November 3rd, 2009
12:27 PM ET

The Matrix and Prophet Muhammad

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Arsalan Iftikhar, creator of themuslimguy.com

From The Matrix to the Lord of the Rings to….a $150 million Hollywood biopic film about the Prophet Muhammad?

Yup, you read it correctly…

As reported recently by The Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom, “[Academy Award-winning] producer Barrie Osborne cast Keanu Reeves as the messiah in The Matrix and helped defeat the dark lord Sauron in his record-breaking Lord of the Rings trilogy. Now the Oscar-winning American film-maker is set to embark on his most perilous quest to date: making a big-screen biopic of the prophet Muhammad.”

With a whopping estimated budget of around $150 million, the blockbuster film will chart Muhammad’s life and examine his teachings.

Mr. Osborne recently told Reuters that he envisions the movie as “an international epic production aimed at bridging cultures. The film will educate people about the true meaning of Islam.”


Filed under: Arsalan Iftikhar • Film • Islam
November 3rd, 2009
12:14 PM ET

The 'bystander effect' and how individuals can make a big difference

Editor's Note: We’ve spent some time recently exploring the problem of bystander apathy and the battle against the “stop snitching” culture. While we continue to hold community leaders accountable for keeping us safe, we took a moment to talk to two of our safety experts about some of the most basic ways individuals matter.

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AC360°'s Alyssa Caplan asked Phil Messina, President of  Modern Warrior Inc., and Lou Palumbo, Retired Law Enforcement Agent & Director of Elite Intelligence and Protection Agency, for their thoughts on the topic.

We all saw the disturbing story play out this summer of two police officers following their intuition leading to the release of kidnap victim Jaycee Dugard. We’ve also recently seen a catastrophic failure of human behavior in the sickening gang rape that took place a few weekends ago at Richmond High. Everyday, in every corner of the country, people’s worlds collide in big and small ways. What are some simple steps the average citizen can take to be a "Good Samaritan?"

LOU: Be vigilant; be aware or mindful of your environment and those in it. Be prepared with a plan to react to an incident, for example, understanding the need to call 911 immediately, employ the practice of yelling “FIRE”…..it always attracts attention. Remember to use your cell phone to help identify those involved in an incident.

PHIL: SPEAK UP! Be a great observer, notice details. If you’re on the fence about what to do, ask yourself, “If not me, then who; if not now, then when?” Learn how to protect yourself and in doing so, you learn how to protect others and from there on in, the choice is yours. We have a saying at Modern Warrior: “Your Survival Begins And Ends WithYou.” It’s the first thing we tell the students who come to our school. It comes down to making a choice – are you going to put your destiny in the hands of others or are you going to keep it in your own?


Filed under: 360º Follow • Crime & Punishment
November 3rd, 2009
10:55 AM ET

What happened to bipartisanship?

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Julian E. Zelizer
Special to CNN

When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced he would be pushing for a public option in the final health care bill, it looked as if he had given up on the possibility of a bipartisan agreement.

Most Republicans have been steadfast in their opposition to the Democratic health care proposals. The only serious possibility for GOP backing has come from Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine. While expressing support for much of the Senate Finance Committee bill, she has said she would accept a public option only if private markets and new regulations fail to control costs and lower premiums.

Reid's decision is not a sign of commitment to an ideal but rather an act of political realism. The notion that either party will be able to find substantive bipartisan support for legislation today is dubious. The political forces that generate partisan conflict in Washington are deeply rooted and hard to change.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Julian E. Zelizer • Raw Politics
November 3rd, 2009
10:51 AM ET

Get ready for McCain vs. Palin

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Gloria Borger
CNN Senior Political Analyst

Right now, the political intelligentsia is consumed with the outcome of a congressional district in upstate New York.

After all, it's a great story: The longtime incumbent Republican leaves his safe district to become Barack Obama's army secretary. The region's GOP pooh-bahs meet behind closed doors and pick a social moderate - a longtime Republican assemblywoman - to run in the special election. She slides dramatically in the polls after conservatives pitch their tents in the district to loudly oppose her. At the last minute, she quits - and endorses the Democratic nominee.

She has been driven out of the race by the purists.

Sure, there's a lesson here for the political establishment: It's never a good idea to pick your candidate in a deal made behind closed doors.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Gloria Borger • John McCain • Raw Politics • Sarah Palin
November 3rd, 2009
10:20 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Election Day 2009

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Eliza Browning
AC360° Associate Producer

Happy Election Day! Today’s off-year election might not have the high stakes of the 2008 presidential race, but there are several significant races worth watching.

We’re keeping a close eye on the gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia and we’re also following New York’s 23rd Congressional Seat race. This one is especially interesting because the GOP candidate recently dropped out and put her support behind Bill Owens, her Democrat opponent. Owens is now up against Conservative Party Candidate Doug Hoffman, who received backing from Sarah Palin and Fred Thompson. The twists and turns of this race have left many wondering if there is a place for moderate Republicans in the GOP or if more conservative candidates stand a better chance of getting support from the Right? What do you think?

We will be drilling down on all of the match-ups tonight live from 10 p.m. – 12 a.m. ET. What do these elections mean for President Obama and the Democrats? Could today’s results predict what may happen during the mid-term elections next year? And what will these results mean for the strategy of the GOP? Our political panel will weigh in on all of the political implications of this year’s elections.


Filed under: Eliza Browning • The Buzz
November 3rd, 2009
07:41 AM ET
November 3rd, 2009
06:32 AM ET

Sound Off: Your comments 11/2/09

Editor's Note: We received many comments from you after last night's panel discussion on women. We were focusing on the 'gender gap' at work. Some of you felt the panel blamed men too often and that a male voice might have enriched the discussion. What do you think? Let us know!

I was not impressed by your panel of whining women tonight. Though I believe all people deserve equal opportunity, I have also worked for a great many women managers in the last twenty years. It is not a lack of equality that held these women back, but a lack of vision and a tendency to be petty. Blaming men is not the answer to this problem, but better attitudes and management skills.

Stop having all-female panels when discussing gender issues such as women in the workplace! I tune into CNN for balanced and fair reporting. Virtually every college in this country is predominately female, there are more black and Hispanic men in prison than in college, and the unemployment rate is about 3% hire for men than it is for women. Who's speaking up for men's/father's rights? Put them on your show and stop with this all female panel that includes an author who can get away with naming a book "Why Women Should Rule the Word" just because she's a woman!

Filed under: Behind The Scenes
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