April 5th, 2011
09:45 PM ET

Eman Al-Obeidy vs. the Gadhafi Regime: Join the Live Chat

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Tonight in Libya opposition forces are retreating and blaming NATO for not bombing enough. We also have more on plight of Eman al-Obeidy, who says she was raped by government forces. She tells us she was threatened again today – this time in court. Plus, we have the emotional phone call she had with her mother and much more.

Want more details on what we're 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
April 5th, 2011
09:24 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Alleged Libyan Rape Victim Connected With Her Mom

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Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight, only on 360°, we have the emotional telephone call between Eman al-Obeidy and her mom. Al-Obeidy is the woman who has made headlines around the world after she snuck into a Tripoli hotel and told journalists she had been raped by pro-Gadhafi forces.

Since she told her story at the hotel the regime has tried and failed to get her to recant it. She says she’s been imprisoned and threatened. They've even tried to bribe her family. Al-Obeidy has never changed her story; even when an anchor on state-run television called her a prostitute.

Now there's word the regime is targeting her online. The New York Times reports supporters of Gadhafi are circulating what they claim is a pornographic video of her. We'll tell you what the video really shows.

Just today al-Obeidy was threatened yet again. She'll tell you what happened in court. You'll also hear from her mom.

"Think with your sister to find a solution and bring you back (to Tobruk) before they kill you," al-Obeidy's mom told her on the phone.

In Japan, there's growing outrage over the response to the country's nuclear crisis.

Tokyo Electric, which operates the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant, has announced plans to give residents of one community near the facility an initial payment of 20 million yen - about $12 each - as "payment for their troubles."

As you can imagine, that's not enough to many people.

There's also news that fish have been detected with radiation and that about 3 million gallons of water poured into the Pacific had radiation levels millions of times above the regulatory limit.

We'll get the latest developments from CNN's Kyung Lah in Tokyo and former senior nuclear power plant operator Michael Friedlander.

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

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
April 5th, 2011
09:20 PM ET

Letters to the President: # 806 'The busted budget'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: More people are pointing fingers in Congress and the White House right now than when a UFO flies over a farm field. It’s the subject of my daily letter.

Dear Mr. President,

Sorry this letter is coming to you so late in the day, but you’ll understand why when I tell you what I’ve been up to. I spent most of this afternoon trying to make sense of the budget battles going on in DC right now, and to be honest, it makes Medusa’s head look like a tidy updo.

Related: GOP budget chief calls for $6.2 trillion spending cut

And you wonder why the public gets irritated with you guys.

AC361°: Inside the al-Obeidy taping
April 5th, 2011
09:00 PM ET

AC361°: Inside the al-Obeidy taping

Editor's note: Our control room was riveted yesterday as AC spoke with Eman al-Obeidy. Today, AC spoke with al-Obeidy again and reunited her on the phone with her mother for the first time since al-Obeidy’s ordeal began. Join us tonight beginning at 10pm ET to hear the latest from al-Obeidy.

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • AC361°
April 5th, 2011
07:05 PM ET

Beat 360° 4/5/11

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:

TV personality Kelly Ripa, right, attends the unveiling of her wax figure at Madame Tussauds on April 5, 2011 in New York City. (Photo credit: Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Madame Tussauds)

Update: Beat 360° Winners:

Sam Meyer
“Mark did think I was strangely quiet the other day.”


"Regis waxing poetically...Gadzooks...what does a guy have to do to get a chair around here..."

___________________________________________________________________________Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360°
April 5th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

NATO: Use of human shields complicating airstrikes in Libya

CNN Wire Staff

Tripoli, Libya (CNN) - Efforts to prevent forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi from attacking civilians have been complicated by weather and the regime's decision to hide military equipment in populated areas and to use human shields, NATO Brig. Gen. Marc van Uhm said Tuesday.

Rebel leaders have criticized NATO's efforts in recent days, saying civilians and rebel forces in Misrata and elsewhere have suffered under hellish attacks from pro-Gadhafi forces with little evidence of NATO air power overhead.

"Before we put our faith in God and we were winning. Now we put our faith in NATO and we are losing," a rebel fighter near al-Brega said Tuesday.

Van Uhm, chief of allied operations at NATO, defended the organization's efforts, saying warplanes under NATO command flew 58 strike missions Monday, firing weapons and striking pro-Gadhafi targets on 14 of them.

He did not immediately have figures for previous days, but NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said the warplanes had conducted 334 strike sorties since taking command of the mission on March 23.

"I think you can safely say the operational tempo continues unabated," she said.

In addition to using human shields and hiding equipment in populated areas, pro-Gadhafi forces have begun abandoning heavy military equipment in favor of the same kinds of cars and light trucks the rebels travel in, making it even more difficult for pilots to distinguish rebel convoys from those carrying forces loyal to the regime, van Uhm said.

Since the effort to enforce the U.N. resolution began in mid-March, airstrikes have taken out about 30% of Gadhafi's military capacity, van Uhm said.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
April 5th, 2011
12:45 PM ET

Town near nuclear plant rejects Japanese utility's 'token' offer

Whitney Hurst

Tokyo (CNN) - Acknowledging the toll the unrelenting nuclear crisis has had on people's lives and livelihoods, the owner of Japan's stricken nuclear plant has offered money to some of those in the radiation's reach - an offer that one city decided to refuse.

An official with Tokyo Electric Power Company, which operates the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, said Tuesday that the utility made a "token" offer to residents in 10 communities near the plant.

Starting March 31, money began going out to those in nine of them. But the town of Namie rejected Tokyo Electric's offer, with a local official calling it too meager an attempt to make up for a drastically reduced quality of life and income.

"Our people are suffering, and unfortunately, everything we've built is gone," Mayor Tamotsu Baba told CNN.

"Where is our direct apology?" Baba asked. "Because the cash certainly doesn't amount to much."

Tokyo Electric says the amount is an initial token payment, not compensation for losses sustained as a result of the nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi. They promise that will come later - after they have assessed the damage from the accident, which has spread radioactive contamination across much of the surrounding area.

The company called the initial offer "payment for their troubles," and would not detail how much money is being offered to each community. But Kousei Negishi, who is the manager of general affairs for Namie, said that it was 20 million yen - about $12 for each of Namie's roughly 20,000 residents.

That amount of cash, said Negishi, is "not enough." And it is logistically difficult to force local governments to distribute the money, which he said should be Tokyo Electric's responsibility.

Several officials from Fukushima, the prefecture that includes the crippled plant, took their complaints about the company and the evacuation zone to Prime Minister Naoto Kan's Tokyo office Tuesday afternoon.

"We don't know if TEPCO understands what we're going through," said Katsuya Endo, the mayor of Tomioka, one of the towns that has been evacuated since the accident.

The company said Tuesday that would be worked out between the power company and the Japanese government, which has pledged to support Japan's largest utility in the crisis.

One week ago, a report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch estimated Tokyo Electric will face compensation claims of 1 trillion Japanese yen (about $12.13 billion) if the recovery effort takes two months, the financial company's Tokyo spokesman Takayuki Inoue told CNN. That figure would rise to 2.4 trillion to 3 trillion yen if the process takes six months, and up to 10 trillion yen if the recovery takes two years, according to the report.

Most likely, tens of thousands of people will have a legitimate claim to this cash. They'll include those who haven't been able to work, who have been forced out of their homes or who otherwise have had their lives turned upside down in the problem-plagued, complicated struggle to contain the emission of radiation into the air, ground and water from the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
April 5th, 2011
11:45 AM ET

Radioactive leak at plant reduced, utility says

CNN Wire Staff

Tokyo (CNN) - An attempt to plug a leak of highly radioactive water from a Japanese nuclear reactor has shown a "significant difference," despite the material not setting as hoped, officials said late Tuesday.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, which runs the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, said the injection of a silica-based polymer dubbed "liquid glass" had reduced the amount of highly radioactive water that was leaking into the ocean.

The utility's assessment comes after the country's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said that the substance had not hardened as expected. The material had been pumped from below into the leaking shaft at the plant's No. 2 reactor.

Though water continued to pour into the ocean, photographs released by TEPCO showed a thinner, less powerful stream. The company says it has no estimate of the rate of the leak, however, so the amount of reduction was unclear.

It was a bit of good news amid a series of setbacks Japanese authorities faced Tuesday, with the detection of radiation in a fish and news that the water gushing into the Pacific had radiation levels more than millions of times above the regulatory limit.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
April 5th, 2011
03:02 AM ET
April 5th, 2011
03:00 AM ET
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