December 7th, 2009
06:41 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Amanda Knox’s Fight for Freedom

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/12/07/knox.trial.analysis/story.knox.gi.jpg caption="Amanda Knox looks on during a session of her trial last week at the courthouse in Perugia, Italy." width=300 height=169]

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

U.S. Senator Mary Cantwell is urging Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to help American college student Amanda Knox, who was convicted of murdering her study abroad roommate in Italy and sentenced to 26 years in prison. Senator Cantwell, who represents Knox’s home state, has issued a statement saying she has profound concerns that Knox has been failed by the Italian justice system. She wants Secretary Clinton to intervene and ensure that Knox gets a fair appeals trial. Tonight, Anderson talks to the senator about why she thinks U.S. officials need to step in. We’ll also hear from Former Assistant Secretary of State James Rubin. Even if Secretary Clinton decides she wants to intervene, can she? How m uch leverage does she have?

Also tonight: science, skepticism and allegations of conspiracy. World leaders have gathered in Copenhagen for the United Nations climate summit but leaked emails from an internationally-renowned climate research unit are threatening to overshadow the talks. Climate change skeptics say the emails are proof that scientists have manipulated data and public perception of global warming. We’ll explain the controversy. You can decide if you think it’s a conspiracy or much ado about nothing.


Filed under: Cate Vojdik • The Buzz
October 8th, 2009
07:34 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Did “Horrorcore” Music Lead to Murder?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/10/06/virginia.horrorcore.killings/art.horrorcore.syko.jpg caption="Richard Samuel McCroskey has been arrested in connection with the killings of four people in Virginia."]

Cate Vojdik
AC360 Writer

Tonight, raw politics on overdrive, starting with new signs that U.S. Congressman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., could be headed for trouble.

The House ethics committee today said it will expand its investigation into Rangel’s alleged tax shenanigans—an investigation that’s been dragging on for a year now despite the promise Democrats made to clean up Congress when they regained control of the House and Senate.

In case you missed it, Rangel isn’t just any congressman. He’s the powerful chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which writes the tax laws that the rest of us have to follow. The kicker: He’s accused of playing fast and loose with his own taxes. House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, today urged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to force Rangel to step down from his post on the Ways and Means Committee. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, refused to say if Rangel should step down. Do these developments signal the tide could be turning against Rangel? We’ll dig deeper tonight.

There are also some new poll numbers from Gallup showing that Democrats are losing ground. With the midterm elections about a year away, the poll finds support for the two parties virtually tied among registered voters. In July, the Democrats held a six percentage-point lead. How worried should the president and his party be? We’ll chew over the raw politics with our panelists.

We’ll also take a closer look at why many gay Americans are disappointed in President Obama. During the campaign, Mister Obama made a lot of promises concerning gay rights. Has he broken his promises on same-sex marriage, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and more? We’re Keeping them Honest.

We’ve also been digging on a story that’s put a spotlight on an obscure subgenre of rap music called “Horrorcore.” It’s violent and steeped in grotesque imagery. But did it lead a young California man to murder four people? Richard McCroskey rapped under the stage name Syko Sam, performing songs with titles like “Murderous Rage” and “Evil Voices.”  Now he’s been arrested and charged in a quadruple murder. Does the twisted music he embraced cause kids to commit violence—or are troubled kids simply drawn to the music more than healthy kids? We’ll give you the facts and let you decide.

See you at 10 p.m. ET!

Filed under: Cate Vojdik • The Buzz
September 11th, 2009
05:52 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Eight years after the 9/11 attacks

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/09/11/us.sept.11/art.ny.wtc.911.gi.jpg caption="Remembering the victims of 9/11"]

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

We have much more from Afghanistan tonight, as we wrap up our week of reporting from the war zone.

Today Americans marked the eighth anniversary of the September 11th attacks with memorials that have grown familiar, but no less heartbreaking. U.S. troops in Afghanistan also took time out today to remember the attacks. Meantime, the Pentagon announced that Defense Secretary Robert Gates wants to send as many as 3,000 more troops to Afghanistan.

In the weeks after the 9/11 attacks, support for the Afghanistan invasion was high but support is now waning. On Capitol Hill today, Democrats expressed doubts about deploying more troops, with Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin saying it’s time for a surge of Afghan troops. Tonight, we’ll dig deeper on the pushback.

We’ll also show you how U.S. military doctors are mentoring Afghani doctors on the job. 360 MD Sanjay Gupta spent time at a medical center in Kandahar, where he watched American physicians teaching lifesaving lessons to local doctors. In a country with too few physicians and enormous medical needs, it’s a crucial mission. Sanjay will take us up close.


Filed under: Cate Vojdik • The Buzz
September 1st, 2009
06:50 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Are two other cold cases linked to Jaycee Dugard’s kidnapper?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/09/01/california.wildfires/art.house.fire.afp.gi.jpg caption="A massive wildfire burns Tuesday near a house in La Crescenta, California, near Los Angeles. "]

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

In Southern California–where peak fire season hasn’t even officially begun yet–a huge and deadly wildfire continues to burn out of control tonight.

The Station Fire now covers more than 190 square miles, an area larger than Philadelphia. More than 3,000 firefighters are scrambling to save more than 10,000 homes that remain at risk. Officials say it could take up to two weeks to fully contain the fast-moving blaze. We’ll have the latest from the frontlines of the battle.

We’ll also have the latest on the Jaycee Lee Dugard kidnapping investigation. Officials believe at least two unsolved kidnappings may be linked to Phillip Garrido, the man charged with kidnapping and raping Dugard.

Nine-year-old Michaela Garecht disappeared in 1988. A year later, 13-year-old Ilene Misheloff was kidnapped. Both abductions took place not far from where Dugard was snatched. We’ll show you why investigators think the crimes may be related. We’ll also hear from family members of both missing girls.


Filed under: Cate Vojdik • The Buzz
August 31st, 2009
09:11 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Inside Jaycee Dugard’s secret backyard prison

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/08/31/california.wildfires/art.fire.drive.away.gi.jpg]

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

We’re keeping a close eye on a fast-moving California wildfire that’s threatening thousands of homes and businesses outside Los Angeles—and has trapped five people who ignored evacuation orders. They’re stuck in a canyon surrounded by walls of flames. The blaze, which broke out last week, nearly doubled in size overnight. Two firefighters died battling it. We’ll have the latest tonight.

We now have a much clearer picture of what the last 18 years have been like for Jaycee Dugard, the young woman who was found last week 18 years after her kidnapping. Investigators are combing the secret backyard compound where Dugard was allegedly forced to live–and where she apparently gave birth to the two daughters her captor fathered. We’ll show you what investigators found inside the squalid makeshift compound of tents and sheds.

We’ll also hear from people who came into contact with Jaycee Dugard during her captivity. It turns out she wasn’t entirely isolated. She apparently helped Phillip Garrido run his printing business. Why didn’t outsiders suspect anything was wrong? What was their impression of the young woman? We’ll try to answer those questions tonight.


Filed under: Cate Vojdik • The Buzz
August 25th, 2009
07:52 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Was Cheney right about tough interrogation tactics?

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Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

Tonight we’re digging deeper on the CIA interrogation story.

Yesterday, the government released hundreds of documents detailing harsh interrogation tactics used by the CIA during the Bush administration–and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said he was launching a new review of those controversial techniques to determine if the CIA broke the law.

That decision has sparked a war of words—and former Vice President Dick Cheney has entered the fray. He says the newly released documents prove his long-held claim that tough interrogation techniques—including mock executions, banned by the U.N. Convention Against Torture–prevented terrorist attacks and yielded crucial information about al Qaeda.

But do the documents made public yesterday really prove his point? Did those tough tactics actually deliver crucial information that kept Americans safe? Tom Foreman is on the case, Keeping Them Honest. Political contributors Paul Begala, Democratic strategist, and Mary Matalin, who served as an adviser to Cheney when he was vice president, will also weigh in.


Filed under: Cate Vojdik • The Buzz
August 24th, 2009
08:59 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Coroner says Michael Jackson overdosed on propofol

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Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

A paper bombshell exploded today when a Houston court released documents showing that Michael Jackson died of lethal levels of the powerful anesthetic propofol.

According to the search warrant and affidavit unsealed just hours ago, the Los Angeles coroner reached that conclusion after reviewing toxicology results from tests on Jackson’s blood. The documents are a window into the powerful mix of drugs Jackson was given in the hours leading up to his death. The warrant says Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson’s private doctor, told a detective he gave the singer three other medications to help Jackson sleep before finally administering 25 mg of propofol on the morning of June 25.

And that’s not all—the Associated Press is quoting a single law enforcement official, who says the L.A. County Coroner has ruled Michael Jackson's death a homicide. The Los Angeles County Coroner's office told CNN they had "no comment" on the report. An LAPD spokesman says the story did not come from their department.

We’ll have the latest on all of this breaking news.


Filed under: Cate Vojdik • The Buzz
July 6th, 2009
06:12 PM ET

Evening Buzz: New details on Jackson Memorial

[cnn-photo-caption image="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/07/06/michael.jackson.wrap/art.jaxson.cnn.jpg" caption="A fan leaves a note on a Michael Jackson memorial outside the Staples Center in Los Angeles.]

Cate Vojdik
AC360º Writer

Tonight Anderson anchors live from Los Angeles, where the city is bracing for Michael Jackson’s memorial service at the Staples Center. A private funeral and burial will take place tomorrow morning before the memorial. We’ll have the latest details, including the superstar line-up of performers—many of them personal friends of Jackson–scheduled to take part.

We’ll also have the latest on the investigation into Jackson’s death and the battle for control over his estate. A judge today denied Katherine Jackson’s request to remain in temporary control her son’s estate—and instead appointed two longtime advisers of Michael Jackson - an entertainment attorney and a music executive named in a 2002 will - as temporary administrators pending an August hearing.

Another story we’re following closely: the fallout from Sarah Palin’s surprise resignation as governor of Alaska. She dropped the bombshell Friday, heading into the holiday weekend. Since then, the questions have only multiplied. Why is she stepping down with 18 months left in her term? Are there new and unwelcome revelations coming down the pike that forced her to bolt? Or is this just the latest left turn from a self-described “maverick.” We’re digging deeper.

In South Carolina, there’s a potential break in a string of killings that have terrorized a small rural community. Five people were shot to death over six days last week. Tonight, the manhunt for the suspected killer may be over. We’ll have the latest developments as they unfold.

Plus, in Moscow today President Obama kicked off two days of meetings with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. On Day One, they committed to deeper nuclear cuts and downplayed differences over American missile defense. They’re also expected to focus on nuclear arms control, Afghanistan, and the environment. We’ll talk strategy with David Gergen.

See you at 10 p.m. eastern.

Filed under: Cate Vojdik • The Buzz
June 19th, 2009
05:50 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Pres. Obama, Marijuana, and a real-life Chicago ER

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Cate Vojdik
º Writer

Here at 360º, we’re deciding what to order for dinner and waiting to hear President Obama’s remarks at the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association Dinner in Washington. Usually the event is a light-hearted affair, a chance for everyone to kick back and have some fun. Will the president hit the humor benchmark when he takes the stage? We’ll let you decide for yourself. It’s our “easing into the weekend” segment.

We’re following serious news tonight as well, including the provocative line in the sand that Iran’s Supreme Leader appeared to draw today.

In a sermon during Friday prayers at the University of Tehran, Ayatollah Ali Khameini denied that last week's presidential election was rigged and argued that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won in a landslide. He also insisted that post-election protests by Iranians must stop or demonstrators will be held responsible for "the chaos and the consequences."

To a lot of analysts, that sounds like a green light for a harsher crackdown if protests continue. More protests rallies are planned tomorrow, and tonight there’s no sign they will be cancelled. In his sermon, Khameini also slammed U.S. policies in Afghanistan and Iraq and alleged the U.S., along with Britain, Israel and some factions in Iran, manipulated and undermined Iran’s election process.


Filed under: Cate Vojdik • The Buzz
June 18th, 2009
07:56 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and World Refugee Day

Cate Vojdik
AC360º Writer

Tonight on 360º, you’ll hear Angelina Jolie bring to life the plight of 42 million people whose individual stories of terror–and survivorship–are often untold. In an interview months in the making, she talks to Anderson about some of the men, women and children she’s met as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. She has a deep passion for the work that takes her far from Hollywood and her own family. Just today, the U.N. announced that Jolie and her partner Brad Pitt, have donated $1 million to help Pakistani refugees. Tonight, hear why Jolie is especially concerned about the humanitarian crisis in Pakistan.

Plus, we’ll have the latest from Iran, where tens of thousands of protesters marched in the streets for a sixth day. Iran’s government is still doing its best to silence reporters and control the airwaves. We’ll bring you all the images and information we can, including i-reports and amateur video from Facebook and YouTube.

Also tonight, we continue our weeklong series “America’s High: The Case for and Against Pot.” You may not realize it, but marijuana turns out to be a growth industry in this recession. The collapse of the housing market has turned cheap property into pot houses—and they may be operating on your street.

And we’re learning more about the death of a Continental pilot during a cross-Atlantic flight today. The 60-year-old captain with more than three decades of flying experience apparently died from natural causes. The jet landed safely with the first officer at the controls. Only then, did passengers learned what had happened. Randi Kaye has been working the story and will have details at 10 p.m. eastern.

 See you then..

Filed under: Cate Vojdik • The Buzz
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