June 16th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 06/16/09

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Tonight on 360°, dueling mass rallies in Iran. In the captial, tens of thousands gather in support of Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It's the only rally shown on Iranian TV today. There were chants of "Death to America." There were large crowds, elsewhere, protesting the election. But the government is cracking down on the rallies and reporters. We'll have the latest.

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 16th, 2009
09:37 PM ET

Video: Father Cutie in Miami

David Puente
AC360° Producer

Father Alberto Cutie, who millions of Hispanics know simply as El Padre Alberto, has married the woman that he called “the love of his life”. The charismatic Miami priest left the Catholic Church after photos of him kissing his girlfriend – now his wife – on the beach were published in a magazine.

Father Alberto left the Catholic Church last month to become an Episcopal priest. Now many believe the Episcopal Church will become better known and more popular especially with Hispanics who know Father Alberto from his radio and TV broadcasts across the US and Latin America. He's been dubbed "Father Oprah."

June 16th, 2009
09:17 PM ET

State Department to Twitter: Keep Iranian tweets coming

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Elise Labott
CNN State Department Producer

The halls of Foggy Bottom are ringing with the Tweets coming with Iran and the State Department is working to ensure they keep coming.

Senior officials say the State Department is working with Twitter and other social networking sites to ensure Iranians are able to continue to communicate to each other and the outside world.

By necessity, the US is staying hands off of the election drama playing out in Iran, and officials say they are not providing messages to Iranians or "quarterbacking" the disputed election process.

But they do want to make sure the technology is able to play its sorely-needed role in the crisis, which is why the State Department is advising social networking sites to make sure their networks stay up and running for Iranians to use them and helping them stay ahead of anyone who would try to shut them down.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Elise Labott • Technology
June 16th, 2009
08:57 PM ET

For Dems: In disunity there is strength, and maybe comprehensive health care reform

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Robert Zimmerman
AC360° Contributor and CNN Political Analyst

When I was reviewing the Senate races with a member of the Senate Democratic leadership in October of 2008, I was told that there was good news and bad news. The good news was that we could come close to 60 seats. The bad news was that approximately 10 of the potentially new senators voted like Republicans.

When I discussed this on CNN, Democrats were upset with me for undermining the sacred party unity theme, and Republicans claimed that I was just trying to counter the argument that the Senate would soon become an extreme liberal bastion. That experience just proved to me that when both parties criticize you, you are probably on to something.

Even before President Obama took the oath of office, that "something" came into focus. While the political pundits and media were focusing on the speculation around presidential appointments, the new Democratic majority in the United States Senate cast its first major policy vote on January 15, 2009.

The issue was whether or not to release the second half of the financial industry bailout fund. The vote did not receive extensive media attention and analysis, but was indicative of the new climate on Capitol Hill. President-elect Obama personally lobbied new and senior senators for this vote. Lawrence Summers, director-designate of the White House National Economic Council, made three visits to the Capitol and sent two letters to senators with his assurances that the program would be run with tough oversight and better management. When all was said and done, it took six Republicans to join with 46 Democratic senators in order to give the President-elect the 52 votes he needed for passage.


Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Democrats • Health Care • Raw Politics • Robert Zimmerman
June 16th, 2009
07:00 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Pot in National Parks

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight, we continue our AC 360° special report America's High: The Case For and Against Pot. We'll take you to a national park where authorities say illegal immigrants are hard at work growing marijuana. Investigators say the heavily armed immigrants work for the Mexican drug cartels.

You'll also meet the so-called "pot doc" in California.  See how he helps patients get medical marijuana.

And, two experts with different views on marijuana share their views on this hot topics. They may the case for why marijuana should and should not be legalized.

Feel free to share your thoughts on this below.

Also tonight, we have an exclusive 360° interview with the families of Laura Ling and Euna Lee. The two American journalists were sentenced to 12 years of hard labor in North Korea. Today the country's state-run news agency unveiled the purported evidence against them. We'll share details on their reports.

And, we'll have the latest on the unrest in Iran.

Join us for all this and more starting at 10pm ET.
See you then!

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
June 16th, 2009
06:27 PM ET

Beat 360° 6/16/09

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:

US First Lady Michelle Obama and some of the 36 fifth grade students help in the kitchen at the White House in Washington, DC. (Photo credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/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: 360° Radar • Beat 360° • T1
June 16th, 2009
04:37 PM ET

Photo Gallery: Images from Iran

A demonstrator who was shot during a protest demonstration in the streets of the capital Tehran, Iran, on 15 June 2009. The rally was attended by hundreds of thousands of Iranians who protested against alleged election fraud at the presidential election which led to the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Protesters burn a car and attack a building of a pro-government militia (Basij) base near a protest demonstration in the streets of the capital Tehran, Iran, on 15 June 2009. The rally was attended by hundreds of thousands of Iranians who protested against alleged election fraud at the presidential election which led to the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.


June 16th, 2009
03:20 PM ET
June 16th, 2009
02:21 PM ET

Financial dispatch: Chrysler turns the key

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Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

Seven weeks after going bankrupt, Chrysler will soon be making cars again - and the first models off the line could cost more than $90,000.

The newly-formed Chrysler Group announced yesterday that it’s restarting one factory - the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit - which employs 115 people.

That’s the plant that makes the Dodge Viper sports car. The Viper has a 600 horsepower V-10 engine and a manufacturer’s suggested retail price tag that starts at $91,220. Only 25,000 Vipers have been sold since the car debuted in 1992.

One interesting note: The old Chrysler sought out Italy’s Fiat as a partner for its fuel-efficient technology. But the first car expected off the line from the new Chrysler – the Viper – gets an estimated 13 mpg in city driving.

GM finds buyer for Saab

 Bankrupt automaker General Motors has reached a preliminary agreement to sell its money-losing Saab unit to Swedish sportscar maker Koenigsegg.

The deal would see Saab, which was put up for sale earlier this year, emerge from two decades under the umbrella of GM.


Filed under: Andrew Torgan • Economy • Gas Prices • GM
June 16th, 2009
12:08 PM ET

N. Korea: U.S. journalists were creating 'smear campaign'

Program Note: Tonight in an exclusive interview, Anderson speaks with Laura's and Euna's family members, Lisa Ling, Iain Clayton and Michael Saldate. Hear what they have to say about this latest news out of North Korea on the fates of Laura and Euna on AC 360º at 10 P.M. ET.

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North Korea's state media released a "detailed report" Tuesday claiming that American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee entered the country illegally in order to record material for a "smear campaign" against the reclusive communist state.

It added that the two women "admitted that what they did were criminal acts ... prompted by the political motive to isolate and stifle the socialist system of the DPRK by faking up moving images aimed at falsifying its human rights performance and hurling slanders and calumnies at it."

Ling and Lee were sentenced this month to 12 years of hard labor in North Korea.

They were arrested in March for "having illegally trespassed into the border of the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea, as North Korea is officially known] and committed hostile acts against it for which they were tried."

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak urged North Korea to release the two journalists Tuesday in a joint appearance with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House. Obama did not mention them. Relations between North and South Korea are extremely tense.

Keep reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • North Korea
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