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July 10, 2009
Posted: 1818 GMT

It's the end of a busy week for the Idesk. President Obama's trip to Moscow, the G8 summit, the Vatican and in a few hours, Ghana in West Africa.

We've been asking why three presidents so far, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and now Barack Obama have all traveled to Ghana, and not an economically more imposing country such as Nigeria.

"Part of the reason that we're traveling to Ghana is because you've got there a functioning democracy, a President who's serious about reducing corruption (...)" Barack Obama told reporters at the G8 closing news conference.

We will be live in Rome, with more on the president's statements on Iran and his meeting with the Pope and will take you live to Ghana, for more on the preparations and the huge excitement surrounding the first family's arrival.

Plus, I'll talk live to Michael Ware, who has an exclusive report on how Pakistani leaders are saying they are in contact with top Taliban commanders and can bring them to the negotiating table with the United States. We'll ask if this could be a way out for Americans in Afghanistan.

We are live on Wall Street, in Kabul, London and Costa Rica for the rest of the day's top news.

See you on TV!

Hala

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Filed under: Today At The I-Desk


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steve wilson   July 10th, 2009 8:13 pm ET

In my opinion the second most important story today, second only to Iran, is Honduras, which by extension means Latin America. While the Middle East has by necessity consumed disproportionate attention and resources, Latin America and Africa have been neglected. It would be refreshing to see more emphasis on the fundamental issues, e.g. abject poverty, crime ("insecurity" in the local vernacular) and institutional corruption. The recent coup and the resulting dilemma facing the international community is emblematic of a much broader problem in Latin America an provide a fantastic opportunity for a more profound analysis and understanding. i hope you will go there. (Just a suggestion) look at the similarity between what happened in Venezuela in April 2002.

P.S. Keep the MJ coverage on the web, which like the response, is precisely where it belongs.

Sayan Majumdar   July 11th, 2009 3:27 am ET

The perpetual duplicity of Pakistani leadership as usual stands exposed once again. Further associations with them will drive the Americans to more and more embarrassments.

Sayan.

TIRDAD GHARIB   July 12th, 2009 3:19 pm ET

Good evenning To You Dear Hala, Good evenning To all Ghana Is a stable Country And Has Alot Of Nice People, Yes We need To Help Africans They are Human Like we are, Very Sincerlly Yours .Tirdad
I Agree With All Us Presidents About Their Trip To Ghana.

Benjamin oboh   July 13th, 2009 5:30 am ET

i will throw a shoe at Obama if he visits Nigeria, visiting Ghana speaks much about a resposible government that other Africa undemocratic nation (like Nigeria)

Dickinson   July 13th, 2009 11:44 am ET

Hello,

I think over the years,these presidents have seen something particular in Ghana.To send home this message/point clearly,Obama remarked in Ghana that,"no nation can grow when its leaders take advantage and exploit the economy to enrich themselves".To me,this tells how well Obama and the other leaders have known the African continent and its leaders.That is what is on the ground.Ghana is not perfect is this matter,but it is a country that is honest and taking giant steps to cut corruption and deepen democratic governance

Lang Elizabeth Lloveras   July 18th, 2009 6:08 pm ET

It is very worrying that almost no one in the international community and certainly no one representing the United States Government will acknowledge the truth about recent events in Honduras. The coup was not carried out against Zelaya, it was perpetrated BY him when he used foreign military (Venezuelan and Nicaraguan, who are still in Honduras causing trouble, and are almost the only ones demonstrating for Zelaya's return) to break into a Honduran military storehouse where the illegal voting materials, brought in illegally from Venezuela because he could not legally get them printed in Honduras, along with other equipment for his unconstitutional "referendum" had been sequestered.
Once Zelaya had done that, a number of provisions of the Honduran Constitution immediately took effect. First, his bringing in and using against Honduran troops of foreign operatives fits any working definition of (1) high treason in any country in the world, and carries similar penalties in most countries. Second, there are seven articles of the over two hundred in the Honduran Constitution which are not subject to alteration and/or amendment, except by Congressional action.
The term limit article, which is the one Zelaya's illegal and unconstitutional "referendum" was trying to alter in his favor, is one of those seven, and since the Honduran Constitution does not provide for an impeachment process, but rather (2) summary removal from office in such cases, with the additional possibility of (3) revocation of citizenship, and (4) being disqualified from participating in electoral politics for a period of 10 years, everything done by the interim president, the Congress, the Supreme Court and the Honduran military was done according to the laws and constitution of that country.
And who is the United States, historical champion of the rule of law, siding with in this dispute? Insulza (whose name means insipid, and by extension, useless) who needs the support of Chávez, Ortega, Morales, Correa and their ilk to fulfill his own political aspirations at a later date. Better to cut our contribution to the OAS than to help these international drug lords and thugs to victimize poor little Honduras.
I invite the State Department, Homeland Security, and the DEA to consider the consequences if they allow Chávez to reinstall his puppet, Zelaya, in Honduras, thereby destroying the constitution and the rule of law in that country, so that Chávez can use the Palmerola Air Base, built by the United States in Honduras, for his convenience in shipping drugs from South America to the United States and other parts of the world.
We have a saying in the United States, "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me." Chávez already whined about a coup against him, which was really a last-ditch attempt by the Venezuelan military to restore the rule of law in that country, got the international community to force the Venezuelan military to stand down, and then changed the constitution so as to perpetuate his power and to abolish civil rights. Shame on us if we allow him to do exactly the same thing in Honduras! And, make no mistake about it, that is exactly what he and Zelaya plan to do, with the Venezuelan and Nicaraguan troops already present in Honduras ready to do just that.
Zelaya was summarily exiled to prevent the bloodbath that he and Chávez and Ortega were planning to unleash in Honduras. If he is returned to anything approaching power, that same bloodbath will be inevitable, as will be the addition of Honduras to the list of drug-exporting dictatorships in this hemisphere. We still have the power and the moral authority to stop this madness, and if we do not, we will lose the moral authority remaining to us, and the shame we thus bring to ourselves will be great, indeed.

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