August 4th, 2009
11:15 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Bill Clinton in North Korea

In a North Korean official photo, President Clinton receives flowers on his arrival Tuesday in Pyongyang.

In a North Korean official photo, President Clinton receives flowers on his arrival Tuesday in Pyongyang.

Eliza Browning
AC360° Associate Producer

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton landed in North Korea on a mission to negotiate the release of two American journalists – Laura Ling and Euna Lee – who have been imprisoned in the country since March. Both Lee and Ling are reporters for the Current TV, a media organization launched by Al Gore. They were sentenced to 12 years of hard labor in June. Clinton is in Pyongyang trying to negotiate their release. We’ll dig into what his visit means for the fate Ling and Lee, and how they’re families are working for their release back at home.

We’re also taking a look at a disturbing trend in Pakistan. The Pakistani government says young boys are being trained by the Taliban to become suicide bombers. CNN’s Stan Grant talks to 12 boys who were kidnapped by the Taliban in order to become walking suicide bombs. They boys told Stan that they were stolen from their families, abused, beaten and brainwashed by the Taliban. The Pakistan army says they rescued the youngsters during heavy fighting with the Taliban in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. More about their experiences tonight.

And today is President Obama’s 48th birthday. Will there be a party in the White House to celebrate? Well, we’re not sure if it’s meant to be a party – but the Pres and VP will host a lunch for the Senate Democratic Caucus to talk about health care, the economy, energy legislation and the infamous “Cash for Clunkers” program. We don’t expect to see balloons and pin-the-tail on the donkey at that party, but maybe they’ll have cake…

More on the Manson murders tonight. Everyone knows about the infamous Charles Manson, but who were his disciples also behind the 1969 killing spree? As part of our five-part series this week on the Manson murders, tonight we take a look at the members of his clan. Ted Rowlands will tell us their stories, their punishments and their current pleas for parole. After 40 years, some of them are asking for forgiveness and freedom? Do they have a chance of being set free? One expert on the crime argues that Leslie Van Houten, one of the Manson “girls,” be paroled. Tune in tonight.

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

Filed under: Eliza Browning • The Buzz
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Ruby Coria LA., CA.

    The White House, along with the Clinton's, among others did this smooth move.. Bill just had to do the rest of the smooth talking & take smooth pictures.. I'm super Happy for the Family's! We should have a Welcome Home Party, with Bill playing the saxophone.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  2. Linda B., Ga.

    I think this trip has been in the making between Pres. Obama and Former Pres. Clinton. You just don't get on a plane and fly over to N. Korea, before ALL your eggs are neatly placed, in the basket. It will be wonderful IF these two individuals are released to Pres. Clinton. Perhaps they will watch where they step/tread, in the future, we aren't talking about little children. Bless their hearts though IF they are released.....

    August 4, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  3. mitch

    we all know hes going there to make his wife feel better after the name calling incedent

    August 4, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  4. Eugenia

    God damn guys, we have a 6.9 in Mexico and CNN does not even post it on their website. If it was any bigger, do you realize the impacts it would have on Southern California? Maybe it just pisses me off because i'm actually down here right now!

    August 4, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  5. Fed Up

    Why don't they send Joe Biden? What is Bidens job anyway?

    August 4, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  6. Kristen, MD

    Cindy how exactly do you know what the Obama administration was doing? I doubt the administration had nothing to do with Clinton going over to North Korea. We all want both women home safe and soon so chill out.

    August 4, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  7. Lori

    Sounds like a good show! Too bad about pin the tail on the donkey though. See you tonight. :0)

    August 4, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  8. Mary E.

    Will you be discussing how the actions of these two women have affected U.S.-N. Korean relations? Is it standard for journalists to go anywhere they want and not expect to be subjected to those government's laws? (However arcane we as Americans consider them.)

    August 4, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  9. sistergerl

    This is my very first blog.....I think it is great that former President Clinton is in North Korea. President Obama is brilliant to use the skills and previous relationships made by Clinton during his reign as president. Simply brilliant.


    August 4, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  10. Michelle D . Fonthill. Ont

    Good Morning Eliza

    I pray that Former Pres Clinton will be sucessful in getting the women relaesed .It's been terrible for thier families and i hope he can negiociate this and they can get home soon . Happy Birthday Pres Obama he has a slot of issues on his plate not just cake but it doesn't sound like a sweet deal with all of the economy jobs and healthcare i hope they can fix this sooner rather than later .

    Thanks for the buzz

    Michelle D.

    August 4, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  11. Cindy

    Well it's about time that someone went over to N. Korea and tried a little diplomacy to get Lee and Ling out of there! Glad Bill stepped up to the plate since it seems Obama's administration wasn't doing anything. But what happened to Al Gore going? I thought he said he would since they work for him. HMM..guess he's too busy pimping his green lifestyle huh? LOL

    Hopefully Bill can talk some sense into them and have the girls out and home very soon.


    August 4, 2009 at 10:22 am |