August 6th, 2009
05:44 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Americans Freed

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/08/05/nkorea.journalists/art.family.afp.gi.jpg aption= "The families of Euna Lee, left, and Laura Ling greet them Wednesday in California."]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Join us for an AC360° exclusive tonight. You'll hear from Lisa Ling, the sister of Laura, who along with Euna Lee, arrived back in the U.S. yesterday after being  freed from 12 years of hard labor in North Korea. That's after former Pres. Bill Clinton's surprise visit to Pyongyang. What was it like for the Ling family during the 140 days Laura was held in captivity? And, how are Laura and Euna doing now that they're back home? Don't miss Laura's first interview since her sister's release.

Pakistan's most wanted man may be dead tonight after a U.S. drone attack. His name is Baitullah Mehsud. He's Pakistan's Taliban leader. He has quite the resume of suspected offenses.  He's best known for allegedly being behind the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was gunned down at a political rally in December 2008. Bhutto's widower, Asif Ali Zardari, is the current president of Pakistan. We'll have more on the suspected killing of Mehsud tonight on 360°.

Back here at home, from 8-10pm ET on CNN don't miss the National Report Card on Pres. Obama's second 100 days in office. Across the nation, CNN viewers are grading Mr. Obama on how he's handling the economy, health care and other issues (Click here for details on the report card). Tonight on 360° will be digging deeper on his presidency and give you unique perspective from a group of women voters. When Gary Tuchman met them just before the election last fall they were undecided voters and frustrated about the rhetoric on the campaign trail and the direction the country was heading. Nine months later, Gary has caught up again with this same group of women to see how they voted and to see if they think Pres. Obama has been successful in his first 200 days in office.

And, Sunday will mark the 40th anniversary of the Manson murders. We continue our week-long look at one of the most infamous killing sprees in U.S. history. Decades later, the fascination with Charles Manson endures. When his prison mug shot was released in March, millions viewed in online. And, "Helter Skelter" is still the number one selling true crime book of all-time. It was written by Vincent Bugliosi, the prosecutor, who put Manson in prison for life. Tonight, Ted Rowlands looks at the obsession with Manson.

Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10pm ET. See you then!

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Teresa, OH

    I am very glad the ladies are back in the US w/ their families and safe.
    These ladies are so very very fortunate. I know one day in captivity was too long but thank God they didnt have to do even one year.

    However, I admit there must be something wrong within my own head: I am sooooo ticked off at US citizens crossing the line into countries where they arent welcome even if for a "very, very brief " few moments. Why would N. Korea come after someone for stepping over the line for one minute and then stepping back into safe territory?
    And are these countries protecting their borders so carefully at all spots?? Why arent we?

    We travelling Americans are under the misnomer that we are FREE in all countries and that just aint so. How many more times will US citizens be so lucky? Thank you Bill Clinton : )

    August 7, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  2. SandraWI

    I'm happy their safe and home for the sake of their children.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:08 am |
  3. Carol from Arizonia

    I am so excited that finally the people of this wonderful country are learning to work together
    on important issues instead of constantly debating and complaining. To see our past presidents
    embracing each other for such a magnificent group effort in saving the two American ladies from a terrible fate
    gives me hope for the future of our leaders and all of us who follow them.
    Bravo!!! Bravo!!

    August 7, 2009 at 12:40 am |
  4. Sandra

    Not a day has passed that I have not thought of Euna Lee and Laura Ling since they were taken captive. I am profoundly relieved that these young women have been returned to us and deeply grateful to former President Bill Clinton for securing their release. I would encourage anyone critical of his efforts on their behalf to spend 140 days reflecting on the meaning of that most precious of American ideals – Liberty.

    August 6, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  5. Janine from PA.

    I'm glad the ladies are home but next time I think they need to use a GPS system that has any hostile country they are near marked so they know where they are. We did not need this kind of distraction away from our immediate problems.

    August 6, 2009 at 10:47 pm |
  6. kathy

    I think we showed the world that "united we stand"! That even a former President of the United States and those that went with him, were willing to fly around the world and meet with the head of N. Korea to free two American citizens. The look on the President's face, showed that it was an exhausting trip. Also, the trip was paid for by another American, Mr. Bing. Even though he is very wealthy, $200,000. is alot of money, and I understand that he did it without hesitation. I agree with David Gergen that we have showed a position of strength.
    Who really cares what John Bolton or those like him think?
    The women are finally home with their families. Lisa Ling said tonight that they were on N. Korean soil for about 30 seconds!

    August 6, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  7. Alan Young

    It is good to hear the facts, not negative subjective opinions. The facts are, the journalists were captured, they were sentenced to twelve years of hard labor, and a former president went to North Korea to ensure their release. Everyone is home, and happy, but some people want to read more into what is known. Until other facts arise, it is not good for outsiders to draw down, what is a happy moment for the families involved, or speculate political ramifications. What is wrong with compromise or detente? Communication is good for everyone, including feuding politicians. I believe we call that philosophy. Can we have a Cronkite moment?

    August 6, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  8. Rob

    Two smart, educated, traveled jounalists that 'briefly' touched into North Korea. Somehow I feel they knew exactly what they were doing and unfortunately had to deal with the consequences. Another example of arrogance and attitude that got out of hand.

    August 6, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  9. jim mellsanis

    I feel President Clinton really stepped up and did an awesome job. A lot of people feel we gave in to terrorists, ask the families what they think of that question – they are the most important key to this. To lose loved ones is not acceptable in any form., Well done President Clinton

    August 6, 2009 at 10:01 pm |
  10. Geoffrey- Washington, DC

    As someone in the field working in a potentially dangerous environment, such as Laura Ling, Euna Lee, and Michael Ware do reporters really accept the fact that they may be kidnapped, detained, arrested, etc.? Albeit great that Laura and Euna got back to the States yesterday, I feel like they can’t believe that this happened to them. Is this not a calculated risk that you take as a journalist even if you think that you did nothing wrong? I personally like to get off the beaten track and when I do I assume that I am taking a risk and that something may happen even if I am not trying to do something illegal. By all account, the border between China and North Korea is either one of two rivers so it should be extremely clear where you can and cannot go. So what really happened, did the journalists cross into North Korea or did the North Korean border patrol/military cross into China? It has to be one or the other right? If they intentionally crossed into DPRK, should these journalists have expected to get "saved". I don't agree with the conservative pundits regarding giving away political capital by sending former President Clinton to meet with Kim Jong Il, although if that's me in that situation I would assume that I am going to have to take my punishment even if it's overly harsh. It seems that our media is sending out journalists without either proper preparation or restraint.

    August 6, 2009 at 9:53 pm |
  11. Joyce Jones

    I have been receiving polls for a month on " how do you rate Obama", These are useless be cause if I give a positive rating on Obama or the Health Care Bill they are not accepted and do not count. Now how is that fair?
    I think Obama is doing great ... considering the mess Bush left for him to clean up.

    August 6, 2009 at 9:47 pm |
  12. Isabel, Brazil

    Evening Maureen!

    In the first 100 days President Obama fulfilled the promise of change. Not only in the field of policies, but mainly the image of the United States and of the president in public. That brought him a huge popularity, worldwide.

    Despite the promise of a campaign, the increase the military contingent in Afghanistan went unscathed in the public opinion, and probably would have been huge challenge if the president was another. Even the incursions in Pakistan to pursue terrorists have escaped the radar of the ever vigilant media.

    From there it was expected that the popularity of it fell a little. After the initial celebration, working to organize a nation requires attitudes that don’t please everyone.

    It is impossible in 200 days, to correct problems that dragged for years.

    See you! Bye!

    August 6, 2009 at 9:20 pm |
  13. Annie Kate

    The story on Euna Lee and Laura Ling is the best story we've had in a long time. It will be great to hear more of it tonight. I've been voting in the report card exercise that is going on and I'm hoping for a short review of the results and what it all means – does it portend any trends or change of path in the Obama presidency? Looking forward to tonight's show.

    August 6, 2009 at 9:18 pm |