[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/07/02/afghanistan.operation.sword/art.afghanistan.surge.gi.jpg caption="U.S. Marines gather for a briefing in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on Wednesday."]
AC360° Associate Producer
U.S. troops launched a major offensive in southern Afghanistan today. Operation Khanjar (which apparently means ‘strike of the sword’) includes about 4,000 Americans and 650 Afghan soldiers and targets militants in the Helmand province, a Taliban stronghold and poppy-growing region.
This is the largest offensive since the Pentagon started moving additional troops into Afghanistan earlier this year and it’s the first big move on U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s watch. He took over as the allied commander last month. Nic Robertson has been following this story for awhile and will tell us more about the operation and how it’s different from previous efforts.
We heard reports earlier this morning that North Korea test-fired four short-range missiles of its east coast today. A U.S. official told CNN that the “missile firings come as no surprise.” Are you concerned about North Korea’s nuclear capabilities?
Anderson is in Los Angeles where he’ll have the latest news on the investigation into Michael Jackson’s death. We learned yesterday that the Drug Enforcement Administration will look into whether or not prescription drugs were involved. DEA agents could investigate various doctors involved with Jackson, their practices and their possible sources of medicine supply.
And are you finding it hard to keep track of the developments in the Michael Jackson story? You’re not alone. Plans seem to change by the minute about when and where Jackson might be memorialized. We’ll give you all the facts tonight.
In South Carolina, the resignation drumbeat grows louder by the day. GOP state senators continue to call for Gov. Mark Sanford to step down after admitting an extramarital affair. Sanford and his staff have repeatedly said this week that he will not resign. Do you think Sanford’s confessions cross the line into “TMI” (too much information)? The governor definitely seems to be baring it all.
And did you hear about the 14-year-old French girl who survived the plane crash in the Indian Ocean earlier this week? Her father says she could barely swim and yet somehow she managed to stay alive in rough waters for hours. Her father says she “didn’t feel a thing.” Now that’s a story. We’ll tell you more about the miracle girl tonight at 10 p.m. ET. See you then.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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