July 30th, 2009
10:20 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Brewing diplomacy at the White House

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/07/30/gates.arrest.recap/art.crowley.obama.gates.afp.gi.jpg caption="President Obama has invited police Sgt. James Crowley and Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates for beer."]

Eliza Browning
AC360° Associate Producer

Tonight President Obama will host a “beer summit” at the White House for Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley. They’re planning on hanging out at the picnic table just outside the Oval Office at 6:00 p.m. This sip fest is expected to bring closure to a national debate on race relations that erupted after the Cambridge Police officer arrested the African American academic when he broke into his own house two weeks ago. Beyond the symbolism of the event, what do you think the meeting will accomplish? And for all of you wondering about the ale of choice - White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said yesterday that the President will drink Bud Light, Professor Gates will opt for Red Stripe, and Sgt. Crowley will drink Blue Moon.

We’re following the latest developments in Michael Jackson’s custody case. Jackson’s ex-wife – and the mother of his two oldest children – Debbie Rowe, has agreed not to fight for custody of the kids. Katherine Jackson, Michael’s 79-year-old mother, gained temporary guardianship of her son’s three children after his death last month and a custody hearing is set for Monday before an LA County Superior Court Judge. Randi Kaye is following the story in LA and will report more tonight.

The more we learn about Michael Jackson’s death investigation, the more complex a picture of his medical treatment continues to emerge. Jackson’s alleged dependence on medical treatments has prompted us to look at how easy it can be to gain access to certain drugs. And regulations vary from state to state. Florida has earned a reputation for having comparatively lax regulations when it comes to the distribution of pain medication. Joe Johns looks into the state’s “pill mills,” talks to drug enforcement agents and learns about what steps Florida’s lawmakers are taking to curb the ease of gaining access to drugs.

We’re also watching Iran today. The Iranian opposition is planning on holding a “silent memorial” for victims of the post-election violence in defiance of a government ban on the gathering. The memorial will be held at the graveside of Neda Agha-Soltan, the young woman shot to death during the protests. The ceremony coincides with the end of the 40-day mourning period since her slaying.

And what are the benefits of going organic? A new study says there really aren’t any. Despite the common assumption that eating organic food is a healthy move, a report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition claims that organic food has no nutritional or health benefits over ordinary food. So will you think twice before spending the extra few dollars for organic milk? We’ll dig deeper tonight.

What else are you following? Let us know and tune in at 10 p.m. ET!

Filed under: Eliza Browning • The Buzz
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Lisa

    We heard plenty of the comments made by Sgt. Crowley during the news conference following the meeting. Where is the news coverage asking Mr. Gates about his thoughts on the results of the meeting?

    July 30, 2009 at 11:57 pm |
  2. tom

    Is taxpayers paying the fly tickets and beer for " beer summit " ?

    July 30, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  3. Michelle Johnson, Lomita, CA

    AC360 is airing more sensational stories, but I like that; it's entertaining. With some more energy and a faster pace, the show should attract a lot more viewers. The Florida Pill Mills picture is full of different colors, shapes, and sizes. I looked at it for awhile. Don't see how the AJCN can say that natural, real food without preservatives and additives has no benefits over processed edibles loaded with chemicals. The stories all sound interesting, and the memorial for Neda will add a serious note, reminding us of the important issues in the world.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  4. Marie F PIERRE

    Dear cindi... Ga

    It is alright to move on after the " beer party " at the white house, for we cannot dwell on the past for ever. However, people should not and will not stop reacting over the racial issues, because the problem of racism has not yet been resolved.

    By the way, notice that, another police officer has juste compared professor Gates to a " Banana-eating Monkey jungle "... Of course he did appologized... to every-one including his inter-racial co-workers !

    Any one who have ever seen th0se movies : " Las rosas blancas para mi hermana negra " , translated : white roses for my black sister; and also " nord et sud " , translated : north and south, wich is an american movie of many years ago, will understand that racism is sometimes, an unconcoius problem until a situation raised up...

    I cannot wait for ac360, don lemon, and of course the king on cnn to night !

    July 30, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  5. Michelle D . Fonthill. Ont

    Good Afternoon

    The beer gathering was an nice gesture but it won't solve anything and racial tensions will still be arising i'm afaraid to say . I'm glad Katherine Jackson got custody and the kids will be well cared for as for Debbie Rowe she couldn't care less anyway and she problobly won't see them very much .

    July 30, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  6. Sharon S

    I WOULD NEVER APOLOGIZE TO GATES NEVER!!! He does NOT deserve any apology!! He needs to apologize to the Cambridge Police for his STUPID ACTIONS!!
    Gates is a complete IDIOT and so is Obama and we all see How really STUPID Obama is each and every day his real lack of intelligence shows more and more!!!

    July 30, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  7. Sharon S

    This is the biggest waste of news time I have ever witnessed!! WHO CARES!!! Gates is plainly an idiot and Obama is one too both acted very STUPID!!
    Gates should have been happy that he has neighbors who care and that the police came in a timely manner to save his home from a breakin but NO Mr Gates decides to show his ignorance and make a full out of not only himself but Obama stepped right up to that plate with him with his "STUPID" words showing yet again this is the DUMBEST man we have ever had in office!!!
    So this whole story just needs to go away!!
    What about the healthcare scam being shoved down our throats???
    What about the illegal immigrants who won't be penalized if found working illegally in this country???
    What about some REAL STORIES or did you forget how to report REAL News???

    July 30, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  8. kader

    I was watching the press conference by the Boston police commissioner and I don't understand why the cameraman had to show that the audience was black. Indeed, he stayed focused a lot longer on the audience than I usually see on CNN! Furthermore, it came right after a thunderbolt of hand claps hit the room following one of the minister's points.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  9. Jaymes

    I do not believe the beer summit will ease racial profile. However they're all men, and how do men deal with their problems?
    A. Fighting
    B. Laughing and Beer
    C. Fighting and Beer
    The summit should help with this case, but as humans, not just Americans we will stay face racial profiling.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  10. Andrew

    Can someone explain to me what this has to do with getting a good health care system going? Will it create jobs? Will it bring troops home? Probably not... hopefully the tab does not come out of tarp money

    July 30, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  11. Heather,ca

    I feel bad for the cop who will be pressured by the president to appologize when he did nothing wrong. All Obama cares about is looking good . He's turning this into a farce. I feel bad for neighbor who called. All Obaba cares about is being popular and liked. He doesn't understand the job description nor what the institution of the presidency is. Its embarassing.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  12. denise

    The "beer" conversation is a wonderful gesture. BUT, my experiences as a member of a bi-racial couple tell me that this is far from the end. Racial Profiling by police is alive and well. We've had to bite our tounges till they bled. Also I work with Law Enforcement on a daily basis. The majority are truly blue angels, but there are a few who should be doing construction work.

    July 30, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  13. James Hulme

    Micromanagement never works well.

    July 30, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  14. Cindy

    After this "beer summit" I hope this Gates story goes away! It's a waste of our time. There are plenty of other things going on now that are WAY more important that we should be seeing on 360.

    If the truth be known the Jackson's probably gave Rowe money to go away. That's all she is interested in anyway. That's all she's wanted from day one. She could care less about those kids.

    So far it seems thousands have shown up for the 40th day memorial of Neda;'s death and the police are trying to break it up.


    July 30, 2009 at 10:34 am |