June 3rd, 2009
09:46 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 06/03/09

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Tonight on 360°, the final minutes inside doomed Air France Flight 447. We have new details on what seems to have happened inside the cockpit just before the jet plunged into the Atlantic Ocean.

Want to know what else we're covering tonight? Read EVENING BUZZ

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. 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
June 3rd, 2009
09:43 PM ET

What the President SHOULD say in Cairo

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Arsalan Iftikhar | BIO
AC360° Contributor
Founder, TheMuslimGuy.com

Today, President Obama will be in Cairo, Egypt where he will give his first major address to the Muslim world.

President Obama should use his speech to show American respect for Muslims worldwide - from the streets of Cairo to the streets of Chicago.

"I thought it was very important to come to the place where Islam began and to seek his majesty's counsel and to discuss with him many of the issues that we confront here in the Middle East," President Obama said today from Saudi Arabia, his first stop on a five-day tour of the Middle East and Europe.

During a January 2009 television interview with Al-Arabiya network channel, President Obama said that it was, "My job is to communicate the fact that the United States has a stake in the well-being of the Muslim world, that the language we use has to be a language of respect…I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries…"


June 3rd, 2009
08:24 PM ET

Purported bin Laden tape slams U.S. role in Pakistan

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/06/03/bin.laden.message/art.obl.filer.gi.jpg caption="Osama bin Laden is seen in an image taken from a videotape that aired on Al-Jazeera in September 2003."]


The emergence of a purported statement from al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden about U.S. policy in Pakistan as the U.S. president embarks on a major trip to Muslim countries is no coincidence, the White House spokesman and a counterterrorism official say.

"I think the reports we've seen are consistent with messages we've seen in the past from al Qaeda threatening the U.S. and other countries that are involved in counter-terrorism efforts," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters Wednesday.

"But I don't think it's surprising that al Qaeda would want to shift attention away from the president's historic efforts and continued efforts to reach out and have an open dialogue with the Muslim world."

A U.S. counterterrorism official, asked about the statement, said bin Laden "has timed the release of tapes to major events so it is not surprising that he picked this particular week."

Al-Jazeera, the Arabic-language TV network that aired the message on Wednesday, said the statement was "a voice recording by bin Laden." As for the tape's authenticity, a CNN analysis said the voice does indeed sound like the leader of the terrorist network that attacked the United States on September 11, 2001. The counterterrorism official said "there has never been a fake Bin Laden tape."

The message comes as Obama begins his trip to the Middle East, visiting Saudi Arabia on Wednesday and, in Egypt on Thursday, making a major speech to the Muslim world.

Read more

Filed under: 360° Radar • Global 360°
June 3rd, 2009
08:06 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Pres. Obama's Message to Muslims

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Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight, a look at what's at stake with Pres. Obama's speech tomorrow to the world's 1.5 billion Muslims. He'll deliver his message from Cairo, Egypt. But just as he's getting ready to speak, it's believed Osama bin Laden has issued another audio recording threatening America.

We'll talk with CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen about the new message from the al Qaeda leader. Bergen has incredible insight on the most wanted man on the planet. He's one of the few Westerners to ever meet bin Laden face to face.

Also tonight, new details on doomed Air France Flight 447. We have a time line of what seems to have gone down in the cockpit before the jet crashed into the Atlantic.

And, happening right now in North Korea, a secret trial on the fate of two Americans. Will North Korea free journalists Lisa Ling and Euna Lee? We'll talk with their family members on the fight to free the two women.

Join us for these stories and much more starting right now on CNN.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
June 3rd, 2009
06:30 PM ET

Sotomayor 'racist'? Hispanic leaders weigh in

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David Puente
AC360° Producer

Initially he called Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor a “reverse racist” and wanted her to withdraw from consideration. Newt Gingrich has apologized for his choice of words. Some, including President Obama himself, believe Judge Sotomayor would have also chosen some of her past words differently if she had the chance.

In the conservative magazine Human Events, Gingrich writes this week: "My initial reaction was strong and direct - perhaps too strong and too direct. ... Since then, some who want to have an open and honest consideration of Judge Sotomayor's fitness to serve on the nation's highest court have been critical of my word choice. ... The word 'racist' should not have been applied to Judge Sotomayor as a person, even if her words themselves are unacceptable."

According to Gloria Borger, senior political analyst for CNN, Gingrich's apology came because he was feeling the heat from his own party whose members are trying to avoid personal name calling.

Newt Gingrich and others called Sotomayor a racist after learning about her now infamous statement, "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."


Filed under: 360° Radar • David Puente • Sonia Sotomayor
June 3rd, 2009
06:09 PM ET

The risks of reporting around the world

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Throughout the world,  journalists face detainment, kidnapping and even execution for their work. In 2008, the Committee to Protect Jounalists (CPJ) reported 125 cases of imprisonmnent  and in 2009 so far, CPJ has confirmed the deaths of 14 journalists in eight countries.

To learn more about individual cases, visit CPJ's website.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Global 360°
June 3rd, 2009
05:25 PM ET

Beat 360° 6/3/09

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:

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke sits at the witness table while participating in a House Budget Committee on Capitol Hill June 3, 3009 in Washington, DC. The committee is hearing testimony from Chairman Bernanke on the outlook of the US economy. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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
June 3rd, 2009
05:07 PM ET

GM lawsuits thrown out?

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Editor's Note: Tune in tonight for an exclusive story on Amanda Dinnigan's case against GM on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

Robert Dinnigan is worried what will happen to his daughter Amanda if GM goes bankrupt this week.

Not because he works there – but because he's suing them.

He and hundreds of others who've taken GM and Chrysler to court for injuries they blame on defects are worried they'll end up with nothing to pay their loved one's medical bills if the companies go belly up.

Many are debating settling their case for far less than they'd get in court.

In Dinnigan's case, he says a faulty seatbelt in a GMC Envoy failed to protect 8-year-old Amanda, who's now a quadriplegic.

He estimates her health care costs to be $500,000 a year.

"It's a very big concern right now," said Dinnigan, 47, an ironworker in Local 361, who has assembled a mini-intensive care unit in his Smithtown, L.I., home for Amanda.

Their lawsuit is still in the early stages and because he'd be considered an unsecured creditor, he'd go to the very bottom of the list of claimants against GM in bankruptcy court. And even if there is a settlement or verdict in the Dinnigans' favor, they might collect only pennies on the dollar.


Filed under: 360° Radar • GM
June 3rd, 2009
04:57 PM ET

A look at North Korean law for U.S. travelers

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The  State Department

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States. Local laws also may not afford the protections available to U.S. citizens under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking local laws can be more severe than those in the United States for similar offenses.

Persons violating the law, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession of, use of, or trafficking in illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders often face long jail sentences and heavy fines.

North Korean security personnel may view unescorted travel inside North Korea by Americans who do not have explicit official authorization as espionage, especially when the U.S. citizens are originally from South Korea or are thought to understand the Korean language.

Security personnel may also view any attempt to engage in unauthorized conversations with a North Korean citizen as espionage. Foreigners are subject to fines or arrest for unauthorized currency transactions or for shopping at stores not designated for foreigners. It is a criminal act in North Korea to show disrespect to the country's current and former leaders, Kim Jong-Il and Kim Il-Sung, respectively. Foreign journalists have been threatened when questioning the policies or public statements of the DPRK or the actions of the current leadership.


Filed under: 360° Radar • North Korea
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