August 5th, 2010
09:45 PM ET

Christopher Hitchens on cancer & God: Join the live chat

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Tonight Anderson talks to best-selling author Christopher Hitchens about living with cancer, the very real possibility he'll die of it, and how he, one of the best-known atheists on the planet, finds comfort in his very tough struggle. Has the prognosis moved him from his atheism?

We'll also look at the illegal immigration debate heating up in Virginia, not a border state, after a nun was allegedly killed by an drunk driving illegal immigrant. And, the call Omar Thornton made to Connecticut police after shooting many people at his workplace.

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 5th, 2010
08:30 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Nun’s death spurs Virginia immigration crackdown

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

Tonight on 360°, we’ll take you to a new front in the immigration battle: Virginia. The state’s attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, is following Arizona's get tough approach. He's cracking down after a deadly car crash involving three nuns and an illegal immigrant who was drunk. Cuccinelli says the feds dropped the ball by not deporting the Bolivian man who had a history of drunken driving and other infractions. But critics say the AG is show-boating. We’ll let you decide.

Outspoken atheist Christopher Hitchens, author of “God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything”, wrote about his recent diagnosis of esophageal cancer in the September issue of Vanity Fair. Tonight, in a candid and revealing interview, he talks to Anderson about whether the diagnosis – and its poor prognosis - has changed his views about God. Prayer groups are praying for his recovery. How does he feel about that?

New 911 tapes from the shootings in Hartford, Connecticut were released today – and this time we hear the shooter talking. Omar Thornton, who killed eight co-workers, called 911 shortly before turning a gun on himself. Tonight you’ll hear what he told the dispatcher.

And, if you’re a Facebook fanatic, you need to see Randi Kaye’s report about how Facebook has made it easier for criminals to find victims. See what happened to one unsuspecting couple.

See you at 10 p.m. eastern.

Filed under: Cate Vojdik • The Buzz
August 5th, 2010
07:36 PM ET

Facebook friend or foe?

UPDATE: Watch Randi Kaye's full report on the Facebook burglary below.

Randi Kaye | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Next time you tell your Facebook friends what you’re doing, you might want to be sure they are all your “friends.”

Tonight on Anderson Cooper 360° I’m going to share a story about a Facebook burglary that is sure to make you wonder.

Recently I visited Keri McMullen at her house in New Albany, Indiana. Keri had alerted her Facebook friends one night that she was headed out to see a band with her fiancé.

Turns out, one of her friends thought that was a good time to burglarize her home.

This guy and his accomplice apparently used the time well. They knew when the band was playing and when Keri might be home. They knew exactly how much time they had.

As luck would have it though, Keri and her fiancé, Kurt Pendleton, had just installed security cameras in their home so the whole burglary was caught on tape. They showed me the video. The burglars didn’t even know there were security cameras in the house. The video is unreal. It shows these guys pulling a 50 inch plasma TV right out of the wall. They also took jewelry, computers, etc.

Keri posted some of the shots from the security camera videotape on her Facebook page, and sure enough, another Facebook friend recognized one of the burglars. Turns out, Keri says, he was one of her childhood friends. His name is Shaun South, police say, and Keri says she’s known him since she was just seven.

You can watch the whole video tonight on Anderson Cooper 360°. It’s really creepy… plus we’ll show just how these guys pulled it off.

Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Randi Kaye
August 5th, 2010
07:18 PM ET
August 5th, 2010
07:16 PM ET

Virginia AG Cuccinelli supports asking persons stopped or arrested their immigration status

Program Note: Anderson interviews Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli about immigrant rights tonight on AC360° at 10pm ET.

Read Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli's statement on the rights of law enforcement officers in Virginia to inquire into the immigration status of persons stopped or arrested.

Keep reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Immigration
August 5th, 2010
07:08 PM ET

Naomi Campbell takes the stand at war crimes trial

Program note: Watch AC360° tonight at 10pm ET to see more of Naomi Campbell's testimony and to hear how a supermodel got involved in an African war crimes trial.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Africa • Global 360°
August 5th, 2010
06:39 PM ET

Opinion: Obama played his cards right on BP

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/15/art.obama.sshepard.jpg caption="Outside the White House, President Obama makes comments on the developments in the Gulf oil spill."]
Editor's note: The opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of CNN political contributor James Carville. Carville was chief strategist for Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign and is a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana.

James Carville
CNN Political Contributor

My mother, Ms. Nippy Carville, was a woman of many talents. Two in particular stand out. She was a superb cook (the author of a successful cookbook), and she was an excellent bridge player.

She always cautioned me that it was important that one "review the bidding" before the play. Now that it's becoming apparent that the efforts to cap the well at Deepwater Horizon are going to be successful, we should pause and pay homage to Ms. Nippy's advice by reviewing the bidding.

Any fair assessment would have to conclude that in spite of some people's criticism of the early response, (and by "some people" I mean Ms. Nippy's firstborn son James), one also must give credit to a much improved and vigorous response to the environmental catastrophe in the Gulf.

So, let's review the bidding: First, the decision to keep the unflappable retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen in place as national incident commander, in spite of considerable opposition from some local politicians, has proven to be wise.

Second, when Attorney General Eric Holder announced a criminal investigation into the BP disaster, it was a demonstration that the Obama administration meant business in dealing with this catastrophe.

Third, the establishment of the $20 billion restitution fund administered by Ken Feinberg was the ultimate statement of the seriousness with which this situation was being addressed by the administration.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Gulf Oil Spill • James Carville • Opinion
August 5th, 2010
04:51 PM ET

Thoughts before debating Christopher Hitchens

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/08/05/art.hitchens.jpg]Program Note: Anderson Cooper interviews Christopher Hitchens tonight at 10pm ET on AC360°.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero. Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

Stephen Prothero
Special to CNN

After professional provocateur Christopher Hitchens announced that he had come down with cancer, legions lined up to pray for him. I have been known to lapse into prayer on occasion, but I did not pray for Hitchens, and I don't expect I will.

I understand why Mormons want to baptize the dead and, on the theory of "no harm, no foul," I don't object to it in most cases. But praying to God for the Great Unbeliever seems like something akin to sacrilege (and not against the divine).

Not so ripping into him. In a scathing review of Hitchens' "God is Not Great" published in the Washington Post, I wrote that I had "never encountered a book whose author is so fundamentally unacquainted with its subject." I also wrote, however, that "there is no living journalist I more enjoy reading."

I stand by both statements. This post is prompted by the latter.

I teach a course at Boston University called "Death and Immortality," and in it we read remarkable work about the "undiscovered country" of death and whatever (if anything) lies beyond. Hitchens wrote this week in a piece in Vanity Fair of "the unfamiliar country" of people with cancer, and his reflections rank up there with the best writing I know on that sickness unto death.

Keep reading...

Filed under: 360° Interview • Christopher Hitchens • Opinion • Religion
August 5th, 2010
04:39 PM ET

Beat 360° 8/5/10

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:

A picture grabbed on the site of the Special Tribunal for Sierra Leone shows British supermodel Naomi Campbell answering questions at the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone in Leidschendam on August 5, 2010. Campbell was testifying before the court in The Hague about the so-called "blood diamond" gift from ex-warlord Taylor who is charged with murder, rape and enslavement.

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

Ben Finley
"This better be quick.I have my assistant tied up in the back and a manny appointment to get to."

Tim Gibson from San Diego, CA
"I threw my phone at him, he gave me diamonds. If you want to call that blood diamonds, then blood diamonds it is."

___________________________________________________________________________Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
August 5th, 2010
04:01 PM ET

Hitchens on cancer diagnosis: 'Why not me?'

Update: Watch Anderson's interview with author and Vanity Fair Contributing Editor Christopher Hitchens on his cancer diagnosis and whether it has changed his thoughts on God. Watch a new extended version of the interview.

Editor's Note: Read Christopher Hitchens's Vanity Fair article in which he opens up about having esophageal cancer.

Anderson Cooper

I just flew down to Washington to talk with author Christopher Hitchens. He was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in June, and is currently undergoing chemotherapy.

Many people upon receiving a cancer diagnosis would ask "why me?" Hitchens's answer, is "why not me?"

Much of his hair has fallen out, but he seems strong as ever. We discussed whether his diagnosis has in any way altered his well-known opinion of religion and prayer.

Tune in tonight for the full interview.

Read author Stephen Prothero's CNN blog about Christopher Hitchens.

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