December 17th, 2009
09:47 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 12/17/09

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Tonight on 360°, crunch time for Pres. Obama. He's on his way to Copenhagen where there's no guarantee a deal will be signed to climate change policy. Plus, there's the fight on Capitol Hill over health care reform. We've got the raw politics. And, a police chief and two of his officers accused of covering-up a hate crime.

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 $#&*)

Filed under: Live Blog • T1
December 17th, 2009
09:31 PM ET

Missing woman’s home searched


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Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

Police  executed a search warrant at the home of a missing Utah woman and her husband, authorities said today. “It involved our detective division,” West Valley City Asst. Police Chief Craig Black told CNN. He would not disclose details about the search or what evidence was gathered by investigators.

It is at least the second search of the couple’s home since Susan Powell, 28, vanished on December 6. Her husband, Joshua Powell, said his wife vanished after he took their two young children on a camping trip. Police have been unable to confirm his account and have labeled him a person of interest. He has also not been cooperative in the investigation, they added.

At a news conference on Thursday, Mrs. Powell’s family described frustration over her husband’s actions since she vanished. “We wish he would be cooperative,” said family spokesman Shelby Gifford, “because we think that would help us find Susan.


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
December 17th, 2009
04:57 PM ET

Beat 360° 12/17/09

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:

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin vacationing in Hawaii earlier this week. She is shown with a McCain campaign visor with black marker covering the ex-presidential candidate's name. (Source: Fame Photos)

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.


Steve Brusk

"Move Hawaii ahead of Iowa and New Hampshire? You betcha!"


Julia Kirkendall

"Sarah Palin, a fashion 'maverick' too? Going rogue on accessories, a do or a don't?"

_________________________________________________________________________________ Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
December 17th, 2009
04:55 PM ET

Abducted in Iraq

Chuck Hadad
AC360° Producer

In 2004, Roy Hallums was abducted in Iraq and held hostage by insurgents for 311 days.

The American contractor was ambushed at his company’s compound in Baghdad by the Mujahideen Army, made up primarily of former intelligence officers under Saddam Hussein’s administration. Although he was moved around, Hallums spent most of his captivity imprisoned in an underground cell in Al-Mahmoudiyah, about 15 miles outside of Baghdad.

Hallums was working for the Saudi Arabian Trading and Construction Company when he was taken by insurgents. The company was involved in building projects in Iraq and had food service contracts with the U.S. military.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/16/t1.hallums.today.jpg caption="Roy Hallums, now 61, describes his experience living in captivity for 311 days." width=300 height=169]

Hallums, who was 56 when he was abducted, describes his experience in his new book, “Buried Alive.” He told CNN that his situation was excruciating. Temperatures soared to 120 degrees and every single day of his captivity he lived in fear that his captors would execute him.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Chuck Hadad • Iraq • Michael Ware
December 17th, 2009
04:50 PM ET

2008 reported hate crimes in the U.S.

U.S. Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation

On April 23, 1990, Congress passed the Hate Crime Statistics Act, which required the Attorney General to collect data “about crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.”

The designers of the Hate Crime Statistics Program sought to capture information about the types of bias that motivate crimes, the nature of the offenses, and some information about the victims and offenders.

The hate crime data in this Web publication comprise a subset of information that law enforcement agencies submit to the Uniform Crime Reporting Program.

Go here to see a full report of reported hate crimes that were committed in 2008. Search by location, type of crime, victim, offender or other identifying information.

Filed under: Crime
December 17th, 2009
04:49 PM ET

Photo Gallery: Inside Roy Hallums' underground cell

Editor's Note: Roy Hallums was kidnapped in 2004. He was rescued in 2005. He endured 311 days as a hostage in Iraq. He was actually buried alive when he was rescued and now we have the exclusive videotape of his rescue. We’ll show you how the special forces team did it. Hallum says what might appear hyperbolic with a calm earnestness. "I hoped they wouldn't decide to just cut off my head and videotape the occasion for mass distribution to the international media." Instead, we have the videotape of his rescue. Michael Ware reports tonight at 10 p.m. ET.

The entrance to Hallums' cell.

Inside Roy Hallums' cell.


December 17th, 2009
04:24 PM ET

The 10 worst predictions of 2009

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Foreign Policy

"I'm very pleased to announce that we've had a breakthrough in negotiations in Honduras. I want to congratulate the people of Honduras as well as President Zelaya and Mr. Micheletti for reaching an historic agreement.... I cannot think of another example of a country in Latin America that having suffered a rupture of its democratic and constitutional order overcame such a crisis through negotiation and dialogue."

—U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Oct.

Clinton was right that ousted President Manuel Zelaya and interim leader Roberto Micheletti had reached an agreement, but it wasn't a breakthrough and Honduras didn't overcome anything. The agreement was intended to return Zelaya to office for the remainder of his term, pending the approval of the Honduran Congress. Trouble is, the Congress didn't approve him. The agreement appears to have been little more than a stalling tactic aimed at international critics, particularly the United States, which was bought hook, line, and sinker by diplomats anxious to resolve the crisis. One month later, the United States reluctantly recognized Honduras's elections.

It’s always tough to make an accurate prediction, especially in the world of politics.

Now that 2009 is coming to an end, take a look at 10 pundits and politicians whose prognostications for this year completely missed the mark!

December 17th, 2009
04:15 PM ET
December 17th, 2009
04:09 PM ET

Honk if you want to Go Green!

Randi Kaye | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Someone I know once said to me, “You can ride an elephant down Fifth Avenue in New York City, and nobody will look. Nothing phases New Yorkers.”

Well, today I found out that isn’t exactly true.

My proof: the electric car I drove around the city for a story for Anderson Cooper 360°.

The car looks like a souped-up golf cart. They come in black, white, red, green, champagne and blue, but no matter what the color, they are all “green” because they are all electric. They run on battery power instead of gasoline.

I climbed into one today to test it out for our story. In the passenger seat was Colin Reilly, who owns the company, www.freeelectriccar.com.


December 17th, 2009
03:34 PM ET

3 police officers among 5 people indicted in race-related beating

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Five people, including three police officers, have been indicted on charges related to the beating death of a Latino man in rural Pennsylvania in July 2008, the Justice Department said Tuesday.

Two indictments charge the five with federal hate crimes, obstruction of justice and conspiracy in what authorities are calling a racially motivated attack.

The indictments come almost six months after a Schuylkill County jury acquitted two teens of aggravated assault and one of murder in the death of Luis Ramirez.

The undocumented Mexican immigrant was beaten into a coma during a street brawl involving the teens and their friends on a residential street in Shenandoah. The incident divided the small, rural mining town along racial lines and became a flash point for racial tensions nationwide.

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Filed under: Crime & Punishment
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