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February 4th, 2010
12:38 PM ET

James Arthur Ray arrested

Program Note: Tune in tonight for more on the arrest of James Arthur Ray. AC360° 10 p.m. ET.

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caption="James Arthur Ray was arrested on Wednesday on manslaughter charges." width=292 height=320]

Ismael Estrada
AC360° Producer

Yesterday, Gary Tuchman and I looked through hundreds of documents related to the October 2009 'Spiritual Warrior' retreat held by motivational speaker James Arthur Ray. The retreat, held in Sedona, Arizona, was where three people died after spending time in a sweat lodge. The documents related to the case were just released by the Yavapai County Sheriff's office.

We have been covering the story since last fall - interviewing many people who had been to this "sweat lodge" and many other James Arthur Ray events in the past.

We were preparing to put together another story when I was sent an email I wasn't expecting. It was from the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office stating that James Arthur Ray has been arrested.

Gary spoke with Barbara Bunn, who was in the sweat lodge that day, and she immediately started crying. She says she felt a sense of relief.

FULL POST

February 4th, 2010
12:07 PM ET

Retired Navy Captain: My life under 'don't ask, don't tell'

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/02/03/darrah.personal.history.gay.military.experience/tzleft.joan.darrah.courtesy.jpg caption="Retired Navy Capt. Joan E. Darrah served 29½ years as a naval intelligence officer and was chief of staff and deputy commander at the Office of Naval Intelligence. Darrah lives with her partner of 19 years, Lynne Kennedy, in Alexandria, Virginia. " width=300 height=169]

Joan E. Darrah
Special to CNN

When I first joined the Navy, I had no idea that I was gay. I was well into my career when I realized this fact, but I was doing well as evidenced by the awards and promotions I was receiving.

In addition, I really enjoyed what I was doing and felt I was making a difference. So I opted to continue to serve, even though I knew that I would have to hide my true identity.

For most of my career in the Navy, I lived two lives and went to work each day wondering if that would be my last. Whenever the admiral would call me to his office, 99.9 percent of me was certain that it was to discuss an operational issue. But there was always that fear in the back of my mind that somehow I had been "outed," and he was calling me to his office to tell me that I was fired. So many simple things that straight people take for granted could have ended my career, even a comment such as "My partner and I went to the movies last night."

Read more...


Filed under: Gay & Lesbian Issues • Military
February 4th, 2010
11:34 AM ET
February 4th, 2010
11:19 AM ET

Why I'm proud to wear the burqa

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/WORLD/europe/02/04/france.burqa.ban/burqa.tzleft.cnn.jpg caption="Oumkheyr lives in France, where there is a campaign to ban wearing full veils." width=300 height=169]

Editor's note: Oumkheyr is a French Muslim woman in her 40s. Of Algerian origin, she is divorced and has a daughter. She tells CNN why she's proud to wear the burqa, also known as the niqab or full veil, and what she thinks of the law proposed by the French government to ban the burqa.

Oumkheyr

I wear the burqa for the simple reason that I am a Muslim and the Koran says that I must wear the full veil in order to be modest.

I am proud of my Muslim faith and my modesty. I am proud to follow God's law.

Nobody ever forced me to wear the full veil and I have been wearing it for around 10 years now.

In fact, very few of my friends actually wear one. There are, of course, situations in which some men force their wives or daughters to wear the burqa but, believe me, these cases are a very, very small minority.

For those of us who are believers, we just want to do God's will and live by the sacred text, so what any man says has nothing to do with that.

I am testament to that as I don't have a husband and I practice my religion freely, that's why I'm always shocked when people say it's the husband who forces his wife to wear a burqa.

Read more...


Filed under: Islam • Religion
February 4th, 2010
11:11 AM ET
February 4th, 2010
10:22 AM ET

Iran unfolds its fist to slap us in the face

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William Tobey
The Boston Globe

Last month, an important deadline passed in nuclear negotiations with Iran, eroding the foundation of the Obama administration’s policy on Iran: that a softer approach might pay off; and, failing that, it would induce tougher action by Russia and China.

The deadline was for Iran to show progress, but Tehran has refused to talk much at all about nuclear issues. Negotiators have met only twice to discuss a side issue, a proposed uranium swap to refuel Tehran’s research reactor.

Meanwhile over the past year, Iran doubled its production of enriched uranium, was revealed to be building a covert enrichment site at Qom, and threatened to build 10 more plants – despite UN Security Council resolutions requiring Iran to suspend enrichment activities.

Read more...


Filed under: 360° Radar • Iran • Nuclear Weapons • President Barack Obama
February 4th, 2010
09:58 AM ET

Video: Independent fights to be heard

David Mattingly | BIO
CNN Correspondent


Filed under: David Mattingly • Raw Politics
February 4th, 2010
07:15 AM ET

Jobs and population: Mother Earth actually has the capacity to feed her people

Editor's Note: This article continues our series excerpted from AC360°'s contributor David Gewirtz's book, How To Save Jobs, which is available now. AC360° viewers can download it for free at HowToSaveJobs.org. To learn more about the book, follow David on Twitter @DavidGewirtz.

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David Gewirtz | BIO
AC360° Contributor
Director, U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute

Next up was a look at grain consumption. Grain has always been an indicator of even the most basic of civilization, so a look at how the middle-classing of developing countries would affect the food supply based on grain usage seemed appropriate.

This time, I used data from the Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture Production. Worldwide, humans consume about 1.9 billion metric tons of grain each year.

Today, the United States consumes about 287 million metric tons of grain, or about 14.8 percent of the world's total supply.

China consumes slightly more than we do, at about 406 million metric tons of grain, or about 21 percent of the world's supply.

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India has a lot of starving people, and that shows in its grain use. India consumes only about 196 million metric tons of grain, about 10 percent of the world's total. You can see India's ups and downs written in the numbers. Some years, like 1993, their grain consumption went up 5.6 percent. But other years, like 2001, their grain consumption dropped by 4.3 percent. Neither of these are big fluctuations, but it does show some years Indian citizens ate a little more and other years, they ate a little less.

FULL POST

February 4th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

Dear President Obama #381: Hate to say it's a disappointment, but ...

Reporter's Note: President Obama met with Senate Democrats at their retreat just as he did with Repubs a few days ago. Well, not exactly the same way…and that’s the subject of my daily letter to the White House.

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Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

Telling someone that he is making a mistake is never a pleasant task, neither for the teller nor the tell-ee. For example, I told my friend Carl back in college that he might want to reconsider his choice of Early French Poetry as a major, and from his reaction you would have thought I had accused him of a felony. Oh well, I guess it gave him something to discuss later in the unemployment line.

That said, I think you made a mistake today when you were talking to your Democratic pals. Remember just a scant few days ago when you lit into the Repubs in a similar setting for being obstructionists. I suggested then that it was a good start, but only if you followed up by doing the same to your own party. Need I remind you who held all the reins of power for the past year? For as much as the Republicans fought against your programs (and they did) the people who held up your legislation were the very Democrats you were talking to. Your party, with substantial majorities, controls the House, the Senate, and the Presidency. If something is not getting done, it is because your fellow Dems are standing in the way.

I know this sounds harsh, but for you to go stroke them and tell them it is all the opposition’s fault seems to me to be a strategic blunder. It’s almost like waving the white flag of “I’m so afraid of making you angry, I’ll let you undermine my Presidency and then help you blame someone else.”

FULL POST

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