now he wants us to give him something: ideas on how to run the country. To that end, and since I have not been invited to give any graduation speeches, I am writing a letter each day to the White House.

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Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

I must say for all the sturm and drang over your Notre Dame speech, you handled it beautifully. Giving a good speech is an art and I’m always surprised by how many politicians are bad at it. So many are so utterly inept, I often hear my colleagues in the media heaping praise on a mediocre performance simply because it is too depressing to say, “Well, once again Old Marble Mouth seems to have stumbled into the company of an infinite number of monkeys with typewriters.”

You, however, as I and several million of your fellow Americans have noted before, are a genuinely gifted speaker and it showed at South Bend. On the other hand, did you say enough to change anyone’s mind? That is the tree falling in the empty woods question, I suppose.

A friend of mine used to be involved in these side-show debate events; you know, the kind where a big mouth conservative and a big mouth liberal square off at a university to throw chairs at each other for an hour and call it a discussion. One typical night, he and his opposing partner were cheered and booed by hundreds of involved citizens with the same restraint you’d expect from a bunch of 1930’s farm hands at a State Fair bawdy show. Afterward, as he and his pal left, the other guy said, “So do you suppose either one of us changed even a single mind?” Then the fellow just laughed, shook his head and walked away.


May 18th, 2009
08:35 AM ET

Why Obama should release photos

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Fawaz A. Gerges
Special to CNN

Justifying his dramatic reversal of the decision to release photos showing abuse of detainees by U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, President Obama argued publication would "further inflame anti-American opinion and put our troops in greater danger."

In fact, world opinion, particularly that of Muslims, would likely view the release of these horror images as representing a rupture for the better in American politics and foreign policy. America would be seen as reclaiming its high moral compass and affirming its respect for human dignity.

Taking ownership of and responsibility for the Bush administration's actions, horrible and painful as they are, will reinforce Obama's break with his predecessor and his new message to the U.S. public and international community: The United States is a good citizen of the world, a nation of laws that fully complies with the laws of war. In the eyes of friends and foes, the president's new message would gain more traction and credibility.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • President Barack Obama • Torture
May 18th, 2009
07:42 AM ET

Sound Off: Your comments 5/15/09

Editor's Note: AC360° viewers wrote in with their opinions on Nancy Pelosi and if she knew about the waterboarding. Some feel that too much emphasis is being put on who knew what and when they knew it. A few wrote in about the “Stop Snitchin” segment saying that people don’t go to the police because the police can’t protect them. FULL POST

Filed under: Behind The Scenes
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