March 29th, 2012
09:47 AM ET

CNN’s Soledad O’Brien Hosts a Special Town Hall “Beyond Trayvon: Race and Justice in America”

Airs Friday, March 30th at 8p and 10p on CNN

CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien will moderate a Town Hall discussion on the event that has gripped the nation: the shooting of Trayvon Martin. In this one hour special we’ll hear from family members and friends, law enforcement officials, citizen watch organizers, civil right leaders, legal experts and concerned parents. The conversation will take place before an audience that will participate in the questioning. CNN will be live-blogging the show on the CNN In America blog. The live blog will also include comments from CNN commentators and reporters while they watch from Twitter, Facebook and more. Viewers can leave their comments as well.

Beyond Trayvon: Race & Justice In America airs on Friday, March 30th at 8p and 10p ET on CNN.

This special is a part of CNN’s In Depth coverage of Trayvon Martin and the various issues that have driven a national conversation. CNN Worldwide Executive Vice President and Managing Editor Mark Whitaker outlines CNN’s focused reporting for the next week and a half in a new Op-Ed: In Depth: CNN peels back the layers of the Trayvon Martin story.

In addition to the special Town Hall, reporting highlights include:


  • In a special series titled Kids on Race: The Hidden Picture Anderson Cooper 360 will explore the topics of children and race beginning Monday at 8pm and 10pm ET. With the help of a CNN commissioned scientific pilot study, anchors Anderson Cooper and Soledad O’Brien will help viewers understand how race influences a child’s world.


  • will collect iReports in an Open Story providing perspective into how the Trayvon Martin case and the intersection of race, justice, family, law enforcement, media and the law affect people across the country.

Topics: Anderson Cooper • CNN • Soledad O'Brien
March 28th, 2012
10:45 PM ET

Sen. McCain calls out Kofi Annan on AC360

Tonight on Anderson Cooper 360°, Senator John McCain tells Anderson he has seen enough videos of the deadly violence in Syria, to be highly skeptical that President Bashar al-Assad will end it any time soon, as he told the special U.N. envoy to Syria this week.

McCain also calls out Kofi Annan for saying that he does not want to “militarize the region” and asks “where has he (Annan) been”?

Topics: AC360 • Anderson Cooper
March 28th, 2012
09:45 PM ET

Piers Morgan Tonight: Trayvon Martin's parents speak out in a primetime exclusive

Tonight Piers Morgan talked with Trayvon Martin's parents Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton as well as their attorney Benjamin Crump. New video released today shows George Zimmerman arriving at the police station on the night of Martin's death. His parents saw the video tonight and shared their reactions for the first time: "We were surprised because according to the police report he sustained injuries," Fulton said. "It was obvious that there were no visible injuries."  But what does Fulton believe is the most likely set of circumstances that led to her son being killed? Watch here.

Topics: CNN • Piers Morgan
March 28th, 2012
05:37 PM ET

Sen. Kerry says he doesn't believe the Court has "justification" to strike down the health care legislation

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) spoke with CNN chief national correspondent John King today. Sen. Kerry said that he doesn't believe the Court has "justification" to strike down the health care legislation. A highlight from the interview is below; a full transcript will be posted at This full interview will air on CNN’s John King, USA at 6 p.m.

Please credit all usage of the interview to CNN’s John King, USA

Topics: CNN
'Beyond Trayvon' Townhall on Friday
March 28th, 2012
04:00 PM ET

'Beyond Trayvon' Townhall on Friday

CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien hosts a townhall on a controversial event that has gripped the nation: the shooting of Trayvon Martin. In this one hour special, several panels will examine and discuss the facts of the case and the many angles that have come into play including: the investigation, allegations of racial profiling, gun laws and Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. The live audience will have an opportunity to ask questions.

Beyond Trayvon: Race & Justice In America airs on Friday, March 30th at 8p and 10p ET on CNN.

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Topics: CNN • Soledad O'Brien
March 28th, 2012
12:59 PM ET

Carville on overturning healthcare

In the Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, CNN Democratic Strategist James Carville says overturning health care will be the best thing for Democrats.

March 28th, 2012
12:17 PM ET

“Today’s Other America” to be the Focus of Upcoming CNN Dialogues Event

April 18 Forum to be Moderated by CNNMoney Anchor Poppy Harlow at Atlanta’s Rialto Center

In the years since Michael Harrington’s seminal work, The Other America (1962), perhaps no issue has proven more complex, destructive, and intractable than poverty in America.  The social and economic inequities associated with enduring poverty have also been persistent for the City of Atlanta.

Although Atlanta has been able to successfully foster bright spots of urban renewal, in 2009, Atlanta was forced to return $24 million in federal anti-poverty funds that it had failed to allocate to anti-poverty initiatives.  The decades-long debate over the efforts to alleviate poverty will be the focus of “Today’s Other America: Poverty in America,” a CNN Dialogues event to be held at Georgia State University’s Rialto Center for the Arts (80 Forsythe Street, NW) on Wednesday, April 18 from 7:00pm to 8:30pm ET in Atlanta.  FULL POST

Topics: CNN • CNN Press Releases
March 28th, 2012
11:45 AM ET

Pres. Obama rep. on health care legislation: The law is constitutional

Stephanie Cutter, President Obama Deputy Campaign Manager, joined Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien to discuss the Supreme Court’s debate over the administration’s health care legislation.

Cutter says, “So what happened yesterday is not necessarily foretelling of where the court is going to come out. Certainly we believe the law is constitutional, and for good reason. It is activity in our economy when someone chooses not to get health care because they pass along the cost to people like you and me who do have health care. And there are real consequences if the court doesn't uphold the law. And those consequences are everything from parents not being able to put their adult children on their health care or kids with preexisting conditions being discriminated against from insurance companies.

When CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien asks what happens if the Court finds the legislation unconstitutional, Cutter responds, “We don't want to engage in hypotheticals right now. We believe the law is constitutional. I did explain some of the consequences of what would happen if the court didn't find it constitutional. And that's real impacts in people's lives, because people are already benefiting from this law. What do you say to seniors getting 50 percent discount on prescription drugs that they no longer get that discount? So those are consequences that we'll see.”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9am ET.

March 28th, 2012
09:49 AM ET

Trayvon Martin's parents talk to CNN's Soledad O'Brien; lawyer weighs in on 'smear attempt'

On Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien, Trayvon Martin's parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, explain what questions they have about their son's case for the special prosecutor and discuss George Zimmerman's account. Their attorney Benjamin Crump weighs in on the leaking of Trayvon's school record.

Tracy Martin asks, “Why was our son gunned down? Why wasn't this individual arrested? Why was evidence not processed? Why wasn't the right thing done from the beginning in this case?”

Crump says, “Whoever is leaking it, it is a smear attempt, to get us off focus, to demonize and blame the victim, Soledad.  The real issue here is George Zimmerman, an armed vigilante disobeyed the police that night, and starting to pursue Trayvon to have this what we now know fatal encounter, and that is the important thing.  Nothing matters but what happened on February 26.  We know Trayvon was never arrested, never suspended for anything violent and never been suspended for anything criminal. And if he experimented with marijuana with his friends, even that there is irrelevant, and it is just the police trying to make him look bad while they say oh, don't listen to what Zimmerman did.  Forget that 911 tape.  Forget he disobeyed us.  And this armed vigilante can't get away with this because what message does that send to the world.”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.

Topics: CNN • Soledad O'Brien • Starting Point
March 28th, 2012
09:28 AM ET

NBA star Carmelo Anthony talks Trayvon Martin, Pres. Obama, Knicks, Olympics, more on CNN's 'Starting Point'

On Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien, New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony talked Trayvon Martin, his 5-year-old son’s desire to call President Obama, ‘Linsanity,’ Olympics, Got Chocolate Milk? campaign and much more.

On Trayvon Martin, Anthony says, “I've been hearing comments and you know people talking and stories and everybody has their own opinion.. But I don't think people should be judged by what they wear and their clothing and things like that. I'm a big believer in that. And you know they talk about only bad guys, gangsters and thugs wear hoodies and dress like that. But if you look at history, thugs dressed in suits, gangsters are dressed in suits. So you don't know where coming from and that's a very sensitive situation and sensitive topic right now.”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.

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Topics: CNN • Soledad O'Brien • Starting Point
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