Pakistan: Friend or Foe in War in Terror?: Join the Live Chat
Troops, just back from Afghanistan, listen to President Obama speak at Ft. Campbell, Ky. on May 6.
June 21st, 2011
09:45 PM ET

Pakistan: Friend or Foe in War in Terror?: Join the Live Chat

Pres. Obama will address the nation tomorrow night on his troop withdraw plan in Afghanistan. Tonight, though, we're Keeping Them Honest on the country next door, Pakistan. They say they're our ally in the war on terror. But after the capture of Osama bin Laden there and other incidents is that really the case? Plus, is Pres. Obama flip-flopping on his stance on same-sex marriage. And, new twists in the Casey Anthony murder trial. We'll tell you why the alleged mistress of Casey's dad is expected in court tomorrow. And, Gary Tuchman reports on whether today's testimony actually hurt or helped the defense.

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
June 21st, 2011
06:45 PM ET

Prosecutors: Child of fellow Casey Anthony inmate drowned in pool

(CNN) - Prosecutors in the Casey Anthony murder trial said Tuesday they are looking into information regarding a woman who at one point was incarcerated with Anthony, and whose child died in a way similar to how Anthony's defense claims her 2-year-old daughter Caylee died.

The matter was mentioned in a conversation regarding discovery items provided to the defense, after the jurors in Anthony's murder trial were allowed to leave the Orlando courtroom for lunch.

April Whalen's child died in a pool and the child's body was discovered by the child's grandfather, prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick told Orange County Chief Judge Belvin Perry Jr.

Whalen says she never spoke with Anthony, but did not know whether she talked to other inmates, Burdick said. "It's being explored whether there was indirect contact," she said. The information came from a citizen who called the Orange County Sheriff's Office late last week, suggesting the two could have been in contact, Burdick said.

Asked by Perry, Burdick said she does not currently plan to have Whalen testify, but the information could become relevant.

According to the Orlando Sentinel newspaper, Whalen's 15-month-old son, Isaiah Whalen, drowned in a backyard pool on Christmas Day 2007. The boy's grandfather performed CPR and called 911 upon finding him in the pool, Burdick said in court Tuesday.

Casey Anthony, 25, is charged with seven counts in her daughter's death, including first-degree murder. If convicted, she could face the death penalty.

Prosecutors allege Anthony used chloroform to render her daughter unconscious, then used duct tape to cover her nose and mouth, suffocating her. Caylee's remains, prosecutors allege, were then put into Anthony's car trunk and eventually disposed of. The girl's skeletal remains were found in a wooded field on December 11, 2008, nearly six months after her family last reported seeing her.

Defense attorneys say Caylee was not murdered, but that she accidentally drowned in the family pool on June 16, 2008, the day she was last seen. They argue that Anthony and her father, George Anthony, panicked and covered up the death. George Anthony has rejected that scenario in his testimony.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
Beat 360° 6/21/11
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, center, listens to small business owners at the Brewery Bar IV on June 20, 2011 in Aurora, Colorado. Romney met with the group and supporters at the Colorado bar on a campaign stop before attending an evening fundraiser. (Photo credit: John Moore/Getty Images)
June 21st, 2011
06:39 PM ET

Beat 360° 6/21/11

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!

Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360°
Gay marriage battle rages as N.Y. senators debate taxes and rent
Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum joined protesters at New York's state capitol in favor of a bill to legalize same sex marriage on Monday.
June 21st, 2011
06:15 PM ET

Gay marriage battle rages as N.Y. senators debate taxes and rent

New York (CNN) - A day after state lawmakers were due to head home, a pair of controversial issues seem to stubbornly postpone their summer recess.

The first is something that many call a quintessential New York battle: Whether to enact the first statewide cap on property taxes. The cap is linked to the extension of rent control laws that apply to roughly 1 million apartments, most of them in New York City.

The second is the subject of national debate: Should New York become the sixth state in the union to adopt same-sex marriage laws?

Monday was technically the last official day of the legislative session, but the votes are still pending.

On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said lawmakers had reached a "framework for an agreement" on the rent and tax issues, but acknowledged that same-same sex marriage was not a part of those deliberations.

The Senate has struggled to bring to the floor a bill that would legalize the unions, but separate talks continued Tuesday, according to a spokesman for Skelos.

A vote on the measure, which the state Assembly passed Wednesday night, has been stalled in part by Republican concerns over protections for religious institutions against the potential for litigation in the wake of the proposed law.

Republicans, led by Skelos, have expressed concerns over the "unintended consequences" of a bill that redefines the legal parameters of marriage.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Gay & Lesbian Issues
June 21st, 2011
04:30 PM ET

Opinion: Is Obama ready to support gay marriage?

Editor's note: LZ Granderson writes a weekly column for CNN.com. A senior writer and columnist for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com, he has contributed to ESPN's "Sports Center," "Outside the Lines" and "First Take." He is a 2010 nominee and the 2009 winner of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation award for online journalism and a 2010 and 2008 honoree of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association for column writing.

Grand Rapids, Michigan (CNN) - After last week's GOP debate it would be safe to assume that President Obama pretty much has the 2012 gay vote all sewn up.

Not only has he done more for the gay community than any president in history, but some of his Republican challengers are threatening to undo all of the gay good he's already done if elected. Five of the seven GOP candidates said they would go so far as to support some form of anti-gay discrimination written directly into the Constitution, including leading candidate Mitt Romney.

Now how much of the anti-gay rhetoric was merely pandering to their base and how much of it was authentic likely varies from person to person. But one thing is clear for the proponents of gay rights, President Obama is the lesser of two evils.

So why is this week's speech at a fundraiser targeting the gay community such a big deal?

Because it's in Manhattan, which happens to be in the state of New York, which happens to be in the throes of a marriage equality debate, which happens to be the one area Obama remains right of center on.

If asked he would tell you that his opinion on the topic is "evolving."

If pushed he would tell you he believes marriage should be between one man and one woman.

That makes asking gay folks for campaign money ... tricky.

If marriage equality passes in New York, he's in the clear. All he has to do is show some clips from last week's debate, mention the Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal a few times and pass a bucket around.

But if it fails, oh boy.

June 21st, 2011
04:20 PM ET

Letters to the President: #883 'Keeping the pace'

Reporter's Note: President Obama is scheduled to make a big speech about Afghanistan and our progress there. Seems like a good time for me to write about my progress on a different path.

Dear Mr. President,

Lately I’ve been cheating during my runs. I know that sounds strange. I mean, after all, I’m running through the woods by myself, how could I possibly be breaking any rules?

When I was younger (in the years B.G.P.S.) it was easy to fool myself about those long, dreary training miles. I would come home from work late, it would still be hot out, so I’d run two miles and estimate that it was more like three. And, if I ran six, then I’d write down eight. A few marathons that ended with me wheezing like a concertina made me abandon that particular piece of self-deception.

Pakistan detains senior officer for alleged ties to militants
Pakistani policemen scuffle with members of the militant Hizb ut Tahrir activist group during a protest in Karachi on April 17, 2011.
June 21st, 2011
11:45 AM ET

Pakistan detains senior officer for alleged ties to militants

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) - Pakistan detained a senior Army officer for suspected connections to a militant organization, a military spokesman said Tuesday.

Brig. Ali Khan, stationed at military headquarters in the garrison town of Rawalpindi for the past two years, has been in custody for the past two days over alleged links to the militant group Hizb ut-Tahrir, said spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas.

He said the Pakistani army follows a "zero tolerance policy" for anyone "indulging in such illegal and unauthorized activities." An investigation into Khan is ongoing.

Khan's detainment comes as Pakistan's ties to the United States have been strained over strategy in combating terrorism.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Pakistan
June 21st, 2011
11:00 AM ET

'Lost' actor marries 16-year-old girlfriend

(CNN) - It was a twist that even "Lost" fans probably didn't see coming.

Actor Doug Hutchison, 51, announced that he has married his 16-year-old girlfriend, Courtney Alexis Stodden.

According to a notice on his website, Hutchison has been enjoying wedded bliss with the aspiring country singer for a few weeks.

FULL STORY on the CNN Marquee blog

Filed under: 360° Radar
June 21st, 2011
09:15 AM ET

Video: Changes at ATF

Editor's note: The ATF could see a change in leadership following a controversial gun purchasing program. CNN's Jeanne Meserve reports.

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
June 21st, 2011
09:00 AM ET

Pakistan rejects new U.S. accusation of leaks

Islamabad, Pakistan(CNN) - Pakistan's security forces are not tipping off militants about upcoming raids, the country's top military spokesman said Monday, adding that tribal elders are sometimes notified before the military moves into their regions.

Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas called allegations of leaks "part of a malicious campaign against us."

He was responding to a Sunday report in The New York Times that militants were fleeing bomb-making factories after American intelligence officials told Pakistan about them, heightening U.S. concerns that tips were leaking from Pakistani security to insurgents.

Abbas suggested Pakistan had no interest in letting information get to the targets of the raids, saying: "These are the same bomb-making facilities that are used to kill our soldiers."

But he said tribal elders are sometimes notified before security forces move into a region for an operation. The raids take place in semi-autonomous areas where the Pakistani government's control is tenuous.

Abbas said the exact location of the raids is never revealed. He did not say how much notice or detail the military gave tribal leaders, or how it ensured that they did not pass information to the targets of the raid.

Some tribal leaders are sympathetic to the Taliban. Others oppose them, and some have shifting loyalties.

A second high-ranking military official also rejected allegations by American lawmakers that Pakistan's powerful intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence or ISI, has contacts with the Taliban and the Haqqani network, another militant group that sometimes works with the Taliban.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Pakistan
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