April 3, 2009
Posted: 1504 GMT

Hello everyone,

This will be quick. I've been studying every stop of President Obama's Strasbourg/Baden Baden visits. It's stage two of his first international trip as president and if one thing is clear, it's that Mister Obama is still a rock star in Europe.

He held a town hall type meeting with an audience of mainly students from French and German universities. Holding a microphone, relaxed, in a setting reminiscent of the presidential campaign days, he was cheered and adored by thousands. Fans scrambled for autogrpahs on the german side of the border before his meeting with Angela Merkel.

Sure there are pressing issues: Afghanistan, an imminent rocket launch in North Korea, the global economic meltdown. But if anything comes out of Obama's trip so far it's the difference in the tone and the relationship between the United States and its allies. We'll be exploring that angle on the I-Desk today.

We'll be taking you live to Strasbourg, France and to Germany. Barack Obama had one-on-ones with the leaders of France and Germany and there will be a working dinner tonight with NATO heads of state on the German side of the border.

We'll also be discussing the March jobless numbers in the United States. They are dismal, but, importantly, they are not worse than expected. Markets are all about expectations.

It's like thinking a tornado would rip your house right out  of its foundations and send it smashing into a building but coming home to find that only the windows were shattered and the roof shorn off. You'd feel ok about that, right? Ok, you'd feel relieved, at least.

We'll go live to New York to discuss the figures.

And make sure to tune into our live report with Kabul correspondent Atia Abawi. We'll discuss the NATO summit and I'll also be asking her about a controversial new law on sex within marriage, signed by President Hamid Karzai, that critics say legalizes spousal rape.

Also on tap: North Korea's imminent rocket launch and Madonna's adoption application rejected by a judge in Malawi.

Back to work for me. See you on TV,


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Filed under: Today At The I-Desk

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Nam(South Korea,Busan)   April 3rd, 2009 3:53 pm ET

It's very difficult to understand the North Korea.

But we will unite someday.

Rahul anand   April 3rd, 2009 4:54 pm ET

I really love the show nd speclly miss hala gorani ,she is doing a great job nd has a great presence on the screen.
Good luck nd god bless.

Rahul Anand
Delhi India.

ziggy   April 3rd, 2009 4:57 pm ET

I think the Judge was right be rejecting Madam Madona's application. Just because you are rich does not mean you can come to Africa and pick any child. Have you people thought of what kind of values and norms Madona will inculcate in these African Children? We Africans see her as a strange person and the boy she adopted should be questioned on how she treats him. So it is not about having money. Who is the real Madona and what kind of children does she have especially her son, before you give her the poor defenceless little girl.

DZB   April 3rd, 2009 7:54 pm ET

Great show today.

Baden Baden, Germany? Never heard of it.

Manuel Vilhena   April 4th, 2009 7:28 pm ET

Hello Hala,

I am really not jeolous of Obama's agenda.
Wishing him strenght.

Best wishes,

Coventry, UK

justin vogel   April 5th, 2009 3:50 pm ET

Instead of giving $$ to GM, why dont they give that $ to working families that have paid taxes for at lease 10 years. And make a law that they can only and I mean only spend it on new cars that are great for the world. So if you think about it the car company gets the $ back in their pocket and saves jobs not just save jobs but make jobs all over. It would make jobs even in auto part stores. And then the familly that gets the $ for the new car should give one of there old cars back for scrap that would once again make more jobs but the best thing of all it helps out on pollution and Global Warming.

Franky   April 5th, 2009 9:45 pm ET

I gotta say, your International team does a pretty cool job, it is. A lot of attention is being put up on, huh? It is pretty different, and I also think my boy is at Turkey today, that's a new thing for sure. It'll be interesting what kind of tone and language he uses, so far his trips have been good, nothing spectacular, to say the least. Because if there was one thing that's important in all of this is that the world, finally got the memo and they have responded pretty well.

Pretty good job, pretty good...

Marc   April 6th, 2009 4:14 pm ET

French national, living in Belgium, having lived in England for more than 20 years, I have discovered a new President of the United-States that has at last the guts, the elegance, the charisma to achieve a hell of job : reunite the world economy and the worl humanity !! Let's at least encourage him !!!!

Derek, Qingdao   April 6th, 2009 4:19 pm ET

President Obama is repairing the damage done by W in relations not only with the Muslim world, but also with the French and Germans. An intriguing combination of not only style and substance, but also of intellect, ethics and application, he appears to recognise the benefits of listening and adapting, rather than bullying and ignoring others, as we have come to expect from the US in recent times.

And he gave the Queen of England an iPod. I dare say Prince Harry will be kept busy explaining to her how to use it every weekend, may keep him out of trouble!

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