July 2nd, 2009
04:17 PM ET
July 2nd, 2009
03:54 PM ET
July 2nd, 2009
03:51 PM ET

The Al Sharpton war room

Producer Chuck Hadad sits with Rev. Al Sharpton in the office of Sharpton's Harlem headquarters.

Al Sharpton on his way to the Apollo Theater.

Al Sharpton and company host his daily radio show inside the Apollo Theater.

Al Sharpton and Spike Lee do some glad-handing outside the Apollo Theater.
Editor's Note: AC360° Producer Chuck Hadad tagged along with Rev. Al Sharpton as he planned and attended Tuesday's memorial honoring Michael Jackson at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem. Here are some snapshots from the day.

Chuck Hadad
AC360° Producer

Right now, I'm riding shotgun with the ringmaster of the Michael Jackson media circus... Actually, to be more exact, I'm riding in the backseat.

We're on our way to the Apollo Theater in Reverend Al Sharpton's SUV and "the Rev," as his staff and others call him, has allowed 360° virtually unfettered access to every behind the scenes meeting, every phone call, every Facebook message, every text message and even every tweet.

With a story as fast-moving as the mystery and drama over Michael Jackson's death, managing this circus is a full-time job.

We started with Sharpton at dawn after he'd landed on a red-eye flight back from LA. He was on his way to do a segment with "Good Morning America," the first of 7 interviews before noon.

Sharpton has fielded calls from Jackson family attorney L. Londell McMillan on how to handle media questions about the custody of Jackson's kids and texted Spike Lee about today's tribute at the Apollo Theater.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Chuck Hadad • Michael Jackson
July 2nd, 2009
03:28 PM ET
July 2nd, 2009
03:26 PM ET

How do people survive airline crashes?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/TRAVEL/06/30/air.crash.survivors/art.crash.afp.gi.jpg caption="Part of a United Airlines DC-10 lies next to the runway in Sioux City, Iowa, after the plane crashed in July 1989."]
Jim Kavanagh

Reports of a lone child having survived Tuesday's crash of a Yemenia Airways flight in the Indian Ocean have people wondering: How does anyone survive a plane crash?

"I just don't think there's any pattern to survivability. It's just luck of the draw and depends on how the plane goes in," said aviation expert John Eakin, head of Air Data Research in Helotes, Texas.

Not counting Tuesday's disaster, there have been 12 airliner crashes since 1970 that yielded a sole survivor, according to data compiled by Dr. Todd Curtis, director of the Airsafe.com Foundation. Five of those survivors were minors and four were crew members, accounting for 75 percent of the total.

"I can't figure out for the life of me why crew members and children tend to be disproportionate in these sole-survivor events," Curtis said.

One factor favoring flight crew members is their location in the sturdy cockpit and proximity to windows, he said. Flight attendants often use shoulder harnesses when they are seated, aviation writer David Noland added.

Where one is seated is a factor only in that it helps to be far from the point of impact, Eakin said.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar
July 2nd, 2009
03:18 PM ET

New trial of the century?

[cnn-photo-caption image="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/06/26/jackson.legal.woes/art.mj.pjs.jpg" caption="Michael Jackson shows up for court during his 2005 child molestation trial."]

Marcia Clark
The Daily Beast

The biggest shock for me while covering the 2005 Michael Jackson trial for a television show and a magazine wasn’t the testimony, but rather what the pop star looked like when he arrived at the defendant’s table. Like everyone else, I’d seen the news footage and photographs documenting the step-by-step journey that took him farther from reality, but nothing prepared me for the sight of the wan, paper-thin, waif-like creature who stood just a few feet away. He looked barely alive even then.

So it wasn’t surprising to me when he died last week. What was a shock: the tidal wave of reporting that it was likely drug-induced. Not just a one-time tragic misstep, mind you, but the apparent result of a habit that cost upward of $48,000 a month—a habit that entailed daily doses of the powerful painkiller Demerol, and perhaps Diprivan, an intravenous anesthetic allowed only in hospitals. I wouldn’t have been a bit surprised to hear he’d been on muscle relaxants or low-level painkillers—dancers’ bodies usually don’t fare well over time. But the incessant wave of reports from Jackson confidants like Deepak Chopra leaves little room for doubt that this was no fluke, that this was a disaster long in the making. "When the autopsy comes, all hell's going to break loose,” Liza Minnelli told CBS, “so thank God we're celebrating him now."

Here’s the thing: Jackson couldn’t have gotten his hands on drugs like those, and certainly not in that quantity, unless there was a doctor in the house.


Filed under: Michael Jackson
July 2nd, 2009
01:46 PM ET

Iranian Student Leader: 'First They Kill, Then They Count'

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/07/01/analysis.iran.whats.next/art.art.run.afp.gi.jpg caption="The unrest following the disputed election led to riots on the streets and a brutal clampdown by authorities. "]
Golnaz Esfandiari

The Iranian government has reacted to the protests over the June 12 presidential election results with increased repression and force.

Over the past two weeks more than 1,000 reformist figures, political activists, journalists, students, and critics have been arrested in Iran. Some have been forced to make false confessions while others are reportedly under pressure.

A number of activists have been forced into hiding because of the crackdown. RFE/RL correspondent Golnaz Esfandiari spoke to one of them, a student leader, who discussed the postelection crisis and the future of the "Green" movement.

RFE/RL: A number of political activists have gone into hiding as a result of the postelection repression, but critics might say that this is the time when people such as yourself should work with others and be part of the movement for change in Iran. How would you respond to such criticism?

Student leader: Crises are a good opportunity for the establishment to repress the civil society with more force and prevent it from continuing its existence. Iran's establishment is facing a crisis on the domestic and international scene regarding its legitimacy and its acceptance; the establishment feels powerful only through the use of repression.

What happened in Iran in the June 12 vote is clearly visible in this context.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Iran
July 2nd, 2009
01:22 PM ET

Financial Dispatch: Unemployment rate hits 9.5%

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/money/2009/07/02/news/companies/jobs_june/chart_job_losses_070209.03.gif width=220 height=230]
Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

We got a wave of jobs data this morning ahead of the long holiday weekend – and most of it troubling as the labor market took a step backwards last month.

Employers trimmed 467,000 jobs from their payrolls in June, compared with a revised loss of 322,000 jobs in May. This was the first time in four months that the number of jobs lost rose from the prior month.

The unemployment rate, meanwhile, rose for the ninth straight month - climbing to 9.5% from 9.4% and hitting another 26-year high. But that was actually better than expectations.

However, the report contained even more discouraging data.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Finance • Gas Prices • Housing Market • Job Market
July 2nd, 2009
12:07 PM ET

Job losses: Who's hurting the most?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/03/art.job.line.fair.jpg]


The U.S. Department of Labor released unemployment numbers today and the results were worse than expected. The unemployment rate rose for the ninth straight month climbing to 9.5 percent. That's the highest rate since August 1983.

And last month the U.S. economy lost 467,000 jobs. This was the first time in four months that the number of jobs lost rose from the prior month.

Approximately 3.4 million jobs have been lost during the first half of 2009, more than the 3.1 million lost in all of 2008.

Here is a break down of the numbers, by demographic.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Economy • Job Market • Unemployment
July 2nd, 2009
11:37 AM ET

Morning Buzz: ‘Strike of the Sword’

[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."]

Eliza Browning
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?


Filed under: Eliza Browning • The Buzz
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