April 22nd, 2011
11:41 PM ET

KTH: Syria cracks down on protests

Editor's note: CNN's Anderson Cooper reports on the aftermath of the Syrian government's recent move to lift a decades-old state of emergency.

Deadly Crackdown in Syria: Join the Live Chat
Syrian anti-government protesters taking part in a demonstration in Banias in northeastern Syria on Friday.
April 22nd, 2011
09:45 PM ET

Deadly Crackdown in Syria: Join the Live Chat

Tonight on AC360°, Syria's repressive regime, slaughtering unarmed peaceful protesters, less than a day after granting people the right to do exactly what they were doing today – protesting peacefully. We're Keeping Them Honest. Plus, Libya's army will withdraw from the besieged city of Misrata, Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Khaim said today. A rebel spokesman laughed when he heard about the decision. We'll have a live report from the war zone. Plus, remembering photojournalist Tim Hetherington killed in Misrata earlier this week.

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 22nd, 2011
08:17 PM ET

Libyan army to withdraw from Misrata, official says

Tripoli, Libya (CNN) - Libya's army will withdraw from the besieged coastal city of Misrata and allow tribal leaders to attempt to deal with the rebels, Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Khaim said Friday in Tripoli.

Meanwhile, NATO airstrikes resumed early Saturday in Tripoli.

"The situation in Misrata will be eased and will be dealt with by the tribes surrounding Misrata," Khaim told reporters. "You will see how they will be swift and quick and fast."

He added that the residents of Libya's third-largest city have been in the grip of the conflict.

"The tactic of the Libyan army is to have a surgical solution, but it doesn't work," Khaim said. "With the airstrikes, it does not work. We will leave it for the tribes and Misrata people to deal with the situation - either to use force or negotiations."

He added, "The tribal leaders have issued an ultimatum to the military saying they will deal with the situation if the military cannot do it. ... They will speak with the rebels and, if there is no solution, they will fight the rebels."

In the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, in the east, rebel spokesman Ahmed Bani reacted with laughter and derision.

"This only confirms that he wants to save face," Bani said of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. "This confirms that our rebels in Misrata have liberated Misrata and that Libya is still in one piece, not two, the way Gadhafi hoped. In regards to the tribes fighting the rebels; how would you believe that a person will fight his brother? And who are the tribes that are supporting Gadhafi, anyway?"

He predicted that, if Gadhafi forces leave Misrata, "it will mean that this game is over." But he added that he did not necessarily believe they will.

The announcement came after Bani said that Libyan rebels had wrested control of a key building in Misrata and made other advances in the city.

"This victory is quite important for us, and it shows that we are advancing and we are heading in the right direction," Bani told CNN about the rebels' control of the National Insurance Building, which is on the main thoroughfare, Tripoli Street. Its height provided snipers with a clear view of surrounding streets.

Bani said some fighters loyal to Gadhafi were negotiating to surrender their weapons to the rebels in exchange for the rebels' assurances that they would not be harmed.

But the carnage of recent days was on display at the city's hospitals, where doctors were working long hours and beds were full.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
AC360 Preview: 'Birther' Investigation
April 22nd, 2011
07:53 PM ET

AC360 Preview: 'Birther' Investigation

As the 'birther' controversy reaches a fever pitch, Anderson Cooper 360° launches the definitive investigation of the myth that won’t die: that the President Obama was not born in the United States.

Gary Tuchman travelled to Hawaii .. and what he found will be difficult for some people to accept.

Tune in Monday, April 25, and Tuesday, April 26, beginning at 10pm ET on CNN. We’re Keeping Them Honest.

Related: Louisiana legislature considers 'birther' bill

Beat 360° 4/22/11
Courtroom artist Verna Sadock shows former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) a painting she made of him as he leaves the federal courthouse after a day of jury selection for his re-trial April 21, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)
April 22nd, 2011
07:31 PM ET

Beat 360° 4/22/11

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!

Update: Beat 360° Winners:

Joey Gardner
""A picture paints a thousand words and I got two for you lady."


Denalda Beverly
"A comb over REALLY! was she fantasizing about Trump when she painted this!"

Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360°
April 22nd, 2011
07:25 PM ET

More than 40 dead in protests as violence erupts across Syria

(CNN) - Violence swept across Syria on Friday, with at least 43 people reported killed in another bloody day of confrontation between government forces and demonstrators calling for political change.

Reliable numbers were difficult to come by. CNN bases its figures on reports from witnesses. Amnesty International, citing local human rights activists, reported that at least 75 people were killed in Friday's protests. The Syrian government does not permit CNN to report from inside the country.

The killings occurred in several flashpoint regions as thousands of Syrian protesters defiantly marched after Muslims' weekly prayers in a display of mass discontent toward the government.

Violence ripped through the Damascus suburbs of Douma, Moademy, and Zamalka, and other cities - Homs, Harasta, and Izraa. The state-run news agency reported demonstrations and clashes, citing injuries but no deaths.

Human rights groups and witnesses told a different story. "Today, they have killed so many people. There are so many people injured and people have been kidnapped," Wissam Tarif, a human rights activist, told CNN. "They are acting as an armed gang, not as security forces."

The violence prompted international condemnation, with British Foreign Secretary William Hague calling the killings "unacceptable," and calling on Syrian security forces "to exercise restraint instead of repression, and on the Syrian authorities to respect the Syrian people's right to peaceful protest."

Before Friday's marches, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said the death toll had exceeded 200 since the demonstrations began in mid-March.

Human rights groups had been urging the government to refrain from cracking down on peaceful turnouts during the Facebook-inspired outpouring dubbed "Great Friday."

A witness in Douma said eight people died and approximately 25 were wounded when security forces fired on several thousand protesters. Riot police and secret police comprised the security forces and a sniper on a hospital roof was seen taking shots at people. Pellets and lethal rounds were used, the witness said, as people chanted for the downfall of the regime.

A doctor in the Damascus suburb of Moadamy said six people were killed and dozens wounded when security forces fired in an "indiscriminate and disproportionate manner" on thousands of demonstrators. The doctor, a pediatrician, said it was difficult taking the wounded to the hospital. Syrian security forces had set up checkpoints across the area and were preventing anyone from entering or leaving the suburb.

Five people were killed in the Damascus suburb of Zamalka, a witness said.

An opposition leader in Homs said 12 people died and dozens were wounded when security forces fired on demonstrators. Protesters raced from the main streets for cover in smaller streets and alleys where they waited for the situation to calm. A witness said one of the dead was a 41-year-old demonstrator who was shot in the neck.

Tarif said security forces fired on demonstrators from the southern city of Izraa who were trying to join protesters in nearby Daraa, killing nine and wounding others. Two people in Izraa reported seeing an assault on demonstrators and many casualties.

An activist in Harasta in the south said 2,000 to 3,000 people met with a fierce crackdown by security forces, and heavy gunfire could be heard over the phone as the witness spoke. Three people have been killed and nine wounded, the source said. In protest, demonstrators burned down a police station.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
April 22nd, 2011
07:14 PM ET

Letters to the President: #823 'No fun . . . no funds'

Reporter's Note: The president is rapidly rolling into full campaign mode - while I continue to plod along at regular “letter writing” speed.

Dear Mr. President,

Can you believe it? Once again the week is screaming to a close and I nearly forgot to write my daily letter to you. I know if I ever missed a day that I would be disappointed, but I fear you would be devastated!

However, I guess now that I am hammering the keys we can call off the fire engines.

I followed some of your fundraising efforts this week, and it looks like you’re doing a pretty good job at this early stage of pumping up the old campaign cash balloon. To be honest, this is something you can add to the very long list of why I will never be president: I hate like a toothache the idea of asking people for money. It just seems so… oh, I don’t know…seamy, I guess.

I realize that all you political types have to do it, but I yearn (and we all know how painful that can be) for the long ago days when presidential contenders relied entirely on their boosters to raise money, make speeches, and hand paint campaign signs in the back yard.

Don’t take me wrong. I’m not leveling any criticism at you. As I said, I know that passing the hat goes with wearing the mantle.

April 22nd, 2011
12:00 PM ET

Hetherington: Talented photographer, true gentleman

(CNN) - The first words that were used to describe Tim by almost anybody who knew him were "humble" and "modest."

Yet, Tim was a guy who had great talents. He took highly artistic photos and had released a photography book "Infidel," which consists of his portraits of American soldiers fighting in the Afghan War.

He was also someone who would go out in the field and take the grittiest pictures of combat.

For one of those photographs he won the World Press Photo award in 2007. The photo showed an exhausted, battle-weary GI resting in a bunker in northern Afghanistan, an apt metaphor for what was then fast-becoming the longest war in American history.

Tim had also gone to Oxford to study literature, something he never mentioned in the long days we spent talking when we were embedded with a group of Marines in southern Afghanistan in September 2009 while working together on stories for CNN.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
April 22nd, 2011
09:00 AM ET
April 22nd, 2011
01:24 AM ET

AC361°: Cooper gets schooled in royal etiquette

Editor's note: CNN's Isha Sesay gives Anderson Cooper a lesson in royal etiquette prior to next week's royal wedding.

Related: Special coverage of the Royal Wedding on CNN.com

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