August 24th, 2009
01:47 PM ET

Remembering Trisha






[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/21/art.crime.trish.babcock2.jpg caption="Steve Babcock holds a senior portrait of his daughter, Trisha Babcock, who was 24 when she was killed in Detroit on Aug. 1."]

Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

The bullet that killed Trisha Babcock on a summer night in Detroit took her life and forever shattered another one. "I can't believe she's gone," Steve Babcock said of his slain daughter. "She was such a special person. She had so much potential."

Police believe Ms. Babcock's promise came to a violent end at the hand of a 12-year-old boy. The young suspect allegedly approached the 24-year-old woman just after midnight on August 1. Babcock and her friend sat in a car and, after demanding money, the boy opened fire. Ms. Babcock died a short time later at a nearby hospital. The child accused of killing her has been charged with murder and attempted armed robbery. Authorities are looking for a possible second suspect.

Prosecutors have announced the 12-year-old will be tried as a juvenile. However, he has been designated as an adult, which, if convicted of the crime, gives the judge discretion of sentencing him to a life term in prison.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/21/art.crime.trish.babcock.2.jpg caption="Steve Babcock shows a photograph of his daughter Trisha, at right, and a friend. The 2003 Davison High School graduate had planned to attend Mott Community College in Flint this fall and become a nurse, he said."]

In a media release, the Detroit Police Department said the youth's name would not be released pending the August 26 preliminary hearing. He is currently being held in a juvenile detention facility.


Filed under: 360º Follow • Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
August 24th, 2009
01:20 PM ET

Sick man of the Middle East

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/08/24/gerges.egypt.mubarak/art.fawaz.gerges.slc.jpg caption="Fawaz Gerges says the U.S. downplayed the serious political and economic difficulties of Egypt's regime."]
Fawaz A. Gerges
Special to CNN

After smiling broadly for the TV cameras and complimenting one another, U.S. President Barack Obama and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak provided little food for thought about what really transpired between them in an Oval Office meeting Tuesday.

Historically, the atmospherics of presidential summits are as important, if not more so than the substance. The Obama-Mubarak get-together is an example of where symbolism trumped political reality.

The American president warmly welcomed his Egyptian counterpart to the White House, his first visit in five years, and praised him as a "leader and a counselor and a friend of the United States."

Mubarak reciprocated by saluting Obama "for all his efforts with regard to the Palestinian issue." He said that Obama's address to the Muslim world from Cairo, Egypt, was "great and fantastic" and removed all concern in Muslim minds that "the U.S. was against Islam."

Beyond the rhetorical hyperbole, there are underlying structural tensions and differences in the U.S.-Egyptian relationship that both camps consciously played down and ignored.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Barack Obama • Middle East
August 24th, 2009
01:00 PM ET
August 24th, 2009
12:52 PM ET

Ryan Jenkins found dead: ten other reality TV tragedies and controversies

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01467/ryanJenkins_1467635c.jpg caption="Ryan Jenkins was found dead in a Canadian hotel room."]
The Telegraph

The apparent suicide of Ryan Jenkins, the Megan Wants a Millionaire contestant who was wanted in connection with the murder of his former model wife Jasmine Fiore, has focused attention on the difficulties faced by reality TV "stars" after their fame fades.

Here are 10 other reality television tragedies and controversies:

1) Ralf Panitz was convicted of murdering his ex-wife after they clashed in a typically tempestuous episode of The Jerry Springer Show which aired in 2000. During the programme, titled Secret Mistresses, Panitz and his new partner accused Nancy Campbell-Panitz of stalking them. She agreed to appear because she believed her husband wanted a reconciliation, but was booed and mocked by the studio audience.

2) Lie detectors are a staple of many chat shows, but the producers of Australian radio's Kyle and Jackie O Show pushed the boundaries by strapping a vulnerable 14-year-old to a polygraph and quizzing the girl about her love life. Her revelation that she was raped at the age of 12, and disc jockey Kyle Sandilands's indelicate handling of the news, sparked a public outcry. The breakfast show was suspended but returned to air on August 18th.


Filed under: Crime & Punishment
August 24th, 2009
12:35 PM ET

Financial Dispatch: No raise for Social Security

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/25/art.bernanke.testify.jpg]

Andrew Torgan

CNN Financial News Producer

Millions of older Americans face stagnant Social Security checks next year, the first time in three decades that payments would not rise.

The trustees who oversee Social Security are projecting there won't be a cost of living adjustment for the next two years. That hasn't happened since automatic increases were adopted in 1975.

By law, Social Security benefits cannot go down. But monthly payments would decrease for about millions of people in the Medicare prescription drug program because their premiums, which often are deducted from Social Security payments, are scheduled to go up from $28 to $30.


Filed under: Andrew Torgan • Economy • Finance • Social Security
August 24th, 2009
10:34 AM ET

Morning Buzz: After the storm

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2007/US/08/29/katrina.day/art.superdome.05.gi.jpg caption="The roof of the Louisiana Superdome, pictured on August 30, 2005, shows the scars of Hurricane Katrina."]

Eliza Browning
AC360° Associate Producer

We’re kicking off a weeklong special on New Orleans this week. It’s been four years since Hurricane Katrina pummeled the Louisiana city and we go back to see how the area continues to persevere and rebuild despite significant uphill battles.

Sean Callebs reports on how city leaders are trying to rebuild New Orleans’ public schools. Katrina’s floodwaters washed away a school system that was already floundering even before the storm. But after the storm wiped the slate clean, city leaders were given an opportunity to rebuild public schools. New Orleans has become a lab for some of the most ambitious education experiments in the country – including new programs, innovative teaching methods and an array of charter schools. Although overall test scores have improved and success stories abound, the system isn’t perfect. Sean takes a look at what’s working and why some students are still falling through the cracks.

The Obama administration is working to revamp the U.S. policy on detention and interrogation. The President approved the creation of an elite team of interrogators to question key terrorism suspects. The team will be housed at the FBI but will be overseen by the National Security Council – giving the White House, not the CIA, direct oversight of the interrogations.


Filed under: Eliza Browning • The Buzz
August 24th, 2009
09:59 AM ET

What LBJ would do?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/17/art.wh0817.gi.jpg]

Tom Johnson
Special to CNN

LBJ would:

Have a list of every member of Congress on his desk.

He would be on the telephone with members (and their key staffers) constantly: "Your president really needs your vote on this bill."

He would have a list of every special request every member wanted - from White House tours to appointments to federal jobs and commissions.

He would make a phone call or have a personal visit with every member - individually or in a group. Charts, graphs, coffee. They would get the "Johnson Treatment" as nobody else could give it.

He would have a willingness to horse-trade with every member.

He would keep a list of people who support each member financially. A call to each to tell them to get the vote of that representative.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Health Care
August 24th, 2009
09:22 AM ET

Bipartisanship is hard work

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/08/24/feehery.bipartisan.health/art.john.feehery.courtesy.jpg caption="John Feehery says gaining bipartisan support for big legislation is extremely difficult."]
John Feehery
Special to CNN

In the early morning of November 22, 2003, David Wu, a congressman from Oregon who is a Democrat, stood in the well of the House of Representatives, staring at the wall in the chamber that contains the names of the members of Congress with lights beside their names showing how they voted on the pending business.

Green denoted an aye vote, red a no vote, and yellow a vote for present.

Beside Wu's name, no light appeared. He hadn't made up his mind. On either side of him - for a period of time that seemed like an eternity - Wu had colleagues screaming in his ear, telling him to either vote yes or no on the pending piece of legislation.

He was the deciding vote, and he couldn't make his decision. So for at least an hour and maybe more, he stood looking at that board, in a seemingly trance-like state.

Finally, several Republican members changed their votes from no to yes, giving Wu the excuse he needed to vote against his leadership and vote for the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Democrats • Health Care
August 24th, 2009
08:50 AM ET

Iran rape, torture allegations

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/08/13/un.iran.torture/art.iran.afp.gi.jpg caption="Iranian opposition suspects cover their faces at a Revolutionary Court hearing in Tehran last week."]

Hamid Dabashi
Special to CNN

Troubling news of kidnapping, rape, torture, and murder is flooding out of Iran.

Neda Aqa Soltan was murdered point-blank in the streets of Tehran for the whole world to see; while Sohrab Arabi was killed far from any global attention and his body given to his mother quietly to bury, as was the tortured body of Mohsen Ruholamini.

These names have assumed symbolic significance for many more innocent young men and women murdered by the custodians of the Islamic Republic with a wanton disregard for the lives and liberties of its own citizens.

Not just murder, but the rape of young men and women also is on the shameless roster of the Islamic Republic. After years of sporadic charges and troubling rumors, finally a courageous cleric has put a stamp of public recognition on atrocious practices in the theocratic state.

Mehdi Karrubi - one of the revolutionary founders of the Islamic Republic, a high-ranking cleric, a presidential candidate, a former speaker of the house and now a widely popular political activist - has published a letter, addressing it to the former president and current head of the Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. He accuses the security officers of the Islamic Republic of repeatedly and violently raping young women and men while they are in custody.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: 360º Follow • Global 360° • Iran
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