January 5th, 2010
12:07 PM ET

Thousands mourn slain teacher

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El Monte, California

Thousands stuffed the bleachers on both sides of a California high school football field Monday night to remember a beloved teacher who was slain in Mexico a few days ago.

Grieving family members, friends and residents of El Monte, California, waved glowsticks in the air and listened to heartfelt stories about how Augustin Roberto "Bobby" Salcedo was a devoted family man and an inspirational educator. They heard, too, that he was a practical jokester who made people laugh.

Journey's "Don't Stop Believin' " blared on loudspeakers. And there was a quieter anthem: Salcedo's family sang "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" to honor the die-hard Dodgers fan.

In all, about 4,000 people cheered and wept at once at Monday's candlelight vigil held at Mountain View High School as they grappled with their community's loss.

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Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Mexico
January 5th, 2010
12:01 PM ET

Why profiling doesn't work

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Arsalan Iftikhar | BIO
AC360° Contributor
Founder, TheMuslimGuy.com

In light of the botched Christmas Day airliner bombing aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 en route from Amsterdam to Detroit, the Transportation Security Administration has announced new enhanced "guidelines" requiring airline passengers traveling from (and through) 14 different countries to undergo especially rigorous security screening before being able to fly into the United States.

Under these new TSA guidelines, security screeners will conduct "full pat-down body checks" and extensive carry-on luggage checks for all passengers traveling from a country which the U.S. considers to be a "security risk."

These 14 countries are: Afghanistan, Algeria, Cuba, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Additionally, passengers traveling from any other foreign country may also be checked at 'random' as well.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Arsalan Iftikhar • Human Rights • Religion • Terrorism
January 5th, 2010
11:56 AM ET

Screening must include religion, ethnicity

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/01/03/brennan.plane.terror/smlvid.us.airline.suspect.cnn.jpg caption="YOUR CAPTION BETWEEN QUOTES" width=300 height=169]

Steven Emerson
Special to CNN

In the wake of the attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound flight on Christmas Day, security experts, political commentators and the media have been asking one question: How can the United States prevent terrorists from smuggling homemade bombs through security?

The most frequent answer has been full body scanners, a developing technology used in a handful of airports around the world. Although these scanners may be effective, they are at best the right answer to the wrong question.

The question that law enforcement and security professionals must ask is how to prevent the terrorists themselves from getting on the airplane.

Once we focus our attention on individual terrorists rather than their potential weapons, one fact is immediately clear: We must completely change the way we go about airport security and counterterrorism in general.

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Filed under: Human Rights • Religion • Terrorism
January 5th, 2010
11:30 AM ET

Dear President Obama #351: The Monday morning quarterbacks of terrorism

Reporter's Note: President Obama is reviewing what went wrong with our defenses against that attempted terror attack over the holidays. Which means, of course, I’m reviewing my latest letter to Pennsylvania Avenue on that very subject.

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Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

I don’t know a lot about preventing terrorism. Truth be told, I had a devil of a time just avoiding black eyes from the school bully in my younger days. But here are two things that I am pretty sure of:

1) We can’t always count on some athletic airplane passenger to tackle a would-be attacker at the last minute.

2) When it comes to stopping these lunatics, we’ve got to quit being so reactive, and start being more proactive.

I know, I know…that sounds like one of those snappy phrases people roll out when they are three deep into the cocktails and really have no idea how to go about solving a problem. But what I am saying is this: Often it seems as if our enemies are thinking on their feet, while moving on the battlefield; and we are thinking on our hind quarters, while sitting in conference rooms.

Time and again the pattern seems to be the same. They attack from some geographic place (like Afghanistan, for instance,) so we pound on that corner of the globe. They attack using airplanes, so we all start taking off our shoes and spreading out for total body scans. Presumably if they attacked using a raw tuna, we’d put screening stations in front of sushi restaurants. See what I mean? We constantly keep reacting to past attacks as if THAT is specifically what we have to prevent, and then we’re left shaking our heads and surprised to find that we missed something new coming at us from somewhere else.


January 5th, 2010
11:20 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Keeping them Honest – Airport Security

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Eliza Browning
AC360° Associate Producer

Today President Obama will meet with agency heads in the Situation Room to discuss the ongoing reviews of the Christmas Day airline-bombing attempt. The group is expected to discuss security enhancements and intelligence-sharing improvements in our homeland security and counterterrorism operations. Sec. Clinton, Robert Gates, Janet Napolitano, Eric Holder as well as the directors of National Intelligence, the FBI and the CIA.

Senior officials say that today’s meeting will be a combination of reviewing what went wrong and talking through what can be done to ensure something similar doesn’t happen again. Meanwhile, the U.S. Embassy in Yemen, which was closed over the weekend due to security concerns, will reopen today. Yemeni authorities have helped the U.S. with additional security precautions at the site.

Tonight we’re looking into security screening at airports. The Obama administration has transferred dozens of names from a broad terrorism database to watch lists that are more closely monitored in an effort to plug security holes revealed by the terrorism attempt. What names were transferred and what happens now if you’re on the watch lists?


Filed under: Eliza Browning • The Buzz
January 5th, 2010
11:05 AM ET
January 5th, 2010
11:05 AM ET

Mother and baby survive near-death experiences

Stephanie Smith
CNN Medical Producer

The nightmare began around 12:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

Mike Hermanstorfer stood next to his wife's hospital bed, stricken. He touched her arm. The skin was cold, ashen. Tracy Hermanstorfer's heart had stopped.

"I opened my hand and her arm just fell out of mine," said Hermanstorfer. "She was already gone."

Moments later, the staff at Memorial Health System in Colorado Springs, Colorado, sounded a Code Blue - resuscitation needed for cardiac arrest. They would have to act fast: Tracy Hermanstorfer, 33, was also in labor. Her baby was perilously close to death.

But this was a perplexing case. Before her heart stopped beating, Tracy Hermanstorfer was, by all accounts, completely healthy. Doctors still have few clues about what caused her cardiac arrest.

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January 5th, 2010
08:36 AM ET
January 5th, 2010
08:33 AM ET
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