September 3rd, 2009
02:41 PM ET

Organ Donation: How you can help

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The United Network for Organ Sharing

The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is a non-profit, scientific and educational organization that administers the nation's only Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), established by the U.S. Congress in 1984.

It is responsible for the following:

* collect and manage data about every transplant event occurring in the United States
* facilitate the organ matching and placement process using UNOS-developed data technology and the UNOS Organ Center
* bring together medical professionals, transplant recipients and donor families to develop organ transplantation policy

Go here to learn more about the organization and to find out how you can help.

Filed under: Organ Transplant
September 3rd, 2009
01:40 PM ET

U.S. suspends additional aid to Honduras

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/07/07/honduras.clinton/art.clinton.zelaya.jpg caption="Hillary Clinton says she told President Jose Manuel Zelaya the U.S. supports a restoration of democratic order."]
Elise Labott
CNN State Department Producer

The U.S. is cutting all non-humanitarian aid to Honduras in an effort to increase pressure on the de facto government to return President Zeyala to power, senior State Department officials told CNN Thursday.

An official announcement is expected to be made by the State Department Thursday afternoon.

The move to cut more than $200 million came as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Thursday with Zeyala, who in June was seized by the military in his pajamas and forced to leave the country.

The political crisis stemmed from Zelaya's plan to hold a referendum that could have changed the constitution and allowed longer term limits. The country's congress had outlawed the vote and the supreme court had ruled it illegal.


Filed under: Honduras
September 3rd, 2009
01:11 PM ET
September 3rd, 2009
12:41 PM ET
September 3rd, 2009
12:36 PM ET

Teddy, we knew you too well

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Ken Olshansky
AC360° Contributor

In the week or so since Ted Kennedy died, I’ve been thinking about how we choose our presidents. Unlike the early 60’s, when Kennedy’s brother Jack was elected, we are now inundated with personal information about our presidents and presidential candidates.

Some of this information has been disqualifying – Gary Hart’s relationship with Donna Rice, for example, or Newt Gingrich’s adulterous relationship during the Monica Lewinsky impeachment episode. But should it be? Would it be better for the country to focus less on a candidate’s private life and more on his or her public life?

In the case of Ted Kennedy, that’s the question I’ve been wrestling with ever since he got sick. There are an awful lot of negatives on the personal side of the ledger, from cheating at Harvard to partying with William Kennedy Smith. But the most awful Kennedy mistake of all is Chappaquiddick.

Chappaquiddick is inexcusable. When you visit the site, you see exactly what happened that night. Teddy left a party alone with Mary Jo Kopechne. She left her purse and keys at the party. He dismissed his driver, who was also at the party. The Senator drove her down a long dirt road that was clearly not the road to the Chappaquiddick Ferry, as he claimed. He drove too fast, he missed the turn to the tiny Dike’s Bridge, and drove his car into the water. Then he left the scene with Kopechne still trapped in the submerged car. He spoke with numerous people after the accident, but did not report it to police until the next day, after her body had already been discovered. Drinking, an extramarital relationship, a death, leaving the scene of the crime… this cannot be ignored.


Filed under: Ken Olshansky • Sen. Ted Kennedy
September 3rd, 2009
11:42 AM ET

Dead stars and classic art will surround Michael Jackson

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/09/03/michael.jackson.funeral/art.jackson.afp.gi.jpg caption="A private funeral for Michael Jackson will be held Thursday in Glendale, California."]

Alan Duke

Seventy days after his sudden death, Michael Jackson will be interred in what may or may not be his final resting place Thursday evening.

Only his family and closest friends will attend the private funeral inside the ornate Great Mausoleum on the grounds of Forest Lawn cemetery in Glendale, California.

The news media, which has closely covered every aspect of Jackson's death, will be kept at a distance, with cameras no closer than the cemetery's main gate.

Little is known about the planned ceremony, though CNN has confirmed that singer Gladys Knight, a longtime friend to Jackson, will perform. Her song has not been disclosed.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Michael Jackson
September 3rd, 2009
11:36 AM ET

Obama’s gutsy gamble

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John Avlon
Special to CNN

President Obama's decision to address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday is a gutsy gamble - a recognition that the health care reform debate has gone off the rails and needs to be recentered.

At stake is the credibility of one of the president's core campaign appeals to the American people - that he could be a bridge builder who would heal the hyper-partisanship that defined domestic politics during the Bush years.

After a fractious summer, expect the president to call for common ground and try to elevate the debate. He should point out, rightly, that health care reform has been pursued since Harry Truman and that never has such a broad coalition supported reform that decreases costs and increases access.

Keep Reading...

September 3rd, 2009
10:48 AM ET

Open your minds, America

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Rudy Ruiz
Special to CNN

As people shout over each other and tune out diverging views in town hall meetings, the health care debate is proving to be symptomatic of a major ailment threatening our nation:

A contagious culture of closed-mindedness threatens to suffocate our progress as a society.

Why has it become so difficult to even consider changing our minds about important issues?

Here's my diagnosis.

Increasingly, the willingness to change one's position on political issues has been misread as a mark of weakness rather than a product of attentive listening and careful deliberation.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Health Care
September 3rd, 2009
10:13 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Jackson’s burial

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Eliza Browning
AC360° Associate Producer

Michael Jackson will be buried in Glendale California at 10 p.m. ET tonight and we’ll have full coverage of the event. The service will be private, but we’ll be live from the Forest Lawn Cemetery and we’ll give you updates as we get them.

Rumor has it most of the attendees will be family and close friends, in addition to performances by a star-studded cast. According to reports, Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight may sing by the graveside, with Diana Ross and Berry Gordy in attendance. We’ll have live coverage as Jackson is laid to rest.

Randi Kaye will also give us a tour of Jackson’s final resting place. The cemetery is made up of approximately 300 acres of rolling hills, trees and a huge large marble statuary. The graveyard was supposedly designed to mark a new beginning, rather than an ending.

We also have part three of our series on the black market for human organs. Our investigation continues into the thriving and illegal trade of human body parts. Drew Griffin introduces us to some of the desperate donors who gave up pieces of themselves – literally. But they were left not with a large cash payment, but rather with big scars and even bigger problems.


Filed under: Eliza Browning • The Buzz
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