March 29th, 2010
02:01 PM ET
March 29th, 2010
12:20 PM ET

Indictment: Militia plotted to kill cops

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/CRIME/03/28/militia.arrests/story.terror.raid.wxyz.jpg caption="Michigan law enforcement carried out a raid on the Hutaree militia." width=300 height=169]


Nine suspected members of a militia group were charged Monday with seditious conspiracy and related charges in an alleged plot to kill a Michigan law enforcement officer and then attack other officers at his funeral, federal prosecutors said.

A federal grand jury in Detroit, Michigan, indicted six Michigan residents, two Ohioans and an Indianan on charges of seditious conspiracy, attempted use of weapons of mass destruction, teaching the use of explosive materials and possessing a firearm during a crime of violence, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade and Andrew Arena, FBI special agent in charge, announced.

The five-count indictment unsealed Monday charges that since August 2008, the defendants, acting as a Lenawee County, Michigan, militia group called the Hutaree, conspired to oppose by force the authority of the U.S. government.

Read the full indictment here.

Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Religion
March 29th, 2010
12:15 PM ET

Republicans' big hope for 2010

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/07/28/epa.gag.order/art.barbara.boxer.gi.jpg caption="Republicans have a chance of defeating senate incumbent Barbara Boxer, says Frum."]

David Frum
CNN Contributor

California Republicans are feeling an emotion they have not felt for years: hope. Not only may Republicans elect a governor, but also they have a credible chance of defeating incumbent Barbara Boxer and electing a U.S. senator for the first time since 1988.

Might the state of Ronald Reagan be returning to its old party loyalty? Even a little? If so, that return will have powerful consequences not just for California, but the country.

From World War II through 1988, Republicans won the presidency seven times. Six of those seven times, they had a Californian on the ticket in either the first or second spot.

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Filed under: Republicans
March 29th, 2010
12:00 PM ET

Chechnya and Russia: The conflict explained

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/europe/04/16/chechnya.russia.war.over/art.chechnya.jpg caption="Russian forces have operated in Chechnya since 1999."]

Saeed Ahmed

Russian officials suspect Chechen separatists in the deadly bombings that rocked two subway stations in central Moscow on Monday, highlighting a longstanding threat to the country's stability.

Russia's intelligence agency said preliminary indications point to "a terrorist group from the North Caucasus region," where Chechnya is located.

"We consider this the most likely scenario, based on investigations conducted at the site of the blast," said Alexander Bortnikov, director of the Federal Security Service.

The Russia-Chechnya conflict dates back many years and has exacted a heavy toll on both sides.

Chechens have laid claim to land in the Caucus Mountains region for more than 5,000 years.

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Filed under: Russia • Terrorism
March 29th, 2010
11:47 AM ET

At least 7 arrested after raids in 3 states

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2009/LIVING/wayoflife/03/09/us.religion.less.christian/art.religion.survey.gi.jpg caption="The militia involved in the raids claims to be 'preparing for the end time battles to keep the testimony of Jesus Christ alive.'"]

CNN Wire Staff

Federal authorities plan to unseal charges Monday against several people arrested in a series of weekend raids in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, prosecutors in Detroit said Sunday.

At least seven people were arrested on charges that were under seal over the weekend, a law enforcement source said Sunday.

Gina Balaya, spokeswoman for the U.S attorney's office in Detroit, said those charges will be revealed during a federal court hearing Monday.

Mike Lackomar, a county leader for the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia, said the target of the raid was a Christian militia group called the Hutaree. The group proclaims on a Web site that it is "preparing for the end time battles to keep the testimony of Jesus Christ alive."

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Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Religion
March 29th, 2010
11:39 AM ET

Risk for GOP comes from extreme fringe

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/03/24/congress.threats/story.capitol.police.jpg.jpg caption="Police stood guard outside the Capitol before the recent health care vote to deal with threats of violence." width=300 height=169]

Julian E. Zelizer
Special to CNN

As he stood before the delegates of the 1964 Republican Convention in San Francisco, California, Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater, the party's presidential nominee, said, "I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

The delegates, who had booed New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller when he called for the party to respect moderation, were thrilled. Many of Goldwater's supporters were determined to push their party toward the right wing of the political spectrum. They felt that their party leaders, including President Eisenhower, had simply offered a watered-down version of the New Deal.

Yet Goldwater soon learned that extremism could quickly become a political vice, particularly to a party seeking to regain control of the White House. The right wing of the Republican Party in the early 1960s inhabited a world that included extremist organizations, such as the John Birch Society, that railed against communism.

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Filed under: Julian E. Zelizer • Republicans • Tea Party
March 29th, 2010
11:30 AM ET

Wake-up call for foreign firms in China

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/BUSINESS/03/21/china.riotinto/story.china.rio.tinto.afp.getty.jpg caption="Rio Tinto, the second largest mining company in the world, offers a 'wake-up call' to businesses operating in China." width=300 height=169]

Peter Humphrey
Special to CNN

While the outcome of the Rio Tinto bribes-for-secrets trial in Shanghai was not in doubt, the lessons from the fiasco for businesses operating in China amount to a loud wake-up call that no company can afford to ignore.

With Australian citizen Stern Hu – Rio Tinto's erstwhile head of iron ore business in China – and three Chinese colleagues reportedly pleading guilty to bribery charges after a brief 3-day trial last week, nobody expected them to get off the hook in the court verdict issued on Monday. Reports of guilty pleas in the Chinese media ahead of the verdict usually augur trial convictions and stiff penalties.

The true details of the case will probably never emerge in full from China's secretive judicial process. But whatever you believe about what Stern Hu did and did not do, it is clear the case is symptomatic of the wider culture of corruption and cash-for-secrets activity that plagues all business across the country.

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Filed under: China
March 29th, 2010
11:25 AM ET

Dear President Obama #434: A short start to another long week

Reporter's Note: I write a letter every day to the White House. I’ve never received a response. And you think you’ve got problems…think how he must feel!

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/26/art.obamaaf1.gi.jpg]

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

These letters are far too long lately. It just occurred to me as I looked over the most recent one. For crying out loud it should have started with “Call me Ishmael.”

Sorry about that. Like most people who come to Washington, my experiences here have made me more long-winded. And I think that is a mistake. Just to confirm what you probably already suspect and what my wife regularly tells me, I’m not nearly as clever as I think I am.

On the other hand, with very rare exceptions, I don’t think anyone else is either. With respect, I’ve met a good many presidents and while none of them struck me as being dense, I’ve actually not been particularly bowled over by their intellect either. Don’t take that wrong. They are all plenty smart. But when I think about the people I’ve met who have most impressed me as deep, critical thinkers, only one president makes it into the mix…and no, I won’t tell you which one.


March 29th, 2010
11:06 AM ET

Morning Buzz: The Church of Scientology: A history of violence

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/europe/05/26/france.scientology.court/art.book.jpg caption="Tonight marks the start of a series looking at allegations of abuse within the Church of Scientology. Pictured: a Scientology bookshop selling works of church founder L. Ron Hubbard."]

Clare O'Connor
AC360° Intern

Tonight we begin a four-part investigation into allegations made by a number of former high-ranking members of the Church of Scientology. The allegations are about physical abuse they say took place within the Sea Organization, the international management branch of the Church.

Miscavige vehemently denies these allegations and he has the backing of the Church. Many members have written to us to complain about the series already.

The Church’s spokesman, Tommy Davis, admits there was a history of violence in the Sea Organization, but he blames it on former members who are disgruntled and are the ones making the allegations against Miscavige. There is no real proof offered by either side, but you can make your own assessment when you watch the story this week.


Filed under: 360° Radar • The Buzz
March 29th, 2010
10:47 AM ET

Lawmakers take health care debate home

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/03/29/health.care.debate/t1larg.protest.afp.gi.jpg caption="Tea Party activists protest big government and health care reform over the weekend." width=300 height=169]


President Obama is expected to sign the final health care legislation into law this week, but while the action wraps up on Capitol Hill, the heated debate over reform shows no sign of cooling down.

With lawmakers back in their districts for the spring work period, the conversation just moves to a different platform.

For Democrats, the two-week recess is an opportunity to highlight the immediate benefits of a law the public is not yet sold on. Democrats say the health care law provides all Americans with the opportunity to receive health care and prevents insurance companies from denying coverage to those who need it most.

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