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November 7, 2012
Posted: 2152 GMT

Robert Reich says when he first heard President Obama had been reelected he felt “relief.” Listen to why he believes Obama is the right person to work on the economy from the White House.

 

Filed under: Barack Obama •CNN •Idesk •U.S. Elections


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October 16, 2012
Posted: 1727 GMT

Hello from Washington, DC!

Topping the show today, Wolf  Blitzer will join me with more on what U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said about last month's the Benghazi attacks. She told CNN's Elise Labott that she takes responsibility for the assault that killed the American ambassador Chris Stevens and three others. Is this meant to take the heat off President Obama before tonight's debate with Mitt Romney? Our own Candy Crowley will be moderating the town hall format duel. I'll ask Wolf who this type of set-up favors and how important it is for Barack Obama to perform well after a performance widely seen as lackluster and uninspired the first time around.

Also today, we'll go live to both Pakistan and the Birmingham for the latest on Malal Youssufzai condition. She was transported to a specialty facility in Northern England yesterday in the hope of accelerating her recovery. We'll begin you the latest on her condition on the little girl who has already become an icon of equal access to education.

Plus, big news in the banking world: the CEO of Citigroup Vikram Pandit has stepped down.  This is a surprise which comes as Pandit's 2011 compensation remained a sticking point for shareholders: they voted against his $15 million pay package earlier this year. We'll bring you market reaction to the news.

See you on air!

Hala

Filed under: Barack Obama •Malala Youssufzai •Mitt Romney •Today At The I-Desk


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October 9, 2012
Posted: 1750 GMT

Hello everyone,

Today we kick off the show with more mass demonstrations in Greece on the day German chancellor Angela Merkel made a rare visit to Greece. The visit was designed to discuss Greece’s bailout plan and the austerity measures that have angered so many Greeks. Matthew Chance is live with us from the Greek capital.

Also topping the show today, the massive suicide blasts that reportedly targeted the Air Force Intelligence compound in Damascus. Experts say the AFI is considered the elite, primary intelligence agency of the Assad regime. A shadowy jihadist group called Al Nusra Front has claimed responsibility for the attack.

It is unknown how many people may have been killed or whether anti-regime detainees in the complex were hurt.

"We also fear for the lives of hundreds if not thousands of anti-government detainees that are being held in the basements of the air force security compound," said Rami Abdulrahman of the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

If this Jihadi group was able to mount a successful attack against AFI, it could be significant for two reasons: first, it means the Jihadi suicide bomb tactics used in Iraq are now becoming a more prominent weapon used by some members of the anti-Assad rebellion; second, it could constitute more than a symbolic blow to the Syrian government by damaging or destroying surveillance equipment.

A little later, we’ll take you live to Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, where former PennState football coach Jerry Sandusky was sentenced to at least 30 years in prison for sexually abusing children during his time at the university.

Plus, there’s a new poll out that is no doubt given Mitt Romney’s campaign a little spring in their step. Check out the latest Pew poll:

Oct. 4-7

Likely voters choice for president

Sept 12-16    Oct.4-7

Obama 51%   45%

Romney 43%  49%

Sampling error +/-3.4% pts.

We’ll break down these new numbers with Paul Steinhauser.

Finally, Felix Baumgartner, the Austrian skydiver whose attempt to become the first human being to break the sound barrier is scheduled to take place during the show. We’ll go live to New Mexico where Brian Todd is covering the daredevil’s jump from outer space.

See you on air,

Hala

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Filed under: Barack Obama •Felix Baumgartner •Greece •Mitt Romney •Syria •Today At The I-Desk


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October 6, 2012
Posted: 246 GMT

CNN’s Chief Political Anchor, Wolf Blitzer, came on the show today to break down the latest jobs report and how the candidates are responding.

Filed under: Barack Obama •CNN •Idesk •Mitt Romney •U.S. Elections


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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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September 24, 2012
Posted: 1655 GMT

Hello from the newsroom everyone,

Today, we are leading with the massive brawl at the Foxconn factory in northern China. Foxconn is a factory used by Apple for many of its electronic devices and by all accounts, this was a huge fight: 2,000 workers were reportedly involved in a giant outburst of violence. It took 5,000 police officers 10 hours to bring the situation under control, according to the Xinhua news agency. As many of you know, Foxconn has been the object of criticism in the past, with reports of subpar working conditions. The company issued a statement relatively quickly, blaming the violence on a “personal dispute.”  We have a report from China.

Also today, we will look at Syria and what is happening as I’m typing this at the United Nations in New York. The new UN/Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is briefing the Security Counsel in a closed door session. We will go over what was said with Richard Roth at the UN.

Later in the show, we will update you on the deadly avalanche in Nepal. We know five people were killed and another seven are still missing.

CNN’s Arwa Damon has a report on the Libyan government’s pledge to disband all non-state militia groups.

At the half hour, Wolf Blitzer joins us to discuss the latest in the U.S. presidential race. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama have been trading foreign policy barbs. Responding to Romney’s accusations that he’d exhibited weakness in the foreign policy arena, Obama told an American television network: “"If Governor Romney is suggesting that we should start another war, he should say so."

Finally, as an animal lover, I was sad to hear that the giant panda baby born in Washington September 16th had died. We still don’t know what happened, though it’s not unusual for tiny panda newborns to struggle in their first few weeks. That said, there is good news in the panda world: the little panda born in July is doing great and can be seen at www.sandiegozoo.org/pandacam.

That and all your latest weather, sport and financial news as always.

See you on air!

Hala

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Filed under: Barack Obama •China •Syria •Today At The I-Desk


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April 8, 2010
Posted: 1306 GMT

Now that Russian and U.S. leaders have signed a new nuclear arms reduction treaty, we wanted to know your thoughts:

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


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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.

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


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January 20, 2010
Posted: 1300 GMT

Filed under: Barack Obama •I-Desk Poll


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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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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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