July 8th, 2009
11:13 PM ET
July 8th, 2009
11:00 PM ET

Ghana visit to highlight effective governance, says Obama

Program Note: President Barack Obama travels to Ghana this weekend and Anderson will sit down with him in Ghana's captial, Accra, for an exclusive interview. Tune in to AC360º at 10 P.M. et Monday to watch the interview and for full coverage of the President's trip.

[cnn-photo-caption image="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/05/17/obama.ghana/art.obamaghana.gi.jpg" caption="President Obama will travel to Ghana for two days after the G8 Summit."]

Charles Cobb Jr., Tami Hultman and Reed Kramer

"Lifting up successful models" of democracy in Africa encourages more democracy on the continent, President Barack Obama told AllAfrica Thursday, explaining why he chose the West African nation of Ghana as the first sub-Saharan African country he would visit next week as President of the United States.

"Countries that are governed well…where leadership recognizes that they are accountable to the people and that institutions are stronger than any one person have a track record of producing results for the people", the president said. Ghana's new president, John Atta Mills, has demonstrated "the kinds of democratic commitments that ensure stability in a country. And we want to highlight that."

The pace of progress to good governance is uneven, Mr. Obama acknowledged. "In my father's own country of Kenya, I'm concerned about how political parties do not seem to be moving into a permanent reconciliation that would allow the country to move forward. And Kenya is not alone."

Africa is a place of "extraordinary promise," Obama told AllAfrica, but is "not going to to be able to fulfill those promises unless we see better governance."


Filed under: Africa • President Barack Obama
July 8th, 2009
10:16 PM ET

Sister hears from detained journalist in North Korea

[cnn-photo-caption image="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/08/art.lisa.ling.intv.jpg"%5D


After weeks of silence, the sister of one of the two American journalists imprisoned in North Korea finally got a phone call.

"It was only the first time I had heard her voice in weeks. ... I was so relieved but I feel so helpless," Lisa Ling, a CNN contributor, told affiliate KOVR in an interview Wednesday. "Because as an older sister, a best friend, a self-professed 'doer,' it's just difficult to know I cannot do anything to bring her home."

Ling said she spoke to her sister, Laura Ling, over the phone Tuesday night. Laura Ling and Euna Lee were sentenced in June to 12 years in prison on charges of illegally entering the country to conduct a smear campaign.

Lisa Ling is hoping the arrests will push the United States and the reclusive communist nation to engage in diplomatic talks.

"I know that our government has been working behind the scenes very hard trying to bring the girls back home," she said. But she added, "Our countries don't talk, and perhaps this could be a reason."


Filed under: 360º Follow • North Korea
July 8th, 2009
10:08 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 7/8/09

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

The memorial service is over, but there are new twists in the investigation surrounding Michael Jackson’s death. There’s also word tonight that the Jackson family tried an intervention to get Michael to stop using drugs. Overseas, President Obama is meeting with the world’s economic powers in Italy for the G8 conference where the global financial crisis is taking center stage. Weigh in on these and other stories.

Want to know 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 $#&*)

Filed under: Live Blog • T1
July 8th, 2009
09:28 PM ET

Fans gather to remember McNair

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more from David Mattingly on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

CNN's David Mattingly outside LP Field in Nashville.

David Mattingly | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

If LP Field in Nashville had a roof on it, then Steve McNair would have blown it off. I walked through the stadium talking to fans who had gathered to remember him after his scandalous death.

Everyone told me they are saddened by the lurid details of his personal life, but want to remember him as the star quarterback who took them to a Super Bowl.

Some memories can't be tainted.

July 8th, 2009
07:01 PM ET

Evening Buzz: New twists in Jackson investigation

[cnn-photo-caption image="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/07/08/jackson.dermatologist/art.klein.gi.jpg" caption="When asked if he were the father of Jackson's oldest children, Klein said 'not to the best of my knowledge.'"]

Anna Duning
AC360º Intern

The memorial service is over, but there are new twists in the investigation surrounding Michael Jackson’s death. “To the best of my knowledge, I’m not the father of these children,” Dr. Arnold Klein, Jackson’s dermatologist, told ABC News this morning. It was a strange response, provoking questions about Klein’s relationship with the biological mother of Jackson’s two oldest children, Debbie Rowe, who worked in Klein’s office for 23 years.

Dr. Klein will be a guest on Larry King Live tonight. Don’t miss the interview on CNN at 9pm ET followed by AC360° at 10pm ET. Randi Kaye is working this story for us tonight. A source tells her that Dr. Klein is on a list of doctors investigators want to talk with as they look into the cause of Jackson’s death. We’ll have the late breaking details.

There’s also word tonight that the Jackson family tried an intervention to get Michael to stop using drugs. Drew Griffin will have that angle.

Overseas, President Obama is meeting with the world’s economic powers in Italy for the G8 conference where the global financial crisis is taking center stage. Mr. Obama is pushing foreign leaders to deliver stimulus packages abroad, but back inside the beltway, he took hard hits today from GOP congressional leaders. They’re concerned the $7.87 billion stimulus bill isn’t working at home and scrutinized the White House for overstating its ability to “save” and “create” jobs. We’ll have the raw politics.

And outgoing Alaska Governor Sarah Palin said it herself: she’s not a quitter, but then what is she up to next? In her surprise announcement last week, she mentioned she’s resigning because of a host of accusations of ethics violations, which are costly and time consuming for her and the state. Tonight, we’ll look over those accusations lobbied at Palin.

We’ll also take you to Nashville, where police are calling the death of former NFL star Steve McNair a murder- suicide. Police revealed today that McNair was shot two times in the head and two times in the chest. Then they say McNair’s 20-year-old girlfriend Sahel Kazemi turned the gun on herself with a fatal bullet to her head. What might have led Kazemi to commit this crime of passion? And, keep in mind, McNair’s wife says she had no idea her husband had a girlfriend. Criminologist James Fox chimes in on this case.

We’ll have all this and more starting at 10pm ET. See you then!

July 8th, 2009
05:43 PM ET

A biography of Steve McNair

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/07/08/mcnair.shooting/art.steve.mcnair.gi.jpg caption="Steve McNair, 36, spent 13 seasons in the NFL, the majority with the Tennessee Titans."]
Wayne Drash

The killing of former NFL quarterback Steve McNair has been classified as a murder-suicide carried out by his girlfriend, Nashville police Chief Ronal Serpas said Wednesday.

To read about McNair's background and career highlights, click here.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Crime & Punishment
July 8th, 2009
05:42 PM ET

Video: McNair murdered by girlfriend

Program Note: Watch 360° correspondent David Mattingly's full report tonight on AC360° 10p ET.

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Crime & Punishment
July 8th, 2009
05:15 PM ET

Beat 360° 7/8/09

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:

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (R) greet one another at the Guardia Di Finanza School of Coppito on July 8, 2009 in L'Aquila, Italy. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/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
July 8th, 2009
05:13 PM ET
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