From polar bears to Joan Baez...
Have you ever taken the "red eye" flight across the country? No matter how much you are able to sleep on the flight, you still wind up feeling kind of disoriented. That's the way I feel right now, but I'm sure it will wear off by the broadcast tonight. Let's hope, at least.
I'm back in New York after covering the immigration rallies in Los Angeles. As we showed on the program last night, the Los Angeles rally ended with police firing rubber bullets to disperse a crowd. The LAPD has launched an investigation.
Tonight on "360," we're covering a range of stories. It seems Don Imus has hired an attorney and there is talk of a lawsuit. We'll look into what his options are tonight, and whether or not CBS might have violated his contract by firing him the way they did.
President Bush said this morning he's confident a compromise can be made between Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill regarding the $124 billion war spending bill. He vetoed the measure yesterday. This afternoon, he's meeting with congressional leaders at the White House. Democrats are talking about requiring benchmarks to measure the progress in Iraq. The question facing lawmakers is whether to require consequences if the benchmarks aren't met.
Tonight, we're also planning to talk with folk-singer and antiwar activist Joan Baez, who had wanted to sing for injured troops at Walter Reed Medical Center. In a letter to the Washington Post published today, she said rocker John Mellencamp asked her to perform with him and she accepted the invitation. She says days later she found out she was banned from performing. Baez says some soldiers might have thought she was a traitor for being against the war in Iraq, just as she was against the war in Vietnam 40 years ago. But this time, she says, she felt she could make sure the troops had a better welcome home and that's why she wanted to sing at Walter Reed.
I'm curious to hear what you think: Should Baez be allowed to perform? Have we done enough to take care of and welcome back our returning troops?
We'll also continue our "Planet in Peril" reports tonight. Wildlife Biologist Jeff Corwin spent the last few days in Alaska and beyond. He went out on a polar bear chase with a team of government scientists. They shot the bears with tranquilizers and then gathered data on the bears' height and weight. They did this in the middle of the arctic on a massive sheet of ice in temperatures that felt like negative 15 degrees. It's important work for the scientists. I wish I had been able to join them on that adventure, though I must say I'm enjoying the nice 70 degree weather here in New York. See you tonight.
-- By Anderson Cooper