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October 4, 2012
Posted: 1729 GMT

The event was expected to draw the candidates' largest nationwide audience to date.

Hello everyone,

We kick off the show with the story everyone is talking about: the surprising presidential debate in the United States. The expectation was that incumbent Barack Obama would easily out-debate his rival Mitt Romney. Not only did that not happen, but most observers said a well rehearsed and more confident Mitt Romney walked away the decisive winner.

A CNN/ORC flash poll conducted after the debate gave Mitt Romney the advantage: 67% of respondents said they thought the Republican challenger won last night’s debate. Only 25% said they thought Barack Obama did a better job.

And consider line from CNN’s post debate analysis team:

“He didn't just score wins on the margins, holding his own against the president; he won big. Since the question of which candidate did better in a presidential debate was first asked by Gallup in 1984, no candidate has ever scored more than 60% on the question, until Wednesday night, when 67% of the voters in CNN's post-debate poll gave Romney the edge.”

Now the question is: can Mitt Romney capitalize on this perceived win with crucial swing state voters? Does he have enough time to turn thing around in Ohio and Florida, where Barack Obama currently has an appreciable lead?

New, post-debate polling is expected in the next few days and will reveal the answer to those questions.

Join us for debate and analysis from our team of reporters and analysts.

Also today, we look at the deadly violence on the Turkey-Syria border. Shelling from Syria landed yesterday on a Turkish village, killing several civilians, including three children. Turkey’s parliament moved quickly today to authorize the use of force in foreign countries as a response to the incident. Syria today apologized for the mortar attack. Will this escalate? We will go live to Turkey and Lebanon for the latest.

Plus, don’t’ miss my interview with UNESCO’s Louise Haxthausen, the organization’s senior coordinator for crisis. We will talk to her about the destruction of irreplaceable cultural treasure across the country, including Aleppo’s covered market, where amateur video showed a fire raging last week.

Of course nothing is more painful than the loss of human life. Thing can be rebuilt. But some places, buildings and structures are what make a country what it is. It is the cultural soul of Syria that is being annihilated. In some ways, watching Syria’s crusader castles, its Byzantine ruins, Aleppo’s old homes damaged or destroyed feels like watching a person being slowly ravaged by disease. It is heartbreaking.

We will also talk about an important landmark for Facebook, as it reaches a billion users and bring you the latest financial, sports and weather news, as always.

See you on air!

Hala

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Filed under: Barack Obama •Mitt Romney •Syria


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Martha   October 4th, 2012 6:44 pm ET

A lot of us have to leave our place of birth searching for a better life. Going back home and see these cultural places and its history remind us and make us proud of where our families come from, so it is so sad to see that something that survived thousand of years is being destroy in a matter of minutes, our past history just being burn down to ashes.

@sergio_curado   October 4th, 2012 9:28 pm ET

Hala Gorani

When you've posted the photos of the ruins of the "Dar Zamaria" and the old market in Aleppo, the anguish, especially for Syrians and Syrian descent (*), has increased even more – besides the tragedy of the deaths. However, those tweets were the beginning of a broader and consistent narrative you have started to build. At the conclusion of this narrative, the anguish surrounding the destruction of those monuments of civilization – part of your personal history – has been toned down; precisely because you have made the best of yourself to help, and get help, at this stage of the crisis. That disconfort has gone away and given place to some jokes. Do you know your constant viewers were laughing with you at the end of the show? (This is just to thank you.)

* Here in Brazil, there is a large Syrian-lebanese community, mainly in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. It's not my case, but some of my best friends have Syrian-lebanese descent.

Carolina   October 4th, 2012 11:13 pm ET

If Romney wins it will be the same as with Bush! Good luck to get US on track again!
Middle class will be in a hell!

Romney was only well in the debate if to lie – to flip flop all the time – to the Americans without any embarrassment is okay!

Carolina   October 4th, 2012 11:18 pm ET

Obama didn't trash Romney because Romney has been showing Americans who he is! A flip flop man!
Romney is a trash!

Victor   October 5th, 2012 9:21 am ET

It's funny how Americans can display their biases when it comes to politics, particularly. Obviously an Obama supporter will not recognize any negative development about their candidate however obvious. I am not American and watching closely how politics in America goes it does not surprise me if Americans (Latinos and Asians because they have a lot of illegal immigrants friends and relatives!) will continue to wallow in misery for another 4 years at least!!! Good luck to you people...

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