September 2nd, 2009
04:40 PM ET

Monitoring tools failed to unearth Garrido's secret

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/09/01/california.garrido.monitoring/art.garrido.krca.jpg caption="Phillip Garrido, a registered sex offender, was arraigned in California on Friday."]
Eliott C. McLaughlin

Phillip Garrido was registered as a sex offender, regularly visited by parole officers and fitted with an ankle bracelet to track his movements - but nothing prevented him from being around children, according to a victims' advocacy group.

Garrido is charged with kidnapping Jaycee Lee Dugard in 1991, when she was 11, and raping her over the course of years.

Police say Dugard lived in a huddle of tents and outbuildings hidden behind Garrido's home, and gave birth to two daughters, now 11 and 15, fathered by Garrido.

Garrido and his wife Nancy were arrested last week. Both have pleaded not guilty.

"Here we have a guy who is essentially under every kind of supervision we allow. Law enforcement had every tool available to them, and [the tools] failed," said Robert Coombs, spokesman for the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Jaycee Dugard
September 2nd, 2009
03:27 PM ET

Tonight: Text 360°

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We're looking into the prevalence of domestic violence tonight. Chris Brown is on Larry King Live tonight speaking out on his assault of pop star Rihanna.

Are rates of domestic violence on the rise? Denise Brown, Nicole Brown Simpson's sister and head of the Nicole Brown Charitable Foundation, will be on tonight to talk about the issue. Do you have questions? Let us know!

Send us a text message with your question. Text AC360 (or 22360), and you might hear it on air!

Filed under: T1 • Text 360
September 2nd, 2009
02:33 PM ET

Judge orders estate to pay for Michael Jackson's funeral

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Alan Duke

A Los Angeles judge Wednesday approved Katherine Jackson's request that the Michael Jackson estate be sent the bill for the cost of this week's funeral for her son.

The pop singer is to finally be interred more than two months after his death in a private ceremony at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California, Thursday evening, the Jackson family said.

A short hearing was held Wednesday morning before Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff to consider Katherine Jackson's petition.


Filed under: Michael Jackson
September 2nd, 2009
12:18 PM ET

Obama’s only choice is to speak out

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Gloria Borger
CNN Senior Political Analyst

In a way, the president really has no other choice but to finally speak - and speak conclusively about what he wants in a health care reform bill.

After all, 67 percent of Americans told CBS pollsters over the weekend that the health care debate is "confusing." Only 31 percent thought they had a "clear understanding" of the issues involved. What's worse, the uncertainty cut across party lines. For once, in this polarized time, Democrats and Republicans agree on something: They're perplexed by this health care debate.

And so the White House has allowed that it's time for the president to weigh in, perhaps from the Oval Office or maybe in an address to Congress. No matter how he does it, this much is clear: better late than never.

It hasn't been an easy summer. And maybe, when this is all over, administration aides will look back at their initial strategy with some chagrin. You'll recall the plan was to allow Congress to legislate first, in order to avoid the mistakes of then-first lady Hillary Clinton 16 years ago. She presented a health care reform plan to Congress which then became a big, fat target. The bill died, and she was excoriated.

Keep Reading...

September 2nd, 2009
11:58 AM ET

Debunked: yet another "secret" White House plan to "harvest" your online activities

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David Gewirtz | BIO
AC360° Contributor
Editor-in-Chief, ZATZ Publishing

President Roosevelt may have had to contend with Hitler and Stalin, not to mention an occasionally naked Churchill (look it up), but at least he didn't have to deal with the blogosphere.

President Obama has no such luck. He's the second President who not only has a fourth estate, but a completely unruly and often full-goose-bozo body of bloggers, just looking for any excuse to increase their "hits" and drive up the pennies they're given for their thoughts from Google's ad revenue service.

This time, trumpets the blogs, the White House has a "secret plan" to "harvest personal data from social networking sites."

First, it's not a plan, and, second, it's not exactly a secret.

It's a publicly available government procurement document, and just for you, I've read all 51 excruciatingly boring pages of the thing.

The White House isn't trying to get at your secrets. Instead, the White House is proactively attempting to comply with the Presidential Records Act (PRA) by interpreting postings to social networking sites - if posted by members of the Executive Office of the President - as possible Presidential records.

This is a good thing.


Filed under: David Gewirtz • Technology
September 2nd, 2009
11:19 AM ET
September 2nd, 2009
10:31 AM ET

Cop busy breaking the law


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Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

Instead of upholding the law, one cop was busy breaking it.

Now, he’s paying the price.

A former New York City Police Officer was convicted of armed bank robbery and related charges, federal authorities announced Tuesday.

In a press release, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York said Christian Torres, pleaded guilty to one count of bank robbery, one count of bank larceny, and one count of conspiring to commit bank robbery.

Torres, 23, will be sentenced on November 6. He faces a maximum term of 30 years in prison.

His girlfriend, Christina Dasrath, who – as a teller – allegedly conspired with Torres to commit the heists, pleaded guilty last year to bank fraud, bank larceny and making false statements. She was sentenced in January to 30 months in prison.

Prosecutors said the couple worked together to steal from the same bank on two separate occasions, with Dasrath supplying Torres with help and information from the inside.

They also put on a show for customers and employees.


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
September 2nd, 2009
10:05 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Kidneys for sale?

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Eliza Browning
AC360° Associate Producer

Tonight we continue our series on the black market for human organs. Our special investigation uncovers a robust business of organ trafficking in Israel. We speak to one man who tells CNN he routinely sends 60 Israelis a year abroad to receive illegal kidney transplants. According to those familiar with the black market - kidney brokers approach poor Jewish immigrants from former Soviet Republics and offer them up t0 $5,000 for one of their kidneys. Drew Griffin speaks to people who have been involved on both sides of this illegal trade.

Chris Brown is on Larry King Live tonight where he will speak out about his assault of pop star Rihanna. Randi Kaye looks into rates of domestic violence. Is this kind of assault on the rise in the African American community? What kind of example does Brown’s conviction set for his fans? We’ll dig deeper on this issue tonight.

Firefighters in California continue to fight the 190-square-mile blaze just north of downtown LA. Forecasters say the fire will continue to burn for two more weeks. Wildfires this year have already cost the state $106 million of its $182 million emergency firefighting budget and California’s state budget is notoriously in trouble. We’ll have the latest on the fires and evacuation plans tonight.


Filed under: Eliza Browning • The Buzz
September 2nd, 2009
09:49 AM ET

The Healthcare Hostage Crisis: Comparing America's healthcare to other countries

Editor's Note: This article continues our 8-part series excerpted from the "Healthcare Hostage Crisis" chapter of AC360° contributor David Gewirtz's upcoming book, How To Save Jobs, which will be available in October. To learn more about the book, follow David on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/DavidGewirtz. Last week, we looked at whether spending more money meant better care. This week, we look at how our healthcare compares with other countries.

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David Gewirtz | BIO
AC360° Contributor
Editor-in-Chief, ZATZ Publishing

According to 2008 health statistics from the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation, India had 32 deaths per 1,000 births and China had 21 deaths per 1,000 births. India spends the equivalent of $100 per person, per year on health and China spends the equivalent of $315 per person, per year.

America, on the other hand, spends $6,350 (per Kaiser's numbers) on each person, per year and had an infant mortality rate of 6 per 1,000. America spent 63 times more per person than India, but saved only about five times as many infants. America spent about 20 times more money on health per person than China, but saved only about three times more babies.

In terms of life expectancy, Americans are generally expected to live until the age of 80, Indian citizens to 64 and Chinese citizens to 75. We spend 63 times more per person than India, but we live an average of 16 more years. We spend roughly half a million dollars per person over an 80 year life, which is roughly half a million dollars more than the typical Indian. Speaking only for myself, getting an extra 15 years loving my wife, dreaming of fast cars, playing videogames, and drinking ice tea seems worth a cool $500,000.

The life expectancy ROI (return on investment) isn't quite as clear in China. We spend 20 times more per person per year for healthcare, but only gain an extra five years. Once again, speaking only personally, I'd take the extra five years, but it does seem comparatively costly.

But what about our infant mortality rates and life expectancy rates compared to countries far more culturally similar to the United States? How do we compare to Canada and the United Kingdom, both of whom have a form of national healthcare and both of whom spend a lot less than we do?


Filed under: 360° Radar • David Gewirtz • Health Care
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