April 14th, 2010
02:25 PM ET

Hundreds feared dead in Chinese earthquake

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CNN Wire Staff

Nearly 400 people are feared dead after a rapid series of strong earthquakes hit a mountainous and impoverished area of China's Qinghai province early Wednesday, state-run media said.

At least 10,000 others were injured, the Xinhua news agency reported, and many victims, including school children, were buried under debris. Rescuers were struggling to clear debris with their hands and save those trapped below.

A 6.9-magnitude earthquake, as measured by the U.S. Geological Survey, struck at 7:49 a.m. local time (7:49 p.m. ET Tuesday), when many citizens were still at home and schools were beginning the day. The USGS also recorded several strong aftershocks - one of magnitude 5.8 - all within hours of the initial quake.

The epicenter was located in remote and rugged terrain, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northwest of Qamdo, Tibet. Qinghai borders the autonomous regions of Tibet and Xingjiang and the provinces of Gansu and Sichuan.

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Filed under: China • China Earthquake
April 14th, 2010
02:24 PM ET

World's biggest earthquakes since 1900


The 8.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Chile on February 27 was similar in intensity to the fifth most powerful quake recorded since 1900.

That quake struck off the coast of Ecuador in 1906. It is not known how many people were killed.

The biggest quake recorded since 1900 hit the coast of southern Chile on May 22, 1960. The 9.5-magnitude quake killed more than 1,600 and left about 2 million people homeless.

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April 14th, 2010
02:23 PM ET

Poll: 1 in 10 say they're Tea Party activists


Ten percent of Americans say they have actively supported the Tea Party movement, and those Tea Party activists are older, better educated and more religious than the general public, according to a new national poll.

Of the Tea Party activists questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Wednesday morning, seven of 10 call themselves conservatives.

Nearly eight in 10 would vote for a Republican candidate for Congress if the midterm elections were held today. Six in 10 Tea Party activists are male.

However, the Tea Party movement, now in its 14th month, is not well known to nearly half the country. Forty-five percent of all Americans say they do not know enough about the Tea Party to say whether they support it or oppose it.

Those who are familiar with the movement are divided right down the middle - 27 percent support the Tea Party movement, and 27 percent oppose it.

One out of every 10 people says they have donated money, attended a rally, or taken some other active step to support the Tea Party movement.

The poll indicates that 60 percent of this core group of Tea Party activists are male, six in 10 are over the age of 50, two-thirds attended college, and half say they attend church services weekly or almost every week.

By comparison, 48 percent of all Americans are male, 45 percent are age 50 or older, 54 percent attended college, and four in 10 go to church every week or nearly every week.

Tea Party activists, known for their vocal opposition to government spending and taxes, are set to hold rallies in the nation's capital and across the country on Thursday - the day federal tax returns are due.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll was conducted April 9-11, with 1,008 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Tea Party
April 14th, 2010
02:19 PM ET

Tea Party battles for 'soul of this country'

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Kristi Keck

As Tax Day approaches, Tea Party activists are uniting to voice the message they've been honing for more than a year: It's time to reduce the size of government, honor the Constitution and return to fiscal responsibility in Washington.

The Tea Party Express' third cross-country tour brings activists to Boston, Massachusetts, on Wednesday, before culminating with an anti-tax rally at the nation's capital on Thursday.

The "Just Vote Them Out!" tour has weaved through areas represented by vulnerable Democrats, bringing thousands to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's hometown in Nevada on its opening day. The tour's other top target - Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan - announced his retirement the same day the tour was in his turf.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Tea Party
April 14th, 2010
02:03 PM ET

Financial Reform: Far from a done deal in Congress

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Michael Grunwald

It's funny how fast the Beltway consensus can change. A few months ago, health care reform was dead. Then it got undead. Financial regulatory reform was supposedly dead too, but now that Republicans have supposedly learned that pure obstructionism is a losing play, it's being treated as a done deal. Democrats like Obama's economic adviser Larry Summers and Senate Banking Committee chairman Christopher Dodd are saying it's going to pass, perhaps as early as next month. So are key Republicans like Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, who recently put the odds of passage at "100%."

Let's just say that seems high.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Democrats • Finance • Republicans
April 14th, 2010
01:39 PM ET

3rd grader passing out drugs at school






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Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

An 8-year-old boy brought dozens of packets likely containing heroin to school, Pennsylvania authorities said. According to school officials, the child was handing the packets out to fellow students in his third-grade class.

The child, whose name has not been released, is not expected to be charged because of his age, the Wilkinsburg Police Department said Wednesday. Lindsey Neyland, public relations director for the Wilkinsburg School District, said the incident happened Tuesday morning at Turner Elementary School. Wilkinsburg is a small town near Pittsburgh.

"Apparently a teacher saw the student fumbling with items from his pocket and investigated what he was doing. That is when the drugs were discovered," the police statement said.

Investigators said they recovered approximately 60 folded packs, each marked with an ink stamp impression of the words "Trust Me."

Eighteen other open packets were found in the classroom garbage, police said.


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
April 14th, 2010
01:03 PM ET
April 14th, 2010
12:55 PM ET

Video: Sean Penn helping Haiti

Gary Tuchman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Filed under: Gary Tuchman • Haiti • Sean Penn
April 14th, 2010
12:53 PM ET

Jobs and Population: How our religious leaders can help

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Editor's Note: This article continues our series excerpted from AC360°'s contributor David Gewirtz's book, How To Save Jobs, which is available now. AC360° viewers can download it for free at HowToSaveJobs.org. To learn more about the book, follow David on Twitter @DavidGewirtz.

David Gewirtz | BIO
AC360° Contributor
Director, U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute

This article is a continuation of Jobs and population: Controlling population.

The paradox, of course, is that if we don't curb our rampant population growth, the planet will not be able to support us.

This is where religious leaders can help in a way no enforced government policy like the jìhuà shengyù zhèngcè can. Religious leaders have a reach and an influence far beyond that of most political entities. Religious leaders teach values and provide guidance to their congregations.

Religious leaders make up the single most effective values-message distribution channel on the planet.

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While about 15 percent of the world's population doesn't practice a religion, nearly 85 percent does. Christians and Muslims make up more than 50 percent of the world's religious practitioners. Buddhists and Hindus make up the vast majority of the remaining devout throughout the world.

Many of the world's religions rely on ancient texts to provide guidance for a modern world. While believers contend that these sacred texts reflect the philosophy of their respective divine beings, these books also represent field guides to life in ancient times, a look into society as it was millennia ago.


April 14th, 2010
12:18 PM ET

Torry Hansen should have sought help

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Patricia Cogen
Special to CNN

By all appearances, Torry Hansen returned her 7-year-old adopted son to Russia like a pair of pants that didn't fit. As a result, Russia is considering closing adoptions to American families.

The parents of internationally adopted children, like myself, and the agencies that work with them are horrified by the family's actions - Torry Hansen's mother put the boy on a plane with a note - but also empathetic: We know just how challenging and frustrating raising such a child can be.

But mainly, many are shocked that she apparently did not reach out for the help that is available. Torry Hansen wanted a child to love, her mother, Nancy Hansen, told The Associated Press. Unfortunately her expectations were a mismatch with reality.

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Filed under: Adoption • Russia
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