Thursday, January 03, 2008
Morning Buzz
Morning...IT is decision day in Iowa!!! SO grab your coffee and head right to Raw Politics. I bring you ALL the politics you need this morning, even a direct link the DES MOINE REGISTER... BUT definitely check out Crime & Punishment before you head out...NEW witnesses in the tiger attack story...The taunting theory continues...Don't miss it!!!

Top Stories

Months of campaigning come down to final hours in Iowa
Mike Huckabee is touring the state with actor Chuck Norris. Hillary Clinton is distributing snow shovels to volunteers. John Edwards is on a 36-hour sprint, forsaking sleep to hold around-the-clock campaign events.

Chilly forecast puts citrus crop at risk
A wintry system that added inches to record snow accumulations in some Northern states sent temperatures plummeting Wednesday in the South, where farmers scrambled to protect their crops.

Kenyan march hit with tear gas
Tear gas and water cannon were fired at opposition supporters gathering for a banned rally in Nairobi as tension mounted in the Kenyan capital following days of brutal post-election violence.

Politics Iowa Style
08 Caucuses down to the wire

8 Questions Iowa Could Answer
The only race that could is in the Democratic Party and only if Hillary Clinton wins a big victory. Iowa has proved resistant to the Clinton brand, and she has struggled there throughout the year. But her final days of campaigning have been solid, and a victory, no matter how narrow, would be a big boost for her.

Iowa first step to next president
Voters in Iowa begin the process of choosing the next president on Thursday, with Democrats Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards in a frantic scramble for the top spot in the campaign's first nominating contest.

Iowa turnout crucial to success
Presidential hopefuls urged their partisans to brave the cold and rally fellow Iowans to the caucuses Thursday, a massive test of organization that held the key to victory in the first contests of the 2008 election season. Capturing the urgency--and biting chill--in the air, Barack Obama implored his people, "Walk quick, talk fast."

Last Pitches Before the First Vote
The presidential candidates made their final appeals to voters Wednesday in the earliest-starting and most expensive campaign in Iowa history, fanning out across the state in search of a victory and crucial momentum headed into a front-loaded primary season.

In Iowa, it doesn't pay to spend big
Money can't buy love--and it might not necessarily decide the Iowa caucuses.

Volunteers toil for votes
Jill Shesol has a big voice for a small person. "Have you signed supporter cards for John?" the petite, 20-year-old Drake University junior bellows to no one in particular as Iowans in bulky coats stream out of a John Edwards for President rally into a cold night. She waves a clipboard holding red, white and blue commitment cards over her head. "Are you going to caucus for John?"

Iraq War Taking Back Seat to Domestic Issues
The Democratic and Republican presidential candidates are navigating a far different set of issues as they approach the Iowa caucuses on Thursday than when they first started campaigning here a year ago, and that is likely to change even more as the campaigns move to New Hampshire and across the country.

Fatigue Factor
It's the groggy, nerve-sizzling season on the trail, and forget the attack ads and last-minute scrapping. Any candidate will attest that the epic fight now is against sleep deprivation, the gaffe-inducing monster that looms over every campaign in its final hours.

Giuliani Keeps Campaign Focus on Terrorism
With the political world focused on Iowa, Rudolph W. Giuliani released a graphic new television advertisement here Wednesday in which scenes of Osama bin Laden firing a rifle segue to the smoking wreckage of the World Trade Center.

Populist Message Gets Louder As Iowa Caucuses Kick Off Race
As Iowans kick off the unusually tight presidential nominating contest tonight, they will offer the first test of whether a populist message can resonate in the 2008 campaign.

In This Farm Town, Gurus Transcend Party Politics
In the run-up to today's caucuses in Iowa, candidates have had to scrutinize the issues that move voters here. In this town, many care less about immigration than meditation.

Crime & Punishment

S.F. Zoo visitor saw 2 victims of tiger attack teasing lions
Two victims of a lethal Christmas Day tiger attack were harassing the big cats at the San Francisco Zoo shortly before a 350-pound feline escaped its enclosure and mauled them, a woman told The Chronicle on Wednesday.

Attorney denies tiger was provoked
A high-profile attorney hired by the two brothers injured in a Christmas Day tiger attack at the zoo here said Wednesday that neither his clients nor the young man who died had provoked the 300-pound Siberian tiger to vault from her enclosure.

Long Island Man Won't Be Tried Again in Murders
The Suffolk County district attorney said on Wednesday that he would not retry Martin H. Tankleff for the 1988 murders of his parents and that he would ask Gov. Eliot Spitzer to appoint a special prosecutor to re investigate the case.

DNA test expected to free Texas inmate
Charles Chatman said throughout his 26 years in prison that he never raped the woman who lived five houses down from him.

Beauty queen charged with torture out on bond
A former Miss Pima County and current University of Arizona law school student has been freed on bond and authorities are searching for an ex-boyfriend accused of helping her kidnap and assault another former boyfriend.

Keepin' Them Honest

Congressional Crackdown on Lobbying
The party sponsored by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States to celebrate the Senate majority leader, Bill Frist, at the New York Yacht Club was one of the more over-the-top events of the Republican National Convention in 2004, featuring 10 bars and more than a half-dozen special vintage Scotches. The group held a similar soiree that year for Senator Tom Daschle, the minority leader, at the Democratic Convention in Boston.

AC360 folo

Pit bulls from Vick's dogfighting ring go to Utah sanctuary
Twenty-two of the 47 surviving pit bulls seized from suspended NFL star Michael Vick's dogfighting operation headed to a new home in Utah on Wednesday.

What YOU will be talking about TODAY

Spears' lawyers quit
Britney Spears' lawyers in her custody battle with ex-husband Kevin Federline are quitting.

Late-night stars Leno, Letterman return
A Republican, a Democrat and two bearded hosts walked into a TV studio last night...and so did Robin Williams, Bob Saget, Emeril Lagasse, Chingy, Helio Castroneves and three clean-shaven funnymen as the late-night TV universe tried to right itself two months into the writers strike.

Sperm donor wins case over child support
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that a woman who promised a sperm donor he would not have to pay child support cannot renege on the deal.

Tenn. judge resigns over fantasies tape
A Tennessee judge resigned last month after making a recording of fantasies so lurid that when the tape fell into the hands of the police and FBI, they thought they were listening to a torture session and believed it might be linked to a murder case.

Posted By CNN: 5:53 AM ET
Hey, AC360--
I'm getting excited about tonight's caucus coverage on CNN... What I hope is that people will vote on a variety of levels, though. A lot of political analysts and the like focus on only one deciding factor, but I think most caucusgoers and eventually voters decide they like the whole candidate, not just their religion or their Iraq plan or their health care policies.
On a different topic, I would imagine the 'taunting theory,' as you called it, is much more plausible than a random tiger attack. Tigers, I would think, are smart enough to not go randomly attacking teenagers outside the tigers' enclosure, so I'm almost certain there had to be another reason.
Big day in Iowa! Good luck.
Posted By Anonymous Christianna : 8:13 AM ET
Morning...I've got my coffee and I'm ready for the political race! Let's go...

I can't wait for ya'lls political coverage tonight! It seems that this Iowa caucus is going to be a tight race to the end. I see all of the candidates have been scrambling for any last votes that they can get! I think they will need them tonight!! And if it is as cold there as it is here then they may be in trouble as to who actually shows up to vote!! It is in the 20's here by the way in good ole Hotlanta! Atleast we never get snow!! Thank God!! LOL

I kindof expected that there was more to the story about the tiger mauling those boys. Now we finally get someone coming forward saying that they saw them taunting the tiger. And you know that Geragos is going to try to deny, deny, deny!! That is his job. But I hope that if they did taunt her and cause her to kill one person then I hope that they are prosecuted! That may sound harsh to some but they caused their friends death and the tigers in my opinion and shouldn't get away with it. Not to mention they shouldn't get a dime from the zoo if they taunted that tiger no matter if the wall was too short in the enclosure.

I am SO glad that some of the dogs that were tortured and made to fight at Vick's house are finally going to a good home where they will be taking care of!!

I'm no where near suprised that Brits attorney quit! I mean look how she is acting!

Have a good one!!

Cynthia, Covington, Ga.
Posted By Blogger Cindy : 9:22 AM ET
A behind the scenes look at "Anderson Cooper 360°" and the stories it covers, written by Anderson Cooper and the show's correspondents and producers.

• 01/29/2006 - 02/05/2006
• 02/05/2006 - 02/12/2006
• 02/12/2006 - 02/19/2006
• 02/19/2006 - 02/26/2006
• 02/26/2006 - 03/05/2006
• 03/05/2006 - 03/12/2006
• 03/12/2006 - 03/19/2006
• 03/19/2006 - 03/26/2006
• 03/26/2006 - 04/02/2006
• 04/02/2006 - 04/09/2006
• 04/09/2006 - 04/16/2006
• 04/16/2006 - 04/23/2006
• 04/23/2006 - 04/30/2006
• 04/30/2006 - 05/07/2006
• 05/07/2006 - 05/14/2006
• 05/14/2006 - 05/21/2006
• 05/21/2006 - 05/28/2006
• 05/28/2006 - 06/04/2006
• 06/04/2006 - 06/11/2006
• 06/11/2006 - 06/18/2006
• 06/18/2006 - 06/25/2006
• 06/25/2006 - 07/02/2006
• 07/02/2006 - 07/09/2006
• 07/09/2006 - 07/16/2006
• 07/16/2006 - 07/23/2006
• 07/23/2006 - 07/30/2006
• 07/30/2006 - 08/06/2006
• 08/06/2006 - 08/13/2006
• 08/13/2006 - 08/20/2006
• 08/20/2006 - 08/27/2006
• 08/27/2006 - 09/03/2006
• 09/03/2006 - 09/10/2006
• 09/10/2006 - 09/17/2006
• 09/17/2006 - 09/24/2006
• 09/24/2006 - 10/01/2006
• 10/01/2006 - 10/08/2006
• 10/08/2006 - 10/15/2006
• 10/15/2006 - 10/22/2006
• 10/22/2006 - 10/29/2006
• 10/29/2006 - 11/05/2006
• 11/05/2006 - 11/12/2006
• 11/12/2006 - 11/19/2006
• 11/19/2006 - 11/26/2006
• 11/26/2006 - 12/03/2006
• 12/03/2006 - 12/10/2006
• 12/10/2006 - 12/17/2006
• 12/17/2006 - 12/24/2006
• 12/24/2006 - 12/31/2006
• 12/31/2006 - 01/07/2007
• 01/07/2007 - 01/14/2007
• 01/14/2007 - 01/21/2007
• 01/21/2007 - 01/28/2007
• 01/28/2007 - 02/04/2007
• 02/04/2007 - 02/11/2007
• 02/11/2007 - 02/18/2007
• 02/18/2007 - 02/25/2007
• 02/25/2007 - 03/04/2007
• 03/04/2007 - 03/11/2007
• 03/11/2007 - 03/18/2007
• 03/18/2007 - 03/25/2007
• 03/25/2007 - 04/01/2007
• 04/01/2007 - 04/08/2007
• 04/08/2007 - 04/15/2007
• 04/15/2007 - 04/22/2007
• 04/22/2007 - 04/29/2007
• 04/29/2007 - 05/06/2007
• 05/06/2007 - 05/13/2007
• 05/13/2007 - 05/20/2007
• 05/20/2007 - 05/27/2007
• 05/27/2007 - 06/03/2007
• 06/03/2007 - 06/10/2007
• 06/10/2007 - 06/17/2007
• 06/17/2007 - 06/24/2007
• 06/24/2007 - 07/01/2007
• 07/01/2007 - 07/08/2007
• 07/08/2007 - 07/15/2007
• 07/15/2007 - 07/22/2007
• 07/22/2007 - 07/29/2007
• 07/29/2007 - 08/05/2007
• 08/05/2007 - 08/12/2007
• 08/12/2007 - 08/19/2007
• 08/19/2007 - 08/26/2007
• 08/26/2007 - 09/02/2007
• 09/02/2007 - 09/09/2007
• 09/09/2007 - 09/16/2007
• 09/16/2007 - 09/23/2007
• 09/23/2007 - 09/30/2007
• 09/30/2007 - 10/07/2007
• 10/07/2007 - 10/14/2007
• 10/14/2007 - 10/21/2007
• 10/21/2007 - 10/28/2007
• 10/28/2007 - 11/04/2007
• 11/04/2007 - 11/11/2007
• 11/11/2007 - 11/18/2007
• 11/18/2007 - 11/25/2007
• 11/25/2007 - 12/02/2007
• 12/02/2007 - 12/09/2007
• 12/09/2007 - 12/16/2007
• 12/16/2007 - 12/23/2007
• 12/23/2007 - 12/30/2007
• 12/30/2007 - 01/06/2008
• 01/06/2008 - 01/13/2008

    What's this?
CNN Comment Policy: CNN encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. Please note that CNN makes reasonable efforts to review all comments prior to posting and CNN may edit comments for clarity or to keep out questionable or off-topic material. All comments should be relevant to the post and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying information via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statement.