May 22nd, 2009
11:29 PM ET

Former mayor defending the KKK?

In a 2005 interview with Anderson Cooper, the ex-mayor of Philadelphia, Mississippi shares his thoughts on the 1964 slayings of three civil rights workers.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Anderson Cooper • Race in America
May 22nd, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 05/22/09

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Tonight on 360°, a Supreme Court pick. There's word President Obama could soon announce who he wants to appoint to America's highest court. The pick would replace Justice David Souter who announced his retirement earlier this month. We'll give you a look at some of the top contenders.

Don't miss Erica Hill's webcast 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</strong

Filed under: Live Blog • T1
May 22nd, 2009
08:59 PM ET

A teenager's life – still in a FEMA trailer

Sean Callebs
CNN Gulf Bureau Correspondent

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The trailers are not supposed to be there.. In fact, the last of them are supposed to go away by the end of May.  And many people are making the transition from trailers back into homes. But some people say they still need these trailers, and are fighting to keep them. 

"It's scary because I could become homeless," says Patsy Robin, who lives in a trailer with her daughter Carly.

Carly has spent her teenage years living in that trailer. Can you imagine the teenage girls you know being asked to live in 200 cramped square feet with their mom.  Teens want privacy, some space.  Carly hasn't gotten any:

"Some dances, homecoming dances, i have gotten ready in a trailer. It was not fun," Carly tells me. "I dont really invite friends over because it is so small."

Carly flew in a Blackhawk helicopter before she ever flew on an airplane.  The military evacuated her and her mom, five days after the levees gave way.  That trip made a big impression on Carly.  She wants to join the Air Force. 

 Why haven't they been able to find a new home over four years?  Many people think that should be plenty of time. But here's the problem:

 Patsy Robin says contractors took her 45-thousand dollars and left town.  I have no trouble believing that.  It is amazing how many people in New Orleans were ripped off months after fighting the government and insurance companies for money.   And government red tape has made it impossible, she says, to get a new home. 

 The only reason the Robins have a prayer of moving back into a house is that they reached out to the St. Bernard Project.  The non-profit has helped rebuild more than 215 homes.  Project co-founder Zack Rosenburg says “No one wants to live in a FEMA trailer.”

Filed under: 360° Radar
May 22nd, 2009
08:22 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Small Town, Big Change

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Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

It's been an historic week in Philadelphia, Mississippi, a town better known for one of the ugliest chapters of the civil rights movement.  For the first time, Philadelphia, Mississippi elected an African-American Mayor. Tonight, we'll introduce you to James Young.

"Who would have thought a little 'ole country boy like me would be Mayor of Philadelphia, Mississippi in '09? I couldnt even have wrote that in a fairy tale, " Young told CNN's Ed Lavandera.

Flashback to 1964 and you'll understand why Young said what he did.

That was when three civil rights workers were ambushed and murdered on a country road near Philadelphia. The story of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner's deaths are immortalized in the movie "Mississippi Burning."

Jim Prince, the publisher of Neshoba Democrat, a local newspaper, says that wound is finally healing.

"This city is 55 percent white so the fact that Philadelphia, Mississippi with its notorious past could elect a black man as Mayor, it might be time to quit picking on Philadelphia," said Prince.

Join us for this story and much more tonight on AC360°, starting at 10pm ET.

And, have a fabulous holiday weekend!

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
May 22nd, 2009
08:21 PM ET

Pope Benedict launches Facebook and iPhone apps

Adam Ostrow

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If Barack Obama is the YouTube President, then Pope Benedict XVI might just be the social media pontiff. The Pope launched a YouTube channel last year, and now, he’s getting onto Facebook, with the launch of his own application, called Pope2You.

Pope2You actually encompasses more than just a Facebook app. There’s now a website that links followers to the existing YouTube Channel, the new Facebook application, and an iPhone app as well.

I’ve found the Facebook app a bit buggy in trying to test it out this morning, but the Vatican describes it like this:  “Pope2You for Facebook lets you receive the messages of Pope Benedict XVI through the most important social network of the world. So you can meet the Pope on Facebook, listen to his words, see his pictures, receive his messages of congratulations through “virtual postcards”. The postcards can be sent to your “friends” on Facebook and the application can be shared with anyone.”


Filed under: 360° Radar
May 22nd, 2009
07:54 PM ET

Analysts: Tweaks may not save Congress’ failed foreclosure fix

Alexandra Andrews

The Hope for Homeowners program was created by Congress last summer to help an estimated 400,000 homeowners avoid foreclosure. But it could more aptly be called the Hope for A Homeowner program, given that just one has used it successfully since its October launch.

But silver linings are hard to come by these days, so we might as well point out that she is one satisfied customer.

“What a relief!” the lucky homeowner from Litchfield Park, Ariz., wrote to her mortgage bank, NationsChoice, in February. “An extra $542 in monthly savings and a $100,000+ principal reduction sure is a relief. Thank you!”

Hope for Homeowners was designed to give people who couldn’t afford their mortgage payments a chance to refinance into a 30-year, fixed-rate loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration, even if they owed more than their home was worth. But the lender would need to reduce the amount the borrower owed before the FHA, a division of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, would insure the loan.

The program has been a flop. But Congress and the administration are trying to rescue it, envisioning it as a key component of the government’s campaign to curb foreclosures. On Wednesday, President Obama signed a bill that includes improvements to the program.

Some think this is a mistake.


Filed under: 360° Radar
May 22nd, 2009
05:50 PM ET

AAA: Memorial Day to spark rebound in travel

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The Business Review

AAA predicts Memorial Day travel will rebound this year.

Far lower gas prices coupled with deeply discounted hotel rates, should lead 32.4 million Americans to travel at least 50 miles from home over the holiday weekend, AAA said. That would be an increase of 1.5 percent from last year.

“The good news is sharply lower gasoline prices and plentiful travel bargains have Americans feeling better about taking a road trip this summer,” said Robert Darbelnet, AAA president and chief executive.

According to AAA, retail gas prices average $2.26 a gallon nationwide, down from a high of $4.11 in July 2008.

AAA said it does not expect the national price of gas to go above $2.50 per gallon this summer.

The number of Americans planning to travel by car is expected to hit 27 million, accounting for 83 percent of those taking trips. Airline travel is expected to fall 1 percent despite a projected 4 percent decline in airfares.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Memorial Day • Travel
May 22nd, 2009
05:25 PM ET

Beat 360° 5/22/09

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:

President Barack Obama reacts to seeing speechwriter Cody Keenan dressed up as a pirate outside the Oval Office. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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 22nd, 2009
04:21 PM ET

U.N.: $450M needed to help uprooted Pakistanis


[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/05/22/pakistan.refugees.appeal/art.refugees.camp.afp.gi.jpg caption="Displaced civilians line up for a meal at Chota Lahore camp in Swabi district."]

Nearly a half-billion dollars in "urgent contributions" are needed, the United Nations said Friday to aid displaced Pakistanis whose numbers are nearing 2 million.

More than $450 million is needed to meet the overall appeal for $543 million, the U.N. refugee agency said.

It added that almost $86 million has been provided or committed, so far.

Pakistan recently secured pledges from international donors for billions of dollars worth of aid to bolster the government of President Asif Ali Zardari.

Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that Washington would rush an additional $110 million in humanitarian assistance to help the Pakistanis who have been forced to flee their home as the Pakistani military confronts Taliban militants in northwestern Pakistan.

Two American military cargo jets arrived at an airbase close to the Pakistani capital Wednesday, carrying air-conditioned tents and pre-packaged meals.

Meanwhile, Britain pledged an additional £10 million Friday, for a total of £22 million ($35 million), to address the humanitarian situation in Pakistan.


Filed under: Pakistan • Taliban
May 22nd, 2009
03:36 PM ET

Ridge: Disappointed in Obama

Former Bush Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge tells John King that Pres. Obama is looking backward, not forward.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Raw Politics
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