December 19th, 2012
11:28 PM ET

Syrian activist Zaidoun detained

Family members tell AC360 the Syrian secret police have detained Syrian activist Zaidoun and his brother Sohaib at a facility known for torture.

Relatives say time is of the essence to free them.


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Filed under: Syria
December 19th, 2012
10:50 PM ET

Remembering Daniel, Charlotte, Caroline & Vicki

7-year old Daniel Barden was called the "spark of the family."  His family describes Daniel as thoughtful and affectionate.

6-year old Charlotte Bacon was a little girl with a big personality. She was extraordinarily gifted her family says, and loved going to school to learn.

6-year old Caroline Previdi loved to draw and dance. Family members called her "Silly Caroline" because of the way she tried to make people laugh.

27-year old Victoria Soto was loved by her students. Her mother says Vicki loved her students more than life, "She talked about them all the time with such fondness and caring... I have no doubt in my mind she did everything she could to protect every single one of them."

December 19th, 2012
10:21 PM ET

'Lauren was a great person'

When Lauren Rousseau's boyfriend wakes up, he can smell her perfume.

Tony Lusardi opens his eyes and holds a tiny pillow that Rousseau, a Sandy Hook Elementary School teacher, used to lay her head on. And then he sobs.

He wants to touch her again. Laugh with her.

"I'm convinced that I'll see her again," he says.


December 19th, 2012
06:42 PM ET

Letters to the President #1430: 'Rich like you? Who?'

Reporter's Note: I write to President Obama all the time and he never responds.

Dear Mr. President,

I was pleased to see you take my advice during your news conference today and not overpromise what new gun laws might or might not mean to public safety, at least in an absolute sense. On the other hand, when the discussion turned to the fiscal cliff, you said something that has been on my mind ever since.

You made reference to the idea that wealthier people ought to pay more taxes, and you said something along the lines of “rich people like me.” You seem to like the phrase, since I've heard it several times.

Mr. President, to be very frank, there are only a few people who are rich like you. Presidents and former presidents fall into an utterly unique category. As much as you may want to suggest that you understand life as it is lived by normal people, you left that life behind four years ago, and you will never be subject to its rules again.

I’m not saying that former presidents are automatically wealthy in a Bill Gates sense. I’m saying they have no reason to ever even think about money. In our modern times, any former president can make one speech and pocket more money than most Americans can make in a year; or they can write a book, or start a non-profit, or any number of things that will more than take care of their financial needs for the remainder of their lives. On top of which, any number of fans will readily provide them with free transportation, lodging, food, and other amenities at the drop of a hat. If you were out of office and wanted a new iPad, for example, all you’d need to do is mention it, and I’m quite certain one would appear gratis. Heck, I would not be surprised if a “friend” showed up on your doorstep with one within hours.

So, for my money, there is something disingenuous in you suggesting that any change in the tax code will have anything to do with your finances. You will never, ever, under any circumstances fear for the rent again. The idea of not having something you want in life is forever gone. That’s not your fault, it’s not bribery, and there is nothing wrong in it. But that is the unique situation of former presidents. Even billionaires can, conceivably, go broke. But not you. In this day and time, we do not allow our former presidents to struggle financially. We just don’t.

None of this invalidates your economic theories or your ideas about taxes. But I think it would be good if you stopped suggesting that you personally have a dog in this fight. It’s not true. The only rich people like you, especially after you leave office, will be named Clinton, Bush, and Carter.

I trust all is well. Good luck with your negotiations.


December 19th, 2012
11:08 AM ET

Teachers dealing with trauma and grief

A crisis counselor met with teachers in Newtown, Connecticut. He advises it's okay to show emotion in front of students.

December 19th, 2012
12:04 AM ET

Cards and letters rest with Noah Pozner

Noah Pozner's uncle, Alexis Haller, talks about what the 6-year-old's family loved most about him, and how they're honoring his memory. "He was smart as a whip, a bit of a maverick...loved his family more than anything else. When his mom would say 'I love you,' Noah would respond, 'Not as much as I love you,'" says Haller.

Noah's mother wanted to bury her son with notes from family members. A 5-year-old cousin, Ethan, made a card but needed a way to get it from Seattle to Connecticut in time for the funeral. On Sunday, Ethan's mother tweeted about the card and received a response from Jet Blue. The airline delivered the handwritten message, which reads "I love you Noah," with a drawing of a heart and flower.

Go here if you'd like to donate to a fund that will provide counseling and other services for Noah's twin and three other siblings: noahpozner.org