May 28th, 2009
07:57 PM ET

Why South Koreans don’t worry about Kim Jong Il

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/05/28/art.southkorea.reaction.jpg caption="Despite a declaration of war from North Korea, many South Koreans seem unfazed."]

Sohn Jie-Ae
CNN Seoul Correspondent

Despite its declaration of war, North Korea is just not on the minds of many South Koreans.

People on the streets of Seoul have been calm, and going about business as usual. No sign of fear.

And overnight - at 4 A.M. - 200 South Korean soccer fans were fixated on a movie screen, watching a soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona.

North Korea's threats were not keeping these South Koreans from cheering on the first Korean, in fact the first Asian, playing in the European championship finals.

"Park Ji-Sung! Park Ji-Sung!" The crowd chanted his name while waving the red and yellow flag of his team, the world-famous "Man U".

I asked one fan for his thoughts about North Korea and his eyes seemed to glaze over as he tried to re-channel his thoughts to a subject that he obviously had not been thinking about. A long pause. "I don't have any," he finally said.

I'm getting a lot of that as we gauge reaction in the streets.

Even non-soccer fans aren't discussing North Korea. The news everyone is talking about is the suicide death of former South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun.


May 28th, 2009
06:24 PM ET

Sotomayor – too much empathy?

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Bill Mears
CNN Supreme Court Senior Producer

Quite a bit of talk today about ‘”empathy” and whether that is a desirable quality in a judge/justice. Is there a pattern in Sotomayor’s rulings that would signal such sympathies? Here are samples from my research…

Cases where "empathy" or lack of it could be cited by opponents:

2000 – Ruled partly in favor of Yvette Cruz, Hispanic woman who alleged a co-worker at Coach Stores made lewd remarks and subjected her to sexual harassment. Upheld the harassment claims, but Sotomayor rejected the woman's claims she was fired because of her ethnicity.

2001 – She sided with a federal prisoner who sued a contractor running the facility because guards allegedly made him climb stairs, despite knowing he had a heart condition. He later had a heart attack. The man was in a halfway house for securities fraud. Sotomayor concluded, under her reading of a 1971 Scotus precedent, contractors could be sued the same as federal employees. Scotus later reversed.

2005 – Judge allowed a class action suit by Merrill Lynch shareholders who alleged fraud by company officials. Scotus in 2006 unanimously overturned, concluding federal law gave enforcement power to SEC, leaving no venue for lawsuits under state fraud laws.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
May 28th, 2009
05:45 PM ET

Blasts in northwest Pakistan kill 8, including children

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/05/28/pakistan.peshawar.blast/art.peshawar.bomb.afp.gi.jpg caption="Smoke billows from a fire at the site of a marketplace bomb in Peshawar, Pakistan, on Thursday."]

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.

Peshawar is the capital of North West Frontier Province, an area where the military has launched a massive operation against Taliban militants.

The carnage began early in the evening when timed explosive devices on two parked motorcycles exploded back-to-back, killing five people at two crowded, adjacent bazaars, said Shafqat Malik, Peshawar bomb disposal squad chief. He told a local TV station each device weighed about 3 kilograms (7 pounds).

Two children were among the dead, according to the district coordination officer of Peshawar District, Sahib Zada Muhammad Anis Khan.

Khan said at least 74 people were wounded in the attacks, which occurred about 5:45 p.m. in central Peshawar. The markets, Qissa Khawani and Kabari, are part of the larger Khyber Bazaar. The Kabari Bazaar sells DVDs, music cassettes and televisions.

After the bazaar attacks, several of the suspects fled to a rooftop where there was a gunbattle between them and police. Two of the suspected militants were killed, and two were taken into custody, police said


Filed under: 360° Radar • Pakistan • Taliban
May 28th, 2009
05:39 PM ET

The call to ministry should not include celibacy

Editor's Note: Father Alberto Cutie, an internationally known Catholic priest who admitted having a romantic affair and breaking his vow of celibacy, is joining the Episcopal Church to be with the woman he loves, he said Thursday.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/05/28/florida.priest/art.cutie.wltv.jpg caption="Father Alberto Cutie broke the celibacy vow and joined the Episcopal Church."]

Joe and Joan Koechler
Voice of the Faithful

Our first thoughts are congratulations to Father Cutié. We are sure he thought long and hard in coming to his decision. He can now be married and remain in ministry.

In the history of the Church, the celibacy requirement for priests is "relatively" recent – only in the last thousand years! The early Church, as shown in the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, evidences a married leadership (including Peter). (And note, there is no reference to "priests" in the New Testament.)

The Bishop of Miami noted that celibacy does have a role. It allows for total dedication of life to ministry. However, try to tell anyone with a career that marriage prevents dedication to that career. The reasons for celibacy are probably more nuanced. At the time the formal rule of celibacy was declared there were issues of property inheritance and gross abuses related to sexuality. And there had been a long theological theme going back to St. Augustine equating sexual relationships with baser instincts and evil inclinations, but needed for procreation.

Our conviction today is that the Catholic Church needs to recognize that the call to ministry is not restricted to a celibate clergy. And we need to recognize that the call to ministry comes from our communities as in the early Church where ministers were appointed by the local community with the subsequent blessing of the local Church leaders. Our tradition confirms this: our Eastern Rite churches have married clergy. The current practice of accepting Anglican and Episcopal priests into Catholicism with their wives and families moves us in the direction of a married clergy. The practice of most religions shows the value of a married clergy. Frankly, sometimes we believe that the current rule is meant to place marriage in a secondary role as a church sacrament, no matter what documents exist that extol the sacramental nature of marriage. (If you want confirmation that marriage has a second class status in our church, look at office of married deacon re-established after the Second Vatican Council – if a deacon's wife dies he may not remarry!)


May 28th, 2009
05:07 PM ET

Beat 360° 5/28/09

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:

Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City poses with Elmo at the 7th annual gala benefiting Sesame Workshop at Cipriani 42nd Street on May 27, 2009 in New York City.

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 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

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/05/15/barron.why.celibacy/art.barron.wordonfire.jpg caption="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.


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-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/americas/05/26/mexico.michoacan/art.michoacan.afp.gi.jpg]


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.


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

Harvard student linked to Kirkland shooting denies involvement

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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.


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.

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