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October 14th, 2009
03:48 PM ET

Interactive map: Health care across the globe

AC360°

The Obama Administration's push for health care reform has reignited the debate over government involvement in medicine. How does the U.S. compare to other nations across the globe? Click on the image below to see key indicators of overall health: how much governments spend on health care per person vs. overall health care spending, as well as longevity and infant mortality.

October 14th, 2009
03:20 PM ET

Photo Gallery: Preparing a sweat lodge

Program Note: Make sure to watch Gary Tuchman's report tonight on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

AC360°

The people who died Thursday at a spiritual resort in Sedona, AZ had spent time in a "sweatbox" similar to what Native Americans and other cultures have used for prayer and purification rituals throughout history.

In North America, most Native American tribes use the term "sweat lodge" to refer to a dome-shaped structure where the intimate ritual of the sweat takes place.

Gary Tuchman visited a sweat lodge in Cornville, AZ, just outside of Sedona, to report on the ritual.

FULL POST


Filed under: 360º Follow • Gary Tuchman
October 14th, 2009
02:59 PM ET

Andrea Ivory: How early detection saved my life

Program Note: CNN Heroes received nearly 9,000 submissions from 100 countries. A Blue Ribbon Panel selected the Top 10 CNN Heroes for the year. Vote for your favorite CNN HERO OF THE YEAR here.

WATCH CNN HEROES: AN ALL-STAR TRIBUTE
Thanksgiving night, 9 p.m. ET


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[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/LIVING/04/23/andrea.ivory/art.andrea.ivory.jpg caption="Breast cancer survivor Andrea Ivory is on a mission to educate Florida communities about the disease, one door at a time."]

Andrea Ivory
CNN Hero

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. How ironic that today I celebrate five years of being breast cancer free.

Many people ask: why does breast cancer get so much attention? Breast Cancer kills our mothers, our daughters, our sisters, our family members, and our friends. As a matter of fact, it is estimated that more than 40.000 women will die from breast cancer this year alone. But, there is hope because we know that early detection saves lives. It saved mine.

Many women do not know that ALL women are at risk for breast cancer, that 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, that not all women diagnosed with breast cancer have a family history of the disease, or that young women are being diagnosed increasingly, with more aggressive forms of breast cancer. These few statistics are a call to action for ALL women.

I am asking ALL women to join me in the fight against breast cancer by knowing their risks and practicing the early detection guidelines. If every woman 40 years and older got their annual mammograms, every woman in their 20’s and 30’s got their clinical exams, and every woman in their 20’s practiced breast self awareness, we could lower the mortality rate. Then children would not lose their mothers, family members could have their loved ones, and friendships could continue to flourish.

FULL POST


Filed under: 360° Radar • CNN Heroes • Women's Issues
October 14th, 2009
01:28 PM ET

Inside a sweat lodge


A sweat lodge being prepared in Cornville, Arizona.

Ismael Estrada
AC360° Producer

Last night, Gary Tuchman and I were sitting inside a hot, dark sweat lodge with 11 other people.

Members of various Native American tribes in Cornville, AZ wanted us to see what a sweat lodge was all about, and it’s importance to their culture.

The lodge itself is constructed of willow branches, tied together and sturdy enough to hold several coverings and finally a tarp. Inside, there are hot rocks, placed inside a hole and water is poured on the rocks to increase the heat. The space inside is very small.

We all sat shoulder-to-shoulder as various Native American songs were sung and prayers were voiced.

The people here are worried that the tragic deaths of two people in a sweat lodge near Sedona last week is going to destroy what they consider to be a very important part of their culture.

FULL POST


Filed under: 360º Follow • Gary Tuchman • Ismael Estrada
October 14th, 2009
01:07 PM ET

Malaak Compton-Rock: Why CNN Heroes is my favorite awards show

Program Note: CNN Heroes received nearly 9,000 submissions from 100 countries. A Blue Ribbon Panel selected the Top 10 CNN Heroes for the year. Vote for your favorite CNN HERO OF THE YEAR here.

WATCH CNN HEROES: AN ALL-STAR TRIBUTE
Thanksgiving night, 9 p.m. ET

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Malaak Compton-Rock
CNN Heroes
Blue Ribbon Panelist

Being a panelist is really special. This happens to be my favorite awards show – not the Emmys, not the Oscars, not the Grammys or the MTV awards – but this show.

Obviously I believe that if I get there before you do, I’m obligated to bore a hole and pull you through, and that’s what this show is all about.

So, when I got the invitation in the mail, I was ecstatic – I mean, I ran around the house, I told my husband, I was so excited.

It’s a privilege to even be in the company of my other panelists, first of all, and to be able to learn so much about people who are changing the world.

Editor's Note: Malaak Compton-Rock is the founder and director of The Angelrock Project, an online e-village that promotes volunteerism, social responsibility and sustainable change. She creates and champions initiatives focused on at-risk and orphaned youth, child abuse awareness and prevention, and Triple Negative Breast Cancer.


Filed under: CNN Heroes
October 14th, 2009
12:59 PM ET

Those lost table manners

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/09/15/kanye.west.apology/art.kanye.gi.jpg caption="Kanye West created a rant when he hijacked Taylor Swift's speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards."]

Dave Schechter
CNN Senior National Editor

“We’ve forgotten our table manners.”

I heard that a couple of weeks ago, during a discussion that was supposed to focus on art but devolved into politics. The woman who made the comment was referring not to anything in particular, but everything in general - from this summer’s rancorous town hall meetings on health care to shouts from the floor when the President addressed Congress, from anger at center court of the U.S. Open tennis championships to a rant at the MTV Video Music Awards.

A couple of days later, I read a column by Elizabeth Bernstein in The Wall Street Journal. Bernstein was looking forward to a friend’s visit, until the friend said she was eager to discuss health care reform. “But now the ruckus is spilling over into our private lives. Alarmingly, people who know and even love one another are taking off the gloves and duking it out around dinner tables and water coolers, through phones calls and emails and even on the Web,” she wrote.

“Not so long ago, people tried to be polite in conversation. But that was when they actually listened to each other. These days, there's more shouting than informed discourse, as politicians, pundits and partisans attack each other on television and the Internet. . . The Internet is only making matters worse, as people feel emboldened to say things they would never dare utter to someone's face.” FULL POST


Filed under: 360° Radar • David Schechter • Health Care
October 14th, 2009
12:58 PM ET

Keep America's 'store' open to immigrants

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/04/09/obama.immigration/art.yuma.sector.fence.gi.jpg caption="A fence separates the United States from Mexico in the U.S. Border Patrol's Yuma Sector in San Luis, Arizona."]

Rudy Ruiz
Special to CNN

You invent a product. You brand it. You market it like crazy. With a lot of hard work, determination and a little luck, you find yourself with a winner on your hands.

Everybody wants what you've got. They'll pay any price. They'll camp all night outside your store. They'll travel from anywhere - risking their lives, dodging bullets, swimming across troubled waters and climbing barbed-wire fences. People will learn a new language, even leave family and heritage behind, all for a shot at what you've made a fortune selling.

But then, a big problem emerges: A block of stockholders doesn't want to sell the product any more.

Those stockholders are hoarding it, afraid supply is dwindling. They complain it's too costly to manage the crowds and it's getting chaotic in the bargain basement.

So you hire more security guards, build barriers and fences. You award lucrative contracts to surveillance companies, hike prices, downscale production and restrict product benefits. But still, wide-eyed customers think you're the best.

Your efforts backfire. They have the effect of a velvet rope and an oversized bouncer in front of a hot nightclub - the more unattainable, the more exclusive your product seems, the more people want it.

A black market flourishes. Desperate people break and enter. The angry shareholders call it stealing, although customers do their best to pay even while they receive a fraction of the product's benefits.

You blanket the store with guards to keep away the unwanted customers, but they won't take a hint. The same faces keep reappearing at your door.

It turns out the neighboring store is even less welcoming. It's saddled by bad management decisions, low employee morale, and infighting. Some of your neighbor's disgruntled ex-employees are even sneaking into your store, like pirate profiteers, to sell harmful, illegal merchandise to your legitimate customers.

Keep Reading...


Filed under: Immigration • Mexico
October 14th, 2009
12:02 PM ET

Colombian hitmen reveal horror of the kill

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/americas/10/14/colombia.hitmen/art.body.jpg caption="Samir Romero, wanted by police for two murders, was killed in August. He was shot 13 times."]
Karl Penhaul
CNN

This city's drug underworld is littered with "poseurs" - lowlife triggermen pretending they're the real hard cases.

But a longstanding and trusted source, with intimate knowledge of Medellin's violent subculture, assured me the two men I was about to meet were the real deal.

My destination: a single-story home in the city's notorious "Commune 13" district where I had set up a meeting with two hit men, who have for years hired their lethal services out to the cocaine cartels.

Inside the house, a man called "Red" sat on a couch toying a fully loaded 9mm Ruger pistol. "This will stop somebody nicely," he said, as I glanced at it.

His face and arms were covered in burn marks. He said it was a testament of the day a barrel of acid spilled onto him as he was working in a clandestine cocaine processing lab in northern Colombia.

Keep Reading...


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Karl Penhaul
October 14th, 2009
11:16 AM ET

Video: Cracking down on paparazzi

Erica Hill | BIO
AC360° Anchor


Filed under: 360° Radar
October 14th, 2009
11:10 AM ET

Tracing Michelle Obama’s roots

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/09/18/michelle.obama.health.reform/art.michelleobama.gi.jpg caption="A New York Times article reported last week that Michelle Obama's great-great-great grandmother was a slave."]
Tony Burroughs
CNN

Last week a New York Times article reported that Michelle Obama's great-great-great grandparents were a white man and a slave whom he impregnated. This story highlights the growing importance of genealogy in America.

Some of the comments posted online were from people skeptical that the full story of Michelle Obama's ancestry will ever be known.

One said, "The concept that records simply don't exist beyond the mid-1800s for so much of her family is so telling about the legacy of slavery we'll never shed."

Another said, "Where in Africa did Michelle Obama's ancestors come from? What was their tribe? When were they enslaved, and what were their experiences as individuals? What happened to these human beings after they were brought in chains to America? These things will very likely never be known."

Keep Reading...


Filed under: Michelle Obama
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