March 4th, 2011
09:45 PM ET

Libyan Loyalists Target Protesters: Join the Live Chat

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

New bloodshed in Libya. Loyalists target protesters in Tripoli and 25 miles to the west in the city of Zawiya. We have new video of the uprising and new insight from our reporters and others. Plus, tonight's other headlines.

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
March 4th, 2011
08:48 PM ET

Video documents carnage in Ivory Coast

CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - A video posted online documents in chilling, graphic detail the transformation Thursday of a peaceful demonstration in the Ivory Coast city of Abidjan to a slaughter by what appear to be forces loyal to self-proclaimed President Laurent Gbabgo.

U.S. officials said Friday that the attack left seven women dead, but Gbagbo rival Alassane Ouattara put the death toll at 12, including a child, with another 110 people wounded.

The video was broadcast widely on opposition television in the Ivory Coast. CNN staffers familiar with Abidjan said the video appeared to have been recorded in the capital city.

The video, about eight minutes, is posted on YouTube. In it, hundreds of people, most of them women dressed in brightly colored garb, are seen smiling, chanting, playing horns, blowing whistles and dancing. Many of them are carrying signs with slogans written in French that refer to Gbagbo as "assassin" and "robber of power." One of them holds a poster declaring Gbagbo's rival, former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara, as president. None of them appears to be carrying a weapon.

Dark clouds hang low.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
March 4th, 2011
07:49 PM ET

McCain vs. Pentagon: Getting personal over Libya debate

Larry Shaughnessy
CNN Pentagon Producer

Washington (CNN) - Trash talk and criticism seems the norm in these days of social networking, talk radio and cable pundits. But now it's spreading to the halls Capitol Hill and the leadership of the Department of Defense.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates may have started it when commenting on an idea for establishing a no-fly zone over Libya to protect rebel forces.

"There's a lot of, frankly, loose talk about some of these military options," Gates told a House committee on Wednesday. "Let's just call a spade a spade. A no-fly zone begins with an attack on Libya to destroy the air defenses. That's the way you do a no-fly zone."

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, has been one of the most vocal people on the Hill when it comes to supporting the idea of a no-fly zone. He responded Thursday in a Senate hearing.

"May I just say personally, I don't think it's loose talk on the part of the people on the ground in Libya, nor the Arab League nor others, including the prime minister of England, that this option should be given the strongest consideration."

But it's not just the idea of a no-fly zone that has these powerful men trading barbs in public.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • John McCain • Raw Politics
March 4th, 2011
07:11 PM ET

Beat 360° 3/4/11

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:

Miley Cyrus and Jimmy Fallon appear on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" at Rockefeller Center on March 3, 2011 in New York City. (Photo credit: Theo Wargo/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
“Hollywood chapter of John Bolton Fan Club meets"


Lynn M
"Dude..that's a nice stash..."

___________________________________________________________________________Beat 360° Challenge

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

Witness: Peaceful protesters mowed down in Libya

CNN Wire Staff

Tripoli, Libya (CNN) - "Indescribable" and deadly violence rippled through the Libyan city of Zawiya on Friday, according to a witness who said pro-government forces gunned down peaceful protesters.

The witness said battalions of forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi attacked the protesters with mortars and machine guns as they were demonstrating in the city's Martyrs Square, and they assaulted an ambulance, killing its occupants.

"We buried nine people so far," the witness said. "The attack was indescribable. Direct gunfire was opened on people."

It was unclear who controlled the city.

People in Zawiya, west of Tripoli, and "their public leadership have secured and took control over the city from the armed terrorist elements," state TV reported. Libyan government spokesman Majid al- Dursi told CNN that "Zawiya has been captured, Zawiya has been liberated."

However, the witness said protesters retained some control inside the city, which security forces were surrounding.

At least 15 people died and 200 others were wounded in the city, according to one doctor, who said there was "a river of blood" at the hospital where the wounded were being treated. "The situation is very bad," he said, adding that the facility was short of medical supplies.

It was not clear if the casualties at the hospital were wounded during the Martyrs Square confrontation. The doctor said the wounded started arriving at the hospital Friday morning, and most of the wounds were from gunshots.

In the capital city of Tripoli, security forces aboard flatbed trucks shot tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds of protesters who had formed after Friday prayers in the Tajura neighborhood, witnesses said.

Government officials would not allow CNN into Tajura, whose outskirts were patrolled by a heavy security presence. Security forces were searching cars along the Corniche, a main street in the city.

Protesters had said they were hoping to march from the Corniche to the center of the city but were unable to do so.

Witnesses said anti-government protesters hid journalists in abandoned buildings and helped move them from location to location so that they could report firsthand in safety.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
March 4th, 2011
04:30 PM ET

Tunisia steps up evacuations of people fleeing Libya

Ivan Watson

Djerba, Tunisia (CNN) - The evacuation of the tens of thousands of refugees who have streamed across the Libyan border to Tunisia has stepped up dramatically.

Tunisian authorities have established an air bridge from a provincial airport on the island of Djerba that is now moving out thousands of migrants a day.

"We are expecting 10,000 passengers to leave every day with 66 movements, that's to say 66 planes," said Djerba airport director Zouhaier Badreddine told CNN.

"The majority go to Egypt. But there are also Chinese, Pakistanis, Filipinos, Bangladeshi, Vietnamese, Turks in the beginning but now they all seem to have left. There are many nationalities and many destinations."

As of Thursday, more than 172,000 people had left Libya, most of them migrant workers returning home, the U.N.'s emergency relief coordinator, Valerie Amos, said in a statement issued Friday.

Among them were women and children, she said.

The United Nations' figure was slightly less than that of the International Organization for Migration, which has been working with the U.N. refugee agency and estimated that 200,000 people had fled Libya.

Some of those crossing the border told CNN that government forces in Tripoli had confiscated their mobile phones and cameras.

A majority of those fleeing are Egyptians who had been working in Libya. But the foreign workers also include citizens of other nations including Bangladesh, Thailand, Vietnam, Sudan, Ghana and Mali.

A U.S. Agency for International Development official said approximately 90,000 people were in transit camps over the Libyan border in Tunisia. Almost half of them are Egyptian, said the official, who did not want to be identified because he was not authorized to speak on the record.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Ivan Watson • Nic Robertson
March 4th, 2011
09:00 AM ET

Letters to the President: #774 'Angry at government?'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: The next presidential election seems to be gathering some early steam, which means the season of polling will be upon us before we know it. Kind of like my daily letter to the White House - before you know it, there it is!

Dear Mr. President,

I was looking at a new poll that shows Americans are less angry with the government, and more just generally frustrated. I suppose that is progress, in a sort of “I was falling down a hill but I hit the bottom before I broke any more bones” kind of way.

Of course the Republicans are more negative about government than the Democrats, but it’s still not a pretty picture.

This poll has me wondering: Do you think if the economy were doing much better our opinion of government would be vastly improved? I imagine it would be, because when things are going badly in my life, I’ve often found that everything annoys me more than it otherwise would. Bad drivers. Long lines. People talking in theaters. Well, to be honest, that last one always drives me crazy, but you get my point.

My mother says I was that way as a little kid. She could always tell when I was getting sick because some tiny thing would go wrong and I would fall apart.

March 4th, 2011
12:45 AM ET

After 57 years, break in civil rights era cold case

Chuck Hadad
AC360° Producer

(CNN) - On June 4, 1954, wealthy African-American land owner Isadore Banks disappeared in his hometown of Marion, Arkansas and was discovered days later chained to a tree, shot and burned beyond recognition. For nearly 57 years, his family has lived with the pain of two mysteries: who killed him and what happened to his land. Now, one of those mysteries might finally be solved.

His son Jim Banks says his father owned more than 1000 acres at the time of his death but any record of ownership had disappeared.

“What happened to his land? That’s the $64,000 question … and all records have been destroyed,” Banks said.

He maintains conspirators plotted to take the land away from his family, possibly providing a motive for his father’s murder. “I certainly believe that with all of my heart,” he said, adding, “he owned a great deal of land and at that time, that wasn’t common to have that kind of wealth for a black man. Offers had been made many times and he refused.”

CNN was able to uncover records showing Banks had owned land in the years leading up to his death but no records reflecting proof of ownership at the time he was killed.

Now, the lingering questions over what happened to Isadore Banks’ land are close to being answered.

Filed under: Chuck Hadad • Crime & Punishment • Gary Tuchman