On the Radar: Autism study debate, Anna Nicole Smith case, Sudan's big vote, CES
Dr Andrew Wakefield is defending his study on autism and childhood vaccines, which has been called into question.
January 6th, 2011
10:14 AM ET

On the Radar: Autism study debate, Anna Nicole Smith case, Sudan's big vote, CES

Doctor defends autism study - A physician accused of an "elaborate fraud" in a now-retracted British study that linked autism to childhood vaccines is defending himself, telling CNN his work has been "grossly distorted."

Speaking on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," Dr. Andrew Wakefield said Wednesday he has been the target of "a ruthless, pragmatic attempt to crush any attempt to investigate valid vaccine safety concerns." An investigation published by the British medical journal BMJ concluded  that Wakefield misrepresented or altered the medical histories of all 12 of the patients whose cases formed the basis of the 1998 study - and that there was "no doubt" Wakefield was responsible. The journalist who wrote the BMJ articles said Thursday he believes Wakefield should face criminal charges.

Sentencing in Anna Nicole Smith case - The psychiatrist and lawyer-boyfriend of Anna Nicole Smith are expected to be sentenced Thursday.

The two were convicted on charges of conspiring to provide drugs using false names. And prosecutors are recommending probation, not prison. Howard K. Stern and Dr. Khristine Eroshevich were acquitted on the most serious charges of providing drugs to a known addict, which were the linchpin of the prosecution's case.

A new nation? - Several million people will decide in the next week or so whether to create the world's newest nation. They will cast ballots at polling stations sprinkled across the vast, flat plains of Southern Sudan, an East African landscape long riven by chaos, on whether to declare independence from the rest of Sudan.

War and famine have ravaged generations in the South for as long as anyone can remember. Fighting forced more people from their homes than in any other nation on earth. Hope remained elusive. Yet the vote has given many Southerners the rare sense of exhilaration that is born of new beginnings.

From January 9 to January 15, the black Christians and animists in the autonomous region of Southern Sudan will vote on whether to declare independence from a Northern government dominated by Arab Muslims. CNN's Mark Bixler, author of "The Lost Boys of Sudan: An American Story of the Refugee Experience," examines what this historic vote could mean.

Today in CES news - 3-D TV, which debuted to much hype at the Consumer Electronics Show last year, has been a big flop. What are TV makers doing to entice consumers, or are they giving up on 3-D in the living room? Our team takes a look at what companies are doing this year to try to resurrect the idea.

And we also look at Microsoft's plan to redefine the couch potato. On Wednesday the company announced plans to redefine television as a medium that viewers can control by waving their hands and talking rather than clicking on remotes.

In a speech that unofficially opened CES in Las Vegas, company CEO Steve Ballmer also said he aims to make TV more social - letting viewers chat with each other as avatars in virtual settings and place live bets on sporting events from the TV screen.

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Filed under: Anna Nicole Smith • Autism • Health • On the Radar • Sudan • Technology
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Cesar

    I'm surprised 3-D television has not been popular. It is kind of like that hanamon thing.

    January 6, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  2. star

    TOO BAD CNN KEEPS REPORTING OLD NEWS. Makes me wonder if the other news is current!!!! or even accurate.

    January 6, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Cesar

    @Star: Too bad, Star just keeps reading old news. (Heh heh, joking, please don't kill me.)

    January 6, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jeannine

    in regards to autism, and vaccines. if people are finding out that taking dairy and wheat gluten out of the diets of autistic children is helping them, then maybe there should be a study in what foods children are given before getting a vaccine. I tell my daughter not to let my grandaughter have dairy or wheat gluten 24 hours before her vaccinations. There are so many hormones and who knows what else injected into cows that it could just be a major drug overload. I hope a doctor will step forward to do that study today.

    January 6, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. salmiah tyndall

    It is so depressing to see the interview of Mr Brian Deer. He is more concern of his journalism and about being right for his own benefit. I would rather see 360 interview parents of the 12 children in the studies of Dr. Wakefield than Mr Deer. He is a cold hearted journalist with no heart for the children with autism. My daughter became very sick after the first immunization and thanks to my family doctor who advise me not to give her any immunization but to keep on breastfeeding. I breast fed her until 2and half yr of age. We travelled to the 3rd world countries since she a yr old and she is now a strong, beautiful and intellligent 15 yr old girl.

    January 6, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Illana Katz

    I believe the pharmaceutical companies to be some of the most powerful companies in the world and would go to any length to destroy anyone who would dare challenge them and their products. I believe Dr. Wakefield to be an honorable man who has been relentlessly pursued by the medical establishment in collusion with the pharmaceutical industry. God help anyone who dares to challenge them. Go after me too! Go after anyone who dares to challenge the beast. I believe that those who first backed Dr. Wakefield and now have abandoned him need to look at themselves in the mirror and see what they have become.

    I am merely a writer of children's books and the mother of a son with autism who, by the way, never had the MMR. But I do believe that for some children it would be wise to spread out the use of vaccines and the amount given at each interval. I believe there should not be any preservatives in children's vaccines and especially thimerasol (now not as much of a problem since parents cried out and were rewarded with the removal of thimerasol). God help us all!

    January 7, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |