April 9th, 2010
01:56 PM ET

Court filing reveals taunted teen's anguish in final hours

Freshman Phoebe Prince took her own life following weeks of taunting by schoolmates, authorities say.

Freshman Phoebe Prince took her own life following weeks of taunting by schoolmates, authorities say.

Ann O'Neill

During the last afternoon of her life, 15-year-old freshman Phoebe Prince was loudly berated in the high school library and she was taunted again as school let out, court documents say.

And, as she walked home in tears, one of the students passing by in a car called Prince names and tossed an empty can at her, according to the 38-page court filing that offers the first detailed account of a high school bullying scandal that has gained the national spotlight.

Prince used her cell phone to send text messages to a friend, saying that she was distraught over the relentless hazing. Her last text message went out at 2:48 p.m. She also received two messages but never opened them, the document states.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Bullying
April 9th, 2010
01:51 PM ET

Court nominees often named within days

In 2009, President Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor 25 days after a court vacancy was announced.

In 2009, President Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor 25 days after a court vacancy was announced.

Robert Yoon

If history is any guide, the White House could announce its nominee to replace retiring U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens within days.

In fact, nine of the past 14 court nominees were named within six days of the position becoming available.

President Obama took 25 days to announce Sonia Sotomayor as his pick to replace Justice David Souter who retired in 2009.

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April 9th, 2010
01:50 PM ET

Cheer Up, America


David Gergen | BIO
AC360° Contributor
CNN Senior Political Analyst

Americans are gloomy these days. When asked by pollsters whether the country is on the right or wrong track—a widely watched barometer of the public mood—a majority have been saying “wrong track” for almost five years in a row. Some 60% think we are in decline, and nearly 70% believe that we have a leadership crisis.

I confess that I often wake up discouraged, too. But rather than wallow in national self-doubt, it helps to remember just how many mountains we have climbed already and how many strengths we still have. A little cheering up will lighten spirits and fortify us for the tough journey ahead.

Remember back in the mid-’60s how disgraceful it was—and how insoluble it seemed—that a third of Americans over 65 lived in poverty and more than half had no health insurance? Today, less than 10% are impoverished, and every senior has insurance. Only a third of young children attended nursery school or kindergarten in the mid-’60s; today, some two-thirds do.

I grew up in the segregated South where blacks had a hard time voting; today more than 10,000 African-Americans hold elected office—and the United States is the first Western nation to elect a black President. Women were taught to stay home, curb their ambitions, and not interfere. As in other areas, change is still too slow, but today more women than men are getting college degrees; they are the majority in top law and medical schools and constitute 17% of the Senate. Businesses owned by women are responsible for a reported $3 trillion in revenue and employ 16% of the workforce. Women are presidents of Harvard, Princeton, MIT, Brown, Penn, Michigan, Miami, and more — and are doing fantastic jobs!


Filed under: David Gergen • Raw Politics
April 9th, 2010
01:44 PM ET

Video: Bullies 'know where to not be seen'

Anderson Cooper | BIO
AC360° Anchor

CNN's Anderson Cooper talks to parents of a bullying victim who committed suicide.

Filed under: Anderson Cooper
April 9th, 2010
12:01 PM ET

Sarah's slim chance

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

As the political heavens rumble with dark clouds of discontent, the forecasters are looking up and wondering if a true maelstrom is coming: A hard core, third party charge at the presidential election of 2012. And no name is being whispered more often as a possibly leader of the assault, than Sarah Palin’s.

But there is significant evidence, even if she should decide to go that way, that the ship-jumping former governor’s appeal to voters may have profound limits. Sure, she seems to be one of those rare political characters who come along now and then, ripping into the electoral sky like a bottle rocket, delighting some folks, and startling and scaring others.

But ultimately those shooting stars usually fizzle and fall back to earth with little effect, and here are four reasons why that may be her fate, despite the wishes of her ardent supporters. First, there just aren’t enough of them. The polls all along have confirmed that her populist speeches appeal to voters who are furious with the two major parties, but beyond that people have profound doubts about her abilities as a leader. Even the staunch conservatives, and virulent moderates (my famous Militant Middle) who appear most ready to topple the two party platforms, are tepid in their support for Palin.


Filed under: Raw Politics • Sarah Palin • Tom Foreman
April 9th, 2010
11:46 AM ET

Justice Stevens' Letter to President Obama

The Supreme Court announced Friday that Justice John Paul Stevens will retire.

The Supreme Court announced Friday that Justice John Paul Stevens will retire.


Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens will retire, the high court's press office said Friday. His departure after nearly 35 years on the bench will give President Obama another opportunity to shape the court. Read his letter announcing his retirement.

Go here to read the letter.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Supreme Court
April 9th, 2010
11:37 AM ET

Blame me for illegal immigrants

Sens. Chuck Schumer (left) and Lindsey Graham (right) are crafting immigration reform legislation.

Sens. Chuck Schumer (left) and Lindsey Graham (right) are crafting immigration reform legislation.

Ruben Navarrette Jr.
Special to CNN

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, are demonstrating real leadership on a tough issue. The issue: immigration. Their solution: a comprehensive reform bill combining enforcement with earned legal status for illegal immigrants, which they appear ready to introduce any day now.

But before Congress returns to a debate that tied it up in knots a few years ago, and before Americans begin arguing - on talk radio and blogs, at water coolers and Little League games - over what to do about border security, workforce needs, the process for immigrating legally, and the status of 10.3 million illegal immigrants, we need to be absolutely clear about why the United States has so much illegal immigration in the first place.

Until we can answer that question candidly and without regard for hurt feelings, we'll never be able to curb the future flow of illegal immigrants. Americans remember the debate over the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which offered amnesty to nearly 2.7 million illegal immigrants.

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Filed under: Immigration
April 9th, 2010
11:34 AM ET

Analysis: After new START, what's next?

President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a landmark nuclear arms treaty Thursday.

President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a landmark nuclear arms treaty Thursday.

Pam Benson
National Security Producer

Whittling down the massive American and Russian nuclear arsenals has been an arduous task. Under the terms of the new START treaty, each side can still possess 1,550 nuclear warheads. By anyone's measure, that is a lot of nukes. There is little doubt those numbers enable both countries to respond to any dire threat.

But as President Obama pursues his dream of zero nuclear weapons worldwide, is there a point where further reductions create serious problems for the nuclear powers?

For the Russians, the warheads have a powerful symbolic value. For the United States, more cuts could have a direct effect on current levels of global protection.

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Filed under: Nuclear Weapons • Russia
April 9th, 2010
11:31 AM ET

Friday's intriguing people: Newt Gingrich


The former House speaker told those attending the Southern Republican Leadership Conference on Thursday night in New Orleans, Louisiana, that President Obama is radical, left-wing and socialist, among other adjectives.

Although he has not declared his attention to run in 2012, Gingrich, whose entrance to the GOP meeting was accompanied by the song "Eye of the Tiger," went on the attack soon after a standing ovation.

"The most radical president in American history has now thrown down the gauntlet to the American people: 'I run a machine. I own Washington, and there's nothing you can do about it,' " Gingrich said.

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Filed under: 360° Radar
April 9th, 2010
11:07 AM ET

Stupak to announce retirement

Bart Stupak will announce his retirement Friday.

Bart Stupak will announce his retirement Friday.

Dana Bush
CNN Senior Congressional

Nine-term Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Michigan, will reveal Friday he is retiring from Congress, several Democratic sources close to Stupak tell CNN.

The anti-abortion Democrat has been facing opposition from both the right and the left for his 11th hour deal with the White House that he says bans federal funding for abortion. The deal ultimately led to his decisive vote in favor of the health care bill.

Stupak first informed Democratic leaders last week that he was considering retiring. He has received calls from President Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others urging him to run again.

Democratic sources in Washington and Michigan say they fear losing Stupak, a historically popular Democrat in a sprawling conservative district, will mean likely losing his seat to the Republicans.

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Filed under: Democrats
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