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September 4th, 2009
09:20 AM ET
September 4th, 2009
08:46 AM ET

Garrido accused of raping 14-year-old in 1972

There are shocking new details today about the criminal past of sex offender Philip Garrido, the man charged with kidnapping Jaycee Dugard and holding her captive for 18 years in his backyard prison.

This story becomes more outrageous by the minute. Police now reveal that Garrido was arrested for allegedly raping a 14-year-old in 1972, but charges were dropped when the teen refused to testify.

Don Clark is a former FBI special agent in charge of the Houston, Texas office. He spoke to Kiran Chetry on CNN's "American Morning" Friday.

Related: Aunt: 'Jaycee remembers all of us'

Filed under: Crime
September 4th, 2009
08:05 AM ET

HS football player tackles girl with gun on schoolbus

By Emanuella Grinberg

(CNN) - A Mississippi high school quarterback is being hailed as a hero for saving a school bus full of elementary and high school students from a gun-wielding girl.

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Kaleb Eulls, 18, says he acted because he 'couldn't let anything happen' to the children on the bus."]

Surveillance camera footage on the Yazoo County school bus on Tuesday captured 18-year-old Kaleb Eulls tackling the 14-year-old girl while the children evacuated the bus.

He managed to wrestle the .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun from her, Yazoo County Sheriff Thomas Vaughan told CNN.

Watch: Teen tackles girl waving gun Video

"Things could've got real ugly and there would've been a lot of grieving families in Yazoo County right now," Thomas said. "I'm just extremely glad this young man took the bull by horns and stopped a potentially deadly situation."

Twenty-two children ages 5 to 18 were on the bus to Linwood Elementary School, Yazoo County Junior High and High School when the unidentified girl drew a gun from her bag, Vaughan said. Watch the confrontation unfold on camera »

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Crime
September 4th, 2009
06:33 AM ET

Avlon: 'Wingnuts' try to politicize president's talk to kids

Editor’s note: John P. Avlon is the author of Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics and writes a weekly column for The Daily Beast. Previously, he served as Chief Speechwriter for New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and was a columnist and associate editor for The New York Sun.

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Rep. Pete Stark (L) and Jim Greer (R)."]

As a heated wingnut summer heads to a close, we look at a new GOP “socialist” attack on President Obama for speaking to school children, a ‘brain dead’ attack on Democratic centrists and, in a bonus round, a callous conspiracy theory just in time for the 8th anniversary of 9/11.

President Obama is slated to give a speech to America’s school children next Tuesday on the subject of taking personal responsibility for their success in school.

Last time I checked, personal responsibility and socialism were opposite concepts, but that didn’t stop Florida GOP Chair Jim Greer from firing off an unhinged press release. Here’s an excerpt:

“As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama's socialist ideology … I do not support using our children as tools to spread liberal propaganda. The address scheduled for September 8, 2009, does not allow for healthy debate on the President's agenda, but rather obligates the youngest children in our public school system to agree with our President's initiatives or be ostracized by their teachers and classmates…Now that school is back in session, President Obama has turned to American's children to spread his liberal lies, indoctrinating American's youngest children before they have a chance to decide for themselves."

Greer accused the president of using the speech to promote his political agenda – though the speech was never slated to cover policy. The Department of Education did change language in a lesson plan that suggested students write a letter about how they would help the president after hearing him speak. PolitiFact’s Truth-o-Meter did a rundown on the ‘controversy’ and published its results with a “Pants on Fire” ruling.

This knee-jerk name-calling and hyper-partisan hysteria is the latest sign that things have become completely unhinged inside the hotbox of the GOP. Accusing the president of having a “socialist ideology” and spreading “liberal lies” and “propaganda” don’t even raise common sense – or common decency – concerns.

Wingnuts live in a world without perspective, and those on the right are trying to turn the President of the United States into a fearful figure in order to score partisan points with their base. Only the far, far left fringe would have accused President Bush of having a ‘fascist ideology” – and they would have rightly been laughed off the stage. These statements are coming from GOP party officials – politicizing a talk to school kids by the President of the United States. Stay classy, GOP.


Filed under: Wingnuts of the week
September 4th, 2009
06:16 AM ET

What’s on Tap – Friday, September 04, 2009

Here are the big stories on the agenda today:

  • Hoping for signs of recovery.  The new August jobs report will be out this morning. One of the most closely-watched indicators of the economy. Meantime, Vice President Biden is saying the stimulus has been a success beyond expectations.  Our Christine Romans is here, taking a look at the hard facts.
  • Uproar over the president's back to school speech.  Some parents and conservatives are angry over President Obama's plan to talk to students next week, one saying they send their kid to school to be educated, not indoctrinated.  Why some are so angry.  And where they're planning to boycott.
  • And shocking new information on the sex offender charged with abducting little Jaycee Dugard and keeping her captive in his backyard prison for 18 years.  Police now say a second woman has come forward saying Philip Garrido raped her, too.  This woman says she was only fourteen at the time.  A former FBI agent will be with us to explain how a man with a sexually violent past can fall through the cracks so easily.
  • There's copying your homework from the kid next to you, or trying to grab answers from your text-book during a pop-quiz.  And then came the internet.  And students learned fast that with the web and a bit of cash.  They could take cheating to a whole new level.  Our Carol Costello’s has the latest in our special "Educating America" series.
  • From high school football star to hero, and not for anything he did on the field.  After a fourteen year old girl pulled a gun out on the bus ride to school, 6-foot-4, 255-pound Kaleb Eulls tackled the armed girl and got the gun.  There were 22 other children on there including Kaleb's four sisters and two cousins.  Police say there's no telling how many lives he saved.  And the hero will join us live.

Filed under: What's On Tap