October 29th, 2010
11:59 PM ET

Dr. Phil slams Arkansas official for 'non-apology apology'

Martina Stewart
AC360° Digital Producer

(CNN) – Outspoken anti-bullying advocate and TV talk show host Dr. Phil is far from satisfied with the apology offered Thursday by an embattled local Arkansas school district official.

Related: Arkansas school board member to resign over anti-gay post

“This is the biggest non-apology – non-apology apology I’ve heard,” Phil McGraw says about Clint McCance in an interview that airs Friday on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360°. “He did not apologize for what he said. He didn’t apologize for the message that this gives to children, to kids, to parents out there. What he apologized for was saying that suicide was the only out and that he’s sorry for that he said that.”

Clint McCance, the vice president of the Midland School District in Arkansas, took to his personal Facebook page earlier this week and slammed a recent national awareness campaign sparked by a rash of suicides by young people who had been bullied because they were gay or perceived to be gay by their peers.

The local elected official wrote that he wanted gay people to commit suicide, according to The Advocate, a magazine focusing on gay news. McCance promised to disown his own children if they are gay and said he enjoys "the fact that [gay people] give each other AIDS and die."

After his postings sparked national attention, McCance apologized for his comments Thursday in an exclusive interview on Anderson Cooper 360°.

October 29th, 2010
09:48 PM ET

Terror Plot Foiled: Join the Live Chat

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

Tonight on 360°, exclusive new information about the two packages at the center of today's terror scare. They were packing a truly devastating punch. Plus, tonight's other headlines.

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 29th, 2010
09:09 PM ET

Evening Buzz: More Explosive Devices Shipped?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/10/29/security.concern/t1larg.toner.white.cnn.jpg caption="Authorities say this was the device found in Dubai that was to be shipped on a FedEx flight to the U.S." width=300 height=169]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

We're following new developments on the suspicious packages found overseas that were bound for Jewish places of worship in Chicago. Pres. Obama called the discovery "a credible threat against our country."  The devices "apparently contain explosive material," he added during an afternoon news conference at the White House.

Tonight the credible threat is possibly still ongoing. There are reports of at least 13 other packages that could have been sent. Due to that possibility authorities have checked cargo planes and delivery trucks in several cites, including Philadelphia and Newark, New Jersey.

As for the two devices found, a U.S. official tells CNN they likely contained the explosive compound PETN. That's what the accused "underwear bomber", Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab, allegedly used aboard a flight as it approached Detroit, Michigan last Christmas.

The two devices found overseas in this case were sent from Yemen.  One was found in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, before it was put on a FedEx flight to the U.S.  The other was found at an airport in Great Britain.

We'll give you a timeline of how this plot was foiled and talk about who may be responsible tonight on 360°.

We'll also talk with Dr. Phil McGraw about the anti-gay rant on Facebook by Clint McCance. Does Dr. Phil buy his apology? McCance said he's resigning from the Midlands School Board. Dr. Phil has some tough words for McCance.

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

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
October 29th, 2010
08:33 PM ET

Suspicious packages 'contain explosive material,' Obama says

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/10/29/security.concern/story.cargo.update2.jpg caption="The circuit board bears similarities to a cell-phone, according to an engineer for a wireless phone parts manufacturer." width=300 height=169]

CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - Suspicious packages found in at least two locations abroad that were bound for Jewish organizations in the United States "apparently contain explosive material," President Barack Obama said Friday, calling the discovery "a credible threat against our country."

The packages led to increased searches of cargo planes and trucks in several U.S. cities, said law enforcement sources with detailed knowledge of the investigation.

U.S. officials believe that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, commonly referred to as AQAP, is behind the incident.

Obama confirmed that the packages originated in Yemen, the stronghold of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

"We also know that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula ... continues to plan attacks against our homeland, our citizens, and our friends and allies," he said during a press briefing on the incident.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar
October 29th, 2010
07:00 PM ET

U.S. says al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula behind cargo terror plot

CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - U.S. officials say that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a fairly new arm of the umbrella terrorist organization, is behind an apparent plot to send explosive devices to U.S. destinations via cargo planes.

"Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is an organization of several hundred individuals that are dispersed throughout the country," presidential counterterrorism advisor John Brennan told reporters Friday. "They are murderers and they are determined to carry out attacks on innocent lives, whether they be Yemeni, Americans, Westerners or others. ...

"If anything, this just demonstrates to us and, I think to the Yemenis as well, that we need to redouble our efforts so that we're able to destroy al Qaeda, and we will."

Brennan pointed to the botched attempt last Christmas to blow up a Northwest Airlines passenger jet en route from Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Detroit, Michigan, on Christmas Day. U.S. and Yemeni officials have linked the attempt by man who tried to ignite explosives in his underwear to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Formed in 2009, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is a regional terrorist group known for targeting government and Western interests in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Yemeni forces, with support from their U.S. allies, have stepped up military and political pressure on the group in recent weeks, despite continued threats from its leader.

A key figure in the group is Yemeni-American militant cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, whom U.S. authorities have linked to Fort Hood shooting suspect Maj. Nidal Hasan as well as the man accused in the Christmas Day bomb attempt. Brennan would not specifically name al-Awlaki as a suspect.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar
October 29th, 2010
05:33 PM ET

Beat 360° 10/29/10

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:

Senate Republican Conference Chair Lamar Alexander and Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell hold a news briefing at Buckley's Restaurant October 29, 2010 in Centreville, Delaware. (Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla/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:

William Armsby
“Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble… Uh, I forget the rest. Vote for me!”


Alexander, CT
“I'm no Samantha Stephens, but I still remember an incantation or two.”

___________________________________________________________________________Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
October 29th, 2010
05:17 PM ET
October 29th, 2010
02:30 PM ET

Letters to the President: #648 'No white flags'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: Former President Clinton made news by trying to get a Democrat out of the running in Florida…uh, then he and the candidate in question said he didn’t…so who knows what happened? Certainly not me…I’ve been too busy writing letters to the White House.

Dear Mr. President,

I don’t know what to think. At first I thought it was really interesting that a former president would ask a current Democratic Senate candidate to drop out of a race; then I thought it was even more interesting that he and the candidate denied it, because certainly some kind of conversations were taking place; then I thought it was even more interesting that the former president said he did talk to the candidate, but not about precisely what everyone is talking about. Now, I’m just worn out, and thoroughly confused.

Of course what I’m talking about is this supposed effort by former President Clinton to get Florida Democratic Senate candidate Kendrick Meek to drop out of the race.

Let me see if I follow the theoretical logic. A) If Meek dropped out, maybe his support would go to the former-Republican-now-independent candidate Gov. Charlie Crist. And B) If enough of the newly cast off Democrats followed that path, maybe Crist would beat the Republican, Marco Rubio. And C) Maybe then, a newly-minted Sen. Crist would caucus with the Democrats in Washington instead of the Republicans.

Is it just me, or are there a lot of “ifs” in there?

October 29th, 2010
10:44 AM ET
October 29th, 2010
10:14 AM ET

Arkansas school board member to resign over anti-gay post

CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - A school board district member in Arkansas who came under fire for an anti-gay post on a social networking site regrets the comments and will resign his seat, he told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Thursday.

"I'm sorry I've hurt people with my comments," Clint McCance, vice-president of the Midland School District in Pleasant Plains, Arkansas said. "I'm sorry I made those ignorant comments and hurt people on a broad spectrum."

McCance wrote on his personal Facebook page that he wanted gay people to commit suicide, according to The Advocate, a newspaper focusing on gay news.

McCance used the terms "queer" and "fag" repeatedly, promised to disown his own children if they are gay and stated that he enjoys "the fact that [gay people] give each other AIDS and die."

"I would never support suicide for any kids," he said. "I don't support bullying of any kids."

"I'd like to extend apologies to those families that have lost children, for all those children who feel that suicide is the only way out, especially for the five families who have already lost children," he said, referring to a rash of recent suicides by gay teens. "I brought more hurt on them... they didn't deserve that and I do feel genuinely bad for them."

Though he disapproves of homosexuality, McCance said that "I give everyone a chance and try to love everyone."

McCance said that he has received an outpouring of criticism over his comments, including "thousands of phone calls, hate mails, people threatening to kill my family and me."

He said he has sent his wife and two kids out of the state because of fears for their safety and that he is installing a security system at his home.

"I'm reaping what I've sown," he told CNN. "I've had a lot of hate speech thrown at me and my family on every level."

He said he would resign from the school board to spare the district the bad press and distractions of dealing with the fallout from his comments. "If they decide after five or ten years to vote me back in, then I'll run again," he said.

Full story

Filed under: 360º Follow • Bullying • Gay & Lesbian Issues
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