May 19th, 2009
11:59 PM ET

The King and I: CNN Style

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[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/05/05/larry.king.book.radio/art.radio.jpg caption="Larry is featured on a WKAT radio sales sheet from the 1960s."]

Jack Gray
AC360° Producer/Writer

I remember the first time I saw Larry King in person. It was the summer of 2004 at the Democratic National Convention in Boston. “Mr. King!” I shouted as I chased him down the hallway and gently placed him in a headlock, “May I have a photo?” Ever the class act, he graciously agreed, though he drew the line when I asked to try on his suspenders.

It was a moment for which I had been waiting my whole life…or at least since my grandparents got cable. While other kids my age were busy developing social skills, I sat wrapped in a quilt watching Larry King interview Elizabeth Taylor and her jewelry.

Afterwards I’d go upstairs to rehearse what I’d say to Larry on the inevitable night when I’d be a guest on his show:

Hi Larry, it’s so good to be here. I love your glasses frames. What’s that? Is it true that I’m having an affair with Shannen Doherty? Now, Larry, you know better than to ask about my love life. How about we just take some calls?

During the commercial breaks Larry and I would relax because, of course, we were buddies off-camera. We’d smoke cigarettes and talk about our mutual friends like Jon Bon Jovi and Florence Henderson.

It was a golden age.

Fast forward to 2009 and I’m still in awe of Larry King. It’s cliché to say he’s an icon, but he is. The memorable moments are too many to count. Interviews with the biggest stars, debates among the most important politicians. And, of course, that time he made out with Marlon Brando.


May 19th, 2009
09:47 PM ET

Mexico travel warning lifted, but U.S. Swine Flu cases keep rising

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David Puente
AC360° Producer

Health officials in the US are investigating two more possible deaths from the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu, a 16-month old toddler who died late yesterday in New York and a 44-year-old man who died today in Missouri. At the same time, they are also trying to confirm whether or not swine flu killed a New York assistant school principal. These deaths could bring the US death toll to nine.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said today nearly 10,000 people worldwide have been sickened by the virus. But the threshold which would make the WHO declare a global pandemic isn’t the number of cases, as much as it is how many regions are affected. Phase six of a pandemic alert kicks in if two or more world regions become affected. Right now we’re at phase five with most cases concentrated in Mexico and the US. Only three states have dodged the virus – Alaska, West Virginia and Wyoming.


Filed under: 360° Radar • David Puente • H1N1
May 19th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 05/19/09

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Tonight on 360°, breaking news on the search for a teenager with cancer. Daniel Hauser, 13, and his Mom are running from a court-ordered treatment for his Hodgkin's lymphoma. Doctors say he'll likely die without chemotherapy and radiation. So, why doesn't his Mom want him to get the treatment? We'll have the late breaking details on the case.

Don't miss Erica Hill's webcast on Daniel 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 19th, 2009
09:32 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Michael Vick Getting Out of Prison

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/05/19/vick.humane.society/art.vick.file.gi.jpg caption="Michael Vick, 28, is serving a 23-month sentence. He is expected to be released from prison tomorrow and go under house arrest."]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Convicted dog killer Michael Vick is getting out prison tomorrow. He'll serve out the remainder of his sentence under house arrest.

Tonight, we'll look at what the future may be like for the former NFL quarterback. He already has a new job. We'll tell you what he'll be up to in the months ahead.

We'll also show you how his surviving dogs are doing.

Do you think Vick has paid the price for his crime? Sound off below.

We'll also show you how Congress is cracking down on the credit card industry. It could cost you money. Yes, even if you have good credit, your rates could be going up. It's your money, your future. We'll have all the details.

And, the search is on for a teenager with cancer and his Mother who cops say are on the run tonight because they are refusing medical treatment that could save the boys life.

We'll have those stories and more at the top of the hour.

Join us at 10pm ET. See you then!

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
May 19th, 2009
07:33 PM ET

Obama drives a Ford hybrid - Sort of

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Ed Henry
CNN Senior White House Correspondent

WASHINGTON - It turns out President Obama puts his money where his mouth is when it comes to fuel efficient automobiles.

At a Rose Garden event announcing a major deal that creates a new national fuel efficiency standard on Tuesday, the President decided to note what he is in the driveway back in the Windy City.

"By the way, I just want to mention, I think I still have my Ford parked in Chicago," the President said to laughter from the crowd, which included the chiefs of competing auto companies like General Motors, Chrysler and Toyota. "It's a Ford hybrid, it runs great, you guys should take a look."

Though he quickly covered his bases by adding: "But there are also some outstanding hybrids - and energy-independent cars represented up here, so I didn't want to just advertise one."

The President's press secretary, Robert Gibbs, also advertised at his daily briefing Tuesday that he too drives a Ford Escape hybrid.

But unlike Gibbs, who drives his Ford to work, Obama of course doesn't get a chance to get behind the wheel anymore. "The Secret Service doesn't let him drive anymore, which I know he misses," Gibbs noted earlier this year.A smart political move to simultaneously tout the White House's ties to hybrids and American vehicles. Needless to say, Ford CEO Alan Mulally loves the high-level endorsements.

"We've been taking action to restructure ourselves for a number of years and we also have been investing more in our products, so right now, many people say we have the best family of vehicles," a beaming Mulally told CNN in an interview at the White House.

May 19th, 2009
06:42 PM ET

Text aid straight to Pakistan

Editor's Note: A series of explosions in northwest Pakistan killed eight people Thursday night, and two suspected militants died in a gunbattle with Peshawar police on a rooftop, authorities said. Earlier this month,  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced a way for people to text aid to the refugees in Pakistan. See that story below and learn more about the situation tonight on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/05/07/pakistan.fleeing.the.fight/art.pakistan.refugees.jpg caption="These children are among the thousands of refugees this week at the Jalozai camp in western Pakistan. "]

Charley Keyes

CNN Senior Producer

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived at the State Department promising what she called 21st century tools to meet global problems. It turns out you may have one of those tools in your pocket right now.

Tuesday Clinton enabled every American with a cellphone to help some two million Pakistanis driven from their homes in and around the Swat Valley in the battle against the Taliban. A quick text message from your personal phone sends in a $5 donation. This is in addition to the $100-million U.S. government aid package Clinton went to the White House to announce on Tuesday.

“Now, Americans can use technology to help, as well. Using your cell phones, Americans can text the word "swat" - to the number 20222 and make a $5 contribution that will help the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees provide tents, clothing, food, and medicine to hundreds of thousands of affected people,” Clinton said Tuesday in the White House briefing room.

Clinton tried it out herself, off camera. “And before I came over here, we did that in the State Department. So we are making some of the first donations to this fund.”


Filed under: 360° Radar • Hillary Clinton • Pakistan
May 19th, 2009
06:27 PM ET

Scenarios abound in speculation about upcoming high court vacancy

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Bill Mears
CNN Supreme Court Producer

The Constitution gives the president the exclusive power to nominate members of the Supreme Court. But it does not guarantee the political process will run smoothly for him or his nominee.

Forces beyond his control often shape the tough choice the chief executive must make - history left to the whim of a thousand "what-if" scenarios. Past confirmation battles offer some, but by no means definitive, guidance to who will be chosen and why.

Speculation over vacancies has always been present, but the ideological balance of the current court and recent partisanship of judicial confirmations has brought a perhaps unprecedented intensity to the process.

In the 220 years since the U.S. Constitution took effect, only 110 people have sat on the Supreme Court, an average of exactly one new justice every two years. The president may select whomever he wants - the Constitution provides no pre-qualifications - but it is no surprise every justice either was a lawyer or held a law degree. The current court is the first time all nine members were federal appeals court judges just prior to their elevation to the high court.

It has been more than three years since the latest justice took the bench, and a pent-up sense of anticipation has greeted President Barack Obama's upcoming decision on a replacement for retiring Justice David Souter. It will be the first choice by a Democratic president in 15 years. In Washington, an unofficial parlor game of sorts has developed over who the next nominee will be.

"You don't have the sense the White House is itching for a fight. To the contrary, they are trying to consult very widely," said Thomas Goldstein, a leading appellate attorney and co-founder of scotusblog.com. "But on the other hand they are not shying away from people that they are being warned off of.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Supreme Court
May 19th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Girl With Cancer Reunites With Family as State Gives Up Custody

Editor's Note: A judge issued an arrest warrant Tuesday for the mother of a 13-year-old boy resisting chemotherapy after the pair missed a court hearing on his welfare. Judge John Rodenberg also ordered that Daniel Hauser be placed in protective custody so he can get proper medical treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma.  Parent's rights are a significant topic in medical ethics. The story linked below, describes one family's experience in 2005. What do you think? We'll have more on this tonight at 10 p.m.

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Ralph Blumenthal
The New York Times

Promising to seek the best cancer treatment possible for their 13-year-old daughter, Katie, her parents, Edward and Michele Wernecke, reclaimed her from a hospital here on Thursday, reuniting a family separated by a judge's order five months ago.

"We're grateful Katie's going to be home with us," Mr. Wernecke, a rancher from Corpus Christi, said outside the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

He deplored their depiction by the Texas authorities as negligent parents simply because they objected to the radiation treatment that doctors said their daughter needed for Hodgkin's disease.

"We will do our best to get the finest treatment in the world to get her cured and back to normal again," Mr. Wernecke said.

In addition to continuing chemotherapy for Katie, he said, they are taking her to a nutritional clinic in Kansas next week for evaluation and possible vitamin C treatments.

Katie had little to say. Life away from her family, she said, has been boring. Asked how her pets were doing, she said, "I haven't been home lately, so I don't know."


Filed under: 360° Radar • Health Care
May 19th, 2009
05:40 PM ET

Beat 360° 5/19/09

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:

US President Barack Obama greets California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger during a press conference announcing fuel efficiency standards in the Rose Garden of the White House May 19, 2009 in Washington, DC.

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.

__________________________________________________________________________________ Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
May 19th, 2009
04:57 PM ET

Today's U.S. map of Swine Flu outbreaks

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more on the status of the H1N1 influenza from Dr. Sanjay Gupta on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

The number of confirmed H1N1 flu cases worldwide is nearing 10,000, the World Health Organization said Tuesday morning.

Commonly known as swine flu, the outbreak has sickened 9,830 people and caused at least 79 deaths - mostly in Mexico, the organization said. The actual number of people affected may be higher, as it takes time for national governments to confirm cases and report them to the global body.

In the United States, at least 5,469 cases of swine flu have been reported, according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC has linked six deaths to the outbreak; health officials in New York have connected a seventh death to the disease.

Go to the CDC site to find more information about the H1N1 outbreak, by location.

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • H1N1 • Public Health
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