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January 28, 2010
Posted: 1705 GMT

For very different reasons, and under very different circumstances, both Afghanistan and Haiti's long-term issues continue to dominate headlines at the IDesk today.

At a conference in London today, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said that his country's security forces would need at least a decade of training and financial support. Western powers and international partners are frustrated that all the money and resources that have been spent over the last eight years on Afghanistan are not producing the results they want.

Karzai may be talking a decade, but the U.K Prime Minister gordon Brown isn't: he said the moment for Afghanistan is "decisive" and that a a significant turning point needs to occur by the middle of next year.

Here in Haiti, too, the longer term needs could well be what determines whether this country will get back on its feet, and whether it can overcome the chronic issues that have weighed it down for so long: political mismanagement, corruption, joblessness.

The "decade" timeline is also something we hear a lot in relation to reconstruction in Haiti. But when you see the scale of the destruction and the state of this country's infrastruction – not to mention the central government's own shortcomings – it is hard to imagine that even that time frame is realistic.

We spent the afternoon in a neighborhood flattened by the earthquake, where homeless residents have set up a microcosm of village life in what was once a football pitch.

The place is orderly, organized, kept as clean as possible. There is a medical station and a tiny food stall. People there are trying to live as normal and digified life as possible amid the agony.

A short term solution, at best.

We will be featuring this story at the International Desk today.

Also, today, we will look into Toyota's massive recall. We will ask if the Japanese carmaker is paying for its stellar growth.

And we will tell you all you need to know about Apple's iPad. Is it worth the money? Does it really have a market? And a little something on how the gadget's name is making some people giggle.

See you at the IDesk,

Hala

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Filed under: Afghanistan •Haiti •Today At The I-Desk


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December 1, 2009
Posted: 1345 GMT

As we await Pres. Barack Obama's announcement about his new plan for the War in Afghanistan, we wanted to know your thoughts. Mr. Obama is expected to increase troop levels by about 35,000 troops. So, here's our question:

Filed under: Afghanistan •Barack Obama •I-Desk Poll


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November 2, 2009
Posted: 1348 GMT
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October 26, 2009
Posted: 1110 GMT

Hey there, everyone...

First of all, Hala continues to be off for most of the week. She'll be back, before you head back to your weekend. Isha is manning the later edition of I-Desk, while Hala is on holiday this week.

Now, for the news - It was a busy and deadly weekend in Iraq and Afghanistan. Starting in Iraq, where the country is mourning the deadliest attacks in two years. Well over 100 people were killed in Baghdad, hundreds more wounded. In Afghanistan, helicopter-related deaths ruled the weekend, as more than a dozen NATO servicemembers, most of them American, were killed. So, what's the solution in either country? For Iraq, the U.S. still plans on pulling out, despite the surge in violence after their forces left small towns in June. In Afghanistan, the opposite plan appears to be in play, with U.S. Pres. Barack Obama considering an increase in boots on the ground. Are these the right courses of action?

Now, for the accused war criminal. Radovan Karadzic refused to appear in court Monday - essentially, boycotting his own war crimes trial at the Hague. Karadzic claims he hasn't had enough time to prepare for his trial. Should the judge force him into court? Or, should he grant more time?

Those are the biggest stories we're following right now at the I-Desk... Of course, if that changes, we'll have the latest for you.

See you then!
J the P

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Filed under: Afghanistan •Barack Obama •Iraq •NATO •Today At The I-Desk


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October 21, 2009
Posted: 1833 GMT

Hey there, everyone...

There have been several big stories at the I-Desk this week. Some of you have already commented on our Facebook page - which, if you're not a fan of, you really should be. Just search: CNN I-Desk.

Anyway, we want to get your take on this week's big stories, which seem to have huge implications. Among them:

1. Afghanistan runoff election - The newly scheduled November 7th runoff pins President Hamid Karzai against his main opponent, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah. Right now, Mr. Karzai holds a relatively large lead over Dr. Abdullah. Of course, the outcome of this election could play a pivotal role in the future of the war efforts, in that country. What do you think will happen? And, what do you think the U.S. and NATO forces should do, in response to the election? Or, even, before the election?

2. Iran nuclear deal - It's a story, which broke earlier on Wednesday. Details of the proposed deal are still being worked out, and everyone needs to completely agree on them. But, essentially, the deal could lead to a brand-new relations between Iran and the West. Do you think Iran will abide by the deal? What do you feel will come of the negotiations?

3. H1N1 vaccines - The much-anticipated vaccines are now being given to healthcare workers in Britain. Some people in China, Iraq and several other countries are also receiving the "swine flu" vaccine. But, others are skeptical that it'll work. What are your thoughts? Do you plan on getting the vaccine? If not, why?

Those are just a few of this week's big stories. Feel free to comment on these, or anything else you've seen at the I-Desk.

Thanks!

Filed under: Afghanistan •Comments •Iran •Swine Flu


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October 20, 2009
Posted: 1236 GMT
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September 10, 2009
Posted: 1806 GMT

Hey there, everyone...

Our good friend, Michael Holmes, is back at the I-Desk. And, we're following several stories, where the common them is: anger.

First, in Afghanistan, where journalists are outraged about what happened, when troops rescued a British journalist this week, BUT left an Afghan journalist behind. We're talking live with Michael Ware in Kabul, about what people there are saying.

Anger is also coming to the forefront in Turkey. Thousands of people are now living in filth, following this week's deadly floods. That's enough reason to be mad. But, for these innocent victims of Mother Nature, they're also ticked at the government for what happened before the storm. We're talking live with Ivan Watson in Istanbul, to explain.

And, the lighter side of the anger theme comes to us from Argentina. There's little doubt that football, or fĂștbol, is the 2nd religion in that country. And now, for the first time in nearly 40 years, the South American football giant is about to be eliminated from the World Cup. As you might imagine, every Argentine has an opinion on what's gone wrong, including blaming the country's football icon - and the team's manager - Diego Maradona.

Finally, yesterday, we weren't able to bring you the "happiest cities in the world" list, due to breaking news out of Mexico. But, we have that list for you tonight... And, once again, Michael is smiling!

Find out why... at the I-Desk!
J the P.

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Filed under: Afghanistan •Today At The I-Desk


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September 9, 2009
Posted: 1545 GMT

In the wake of the rescue of a kidnapped British journalist in Afghanistan, we wanted to know your thoughts:

Filed under: Afghanistan •I-Desk Poll


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September 7, 2009
Posted: 1342 GMT

Hello everyone...

This week, Hala is on holiday. So, Isha is manning both editions of I-Desk all week long.

Today, we're starting with a new effort by the NATO commander in Afghanistan, to win the hearts and minds of the people. The U.S. Defense Department has released a new video, featuring General Stanley McChrystal. In the fully translated video, which is airing across Afghanistan, McChyrstal sends a message to Afghans about NATO's goals, and their role in helping their homeland.

The video comes on the same day that a Swedish group claimed U.S. forces stormed into a hospital, and tied down employees, among other things. Atia Abawi is watching both of those developments from Kabul. She'll join us live to break down the details.

Also on the docket, new comments by Iranian Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad regarding his country's nuclear program. We're also covering a major verdict in Sudan, new Israeli settlements approved in Palestinian territories, and a BIG change for drivers on a South Pacific island. You don't want to miss that!

In the United States, today is the Labor Day holiday. So, the entire country is taking it light. So, we'll reflect that a bit, towards the end of the show... with a look at surfing and tug-of-war.

See you then!
J the P.

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Filed under: Afghanistan •NATO •Today At The I-Desk


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July 27, 2009
Posted: 1619 GMT

Greetings from the I-Desk...

First of all, Hala is off this week. And, for most of the week, BackStory's Michael Holmes will be fillling-in. He'll join us today, to bring you the latest news headlines and live reports feeding into CNN.

Alright, so here's what's on tap -

The U.S. and China are trying to continue warming-up relations, with a forum in Washington today. And, the U.S. brought out the big guns, with President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner. So, what does this mean for the future of relations, between the world's largest communist country and the world's most prominent democracy?? Our Jill Dougherty is joining Michael live, to break it all down.

Also, on the diplomatic front, Britain's government today urged the Afghan government to reach out to the Taliban. Is this a good and viable idea? Or, is Gordon Brown's government trying to pander to those, who are increasingly becoming ANTI-Afghanistan? Our Senior International Correspondent, Nic Robertson, who's been to Afghanistan a number of times, is following that one from London.

And, keeping with the diplomatic theme, we're following developments in the Middle East, between Israel and Iran... And, in Honduras, between Roberto Micheletti's government and the ousted president, Jose Manuel Zelaya.

Then, on a lighter note... Why is Bill Gates quitting Facebook?? Let's just say - some of YOU may be to blame. It's a story you don't want to miss.

See you at the I-Desk!
J the P

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Filed under: Afghanistan •China •CNN •Today At The I-Desk


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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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