July 25th, 2011
11:56 PM ET

Raw Politics: Assessing the debt ceiling fight

Editor's note: Anderson Cooper speaks to a panel of guests about the Monday speeches from Pres. Obama and House Speaker Boehner.

Related: Obama tells nation debt stalemate requires compromise now

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Raw Politics
Dueling Talk on Debt Crisis: Join the Live Chat
President Obama, House Speaker John Boehner and others have held several debt negotiation meetings at the White House.
July 25th, 2011
09:47 PM ET

Dueling Talk on Debt Crisis: Join the Live Chat

Both President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner addressed the nation tonight on dueling plans regarding the nation's debt and raising the debt ceiling. We'll have the breaking news. Plus, the hotel maid who's accusing former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault is breaking her silence. And see why we're adding the Home Shopping Network to our 'RidicuList.'

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)
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5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

Filed under: Live Blog
July 25th, 2011
07:45 PM ET

Norway police looking into claim that cells helped terrorist suspect

Oslo, Norway (CNN) - The suspect in the deadliest attack in Norway since World War II has acknowledged carrying out the mass shooting and bombing and claims to have worked with two cells, a judge said Monday.

Judge Kim Heger said the suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, acknowledged carrying out Friday's bombing and shooting, but has said they were necessary to prevent the "colonization" of the country by Muslims. Breivik accused the Labour Party, whose members were targets of the mass shooting, of "treason" for promoting multiculturalism, the judge said.

Police refused to release information about their investigation into the possibility that two cells aided Breivik, saying Monday that a court hearing was closed so as not to disclose any evidentiary information.

During his court hearing Monday, Breivik appeared "very calm," a police official said. "He was very concise in trying to explain why he was trying to do this," the official said. He has pleaded not guilty, police said Monday.

Two court psychiatrists will be assigned to the case, police said.

Monday's hearing was closed to the public for "security reasons and because of a concern that it would impede the investigation," court communications director Irene Ramm told CNN.

Afterward, Heger told reporters that he had ordered that Breivik remain in custody for eight weeks, until his next scheduled court appearance. Authorities continue to investigate the bombing in Oslo and the mass shooting at a nearby island that together killed at least 76 people. If police need more time, they can petition the court for it, he said.

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Filed under: 360° Radar
July 25th, 2011
07:35 PM ET

Strauss-Kahn accuser: 'I want justice'

New York (CNN) - The woman accusing former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexually assaulting her insisted she was "telling the truth from my heart," in an interview broadcast Monday.

"I want justice. I want him to go to jail," Nafissatou Diallo told ABC. "I want him to know you cannot use your power when you do something like this."

The 32-year-old hotel maid, whose credibility has been called into question by prosecutors and Strauss-Kahn's lawyers, said she was terrified when she found out how powerful Strauss-Kahn was.

When she saw news reports explaining that the man she was accusing was a leading candidate for the French presidency, "I said, 'Oh, my God.' I was crying. I said, 'They're going to kill me, I'm going to die.' " That's because in her native Guinea, West Africa, accusing "a powerful man like that" would put her life in danger, she said.

Diallo's choice to go public with her accusations in the middle of a pending criminal investigation is extremely unusual. She spoke with both ABC and Newsweek magazine.

CNN previously has not identified Diallo, given the network's policy against naming alleged sexual assault victims. But it is now naming her, in light of her decision to make her case to the media.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
July 25th, 2011
07:30 PM ET

Boehner, Reid unveil new debt plans as deadline nears

Washington (CNN) - Democratic and Republican congressional leaders unveiled new deficit reduction plans Monday as top officials scrambled to bridge a cavernous partisan divide and raise the federal government's debt ceiling before an unprecedented - and potentially devastating - national default.

Both plans provide a path to raise the debt ceiling through the end of 2012, but differ sharply in terms of their requirements for future congressional action and both tax and spending reform requirements.

President Barack Obama is scheduled to deliver remarks on the state of the negotiations at 9 p.m. ET, according to White House press secretary Jay Carney.

According to Democratic officials familiar with the speech, Obama will emphasize that a congressional stalemate exists and requires compromise to avoid an imminent threat of default.

The sources, who spoke on condition of not being identified, said Obama also will criticize House Republicans for an intransigent approach and encourage Americans to tell their elected representatives that compromise is needed.

While Obama will endorse a Democratic plan proposed Monday by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, he will acknowledge the plan has little chance of getting passed in the Republican-controlled House, just as the competing Republican plan unveiled Monday by House Speaker John Boehner is unlikely to get passed by the Democratic-majority Senate, the sources said.

The president will push for the two parties to work out an acceptable deal, and the speech will not include any details for a government contingency plan in the event of a default, the sources added.

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Beat 360° 7/25/11
Former President Bill Clinton attends the Starkey Hearing Foundation's "So The World May Hear Awards Gala" 2011 at River Centre on July 24, 2011 in St. Paul, Minnesota.(Photo credit: Adam Bettcher/Getty Images for Starkey Hearing Foundation)
July 25th, 2011
06:55 PM ET

Beat 360° 7/25/11

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!

Jarman Day-Bohn
“I am at one with the universe … from paychecks this big from public speaking."


Lee O’Brien Jones Jr.
"Martha Stewart said; the correct way to folding a fitted sheet is, you grab both ends like this."

Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360°
Letters to the President: #917 'One mile at a time'
July 25th, 2011
04:56 PM ET

Letters to the President: #917 'One mile at a time'

Reporter's Note: President Obama seems awfully busy lately. Of course, I’ve been busy too, but it doesn’t keep me from staying in touch.

Dear Mr. President,

The Tour de France was absolutely spectacular this year. Full of drama, lead changes, terrifying crashes, and heroic comebacks. I suppose you did not get to see much of it - what with the country falling apart and everything. That’s a shame, on both accounts. The breathtaking energy and competitiveness of these guys - going out day after day, covering thousands of miles knowing that any given one of them may wind up with nothing for all his effort and the race may ultimately be decided by seconds - well, it’s inspiring.

The Tour has become one of my favorite summer pastimes. The other is making a point, every time I see Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, of shouting, “You’re a wizard, Harry!” He always scowls and storms away. I’m not sure he is aware of the whole Harry Potter phenomenon, but then again, maybe he’s just heard that crack a lot. (Note: He does bear a passing resemblance to a much, much older Draco Malfoy, no?)

Speaking of good sports: You, House Speaker John Boehner, and the aforementioned Senate Majority Leader Reid looked like the unhappiest team I’ve seen in some time in that latest photo op from your debt talks. Seriously, I’ve seen trios facing parole board who looked happier. And let me tell you, the absence of ties did not make it look anymore relaxed. I think it actually made it worse, like a photo of a clearly angry kid wearing a birthday party hat.

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Filed under: Letters to the President • Opinion • President Barack Obama • T1