April 15th, 2011
11:58 PM ET

Video: Law professor breaks down 'birther' bill

Editor's note: Prof. Jonathan Turley, of the George Washington Univ. Law School, discusses a controversial Arizona bill.

Related: Arizona House OKs bill to make presidential hopefuls prove citizenship

April 15th, 2011
11:54 PM ET

Lawmaker explains AZ 'birther' bill

Editor's note: CNN's John King speaks with Arizona GOP state lawmaker Carl Seel about a controversial bill Seel drafted.

Related video: Law professor breaks down 'birther' bill

Related: Arizona House OKs bill to make presidential hopefuls prove citizenship

April 15th, 2011
11:52 PM ET

KTH: America's first 'birther' bill

Editor's note: CNN's John King reports on a law passed by the Arizona legislature that might affect the 2012 presidential race.

Related: Arizona House OKs bill to make presidential hopefuls prove citizenship

April 15th, 2011
09:45 PM ET

Arizona House OKs 'birther' bill: Join the Live Chat

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

Tonight on AC360°, the country’s first “birther” bill awaits a signature from Arizona’s Republican governor. In the meantime, we’re speaking tonight to the lawmaker who sponsored the bill and we’re Keeping Him Honest.

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 15th, 2011
07:50 PM ET

Rights group: Gadhafi forces firing cluster munitions

CNN Wire Staff

Tripoli, Libya (CNN) - Forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi have fired cluster munitions into residential areas in the besieged western city of Misrata, Human Rights Watch said Friday.

A spokesman for the Libyan government denied the charge.

The organization said in a statement that it had seen three cluster munitions explode over the el-Shawahda neighborhood of Misrata on Thursday night. Researchers inspected debris from a cluster submunition and interviewed witnesses to two other apparent cluster munitions strikes, the statement said.

HRW inspected the submunition, which it said had been discovered by a New York Times reporter, and determined that it was a Spanish-produced MAT-120 120mm mortar projectile, which opens in the air and releases 21 submunitions across a wide area.

The submunitions explode on contact, disintegrating into molten metal that can strike people and penetrate armored vehicles, it said.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
April 15th, 2011
07:44 PM ET

House passes sweeping GOP budget cuts, reforms

Alan Silverleib

Washington (CNN) - The House of Representatives passed the Republican leadership's 2012 budget proposal Friday, approving a blueprint for cutting federal deficits by roughly $4.4 trillion over the next decade while radically overhauling Medicare and Medicaid - two popular entitlement programs long considered politically untouchable.

The bill passed 235-193 in a near party-line vote. Every Democrat opposed the measure.

The measure, which is bitterly opposed by President Barack Obama, has virtually no chance of clearing the Democratic-controlled Senate.

It is time "to get serious about the long-term crisis our country is facing," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. Boehner said he was "hopeful the president will take his job as seriously as we're taking ours."

Republicans "are out to destroy Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid," charged Rep. John Larson, D-Connecticut. This "is a time to draw a line in the sand and fight. ... We will keep their hands off of Medicare and the sacred contract that we have with the people we are sworn to serve."

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the plan "places the burden of debt reduction on those who can least afford it (and) ends Medicare as we know it."

Several spectators were forcibly removed from the House gallery shortly before the vote for yelling and generally disrupting the chamber's proceedings.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
April 15th, 2011
07:07 PM ET

Beat 360° 4/15/11

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:

Former White House Chief of Staff and Current Mayor-elect of Chicago Rahm Emanuel greets President Barack Obama during a campaign fundraiser at Navy Pier April 14, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Update: Beat 360° Winners:

Steve Brusk
“If Trump’s got Celebrity Apprentice, we can go on Dancing with the Stars.”


Jolene, St. Joseph, MI
"It's the newest dance craze......they call it 'The Politician.'"

___________________________________________________________________________Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360°
April 15th, 2011
04:00 PM ET

Arizona House OKs bill to make presidential hopefuls prove citizenship

CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - The Arizona legislature has approved a bill that would require President Barack Obama and other presidential candidates to prove they are American citizens, born in the United States, before their names could be placed on a state ballot.

The "birther bill" got final approval by a vote of 40-16 Thursday night in the state House, according to the legislature's website. To become law, the measure needs to be signed by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican.

Obama has been hounded by allegations since he began running for president in 2008 that he was not born in America. If true, the claim could make him constitutionally ineligible for the nation's highest office. Critics contend, among other things, that he was born in his father's home country of Kenya.

Obama has insisted that he was born in Hawaii, and the allegations against him have been repeatedly discredited in investigations by CNN and other organizations. Nevertheless, the issue remains politically potent among segments of the electorate and has served as a rallying cry for many of the president's opponents, most recently potential GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Arizona's measure, drafted by Republican state Rep. Carl Seel, is designed to show that candidates meet the constitutional requirement that they be "natural born" citizens. Among other things, a candidate would have to show a copy of his or her birth certificate. If a birth certificate can't be produced, a candidate would have to show a combination of baptismal or circumcision records, hospital birth files, postpartum medical records or other documents.

Candidates also would have to submit affidavits declaring their citizenship as well as sworn statements regarding their residency for the previous 14 years.

If there is any dispute, Arizona's secretary of state would have the final say over whether candidates have met the citizenship test.

Seel has repeatedly said the bill is not targeted at Obama.

Full story

April 15th, 2011
09:00 AM ET

Letters to the President: #816 'Can we still be friends?'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: President Obama fired a pretty loud shot across the Republicans’ bow this week over deficit reduction. Which may be a good campaign maneuver, but as I note in today’s letter, perhaps not the most productive start to negotiations on fixing these budget issues that everyone says are so pressing.

Dear Mr. President,

Getting along with people is not always easy, as most of us found out in grade school. Someone else wants your favorite crayon, or your spot on the monkey bars, or your seat at lunch; on and on it goes.

It continues into adulthood. Another commuter wants to nose into your lane; a co-worker wants to finagle you out of your little corner of cubicle land; some impatient pilot wakes you up from your nap in the control tower. You get the picture.

Still, getting along despite such friction is a critical part of success. There is only so much that most of us can do on our own no matter how powerful we are. (Unless, I mean, you’re like Oprah. Who I think can actually make laws on her own. Pretty sure.) And I hope it doesn’t disappoint you to hear that this principle applies to presidents, too.

April 15th, 2011
08:45 AM ET

Freed journalists await word on missing driver, reflect on Libyan captivity

CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - The four New York Times staffers recently held captive for about a week by pro-Moammar Gadhafi troops made it out of Libya alive.

However, they're unsure if their driver, Mohammed, did. And the experience is forcing the seasoned war journalists to reconsider how they look at the world.

"We probably should have died those first 12 hours, given, you know, the intensity of the firefight and the positions we were in," Anthony Shadid told Anderson Cooper on CNN's "AC360."

But when Shadid and his colleagues Lynsey Addario, Stephen Farrell and Tyler Hicks emerged unscathed from the firefight, they fled right into the arms of their soon-to-be captors, who were manning a government checkpoint.

Mohammed got out of their vehicle at the checkpoint.

The journalists, who were blindfolded soon thereafter, aren't sure if they ever saw him again, but suspect the worst.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
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