[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/europe/08/20/transcript.lockerbie.bomber/art.lockerbie.bomber.afp.gi.jpg caption="Al Megrahi, now 57, is suffering from terminal prostate cancer."]
We have new information tonight about an alleged struggle within the Bush administration just days before the 2004 presidential election. According to Former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, senior officials including former Attorney General John Ashcroft and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, pushed to raise the terror threat level to orange after Osama Bin Laden released an audiotape critical of then President George W. Bush. Ridge says he successfully thwarted the effort, and the threat level stayed at yellow. Ridge describes the behind-the-scenes White House drama in his new soon-to-be-published book, “The Test of Our Times.” Ed Henry will have the latest on this developing story.
Long before September 11, 2001 another terrorist attack sent shock waves around the world. The 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 killed 270 people. Today, Abdel Basset Al-Megrahi, the only person convicted in the horrific attack, was released from the Scottish prison where he has spent the last eight years. He’s been diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer and was released on compassionate grounds. Freeing prisoners on compassionate grounds is an established feature of the Scottish judicial system—but al-Megrahi’s release has ignited controversy around the world. President Obama says it’s a mistake. Randi Kaye has the details.
President Obama is hitting back at critics of his health care reform plan. Today, he sparred with conservative talk radio host Michael Smerconish and took questions from callers. Mister Obama says Republican lawmakers are playing politics with health care reform just to put themselves in a better position for the midterm elections. Tonight, we’ll hear from Congressman Ron Paul, who’s also a medical doctor. He’ll tell us why he thinks the government should stay out of health care. It’s one view in a debate with many voices and opinions.
It’s been three weeks since we’ve heard from the three American hikers being held in Iran. Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal have been in custody since July 31st, and their families are pressing for diplomats to gain access to the three and help arrange their release. They want to know how their children are doing—and where exactly they are being held. Anderson will talk to the mothers of the hikers in an exclusive AC360° interview.
We’ll also have details on a new development in the murder investigation we told you about last night. California prosecutors say former reality television contestant Ryan Alexander Jenkins has been charged with murder in the death of his ex-wife, who was found stuffed in a suitcase in a trash bin over the weekend. Police say Jenkins apparently slipped into his native Canada on foot after a 1,000-mile car and boat trip from Southern California. He vanished after the body of 28-year-old former model Jasmine Fiore was found. Now police are scrambling to find him.
These stories and more, tonight at 10 pm eastern. See you then!
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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