January 12th, 2011
10:12 PM ET

Memorial Service for Ariz. Shooting Victims: Join the Live Chat

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Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has opened her eyes. It's a major development in her recovery. Pres. Obama made the announcement tonight during the memorial service on the campus of the University of Arizona, Tuscon.
We'll talk with some of her collegagues on Capitol Hill who were in the hospital room at the time. We'll also have all the angles on Pres. Obama's message tonight in Tuscon.

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 12th, 2011
07:00 PM ET
January 12th, 2011
06:53 PM ET

Beat 360° 1/12/11

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:

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner discusses the US-China economic relationship at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies on January 12, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo credit: Tim Sloan/AFP/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:

Cubie King
“We need this much more!!”


Mario Zarkovic, Toronto, Canada
“When asked how much he expects the economy will grow in the United States for 2011, Timothy Geithner replied ‘About this much.’”

___________________________________________________________________________Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
January 12th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Alleged Loughner postings paint disturbing picture

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CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - NASA has never flown a manned space shuttle mission.

There was no Mars rover.

People can make their own currency.

From February 2009 through September 2010, someone using the name "Erad3" made these and a series of other assertions - unusual at best, disturbed at worst - on the website abovetopsecret.com.

Erad3, according to site co-owner Mark Allin, was almost certainly Jared Lee Loughner, the 22-year-old man accused of killing six people and injuring 14 others last weekend, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona.

The site, Allin said, focuses on "alternative news" and information "not covered by the mainstream media." Allin noted that all 130 messages from Erad3 were posted from Loughner's hometown of Tucson, and many of them bear a striking resemblance to postings made by Loughner on the popular social media site YouTube.

Investigators are examining the postings on Allin's site, according to a law enforcement source.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
January 12th, 2011
04:30 PM ET

Video: Susan Sarandon on her 'Deciding Moment'

Editor's note: Tune in to "Hope Survives: 30 Years of AIDS," an AC360° beginning 9pm ET Friday.
Greater Than AIDS – a new national movement to respond to AIDS in America– is asking Americans to share their “Deciding Moments," personal experiences that changed how they think about the disease and inspired them to get involved. For many it is someone close to them who was infected. For some it was their own diagnosis. For others it was a realization that we all have a role to play. Tell us about your “Deciding Moment” by visiting: www.greaterthan.org/moment.

Related: Hope survives, 30 years after first US AIDS diagnosis

Related: Visit Greater Than AIDS for answers to frequently asked questions about HIV/AIDS, as well as information about local testing centers.

Filed under: 360° Radar • AIDS
January 12th, 2011
03:00 PM ET

'Project Runway' star on life with HIV

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Katie McLaughlin

(CNN) - As part of "Anderson Cooper 360°'s" special "Hope Survives: 30 Years of AIDS" – which marks the 30th anniversary of the very first AIDS diagnosis – "Project Runway" star Mondo Guerra will open up about living with HIV.

Related: Hope survives, 30 years after first US AIDS diagnosis

Guerra will join guests including Sir Elton John, Sharon Stone, Mo'nique and many others for the hour-long program airing Friday, which will focus on stigmas surrounding HIV/AIDS, how various methods of prevention may perhaps have ended the spread of the disease years ago and take a look at recent medical research and breakthroughs.

Related: Visit Greater Than AIDS for answers to frequently asked questions about HIV/AIDS, as well as information about local testing centers.

Guerra, who is HIV positive, spoke to CNN about the challenges he faces daily, his hopes for the future and, of course, fashion.

CNN: On your website, you wrote a message to your readers asking them to take time to remember the challenges of those living with HIV/AIDS. What are some of your own challenges?

Guerra: My biggest challenge is just [being] responsible and taking my meds every day.

That's the hardest thing to get into the routine of – reminding yourself religiously to take your meds. It's hard because it is just one [medication], but it's really easy to forget and once you kind of fall off the horse, it's rougher to get back on. If you miss a day or you miss two days, you take it again and then it's kind of almost like starting over again – there's going to be more side affects.

CNN: What are some of the stigmas about AIDS that bother you the most?

Guerra: A lot of people think that it’s still just a gay man's disease, which is quite bothersome. Yes, I am a gay man, but there are other people who have been infected and who are suffering from this and I think that ignorance alone lends itself to spreading the disease.

I also feel like people don't care to talk about it anymore because there has been some bit of progress in the research and I feel as if people maybe think it's been taken care of. Yes, there are meds that are keeping people alive for years upon years; but with all the side affects and opportunities for other infections – when you have an immune deficiency it can really hurt you.

Full story on the Marquee blog

Filed under: 360° Radar • AIDS • Katie McLaughlin
January 12th, 2011
02:30 PM ET
January 12th, 2011
02:00 PM ET

Palin criticized for using 'blood libel'

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CNN Political Unit

(CNN) – The Anti-Defamation League, an organization that combats anti-Semitism, says Sarah Palin should have used a different phrase than "blood libel" to characterize attempts to link her discourse to the Arizona shootings, the latest in a series of criticisms leveled at the former Alaska governor Wednesday over her use of the controversial term.

"We wish that Palin had not invoked the phrase "blood-libel" in reference to the actions of journalists and pundits in placing blame for the shooting in Tucson on others," said ADL National Director Abraham Foxman in a statement. "While the term 'blood-libel' has become part of the English parlance to refer to someone being falsely accused, we wish that Palin had used another phrase, instead of one so fraught with pain in Jewish history."

Related: Palin's use of 'blood libel' invokes ancient myth about Jews

In her video statement posted on Facebook earlier Wednesday, Palin lashed out at Democrats and other commentators who have charged Palin and others on the right with creating an atmosphere that encourages events like that which occurred in Tucson.

"Within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible," she said in her eight-minute video.

The term was initially used in the context of the Arizona shootings by conservative pundit Glenn Reynolds, who in a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed Monday characterized efforts to link the attacks to rhetoric on the right as a "blood libel."

But the phrase itself invokes controversial connotations, referring to a long-standing anti-Semitic myth that Jews murder children for religious rituals. In present times, the term has come to be understood by some as any false accusation of murder and has recently been invoked by supporters of Israel in defense of charges the government was responsible for killing Palestinian civilians.

Palin's use of the term has opened up the former vice presidential candidate to a new round of criticism, mostly from Democrats who say Palin and her aides did not understand the negative connotations the word conjures. The usage has also touched off a fierce debate on Twitter, where "blood libel" has become a trending topic all morning.

Full story on the CNN Political Ticker

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Raw Politics • Sarah Palin
January 12th, 2011
12:15 PM ET

Letters to the President: #723 'The healing power of listening'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: President Obama is going to Arizona in the wake of the weekend’s tragic shooting at a congressional rally.

Dear Mr. President,

I hope your visit to Arizona goes well today. A lot of people envy presidents for their power and prestige, but I’m not among them. I’ve seen how tough trips like this can be on even the strongest soul.

The public at large, of course, is eager to hear what you will have to say, but on the many occasions when I have met with folks closely affected by tragedies I have often found that it is how you listen when you are alone with them that matters most. Sometimes they want to talk about what happened. Sometimes they want to tell you about the people who were lost. Sometimes they want to talk about something that seemingly has nothing to do with the events at hand - a favorite pet, a good restaurant, some place they went on vacation years ago.

But listening to it all matters.

January 12th, 2011
12:06 PM ET

Speeches to nation in shock meant to comfort, move country forward

Kristi Keck

(CNN) - President Obama on Wednesday will assume the delicate role of comforting a nation still in shock in the aftermath of the Arizona shootings while also transcending the tragedy to move a grieving nation forward.

As difficult and unique as the task may be, Obama needs to look no further than his role model Ronald Reagan and his Democratic predecessor Bill Clinton for a lesson in how to console the country.

Both presidents were praised for the leadership they showed in the aftermath of two domestic disasters - the Challenger explosion in 1986 and the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

"This is Obama's Challenger-Oklahoma City moment," presidential historian Douglas Brinkley said.

Reagan and Clinton each paid tribute to the victims, gave support to the survivors and struck a tone of healing, as Obama will likely do when he speaks at the memorial service at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Were you affected by the shootings? Share your memories, tributes

The White House hasn't released details of what the president will say except that he will devote most of his remarks to memorializing the victims. A 9-year-old girl, a federal judge and four others were killed in the weekend shooting. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords remains in critical condition after being shot in the head.

Full story

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