May 31st, 2009
10:00 PM ET

Doctor who performed abortions shot to death

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/05/31/kansas.doctor.killed/art.tiller.kake.jpg caption="Dr. George Tiller was one of the few U.S. physicians that performed late-term abortions."]


Dr. George Tiller, whose Kansas women's clinic frequently took center stage in the U.S. debate over abortion, was shot and killed while serving as an usher at his Wichita church Sunday morning, police said.

Wichita police said a 51-year-old man from the Kansas City, Kansas, area was in custody in connection with the slaying of Tiller, who was one of the few U.S. physicians who still performed late-term abortions.

The killing, which came about 16 years after Tiller survived a shooting outside his Wichita clinic, took place shortly after 10 a.m. Sunday at Reformation Lutheran Church. Officers found the 67-year-old dead in the foyer, police said.

Witnesses provided a description of the car and a license number of the killer's getaway vehicle, Wichita police spokesman Gordon Bassham said. Police stopped a blue Ford Taurus matching the description about three hours later in Gardner, about 30 miles southwest of Kansas City, and took the driver into custody.

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May 31st, 2009
07:55 AM ET

Dear President Obama #132: So where is the safe house?

Reporter's Note: The President wants idea from normal Americans on how to run the country. In fairness, most normal Americans don’t spend a lot of time writing letters to the leader of the free world. Still, community service is a worthwhile goal, so I continue my effort to write a letter a day to the White House, no matter how abnormal that may be.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/05/28/cyber.czar.obama/art.obama.gi.jpg]

Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

You may have noticed that my trip to New Orleans this week put me on something of a tear about my love for that city, and while I don’t want to beat the topic to death, there is a little matter which has been troubling me on that front for some time.

One of the most pointed complaints I heard right after Katrina and continue to hear to this day from folks outside of the city goes like this: If people are stupid enough to build in a place that can be flooded, they deserve what they get and the rest of us should do nothing to help them when disaster strikes. It’s their problem.

I think such blanket statements about what happened in Louisiana belie an oversimplification that seems not merely harsh, but unreasonable. Because based on the logic of “it’s their problem,” much of America should rightfully be abandoned.

Under this argument, one could say that when terrorists hit New York we not only should have discouraged rebuilding, but also should have ordered the dispersal out of populations from every major city in the country on grounds that they present attractive targets. Manhattan is even an island, for crying out loud!