March 8th, 2010
04:37 PM ET

American missionary held in Haiti released

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/WORLD/americas/03/08/haiti.americans.detained/story.charisa.coulter.gi.jpg caption="Charisa Coulter, seen here after a court hearing in Haiti last month, was among 10 accused of kidnapping 33 children." width=300 height=169]


Charisa Coulter, one of two American missionaries detained for more than a month in Haiti on suspicion of kidnapping 33 children after January 12's devastating earthquake, was released Monday.

She walked out of judicial police headquarters and headed to the nearby airport Monday afternoon.

Attorneys Chillier Roi and Ricardo Chachoute, who are representing Coulter and the American who still is being detained, Laura Silsby, earlier told CNN that the judge had OK'd Coulter's release.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Aid workers • Haiti • Haiti Earthquake
March 8th, 2010
04:34 PM ET

Beat 360° 3/8/10

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:

Victoria Beckham and Model Heidi Klum attend the 18th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Award Party at Pacific Design Center on March 7, 2010 in West Hollywood, California.

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° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
March 8th, 2010
04:30 PM ET

Interactive Map: Crime in Hollenbeck


Search the LAPD's interactive map for real-time information on crime in Hollenbeck.

Filed under: Crime
March 8th, 2010
03:58 PM ET

Tonight: Text 360°

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/08/art.text360.jpg]


Today, President Obama tore into private health insurers for recent rate hikes, taking a more aggressive rhetorical turn as he pushes for final congressional passage of his top domestic priority.

Insurance companies, the president argued, have made a calculation. He cited a recent Goldman Sachs conference call in which an insurance broker told investors that insurers are willing to lose some customers through premium hikes because of an overall lack of competition in the industry.

The administration is ramping up its health care push in the coming weeks. The White House has called for legislation to be on the president's desk at the end of March before the congressional Easter vacation.

Tonight, we talk to a former health insurance executive, Wendell Potter and the current executive vice President of America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), Mike Tuffin, for their perspectives on health care reform.

Send us a text message with your question. Text AC360 (or 22360), and you might hear it on air!

Filed under: T1 • Text 360
March 8th, 2010
03:41 PM ET

'Speed-dating' doctors woo patients

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/HEALTH/04/03/ep.doctor.visits/art.doctor.pt.jpg caption="Prospective patients meet with a handful of doctors before deciding who they would like to see."]

Ashley Fantz

New in town, Brandy Preston reasoned that it was only lunch. She liked the fact that there were no strings attached. If she didn't like the person, she could just say, "It was nice to meet you," and leave.

"I was surprised because it felt so comfortable and I wasn't afraid to ask questions," the 29-year-old said. "I mean, I'd finally met the right match.

"This gynecologist was exactly who I wanted."

Call it speed dating for doctors. Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital, near Fort Worth, has launched a program called Doc Shop that invites prospective patients to casually meet and size up a lot of doctors in a short amount of time.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Health Care
March 8th, 2010
03:20 PM ET

Oscar Wrap-Up: Why Avatar Lost

Richard Corliss

All night long, the jokes kept coming on the same subjects: Avatar this, George Clooney that. Sandra Bullock, accepting her award for Best Actress, acknowledged "all the people who didn't" help her, including "George Clooney, who threw me in a pool. I still hold a grudge." Ben Stiller showed up painted like a Na'vi to introduce the makeup category (for which Avatar wasn't nominated), and the Argentine winner of Best Foreign Language Film thanked the Academy "for not considering Na'vi a foreign language."

It's the classic comedy strategy of the have-nots making fun of the haves, and the hoary Oscar tradition of using famous movies and celebrities as the punch lines to jokes understandable to the mass of viewers — most of whom haven't seen, and might not have heard of, the smaller films and actors, who tend to get the awards. Oooh, Avatar, $2.5 billion at the box office ... Heh heh, George Clooney, world's coolest movie star ... Rim shot.


Filed under: Academy Awards • Film
March 8th, 2010
02:42 PM ET

New lead in missing family case


[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/CRIME/02/22/california.missing.family/story.mcstay.split.courtesy.jpg caption="Evidence at Joseph and Summer McStay's home suggests they hadn't planned on being gone long, authorities say." width=300 height=169]

Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

Security tape from a border checkpoint may have captured a California family missing since February entering Mexico, authorities said. “It’s a possibility,” Sgt. Dave Martinez of the San Diego Sheriff’s Office homicide detail told CNN.

The surveillance video, taken February 8 at the San Ysidro border crossing, shows four people who appear to resemble Joseph McStay, 40; his wife, Summer, 43; and their two children, Gianni, 4, and Joseph 3, officials said.

“This might be the family going into Mexico,” Martinez said. “We can’t confirm it. We can’t rule it out because the footage is kind of grainy and it’s under ambient light. It’s dark with the shadows. It can be difficult. But it’s a possibility based on the size of the individuals.”

Martinez added that “there are other characteristics that we noticed, possibly clothing” that may indicate the four individuals are the McStays. He also described them as “walking casually toward the gate.”


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
March 8th, 2010
12:01 PM ET

Never dismiss power of Afghan women

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/10/15/afghanistan.women.amanpour/art2.jpg caption="Afghan women have fought to receive an education, despite Taliban rules."]

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Special to CNN

Afghan women won the world's attention nine years ago following the routing of Taliban troops at the hands of U.S. and Afghan forces. Back then, a rush of dignitaries flew to Kabul to denounce the Taliban's brutal treatment of women, although the world had largely forgotten these same women during the previous seven years.

No school, no work, no leaving the house without a man - even a boy would do. These are the laws Afghan women learned to live with, because they had to. Yet they also found a way to work around those rules.

Throughout the Taliban years, Afghan women ran aid organizations, practiced medicine, taught schools and ran businesses. They refused to be victims; instead, they led their communities and helped them survive desolate years of economic collapse and political isolation.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Afghanistan • Taliban • Women's Rights
March 8th, 2010
11:31 AM ET
March 8th, 2010
11:30 AM ET

Dear President Obama #413: Alas in Blunderland

Reporter's Note: The president has to put up with a lot of absurdities in DC. Not unlike taking a trip through the looking glass. No doubt, he’s glad he has my daily letters as a guide!

Alice (Mia Wasikowska) finds herself back in a mixed-up world in 'Alice in Wonderland.'
Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

So here I am just a day after telling you that I don’t find movies as interesting as I once did, and lo and behold I was lured off to the cinema this very evening by my wife and younger daughter! The attraction was the long-awaited and much ballyhooed “Alice in Wonderland” in 3D by Tim Burton, and of course it was visually marvelous. Call me crazy, but keep an eye on this Johnny Depp fellow. He’s going places!

That said, the story of Alice, for my taste, is a bit like the story of someone else’s dream. You know what I mean: A friend sees you and launches into a breathless recounting of his or her fascinating nightmare about a mountain of seals and a Viking. At first it seems interesting enough, but ten minutes later they’re still droning on, and you just feel sleepy. I imagine all your meetings with Harry Reid are kind of like that. Ha! (Actually, the only Alice in Wonderland movie that has ever really popped my cork, is a 1988 version by the Czech surrealist, Jan Svankmajer. Freakier than family dinner at the Kardashian house.)

In any event, one of the key problems with this new version, for me, is that my expectations were really high. Consequently, I was almost destined to be a wee bit disappointed.


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