October 7th, 2010
09:45 PM ET

Plea for Missing American: Join the Live Chat

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

Tonight on 360°, hear from a woman desperate to find her husband. David Hartley's wife, Tiffany, says he was shot to death at a lake along on the U.S.-Mexico border. A Texas sheriff is calling on a drug cartel to return the body. But do they know where David is?  Plus, Levi Johnston isn't the only one starring in a music video. That's tonight's shot.

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
October 7th, 2010
08:47 PM ET

Evening Buzz: 'Hicky' Campaign Ad

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

A new campaign ad airing in West Virginia is getting a lot of attention.

The ad shows three guys sitting at the counter of a diner saying Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin, whose running for Senate, should stay "right here in West Virginia... away from Washington....Yep. It's the only way we're going to stop Obama."

But it turns out the 30-second spot, paid for by the National Republican Senatorial Committee, wasn't shot in West Virginia and didn't feature people from the state. Instead the ad was shot in Philadelphia, with actors.

Of course, it's not odd for campaign ads to use actors. The casting call is what has critics fired up. The ad called for a "hicky blue collar look."

"These characters are from West Virginia so think coal miner/trucker looks," the casting call read, obtained by CNN from a Democratic source. "Each character should bring [sic] several options and stay away from all black or all white or thin stripes (thicker stripes and plaid are good)."

There were other clothing tips, including a "Dickie's type jacket with t-shirt underneath," "Down filled vest," "John Deer hats (not brand new, preferably beat up)," and "Trucker hats (not brand new, preferably beat up)."

Gov. Manchin is facing a tight race against GOP businessman John Raese for the late Sen. Robert Bryd's old seat. He’s calling on his opponent to apologize for the description in the casting call.

"John Raese and his special interest friends have insulted the people of West Virginia and need to immediately apologize," said Manchin in a statement. "Not only have they been spending millions to try and buy this election with lies and distortions, we can now see once and for all what he and his friends really think of West Virginia and our people."

We'll talk about this political theater with former Obama White House Communications Director Anita Dunn and GOP Strategist Ed Rollins.

We're also continuing our weeklong series Bullying: No Escape. Tonight, we have new details on the suicide of Phoebe Prince. You may recall, she's the 15-year-old who moved to Massachusetts from Ireland for a fresh start. Five months later, prosecutors say she killed herself due to relentless bullying by six of her classmates. Those six students have pleaded not guilty to the charges. Are they to blame? Alina Cho has the latest developments.

Plus, we take you to the lake along the U.S.-Mexico border where the search is on for a Texas man was reportedly shot to death by pirates. According to David Hartley's wife, he was shot in the head last week while they were riding jet skis on the Mexican side of the Falcon Lake.

Tiffany Hartley says her husband fell into the water after being shot. "He was thrown off the jet ski and I couldn't pick him up to get him on mine," she told a 911 dispatcher in Texas.

There have been at least four cases of gunmen on the Mexican side of Falcon Lake since April, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Anderson will talk with Tiffany Hartley tonight on 360°. Hear what she faced the day she says her husband was shot to death.

Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET on CNN. See you then.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
October 7th, 2010
05:49 PM ET

Mexico resumes search for American reported shot on border lake

CNN Wire Staff

Zapata, Texas (CNN) - A Texas sheriff says he has sent a message to the Zetas drug cartel: All the United States wants is the body of missing American David Hartley.

Hartley was reported killed by pirates on Falcon Lake, which straddles the U.S.-Mexican border. A body has yet to be found.

Because the alleged crime happened on the Mexican side of the border, the United States cannot prosecute or make arrests in the case, Zapata County, Texas, Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez Jr. said at a news conference. That's the message that he has put out to the drug cartel that controls the area of the lake where the incident occurred.

"We just want a body," he said.

Authorities from both nations are conducting separate searches and are coordinating and holding regular meetings, said State Department spokeswoman Virginia Staab.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar
October 7th, 2010
05:06 PM ET

Beat 360° 10/7/10

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 newly born panda bear sleeps in its incubator at the Madrid Zoo on October 7, 2010 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo credit: Jasper Juinen/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:

Sam Meyer
“Shhhh, don’t pay attention to me. I’m part of Christine O’Donnell’s classified plan from China.”


Tim Gibson
"These midterms are wearing me out!"

___________________________________________________________________________Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
October 7th, 2010
03:40 PM ET

White House: All Gulf oil spill information on hand was made public

Tom Cohen

Washington (CNN) - The Obama administration made public all information available throughout the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Thursday in response to a preliminary report that criticized how it handled the disaster.

"This was an unprecedented environmental disaster met with an unprecedented federal response which prevented any of the worst-case scenarios from coming to fruition," Gibbs told reporters when asked about the report made public the previous day. "When we had information, we gave it to the public."

According to the working paper released Wednesday from the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, the administration vastly underestimated the tens of thousands of barrels of oil pouring into the Gulf after the April 20 oil rig explosion that caused the disaster, despite contrary information from scientists using better methodologies.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • Gulf Oil Spill
October 7th, 2010
02:02 PM ET

CNN Hero: 'I am thrilled, excited, grateful and humbled.'

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/10/07/art.burton.cnn.jpg caption="Susan Burton's nonprofit, A New Way of Life Reentry Project, provides sober housing and other support to formerly incarcerated women in California."]

Programming Note: CNN Heroes received more than ten thousand nominations from 100 countries. A Blue Ribbon Panel selected the Top 10 CNN Heroes for the year. Voting for the CNN Hero of the Year continues through November 18th (6am ET) at CNNHeroes.com

Editor's Note: Susan Burton's nonprofit, A New Way of Life Reentry Project, provides sober housing and other support to formerly incarcerated women in California.

When CNN called to say I had been selected to the top 10 Heroes, my body exploded with joy. It felt like the 4th of July. I screamed and could hardly contain myself. I am thrilled, excited, grateful and humbled all in the same moment. By the time I got to my office my face was aching from the huge smile I had carried as I drove in. Dreams do come true in America.

I thought of all the folks who have been a big part of helping me and the hope that has been transformed into faith to make a better world for people who live in despair.

Filed under: CNN Heroes
October 7th, 2010
12:26 PM ET

Letters to the President: #626 'Midterm blues'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: If presidents could study for a midterm election I suppose they would, but since that’s not really possible, I’d suggest he read up on history.

Dear Mr. President,

I was looking over some of the latest polls as we burn down to the midterm vote, and it is fairly grim for your side. Looks like a lot of R’s are ready to take over where D’s have prevailed, and I know that has to be depressing for you and your pals.

Seems like only yesterday that Dems were crowing, and pundits were predicting that the Republican Party might soon be nothing but a wandering ghost of itself, like the tattered remnants of the Grange Movement. Funny thing is not that many years ago the Republicans were ascendant, and I was reading the same kind of articles about the Democrats, about how they were finished and ought to just pack up their little donkey signs and take up gardening.

For a city with a lot of history, it seems like a lot of people in DC don’t read much of it.

October 7th, 2010
10:20 AM ET

Talent agency for GOP ad called for 'hicky blue collar look'

Dana Bash
CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent

(CNN) – An ad out this week that's financed by National Republicans portrays three West Virginia voters in a rustic-looking diner declaring that Gov. Joe Manchin, the Democrat's Senate nominee, should stay "right here in West Virginia."

But there is one caveat: The ad was shot at least 250 miles east of the state, in Philadelphia, and features not actual West Virginians, but paid actors instead. And to look the part of a West Virginian, the talent agency in charge of casting for the spot sent out a call for a "'Hicky' Blue Collar look."

"These characters are from West Virginia so think coal miner/trucker looks," the casting call read, obtained by CNN from a Democratic source. "Each character should bring [sic] several options and stay away from all black or all white or thin stripes (thicker stripes and plaid are good)."

The talent agency also made several additional clothing suggestions, including a "Dickie's type jacket with t-shirt underneath," "Down filled vest," "John Deer hats (not brand new, preferably beat up)," and "Trucker hats (not brand new, preferably beat up)."

Full story on the CNN Political Ticker

Filed under: 360° Radar • Dana Bash
October 7th, 2010
10:16 AM ET

Targeted student: 'It's hard not to say something'

CNN Wire Staff

Editor's note:Bullying is in our schools, and it's online. Why do kids do it? What can be done to put an end to it? Don't miss an "AC360°" special report in collaboration with People magazine, "Bullying: No Escape," all this week at 10 p.m. ET on CNN.

New York (CNN) - Chris Armstrong, the University of Michigan's first openly gay student body president, said the recent rash of headlines about gay teens who have committed suicide led him to break his silence about his own hurtful experience of being targeted online and in high school.

"It's hard not to say something," Armstrong told CNN's Anderson Cooper on "AC360" Wednesday night.

For months, Armstrong has been the subject of the blog "Chris Armstrong Watch," which is published by Andrew Shirvell, a lawyer in the Michigan attorney general's office.

Related: Michigan employee with blog on gay student takes leave of absence

Shirvell and Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox have both maintained that the blog is Shirvell's personal project, that's done during nonwork hours and without any official resources.

Shirvell, a graduate of the university, has taken issue with what he calls Armstrong's "radical homosexual agenda."

"I try not to focus on what he's done," Armstrong said of Shirvell, adding family, friends and the University of Michigan have helped him get through blog postings, such as one that called him "a RADICAL HOMOSEXUAL ACTIVIST, RACIST, ELITIST, & LIAR." and another with a photo of a swastika superimposed over a gay pride flag and an arrow pointing toward Armstrong.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Bullying • Gay & Lesbian Issues
October 7th, 2010
09:55 AM ET
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