June 30th, 2010
09:48 PM ET

Tracking Hurricane Alex: Join the Live Chat

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Hurricane Alex hits land along the west coast of the Gulf of Mexico and is having an impact at the oil spill site. We'll have the latest developments on the storm. Plus, see how BP is trying to shutdown its own safety watchdog unit, which was created under Congressional pressure in the wake of BP oil spills in Alaska and that devastating fire and explosion at its refinery in Texas City, Texas in 2005.

Want more details on what 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
June 30th, 2010
09:41 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Hurricane Alex Coming Ashore

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Hurricane Alex is coming ashore right now, about 100 miles south of the U.S.-Mexico border. It's a category two storm with sustained winds of 100 mph. Alex's outer bands are making an impact in Texas, where at least three tornadoes have touchdown. CNN meteorologist Reynolds Wolf will join us live tonight from South Padre Island, Texas with the latest on the developments.

Even though Hurricane Alex is headed away from the Gulf oil spill, it's still have a big impact on the site. Oil skimming ships had to return to shore and containment booms are also being moved around due the rough sea.
Plus, a third ship to collect the oil can't be connected to the well due to the 12-foot waves.

"Until this weather subsides, all we can do is have everything ready to attack and remove this oil once we have weather that is conductive," said Rear Adm. Paul Zukunft, who provided today's Coast Guard news briefing.

We also have breaking news out of Portland, Oregon, where police have reopened an investigation involving former vice president Al Gore. A massage therapist is accusing Gore of unwanted sexual contact at a hotel in 2006.
The police took statements from the woman but initially closed the investigation for lack of evidence. We'll talk it over with CNN Senior Legal Analyst and former federal prosecutor Jeffrey Toobin.

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

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
June 30th, 2010
05:33 PM ET

Beat 360° 6/30/10

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:

US President Barack Obama gestures for the crowd to keep quiet about his visit to the O&H Danish Bakery to buy kringle pastries so that First Lady Michelle Obama wouldn't find out about the visit, during a town hall event on the economy at Racine Memorial Hall in Racine, Wisconsin, June 30, 2010. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/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.

Update: Beat 360° Winners

Staff:Steve Brusk
"President Obama's most frequent conversation with Vice President Biden."

Viewer: Kevin, Nova Scotia
"The day the President's teleprompter writer missed the 'a' in the word Shah."

________________________________________________________________________________ Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
June 30th, 2010
05:24 PM ET

Interactive: Photos of the Spill

Click on the photo to see more pictures of the Gulf Oil Spill.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Gulf Oil Spill
June 30th, 2010
05:01 PM ET

How to File a Freedom of Information Act Request for Your Travel History

Chris Guillebeau
AC360° Contributor

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Early this morning I sent out an envelope containing an official Freedom of Information Act Request to the U.S. government.

Am I a conspiracy theorist? Have I started stockpiling canned food and building a bomb shelter behind my apartment?

Sorry to disappoint anyone holed up in a cabin somewhere, but not really. I refuse to visit any bomb shelter that doesn’t provide wifi and a french press. In this case, I’m mostly just curious… what do the feds know about me?


Filed under: Chris Guillebeau • Travel
June 30th, 2010
04:35 PM ET

Time runs out for 1.2 million on unemployment

Christina Zdanowicz

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/06/29/unemployment.irpt/story.cintron.irpt.jpg caption="Miriam Cintron lost her job in late 2008 and has been receiving unemployment benefits since then." width=300 height=169]

With her unemployment benefits coming to a halt, Miriam Cintron is forced to make a difficult choice between health insurance and daily expenses.

Signing into her unemployment benefits account last week, the New Yorker was horrified to see she hadn't received any money for three weeks, she says.

What would the four-year cancer survivor do if she couldn't afford to pay her $650 monthly COBRA payment? Her health insurance helped pay for life-saving treatment before, so giving it up is not an option, she says.

When Cintron was laid off from her job as a case worker at a homeless shelter in late 2008, she never imagined she'd go on unemployment. But even with 17 years experience, she's been unable to land a new job.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: iReport • Unemployment
June 30th, 2010
04:18 PM ET

Barefoot Bandit moving east


The teenage fugitive accused of stealing planes, cars and boats along the West Coast is now wanted in the nation's heartland, police say.

If the allegations against Colton Harris-Moore, 19, are true, the young man may have become more desperate, if not dangerous, according to authorities.

Harris-Moore, dubbed the "barefoot bandit" because he was without shoes when he allegedly broke into houses in Oregon and Washington, is suspected in a string of brazen thefts and break-ins in South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa. Authorities in Madison County, Nebraska, issued an arrest warrant for Harris-Moore on Friday, court documents show. He has been charged with burglary and theft by unlawful taking or disposition. The affidavit supporting the warrant details a crime spree fitting the alleged pattern of the elusive teen, who has amassed thousands of followers on Facebook.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/18/colton.facebook.jpg
caption="A Facebook fan page for Colton Harris-Moore. He is suspected of stealing planes, boats, and luxury automobiles."]

Harris-Moore also is suspected of breaking into a home in Yankton, South Dakota, on June 17, police said. The residents returned early one morning to find the intruder inside the house, said Jerry Hisek, the Yankton Police Department's assistant police chief.

"He'd eaten some of their food, took a shower, cut his hair," Hisek said of the intruder. "He started to run and the guy chased him into the basement of the house."

The intruder "laser-dotted the guy and said, 'I have a gun. Get out of here, or I'm going to kill you.'" Hisek said the owner did not know if the individual had a laser pen or a gun.

"We're classifying him as armed," he said. Authorities say they suspect Harris-Moore broke into two airports: Chan Gurney in Yankton and Karl Stefan Memorial in Norfolk, Nebraska.

On June 19, a Toyota Sequoia was reported stolen in Yankton, police said. The vehicle was recovered the next day in a park in Norfolk, according to an affidavit that alleges that Harris-Moore illegally entered the Norfolk airport the same day.

In the airport incident, a person disabled a surveillance system and tried to get inside a plane that was in a hangar, police said. Security video from the airport indicated it is likely the person was Harris-Moore, police said.

Two days later, a Cadillac Escalade was stolen from the Norfolk airport. It was found later that day in Pella, Iowa, authorities said, adding that the suspect stole another vehicle in Pella before dumping it in Dallas City, Iowa.

Authorities have been looking for Harris-Moore since 2008, when he escaped from a juvenile halfway house in Renton, Washington, where he was serving a three-year sentence. He had pleaded guilty to three counts of burglary.

The San Juan County, Washington, sheriff's office has called Harris-Moore a suspect in the thefts of four small airplanes. Two planes were recovered after "hard landings" that resulted in thousands of dollars in damage.

In June, the San Juan County Sheriff's Office said Harris-Moore also was a suspect in the theft of a fishing boat.

Harris-Moore has not been charged with stealing the boat or planes.

20th Century Fox has purchased the rights for a film based on the exploits of the young fugitive.

Follow the Falcon File on Twitter @FalconCNN

Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
June 30th, 2010
03:57 PM ET

BP oil clean-up efforts disrupted by 12-foot waves

CNN Wire Staff

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BP's efforts to contain the largest oil spill in U.S. history are being disrupted by towering waves reaching up to 12 feet in height, company officials said.

Even though Hurricane Alex - which was upgraded from tropical storm status late Tuesday night - is headed away from the area affected by the oil spill, its winds and the waves the storm is producing are forcing BP officials to send oil skimming ships back to shore, from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle.

High tide and rough sea conditions are also restricting onshore personnel clean-up duties Wednesday morning, according to Charles Taplin, a spokesman at the Unified Command Joint Information Center in Houma, Louisiana.

Also under consideration is whether to continue the use of aerial dispersants while the storm is affecting the region, Taplin said.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill
June 30th, 2010
03:43 PM ET
June 30th, 2010
03:41 PM ET

Video: Is BP trying to sink oil?

Anderson Cooper | BIO
AC360° Anchor

Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Gulf Oil Spill
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