October 19th, 2010
09:45 PM ET

New 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Ruling: Join the Live Chat

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

Tonight on 360°, we have breaking news on the legal fight over the military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy on gay and lesbian servicemembers. Plus, Anderson's exclusive interview with Yoko Ono, John Lennon's widow and more.

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 19th, 2010
09:31 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Attack Ad Goes Too Far?

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight on 360°, hear from Jack Conway the Democratic Senate candidate in Kentucky accused of going too far in an attack ad against his Republican opponent, Rand Paul.

As we reported last night, Conway's ad claims Paul tied up a woman, forced her to smoke pot and then  "bow down" and worship their god 'Aqua Buddha'.   It reportedly was part of a prank when Conway was a member of a secret society at Baylor University in the 1980s.

The story first surfaced in August in a GQ article that quoted an anonymous woman. That same woman has talked with the Washington Post a couple of times - most recently today. We'll have the latest developments.

Plus, we have breaking news on a crucial court ruling on the military's 'Don't ask, Don't tell' policy. It comes just hours after the Pentagon allowed gay and lesbian Americans to sign up to serve. Anderson will talk with Dan Choi, who was forced to leave the Army for being gay, and who lined up to volunteer again today. We’ll also ask CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin, to make sense of today's legal moves.

And, don't miss Anderson's exclusive one-on-one interview with Yoko Ono, John Lennon's widow. Lennon would have turned 70 this month. Ono talks about her life with him, and the pain of losing him to an assassin nearly 30 years ago. See how she's keeping his legacy alive.

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

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
October 19th, 2010
06:19 PM ET

Ono: 'I was used as a scapegoat' in blame over Beatles breakup

New York (CNN) – John Lennon’s widow says racism and sexism played a role in how she was blamed for the breakup of the Beatles decades ago.

“I was used as a scapegoat, a very easy scapegoat. You know, a Japanese woman and whatever,” Yoko Ono tells CNN’s Anderson Cooper in an interview set to air Tuesday on CNN’s AC360°.

“You think some of it was sexism, racism?” Cooper queried.

“Sexism, racism,” Ono replied. “But also just remember that the United States and Britain were fighting with Japan in World War II. It was just after that in a way so I can understand how they felt.”

But Ono also tells Cooper that the public hostility directed at her “was sort of like a distant thing in a way because John and I were so close. And we were just totally involved in each other and in our work.”

October 9 would have been Lennon’s 70th birthday. Ono built a special tribute to him in Iceland and talks with Cooper about the importance of remembering Lennon’s life and spirit. In the first of the three-part interview, Ono also talks about her memories of first meeting Lennon and how she coped with his murder 30 years ago.

Filed under: 360° Radar
October 19th, 2010
05:39 PM ET

Military recruiters told they can accept openly gay applicants

Adam Levine

Washington (CNN) - The Pentagon has advised recruiting commands that they can accept openly gay and lesbian recruit candidates, given the recent federal court decision that bars the military from expelling openly gay service members, according to a Pentagon spokeswoman.

The guidance from the Personnel and Readiness office was sent to recruiting commands on Friday, according to spokeswoman Cynthia Smith.

The recruiters were told that if a candidate admits he or she is openly gay, and qualify under normal recruiting guidelines, their application can be processed. Recruiters are not allowed to ask candidates if they are gay as part of the application process.

The notice also reminded recruiters that they have to "manage expectations" of applicants by informing them that a reversal of the court decision might occur, whereby the "don't ask, don't tell" policy could be reinstated, Smith said.

Federal Judge Virginia Phillips in California is expected to decide Tuesday whether she will stay her injunction against "don't ask, don't tell" at the request of the government, which is appealing her ruling.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • Gay & Lesbian Issues
October 19th, 2010
04:36 PM ET

Beat 360° 10/19/10

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:

President Barack Obama tours the students' science fair projects exhibits in the State Dining Room at the White House on October 18, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo credit: Olivier Douliery-Pool/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
“Kid, couldn’t you have come up with a way to plug an oil well a few months ago?”


Ken A., Culver City, CA,
“You say your device will take my approval rating from here up to here? I'm in.”

___________________________________________________________________________Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
October 19th, 2010
01:41 PM ET

Letters to the President: #638 'Fear and loathing (once again) on the trail…'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: I’m not afraid of much. Except maybe the Secret Service if they ever get tired of these letters.

Dear Mr. President,

My wife finds it amusing whenever I fear there is some threat to our home or family - some creak on the darkened porch, some loner lurking in a parking garage, or a shadow sweeping past an open window. She finds it funny, because invariably I leap up like Russell Crowe in Gladiator, snatch the nearest thing that might pass for a weapon (a patio chair, a book, a frozen salmon) and prepare for combat. Now, I’ll grant this sort of display has startled the wits out of innocent passersby from time to time. (Actually, it may not be my actions so much as the squealing “Back off!” that I am prone to shriek with all the conviction of a junior high school chess club president.) And perhaps she is right to suggest that an umbrella will make a poor foil to a Tech-9 wielding robber. But I persist.

After all, like most of us, I’ve watched enough action films to know that if only the hero had armed himself before the villain appeared, perhaps things would have turned out differently.

The problem is that fear takes over, and when it does, reason crawls under the covers and refuses to come back out. So I understood over the weekend when you said American voters are scared, and their fear is driving away rational thoughts about facing our common problems, like the economy, the mortgage crisis, and persistent success of Justin Bieber.

But who do you think put that fear there? I know that you and your fellow Dems like to lay it on the Republicans, and they are certainly guilty. Likewise, everyone likes to place blame on the media, and I must say that we deserve it. But your Democrats, and you, yourself, must also take some credit for the climate of fear that pervades our society.

October 19th, 2010
01:15 PM ET

O'Donnell gets Coons for Constitutional Law 101

Alexander Mooney
CNN Ticker Producer

(CNN) – Christine O'Donnell received a lesson on the Constitution at Delaware's Widener Law School Tuesday, but unfortunately for the Republican Senate candidate it came during a debate with Democrat Chris Coons.

On the issue of whether creationism should be taught in public schools, a highly skeptical O'Donnell questioned Coon's assertion that the First Amendment calls for the separation of church and state.

"The First Amendment does?" O'Donnell asked during the Tuesday morning debate. "Let me just clarify: You're telling me that the separation of church and state is found in the First Amendment?"

Full story on the CNN Political Ticker

Filed under: 360° Radar
October 19th, 2010
12:15 PM ET

Meghan McCain: O'Donnell 'reflects badly on the movement'

Lauren Pratapas

(CNN) – Sen. John McCain's daughter, Meghan McCain, wants to make one thing clear, "I am not the one running for Senate."

McCain’s comments about Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell as a "nut job" while appearing on ABC's "This Week" program Sunday, immediately received harsh criticism and backlash. A response that day from the O'Donnell campaign mocked McCain for having "vast experience in politics and running for office." McCain is now firing back.

The 25 year-old, whose departure from conservative orthodoxy on some issues is no secret and has put her at odds with some in the GOP base, reminds the O'Donnell campaign and other critics in a blog post late Monday night that "I am not the one running for Senate. I am also not the only one with issues with Christine O'Donnell."

Full story on the CNN Political Ticker

Filed under: 360° Radar
October 19th, 2010
11:47 AM ET

Missing American's wife pleads for husband's body

CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - The wife of an American reportedly shot dead by gunmen in Mexico pleaded for help in finding her husband and said she hoped a search would resume Tuesday.

"I plea to the people who did this. To anybody who knows who did this," Tiffany Hartley said on CNN's "AC 360" Monday night. "Just give me my husband back. I want to take him home and honor him. And I am sure somebody out there knows. Just help me bring my husband home."

Earlier in the day, Hartley said she finished a series of interviews with federal and state authorities in Mexico.

She said she told authorities a detailed account of what happened on September 30, from the time she and her husband David left their McAllen, Texas, home until she left a sheriff's office that night.

The interviews conducted Friday and Monday took longer than eight hours, Hartley said.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
October 19th, 2010
10:00 AM ET
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