February 4th, 2010
09:43 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 02/04/10

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We have breaking news on the 10 Americans charged with kidnapping in Haiti. Plus, raw politics from Tennessee where the Tea Party convention is underway. We're also saying good-bye to two Pandas, now headed back to China.

Want more details on what we're covering? Read EVENING BUZZ

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
February 4th, 2010
09:10 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Americans Charged with Kidnapping

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

The 10 Americans detained in Haiti for trying to take 33 children out of the country have been charged with kidnapping and criminal association

The news came after the five men and five women left a two-hour hearing at a prosecutor's office.

The missionaries said nothing to reporters when they left the meeting, but some sang hymns.

The Americans are back in jail tonight in Port-au-Prince. They could be there for some time, because under Haitian law anyone charged with kidnapping is not eligible for bail.

The group tried to take the children into the Dominican Republic last Friday and were stopped at the border.

Some parents told CNN they willingly gave their children to the Americans, who promised they'd have a better life.

Tonight on 360°, we have troubling new details on their journey and how the Americans allegedly went about it.

Back here in the U.S., fraud charges have been filed against Bank of America's former CEO, Ken Lewis and former CFO, Joe Price. They're accused of misleading shareholders about Merrill Lynch's losses when the bank purchased the company earlier this year.

Bank of the America calls the lawsuit by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo "totally without merit" and "regrettable."

These are civil charges. There can be no jail time. Why not? We'll talk about the legal battle with CNN's legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

We'll also take you inside the Tea Party convention in Nashville, Tennessee. We'll look at who is there and who is not. We'll also help you get a sense of the movement that could shape the November mid-term elections.

Join us for these stories and much more at 10 p.m. ET.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
February 4th, 2010
07:16 PM ET

Beat 360° 2/4/10

Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture 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:

Tareq Salahi and Michaele Salahi pose with the USA Polo Team in Melbourne, Australia. Tareq is captain of the team. The couple crashed a White House state dinner in 2009. (Getty Images)

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.

Beat 360° Winners:


Steve Brusk

“I feel like going out on the town. Do you have directions to the Prime Minister’s residence?”


Lynda Nelson, BC Canada

"Tareq and Michaele Salahi arriving in Melbourne is clear evidence that a major breakdown in Australian airport security has occurred."

_________________________________________________________________________________ Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
February 4th, 2010
07:02 PM ET
February 4th, 2010
06:48 PM ET

Welcome to the Party

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Program note: Watch Randi Kaye’s live report from the Tea Party Convention in Nashville, tonight at 10pm ET on AC360°.

Randi Kaye | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

I hadn’t been to Little Rock Arkansas in 16 years.

I had worked there as a reporter, my very first reporting job, and honestly, I wasn’t sure I’d ever be back.

Sure enough, I traveled to Little Rock this week to interview a man named Bob Porto. You’ll meet him tonight on AC360.

He was a home builder but the recession dried up all his business and when the bank came to collect a $300,000 loan on Porto’s house, he didn’t have the money. He also didn’t have anywhere to turn. That was September 2008 and that’s when Bob Port co-founded the Pulaski County Tea Party, which includes Little Rock and is the biggest Tea Party in the state.

Porto never cared much for politics but these days he’s busy giving speeches and going on the radio to push the Tea Party values.

Like most tea partiers, Porto isn’t happy with the direction he says President Obama is taking this country.

Tea Partiers oppose big government and big spending by government. They also oppose higher taxes and stand for freedom and fiscal responsibility. They do not want to see an increase in the national debt and they view health care reform as if it’s a health care takeover. More spending that they say “we the people" don’t need and won’t benefit from.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Randi Kaye • Raw Politics
February 4th, 2010
06:39 PM ET

Photo Gallery: Farewell to Tai Shan

November 29, 2005

Smithsonian National Zoo

Tai Shan officially began his journey to China early this morning, leaving the Zoo at 9:04 a.m. The four-and-a-half-year-old panda is on his way to Dulles International Airport, where he will board a FedEx 777 plane bound for Chengdu. The non-stop flight will take about 14 hours. Over the years, Tai Shan has become a celebrity in Washington, and will now take on a new role in China as part of a panda breeding program at Wolong’s Bifengxia Panda Base in Ya’an, Sichuan.

Since his birth July 9, 2005, Tai Shan, whose name means “peaceful mountain,” has attracted millions of visitors worldwide to the National Zoo and to the Zoo’s panda cams.

Tai Shan departed from Dulles at about noon today, and is traveling in a steel crate that measures 77 1/2 inches long, 56 1/2 inches wide and 50 inches tall. He will have fruit (pears are his favorite), vegetables, biscuits and about 55 pounds of bamboo to keep him fed during his journey.


November 29, 2005


February 4th, 2010
03:45 PM ET
February 4th, 2010
02:36 PM ET

Why the 9/11 trial belongs in New York

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Peter Bergen and Karen Greenberg
Special to CNN

Obama administration officials, apparently bowing to political pressure, said over the weekend they are considering moving the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the accused operational commander of the 9/11 attacks, out of New York City.

The objections to holding it in New York seem reasonable: The financial cost to the city and the fear that the trial might inspire a lone bomber or even an organized al Qaeda attack.

Certainly, holding Mohammed's trial over many months and even years in the congested streets of Lower Manhattan will damage the local economy. But the fix for this could be straightforward: Move the trial to one of the many other courthouses in the five boroughs, or to Governor's Island, which is within sight of the crater where the World Trade Center once stood.

As to fears of bringing on another attack, putting Mohammed on trial in New York doesn't make the city any bigger a target than it already is, because - guess what - New York already is the No. 1 target for jihadist militants. It has been so for almost two decades, since the first Trade Center attack in 1993, which was followed by the averted plots to blow up the Holland Tunnel and other Manhattan landmarks and the 9/11 attacks themselves. Since then, there has been a plot to blow up the Herald Square subway station and alleged attempts to bomb fuel tanks at JFK airport and synagogues in the Bronx.

The unconvincing objections about the costs of holding the trial and the heightened terror threat that comes with it are also trumped by the larger public good from putting Mohammed on trial in New York City.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Justice Department • Peter Bergen • Terrorism
February 4th, 2010
01:06 PM ET

Video: Helping children in Haiti or kidnapping?

Program note: Tune in tonight at 10pm ET for the latest information on the Americans jailed in Port-au-Prince for attempting to illegally remove children from Haiti.

Karl Penhaul
CNN Correspondent

Filed under: 360° Radar • Haiti Earthquake • Karl Penhaul
February 4th, 2010
12:45 PM ET

A Tea Party incumbents won't enjoy

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Ed Rollins
CNN Senior Political Contributor

A grass-roots movement is growing across this country, and like the Ross Perot movement of 18 years ago, it will turn the political landscape upside down, with the consequences being felt long afterwards.

Warning signs should be posted on the streets surrounding our nation's Capitol: "Endangered Species! Incumbents beware!"

In late May of 1992, I signed on as the co-chairman and day-to-day campaign manager of the Perot for President effort.

For months prior to my decision, I had been watching with fascination the growing coast-to-coast, grass-roots movement and the disconnect between it and the Washington political establishment. Millions of Americans had a growing disdain for both political parties and felt those representing them in Congress and the man in the White House, George H.W. Bush, didn't relate to their ordinary lives.

Keep reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Ed Rollins • Raw Politics
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