March 17th, 2010
09:44 PM ET

Closer to health care reform: Join the Live Chat

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Tonight on 360°, the Democrats are one vote closer to passing health care reform, disturbing details about the 33 Haitian children taken by American missionaries, a French television documentary that is really causing a stir, and an update on the death investigation of Corey Haim.

Want to know what else we're covering? Read EVENING BUZZ

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
4) No links
5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

Filed under: Live Blog • T1
March 17th, 2010
08:56 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Kucinich switches health care vote from No to Yes

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Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

Democrats scrambling to pass health care reform need 216 votes and tonight they are one vote closer.

After intense lobbying by President Obama, Rep. Dennis Kucinich said today he will, in fact, support the health care bill coming up for a vote in the House. Until now, he had opposed reform without a robust public plan and possible state single-payer plans.

We’ll talk to the Ohio congressman tonight about his change of mind. Plus, a Keeping Them Honest report on what’s actually in the bill. President Obama said special favors would be stripped out. But were they? Ed Henry tells us what he found.

We also have a disturbing update on those 33 Haitian children taken by American missionary Laura Silsby. It turned out they aren’t orphans; they have families. Now they are being returned to their relatives. But for many of these children, it’s not the happy homecoming you might imagine. We’ll show you why tonight in our 360 Follow.

Have you heard about the French television documentary that’s causing such a stir? The filmmakers created a fake game show called “Game of Death” to see how far ordinary people would actually stray from their sense of right and wrong. Could you do what they did? Push a button to deliver a near lethal jolt of electricity into another person’s body?

You’ll be horrified to learn how many people ignored their moral compasses and blindly followed orders. We'll take you up close.

In Crime and Punishment tonight, there’s been an arrest in connection with the death of actor Corey Haim. It comes just days after authorities launched an investigation into a prescription drug ring linked to the former child star. Investigators say dozens of doctors gave Haim prescriptions for pills that could have harmed him. We’ll talk to senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and addiction specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky about the new development, including how big a problem these prescription drug rings have become.

See you at 10 p.m. eastern, and don’t forget to join the live chat during the program!

Filed under: Cate Vojdik • The Buzz
March 17th, 2010
08:32 PM ET

Teen prescription drug abuse

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Earlier this month, The Partnership for a Drug-Free America released the 2009 Parents and Teens Attitude Tracking Study Report. The report reveals data on teen use and perception of prescription medications:

"According to the survey, teen abuse of prescription (Rx) and over-the-counter cough medicine (OTC) has remained stable with about 1 in 5 teens in grades nine through 12 (20 percent) or 3.2 million reporting abuse of a prescription medication at least once in their lives, and 1 in 7 teens (15 percent) or 2.4 million teens reporting abuse of a prescription pain reliever in the past year. About 8 percent or 1.3 million teens have reported OTC cough medicine abuse in the past year.

Unlike most illegal drugs, perceived availability, or how easy a teen believes it is to get prescription drugs, can be a risk factor in adolescent abuse of Rx medications.
PATS shows more than half or 56 percent of teens in grades nine through 12 believe Rx drugs are easier to get than illegal drugs.

Also, 62 percent believe most teens get Rx drugs from their own family’s medicine cabinets and 63 percent believe Rx drugs are easy to get from their parent’s medicine cabinet, up significantly from 56 percent just last year."

Read the full report from The Partnership for a Drug-Free America...

The death of Actor Corey Haim may be linked to harm from prescription pills. Tonight, we'll be digging deeper on the topic of teen prescription drug abuse. Tune in at 10pm ET.

Filed under: Medical News
March 17th, 2010
08:07 PM ET

A modern twist to Milgrim's shocking experiment

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Would you shock someone with potentially lethal amounts of electricity simply because you were told to do it? That's exactly what the subjects in Stanley Milgrim's experiments did in the early 1960s. His objective was to test obedience to authority, and the world was surprised to see the results. A majority of ordinary citizens in the test chose to shock an innocent person when they were ordered to by the scientist leading the experiment. The individuals on the receiving end of the powerful shocks were actually actors pretending to suffer, but the subjects believed they were causing the actors real pain throughout the study.

Now, a French documentary has put a modern twist to Milgrim's original work. The film, called "The Game of Death," features players in a fake television game shocking fellow contestants if they answer a question incorrectly. The audience cheers them on, and the actors pretending to be zapped put on a good show. The documentary explores television's impact on morality. Tonight, Randi Kaye digs deeper on the psychology behind the experiments. Tune in at 10pm ET.


March 17th, 2010
07:29 PM ET

House Democrats: Where they stand on the health care bill


House Democrats who support the Senate health care bill need 216 "yes" votes to pass it. Conversely, opponents of the bill need to secure 216 "no" votes to kill it. CNN contacted 100 House Democrats whose votes appeared to be in play. Here's a look at those who say they'll vote against the Senate bill no matter what, those who will oppose it unless there are significant changes, and those who are undecided. The chart also shows how the lawmakers voted on the House version of the bill. Thirty-four House Democrats have told CNN they haven't yet decided how they will vote, and 29 have not responded to CNN's repeated inquiries.

Total Democratic "no" votes needed to kill the bill: 38
Total Democratic "no" votes as of March 17, 2010: 27

Keep reading...

Filed under: Health Care • Raw Politics
March 17th, 2010
06:16 PM ET

Building up America: How Hyundai changed the world...in South Alabama

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

You don’t have to travel far in this country to find heartfelt concern about the number of jobs that have been shipped overseas by American businesses. But in south Alabama, the biggest economic blessing in years has come from a foreign firm that decided to ship thousands of jobs here.

The Hyundai plant just below Montgomery began rolling out shiny new cars in 2005, hit full capacity in 2007, and the results have transformed this region. Dozens of companies which supply Hyundai with everything from sunroofs, to dashboards, to bumpers have sprung up across the landscape, creating jobs and a hedge against more sharp rises in the state’s unemployment rate.


Filed under: Building Up America • Tom Foreman
March 17th, 2010
05:40 PM ET

Students benefit from longer school days

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Mike Feinberg
Special to CNN

School districts nationwide are trimming funds, for custodians to school supplies, to address widening budget gaps. Even public schools in affluent communities such as Mill Valley, California, and Scarsdale, New York, are scrambling to make ends meet.

In a final act of desperation, more than 100 school districts in 17 states have done the unthinkable –they've eliminated an entire school day each week. This decision is particularly wrongheaded as results from the Massachusetts Extended Learning Time Initiative last year showed that schools with expanded schedules improved at double the state rate in English and math.

In January 2009, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said, "I think the school day is too short, our week is too short, our year is too short." And he was referring to a five-day week, 180-day school year, let alone the truncated version that many cash-strapped districts will provide this year.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Education
March 17th, 2010
05:36 PM ET

Beat 360° 3/17/10

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:

Elephants from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus stop near the U.S. Capitol for a photo op on the National Mall as they parade through town to announce the circus's arrival for performances in Washington, DC. (Getty Images)

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° Winners:
Sean Yates
"Ladies and gentlemen, and children of all ages … your health care future … right here under the bigtop."

Rod Chorneyko, British Columbia
"Of course we tried, but Nancy Pelosi insisted that elephants in the room were the last thing she needed."

________________________________________________________________________________ Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
March 17th, 2010
04:16 PM ET

Impact Your World: How you can help Haiti

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As aid organizations work to provide for the survivors in post-quake Haiti, the ongoing support for humanitarian aid remains vital. You can text donations for Haiti relief from your cell phone. In addition to your donation amount, standard text messaging fees will apply.

Red Cross: Text HAITI to 90999 ($10 donation)
UNICEF: Text UNICEF to 20222 ($10 donation)
Clinton Foundation: Text HAITI to 20222 ($10 donation)
Yéle Haiti: Text YELE to 501501 ($5 donation)
United Way: Text HAITI to 864833 ($5 donation)
Intl Medical Corps: Text HAITI to 85944 ($10 donation)
World Food Program: Text: FRIENDS to 90999 ($5 donation)
UN Foundation: Text CERF to 90999 ($5 donation)
Compassion Intl: Text DISASTER to 90999 ($10 donation)
Intl Rescue Committee Text: HAITI to 25383 ($5 donation)
The Salvation Army: Text HAITI to 52000 ($10 donation)
Cure Intl: Text CURE to 85944 ($10 donation)
Oxfam: Text OXFAM to 25383 ($10 donation)
Samaritan's Purse: Text SP to 85944 ($10 donation) Convoy of Hope: Text CONVOY to 50555 ($10 donation)

From Canada:
Salvation Army in Canada: Text HAITI to 45678 ($5 donation)
Plan Canada: Text HAITI to 30333 ($5 donation)

From the United Kingdom:
Disasters Emergency Committee: Text GIVE to 70077 (£5 Pounds)

From France:
French Red Cross: Text HAITI to 80222 (1 Euro)

For more on how to help Haiti, go to Impact Your World.

Filed under: Haiti Earthquake • Impact Your World
March 17th, 2010
03:36 PM ET
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