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May 28th, 2009
04:51 PM ET

Video: Back-to-back bomb blasts

Back-to-back bomb blasts in Peshawar, Pakistan, explode near where government forces have been battling Taliban fighters.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Pakistan
May 28th, 2009
03:49 PM ET

A case for celibacy for priests

Rev. Robert Barron
Special to CNN

The Rev. Robert Barron says celibacy sets the priest apart as a symbol of the world to come.

The Rev. Robert Barron says celibacy sets the priest apart as a symbol of the world to come.

The scandal surrounding the Rev. Alberto Cutie has raised questions in the minds of many concerning the Catholic Church's discipline of priestly celibacy. Why does the church continue to defend a practice that seems so unnatural and so unnecessary?

There is a very bad argument for celibacy, which has appeared throughout the tradition and which is, even today, defended by some. It goes something like this: Married life is spiritually suspect; priests, as religious leaders, should be spiritual athletes above reproach; therefore, priests shouldn't be married

This approach to the question is, in my judgment, not just stupid but dangerous, for it rests on presumptions that are repugnant to solid Christian doctrine. The biblical teaching on creation implies the essential integrity of the world and everything in it.

Genesis tells us that God found each thing he had made good and that he found the ensemble of creatures very good. Catholic theology, at its best, has always been resolutely, anti-dualist - and this means that matter, the body, marriage and sexual activity are never, in themselves, to be despised.

But there is more to the doctrine of creation than an affirmation of the goodness of the world. To say that the finite realm in its entirety is created is to imply that nothing in the universe is God. All aspects of created reality reflect God and bear traces of the divine goodness - just as every detail of a building gives evidence of the mind of the architect - but no creature and no collectivity of creatures is divine, just as no part of a structure is the architect.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Faith
May 28th, 2009
03:48 PM ET

Secret raids ensnare 10 mayors in Mexico

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

CNN

More than two dozen Mexican public servants, including 10 mayors and several police chiefs, allegedly linked to illicit drugs and organized crime were arrested in simultaneous raids in Michoacan state, its governor said.

The secrecy leading up to the arrests was so extensive, Gov. Leonel Godoy said, that even he did not know about them until after they began.

A major drug cartel, the Michoacan Family, was a focus of the six-month investigation, a spokesman for the federal attorney general's office said.

"This is an effort to take apart the protection nets that were operating in coordination with the Michoacan Family, an effort to recover the geographical spaces lost to the hands of organized crime," said Ricardo Najera.

The Michoacan Family has been blamed for numerous acts of violence in the country, including the killings last September of seven people and the wounding of more than 100 others.

Read more...


Filed under: Mexico
May 28th, 2009
02:11 PM ET

Harvard student linked to Kirkland shooting denies involvement

Eric P. Newcomer and June Q. Wu
The Harvard Crimson

Chanequa N. Campbell ’09—one of two Harvard students linked to last Monday’s shooting in Kirkland House—denied any involvement with the incident Tuesday and accused Harvard administrators of unjustly barring her from graduating next month because of her background.

Campbell—who lived in the Kirkland Annex where the shooting took place—received two letters last Friday from Harvard administrators informing her that she must leave campus and prohibiting her from attending all graduation activities, according to her lawyer, Jeffrey T. Karp. Campbell has denied any connection to the incident or involvement in dealing drugs to Harvard students, Karp said.

Two female Harvard students allowed the victim, 21-year-old Cambridge resident Justin Cosby, and three others involved in the incident to enter Kirkland, according to Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone, Jr. ’85.

Last Friday, New York songwriter Jabrai J. Copney, 20, pled not guilty to charges of first-degree murder for the May 18 shooting in Kirkland J-entryway that led to Cosby’s death early the next morning.

Copney, along with two unidentified individuals from New York, planned to scam Cosby out of drugs and money in his possession, Leone said, adding that police recovered a pound of marijuana and approximately $1,000 on or near Cosby after he had been shot.

Cosby has been linked to drug sales to Harvard students, The Crimson reported last Wednesday, citing multiple text messages sent to Harvard students from a phone registered to Cosby’s mother mentioning marijuana and suggesting that Cosby was engaged in its sale.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Gun Violence
May 28th, 2009
12:25 PM ET

Video: Odd couple on Prop 8

Attorneys David Boies and Ted Olson represented opposing sides in the 2000 election recount, but are now working together.

May 28th, 2009
12:23 PM ET

The arc of a justice

Judge Sonia Sotomayor would be the first Hispanic woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

Judge Sonia Sotomayor would be the first Hispanic woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

Jeffrey Toobin | Bio
CNN Senior Legal Analyst
New Yorker Columnist

Sixth Catholic. Second woman. Third New Yorker. (First from the Bronx. Ruth Bader Ginsburg hails from Brooklyn, Antonin Scalia from Queens.) First Hispanic. It’s understandable and appropriate to examine Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court according to the customary demographic designations. And it’s interesting, too, to learn (as we will at great length) about her remarkable personal story. (Raised in a single-parent home, in a housing project; summa cum laude at Princeton; Yale Law School; prosecutor under Robert Morgenthau.)

But it’s worth noting that the things we talk about now, during the confirmation process, tend to mean little down the road, when it really counts. John Paul Stevens had the opposite of a hard-luck story. (Raised in a luxury hotel in Chicago—the Stevens Hotel.) The question about Anthony Kennedy was whether he had resigned at the appropriate time from a restricted club. The National Organization for Women put out a leaflet that said, “Stop Souter—Or Women Will Die.” All of this was either irrelevant or (as with Souter) simply wrong. Only on rare occasions do we learn things of real importance—as we did, in 1991, about Clarence Thomas.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Jeffrey Toobin • Sonia Sotomayor
May 28th, 2009
11:40 AM ET

Financial Dispatch: GM strikes deal with bondholders

Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

The Treasury Department and a committee of major bondholders at General Motors have reached a deal that could give creditors a larger stake in GM than previously offered - as long as they agree not to fight the government's plans for a quick bankruptcy at GM.

The agreement, revealed in a SEC filing by GM early today, would essentially give the bondholders 10% of the company but also give them the rights to buy an additional 15% of the company's stock at a low price.

The deal is unlikely to allow GM to avoid bankruptcy, however.

In fact, the new offer is structured so that the assets of GM that would remain in bankruptcy would receive a 10% stake in a "new GM" that would be used to pay bondholders. The “old GM” would also technically receive the right to buy the 15% stake in the new company that emerges from bankruptcy.

FULL POST


Filed under: 360° Radar • Andrew Torgan • auto bailout • Economy • Finance • Housing Market • Unemployment
May 28th, 2009
11:00 AM ET

White House to media – don’t ask, just laugh

Dan Lothian
CNN White House Correspondent

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs always keeps a “foil“ in his pocket to wiggle out of tricky questions: sarcasm and comedy. There isn’t a briefing that goes by where he doesn’t use this tactic to deflect questions he really doesn’t want to answer.

When asked to give details on the Presidents upcoming visit with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, Gibbs declined to offer anything up. When the reporter followed with another query, Gibbs responded, “see previous answer.” That comment got a lot of laughs. In fact if you read the transcripts of the daily briefings, they are peppered with {laughter}.

With constant questions about when the President was going to announce his Supreme Court pick, or who that person would be, Gibbs decided to strike first at last Friday’s briefing. Just after taking his place at the podium, Gibbs announced, “at 6:30 tomorrow morning, (which was Saturday) the President will announce his Supreme Court nominee. As everyone laughed, Gibbs said “Gotcha!” He couldn’t contain himself as he described how the necks of reporters snapped. He asked for someone to “text me the name of a chiropractor.” There was more laughter.

FULL POST

May 28th, 2009
10:57 AM ET

Priest in compromising photos admits 2-year affair

Program Note: Tune in to AC360° tonight at 10 p.m. ET for more on the Alberto Cutie scandal.

CNN

An internationally known Catholic priest who was shown in photographs last week embracing a bathing-suit-clad woman on a Florida beach has admitted they had a two-year affair.

The Rev. Alberto Cutie - sometimes called "Father Oprah" because of the advice he gave on Spanish-language media - said Monday on CBS' "Early Show" that he is in love with the woman and is considering his options: Whether to break up with her or leave the priesthood and marry her. The woman, who has not been publicly identified, wants to get married, Cutie said.

The priest was removed from his duties last week at St. Francis De Sales Catholic Church in Miami Beach, Florida, and on the Radio Paz and Radio Peace networks.

"I take full responsibility for what I did, and I know it's wrong," he said Monday.

Read more...


Filed under: 360° Radar • Religion
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