March 24th, 2010
11:23 PM ET

Traveling with a marked man

Program Note: Don't miss Part 2 of Gary Tuchman's report on drug violence in the murder capital of the world tonight at AC360° at 10PM ET.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/24/reyes.jpg caption="Jose Reyes Ferriz is serene despite death threats."]Gary Tuchman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

What's it like to travel with someone who has been publicly threatened with assassination? A bit unnerving to say the least. But that is what our story is about tonight on AC360°. The mayor of Juarez, Mexico has been told by narco-traffickers that if he doesn't resign, he has two weeks to live; and that two week period comes to an end today.

Jose Reyes Ferriz has been mayor since 2007; his term is over this October. And he says he will finish his term; he will not step down. But as he travels across the city, whether by car or foot; he travels with elaborate security. Aides with impressive weapons; vehicles with substantial armor are all part of the mayor's daily life. He has a worried family, but he says they trust him to make the right decision. More than 2,600 people were killed in Juarez last year. Compare that to Dallas, Texas, which is roughly the same size. Dallas had 166 murders.

As we drove with the mayor across the city, I couldn't help but continuously look out the windows; intently watching for any sign of trouble. But Mayor Jose Reyes Ferriz looked serene. He has a quest to make his city safer, and he won't let the bad guys stop him from trying.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Crime & Punishment • Gary Tuchman • Mexico
March 24th, 2010
10:34 PM ET

A look beyond the fat

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/24/tiger2.jpg caption="Tiger Greene is 12 and already pre-diabetic."]

Danielle Dellorto
CNN Senior Producer

When people are in love they tend to only see what they want to. We’re all guilty of it – at work, with a spouse, and also when it comes to our children’s waistlines. One survey found 50% of parents with overweight kids failed to recognize the problem. We put blinders on. Only see what we want to. Unfortunately, ignoring the expanding waistline in our children could be killing them.

Nearly one-third of kids in America weight too much. At 250 pounds, Tiger Greene, age 12, is one of them. His father, Brian, admits to having ‘blinders’ on. Eating out is considered father, son bonding time. When he looked at Tiger he didn’t see an obese boy; he saw a young man whom he believed would hit a growth spurt and lose the “baby weight.”

The breaking point for the Greene family came right before Christmas when Tiger’s dad had his 5th heart stent put in. Tiger says he was terrified his dad would die and terrified he would follow in father’s footsteps. He told his dad enough was enough. He didn’t want to be fat anymore. He needed his dad to take off the blinders and recognize the problem and help him lose weight. “What I thought was laughing and eating and having fun was actually just digging a grave with our teeth for my son,” said Greene. “And I think as a parent realizing what you've done to your kid is the worst feeling in the world. It’s hitting rock bottom.”

Tiger had developed sleep apnea, pre-diabetes, signs of fatty liver disease and heart damage – all by age 12. He’s not alone. Experts now project an entire generation of kids may die 20 years earlier than their parents because of diseases caused by being overweight.

Tune into AC360 tonight as Dr. Sanjay Gupta takes you beyond the fat and exposes the internal health damage happening right now to America’s children.

Filed under: Nutrition • Obesity
March 24th, 2010
09:49 PM ET

Health Care Reform Missing: Join the Live Chat

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/02/liveblogfinal.copy.jpg]

Lawmakers have been putting off one health care fix for years and it's not part of the reform bill.  If something isn't done a large number of doctors could stop accepting a large number of patients.  We're keeping them honest. Plus,  the death threat made against the mayor of Juarez, Mexico that arrived in a bloody bag.

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 24th, 2010
05:34 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Threats Against Democrats After Health Care Vote

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/03/24/congress.threats/story.capitol.police.jpg.jpg
caption="Capitol Police officers stand outside the Capitol Building Sunday evening before the vote on the health care reform bill." width=300 height=169]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

House Democrats met with Capitol Police and the FBI today after several of them reported vandalism and threats made against them following Sunday's health care vote.

More than 10 Democrats have reported trouble, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters.

"We are hopeful that all Americans will feel that clearly our democracy is about participation, our democracy is about differing and debate, and animated debate, and passionate debate, but it is not about violence," Hoyer said at the news conference with South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, the number 2 Democrat in the House of Representatives.

The two House leaders are calling on Republicans to denounce the threats.

"We in this Congress have got to come together in a bipartisan way and tamp this foolishness down. It doesn't make sense," Clyburn said.

CNN's Dana Bash is on Capitol Hill with details on the vandalism and threats. It's unknown who's behind the attacks, but we do know one person encouraging the trouble.

Dana will report tonight on Mark Vanderboegh, a popular right wing extremist who on his blog last week wrote: "So, if you wish to send a message that Pelosi and her party cannot fail to hear, break their windows. Break them now."

John Avlon, of the Daily Beast, interviewed Vanderboegh late last year for his book "Wingnuts".

Avlon says Vanderboegh is the co-founder of the Three Percenters, a milita group that takes its name from a questionable statistic that only three percent of the American colonists actively fought for independence. Avlon writes that the Three Percenters describe themselves as "promoting the ideals of liberty, freedom and a constitutional government restrained by law."

Anderson will dig deeper with Avlon about this milita leader calling for attacks against Democrats.

We also continue our series "Kids in Peril: Obesity in America." 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta introduces us to Tiger Green, a 12 year old boy who is 250 pounds. Dr. Gupta exposes what internal damage the boy could be doing to his health. Tiger isn't alone. Nearly one-third of American kids weigh too much.

Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET. See you then.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
March 24th, 2010
04:02 PM ET

Bank robbers call in heist

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/24/art.falcon.albertbailey.jpg caption="Albert Bailey and a juvenile accomplice are suspected of robbing a bank, after calling in to have the bank prepare the cash."]Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

Two young men are accused of “phoning in” a bank robbery in Connecticut.

“I’ve heard of drive-up robberies where they rob the bank via drive-up windows,” said Det. Lt. Michael Gagner of the Fairfield Police Department. “But I’ve never had somebody call ahead and say ‘get the money we’re coming’.”

The bizarre and comical heist unfolded yesterday afternoon at a branch of the People’s Bank in Fairfield. A bank employee received a phone call from a person demanding that they assemble $100,000 in large bills with a warning of a “blood bath” if their orders were not met, authorities said.

The employee hung up the phone and immediately called 911, Gagner told CNN. The bank also initiated a lockdown but not before the caller’s accomplice was already inside, Gagner said.

According to Gagner, the accomplice handed a teller a note demanding money at the exact same time the bank employee was talking on the phone to the police.

“The guy is literally giving us a blow by blow, saying the robbery is going down,” Gagner said. FULL POST

Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
March 24th, 2010
03:54 PM ET

Beat 360° 3/24/10

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:

Actor Ben Stiller and actress Greta Gerwig appear at the Apple Store Soho as part of the Meet the Actors series on March 23, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/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:


Joey Gardner

“No. I will NOT apologize for Night at the Museum 2.”



"I wish this Focker would shut up already"

________________________________________________________________________________ Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
March 24th, 2010
03:48 PM ET

A pig's head and a threat: Resign or die!

Program Note: Don't miss Part 2 of Gary Tuchman's report on drug violence in the murder capital of the world tonight at AC360° at 10PM ET.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/25/art.juarez.closeup1.jpg caption="A blood-stained helmet of a police officer killed in Juarez, Mexico. (2009)"]
Ismael Estrada
AC360° Producer

Two weeks ago near mayor Jose Reyes Ferriz's office, a severed pig's head was left in a plastic bag with a note warning that if the mayor didn't step down he'd be dead.  The mayor of Juarez, Mexico says it's not the first time he's been threatened and says it's because he has refused to back down from the drug lords and has taken it upon himself to try to root out corruption within the police force. On the same day the mayor received this warning, yet another police officer was killed.

This is life the world's most murderous city, which sits just across the border from El Paso, Texas.

Last year while covering the drug war here, photojournalist Gil DeLaRosa and I went to the city morgue where an officer was laying dead on one side of the room, a cartel member on the other.  Bodies were overflowing the small facility.  We didn't think it could get any worse.  It has.

Even though he is a marked man, Mayor Reyes is still going through his daily routine, though with increased security.  Gil and I, along with reporter Gary Tuchman, met up with Mayor Reyes at a scheduled event.  He spoke with anger about what his city has become.  He says he wants the drug lords' reign over his city to end.  He's disgusted at the numbers of people murdered every day. FULL POST

Filed under: 360° Radar • Crime & Punishment • Gary Tuchman • Ismael Estrada • Mexico
March 24th, 2010
03:17 PM ET

Is your state suing to block the health care reform bill?

Officials from 14 states have gone to court to block the historic overhaul of the U.S. health care system that President Obama signed into law Tuesday, arguing the law's requirement that individuals buy health insurance violates the Constitution.

All the suits have been filed by Republican Attorney Generals, except for Louisiana, where Democratic Attorney General Buddy Caldwell said it is a matter of "upholding our constitutional duties as attorneys general."

Keep reading...

March 24th, 2010
03:06 PM ET

How to fix the doctor shortage

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/ireport/sm/prod/2009/03/11/WE00226153/444673/Ireportprod-HangingOnToYourHealthInsurance287961_md.jpg]

Darrell G. Kirch
President and CEO of the Assoc. of American Medical Colleges
The Wall Street Journal

Congress needs to ensure we're cared for by more than an insurance card and an answering machine.

Congress is poised to pass a health-care overhaul that would expand insurance coverage to 31 million Americans, but will the newly insured have a physician to care for them?

Our nation currently faces a shortage of physicians expected to worsen as the number of people over age 65 (who use more than twice the health care of younger adults) doubles. Even with significant changes to the health-care delivery system and improved prevention, the United States will face a shortage of more than 125,000 physicians in the next 15 years—a daunting problem considering that we only train about 27,000 new doctors a year. In addition, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) estimates that at least 16,000 more primary care physicians are needed today.

The shortage of primary care physicians and other health professionals is further complicated by an overall physician shortage in most areas of the country. In 2001, new patients were forced to wait an average of eight days to see a family or general practitioner. Overall wait times for all physicians reached almost 15 days that year. Without significant increases in the number of doctors, these delays will only get worse.

On average, it takes three to seven years to fully train a new physician through a process known as residency training (the graduate medical education that all physicians must undergo after eight years of college and medical school). While U.S. medical schools are working to increase their classes by 30%, these new medical school graduates will not increase the nation's overall supply of physicians, or even have a residency position in which to train, unless the government lifts the cap on residency training slots it pays for that was imposed as part of the Balanced Budget Act in 1997.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Darrell G. Kirch • Health Care
March 24th, 2010
02:18 PM ET
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