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AC360° Associate Producer
White House advisers are considering recommending alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed be tried in a military court, not a civilian one in New York, a senior administration official confirmed today. This is a 180-degree move for the Obama administration, which has consistently insisted that trying Mohammed in a civilian court would be a powerful symbol of U.S. rule of law. So why they change?
And if you watched our report last night you know that there was a shooting at the Pentagon yesterday evening. The gunman who wounded two Pentagon police officers has now died. John Patrick Bedell, a 36-year-old from Hollister, Calif., coolly and calmly approached the screening area outside the Pentagon Thursday evening and opened fire, grazing two Pentagon police officers before they returned fire. We’re learning new details about Bedell today. He apparently had a blog and a website. So what was his motive?
We’re also looking at new unemployment numbers released today. Although the unemployment rate held steady in February, the U.S. economy is still shedding jobs, according to a government report released today. The Labor Department said the economy lost 36,000 jobs in the month, fewer than the 68,000 jobs economists were expecting. How are things in your neighborhood? Are people still losing jobs or have you noticed any kind of improvement?
And in an effort to build support for his health care proposal, President Obama made an urgent appeal to House Democrats asking them to “hang in there,” and “stay on board even though it might be politically risky.” More than a dozen liberal and moderate Democrats met with the President in two sessions. Although a senior official said the meetings were “good,” the President apparently made it clear that not everyone “is going to get everything they want.” So is Obama facing more dissension among his fellow Democrats? What will this mean for health care reform? The White House is reportedly hoping a final health care vote will happen by March 18, when the president lives on an overseas trip. Is that wishful thinking?
We’ll also be following Iraq’s election this weekend. It could be the first look at the modern Iraq and its political future. There are 325 seats in parliament that will be filled after Sunday’s election. The outcome may determine whether or not Iraq will still on this path of so-called democracy or if it will move toward a more conservative, anti-American state.
Next week we’re running a special series on gang violence. In Los Angeles, known to many as the nation’s gang capital, 34 gangs fight for turf in a single police district – Hollenbeck. Five years ago, Anderson reported on the corrosive effects of gang violence in this area and next week he returns to what’s changed five years later. He speaks to members of the community, people who are working to curb the violence and a former gang leader who is turning his life around. Don’t miss this compelling series all week next week.
And, finally, although we don’t endorse switching channels from CNN on Sunday, if you happen to be watching the Academy Awards do it with us! AC360° Producer Jack Gray will be live blogging the Awards on our site. You won’t want to miss his running commentary!
What else are you following today? Let us know and see you at 10 p.m. ET!
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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