June 23rd, 2009
10:35 PM ET

The missing governor and the SUV

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division vehicle believed to have been driven by Gov. Sanford to the airport.

Chuck Hadad
AC360° Producer

Our search for South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford has led us to the airport in Columbia, South Carolina and to this vehicle, a black Suburban.

Reports of where the Governor has been have varied widely since he went missing last Thursday. Finally, on Monday, his office issued a statement saying he was hiking on the Appalachian Trail.

Wherever he disappeared to, state officials acknowledge that he borrowed a South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) vehicle to get there.

CNN now believes that he drove to this airport and boarded a flight and this Suburban is the vehicle that got him here.

I'm standing next to the Suburban, and inside it, I'm seeing shorts, a sleeping bag, sunblock, sneakers and a canvas bag..

Which is puzzling... If you're on a camping trip, why would you leave items like that behind in the car?

Filed under: 360° Radar • Chuck Hadad • Raw Politics
June 23rd, 2009
10:14 PM ET

A US ambassador – in Syria again

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/03/10/obama.syria.analysis/art.bashar.al-assad.gi.jpg caption="Mideast peace envoy George Mitchell visited Syria two weeks ago, where he said he had 'serious and productive discussions' with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad."]

Elise Labott
State Department Producer

President Obama has decided to send a US ambassador back to Syria, a dramatic sign of reconciliation between the two countries, senior administration officials tell CNN. The announcement is expected to be made this week.

"It's in our interests to have an ambassador in Syria," a senior administration official told CNN Tuesday night. "We have been having more and more discussions and we need to have someone there to engage."

The official said that the decision was "not in any way" related to the election crisis in Iran, although the Obama administration has maintained engaging the Syrian regime could weaken Syria's strategic alliance with Iran.

Syrian Ambassador to the United States Imad Moustapha said his country had not formally been notified of the decision, but told CNN "if this is true it reflects the genuine desire by the United States of America to correct the past efforts of the Bush administration and engage Syria."


Filed under: Elise Labott • Global 360°
June 23rd, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 06/23/09

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/02/liveblogfinal.copy.jpg]

Tonight on 360°, new evidence Iran's government is tightening its grip. And, new evidence protesters are changing their tactics. Plus, tough talk from President Obama today on the uprising. We'll have all the angles.

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 23rd, 2009
08:49 PM ET

Get ready for Ahmadinejad's second term

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/06/23/iran.election/art.iranian.police.afp.gi.jpg caption="Iranian police stand guard Tuesday outside the British Embassy in Tehran during a protest."]

Kaveh L. Afrasiabi
Iranian Political Scientist and Author

Iran’s Guardian Council has been granted a five day extension before it announces the results of its investigation into allegations of fraud and irregularities in the presidential election. The council had agreed to a partial, random recount of 10 percent of the votes.

Because the Council spokesperson dismissed most complaints of pre-election irregularities, it is highly likely that the outcome will be a seal of approval favoring the incumbent, president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Therefore, despite the internal turmoil and continuing resistance by the reformists against what they consider ‘rigged’ elections, the outside world must reckon with the inevitability of a second term for the firebrand president who has the confidence of Iran 's spiritual leader, Ayatollah Khamenei.

The tremendous fissures of this race will reverberate throughout the Iranian political system, but the government's first priority should be internal peace. The question is whether or not it will achieve this, short of relying on brute force or a combination of force with soft power maneuvers aimed at neutralizing the simmering discontent witnessed in the streets of Tehran recently.


June 23rd, 2009
08:29 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Governor Takes a Hike

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/06/23/south.carolina.governor.hiking/art.mark.sanford.gi.jpg caption= "Gov. Mark Sanford was hiking along the Appalachian Trail, a spokesman said late Monday."]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Aides for South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford say they're stunned by all the fuss over his mysterious five-day disappearance. They say he's been hiking along the Appalachian Trail. But not everyone is buying the explanation.

Sanford is expected back in the office in Columbia, South Carolina tomorrow. Though, there are lingering questions. For one, aides are not saying where Stanford was on the 2,175-mile trail and whether his security detail was traveling with him. The trail goes thru 14 states, but not South Carolina.

The governor skipped out on Father's Day with his four sons. His wife even said yesterday she had no idea where he was over the weekend.

We sent 360's David Mattingly to South Carolina to dig deeper into this story. He'll have the latest on the governor's mysterious travels tonight on AC360°. David spoke to the state's first lady, Jenny Sanford, today after waiting for hours outside their family beach house. CLICK HERE for details on their conversation.

Stanford's supporters say it's not unusual for him to take off and be by himself at the end of the state's legislative session.

What do you think of the governor's disappearance? Fair or foul? Share your thoughts below.

Tonight, we'll also have the latest developments from Iran. Today at a White House news conference, Pres. Obama toughened his talk aimed at Tehran. He said he was "appalled" over the beatings of protesters. Some Republicans have criticized him for not be move vocal in support of the demonstrators. We'll look at that and the role woman are playing in uprising.

Joins us for these stories and much more starting at 10pm ET. See you then!

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
June 23rd, 2009
06:34 PM ET

Photo Gallery of Neda

CNN has obtained photos of Neda, the young Iranian woman shot and killed during the protests.

June 23rd, 2009
05:44 PM ET

Update: Searching for a governor...

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/23/art.mattingly.governor.jpg caption="David Mattingly stands at the end of the driveway to Gov. Sanford's beach house."]

David Mattingly
AC360° Correspondent

Our waiting paid off. About 3:30pm the wife of South Carolina's "missing" governor rode up the long driveway of the family's beach house and promptly asked me to leave.

Jenny Sanford seemed under stress and upset as she stepped out of the family's SUV with her young boys. She quickly ordered her children not to say anything to me.

I only had time to ask one question before she went inside: "Have you heard from your husband?"

She surprised me with an answer: "I am being a mom today. I have not heard from my husband. I am taking care of my children."

June 23rd, 2009
05:35 PM ET

Beat 360° 6/23/09

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:

A dog surfs during the 4th Annual Loews Coronado Bay Resort Surf Dog Competion in Imperial Beach, California, on June 20, 2009. (Photo credit: GABRIEL BOUYS/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 23rd, 2009
05:10 PM ET
June 23rd, 2009
04:36 PM ET

Women at forefront of Iranian protests

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/06/23/iran.women/art.iran.women.afp.gi.jpg caption="Women have taken to the streets of Tehran. "This shows the new face of Iran," one expert says."]
Golnaz Esfandiari
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

A woman named Neda has become an icon of the ongoing antigovernment protests in Iran.

Millions of people in Iran and throughout the world have now seen a graphic amateur video of Neda's apparent death on a street in central Tehran, after having been shot in the chest while attending one of the rallies with her father.

Some in Iran are calling for June 20, the day of the violent crackdown on protesters that was apparently Neda's last, to become known as "Neda's Day." Neda mean "voice" in Persian.

Neda was reportedly buried hastily in Tehran's Behesht Zahra cemetery on June 21. According to unconfirmed reports, authorities banned a mourning ceremony for her at a mosque in the capital today.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Iran
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