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Special to AC360°
It is always when you least expect it, when reality starts having a seizure and you have to put your wallet in its mouth. That is what it felt like as I stood outside Bar Constitucion in the Barrio Bellavista neighborhood of Santiago at 3:30 a.m. early Saturday morning.
Out with some friends, we found ourselves standing in the middle of the street, the lights of the entire city going out in an eerie staggered sequence and a muffed sound – like a helicopter taking off at some distance - everything was completely unhinged.
The walk home was not an easy one; each step taken in nervous suspense, avoiding pieces of debris from fallen buildings, broken glass from busted windows, and exploded lamp posts that littered the sidewalks. There was no power anywhere in Santiago and it was suddenly much easier to see more stars than usual.
Filed under: Chile Earthquake
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CNN senior State Department producer
Military officials from NATO and its 28 member states descended on Washington last week for a series of discussions about rethinking how the alliance should transform itself in an era when its scope has expanded beyond traditional Cold War boundaries.
The seminar was hosted by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who is chairing a group of experts appointed by the NATO secretary-general to recommend a new "Strategic Concept" for the alliance, governing how it perceives and responds to threats.
The group heard from some pretty heavy hitters: U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, all of whom aptly acknowledged the alliance is facing a new strategic landscape with new enemies, ideologies and battle tactics that threaten its collective security.
Reporter's Note: President Obama might like the Winter Olympics. I don’t know. I’m pretty sure he must like my daily letters. But frankly, I don’t know about that either.
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Tom Foreman | BIO
Dear Mr. President,
You know what I really like about the Olympics? I love watching how very close the competition can be between people from opposite sides of the world engaged in sports they have dedicated their lives to, and yet about which I know almost nothing. Did you see the finals in the biathlon? You know that whole ski-shoot-ski routine?
Unless we’re talking about cultures that are deeply engrossed in some sort of strange winter war, this is not an activity that you’re just going to stumble into. And yet people train at it, study it, practice it, condition for it, and have these breathtakingly close contests to decide who is best. (As an aside, I’d like to try this sport, but I’m a bit hesitant. When I was a teenager I once chased a possum out of our garden, threw a rock at him, and broke the garage window. Ok, I made that up. But skiing with a rifle? I fear if I get involved the first thing they’ll have to do is herd all the spectators into a bunker.)
Still, I get a lot out of watching such contests. I admire not merely the athleticism of the folks involved, but also their tenacity. It can’t be easy to spend so many hours training for a sport that no one understands, to compete in a contest only a few people care about, and to only maybe…maybe…maybe come away with anything to show for your efforts.
Editor's Note: After Friday night's AC360°, many of you wrote in about Sea World segment. And Dr. Sanjay Gupta received compliments for filling in for Anderson.
Anderson, your friend Sanjay, did a great job on the show. He made it interesting and informative as well. I'm sure you’d be proud of him.
Sanjay Gupta is amazing as an anchor! He has a good sense of humor, collaborates with line reporters, pronounces words carefully, and above all, has a pleasant voice.
I just wanted to acknowledge your substitution of Dr. Sanjay Gupta in your stead. I commend you for your choice. Thank you for listening to your viewers' feedback. We appreciate it, and it's always better to be too agreeable than the alternative…
Filed under: Behind The Scenes
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