The AC360 Weekly Buzz: Cruise ship nightmare, Barbour's pardons, Syria, Raw Politics, Betty White
January 18th, 2012
08:00 PM ET

The AC360 Weekly Buzz: Cruise ship nightmare, Barbour's pardons, Syria, Raw Politics, Betty White

What everyone’s talking about:

Eleven people are confirmed dead and about two dozen missing after the Costa Concordia cruise ship ran aground and capsized last week off the coast of Italy. And as the days go on, hope for finding more survivors is dim, according to experts. Rescue crews suspended operations on Wednesday after the ship started moving, according to the Italian coast guard. Since the ship rolled onto its side Friday night, rescue crews have since haulted and restarted their efforts many times. Butch Hendrick, president and founder of Lifeguard Systems, took us underwater to help explain the dangers these crews face. However, questions still linger about Captain Francesco Schettino’s actions as the ship hit rocks and started rolling onto its side. The captain seemed to give conflicting accounts in a conversation with the Italian coast guard, according to transcripts published by the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. First the captain said he abandoned the vessel, but then says he was “catapulted” into the water instead. We’re Keeping Them Honest. And one survivor says while she saw other crew members “doing the very best they could,” she’s “absolutely shocked” at the captain’s behavior.

Former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour is defending his decision to pardon convicted murderers before leaving office. On CBS’s "This Morning," Barbour said he understands the frustration of the victims’ families, but the prisoners “redeemed themselves, they deserve a second chance.” Earlier this week, we took a look at the program that allowed these criminals to live and work in the governor’s mansion. Our investigation raises questions on whether Barbour violated procedures. We’re Keeping Them Honest.

According to the United Nations, more than 5,000 people have died in the violent crackdown in Syria and some believe the United States can help stop the bloodshed by providing defected Syrian soldiers with weapons. Do you think the U.S. has a role to play?

Today’s Scoop:

The Costa Concordia disaster is developing. Tune in tonight at 8 and 10 p.m. ET to see what type of legal action the cruise line could face.

Twelve girls say they are experiencing uncontrollable Tourette-like symptoms, and they all go to the same New York high school. Jason Carroll investigates the mysterious condition tonight, followed by a conversation with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

We’re also talking to Newsweek’s Andrew Sullivan about his controversial cover story, “Why Are Obama’s Critics so Dumb?"

A look ahead:

As we push forward into the election year, there are a lot of political events and milestones in the forecast! Tune in to tomorrow when CNN and the Southern Republican Leadership Conference host a Republican presidential debate in South Carolina at 8 p.m. ET. CNN’s John King will be the moderator and stick around for our post-debate wrap-up with Anderson.

For real-time coverage of the South Carolina primary on Saturday, watch the best political team on CNN.

Also, join CNN on Tuesday from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. ET for special coverage on President Obama’s State of the Union address.

Buzz-winning story:

Happy birthday to Betty White who turned 90 on Tuesday! Over the past couple of years, she’s hosted "Saturday Night Live” and told Larry King her thoughts about being a sex symbol, so many memorable moments!

Follow Deena Sami on Twitter.

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soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. dennis king

    It will not be popular to say, but I believe Gov Barber's belief about those imprisoned for a crime of passion is correct, and not 'antiquated' as I heard someone on your program state. If a such a person commits murder or murder/suicide, and has no prior history of violence, I believe most civilized countries recognize that they are unlikely to repeat this offense. In the former instance, I believe many countries give a 6 year sentence. Please have someone provide further research regarding this issue as to whether I am correct, and follow up research regarding further acts of violence for I believe the popular American belief on this issue is rather antiquated.

    January 19, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  2. Paula in Arizona

    I appreciate your thorough and continued coverage of the Costa Concordia, however, I am very curious to learn more about the passengers, crew and families of those who perished at sea. What, if any, remuneration can they expect from the cruise line, travel & accident insurance, or supplemental (credit card) coverage for such incidents? Is this limited to some tiny amount spelled out in fine print when they booked passage? Or are they entitled to punitive damages in addition to actual losses. Are there any plans to salvage and return personal property to the passengers and crew? I realize computers, cameras, and electronics will likely be damaged, and clothing will be a loss – but what about other items of monetary or sentimental value (jewelry, purses, wallets)? Will the passengers and crew be “made whole”?

    January 18, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
  3. Anita Fusco

    Was on a Costa cruise the difference to other cruise lines is that in the area of this accident the ship stops at ports and people get on and off like a ferry. If you have a muster drill before you leave port the people getting on at other ports do not do this. You have people who speak different languages, our cruise when they made an announcement had to make it in at least 5 languages with English being last.

    It is not like a cruise that you get on and get off with the same people. This is not a good thing as you don't get familiar with the ship for several days.

    We are all saddened by this tradegy. People save up for the trip of a life time and wind up with this disaster.

    January 18, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
  4. Hans

    how is the baby that woman was asked to save???

    January 18, 2012 at 10:20 pm |