August 23rd, 2010
09:44 PM ET

Who is Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf: Join the Live Chat

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/02/liveblogfinal.copy.jpg]

Video clips posted today by a conservative blogger have set off a new round of bitter debate over the Islamic community center and mosque planned near Ground Zero. Are the clips part of a smear campaign or do the imam’s critics have legitimate concerns? Plus Congress has begun investigating one of the largest egg recalls in recent U.S. history. Author Michael Pollan joins us as we dig deeper.

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")
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Filed under: Live Blog
August 23rd, 2010
08:20 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Imam’s critics say video shows his extremism

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

Video clips posted today by a conservative blogger have set off a new round of bitter debate over the Islamic community center and mosque planned near Ground Zero. The clips are from a lecture that Imam Feisel Abdul Rauf gave in 2005. The imam’s critics say one of the clips exposes Rauf’s extremism. This, as Rauf, who served as an ambassador of Islamic faith in America for the Bush administration after the Sept. 11 attacks, is traveling in the Middle East on a State Department sponsored trip. Are the clips part of a smear campaign or do the imam’s critics have legitimate concerns? Tonight, we’ll give you the facts behind the accusations so you make up your own minds.

Congress has begun investigating the salmonella outbreak that’s sickened hundreds of people nationwide and led to one of the largest egg recalls in recent U.S. history. The outbreak has been linked to two egg producers in Iowa; together, they’ve recalled more than a half billion eggs. One of the producers has a long history of fines and settlements stemming from allegations of safety and other violations. The outbreak has exposed serious holes in the nation’s food safety net. Journalist and author Michael Pollan joins us tonight to dig deeper, and 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta will tell you what you should know about salmonella and how to protect yourself from tainted food.

Also tonight, dramatic details out of Chile, where against the steepest of odds, 33 trapped miners have been located alive after a cave-in more than two weeks ago. They are safe for now, in a shelter deep underground, but it may be months before they can be rescued. We’ll show you why.

Plus, a 360 folo. A former prosecutor is under indictment tonight for what some call highway robbery. Dozens of drivers in southeast Texas demanded justice after being pulled over by police, then stripped of their cash, cars and jewelry. The prosecutor paid three of his secretaries, who he says watched his back, hundreds of thousands above and beyond their salaries. He insists he did nothing wrong. Gary Tuchman has been reporting on this story for months and tonight he brings us new developments.

See you at 10 p.m. eastern…

Filed under: Cate Vojdik • Islam • President George W. Bush
August 23rd, 2010
05:46 PM ET

Egg crisis may help food safety bill in Senate

Ted Barrett
CNN Congressional Producer

Supporters of a long stalled bill to bolster the safety of the nation's food supply are hoping the widening egg salmonella crisis will give them momentum to pass their bill in the Senate as early as next month.

The bipartisan bill would give new powers and resources to the Food and Drug Administration to crack down on risky food suppliers in the United States and abroad. For instance, in the current situation, the FDA could quickly order direct recalls of suspected eggs instead of relying on voluntary recalls by the manufacturers.

Full story

Filed under: Food Safety • Ted Barrett
August 23rd, 2010
05:25 PM ET

How will trapped Chile miners cope?

Nick Hunt

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/WORLD/americas/08/23/chile.miners.impact/t1larg.jpg caption="A banner shows pictures of the 33 miners trapped in the San Esteban gold and copper mine in Copiapo, northern Chile" width=300 height=169]

The miners stranded some 2,300 feet (700 meters) underground in Chile will need to keep to a routine and rely on each other to help their chances of survival, experts have said.

Rescuers are racing to reach the 33 men trapped in the north of the country after their copper and gold mine caved in nearly three weeks ago. Officials warn it may take up to four months to dig a rescue shaft and bring the men to the surface.

In the meantime, messages, flashlights, medicine and food will be passed underground to ensure their survival.

How are the men likely to be coping?

Dr. James Thompson, co-director of London's Traumatic Stress Clinic, has counseled hostages who have been held in confined conditions for long periods of time.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar
August 23rd, 2010
05:19 PM ET

Supplies being sent to trapped Chilean miners

CNN Wire Staff

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://www.cnn.com/video/world/2010/08/23/vo.chile.miners.2.cnn.640×360.jpg caption="Authorities say it could take months to rescue trapped miners" width=300 height=169]

Tubes packed with flashlights, water and oxygen were being sent Monday morning to 33 Chilean miners trapped for nearly three weeks in an underground shelter, said national Mining Minister Laurence Golborne.

Officials learned Sunday that the miners had survived 18 days after a cave-in trapped them more than 2,300 feet underground.

It could take four months to rescue the workers, officials said. But the miners' health will take priority over rescue-and-removal efforts, Golborne said at a news conference at the disaster site in northern Chile.

Medical officials were sending water down to the miners and then will determine whether they are healthy enough to tolerate liquid nutrients, said Jorge Diaz, the doctor in charge of the medical aspects of the rescue.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar
August 23rd, 2010
04:48 PM ET

College students: less study, more leisure

Dave Schechter
CNN Senior National Editor

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/08/13/c1main.berkeley.gi.jpg caption="'Students appear to be studying less in order to have more leisure time,' a report by a conservative think tank observes." width=300 height=169]

Warning to parents of college students: what follows may be disturbing and cause you to clutch your wallet.

As the parent of a daughter whose college semester began today my attention was drawn to research that found students today crack the books about 14 hours a week, down from 24 in the early 1960s.

[Full disclosure: Having some memory of my 1970s collegiate pursuits, I may have contributed to the downward trend; only in my junior year did I realize that spending time in that building full of books at the other end of campus might prove beneficial.]

The situation on our campuses apparently is so dire that the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative Washington, D.C., think tank, titled its report “Leisure College, USA.”

“This dramatic decline in study time occurred for students from all demographic subgroups, for students who worked and those who did not, within every major, and at four-year colleges of every type, degree structure, and level of selectivity. Most of the decline predates the innovations in technology that are most relevant to education and thus was not driven by such changes. The most plausible explanation for these findings, we conclude, is that standards have fallen at postsecondary institutions in the United States,” wrote the report’s authors, Philip Babcock, an assistant professor at the University of California–Santa Barbara and Mindy Marks, an assistant professor at the University of California–Riverside.

Has college gotten easier? “So even though we lack the data to observe directly whether college has been ‘dumbed down,’ we are able to draw from the data a solid conclusion about university practices: standards for effort have plummeted—in practice, if not in word.” The AEI study suggests that the “traditional study time” rule – two hours studying for every one in the classroom – is a thing of the past.

Filed under: David Schechter • Education
August 23rd, 2010
04:13 PM ET

Imam behind controversial New York Islamic center speaks

Mohammed Jamjoom

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://cnnreligion.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/t1larg-rauf.jpg caption="Rauf spoke with the newspaper Bahraini Al Wasat before he was scheduled to appear at the U.S. ambassador's residence in Bahrain." width=300 height=169]

Editor's note: CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom files this report from Abu Dhabi

The imam behind the controversial mosque and Islamic center near New York City's ground zero said Sunday that he hopes the project will develop "an Islamic approach that allows for harmony and understanding among all religions and other ideas."

The remarks from Abdul Rauf, who has rarely spoken to the media since his proposal for an Islamic center set off a firestorm of controversy this summer, came while the imam is on a State Department-sponsored trip to the Middle East.

Rauf spoke with the newspaper Bahraini Al Wasat before he was scheduled to appear at the U.S. ambassador's residence in Bahrain, the newspaper's editor said.

In the interview, to be published Monday, Rauf praised freedoms that Muslims and others enjoy in the United States.

Full story

Filed under: Islam • T1
August 23rd, 2010
03:36 PM ET
August 23rd, 2010
03:32 PM ET

Congress begins investigating salmonella outbreak, egg recalls

CNN Wire Staff

The House Energy and Commerce Committee requested documents and information Monday from Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms of Iowa related to the recent salmonella outbreak and egg recalls, according to a news release from the office of the committee's chairman, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-California.

Waxman and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Bart Stupak, D-Michigan, sent letters to the two Iowa-based egg producers asking for details on the contamination of their egg products, including when government officials and customers of the affected egg products were first notified of the contamination.

The committee also asked for the inspection records for the companies' facilities, the companies' internal protocols and standards for monitoring and analyzing their products, and documents related to allegations of health, safety, environmental, or animal cruelty violations for the companies or any related companies, the news release said.

Responses from each egg company are expected by Tuesday, September 7, according to the letters.

Full story

Filed under: Food Safety
August 23rd, 2010
01:23 PM ET

Beware of potential

Chris Guillebeau
AC360° Contributor

I’ve known a lot of artists, writers, and musicians. Without fail, they all had some degree of talent and skill. There is no shortage of talent in the world. But I’ve noticed that something happens along the way with a lot of these talented people.

With a few notable exceptions, most of them give up on their goals at some point.

As a fellow creative type, this really troubles me. Why do talented people stop working on what other people say they are good at?

I don’t have all the answers about this. In fact, it’s something that I’m intensely curious about, and I might take it up as a longer project later.

But for now… I do think I know part of the answer. What many talented people lack is the ability to keep going when external rewards are minimal or non-existent.

At the early stages of working on something, hearing that “you have potential” can feel rewarding. But it’s a slippery slope, because the world expects more than just potential. At a certain point, you have to raise the bar and start delivering.

Filed under: Chris Guillebeau
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