August 2nd, 2012
11:49 PM ET

How to detect threatening behavior

In the wake of the deadly Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting, Anderson Cooper talks to Brett Sokolow, Executive Director of The National Behavioral Intervention Team Association, threat assessment expert Barry Spodak, and Peter Read, whose daughter Mary Karen Read was killed in the Virginia Tech shooting. They offer insight on how to prevent future attacks by recognizing warning signs.

Earlier this week, CNN affiliate KMGH reported that the suspected gunman’s psychiatrist, Dr. Lynne Fenton, alerted University of Colorado’s threat assessment team with concerns that he could potentially be a danger to others. Sources told KMGH that no one contacted police about Fenton’s notification, and that the university threat team did not act because the suspect had already taken steps to withdraw from school and they had “no control over him.”

Citing the 2008 shooting at Northern Illinois University in which a student returned to campus a year-and-a-half after leaving and killed five people, Spodak suggests that threat assessment teams “think through the broader implications” of not sharing concerns about a student. “Wouldn’t you like to have every bit of information you can gather, within the campus setting, to understand their state of mind at the time that they leave?” he said.


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Filed under: Colorado Shooting
August 2nd, 2012
11:15 PM ET

Sen. McCain proposes safe area in Syria

Sen. John McCain says he knew Kofi Annan's cease-fire negotiations would fail. He thinks the conflict in Syria requires a safe area where the opposition can train and equip, the wounded can be treated and refugees can be helped.

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Filed under: Senator John McCain • Syria
August 2nd, 2012
10:32 PM ET

RidicuList: 'Tanning mom' turns pale

The RidicuList answers a burning question about the infamous “tanning mom."

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Filed under: The RidicuList
August 2nd, 2012
09:46 PM ET

KTH: Sen. Reid goes after Romney's tax record

Sen. Harry Reid says a former investor at Bain Capital and others told him that Mitt Romney skipped paying taxes for ten years. However, he hasn't provided evidence or named his sources. Anderson Cooper is Keeping Them Honest.

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Filed under: Keeping Them Honest • Mitt Romney
August 2nd, 2012
09:16 PM ET

Congress closes loophole after CNN report

House Republicans have been forced to close a potential loophole on their much-touted insider trading law - a loophole CNN uncovered and reported about last month.

Because of CNN's report, the Senate and House passed new legislation Thursday to close the loophole that could have allowed family members of some lawmakers to profit from inside information.

Senators who were critical of the loophole after it was unearthed applauded the fix.

The STOCK Act, one of the rare bipartisan bills passed this year, was signed by President Barack Obama in April.

Lawmakers proclaimed that the bill, officially called the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, would restore trust in government. It also applied new rules to some employees of the executive branch.


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Filed under: Congress
August 2nd, 2012
08:54 PM ET

Romney and Reid double down on tax fight

Sen. Harry Reid alleges Mitt Romney didn't pay taxes for a decade. On AC360, Paul Begala defends Reid and says there's evidence of Romney's "tax avoidance." Mary Matalin tells Anderson Cooper she thinks this is just a distraction and it's sad that the Democratic Senate Majority Leader is making the questionable claims.

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Filed under: Mary Matalin • Mitt Romney • Paul Begala
August 2nd, 2012
07:41 PM ET

Letters to the President #1291: 'Beware the horse'

Reporter's Note: President Obama and Mitt Romney are in a duel to the end for the election this fall.

Dear Mr. President,

Here is a suggestion, which you can take or leave: I think if I were you, I would wave my Democratic pals away from too much criticism of Ann Romney’s horse in the Olympics.

You may’ve already seen the ad suggesting the Romneys care more about their horse than health care, or you could have heard the interviews in which Democratic operatives suggest the man from Massachusetts is a preening elitist and this horse is just proof of it, etc.

Here is the problem: Ann Romney took to riding in earnest about 14 years ago after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She has repeatedly asserted that the sport was one of the few things she could do at a time when she was so weak she could barely get out of bed; that it helped her build her muscles, fight the disease, and that it saved her life. Along the way, she got quite good at it; good enough to help train a horse to compete for our country in the Olympics.

Sure the horse costs a fortune. Sure dressage is an odd sport that many people don’t understand. But you get my point here, don’t you?

While some of your friends may see only the delightful opportunity to skewer a rich opponent, I suspect if Team Romney gets its act together on this, they will tear into you like a wheat thresher. Their talking points? I don’t know, but I would guess they would be something like this: Do you seriously think it is decent or fair to mock the efforts of any person wrestling with a disease that afflicts about 400,000 Americans? Should Mitt Romney have denied his wife this therapy because it looked too rich? And on and on and on.

It is, as they say, up to you. But I suspect this is not a horse your side should bet on.


The AC360 Weekly Buzz: Fast and Furious, Bachmann, Reid, Romney, Syria, Aurora shooting warning, holograms
August 2nd, 2012
07:10 PM ET

The AC360 Weekly Buzz: Fast and Furious, Bachmann, Reid, Romney, Syria, Aurora shooting warning, holograms

What everyone’s talking about:

A new scathing report on the failed Fast and Furious gun program points the blame at five ATF officials Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, a member of the House Oversight Committee spoke with Anderson about his criticism of the ATF and the Justice Department for their flawed decisions and lack of communication.

Newt Gingrich voiced his support for five members of Congress, including Michele Bachmann, who claim the Muslim Brotherhood is infiltrating the U.S. Government. The Republican lawmakers have specifically named Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff Human Abedein as someone with ties to radical Islam. We’re Keeping Them Honest. CNN’s Dana Bash and Salon.com’s Alex Seitz-Wald also discussed how Bachmann was using the campaign as a fundraising tactic.

Doctors are amazed by Petra Anderson’s recovery. The 22-year-old musician was shot four times in the Aurora, Colorado theater attack last month; one bullet entered her brain. Yet she’s already walking and talking. CNN’s David Mattingly has the story. Anderson also spoke with CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta about how music is helping her heal.


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Filed under: AC360° Weekly Buzz
August 2nd, 2012
06:32 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: Harry Reid's allegations about Romney's tax record

Sen. John McCain says Sen. Harry Reid might have gone "over the line" by alleging Mitt Romney didn't pay taxes for 10 years. McCain also discusses Kofi Annan’s resignation as the special envoy to Syria and the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the country. Watch a preview of Anderson Cooper’s interview with the Senator and see the rest of their conversation tonight at 8 and 10 p.m. ET.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Senator John McCain
August 2nd, 2012
12:46 PM ET

Cashing in on political controversy

Rep. Michele Bachmann’s campaign is touting the fact they raised more then $1 million in just 25 days. CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash reports that coverage of Bachmann’s controversial accusation of Muslim Brotherhood infiltration in the U.S. government no doubt fueled the fervor donors displayed last month.

Despite criticism from congressional members on both sides of the aisle, Bachmann relentlessly defended these claims all while collecting campaign donations. “Even if she loses on the policy,” says Salon.com reporter Alex Seitz-Wald, “she can still win on the politics.” The Minnesota Republican stands to benefit in terms of fundraising for the upcoming election, as well as within the ranks of her party.

Seitz-Wald reports that Bachmann doled out over $60,000 to Republican candidates in the 2010 election cycle. Her campaign contributions no doubt curried favor within her party. Coupled with her leadership of the Tea Party caucus, Bachman landed herself a seat on the House Intelligence Committee—despite her lack of experience in that department.


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Filed under: Michele Bachmann • Raw Politics