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February 16, 2010
Posted: 1456 GMT

Hello everyone...

Hala is taking a day off, after a wild few weeks of travel - as all of you saw at the I-Desk from Haiti and France. As a result, Jonathan Mann is leading the charge in today's programme.

We're covering several big stories around the world, including the arrest of a top Taliban military commander in Pakistan. But, what does it mean for the overall fight against the Taliban? We're taking a closer look with Reza Sayah in Islamabad.

From the U.A.E. to the Palestinian territories to Ireland, there are new developments in an international murder mystery. Eleven people arrested in Dubai, accused of torturing and killing a Hamas leader. The suspects have passports from several western countries, including Ireland - which announced that they had never heard of the suspects. There are several twist and turns in this story. Paula Hancocks hopes to iron them out from Jerusalem, where she also had reaction from the victim's brother.

At the Vatican, the crisis talks continue between the Pope and members of the Catholic Church in Ireland. We're expecting to hear from Vatican officials in the coming hours, leading up to our show. But, will their comments and the Pope's reaction be enough, after so many years of sex abuse allegations in the Church? We're taking a closer look from Rome.

We also have new CNN poll numbers on Americans' opinion of Pres. Barack Obama. And, for the first time, we're asking: Does Pres. Obama deserve to be re-elected in two-years? And, speaking of the U.S. leader, some people in Indonesia are mad about a statue erected in Mr. Obama's honor. Find out what they're now doing with the statue, at 18:00 in London, 19:00 across Central Europe.

See you then!
J the P.

Posted by: ,
Filed under: Barack Obama •CNN •Iran •Israel-Gaza •Terrorism •Today At The I-Desk


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anonymous   February 16th, 2010 5:04 pm ET

Call it aerial photos or forensic evidence: Google Earth aerial images are calling the bluff of the Iranian authorities who boast about multimillion crowds in the rallies on the occasion of the 31th anniversary on 11 February. The satellite images are downloadable from the following website: http://www.rahesabz.info/story/10146/ . The main image from Maydan Azadi, the locus of pro-government rally, shows uncharacteristically thin patches of crowd awaiting arrival of Ahmadinejad; the image is taken at the peak time, namely minutes before Ahmadinejad’s speech. The two helicopters transporting Ahmadinejad are clearly visible and marked in the aerial photo as are the other features of the scene like the presidential tribune, the security wall etc. What is striking is that much of the huge Azadi square is empty. Among other interesting images in the same series is the interminable row of buses that had presumably transported people from nearby townships and the outlying areas near Tehran. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rua6TL4yzzE

Muthyavan.   February 17th, 2010 3:06 am ET

It is a very busy week with many international development's around the world, most important is the capture of a top Taliban leader in Pakistan. The fight against Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan will have no effect by this capture, as many leaders who were killed earlier have been replaced in no time. New findings in UAE about international covert operations may expose some light on how some world terror experts are dealing with their enemies.

Vatican has been facing international accusations from many quarters in recent time with accusations of sexual misconduct from many leading church heads in many countries. It is a ruff time for the new head of Vatican from the time he came into the office as the Pope.

A. Smith, Oregon   February 17th, 2010 11:52 pm ET

What Big Oil and the Republican Party does not want YOU to know about Coal fueled Power Plants:

They Release More Radioactive Radiation into the atmosphere than Nuclear Plants by a factor of 100x and possibly as much as One Thousand Times!!!

Nearly everyone realizes that 4 million tons of coal burned each and every year by a typical commercial coal power plant results in millions of tons of pollution into the atmosphere in many forms, the Nitrous Oxide compounds remain in the atmosphere for many years and are much more deadly as a greenhouse gas than CO2.

ONE which is rarely if ever discussed is the fact that radioactive radiation is routinely one of the pollutants that is released from the coal smoke stacks. YES, radioactive elements, Uranium, thorium, and a host of additional radioactive elements. How much Radiation, compared to that released by a Nuclear Powerplant?

The respected US Oak Ridge National Laboratory gives statistics on the levels of radioactive material given off by a coal fired plant. They estimate that to run an average 1000 megawatt coal-fired power plant, you need to burn about 4 million tonnes of coal. That 4 million tonnes of coal contains 5.2 tonnes of uranium, 12.8 tonnes of radioactive thorium, as well as 0.22 tonnes of radioactive potassium-40!!!

Along with this it was found by the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP), that for 1982 the total release of radioactivity from 154 typical coal plants in the United States was approximately the equivalent of the radioactivity in 3200 household smoke detectors. They also found that the radiation exposure from an average 1000 MW power plant comes to 4.9 person-sieverts a year for coal-fired power plants and 0.048 person-sieverts a year for nuclear-fired power plants.

This factor of 100 just looks at the nuclear fired power plant by itself. It doesn't include the complete nuclear fuel cycle, which starts with ore mining, goes to fuel processing and operation of the reactor, and finishes with waste disposal. In that case, the radiation dose from a nuclear-fired power plant increases to 1.36 person-sieverts a year.

Yes, neighbors of a COAL Plant are receiving 100 Times the radiation dose compared to a Nuclear Power plant.

Taking the entire Nuclear fuel from mining to use cycle to recycling or disposal, Coal Plants expose people to 5 times more radiation than Nuclear Power Plants using the relative inefficient 1980's Nuclear reactors in this example.

The new 3rd. Generation plus nuclear reactors being designed and built now are much more fuel efficient and this would likely translate to far lower radiation being released compared to those in the 1980's study. Likely 1/1000 less radiation compared to the typical Coal Fueled Power plant!!!

And Nuclear Power plants do not spew out millions of tons of CO2 and Nitrous Oxide compounds into the atmosphere.

Jorem   February 23rd, 2010 6:40 pm ET

I really dont understand, the passports used in Dubai were they fake?I dont think so! Fake passports have no chips,these were genuine passports.

Now the question is on the safety of private details of EU nationals and i believe the war on terror it self is far from the beginning.

Jorem
The Netherlands.

Laser Eye Surgery Info ·   November 9th, 2010 9:38 pm ET

when choosing smoke detectors, it is still cheaper to use those ionization type smoke detectors :

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