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May 22, 2009
Posted: 1711 GMT

Ex U.S. soldier Steven Green was sentenced to life without parole for the March 2006 murder and rape of an Iraqi teen and the murder of her family.

What do you think of the sentence?

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May 21, 2009
Posted: 1814 GMT

Hello everyone,

Protecting the United States from attack was the topic of two wildly differing speeches today.

On the one hand, President Barack Obama, in the National Archives (a building which houses the U.S. Constitution) addressed the nation to talk about Guantanamo Bay and nationals ecurity.

Yesterday, the U.S. Congress denied the President funding to close Gitmo. Lawmakers said they needed to see concrete plans for what the President would do with the detainees before anything else could happen.

Barack Obama vowed to move ahead with the closure and said he would work with Congress to find solutions for all 240 remaining inmates. Some would go through civilian courts in the U.S. Others might be indefinitely detained in supermax prisons. A few might be resettled elsewhere.

For Mister Obama, whatever happens to the prisonners, the process must "enlist the power of our most fundemental values." The president wants the world to know this is a Bush-created mess and that he will not flout fundemental American values for the sake of expediency.

Just as the President finished his speech, former Vice President Dick Cheney was waiting for his cue to take to another podium, at the American Enterprise Institute in Washginton D.C..

Within seconds of the President, Mister Cheney defended Bush-era interrogations techniques and asked again for the release of memos he says would justify the use of what some call totture. The information obtained from practices such as waterboarding, said Cheney, prevented attacks.

For a man who barely said a word in public for eight years, the former Vice-President doesn't seem to be able to stop talking these days.

Also at the IDesk today, that alleged plot to bomb synagogues by suspected "homegrown terrorists" with no connection to international terrorist networks. We'll have a report from New York on the latest.

We'll also talk to Bill Scheider about the latest CNN/Opinion Research poll on how Americans feel about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The results are surprising in some cases. Not as many people as I thought agree with President Obama's strategy of increasing troop numbers in Afghanistan. We'll have the latest results.

Plus, we'll tell what countries have the highest life expectancy for women and men, according to the World Health Organization. There are a few surprises in there as well.

And the rest of the day's top news stories as always!

See you on TV,

Hala

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Posted: 1440 GMT

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May 20, 2009
Posted: 1745 GMT

Hello everyone,

We'll be looking at Iran's latest military-slash-pr manoeuvrings. The United States confirmed today that Tehran successfully tested a surface-to-surface missile with a range of 2,000 kilometers, therefore capable of reaching parts of Europe.

We'll go live to Tehran for more on the military tests and will take you to Jerusalem, where Israeli officials are again sounding alarm bells about how vulnerable they are to an Iranian attack (and why some in Israel say they should just take out Iranian sites themselves and get this whole thing over with.)

Also, at the Idesk – and this is the subject of our poll du jour – an Irish government report released today reveals shocking findings on child abuse in the Catholic church and Catholic-run schools and prhanages from the 1930's to the 1990's. We'll break down the report's findings and bring you a live report on the latest reaction.

Plus, we'll look at the U.S. Congress' vote to deny President Obama funding to close down Guantanmo Bay and to transfer terror suspect to U.S. soil for prosecution in civilian courts.

This is a bi-partisan slap-down for Obama and is focring the American president into finding a way to keep a key campaign promise.

The issue is where to move these high-risk detainees if Congress continues to block the proposal to close Gitmo until they see a plan on where the prisonners will be held.

What are the President's options? Organizing an American federal court location outside the U.S.? Begging allies to take more detainees in?

If not, will Mister Obama be forced into leaving them at Guantanamo and trying them in military tribunals? The fact that a handful of suspects will go through military commissions has angered some Obama supporters, who says he's renigging on promises made during the campaign. What will they say if all 240-plus prisonners stay in Gitmo?

We'll be looking at the congressional vote and what it means going forward.

On the lighter side, we'll be talking about the UEFA cup final and the latest on Michael Jackson, whose promoters says his summer comeback concerts in London are postponed to next year. Did you really think they would go ahead on schedule? Really?

Ok, I won't say I told you so.

See you on TV,

Hala

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Posted: 1547 GMT

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May 19, 2009
Posted: 1434 GMT

Hello there, I-Deskers...

First, let's talk about the presenter. Isha will, of course, present the early edition; and, Michael Holmes returns for Day-2 of his I-Desk debut, in the later edition. Hala returns on Wednesday.

Alright, down to business!

The big story today comes out of Britain, where for the first time in more than 300 YEARS, the speaker of the House of Commons has been forced to resign. Speaker Michael Martin was caught up in an expense scandal, which had several MPs calling for his resignation. Less than 24 hours after that debate in Parliament, Mr. Martin announced that he would quit. So, what now? Our political contributor and expert on UK politics, Robin Oakley, is working this story and giving his unique perspective. And, Prime Minister Gordon Brown is expected to comment on Mr. Martin's decision, during the early edition.

Also at the I-Desk... Sri Lanka is celebrating the apparent end to the war, at least according to the government. But, do you think it's really over? Check out our I-Desk Online Poll below, and cast your vote.

And... we're also covering the 120th birthday of the Eiffel Tower, as well as the revealing of the so-called "Missing Link."

See you at the I-Desk!!!
J the P

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Posted: 1423 GMT

Filed under: I •I-Desk Poll •Sri Lanka


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May 18, 2009
Posted: 1519 GMT

Greetings from the I-Desk...

Hala is off tonight. Isha will get things started in the early edition of the International Desk, then Michael Holmes is making his debut in the later edition.

Tonight, we're touching on a long list of developing stories, including the Middle East peace process taking center stage at the White House. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are meeting. We are expecting their comments, during the early edition of I-Desk, and a complete wrap-up of what's next in the process, during the later edition.

Also, what do you think? Is the "two state solution" the best way forward? That's tonight's I-Desk online poll... Look below and give us your thoughts.

And, we're also closely following the situation in Sri Lanka. An LTTE leader was killed by Sri Lankan forces. We have the latest from Colombo, plus the U.N.'s reaction. What is the worldly body doing, if anything, to stop the violence? We'll find out for you.

All that, plus a rare live report from beautiful St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow. You don't want to miss it!!

See you at the I-Desk.

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Posted: 1513 GMT

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Posted: 1510 GMT

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International Desk brings viewers into the heart of the largest news gathering operation in the world. Viewers don't come here to watch the news; they come here to be immersed in it. To feel the rush of being the first to know what's happening as stories break, and to leave knowing they've gotten the best and latest information available. The show airs Mon-Fri at 1900 CET.

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