January 10th, 2011
09:45 PM ET

Accused Arizona Gunman Appears in Court – Join the Live Chat

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Tonight on 360°, we'll have the very latest in the killing of a small child, a federal judge and four others; and the near-deadly shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. We have new insight on the accused gunman who was in court today. We'll have all the angles.

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 10th, 2011
09:29 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Terror in Tucson

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Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

The Arizona man accused of killing six people and wounding 14 others, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, in a shooting spree Saturday was in court today in Tucson.

Jared Lee Loughner, 22, did not enter a plea. He'll be back in court in two weeks.

Tonight on 360°, we'll give you the latest on the investigation. We have new insight on Loughner. Anderson will talk with two of his former classmates at Pima Community College.

Months before Saturday's shootings, one of Loughner's former teachers at the college said he saw him as a threat and kicked him out of his algebra class. Now you'll hear from others who saw him in class.

We'll also tell you about those who lost their lives on Saturday, including 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green. She was born on September 11, 2001. She was just elected a member of her school’s student council and was interested in politics. That's why she went to Saturday's meet-and-greet with Rep. Giffords. Her parents share with Anderson how Christina touched so many lives and how all of us lost a true treasure.

You'll also hear from AC360 M.D. and neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta about the critical hours ahead for Rep. Giffords, who is in critical but stable condition at a Tucson hospital after being shot in the head. The two-term Democrat is currently in a medically-induced coma. We've learned more about where and how the bullet struck her. Dr. Gupta lays it all out for you.

There's also the political angle. Some are claiming the rhetoric in Washington needs to be toned down. We'll dig into that and much more with Tea Party organizer Dayna Loesch and CNN Senior Political Analyst David Gergen.

See you at 10 p.m. ET.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
January 10th, 2011
07:20 PM ET

Giffords stabilizes as suspect goes to court

CNN Wire Staff

Tucson, Arizona (CNN) - Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona remained in critical but stable condition in a Tucson hospital Monday as her alleged would-be assassin made his first appearance in court.

The alleged shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, 22, briefly appeared in a Phoenix courtroom to formally hear the charges against him. A preliminary hearing was set for January 24.

"We are focused and we are determined to achieve justice," U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke said in a written statement.

Loughner is accused of opening fire outside a Tucson supermarket where Giffords was meeting with constituents Saturday. Six people were killed - including a federal judge - and 14 others were wounded in the shooting.

In addition to Giffords, seven other patients remained hospitalized, doctors at University Medical Center said. Five of the patients were in serious condition and two in good condition.

Two patients remain in intensive care, they noted.

Full story

Updated: 7:20 pm

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
January 10th, 2011
06:29 PM ET

Beat 360° 1/10/11

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:

President Barack Obama meets with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in the Oval Office at the White House on January 10, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo credit: Mark Wilson/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
“I learned my lesson from your former President Bush with the open microphones. I won’t even let anyone lipread me now.”


Jason in St. Augustine
"Where is the restroom? I need to...how you say... wikileak."

___________________________________________________________________________Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
January 10th, 2011
04:30 PM ET

Opinion: No time for finger-pointing, says Gergen

David Gergen
CNN Senior Political Analyst

Editor's note: David Gergen is a senior political analyst for CNN and has been an adviser to four U.S. presidents. He is a professor of public service and director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School.

(CNN) - Until we have more definitive information about the shooter, pointing fingers at who might bear responsibility for the Tucson, Arizona, massacre only contributes to what we must end in America: a toxic political environment.

Soon after the news broke, the internet lit up with accusations, even before we knew anything at all about the man who pulled the trigger. Much of the early commentary, especially from the left, blamed the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, etc. for employing a rhetoric of militarism and creating a climate of hate.

Commentators from the right soon retaliated, arguing that the left was just as guilty of rhetorical excess and through bad governance, had inspired a citizen revolt. As of this hour, we have a country that is not only deeply saddened but even more divided than we were before the shooting.

We can do better - a lot better.

Read more

Filed under: 360° Radar • David Gergen • Opinion
January 10th, 2011
04:22 PM ET

Tonight: Text 360°

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Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona remained in critical but stable condition in a Tucson hospital Monday as her alleged would-be assassin prepared for his first appearance in court.

Related: Giffords stabilizes as suspect heads to court

Tonight on AC360°, CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta will discuss Giffords' condition. What questions do you have for him?

Related: Gupta on what helped Giffords survive brain shot

Send us a text message with your question and please include your name and where you live. Text AC360 (or 22360), and you might hear it on air!

Filed under: T1 • Text 360
January 10th, 2011
04:01 PM ET

Letters to the President: #721 'Can cooler heads prevail?'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: President Obama has spoken before about the need to return more civility to our public discourse. A lot of folks are talking about that now, including me in my daily letter to the White House.

Dear Mr. President,

Some people are implying that over-heated political rhetoric drove that gunman to commit his terrible crime over the weekend, and I suppose it’s a discussion worth having. What dismays me, however, is the extent to which I am not hearing a discussion, but more of the very same heated talk.

The left is blaming the right for invoking violent imagery, the right is blaming the left for pushing an agenda that has spurred a backlash, and they are both still furiously playing the blame game even as they suggest the blame game itself is partially to blame.

In this case and in so many others, there appears to be no reasonable evidence that the shooter represented any cohesive or legitimate political viewpoint. If President Bush had been assassinated by some nut when his enemies were carrying signs demanding precisely that (and they did plenty of times) it would have been unfair to say that the shooter represented the mainstream liberal or Democratic point of view. The same principle applies in the Arizona case. And again, I mean for both sides.

Secondly, either side trying to make political hay out of this tragedy seems tragic in itself. Saying that either party made this happen is like saying the guy who gets bitten by a rabid dog was asking for it because he went for a walk - or that the whole neighborhood is guilty because they didn’t notice the dog on their streets earlier.

January 10th, 2011
12:15 PM ET

Bookended by tragedy, a too-short life leaves a void

CNN Wire Staff

Tucson, Arizona (CNN) - She was born on September 11, 2001, and died in Saturday's shootings in Arizona. Christina Green's father says the nine years in between were special.

"It does say something about our society that our daughter was born on a tragic day and taken out on a tragic day," John Green told CNN's Casey Wian Sunday.

Christina attended the event hosted by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords because she had recently been chosen for the student council at Mesa Verde Elementary School, where families left flowers and a note that read, in part, "We are deeply saddened by the loss of this precious child."

"She was a great friend, a great sister, a great daughter," said Christina's mother, Roxanna Green. "We're so proud of her and I just want everyone to know ... that we got robbed, she got robbed, of a beautiful life that she could have had."

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar
January 10th, 2011
12:01 PM ET

Massacre suspect 'mentally disturbed,' former teacher says

Drew Griffin, Kathleen Johnston and Scott Zamost

Tucson, Arizona (CNN) - The suspect in the weekend massacre in Arizona was kicked out of an algebra class at a community college in June after repeated interruptions and clearly "needed psychological help," his instructor said Sunday.

Jared Lee Loughner was "physically removed" from the Pima Community College course less than a month after it began, its instructor, Ben McGahee told CNN. McGahee said Loughner sometimes shook, blurted things out in class, and appeared to be under the influence of drugs at times.

"I was scared of what he could do," McGahee said. "I wasn't scared of him physically, but I was scared of him bringing a weapon to class."

Loughner is now accused of opening fire at a Tucson supermarket where U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was hosting a meet-and-greet session with her constituents on Saturday. Six people were killed and 14 others wounded in the shooting.

Giffords remained in critical condition Sunday after being shot through the skull, while a federal judge, a congressional aide and a 9-year-old girl were among the dead.

Investigators found a letter from the congresswoman in a safe at the house where Loughner lived with his parents, thanking him for attending a similar 2007 event, according to court documents released Sunday.

"Also recovered in the safe was an envelope with handwriting on the envelope stating 'I planned ahead,' and 'my assassination' and the name 'Giffords,' along with what appears to be Loughner's signature," the affidavit states.

Federal authorities have now charged Laughner with first-degree murder, attempted murder counts and attempting to kill a member of Congress, counts that involve the shootings of federal employees. State prosecutors also could bring charges in the remaining cases.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
January 10th, 2011
11:45 AM ET

Gupta: What helped Giffords survive brain shot

Editor's note: CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is a practicing trauma neurosurgeon and associate chief of neurosurgery at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent

(CNN) - Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is in critical condition on a ventilator after being shot through the back of the left side of her head, yet doctors are “cautiously optimistic” about her survival. That she is alive at all is surprising to many people, but people survive these types of injuries more often than you may think.

While every patient and injury is different, on average – around 2/3 of patients with a gunshot wound (GSW) to the head don’t live long enough to make it to the hospital. Of the third that do make it, only 50% of those patients survive longer than 30 days. And of course, those numbers say nothing of long-term neurological function in the survivors.

So far, according to her doctors, Giffords is likely to be in the small minority of patients who will beat the odds. So, what placed those odds in her favor?

First off, she received very quick care, and was in the operating room within 38 minutes after arriving at the hospital. Her overall health and youth also provide some benefit. The injury was a “through and through” injury, meaning there was both an entry and exit wound. That’s significant because some of the energy of the bullet was dissipated into space, as opposed to all within her cranial cavity.

Neurosurgeons will want to know if the bullet passed across the midline of the brain. If it does, there is a much poorer likelihood of survival. In Giffords' case, it did not. Other positive factors: Her blood pressure didn't drop as a result of the bleeding, and the oxygen supply in her body was maintained, according to her doctors that I interviewed.

Finally, the fact Giffords was “following commands” even before she had an operation was a very positive sign.

Full story on the Chart blog

Filed under: 360° Radar • Sanjay Gupta
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