August 3rd, 2010
09:40 PM ET

Ground Zero Islamic cultural center?: Join the Live Chat

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Should an Islamic cultural center be built near Ground Zero. Everyone's got an opinion, we'll have the facts and the debate tonight. The static kill operation is underway in the Gulf. We'll have the latest on its progress. The debate over illegal immigration rages on, with the newest concern over whether American-born children of illegal immigrants should be granted automatic citizenship.

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
August 3rd, 2010
08:37 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Panel clears way for Ground Zero mosque

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/08/03/ground.zero.mosque.jpg]Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

In the Gulf tonight, 106 days into the oil spill disaster, the static kill is finally underway. BP crews are trying to choke the blown-out Macondo well with tons of heavy drilling mud. They’ve been at it for hours. Can the well take it? Will it hold? We’ll have a live report from the Gulf on the effort to seal the well for good.

We’ll also look at the huge political uproar over the plan to build an Islamic community center, including a mosque, two blocks from Ground Zero. In New York today, a city panel cleared the way for the plan to proceed when it denied historic landmark status to the building developers want to tear down to make room for the center. Opponents have vowed to press their case in court. In their view, building a mosque so close to the site of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center disrespects the memory of those killed. Supporters of the plan argue that building the center and mosque would be the ultimate test of the nation’s commitment to tolerance and religious freedom. The emotions this debate has ignited are intense. We’ll look at the facts, including what the plan actually involves. We’ll also examine the emotions.

We’ll also have more tonight on the intensifying battle over immigration. The White House is accusing Republicans of playing politics with their campaign to change the 14th amendment to the Constitution, which among other things grants automatic citizenship to American-born children of illegal immigrants. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said today he supports holding hearings on repealing birthright citizenship. We’re focusing on the facts, keeping both sides honest. FULL POST

Filed under: Cate Vojdik • The Buzz
August 3rd, 2010
06:08 PM ET

Why is it called a “static” kill?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/08/03/tom.static.kill.jpg caption="Tom Foreman tests out a model of how the static kill operation will work."]

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Editor's Note: See Tom's full report tonight on AC360 at 10pm eastern.

The latest long awaited attempt to kill that leaking oil well has started deep beneath the Gulf of Mexico, and I know we’ve said this before but the authorities are hopeful. All the tests they ran this morning came back positive, suggesting as they pump that heavy drilling fluid, or mud as it is called, into the well it may indeed be able to finally contain the explosive power of all that oil trying to rush up into the water.

It is, as you might guess tricky work and even the name demands a little explanation.

“Static” in this case refers to a condition of “not moving.” So how does that apply?

Look at it this way: Right now the oil is far from static. It is wildly active. Even though it is capped off at the blow out preventer, it is desperately trying to force its way free. It is pushing up from the reservoir two miles below the Gulf floor, pushing up through the main pipe, and pushing very hard against that cap with about 7,000 pounds of pressure per square inch.


Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill • Tom Foreman
August 3rd, 2010
05:22 PM ET

Beat 360° 8/3/10

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:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announces that the Democratic leadership will not bring energy reform legislation to the floor for a vote before the summer recess at the U.S. Capitol August 3, 2010 in Washington, DC. Reid said that he could not come up with a single Republican vote and therefore could not get the Clean Energy Jobs and Oil Spill Accountability Act passed.

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° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
August 3rd, 2010
01:23 PM ET

GOP senators list what they say are the 100 worst stimulus projects

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/08/03/senators.stimulus.spending/t1larg.jpg caption="A visitor center at Mount St. Helens, seen in 2004, is now closed, but got new windows under a stimulus project."]

Tom Cohen

Monkeys on cocaine. New windows for a closed visitor center. Modern dance as a tool for software development.

A report to be released Tuesday by conservative Republican Sens. Tom Coburn and John McCain cited these and 97 other projects as leading examples of misguided or wasteful spending under the Obama administration's $862 billion economic stimulus bill.

Titled "Summertime Blues," the report is the third by the two senators targeting projects that they say fail to meet the job-creation goal of spending under the Recovery Act of 2009.

"We owe it to all Americans that are paying taxes and struggling to find jobs, to rebuild our economy without doing additional harm, and to do it in a way that expands opportunities for future generations," said the introduction to the report by Coburn, R-Oklahoma, and McCain, R-Arizona. "Too many stimulus projects are failing to meet that goal."

While some projects in the report "may have merit," they are "being mismanaged or were poorly planned," the report said.

The Recovery Act, which was passed a few weeks after President Barack Obama took office, was a government-funded effort to kick-start economic activity in response to the ongoing recession.

It called for "shovel-ready" jobs - from road and bridge repair and construction to scientific research and expanded broadband and wireless service - through federal contracts, grants and loans, as well as helping state and local governments avoid layoffs and funding tax cuts.

The senators' report challenged the viability or effectiveness of specific projects across the country. However, the report's use of selected information from hundreds of footnoted sources left it unclear whether the brief summaries of each project told the whole story.


Filed under: John McCain • President Barack Obama • Raw Politics • Stimulus
August 3rd, 2010
01:08 PM ET

Arizona law: The best they could do?

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Editor's note: Todd Landfried is spokesman for Arizona Employers for Immigration Reform, a nonprofit organization made up of businesses from all sectors of the Arizona economy interested in finding practical and sensible immigration reforms.

Todd Landfried
Special to CNN

Despite everyone talking about Arizona's new immigration law, Senate Bill 1070, no one has asked if it was Arizona's best option.

Was there no other approach to address immigration without undermining the state's economy or shredding our social fabric? Nobody had a better idea for balancing security with the draw and demand of American jobs? What about an offer to work with Congress? Was the only solution to blow up the place?

It should concern everyone that no one asked these questions. If you watch the SB1070 hearings here, not a single legislator asks about or offers alternatives, although a few express "concerns." One legislator, Daniel Patterson, strongly challenged the law's sponsor, state Sen. Russell Pearce, on his immigration claims. Patterson's courage was rewarded with the loss of his committee assignment.

Pearce announced he would run primary challengers against any Republican who voted against SB1070. He threatened to hold up bills sponsored by anyone who did not support SB1070. He was so hell bent on passing his immigration bill that he packed hearings with supporters and, surprise, committee chairs limited the speaking time of opponents. Even if someone had another idea, the process was set up to ignore it.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Immigration • Opinion • Raw Politics
August 3rd, 2010
12:00 PM ET

Craigslist's shame: Child sex ads

Editor's note: Malika Saada Saar is the founder and executive director of the Rebecca Project for Human Rights. The Rebecca Project is a nonprofit organization that advocates for justice, dignity and policy reform for vulnerable women and girls in the United States and in Africa.

Malika Saada Saar
Special to CNN

Last month, two girls trafficked for sex through the website Craigslist wrote an open letter to its founder, Craig Newmark, pleading with him to get rid of the adult services section, where sex ads are placed.

"I was first forced into prostitution when I was 11 years old by a 28-year-old man," "M.C." wrote. "I am not an exception. The man who trafficked me sold many girls my age, his house was called 'Daddy Day Care.'

"All day, me and other girls sat with our laptops, posting pictures and answering ads on Craigslist. He made $1,500 a night selling my body, dragging me to Los Angeles, Houston, Little Rock - and one trip to Las Vegas in the trunk of a car. I am 17 now, and my childhood memories aren't of my family, going to middle school, or dancing at the prom. They are making my own arrangements on Craigslist to be sold for sex, and answering as many ads as possible for fear of beatings and ice water baths."

No one from Craigslist responded to M.C.

According to the most recent Department of Justice statistics, an estimated 100,000 to 300,000 children are sold for sex every year in the United States. Most are from 11 and 14 years old. Try for a moment to imagine your fifth-grade child, niece or sister, sold for sex.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Opinion
August 3rd, 2010
11:29 AM ET

Panel denies landmark status for Islamic center and mosque site near ground zero

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Allan Chernoff
CNN Senior Correspondent

New York City's Landmarks Preservation Commission denied landmark status Tuesday for a building at the site of a proposed Islamic center and mosque near ground zero.

The commissioners voted unanimously against landmark status for 45-47 Park Place. It and an adjoining building are owned by real estate developer Soho Properties, which intends to build an Islamic center two blocks north of the former site of the World Trade Center.

While the public vote was the focus of much debate about the planned Islamic center and mosque, the commission could not have prevented the developers from building such a community center. The commission, by designating the building a landmark, could only have prevented Soho Properties from demolishing the building or significantly altering its exterior.

There is a prayer site in the building currently, so Muslims are peacefully praying in the building already.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Raw Politics
August 3rd, 2010
11:23 AM ET

Video: Leaving Arizona for New Mexico

Gary Tuchman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Filed under: 360° Radar • Gary Tuchman • Immigration
August 3rd, 2010
10:54 AM ET

BP test for 'static kill' in Gulf could take place Tuesday

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A crucial test that could set the stage for permanently sealing the worst ever accidental oil spill in marine waters could take place Tuesday, BP officials said.

The "injectivity" test, which will determine if oil from BP's ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico can be forced back down into the reservoir, was initially scheduled for Monday but was delayed because of a small leak, BP said.

Also Tuesday, company officials said, BP may conduct the "static kill" operation, one of two efforts planned to cap the leaking well once and for all.

"During final preparations to commence with the injectivity test, a small hydraulic leak was discovered in the capping stack hydraulic control system," BP said in a statement. The injectivity test will be rescheduled until the leak is repaired.

In the test, "base oil" will be pumped into the ruptured well bore to determine if it will go back into the reservoir, said Kent Wells, BP's senior vice president. The test will start with pumping one barrel per minute, then two, then three. How much is pumped will depend on how the test goes, Wells said. He added the test is meant to help officials decide whether adjustments need to be made on "how and if" the static kill will proceed.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill • T1
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