Coming up Wednesday

Wildfires burn through Colorado causing thousands to evacuate, and protests in Turkey are in 13th day. Tune in at 7am ET.
The Big Tease: What's coming up on Starting Point for Tuesday, May 1st
One World Trade is now the tallest building in New York City. Does that now make it the biggest target? NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly explains.
April 30th, 2012
08:26 PM ET

The Big Tease: What's coming up on Starting Point for Tuesday, May 1st

Terror plots hidden in porn? On the first anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden our Nic Robertson has a dramatic, detailed look at proposed terror plots from Al Qaeda. In one, they hijack a cruise ship, kill passengers and post video of it online. Plans were hidden inside porn videos on a memory card, which an operative then hid in his underwear. More plots, more details in the morning – from Nic.

Terror threats in NYC. Police Chief Ray Kelly talks about death of bin Laden +1 year. With One World Trade now biggest building in NYC, is it also biggest target?

The man Republicans love to hate. Paul Krugman is on talking about his new book (“End this Depression Now!”) and what he thinks the “Real Romney” would actually do in office (Krugman writes, “if Romney adhered to Republican orthodoxy, he would of course reject any action along the lines I’ve advocated. It’s not clear, however, whether Romney believes any of the things he is currently saying.”).

Cal Ripken, Jr. The Iron Man is with us to talk sports and how it feels trading a bat for a hammer (he’s building homes around the country).

And, Michael Jordan! Has a mom who wrote a children’s book about Michael’s younger years. Learn what Mike was like as a tyke. It’s an inspiring read and we’ll have her read a few pages from it. (Also, Mike’s Bobcats worst-ever NBA team? Sorry, have to ask.)

Our panelists John Fugelsang, Will Cain and Ryan Lizza will also join in the conversation.

We'll have all this and more live on "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien" at 7am Eastern on CNN.

Filed under: The Big Tease
April 30th, 2012
12:43 PM ET

Is the culture in the Secret Service to blame for Colombia scandal? Author Ronald Kessler explains

There's new information today in the Secret Service scandal in Colombia. CNN has learned the agent who "refused to pay" the escort was Arthur Huntington, who sources say is 41 years old, married and has two sons. He has left the service, but it is not clear under what circumstances.

Also today – we're hearing what new guidelines Secret Service members must follow, including:

– non-reputable establishments are off limits while on the road.
– foreigners are banned from their hotel rooms unless it's for official business.
– agents must comply with U.S. Laws even if they're in another country.
– no heavy drinking even when off duty.
– a supervisor will now accompany so called "jump teams," or advance teams.

Ronald Kessler, author of "In the President's Secret Service," talks with Soledad on "Starting Point" on the latest in the scandal. He broke the story about the agents being sent home after the Colombia story broke, and he agrees that the agency has been 'sloppy' in its behavior in recent years.

"If the people at the top set a cultural tone that condones this corner cutting and winking and nodding, that even condones dishonesty in some cases," Kessler says. "For example, they ask agents to fill out their own test scores and physical fitness tests. Then, of course, everyone says we can do whatever we want, if they are idiots, which is what we saw in Colombia."

"When it comes to these rules, you know, it's as if these agents are kindergarten kids," Kessler adds.

See more from the interview in the video above.

Filed under: Secret Service
April 30th, 2012
10:19 AM ET

Crocodiles, pythons and infested waters: Gen. Marks on the hurdles U.S. forces face in searching for Joseph Kony

General James "Spider" Marks talks about the stepped up search by U.S. and African military forces for notorious warlord Joseph Kony. Marks explains that troops face two major challenges: capturing Kony and his army as well as fighting through infested waters, crocodiles, pythons and other environmental factors in the area.

Filed under: Joseph Kony
April 30th, 2012
10:14 AM ET

Director Bobcat Goldthwait gets revenge on reality TV with his new movie 'God Bless America'

Director Bobcat Goldthwait talks about his new movie "God Bless America" and exploring pop culture's dark side.

Filed under: Entertainment
April 30th, 2012
10:05 AM ET

Witness to RFK assassination says FBI report 'devastating,' says she told investigators she heard 12-14 shots

The man who assassinated Robert F. Kennedy Jr. may soon get a new trial. A federal court could rule any day now on a challenge to Sirhan Sirhan's conviction, based partially on a theory that there was another shooter.

It's a theory bolstered by Nina Rhodes-Hughes, a fundraiser for RFK. She was at the Ambassador Hotel on the night he was gunned down in 1968. Nina not only heard shots from two different directions, but she says there were more than eight. Sirhan's gun could only hold eight bullets, and his defense team is expected to use her testimony in its court filings.

Nina talks to Soledad this morning about the shooting, and explains why it was 'devastating' when she saw an FBI report didn't include her claims.

Filed under: RFK
April 30th, 2012
09:34 AM ET

Will politics around Bin Laden's death sway future presidents from taking aggressive action? Journalist Richard Miniter says yes

Soledad O'Brien speaks with investigative journalist Richard Miniter about the Obama administration and Romney campaign’s views on politicizing the 1-year-anniversarry of the death of Osama Bin Laden.

Filed under: 2012 Race • Barack Obama • Osama Bin Laden • Politics
April 30th, 2012
09:07 AM ET

The importance of Chen Guangcheng, and how it could affect U.S./China talks – Author Gordon Chang weighs in

A shocking and daring escape of an activist in China could create big fallout in our relationship with China.

Blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng evaded layers of guards after 18 months under house arrest, and reportedly made his way 370 miles northwest to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. This comes just days before Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner are expected in the Chinese capitol for long-planned economic and strategic talks.

Neither the Obama Administration nor the Chinese government have confirmed Chen Guangcheng's whereabouts, but a former senior China analyst at the CIA says "This is the greatest test in bilateral relations in years, probably going back to '89." And 1989 of course was when Tiananmen Square unfolded.

This morning on "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien," author and columnist Gordon Chang explains why the Chen Guangcheng scandal could affect U.S./China talks, even though it shouldn't.

Filed under: China
April 30th, 2012
09:00 AM ET

Starting Point playlist for Monday, April 29, 2012


Gordon Chang of kicked off today's playlist with "Gimme Shelter," the Rolling Stones classic that Rolling Stone (the magazine, not the band) called the 38th greatest song of all time.

"With or Without You" by U2 made Christine Romans' playlist this morning. The 1987 number one hit also made the Rolling Stone best-of list, and is one of U2's most recognizable songs. Christine also picked Coldplay's "In My Place," a Grammy-winning 2002 hit for the band.

Jay-Z and Kanye West's "No Church in the Wild," from the duo's 2011 collaboration Watch the Throne was Steve Perry's playlist pick today. The album from the two rap giants was one of the most successful releases of last year.

Will Cain's first pick today was Dwight Yoakam's "Guitars, Cadillacs," a track from the country singer's debut album. Yoakam is reportedly readying a new album for release later this year, his first in seven years. Will also picked "Feelin' Good Again" by Robert Earl Keen, Jr.

Author Richard Miniter stopped by the Starting Point set today and brought along Rod Stewart's "Maggie May." The song achieved huge chart success upon its release it 1971: it topped the singles charts on both sides of the Atlantic at the same time its parent album Every Picture Tells a Story topped the album charts.

Roy Orbison's "Workin' For The Man" made author Ronald Kessler's playlist this morning. Orbison, who had a hit with the song in 1962, had a career resurgence in the late eighties thanks in part to his work with the supergroup The Traveling Wilburys.

CNN Sr. Political Analyst Ron Brownstein was a panelist on today's SP and contributed a couple of song's for the playlist: "Girls Talk" by Dave Edmunds and Bruce Springsteen's "The Rising." The latter song was written by Springsteen in response to the September 11th attacks, and takes on a new meaning today as the new One World Trade Center rises above the Empire State Building to become the tallest building in New York City.

Actor and director  Bobcat Goldthwait was a guest on today's Starting Point and he contributed a couple of songs for our playlist: Billy Bragg's "Waiting for the Great Leap Forward" and "Celluloid Heroes" by The Kinks.

April 30th, 2012
08:29 AM ET

Should there be more teacher surveillance in the classroom? CNN education contributor Steve Perry weighs in

One of the teachers accused of being caught on audio tape bullying a 10-year-old boy with autism is on paid leave this morning.
But Kelly Altenburg's attorney says his client wasn't even at work that day.

The stunning recordings were caught on tape after Stuart Chaiffetz sent his son Akian to school wearing a recording device. You can see Soledad's interview with Stuart here.

Many special-needs advocates call this a wakeup call for school districts across the nation. But should parents be wiring their kids to monitor their teachers?

CNN education contributor Steve Perry talks with Soledad on "Starting Point" this morning on the story, and agrees with parents who want increased monitoring of their children's teachers.

Filed under: Education • Surveillance
April 30th, 2012
08:15 AM ET

Get Real! Rooftop missiles for Olympics?

British military could use rooftops in London to mount missiles to help fight terrorism during the Olympic Games.

Filed under: Get Real
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