[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/01/27/iraq.elections/art.square.jpg caption="Election posters, like these in central Baghdad, are plentiful as the voting nears." width=300 height=169]
Fareed Zakaria | BIO
CNN Anchor, “Fareed Zakaria – GPS”
This weekend's Iraqi election is testing the strength of the nation's young democracy and could be a turning point in the history of the Middle East, says analyst Fareed Zakaria.
In the March 7 election, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's coalition in the Iraqi parliament is seeking to win enough votes to keep him in office for another term. On Thursday, a series of insurgent attacks led to the deaths of 29 people in the city of Baquba.
Zakaria said the election could have a lasting impact: "It might be the turning point in the rise of Iraq in the Middle East. Iraq is one of the largest, most important countries in the Arab world. It has the third or fourth largest petroleum reserves in the world. Even now it has $40 billion in oil revenues every year; it has a well-trained army thanks to the Americans.
"It is perhaps the beginning of a return to prominence in the Middle East. It is possible that 10 years from now we'll look back and say, while everyone was obsessing about the rise of Iran, the real story in the Middle East in these years was the rise of Iraq."
Gang violence can be viewed as a form of domestic terrorism. It is a growing problem in both large and small cities where armed gangs traumatize entire communities. In Los Angeles, the nation's gang capital, more than 30 gangs fight for turf in a single police district - Hollenbeck. Anderson Cooper first reported on the gang violence in Hollenbeck five years ago. Every day next week Anderson reports on what's changed over the past five years.
Former gang member Richard Moya talks about the inner workings of gang life. Moya has been shot six times in gang related violence.
Tonight, new insight on the Pentagon shooter. A sheriff says John Patrick Bedell had a history of mental problems. Plus, she was kidnapped and held captive for 18 years. Tonight Jaycee Dugard is sharing home videos of her new found freedom.
Want to know what else we're covering? Read EVENING BUZZ
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[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/03/05/911.trial/story.ksm.fbi.jpg caption="White House is considering a military trial for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed." width=300 height=169]
The White House is considering recommending accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed be tried in a military court, a senior administration official tells CNN.
That would reverse Attorney General Eric Holder's plan unveiled back in November to have him tried in a civilian court in New York City, just blocks from where the World Trade Center stood.
"I am confident in the ability of our courts to provide these defendants a fair trial, just as they have for over 200 years," Holder said last fall.
Since that announcement Holder's plan has faced bipartisan opposition. Just last month he said the Justice Department "will have to take into account" the views of political leaders and others.
Some lawmakers on Capitol Hill argue Mohammed should be treated as a prisoner of war.
"These are not common criminals. They are war criminals and they should be treated according to the rules of the law of war... held by the military, interrogated for information that will protect Americans and help us win this war," said Sen. Joe Lieberman today a Connecticut independent and Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee.
Meanwhile, New York police have said the civilian court route would cost the city $200 million a year in a trial that could last years. They would need to set up 2,00 security checkpoints in lower Manhattan.
The American Civil Liberties Union is blasting the potential trial change.
"If the president flip-flops and retreats to the Bush military commissions, he will betray his campaign promise to restore the rule of law, demonstrate his principles are up for grabs and lose all credibility with Americans who care about justice and the rule of law," said Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU.
We'll have the raw politics of the possible new terror trial plan.
We also have new details on the California man who died after a shootout with Pentagon police. Investigators say John Patrick Bedell, 36, opened fire and wounded two officers last night. We learned today from California authorities Bedell had a history of mental health problems. The sheriff of San Benito County, California also says Bedell was reported missing by his family two months ago. He eventually returned home and at that point his mother thought he might have bought a gun. Records also show Bedell had other run-ins with police over the years. We'll have that information and show you what seems to be his internet rants against the government. John Avlon says Bedell is the latest example of a suicidal warrior in an anti-government movement that's spreading since Pres. Obama took office last year. Avlon shares his view tonight on 360°.
And, there's a new sex scandal linked to the Vatican. This time two laypeople, an usher and choir member, are accused of being part of a gay prostitution ring that allegedly involved members of the seminary.
We also have an Oscars preview for you. Anderson chatted with Kelly Ripa about her Academy Award picks.
We also did some research to uncover the keys to winning. Don't forget to join our live Oscar blog hosted by 360° Producer/Writer Jack Gray on Sunday night. It's your chance to weigh in about the fashion scene, the speeches and winners/losers.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/12/13/senate.spending.bill/story.capitol.dome.gi.jpg width=300 height=169]
Tanya M. Acker
In an attempt to exploit racial fears and perhaps assume for themselves the broad legitimacy of a civil rights movement, anti-choice activists are now targeting African-Americans – claiming that the exercise of reproductive freedom by African-American women is effecting a “genocide” in the African-American community. According to proponents of this strategy, family planning clinics are disproportionately located in African-American communities so as to facilitate this “genocide.”
While I do not dispute the sincerity of many in the pro-life movement, this attempt is cynical, misguided, and dangerous.
To argue that abortion rates among African-American women are higher because of a “racial conspiracy” is to ignore the reality of health care options (or the lack thereof) in that community. African-American women are less likely than their white counterparts to have access to affordable care – including affordable birth control options. They are also more likely to die of breast cancer, more likely to contract HIV and more likely to be diagnosed with hypertension. Infant mortality rates, too, are higher in the African-American than in the White community. To focus solely on the issue of higher abortion rates is to ignore the broader reality that the problem of inadequate access to health care is particularly acute in communities of color.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/01/31/terror.trial.site/story.ksm.gi.jpg caption="Alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed may be tried in a military court, according to White House sources." width=300 height=169]
White House advisers are considering recommending alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed be tried in a military court instead of a civilian one in New York City, a senior administration official told CNN on Friday.
In November, Attorney General Eric Holder announced his intention to try Mohammed in a New York civilian court.
"I am confident in the ability of our courts to provide these defendants a fair trial, just as they have for over 200 years," Holder said last month. "The alleged 9/11 conspirators will stand trial in our justice system before an impartial jury under long-established rules and procedures."
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/05/rskresize.jpg caption="Raynard S. Kington, Grinnell College's new president / Courtesy Grinnell College. " width=292 height=320]
CNN Senior National Editor
Black History Month may be over but it is worth noting the history made during February at a small liberal arts college in Iowa.
During its 164 years, Grinnell College has developed a reputation for involvement in social justice issues, dating back to founders active in the movement to abolish slavery.
But knowledge of that history could not prepare Raynard S. Kington for the reception he received when introduced as the college's 13th president.
The reaction from hundreds of students, faculty and staff packed into Herrick Chapel on campus as Kington emerged from behind a college banner might be described as a rock star-in-the-making moment.
Kington was greeted with a prolonged standing ovation, loud cheers and not a small amount of surprise on the faces before him.
Grinnell’s previous presidents (only one a woman) all were white. Kington is African-American. And gay, with his partner the fathers of two young boys.
Joe Johns and Justine Redman
Jean Duley was an addiction counselor. She describes one of her clients as a slight, mousey, yet charming man, with a vodka and Valium habit. That wasn't his biggest problem though. By the time he started seeing Duley, Dr. Bruce Ivins was under suspicion by the FBI for launching America's age of bioterrorism by mailing letters laced with deadly anthrax to two senators and a number of news organizations in 2001, killing five people.
The investigation had been going on for seven years. Ivins was a microbiologist who worked with anthrax at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, at Fort Detrick in Maryland. At times during their hunt for the killer, the FBI had consulted Ivins for his scientific expertise, and he'd been a willing adviser. Ivins told Duley he didn't do it, and said he believed one of his colleagues was the anthrax killer, but, in July 2008, authorities were closing in on Ivins as their prime suspect. He walked into Duley's counseling office almost out of control.
"I'd never seen him that way before," Jean Duley recalled to CNN in an exclusive interview. She'd been seeing him twice a week for about six months, during which time he was hospitalized for what she called a suicide attempt. "He was extremely angry and nasty in his demeanor. The receptionist actually came back to me and said there's something wrong, you need to go deal with it. There's something wrong with him."