September 30th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 09/30/09

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A double dose of tragedy in the South Pacific. Another earthquake strikes.  Thousands of people are reportedly trapped. We'll take you inside the rescue effort.   Plus, a five-year-old takes on an alligator. A 40 pound boy versus an 800 pound gator. This kid isn't shy.

Want to know what else we're covering? <strong><a href="http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/category/the-buzz/&#034; target="_blank">Read EVENING BUZZ</a></strong>

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
4) No links
5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&amp;*)

Filed under: Live Blog • T1
September 30th, 2009
09:31 PM ET

Heart of darkness: Inside the paperwork jungle of health insurance

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Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

When Carol “Yogi” Yogan goes to her mailbox every day, she must be tempted to take a machete; that’s how frustrated she has grown hacking her way through the insurance industry’s paperwork jungle.

Sitting at her kitchen table, confronting an overflowing pile of letters and forms from insurance companies, she admits what many other consumers readily say: She has a very hard time making sense of what they all say. However, she knows that several times she’s had to engage in repeated phone calls and messages with insurers to get payment on legitimate claims. And that makes her suspicious that the paperwork jungle is hiding something. “There’s a reason for this,” she says. “It’s called money. Other people’s money.”

She may be on to something. Some doctors too have accused insurance companies of boosting their profits through a claims process that is unnecessarily difficult. Not far from where Yogi lives, Dr. Val Jones joined a small practice where the doctors do not even take insurance. They charge a simple, relatively low fee for each service, and that’s it. Why? In part because the doctors grew tired of seeing patients struggle with baffling insurance paperwork while both their health and wealth were on the line.


Filed under: Health Care • Tom Foreman
September 30th, 2009
08:17 PM ET

Interactive: Who has Obama's ear on Afghanistan?


President Obama is under increasing pressure to decide whether the United States will commit more troops and resources to the conflict in Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, the head of NATO met with the president and endorsed Obama's plan to fine-tune the strategy for Afghanistan before deciding on whether to deploy more troops.

"I agree with President Obama in his approach: strategy first, then resources," Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said after meeting with Obama at the White House.

Go here to see an interactive with profiles of all of the key players advising President Obama.

September 30th, 2009
07:27 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Death in Paradise

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Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

The death toll is rising in American Samoa and Samoa following an earthquake that triggered a tsunami. At least 110 people have died in the south Pacific islands. And, a second quake hit the region today. Thousands are reportedly trapped on the Indonesian island of Sumatra after the 7.6 magnitude earthquake. We'll talk with the Red Cross about their rescue efforts.

And, we're back in Chicago demanding answers. We've been covering the city's violence for far too long. Kids are still killing kids. The latest victim: Derrion Albert. The honor student was beaten to death and killing was caught on tape. Four teens have been charged in the case. Why can't the violence stop? You'll hear from the head of schools and the city's top cop. We're keeping them honest.

Plus, more big names in Hollywood are defending Roman Polanski who remains under arrest in Switzerland vowing to fight extradition to the U.S. on charges he raped a 13-year-old girl more than 30 years ago. Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has written an op-ed in the UK's "The Independent" newspaper. "This is a miscarriage of justice, and the government is making him a scapegoat," Weinstein wrote. Randi Kaye is digger deeper into those accusation.

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

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
September 30th, 2009
05:34 PM ET

Beat 360° 9/30/09

Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption and our staff will join in too. Tune in tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite! Here is the 'Beat 360°' pic:

U.S. President Barack Obama looks through a microscope at brain cells as he tours the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Have fun with it. We're looking forward to your captions! Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.



Tom Foreman

"So that’s all that’s left of hope for the Government Option, huh?"


Jennifer, New York City

"Obama’s new health plan: he will do all your lab work himself, for free."

_________________________________________________________________________________ Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
September 30th, 2009
04:48 PM ET

Nas: 'Open letter to young warriors in Chicago'

Editor's Note: Four teenagers have been charged with the murder of Derrion Albert, a 16-year-old whose videotaped beating death has sparked renewed outrage over the violence among youth in Chicago. Thirty-four public school students were killed during the school year last year. Rapper and songwriter Nas wrote this open letter to youth in Chicago. Let us know what you think and watch AC360° tonight to hear what's being done to curb the violence plaguing Chicago's streets.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/09/29/chicago.teen.profile/art.derrion.wls.jpg caption="Derrion Albert, 16, was beaten to death last week in the South Side of Chicago."]


Dear Young Warriors fighting the wrong wars! Killing each other is definitely played out. Being hurt from the lost of a love one was never cool.

Dear Young Warriors fighting the wrong war! I know that feeling, that frustration with life and needing to take it out on someone, any one. But....

We chose the dumbest things to go the hardest for. I remember seeing deaths over 8 ball jackets, Fila sneakers, and name plate chains. Deaths over "he say, she say"!!!!! "I'm from this block or I'm from that block", or "my moms n pops is f*cked up now the whole world gotta pay"!!!

I remember feeling like I was the hardest "n*gga" breathing. And I couldn't wait to prove it. But let's think. What are we really proving?? And proving what to who?? Everybody knows Chicago breeds the strongest of the strong but I just feel, me, being ya brother from another state feels your pain as if I grew up with you in ya very own household.


Filed under: Crime & Punishment
September 30th, 2009
04:15 PM ET

My first encounter with Michael Moore

Mishan Afsari

Last night was my first encounter with Michael Moore. The red carpet was rolled out, the cameras flashing – it was an affair most unusual for a documentary filmmaker.

His debut of “Capitalism: A Love Story” just got out, and Michael was in front of our CNN camera talking about health care reform. His job is never done. His penchant is for the gargantuan – auto companies, school violence, capitalism, health care.

I watched his passionate blows to Democrats who are not standing up for the kind of reform he believes Americans want. He said the health care system in the U.S. “should be what every other Western democracy has.”

And I wondered why he keeps on with his fight. He could be enjoying a nice life in France – universal coverage, the top ranking system in the world. I myself often dream of Paris and brie.

This fight just seems so daunting for anyone who wants more accessible and affordable heath care. Why does the U.S. have such a hard time with something so many countries have managed to figure out? Why are Americans so fearful of tackling health care problems? Is it possible it’s just not in our cards?

Maybe Michael Moore is the eternal optimist – he must believe that if he keeps up the fight, he can bring change. I’m convinced he’s in this for the long haul, but in this case I’m not convinced he can move the masses.

Health care form is not the sexiest of causes. It’s not global warming, AIDS, hunger – it doesn’t seem to attract the red carpet or the limelight. But a change so big might need more than the man in red hat who makes entertainment out of big social issues.

Filed under: Health Care • Michael Moore
September 30th, 2009
04:11 PM ET

Keeping them honest: Health Insurance – The fear factor

Editor's Note: All week we're teaming up with CNNMoney.com on a special series on health care insurance reform. Tune in tonight for in-depth coverage on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

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Parija B. Kavilanz
CNNMoney.com Senior Writer

Every time a doctor orders an extra test for you, it pushes up your medical costs and - some experts say - contributes to the waste in the nation's $2.2 trillion in health care spending.

While there's much debate about the actual dollar impact of this controversial practice called "defensive medicine," experts agree it's an obstacle to reining in the medical care expenses.

Defensive medicine occurs when a doctor orders tests or procedures not based on need but concern over liability, explained Dr. Alan Woodward, former president of the Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) and vice chairman of its committee on professional liability.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Health Care
September 30th, 2009
04:11 PM ET

Love, pleasure, duty: Why women have sex

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/HEALTH/09/30/why.women.have.sex/art.couple.gi.jpg caption="Many women interviewed were having sex purely because they wanted the experience."]
Elizabeth Landau

What makes a woman want to have sex? Is it physical attraction? Love? Loneliness? Jealousy? Boredom? Painful menstrual cramps?

It turns out that woman have sex for all of these reasons and more, and that their choices are not arbitrary; there may be evolutionary explanations at work.

Psychologists Cindy Meston and David Buss, both professors at the University of Texas at Austin, decided that the topic of "why women have sex" deserved a book of its own. They've woven scientific research together with a slew of women's voices in their new collaborative work, "Why Women Have Sex," published September 29 by Times Books.

"We do bring in men occasionally by way of contrast, but we wanted to focus exclusively on women so that the complexity of women's sexual psychology was not given the short shrift, so to speak," said Buss, a leading evolutionary psychologist.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar
September 30th, 2009
04:06 PM ET

Pressure increases on Obama over Afghanistan

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/09/30/obama.afghan.troops/art.troopsafghanistan.gi.jpg caption="Marines speak to Afghan villagers in southern Afghanistan, on September 28."]
Ed Hornick

President Obama is under increasing pressure to decide whether the United States will commit more troops and resources to the conflict in Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, the head of NATO met with the president and endorsed Obama's plan to fine-tune the strategy for Afghanistan before deciding on whether to deploy more troops.

"I agree with President Obama in his approach: strategy first, then resources," Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said after meeting with Obama at the White House.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Afghanistan • Barack Obama
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