April 22, 2009
Posted: 1728 GMT

It's on days like today that working at CNN is rewarding.

We'll be going live to Islamabad, where there are real fears that Taliban forces are nearing ever closer to the Pakistani capital.

We will also take you live to the front lines of the U.S.'s renewed effort to achieve success – however that may be defined today – in Afghanistan.

A top U.S. military official recently said that 80% of insurgent violence is now occurring in the southern part of Afghanistan. 17,000 additional American troops will be heading there in the coming months as part of the Obama administration renewed focus in that country.

Our Frederick Pleitgen followed one batallion from Iraq to Afghanistan. A real-life, tangible illustration of how America is shifting its war effort from one battleground to another.

Also today, the economy. Don't yawn yet. Just consider this number: 4.2%. That's how far the IMF says the Eurozone's economies will shrink this year. The IMF also forecasts that the world economy will shrink 1.3% this year. The worst recession since World War 2.

The last people to go thru worse economic times than us are the so-called X generation's grandparents.

I'm fascinated by today's crisis not just because of the pain it is causing in people's every day life, but because of how it might force us all to re-arrange priorities when we come out of it.

A recent study found that a majority of people polled said they will continue to spend less after the recession is over.

But the American economy is two thirds consumer spending. If just a fraction of that disappears, what will drive the world's largest economy – and the rest of the world – to grow? Will Americans have to start making things instead of buying them?

But I digress.

Also on tap today, we'll discuss the latest on whether Israel's military committed acts that could be classified as "war crimes" during its January offensive in the Gaza strip. Israel today announced it had concluded its own investigation and has cleared its military of any wrongdoing.

In today's Idesk poll, we're asking whether you think Israel is guilty of war crimes in Gaza?

That and the rest of the world's top news stories.

See you on TV!


Posted by: ,
Filed under: Today At The I-Desk

Share this on:
Umar   April 22nd, 2009 5:56 pm ET


I wish you guys would stop referring to the vicious wahhabi doctrine being enforced by the Taliban in Swat Valley as 'Islamic law'. I can assure you that Islam does not advocate blowing up girl's schools and raping and pillaging the population. These criminals are practicing thuggery under the garb of religiosity.


Gian Mario Moggio   April 22nd, 2009 7:34 pm ET

Everytime one comments on Israel risks to be accused of antisemitisim or, worse, of terrorism. It is however true, for me at least, that the state of Israel is like any other ste in the world and any individual should be free of criticizing it accordinto what he sees happening. That said it is 60 years that the State of Israel performs acts of war not always as a reaction to being attacked (how about its intervention against Egypt under command of the British during the Suez crisis) and has been responsible of crime wars always withy the support of the western world preventing any sanctions against them. This is not a justificatiof of terrorism, it is only the assesment that even your question about the Gaza bombings, is nothing else than a futile exercise letting us kinow that Israel would not give a damn about what the world thinks.
>Best regards

Sterling   April 22nd, 2009 7:40 pm ET

Q1: The U.S. never seems to figure out anything. The Taliban is attractive because the Afghani and Pakistani governments are totally corrupt instruments of rich and and powerful interests. When will the Land O'Freedom Folks learn that democracy requires something more than the U.S. supporting the latest autocrat-du-jour, which inevitably results in revolution and chaos when the people try to obtain some fundamental decency from their government. The examples as are almost too numerous to mention: Batista, Somoza, Chiang Kai-Shek, Rhee, Minh, Mobutu, Sharif , the Shah.

There was a brief period after the invasion of Afghanistan when it might have been possible to help the Afghans realize a better society. The Bush administration's attention deficit disorder and colossal incompetence put an end to that. Is America prepared for another endless war? If not, try to disable the Nukes and the F-16s and get out.

Q2: Of course Israel committed war crimes, unless you use WW II Nazi standards to judge their innocence. What was the final score? A thousand dead Palestinians per Jew? Do the Palestinians not have as many rights to protest their imprisonment as the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto?

James Hurt   April 22nd, 2009 7:40 pm ET

The question is not whether I think the IDF commited war crimes, since several impartial investigations are underway. The point is the IDF has not and cannot investigate itself. Further, if for example the UN investigation reveals evidence of war crimes, what will be done?

Meanwhile, CNN should point out that no Palestinian or even UN witnesses were allowed to testify in the IDF investigation, and that a separate Gaza war crimes brief is pending in Norway. Lastly, remind viewers that Israel banned reporters from the zone of operation.

Costa Rica

Emilijan   April 22nd, 2009 7:54 pm ET

HI and greetings from macedonia...I would like to comment on the taliban militants progress, an the so called "victory" that they are representing, to the world...We think that, as long as the taliban militants progress,and the Signed agreements are being breached,the chance, of reaching lasting peace,and prosperity, are decreased...
We are warning that the taliban militants, could put the international community, in a very difficult position, and we call on the pakistani government, to respond,or ask for U.S,and international assistance, to deal with this top security challenge in the middleast...
By the way we are working more then 24/7 everyday,on forming of our, pro US.& NATO coalition,and,in an attempt, to represent the positive image of our state,and gain international support for our country and it's people...So we thank you all a lot...We are watching u.

Amit   April 22nd, 2009 8:30 pm ET

No Hala, I don't think Israel is guitly of war crimes. The crimes committed are of those that use innocent civilans as human shield (the Hamas), that hide in houses and fire rocktes from them, that send women, or men dressed up like women to attack soldiers (the hamas), not many countries and armies pay so much attention to not risking civilan lives (and pay a high price for that in soldiers lives), Israel's main problem is that it is fighting another war, a war it cannot win, and never could – a 'war' against a very biased, pro-Arab and hostile media, that should in many many cases on one half of the story, that, create a perception, a perception that is impossible to change. CNN normally cover very objectively the news, but most other networks do not.
I live in Belgium, where for once, a local network has shown the real face of the hamas – using children as human shields, stealing humanitarian supplies from UN depots and seling them to the local population, cheging high proces for critically needed material smuggeled though their own tunnels, again to the starving population, and guess what, this network received threats from muslims living in Belgium after the show... this is a world up side down, no other way t describe it.
Hala, I enjoy very much your program, it is new and refreshing, very intersting and very well presented by you, well done !

Manuel Vilhena   April 23rd, 2009 6:45 am ET

Hello Hala,

Great program.
Looking forward to watching your programs.

Manuel, Coventry, UK

danniele   April 23rd, 2009 10:09 am ET

Hello , u all...AQbout Middle east problems,my name is danniele, and i too think that talking, is the best way to solve problems in the world...Love u...I like the dailyshow with john... Write u ...
Greetings to all, and hi macedonians...Hope ro hear from u ...bye kiss)))

Chand   April 23rd, 2009 12:56 pm ET

Taleban approaching Islamabad!
Most of the Pakistani politicians will flee the country with the money given by US for various projects and reasons.
Why do you think Pakistan Government allowed Sharia law introduction, and is allowing encroachment further into other area, because all politicians are corrupt and they want to make away with what ever wealth they could , stash it away outside Pakistan. Now there is no way for US or West to stop the spread of Taleban except very drastic action, which non of the govenments have courage to take.
What a sorry state all the policies get into when you back a govenment not for right reasons but for own short term interest. In a countries life short term could be 5 years or 50 years. Us alway supporte Pakistan fromits inception for wrong reasons and now it is time to pay for past mistakes,

The man   April 23rd, 2009 3:17 pm ET

About our allies pakistan and the tallibani threat...What i can say, at this moment is, that,ah they pause a serious threat,and now i think, that we should consider, the creative defense approach...
Now,that means,that we have to get ready, that we have to completely secure, islamabad ,and it's people, while preparing for a possible, large scale offensive,and by possible, I mean this,after the prepparements are finished, the militans should be given a choise, to leave ,or face a unified and effective response,and ultimately bring us to their,the begging of their final defeat...Thank u love u all...bye...

Unite, stay positive ...stay, with cnn

Invest in macedonia...stay u rouse...

Debbie   April 25th, 2009 6:05 pm ET

Why does America have to fight everybody else's war? We give GM 2 billion more dollars and what for? Senior citizens on social security get 250 dollars next month......WOW! That's nice, could have been more! The US economy sucks, BIG TIME. Take pictures of people out of jobs, homeless people. We need to defend our country from our borders, instead of sending our troops over to other countries, just to die. Oh, well, enough is enough. I could go on and on but I won't. Thanks for your time!

Enough   June 29th, 2009 2:02 am ET

Question: What does Pakistan get each time it is forced to fight somebody else's adventurous proxy wars? What does it get for pushing the envelope too far and hopelessly uprooting and displacing massive numbers of its own people?

Answer: More Browbeating and ridiculous demands such as "it's not doing enough”! Thanks but no thanks. . .

Leave Your Comment


Comments are moderated by CNN, in accordance with the CNN Comment Policy, and may not appear on this blog until they have been reviewed and deemed appropriate for posting. Also, due to the volume of comments we receive, not all comments will be posted.

Previous article:
Next article:

subscribe RSS Icon
About this blog

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.

Powered by VIP