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September 30, 2009
Posted: 1540 GMT

tsunami

We will start things with the devastation caused in South Asia by a Tsunami and just a few hours later, by an earthquake.

We will go live to Indonesia with the latest on a massive earth tremor that has killed dozens and caused major damage. Officials say they fear the death toll with continue to rise because people are still trapped under collapsed buildings. To makes things worse: major roads are blocked by landslides making the job harder for rescuers.

We will then take you live to Samoa, where a giant Tsunami wave hit the island yesterday. Entire villages were flattened in seconds. More than a hundred people in the resort island are confirmed dead. We have dramatic video and testimony from survivors.

Also – we will take you to the Philippines and Vietnam for more on the continuing misery in the aftermath of typhoon Ketsana.

Richard Roth will then join us from the United Nations to talk about a U.N. Security Council meeting on sexual violence during conflict. The U.N. is expected to appoint a special coordinator to lead a unit designed to address the issue of sex as a weapon of war. Tens of thousands of women are raped in warzones in Africa and around the world.

Will the U.N.'s effort make a difference?

We are also live in Geneva, for a preview of crucial talks Iran will be holding with Security Council powers (plus Germany) on its nuclear program. The atmosphere is bound to be tense after Iran test fired a long range missile a few days ago and after it revealed a hidden nuclear plant last week.

After a few good weeks, Wall Street is not in the best mood today. Some economic numbers are having investors doubt whether recent increases ins stocks were justified.

All those stories and the rest of the day's top sports and weather headlines.

See you at the IDesk!

Hala

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September 29, 2009
Posted: 1630 GMT

Hello everyone,

We'll start the show with the threat from torpical storm Ketsana as it barrels toward Vietnam. We'll tell you if you are in the path of the storm and how the weather might affect your travel plans.

The tragedy continues to be the Philippines, where Ketsana drowned portions of the country. More than 240 people are now confirmed dead and hundreds of thousands are affected by the floods. Dan Rivers is in the Philippines with the latest.

We will then go to Washington, D.C. for more on the meeting between President Barack Obama and the new NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

President Obama is in a tough spot: he must decide sooner rather than later if the U.S. will send more troops to the battlefield in Afghanistan at a time when public opinion is wavering in its support for the war. On top of that, some powerful members of the Democratic Party say it's a bad idea to increase America's military presence in Afghanistan.

Meantime, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, who recently spoke with the U.S. President, wants more troops to defeat the insurgency. And the NATO Secretary General will be pressing for more of a commitment from America.

President Obama has said he will not make a definitive decision until the mission in Afghanistan is clarified. Is NATO there to pacify and stabilize the country? Or is there to defeat the Taliban? Or is it there to find and root out Al Qaeda only? But isn't Al Qaeda now in Pakistan?

So many questions, so little time, so much at stake: this could be the most important decision President Obama makes for Afghanistan.

Also today, we will have more on the violence in Guinea. Reports that government forces gunned down dozens of opposition protestors. Human Rights groups are calling what happened in Guinea a massacre. We will bring you the latest.

We will also go live to Wall Street and cover all the other top developing stories of the hour.

See you at the IDesk,

Hala

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September 28, 2009
Posted: 1623 GMT

flood

Hello everyone,

Rescue workers are overwhelmed and at least 140 people are dead in the Philippines.

We will start the program with a report from Dan Rivers on the deadly floods in the capital Manila and two dozen neighboring provinces.

The country hasn't seen rain like this in decades. Those in low-lying areas, mostly the poorest of the residents in the affected areas, are suffering the most today.

We will also have full coverage of Iran's long-range missile tests at a time of heightened tension with Western countries. Iran, which last week revealed the existence of a second nuclear plant, is due to hold critical talks with the five U.N Security Council members (plus Germany) next Thursday.

We will look at why Iran has decided to go ahead with the test (Tehran said it's part of a routine yearly drill) and how it may impact talks this week.

Also today, a story that is sparking interest and debate around the world: the arrest of Franco-Polish Director Roman Polanski in Switzerland over the week-end. U.S. authorities asked Switzerland to detain Polanski in connection with a 30-year old case in California. Polanski plead guilty to unlawful sexual relations with a minor in 1978 but fled America before he could be sentenced.

The question is: should Polanski be extradited to the U.S. or should he remain a free man?

Should his crime be left in the past (as his own victim has urged) or should someone who admits to sex with a minor be punished, not matter how long ago the abuse occurred?

Let us know what you think in our poll below.

We are also live in Honduras with the protracted stand-off between ousted president Manuel Zelaya and de facto leader Roberto Micheletti.

Plus the latest sports, business and weather headlines.

See you at the IDesk!

Hala

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Posted: 1336 GMT

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September 25, 2009
Posted: 1949 GMT

Hello everyone,

It's a busy day at the IDesk.

We are starting the show with more on the revelation that Iran has been building a second uranium enrichment plant near the city of Qom.

The United States, the United Kingdom and France have given Iran until December to respond to their demands to stop work at their nuclear facilities or face harsher sanctions.

Don't forget to take part in our poll below on whether you think sanctions against Iran are the way to go.

Iran continues to say that it has the right within the rules of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to develop a peaceful civilian nuclear program. But the group of countries opposed to the way Tehran is pursuing nuclear technology say Iran's activities are suspicious.

"The size and configuration of this facility is inconsistent with a peaceful program," President Obama said today in Pittsburgh where G20 nations are meeting to discuss global economic challenges.

Russia and China, also permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, are clearly less enclined to go along with France, Britain and the U.S. when it comes to imposing harsher punishment on Iran.

We will cover the news on Iran and ask what happens next. Our guest today is former assistant U.S. Secretary of State James Rubin.

We will also take you live to Pittsburgh for more on the growing role of developing nations in deciding how to solve the world's economic problems. Remember when the world summits excluded China, India and Brazil? Long gone are the days of the G7.

Later at the IDesk, we'll talk about the latest purported Osama Bin Laden audio tape where Germany is mentionned as a possible target. We're live in Berlin.

We are also live in the Honduran capital, in Baghdad, at the Pentagon and on Wall Street.

Happy Friday!

Hala

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Posted: 1319 GMT

Filed under: Ahmadinejad •I-Desk Poll •Iran


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September 24, 2009
Posted: 1621 GMT

If world leaders at the United Nations stick to their alloted times, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should be walking up to the podium in the first few minutes of the show today.

We are expecting the Israeli leader to deliver a relatively short address in which he expresses some criticism of the United Nations. We will have to wait and see if he addresses the crucial issue of settlements. President Barack Obama seems to have backed off from asking Israel to "freeze" settlement expansion in occupied territory, so it is possible he will not bring the thorny question up in his UNGA speech.

We will also look forward to the G20 meeting in Pittsburgh, where the debate beetwen more stimulus or more regulation will continue to play out. The question of bankers' bonuses will also be on the table. We have a live report.

Also today, a possible HIV vaccine breakthrough. A trial in Thailand, led by American military researchers, has produced very encouraging results. The vaccine cut the risk of being infected with the virus that causes AIDS by about a third. We will have a report from Thailand.

We will also bring you the latest business news headlines. Weekly jobless claims and existing home sales numbers in the United States are out today. We'll show you how Wall Street is reacting.

Plus the latest weather and sports stories, as always.

See you at the IDesk!

Hala

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September 23, 2009
Posted: 1622 GMT

Our top story today: day one of the United Nations General Assembly speeches.

As of this writing, we should have heard from six leaders, but thanks to a Moammar Gadhafi's seemingly interminable address, we are about an hour behind schedule.

After U.S. President Obama's speech, Colonel Gadhafi started a disjointed address that included mentions of swine flu, the Panama Canal, ancient Rome and why the United Nations is not a legitimate body, among many topics.

We are hearing reports of diplomats asleep in the chairs and heads of state walking out.

We'll go live to New York for analysis with our senior U.N. Correspondent Richard Roth.

We will also cross over live to Suzanna Malveaux to ask about Barack Obama's first United Nations Assembly address.

Also today, the latest on the tense situation in Honduras. Our John Zarella is in neighboring El Salvador and will join us live. OUsted Honduran president Manuel Zelaya is still holed up inside the Brazilian embassy in the country's capital and there are reports of violence between Zelaya supporters and government backers.

If times permits, we will bring you the latest business and weather headlines, including a rising death toll associated with the historic flooding in the U.S. state Georgia.

See you at the IDesk!

Hala

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September 22, 2009
Posted: 1636 GMT

Another very full show today at the International Desk.

We'll start with the meeting in New York between U.S. President Barack Obama and the Palestinian and Israeli leaders. Not much hope that anything crucial or groundbreaking will come out of the trilateral chat. Barack Obama wants to personally push the two sides closer together.

But Israel continues to defy laws and American pressure to stop building new settlements in the occupied West Bank. And the Palestinians remain divided and unable to inspire confidence in their own people.

We will talk about today's big U.N. theme: climate change. Isha Sesay is at U.N. headquarters with that. Our senior U.N. correspondent Richard Roth will join us for a preview of the hotly anticipated speeches from Hugo Chavex, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and others.

We'll also cross over live to New York for more on the arrest at the center of a terrorist plot investigation. Seems like federal authorties are looking for about a dozen more suspects. We'll have the latest.

Plus, the latest on the situation in Honduras. Ousted leader Manuel Zelaya is back in the country, in hiding at the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa. We have analysis on what is likely to happen next and how the political rivals who overthrew him could react.

All that and the latest business, sports and weather stories.

See you on TV!

Hala

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Posted: 1352 GMT

Filed under: Environment •I-Desk Poll


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About this blog

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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