January 4th, 2011
11:59 PM ET
January 4th, 2011
09:45 PM ET

Outrage Over New Edition of "Huckleberry Finn": Join the Live Chat

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New editions of the American classics "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and "Tom Sawyer" are in the works with all the N-words taken out. Is it censorship? Our panel weighs in on the controversy. Plus, an inside look at the Falcon Lake murder. John Walsh weighs in on the cold case along the Texas-Mexico border. Was the victim killed by Mexican pirates? His body has never been found.

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
January 4th, 2011
09:09 PM ET

Evening Buzz: GOP Targets Health Care Bill

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight on 360°, we'll look at the GOP vow to repeal the health care reform bill. Republicans will be in control of the House starting tomorrow and they're taking aim at President Obama's landmark legislation approved last year.

"We'll start first by cutting our own budget, it will be one of our first votes. And then we'll turn our attention to the rest of the federal budget and the job killing policies that are denying economic growth and opportunity for the American people, including the job-killing health care law," said incoming House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

Their goal: to cut the deficit. But, Keeping Them Honest, the new House leadership wants to change rules that are supposed to save taxpayer money.

We'll talk it over with our political panel.

Also tonight, the literary decision that has shocked a lot of people. A publisher plans to sell a new version of Mark Twain's classics "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" that replaces  the "N" word with the word "slave."

One writer at the Washington Post says the move would be like renaming "War and Peace" to just "Peace", because war is so unpleasant.

What do you think of the decision? We'll have more on the controversy with Boyce Watkins, a professor at Syracuse University, Dr. Andre Perry, an Assistant Professor of Higher Education at the University of New Orleans and cultural critic Michaela Angela Davis, who is the former Fashion Editor at Essence Magazine.

On the medical front, we'll look at the hope and hype tied to the new blood test for cancer that's under development. Dr. Sanjay Gupta will have the facts you need to know.

And, tonight's hottest ticket across America gets added to our 'Ridiculist.'

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

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
January 4th, 2011
06:15 PM ET

Beat 360° 1/4/11

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:

Zoo keeper Angela Ryan makes note of the meerkats as she conducts ZSL London Zoo's annual stocktake on January 1, 2011 in London, England. (Photo credit: Oli Scarff/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
"Inside look at rehearsals for the next Dancing with the Stars."


Jennifer Duff
"Relax guys that's not a real cougar it's just Kathy Griffin 'preying' on Jack Gray!"

___________________________________________________________________________Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
January 4th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Democrats dismiss GOP health care repeal push

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/POLITICS/01/04/health.care/story.capitol.gi.jpg caption="Republicans say they are pushing to repeal health care reform because it hampers an economic recovery." width=300 height=169]

Alan Silverleib

Washington (CNN) - Top Democrats are dismissing Republicans' plans to ram a repeal of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul through the House of Representatives in the opening days of the new Congress, portraying the move as little more than a hollow nod to the GOP's conservative base.

Republicans unveiled repeal legislation Monday night - two days before they officially take charge of the House. They plan a key procedural vote on Friday and a final vote the following Wednesday, according to House GOP sources.

Passage of the health care overhaul is widely viewed as Obama's signature domestic achievement. Most political analysts believe that while a repeal of the measure can pass the new Republican House, it has no chance of surviving the Democratic-controlled Senate or overcoming a presidential veto.

"I think that there's going to be politics, that's what happens in Washington," Obama told reporters aboard Air Force One after wrapping up his Hawaiian vacation late Monday night.

The Republicans "are going to play to their base for a certain period of time. But I'm pretty confident that they're going to recognize that our job is to govern and make sure that we are delivering jobs for the American people."

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • Health Care
January 4th, 2011
04:45 PM ET

States deny citizenship to children born of illegal immigrants?

Jack Cafferty

Fourteen states are considering passing laws that would deny citizenship to children born of illegal immigrants in the United States.

Arizona – ever at the front of the immigration debate – could take the first step when it comes to the issue of "birthright citizenship."

Arizona lawmakers plan to introduce model legislation in Washington tomorrow that would force the Supreme Court to weigh in on the issue.

Lawmakers from more than a dozen other states plan to be there too – that includes everywhere from other border states like Texas to Utah, Oklahoma, Michigan, Delaware and Pennsylvania.

This all goes back to the 14th Amendment – which states that all persons "born or naturalized" in the United States are citizens of the U.S. The law was initially meant to give citizenship to freed slaves.

More on the Cafferty File blog

Filed under: 360° Radar • Immigration
January 4th, 2011
01:00 PM ET

Officials probe 'unusual' mass deaths of birds in two states

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/US/01/04/arkansas.bird.mystery/story.birds.la.wafb.jpg caption="A National Wildlife Federation scientist says recent mass bird deaths were unusual, but not unprecedented." width=300 height=169]

Josh Levs

(CNN) - Some of the nation's top experts Tuesday were looking for clues into sudden, mass deaths of birds in two states over New Year's weekend.

"This one is unusual because of the time period over which so many birds died," said LeAnn White, a field investigator with the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin. The center, part of the U.S. Geological Survey, is receiving samples from Arkansas, where as many as 5,000 red-winged blackbirds and starlings fell from the sky in a square-mile area in less than an hour on New Year's Eve, according to the Arkansas Fish and Game Commission.

The center will also examine samples from Louisiana, where 500 red-winged blackbirds, starlings and grackles were found dead in Labarre.

A preliminary report conducted Monday by the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission found that the birds in Beebe, Arkansas, likely died from massive trauma.

There had been reports of loud sounds in Beebe before the reports of birds falling began to come in. It's possible the sounds made the birds disoriented, and they went into sudden, chaotic flights, crashing into each other and into objects, White said. "You're disturbed, you're disoriented, you're trying to figure out where you are. We have seen some stuff like this before when there's heavy dense fog, and they'll run into towers and power lines," she said.

Other bird experts agree that that's a likely explanation. Still, the sudden deaths are quite unusual. "It's kind of a freak event," said Greg Butcher, director of bird conservation for the National Audubon Society. "You just don't see these kinds of mass deaths very frequently at all."

At this time of year, blackbirds are in huge roosts, particularly throughout the southeastern United States, he said. They generally don't fly at night.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar
January 4th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
January 4th, 2011
11:45 AM ET

New edition of 'Huckleberry Finn' to lose the 'n' word

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/SHOWBIZ/01/04/new.huck.finn.ew/t1larg.mark.twain.gi.jpg caption="What would Mark Twain think - unnecessary censorship or necessary evil?" width=300 height=169]

Keith Staskiewicz

(EW.com) - What is a word worth? According to Publishers Weekly, NewSouth Books' upcoming edition of Mark Twain's seminal novel "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" will remove all instances of the "n" word - I'll give you a hint, it's not nonesuch - present in the text and replace it with slave.

The new book will also remove usage of the word Injun. The effort is spearheaded by Twain expert Alan Gribben, who says his PC-ified version is not an attempt to neuter the classic but rather to update it.

"Race matters in these books," Gribben told PW. "It's a matter of how you express that in the 21st century."

Unsurprisingly, there are already those who are yelling "Censorship!" as well as others with thesauruses yelling "Bowdlerization!" and "Comstockery!"

Their position is understandable: Twain's book has been one of the most often misunderstood novels of all time, continuously being accused of perpetuating the prejudiced attitudes it is criticizing, and it's a little disheartening to see a cave-in to those who would ban a book simply because it requires context.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar
January 4th, 2011
11:40 AM ET

'He took a bullet for me' at Falcon Lake, Hartley's wife says

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/10/28/hartley.falcon.lake/t1larg.wedding.bike.jpg caption="David and Tiffany Hartley were 21 when they married in 2002. She believes he died protecting her on Falcon Lake." width=300 height=169]

Ann O'Neill

(CNN) - Long before she became known as the widow of "pirate lake," she was David Hartley's tiny dancer. They flirted at a country music club in 1998, and he vowed to make her his own.

But Tiffany Young had her doubts about a boy who wore tank tops and shaved his head. "I saw him as a rowdy cowboy."

"Everyone kept telling him there would be no way he could catch me," she said. "It was kind of a game for him. His goal was to say, 'Ha ha, I got her.' "

On their first date, he escorted her to the county fair near their homes in Loveland, Colorado. After that, he wooed her nonstop. He showed up after her dance classes with flowers in hand. He left love notes on the windshield of her car. He staged picnics and dinners by candlelight. By the time her senior year in high school began, she was smitten.

"He was the kind of romantic that doesn't happen very often," Tiffany said. "He spoiled me."

They were an unlikely couple, perhaps, but they complemented each other. She smoothed out his rough edges; the partying and the bull-riding soon ended. And he forced her out of her comfort zone, challenging her to be more adventurous. They were 21 when they married in 2002.

"It was the kind of love story most people wish they had," says David's sister, Nicole Hartley.

Hot-air balloon rides, dog sledding, parasailing and scuba diving - they did it all. They also joined their church group on missions to Kenya and Juarez, Mexico. He wanted her to see the world with him.

And so she did - until September 30, when he was shot in the head while they were riding their Sea-Doo watercraft on Falcon Lake on the U.S.-Mexico border. They were taking pictures of a partially sunken church when gunmen chased them in boats. She thinks he "took a bullet" for her.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar
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