July 20, 2009
Posted: 1826 GMT
For coalition troops, this is the summer strategists and historians might look back on as the moment foreign troops either failed or succeeded in achieving success in their mission in Afghanistan.
In Helmand Province, in the South, a significantly higher number of UK, American and other international forces are on a mission no other external army has managed to pull off before: take and hold territory from the Taliban, spend money on civilian projects to win "hearts and minds" and hope an Afghan authority takes over and keeps everything stable.
Saying this is a tall order is the understatement of the last 8 years those coalition forces have been in Afghanistan. What is needed are equal measures of force, charm, money and luck.
We are live at 10 Downing Street with a look at the Nato Secretary General's meetings with UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and we'll take you to Helmand Province where a CNN crew is reporting on the fight from the frontlines.
Also today, we'll talk about the latest from Iran. One prominent politician is suggesting a referendum be held to decide if the election that sparked all the protests was legitimate. Meantime, the highest authorities in Iran are signalling that any open dissent will be swiftly dealt with. We are live in Tehran.
Also, unless you've been living under a (moon) rock, you know today is the 40th anniversary of the Apollo moon landings. We'll be talking to Craig Nelson, author of the recently released book on the Nasa mission, Rocket Men.
Reading up on his book before the interview, I ran across some interesting trivia gathered by Nelson on the mission, including the fact that Apollo's computers had less processing powers than a modern-day cellphone or that the Eagle's door didn't have a handle on the outside, so Buzz Aldrin had to be sure not to lock Neil Armstrong and himself out when stepping out onto to the moon's surface.
We'll of course look at the latest on the Mumbai terror trials, today's Wall Street action, sport and weather.
Hope you join us!
Posted: 1557 GMT
Filed under: I
July 17, 2009
Posted: 1834 GMT
We will kick things off with the twin explosions in Jakarta today. Two luxury Western hotels, the JW Marriott and the Ritz Carlton were apparently hit by a pair of suicider bombers.
it's been four years since the last terrorist attack in Indonesia. Authorities released grainy, black and white security camera footage showing a man pulling a suitcase. Seconds after he walks out of the frame, an explosion. They belive that man may be connected to the attacks.
The main suspect now is the Jamaah Islamiyah group, also responsible for attacks in Bali and Jakarta and with ties to al Qaeda. We'll speak with an expert on the attack today and why the group is still able to carry out deadly attacks.
Our other top story at the Idesk: Friday prayers and demonstrations in Tehran. Former Iranian president Rafsanjani lead prayers at Tehran University, with opposition politician Mir Hossein Moussavi in attendance. There were also protests on the streets and reports of violence by security forces and volunteer militiamen. Reza Sayah is at our Iran Desk with the latest.
We'll also talk to our reporter Karl Penhaul on the latest developments out of Honduras. The ousted president Manuel Zelaya says he wants to return to Honduras and set up a parallel government. The country would effectively have two governments and two presidents. This story is not getting any simpler and the profound gulf separating the pro-Zelaya Hondurans and those who are happy he's gone seems to be getting wider.
Plus, believe it or not, corporate America has come out with more good results. it looks like we'll be ending the week on a positive note after a 500 point rally on Wall Street for the Dow Jones.
See you on TV,
July 16, 2009
Posted: 1829 GMT
With the death of a Canadian soldier in Afghanistan today, Thursday, July 16th 2009, July is now officially the deadliest month for international forces in Afghanistan so far. And we're only halfway through the month.
Operations aimed at neutralizing the Taliban in the South or taking a heavy toll on foreign troops. In the searing heat and unforgiving terrain of a part of Afganistan no foreign army has ever captured and held, NATO and international soldiers carry the weight of the most challenging of missions on their shoulders.
We'll go live to the Pentagon for the latest on what commanders are saying about their strategy in Afghanistan.
Also at the Idesk today, we'll go live to Tehran for the latest on the resignation of the country's nuclear program head and for news of opposition leader Mir Hossein Moussavi's decision to attend Friday prayers tomorrow in the capital. What will his supporters do? How will authorities react? We'll cover all angles.
We'll go to London for an update on the number of swine flu cases in the UK and how this may impact forecasts for the upcoming flu season.
Plus, we'll be live at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida where John Zarella will show us newly restored footage of the 1969 moon landing. Today is the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch. John spoke to some of the astronauts who took that "giant leap" for all of humankind. He'll tell us what they are saying four decade after their historic achievement.
And look for the latest Wall Street results, all your sports and weather and much more.
See you on TV!
Posted: 1502 GMT
Filed under: I-Desk Poll
July 15, 2009
Posted: 1822 GMT
We'll be going live to Washginton D.C., where our World Affairs correspondent Jill Dougherty will tell us about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's foreign policy speech.
It must be hard losing to Barack Obama in the Democratic primaries, become his foreign affairs envoy and then see him travel the world, enjoy rock star receptions everywhere, and be the new face of America abroad.
I'll ask Jill about Clinton's speech, her upcoming trips and how today's State Department fits into the Obama administration's foreign policy strategy.
Also today, we'll take you live to Iran for more on that Caspian Airlines crash that killed all 168 people on board. We'll ask if the airline has a good safety record and if sanctions imposed on Iran have led to a situation where the lack of spare parts is endangering travelers.
Plus we'll tell you the shocking story of a Florida couple murdered in their own home in what authorities say was an elaborate home invasion. The sad part is that Melanie and Byrd Billings were the parents of 17 children, most adopted and with special needs.
AuthorIties have arrested people they believe are connected to the slayings and will update reporters. We'll take you there live.
Finally, I asked my Twitter community if they think we should start putting the Champagne on ice when it comes to the economy. Goldman Sachs yesterday, today Intel: both companies issueD great results. Today, the Federeal Reserve (in the minutes of meetings just released) says it thinks the economy is "leveling out" and that the recession in America will be milder this year than it had expected just a few months ago.
What do you think? Leave your comments here or Tweet me @halagorani.
We'll have that and the rest of the day's top stories as always.
See you on TV!
Posted: 1418 GMT
It's the 5th deadly commercial airline crash this year, so we want to know:
Filed under: I
July 14, 2009
Posted: 1829 GMT
It's an interesting question: where should a leader, accused of unspeakable war crimes and chronic corruption, be tried?
Ex-Liberian president Charles Taylor's case is being prosecuted at the International Criminal Court in the Hague. Taylor is charged with eleven counts – including using child soldiers as fighters and sex slaves – and is the first African leader to be tried for war crimes in the Netherlands.
The question, in the end, is one of legitimacy: would guilty verdicts issued in the Hague be considered valid by ordinary African citizens? African leaders, for their part, have made it clear: they will not cooperate with the ICC. At a recent African Union summit, in reference to a Hague indictement of Sudanese president Omar Bashir, regional leaders said they would not cooperate with the court on "indicted African personalities."
We will be bringing you the latest on the trial and on the fiery words Charles Taylor said in open court, as well as the results of today's poll on whether you think the Hague is the proper forum to try Charles Taylor.
Also today, we'll talk about the gradual upswell of grief surrounding Britain's Afghanistan war dead. Today, the small British town of Wootten Bassett stood in silence as flag-draped caskets in hearses somberly drove to the military base nearby.
We'll take you live to London where our Paula Newton is following that story.
Plus, more on the state of the world economy. Goldman Sachs posted good earnings and some economic indicators seem to be encouraging investors to buy into stocks after a two-month sell-off.
Ed Henry is live with us on President Obama's day trip to Michigan where he will talk about the U.S. economy, as debate about needing a second stimulus plan picks up steam.
On the Pakistani displaced story, I'll be talking to Patrick Duplat of Refugees International on internal refugees being enocuraged to go back to the Swat Valley, after having been forced to fee during a recent anti-Taliban military operation. Should they return? is it safe? We'll ask the questions for you.
That, plus the rest of the day's news.
See you on TV!
Posted: 1519 GMT
Filed under: I-Desk Poll
July 13, 2009
Posted: 1850 GMT
We're kicking things off in the United Kingdom at the Idesk. Paula Newton will tell us about Gordon Brown's address to Parliament regarding Britain's forces in Afghanistan. He is now in a position of justifiying his government's strategy in Afghanistan against accusations soliders are unnecessarily being put at risk.
Speaking of Afghanistan, Chris Lawrence at the Pentagon will tell us how the United States, which has by far the largest contingent of troops on the ground, say that even more boots on the ground are needed to achieve success in that warzone.
Fighting the battle against the Taliban and stabilizing Afghanistan means putting troops in more dangerous positions. So far, the U.S. has lost 646 troops. The U.K. has lost 184.
Also today, we'll cross over live to Capitol Hill in Washington for the latest on the Sonia Sotomayor Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Barring an unforeseen political disaster that would ruin her nomination, she is virtually assured of being confirmed. We'll ask how the hearing will play out in Washginton and beyond.
Plus, there's a new pipeline about to put a dent in Russia monopoly on gas distribution to Europe. It's called Nabucco (named after the Verdi opera that the five partners had attended in Vienna after a meeting about the deal). The partnership between Turkey, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Austria has been frought with problems and delays, but is now on its way to realization.
We'll go live to Turkey for more on why this deal is important and whether it will change the way Europeans consume energy.
Plus tune in for our sports segment. In the noon edition of idesk, Marc McKay and I discussed the case of a New Zealand taekwondo athlete who has opened a gentleman's club (read legal brothel) to pay his way to the Olympic Games of 2012 in London. I asked you to weigh in on whether the taekwondo association should allow him to compete if he uses money from this venture to support himself. Go to my Twitter account @halagorani and let me know.
Plus all th rest of the day's news, as always!
See you on TV,
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.