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updated 3/29/2005 9:03:08 PM ET 2005-03-30T02:03:08
Live blogging

Did you lose the remote again?  If you can't watch Keith Olbermann — voted Playgirl's Sexiest Anchorman — at 8 p.m. ET, get your fill online. Live blogs of 'Countdown' are available exclusively at Countdown.msnbc.com.  Click and let the fun begin!

Schiavo — The Terri Schiavo case has now met the immutable law of six degrees of separation.  The Reverend Jesse Jackson today joined Mrs. Schiavo's parents in saying she is being "starved to death."  Thus allying the man who was yesterday defending Michael Jackson against allegations of child molestation to those insisting Mrs. Schiavo is being mistreated.  Thus separating the man who most loudly claimed Republican voter fraud in Ohio last year from those now insisting Congress over-reached in legislating her case into the federal courts.  In short, for those who view this as an entirely political story — they don't know what the hell to think tonight.  Reverend Jackson asked to visit the brain-damaged woman, now in her 12 day without sustenance.  That request was denied by Schiavo's husband, Michael.  He did, however, pray with the parents.  Mary Schindler saying she wanted him there quote "for moral support.”  No repeat today of what the Miami Herald newspaper reported was a plan, made and abandoned last Thursday, to have Florida's state department of law enforcement seize Schaivo from that hospice — a plan abandoned when it was realized local police would have to try to repel the state officers.  But the Schiavo case — and today's comments from Jesse Jackson — intensifying the spotlight on the hospice system.

Cochran dies — For nearly a year, he was, simply put, one of the most famous people in the world.  In a story as divisive as the Terri Schiavo case — and even more unavoidable — he was to various people, a hero or a villain, of a real-life televised drama, the likes of which we had never seen before.  Johnnie Cochran — O.J. Simpson's attorney – died today at the age of 67.  Most people did not even know he was sick, nor hospitalized.  Only last September did Cochran himself confirm to the media that he had been treated by a prominent neuro-surgeon at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.  He passed away at his home in L.A.'s Los Feliz section, of an inoperable brain tumor...Thus ending the career, and the life of the man who, in successfully defending Simpson against the criminal charges in the Simpson-Goldman murders, told the jury, "If the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit."

Kids in trouble — When, eight days ago, sixteen-year-old Jeff Weise killed ten people in Red Lake, Minnesota all but two of them at the high school.  The Red Lake Nation of Native Americans seemed to close ranks around the tragedy.  The Tribal Chairman even tried to stop relatives of one of the victims from talking to the media.  Tonight, we may have a new and extraordinary explanation.  Police have arrested that Tribal Chairman's son and charged him with conspiracy, in connection to the shootings.  Louis Jourdain was taken into custody without incident on Sunday.  The U.S. Attorney's office wouldn't explain what it postulated Jourdain's role might have been — noting that he is a minor.  A week ago today, the FBI special agent in charge said Jeff Weise had acted entirely on his own.  Jourdain's father Tribal Chairman Floyd "Buck" Jourdain confirmed the arrest today in a statement….If children can be in danger in high school, why couldn't they be in danger in the Boy Scouts ?  Douglas Smith Junior was national director for programs for the Scouts.  Now, in a story broken by our correspondent Janet Shamlian, he is out, and under arrest, accused of one of the worst crimes one could imagine under the circumstances: possessing and distributing child pornography.

International shockwaves — Literal ones first.  The devastation wrought by yesterday's earthquake in the Indian Ocean continues today, as the death toll could hit up to 2,000 …Damage to the United Nations chief in connection with the Oil-for-Food program.  Investigators have found no evidence that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan knew of a contract bid by his son's employer.  But the report criticized Annan for conducting only a one-day inquiry after the company's ties to Kojo Annan were revealed.  And it also faults the Secretary-General for his oversight of the Oil-for-Food program and his overall management of the world body.  Asked today if he was planning to step down, Annan answered, "Hell No."

McRappers — You may believe rap is the most influential innovation in the history of music.  You may consider it a blight on society.  Regardless, you, and the person who feels exactly opposite, are likely to rise together as brothers in righteous indignation when you hear tonight's Number One story on the Countdown.  McDonald's — Mickey D's — is offering to pay rap and hip-hop artists to put references in their lyrics to Big Macs.  They'll pay between $1 and $5 every time such a song is played on radio.  "Ad Age" reported the news of the MacPayola, saying McDonald's went to entertainment marketing firm Maven Strategies to offer the deal to recording labels and artists with the proviso that McDonald's gets final approval of the Big Mac filled lyrics.

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