September 24th, 2010
09:51 PM ET

Hate message from senators office: Join the Live Chat

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

An anti-gay blog post has been traced to a computer in the offices of Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia. Tonight Anderson sits down with Democratic Rep. Jared Polis, who is openly gay, to discuss the controversy.

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 24th, 2010
06:39 PM ET

How were the Top 10 CNN Heroes selected?

Kelly Flynn
CNN Heroes Sr. Executive Producer

It all began with you. Starting last November 26th, at the conclusion of last year’s “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute,” we invited viewer nominations for 2010 CNN Heroes to be submitted through our website, at CNNHeroes.com. By the close of nominations on August 1, we had received more than 10,000 of them from 100 countries, a new record for the CNN Heroes campaign. This is a testament to how much stories like these matter to you.

Our CNN Heroes staff read each and every nomination, selecting more than two dozen individuals as 2010 CNN Heroes. Their stories aired weekly on CNN, HLN, CNN International, CNN en Español and CNN.com, between January and September.

A group of CNN judges further reviewed this year’s CNN Heroes, evaluating their accomplishment, impact, and personal motivation for service to others. Twenty individuals were advanced to an independent Blue Ribbon Panel, which was asked to select the ten individuals we honor as the Top 10 CNN Heroes of 2010. Each of these ten will receive $25,000 in recognition of their work.

Now, again, it’s your turn, as we invite CNN viewers to help select the CNN Hero of the Year. An online poll, now underway, continues at CNNHeroes.com through November 18, 2009 (6 a.m. ET), and there is no limit to the number of times you may vote. We also encourage you to share your vote with your friends, and spread the word about your favorite Hero on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.. The Top 10 CNN Hero who receives the most votes will be named “CNN Hero of the Year” Thanksgiving night, during “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute” and will receive an additional $100,000.

It should be noted emphatically here that we value each and every one of our 2010 CNN Heroes, and we plan to continue telling their stories – and provide a way for YOU to get involved with their organizations – all the way through December, 2011, at CNNHeroes.com.

For additional details, please see our Voting Disclosures and Legal Disclosures.

Filed under: CNN Heroes
September 24th, 2010
05:46 PM ET

Beat 360° 9/24/10

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:

Comedian Stephen Colbert reacts as he testifies during a congressional hearing September 24, 2010 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Photo credit: Alex Wong/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:

Steve Brusk
"Security had cold hands this morning"


Kenneth King
"You wanna see my papers?"

___________________________________________________________________________Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
September 24th, 2010
01:40 PM ET

Defendant in home invasion murder has long criminal record

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/CRIME/09/24/connecticut.murder.trial/story.steven.hayes.ctsp.jpg caption="Steven Hayes is accused of killing three members of a Connecticut family in a 2007 home invasion." width=300 height=169]

Swetha Iyengar
In Session

(CNN) - Steven Hayes, the man accused of the high-profile of killing of three members of a Connecticut family in a 2007 home invasion, has been a convicted felon since 1980, his criminal record shows.

Hayes, 47, who has entered a plea of not guilty, is currently on trial in New Haven, Connecticut for the murders of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters.

Hayes' eight-page criminal report, obtained by CNN, shows a long history of burglary, larceny, drug possession and forgery. He has been in and out of the criminal justice system since he was 17 years-old.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar
September 24th, 2010
12:40 PM ET
September 24th, 2010
12:12 PM ET

Colbert storms Capitol Hill for migrant workers

Alan Silverleib

Washington (CNN) - There's nothing funny about the issue of migrant farm labor - unless Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert is discussing it.

Colbert, accompanied by a media swarm, sarcastically testified on Capitol Hill Friday about the conditions facing America's undocumented farm workers. The popular host of "The Colbert Report" told members of a House Judiciary subcommittee that he hoped to bring attention to the workers' hardships.

Related: A day in the grapes

"I certainly hope that my star power can bump this hearing all the way up to C-SPAN 1," he joked.

"America's farms are presently far too dependent on immigrant labor to pick our fruits and vegetables," he told the subcommittee, keeping in character with the arch-conservative he plays on television.

"Now, the obvious answer is for all of us to stop eating fruits and vegetables. And if you look at the recent obesity statistics, many Americans have already started."

Colbert told the panel that "we all know there is a long tradition of great nations importing foreign workers to do their farm work."

Full story

Updated: 12:12 p.m.

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
September 24th, 2010
12:10 PM ET

Sex abuse victim learns of Pope's role

Brian Rokus
CNN Special Investigations Unit

Editor’s note: A one-hour CNN special, “What the Pope Knew,” will air this Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 25 and Sept. 26, at 8pm and 11pm ET. This story is drawn from that report.

MORRISONVILLE, Ill. – Matt McCormick was in the seventh grade when Father Alvin Campbell gave him a ride home from a baseball game. As they were driving along country roads, Campbell put his hand on McCormick’s thigh and “just left it there.”

It was the first time the priest had touched him. During the next three years, McCormick says, the abuse would go much further.

That was 25 years ago. Just three months ago, he learned that Pope Benedict XVI played a role in keeping his abuser in the church when CNN told him about a letter signed by the pontiff – then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger – refusing to defrock the pedophile priest.

Full story on the Belief blog

Filed under: 360° Radar
September 24th, 2010
12:08 PM ET

Letters to the President: #613 'Not working for the weekend'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: President Obama and the whole DC crowd are steadily ramping up toward the midterm elections. Me? I’m ramping way down…at least for the weekend.

Dear Mr. President,

Do you know what I did today that I haven’t done in a long time? I took the day off and just stayed home. I don’t have to go anywhere. I’m not running for an airplane. I’m taking care of the daughter who is still in high school, while my wife flies off to see the other one at college, and I am delighted. I know that I always tell you to give me a call if you can, but please not today. It is such an outrageous relief to not have to think about politics and polemics, I’m afraid if the phone rang I’d run shrieking into the street.

And it makes me think about how many other people in the country must feel that way. I am reminded of that woman who spoke to you in the public forum and said she is tired of making excuses for the lack of “change” in DC, or something like that. I believe many, many Americans are just tired in general. They may be tired of you, or the Democrats, of the Republicans, or the Tea Party, or the liberals, or the conservatives, or the moderates, but mainly they are just plain tired.

Anyone who is married knows that sometimes when fights go on too long, the fight itself becomes the issue. And as I’ve read through a lot of political news lately I’ve been struck by the idea that this is precisely what has occurred with so much of our public debate, especially now with elections in the air.

September 24th, 2010
10:49 AM ET
September 24th, 2010
10:42 AM ET
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