Octavia Nasr | BIO
CNN Senior Editor, Mideast Affairs
From my childhood I carry a memory. It has no specific date nor factual details, but it has strong emotions. It is a memory of a yearning and undeniable desire to go to the moon.
Over the years, my mom must have told the story about a hundred times and I probably told it about a dozen times. My sisters heard it over and over and delighted at making fun of my excitement and my deep belief in what was to most a sure improbability.
‘“Sign me up to go to the moon” were your exact words,’ my mom says.
I remember her trying to reason with me that maybe I should finish school first and then go to the moon. I insisted on signing up. I was convinced there was a “list” somewhere and that my name had to be added to it before it was too late. When my incessant demand was coupled with tears, we agreed that she’d get me a toy rocket so I could practice riding to the moon.
I remember that my mom took me to the only toy shop in our town, but it was closed for the weekend. I looked and looked through the window and saw nothing that resembled a rocket and was very concerned. Luckily, when we went back during the week, they had one. I don’t remember the inscription on it but I do remember there was a USA flag painted on the side. My mom bought it (thank you mom) and I played with that rocket for a long time and built many dreams upon it.
Many memories jam my head right now, mostly war-related. I link them back to which school grade I was in, which teacher I had, who was my best friend, who hurt me and who saved me. So many memories from a busy life loaded with events and images that I shared with my generation but events to which no child should be exposed.
Jeffrey Toobin | Bio
CNN Senior Legal Analyst
New Yorker Columnist
The federal courts face an unprecedented challenge in trying accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other Guantanamo detainees for the terrorist attacks that took 3,000 lives, says CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
Mohammed, Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, Walid bin Attash, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi and four other Guantanamo detainees are being transferred to New York to face trial in a civilian court for the September 11 attacks, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Friday.
They will face trial in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York - a short distance from the World Trade Center towers that were destroyed in the September 11 attacks. Holder said he expects the government to seek the death penalty in the cases.
Mohammed is the confessed organizer of the attacks on New York and the Pentagon. But his confession could be called into question during trial. A 2005 Justice Department memo - released by the Obama administration - revealed he had been waterboarded 183 times in March 2003, a technique that President Obama has called torture.
CNN spoke with Toobin on Friday morning. A former assistant U.S. attorney, Toobin is a senior analyst for CNN and author of "The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court."
Program Note: For more details on the killing of Annie Le, a Yale medical student, watch AC360° tonight at 10 p.m. ET.
Randi Kaye| BIO
I covered the brutal murder of Yale medical student Annie Le in September.
She’s the 24-year-old lab student whose body was found stuffed inside the wall at one of Yale’s labs on campus.
They arrested and charged an animal research technician, Raymond Clark III, who is still locked up.
At the time, we all wondered, what the heck happened? Well, today, we know a lot more.
I just got my hands on the arrest warrant affidavit which has some fascinating new details about what led police to arrest Ray Clark and charge him with strangling Le to death.
The affidavit appears to show that Clark was trying to cover his alleged tracks right in front of the officers investigating the murder.
Police say Clark raised eyebrows immediately when he allegedly tried to move a box of wipes that were splattered with blood out of the direct line of vision of a police officer. The wipes were on a cart in the lab and according to the affidavit the officer says she watched Clark turn the box around in attempt to hide the blood.
Gary Tuchman and Katherine Wojtecki
Nathan Halbach is 22, with a diagnosis of terminal brain cancer. He knows that "horrible stuff" lies ahead.
His mother, Pat Bond, has been taking care of him full time. But when she needed help, she reached out to the Roman Catholic Church.
After all, his father is a priest.
Nathan was born in 1986, during a five-year affair between his mother and Father Henry Willenborg, the Franciscan priest who celebrated Nathan's baptism. In a story first reported in the New York Times, it was revealed that The Franciscan Order drew up an agreement acknowledging the boy's paternity and agreeing to pay child support in exchange for a pledge of confidentiality.
Now her son - the youngest of four children - may have just weeks to live. And when the Franciscans balked at paying for his care, she decided she was no longer bound by her pledge of confidentiality.
Is civilian court the right venue to try the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks and four other suspected terrorists? You might be surprised to learn who we found even suggested the civilian trials. We're Keeping the Honest. Plus, the raw politics of Sarah Palin's new book. Hear what Sen. John McCain thinks of his former running mate's possible plans for 2012.
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Khalid Sheikh Mohmmed and four other Gitmo detainees with suspected ties to the 9/11 attacks are coming to New York. The five men will stand trial in a civilian court, just blocks from where the World Trade Center stood.
The decision was announced today by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who said he expects the government to seek the death penalty in the case.
"After eight years of delay, those allegedly responsible for the attacks of Sept. the 11th will finally face justice," Holder said.
Some family members of 9/11 victims welcomed the decision, others disagreed.
"I'm very, very disappointed in the government," Anne Ielpi told CNN, whose son, Jonathan, a firefighter, was killed in the WTC's south tower. "It definitely should have been finished in Cuba," she added in reference to her support of a military trial, instead of a civilian ruling.
Dozens of family members of 9/11 victims have also signed a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Pres. Obama and Secretary of State Robert Gates opposing the civilian trial.
"It is incomprehensible to us that members of the United States Congress would propose that the same men who today refer to the murder of our loved ones as a 'blessed day' and who targeted the United States Capitol for the same kind of destruction that was wrought in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania, should be the beneficiaries of a social compact of which they are not a part, do not recognize, and which they seek to destroy: the United States Constitution," the letter said.
But Valerie Lucznikowska, whose nephew died in the attacks, approves of the decision to put the men on trial in a New York federal courthouse.
"Here we can see what's going on. Everyone in the world can see what's going on," she said.
John Leinung, whose stepson, Paul Battaglia, worked in the WTC north tower, also agrees with the decision.
"I think our traditional court system is very capable of convicting guilty people," he told CNN.
Attorney General Holder was asked today how would assure family members of those killed in the attacks that the men would not be freed on a technicality.
"I am a prosecutor myself. I've looked at the evidence. I've considered the problems that these cases present. And I am quite confident that we're going to be successful in the prosecution efforts," he said.
Do you agree with Holder's decision? Share your thoughts below.
Join us for this story and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET. See you then!
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:
Richard Heene and his wife, Mayumi Heene are flanked by members of the media after they both plead guilty to charges related to the alleged hoax of the couple claiming that their son, Falcon Heene was last month onboard a helium balloon, at the Larimer County Courthouse.
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.
UPDATE BEAT 360º WINNERS
“Mr. Heene, does your son know who the hell Wolf is now?”
Patty A Banks, Palmdale, CA
CNN: "Will you appear on Larry King tonight"?
Heene: "That would be very inappropiate!"
CNN Political Producer
Sarah Palin's memoir has leaked, but the former Alaska governor is telling supporters – and potential customers – to be cautious about the early reviews.
"As you probably have heard, the AP snagged a copy of my memoir, Going Rogue, before its Tuesday release," Palin wrote Friday on her Facebook page. "And as is expected, the AP and a number of subsequent media outlets are erroneously reporting the contents of the book."
"Keep your powder dry, read the book, and enjoy it!," she wrote. "Lots of great stories about my family, Alaska, and the incredible honor it was to run alongside Senator John McCain. We can't wait to hit the road and meet so many on the book tour! See you in Michigan first ... "
Five Guantanamo Bay detainees with alleged ties to the 9/11 conspiracy, including accused mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, will be transferred to New York to go on trial in civilian court, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Friday.
He said he expected all five to be tried together and for prosecutors to seek the death penalty. The trial would be open to the public, although some portions that deal with classified information may be closed, Holder said.
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