September 6th, 2010
09:45 PM ET

Buying Access in Washington: Join the Live Chat

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Some of the biggest names in Washington, Democrats and Republicans are taking money, unlimited amounts of money, from big companies with business before Congress. We're keeping them honest. Plus, under pressure from law enforcement in many states, Craigslist removes their adult services section. You'll hear from the CNN reporter who Craig himself about the ads.

Want more details on what 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
September 6th, 2010
08:58 PM ET

Evening Buzz: GOP edge in November?

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

With the midterm elections fast-approaching, tonight we kick-off a new series of reports that take you inside the campaigns. You’ll meet the candidates in an up close and behind-the-scenes way that shows the emotions and events that make or break political careers.

Our first up close report takes you along on Rep. Michele Bachmann's reelection campaign. 360's Gary Tuchman caught up with her at the Minnesota State Fair. Bachmann has served Minnesota since 2006 as a champion of conservative values. That's a far cry from the launch of her political career as a volunteer for Jimmy Carter's 1976 presidential campaign.

And, consider this whopping price tag: A projected $3 billion dollars will be spent nationwide on campaign ads this year. That would set a new record. Tonight Tom Foreman will show you some of the wackiest politics ads hitting the airwaves.

We also have new CNN / Opinion Research polling that shows that people hate Democrats and Republicans equally. But, interestingly, the same polling also shows the GOP edging out Democrats come November. We'll have the raw politics.

We're also tracking Tropical Storm Hermine, which is currently about 80 miles south of Brownsville, Texas. The storm has maximum sustained winds of 65 mph. We'll show you where it’s headed.

Plus, a scary sight in a river. Bullhead sharks have been caught by fishermen along a famous waterway. The killers can survive in fresh water. We'll tell you where they are on the prowl and show you the photo proof.

See you at 10 p.m. ET for these stories and much more.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
September 6th, 2010
06:46 PM ET

NYT: Congressional charities pulling in corporate cash

Learn more Monday night about a report from the New York Times about congressional charities.

The paper reported Sunday that "A review by The New York Times of federal tax records and House and Senate disclosure reports found at least two dozen charities that lawmakers or their families helped create or run that routinely accept donations from businesses seeking to influence them. The sponsors — AT&T, Chevron, General Dynamics, Morgan Stanley, Eli Lilly and dozens of others — contribute millions of dollars annually in gifts ranging from token amounts to a check for $5 million."

Read more of the NYT report

Filed under: 360° Radar
September 6th, 2010
05:53 PM ET

Beat 360° 9/6/10

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:

Ellen Degeneres reads to Venus Williams at Williams' book signing during day eight of the 2010 U.S. Open. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for USTA)

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:

Ric Ward
"Is that Anderson Cooper dancing?"


Brenda Birdow
"Wow, Venus, did you really wear that outfit in front of the Queen?"

___________________________________________________________________________Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
September 6th, 2010
05:15 PM ET

Sharron Angle: 'I'll be a mainstream senator'

Jim Acosta and Bonney Kapp

Las Vegas, Nevada (CNN) - Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle just might be the Tea Party's biggest gamble yet.

A staunch conservative with a history of making bold and sometimes controversial comments, Angle insists her comments have been taken out of context in her campaign to oust Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in upcoming midterm congressional elections.

"I'll be a mainstream senator," said Angle.

A grandmother of 10 children who secured the backing of Tea Party leaders on her way to winning the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate, Angle has been both praised and criticized for her views.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • Jim Acosta • Raw Politics
September 6th, 2010
05:06 PM ET

One rescue operation temporarily halted at Chilean mine

Patrick Oppmann

Copiapo, Chile (CNN) - Rescue officials reported Monday they had to temporarily stop one of two drilling operations to reach 33 men trapped for more than a month inside a Chilean mine.

That effort, known as Plan B, had to stop at a depth of 85 feet (26 meters) because of unspecified problems with a cable, officials said. Drilling should resume within hours, the officials said Monday morning.

Plan B aims to drill at a roughly 80 degree angle into an area of mine shaft used as a mechanical workshop. That distance, engineers estimate, is around 2,030 feet (620 meters).

The drill for Plan B, which is normally used to bore water holes, is untried technology in a mine rescue. The drill arrived Friday and rescuers hope it could reach the miners in as little as two months.

Full story

Filed under: Patrick Oppmann
September 6th, 2010
05:04 PM ET

Texting teens get the wrong number – a REALLY wrong number


(CNN) - Two Montana teenagers texting in search of some marijuana got the wrong number. Seriously wrong. They wound up messaging the local sheriff, and he messaged right back.

"They were one number off," Lewis and Clark County, Montana, Sheriff Leo Dutton told CNN. "Luck of the draw."

Dutton said the 15- and 16-year-old boys mistakenly sent him a text message on August 25 that read, "hey dawg, do you have 20 i can buy right now?" At first, Dutton said he "thought it was a joke" but decided to continue the conversation by replying, "how much we talking?"

"I need 20 right now do you have any?" the teens allegedly texted back, unaware that the person they were communicating with was the chief law enforcement officer in the area.

Dutton said he handed the case over to a narcotics officer who arranged to meet the two teens later that day. After the officer showed his badge to the teens, one of the boys "got white and his knees started wobbling," Dutton said.

Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
September 6th, 2010
04:39 PM ET

Tonight: Text 360°

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Online classified service Craigslist's decision to censor its adult services section is a "good step but a continuing battle has to be fought," a leader in the fight against prostitution ads said on Sunday.

"I'm very pleased by this very solid and significant apparent step in the right direction," said Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who spearheaded a recent letter from 17 attorneys general urging Craigslist to discontinue its adult services section.

CNN's Amber Lyon and Jeffrey Toobin will have more about the Craigslist story tonight on AC360°. But what questions do you have?

Send us a text message with your question. Text AC360 (or 22360), and you might hear it on air!

Filed under: T1 • Text 360
September 6th, 2010
03:56 PM ET

Ready, set, go! Campaign season under way

Kristi Keck

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(CNN) - And they're off! Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer and the beginning of the campaign season.

With less than two months until Election Day, candidates are packing their schedules with campaign events designed to convince voters that they're the best ones for the job.

All 435 seats in the House of Representatives are on the line this fall, and 37 of the 100 Senate seats are up for grabs.

Capitol Hill is guaranteed to see some fresh faces, with dozens of lawmakers retiring or seeking other office, and a handful - including Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter, Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Democratic Rep. Alan Mollohan and Republican Rep. Bob Inglis - coming up short in their renomination bids.

The party in power historically loses seats in a midterm election. Republicans are expected to pick up seats, but the question is how many.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • Raw Politics
September 6th, 2010
03:50 PM ET

'Don't give up,' plane crash survivors tell trapped miners

Patrick Oppmann

Copiapo, Chile (CNN) - For months, the men waited in isolation, struggling to survive. They forced themselves to eat the flesh of dead friends to sustain themselves.

The Uruguayan rugby players whose plane crashed in the Andes Mountains 38 years ago inspired the book and movie "Alive." On Saturday, four of them shared a message with the 33 miners who have been trapped underground in Chile for a month.

"Don't give up," former rugby player Moncho Sabella said. "You have a marvelous team working for you."

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • Patrick Oppmann
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