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July 2, 2009
Posted: 1800 GMT

We've learned more chilling information on the last seconds of Air France flight 447 and what passengers must have felt as they plunged to their deaths in the Atlantic Ocean on June 1st.

According to the French air investigation agency, the doomed Airbus did not break up in flight, but plunged vertically into the water, disintegrating on impact. It all happened so fast, that passengers had no time to prepare for an emergency: we were told life vests were found floating amongst the debris, uninflated.

We'll go live to Paris where our Paula Newton is following the story and we will speak live with an aviation expert on what the new information means.

Also today, we'll go live to Honduras where our Karl Penhaul is reporting on the post-coup atmosphere in the central American country. Will the deposed President Manuel Zelaya return to his country? Will the new military supported government bow to international pressure and re-instate Zelaya? We'll ask the questions.

Plus, I'll be speaking to a Hamas spokesman from Gaza for his group's response to an Amnesty International report accusing both the Israelis and Hamas of having violated humanitarian law during Israel's January incursion. We spoke to Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev a few hours ago and wanted to balance our coverage with the Hamas response.

I'll also ask about reports that a deal may be in the works to free Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who's been in captivity for three years now.

Plus, the latest from Wall Street (where it's a bad day) and an interview with Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt (an Idesk favorite).

See you on TV!

Hala

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Filed under: Today At The I-Desk


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Trevor (Amsterdam)   July 2nd, 2009 7:13 pm ET

Something doesn't add up about the plane hitting the water intact. If it did, then the black boxes could not be too far away, as presumably being heavy they would sink. Assuming they did move a little, the ships scouring the area cover some 35square km's per day, and they know where the plane crashed, so would know where to look, so why can they not find the black-box?

Merlin   July 2nd, 2009 8:42 pm ET

I have never written to complain about content before, but today's "Breaking News" right before the start and into the time for International Desk was over the top. What happened to the old days when breaking news was really a major event – the twin towers, Oklahoma city bombing, Mumbai, the tsunami. Today you cried wolf with "Breaking News": footage of a dead entertainer's last rehersal. And this is of critical importance why?
CNNUS obviously has lower standards, but for CNNI to sacrifice at the altar of ratings and greed its professionalism and dignity by cutting to CNNUS to edifiy us with such important "Breaking News" is sad.

Dr Ajuruchukwu Obi   July 3rd, 2009 5:15 am ET

It is unfortunate that you "could not make anything" of the exclusive video of the last rehearsal of Michael Jackson that your organisation thought fit to preview just before your International Desk yesterday. It is surprising that somebody your age who has been in the media for sometime did not know enough of Michael Jackson's early years to be in a position to comment on that video. It was clear from your rude and annoying laughter and the impolite manner in which you dismissed it that you thought this was too much ado about nothing. On the contrary, the Michael Jackson phenomenon was the most important thing to happen to America and the world since the coming of Jesus Christ and before the ascendancy of Barrack Obama, your prejudice nothwithstanding.

Nancy Moureau   July 3rd, 2009 1:43 pm ET

Yesterday's pro-government anti-Zelaya rally in La Ceiba,
the third largest city in Honduras.

The message that the young people of La Ceiba had for CNN, who didn't come, was to ask the world to find out the facts before they judge Honduras. "We aren't in favor of any political party; what we want and we demand is peace in our country and unity among Hondurans," said Luís Hernández. Roque Ardón said that the the people should defend the country against interference by the Organization of American States and the UN who have already judged us without listening to us first.

The parade in La Ceiba was blocks long and completely peaceful. It was protected by numerous police who were able to reroute it without incident after pro-Zelaya protesters became threatening.

Puerto Cortés, Honduras, pro-government rally yesterday, July 1, 2009

Mayor Allan Ramos said, "Today, Honduras has lived historic moments. Every Honduran is called to defend our country in a civic and conscientious manner, like we did with this march." "We are making a call to the international community to see that Honduras is firm and united in defense of the Constitution," he said.

Pro-government supporters, Choluteca, Honduras, July 1, 2009

Quintín Soriano, Mayor of Choluteca, said he had never seen so many people marching in Choluteca before. "The world better not confuse us with Cuba or Venezuela because here what we want is peace and democracy. It isn't the government of Roberto Micheletti or the liberal party; it is the pueblo that demands this tranquility.

Vigil in front of UN headquarters, June 30, 2009

The theme of these rallies is Peace and Democracy, but since CNN would not show you their other messages, I will.
For pictures: http://www.lagringasblogicito.blogspot.com/

Posters at the rallies: Armed Forces, Thank you! from a little girl, Paz (Peace), "For our children, we're fighting for democracy" , "Hear our side of the story", "Out with Zelaya, Hurray for Peace" , "CNN – Chavéz News Network",Should Zelaya come back to Honduras? ,Honduras, Yes! − Zelaya, No, "Proud to have a true democracy".

I know this is hard to believe for the people who have read the misinformation on the internet. The military are protecting people from the riotous pro-Zelaya protesters (some of whom have been imported from Nicaragua and El Salvador) who have injured people, attacked journalists, started fires, blocked bridges, done a lot of property damage with vandalism, and continue to attack the soldiers with rocks while the soldiers have shown incredible restraint. The La Ceiba police chief said that crime (which is a major concern of the Honduran people that was never addressed properly by Mel Zelaya) in the past 5 days has been a fraction of what it has been in the past.

"Honduras demands respect from the international community."
To: OEA (Organization of American States), ONU (United Nations)

Please help to get the truth out. Honduras is a victim, not of our military, but of an organized Venezuelan disinformation campaign.

Americans should support the Honduran people and their legitimate leaders in their brave and heroic stand for freedom and the rule of law
Statement from US Senator Jim DeMint on Honduras:
July 2, 2009

“Americans should support the Honduran people and their legitimate leaders in their brave and heroic stand for freedom and the rule of law.”

July 2, 2009 – Greenville, SC – Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and chairman of the Senate Steering Committee, made the following statement about the ongoing situation in Honduras.

"The people of Honduras have struggled too long to have their hard-won democracy stolen from them by a Chavez-style dictator. The Honduran Congress, the Honduran Supreme Court, and the Honduran military have acted in accordance to the Honduran constitution and the rule of law.

“For weeks leading to his arrest, Zelaya flouted the constitutional authority of the Honduran Congress and Supreme Court, and claimed for himself extra-constitutional control of his nation’s military and political institutions. Every institution from the Electoral Tribunal to the Supreme Court ruled that his actions were unjustified and illegal. Zelaya’s open defiance of democratic norms has set Honduras on a path toward violence, instability, and tyranny.

“I am hopeful that as President Obama grows in office, he will eventually turn away from despots like Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Castro, and Zelaya, and give the United States’ full-throated support to the people of any country who are fighting for the same values we cherish and defend in America. The people fighting for freedom around the world, in Iran and Honduras, should never have to wonder which side America will choose between freedom and tyranny.

“President Obama’s call for the reinstatement of Zelaya is a slap in the face to the people of Honduras. And the resolution written by the Organization of American States tramples over the hopes and dreams of a free and democratic people.

“The rule of law is working in Honduras. President Obama should not undermine the democratic institutions that guarantee freedom by forcing an illegitimate President back into power.

When Castro and Chávez call for supporting democracy in Honduras, what do you think?

Please ask yourself these questions and then ask your own media outlets why they aren't reporting anything from the Honduras newspapers, the Honduran television, or the Honduran man on the street. Why are they not reporting the Honduran bloggers, Twitters, and Facebookers (who are not being censored)? They do that for Iran.

As just one example, please, please read this from Born in Honduras: Hondurans against the world. There are many, many more, but unfortunately most are in Spanish so they are ignored by the US and other English speaking countries.

Why have they not reported the millions in cash found in the offices, bank accounts, and hotel rooms of former President Mel Zelaya and his supporters, much of which was in small bills being used to pay supporters and voters? Why have they not reported the statements of the Honduran government as to what happened and why they believe that what they have done is legal and in line with the Honduran constitution? Why have they not reported the general sense of joy in the country to be rid of Mel Zelaya?

When Fidel Castro of Cuba and Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, countries with some of the most repressed media in this hemisphere, are calling for democracy in Honduras, what do you think about that? How can you possibly believe it?

When Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama support Castro and Chávez at the United Nations, is it because they have similar ideologies, or is it simply because they have bigger, more important fish to fry, than the tiny, poor, mostly-ignored country of Honduras?

Does that not strike you just a teensy, tiny bit odd?

Ask CNN why it shows 20 minutes of a few pro-Zelaya protesters for every 30 seconds they show of the tens of thousands of peaceful pro-Honduras supporters. Ask CNN why they did not play the audio of the speakers at the peaceful march yesterday which was translated to English after each announcement.

Ask yourself why they don't show the pro-Zelaya protesters (are they even Honduran?) who arm themselves with huge rocks, bats, and pipes attacking the military just hoping to get a reaction so they can run to Venezuela's Telesur camera and get on CNN. Ask yourself why you didn't see the pro-Zelaya supporters (again, are these people even Hondurans or are they Nicaraguans and Venezuelans who have been imported for the show?) armed with pipes and bats violently threatening and chasing off the peaceful Honduran supporters two blocks down the street in San Pedro?

I saw all of that on my Honduras news yesterday so who is the one who is receiving biased, censored news?

Everything coming out of Honduras is being completely ignored.

Hondurans have demonstrations all the time. It is a custom in Central America and is a right guaranteed by the constitution. However, it is not common for Honduran protesters to get violent. Hondurans are a peaceful people and that is one of the reasons that they have been victims of corruption for so long.

I have been a voracious reader of everything I can find on this issue. I've had about 12 hours sleep in the past four days. I don't stop at the major media articles, though. I read what everybody is saying AND, unlike most bloggers, I actually know what has been going on in this country. Stunned by the amount of disinformation, I try to trace where these crazy "facts" are coming from.

Yesterday, I read about our "repression" in Honduras. I read that on a USA blog, who referenced the information back to a Mexican blog. The Mexican blog offered his source: a Kansas, US, blog. And the source for the Kansan information? A Venezuelan newspaper.

Uh-huh. So rather than reading what Hondurans are saying, a better source is US–>Mexico–>Kansas–>Venezuela? Please, folks! If you are going to write about something, show a little responsibility and don't become part of Hugo Chavez's disinformation campaign, because that is what is happening. That is false information and it is easily disproved. Don't say that there is no information coming out of Honduras or from Hondurans. There is, but no one is listening.

A massive organized campaign of disinformation is coming out of Venezuela and is being picked up by bloggers and what most people think of as reliable media sources. When you read that "communications" have been blacked out or censored in Honduras, all you have to do is look at the postings from Hondurans in Honduras on blogs, Twitter, and Facebook to know that this is false. Why does no one do that?

The biggest difference between what many of us are saying is that we know the history. We discuss and research. We aren't buying the disinformation campaign because we know it is false.

Heartfelt statements from Hondurans are completely ignored because they have not been trained to organize and blast the media with sound bites. Most of them naturally are writing in Spanish. Neither the Honduran government nor the Honduran citizens have the sophistication, knowledge, or experience to mount a counter campaign in the media or social media.

You can help Honduras
A plea from a Honduran friend:

Please everyone I'd like to ask you a big favor. Could you email President Obama or the president of your country and your particular member of congress and tell them how you feel about the situation in Honduras. Right now we need the truth to be told to those who have the power to change things.

Thank you for reading and thinking through these issues.

Nancy Moureau
Hartwell, GA

TIRDAD GHARIB   July 3rd, 2009 6:23 pm ET

Dear Hala Happy hollidays To The Greatest Lady On cnn. You Concernning The Airbus AirFrance My Got Feeling says There Was a Possible Terroristic act, I am a pilot And One Day The Truth will come out God Bless You Hala .

jeff   July 4th, 2009 2:52 pm ET

Why is MJ a bigger priority than real events??? cnn is contributing to the dumbing down of America. Enough already with the endless repetitive reporting on MJ and stories that do nothing to make the public keenly aware of real issues affecting them. cnn show some imagination and do some real investigative reporting... and follow up on them. Your like a 24/7 "TMZ" at least change your name if you continue to sell your souls for lame issues.

r/ 22 years active duty vet who's been out front in the "sand box" so that you can waste time with 3rd grade reporting.

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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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