Tonight: AC360 Study: African-American children more optimistic on race than whites
April 2nd, 2012
12:04 PM ET

Tonight: AC360 Study: African-American children more optimistic on race than whites

Editor's note: Tune in to AC360° this week for the surprising results of a groundbreaking new study on children and race. Watch "Kids on Race: The Hidden Picture" at 8 and 10 p.m. ET on CNN.

A white child and a black child look at the exact same picture of two students on the playground but what they see is often very different and what they say speaks volumes about the racial divide in America.

The pictures, designed to be ambiguous, are at the heart of a groundbreaking new study on children and race commissioned by CNN's Anderson Cooper 360°. White and black kids were asked: "What's happening in this picture?", "Are these two children friends?" and "Would their parents like it if they were friends?" The study found a chasm between the races as young as age 6.

Overall, black first-graders had far more positive interpretations of the images than white first-graders. The majority of black 6-year-olds were much more likely to say things like, "Chris is helping Alex up off the ground" versus "Chris pushed Alex off the swing."

They were also far more likely to think the children pictured are friends and to believe their parents would like them to be friends. In fact, only 38% of black children had a negative interpretation of the pictures, whereas almost double - a full 70% of white kids - felt something negative was happening.


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Filed under: Kids on Race • Race in America
December 21st, 2011
05:10 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: Bite Mark Evidence Sends Innocent Man to Death Row

Ray Krone was arrested for the sexual assault and brutal murder of a female bartender in Phoenix, Arizona in 1991. The case rested largely on bite mark evidence on the body of the victim, 36-year-old Kim Ancona. Krone was dubbed by the media as the “snaggletooth killer.” He was found guilty and recieved the death penalty.

“I was called a monster, then an unremorseful killer, then sentenced to death and shackled and taken right straight to death row,” says Krone.

He vehemently maintained his innocence and fought for a retrial. In 1996 Krone was given a second chance to prove he didn’t commit the murder. Again, the same bite mark expert's testimony portrayed him as guilty, but this time Krone’s defense team had their own bite mark experts to rebut the prosecution.


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Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gary Tuchman
November 21st, 2011
06:02 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: Is Gulf seafood safe?

Editor's note: At 8 p.m. ET Gary Tuchman reports on the lasting effects of the BP oil spill disaster.

For much of the country, the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster ended when the well was finally capped on July 15, 2010. Government predictions of the damage from millions of gallons of oil and dispersant were not as dire as many feared, media attention subsided and most people just moved on. But for those whose survival depends on the Gulf, they say they still live with the disaster every day.

“This oil disaster … was like a reoccurring nightmare. It was like a Hurricane Katrina every day. What is tomorrow going to bring? Are they going to be able to stop it? What's our lives going to be like?” said Clint Guidry, President of the Louisiana Shrimp Association. He added, “You still see a lot of that – so many uncertainties and so many question marks on what's going to happen to our fishery?”

That fishery could be in serious trouble from issues related to the oil spill.


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Filed under: Environmental issues • Gary Tuchman • Gulf Oil Spill
October 10th, 2011
07:57 PM ET

AC360° study: Schoolyard bullies not just preying on the weak

New York (CNN) - A new study commissioned by CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360°" found that the stereotype of the schoolyard bully preying on the weak doesn't reflect reality in schools.

Instead, the research shows that many students are involved in "social combat" - a constant verbal, physical and cyber fight to the top of the school social hierarchy.

"Kids are caught up in patterns of cruelty and aggression that have to do with jockeying for status," explains Robert Faris, a sociologist who "Anderson Cooper 360°" partnered with for the pilot study. "It's really not the kids that are psychologically troubled who are on the margins or the fringes of the school's social life. It's the kids right in the middle, at the heart of things ... often, typically highly, well-liked popular kids who are engaging in these behaviors."

Faris, along with the co-author of the study, Diane Felmlee, also found that bullies, who they call aggressors, and victims are not defined roles, but in many cases, they can be the same person. The higher a student rises on the social ladder, the more they bully other students and the more other students bully them.

"When kids increase in their status, on average, they tend to have a higher risk of victimization as well as a higher risk of becoming aggressive," Faris says.

The studywas conducted this spring at The Wheatley School, a nationally top-ranked high school on Long Island, New York. More than 700 students at the school were given a survey with 28 questions on aggressive behavior four separate times throughout the semester. They were also given a roster of the entire school in which every student had an identification number and kids were asked to write down specifically who did what.


Watch "The roots of bullying."

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Filed under: Bullying • Chuck Hadad
July 14th, 2011
09:40 PM ET

AC361: Covering the Casey Anthony trial

Editor's note: AC360 Producer Chuck Hadad files a video Producer's Notebook about the week he spent covering the Casey Anthony trial.

Related: Second row seat to the Casey Anthony saga

More: Inside the AC360° control room

More: Cooper's photog steps out from behind the camera

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • AC361°
Producer's Notebook: Second row seat to Casey Anthony saga
July 5th, 2011
01:45 PM ET

Producer's Notebook: Second row seat to Casey Anthony saga

(CNN) - Casey Anthony appeared tense this morning as she entered the courtroom, with the gravity of three years in custody, thirty-five days on trial, and a second day of jury deliberations clearly apparent in her face. From the second row of the courtroom viewing gallery, I watched her sit down and have an animated conversation with Dorothy Clay Sims, a member of her defense team, before the jury was called in to be spoken to by the judge.

Prosecutor Jeff Ashton, on the other hand, looked relaxed, albeit worn out, as he strolled into the courtroom joking with a reporter about finally getting some sleep last night. For prosecutors, the long grueling days of the Casey Anthony saga are finally coming to an end. For the woman at the center of this saga, this trial could very well spell the beginning of the end of her life. All both sides can do, like the American public that’s been captivated by this case, is sit and wait for the jury to decide her fate.

I found myself with a second row seat to this saga because I’ve been sent on assignment by AC360° to help cover the verdict and secure interviews with the defense team, the prosecution, jurors and, ideally, Anthony’s family. The interest in this case is so intense, however, that actually getting into the courtroom this morning was no small feat.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • AC361°
AC360 Preview: Obama speech has ‘good impact’ on protestors, Syrian activist says
President Obama delivered a speech on Mideast and North Africa policy at the State Department May 19, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
May 20th, 2011
06:57 PM ET

AC360 Preview: Obama speech has ‘good impact’ on protestors, Syrian activist says

Editor’s note: Watch the Zaytouni interview here.

(CNN) – As mixed reaction continues to pour in to President Obama’s speech about U.S. policy in the Middle East, he is earning praise from at least one activist fighting for her life inside Syria.

“It has [a] good impact on the people,” Razan Zaytouni says in an interview set to air Friday on AC360°.

Zaytouni, a Syrian human rights lawyer, spoke to Anderson Cooper from an undisclosed location inside the country. She says Syrians were heartened to hear that the United States cared about them and added that it was important to know that the president did not, “believe any of the lies or claims of the [Syrian] regime.”

In his Thursday speech, Obama said the Syrian government, “must stop shooting demonstrators and allow peaceful protests, release political prisoners and stop unjust arrests … and start a serious dialogue to advance a democratic transition.”

The president stopped short, however, of calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, a demand anti-government protestors in the country have been making for weeks.

Obama’s words seem to have gone unheeded by Assad’s regime.

Zaytouni told Cooper that at least 34 people were killed Friday in Syria as protestors clashed with security forces after weekly Muslim prayers. The Syrian activist added that weapons were used much more heavily by government forces in today’s crackdown than in weeks past.

“The goal was to end the protest in any way, no matter how it would cost in blood,” she said.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Middle East • President Barack Obama
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