July 30, 2009
Posted: 1613 GMT

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July 29, 2009
Posted: 1452 GMT

Hello again, everyone...

First of all, Isha Sesay is pulling double-duty today. So, she'll be presenting both editions of the I-Desk.

On today's rundown, we're expecting to go live to Nigeria, where the bloodshed continues. Hundreds are dead. And, there does not seem to be any end in sight.

Also, a HUGE online search coup by Microsoft and Yahoo. The two major internet companies are joining forces. So, what does that mean for you? And, what does it mean for Google, which has dominated online searches in recent years? Our Correspondent, Nicole Lapin, is joining us to help figure things out.

Speaking of the internet, there's an on-going debate raging online about Pres. Barack Obama's birthplace. By all accounts, he was born in Hawaii in 1961. In fact, we have the updated computer printout of his "certificate of live birth" from Hawaii, to prove it. BUT, opponents on the right are raising questions about the legitimacy of those documents. They claim Mr. Obama was born in Kenya, which according to the U.S. Constitution, would not make him eligible to become president. We're bringing you both sides of this heated debate... and, we invite you to comment on it below.

That's it... See you tonight, at the I-Desk.

J the P

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Posted: 1446 GMT

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July 28, 2009
Posted: 2253 GMT

Sorry for the late posting... It's been a busy day at the I-Desk.

As all of you saw, Michael made his return. Tomorrow (Wed), Isha Sesay is performing double-duty; and, she'll be hosting both editions of the International Desk.

Today, we started with a horrific tragedy that continues to unfold in the northern region of Nigeria. At last count, more than 400 people have been killed in the two-day-old rash of violence. A curfew is in effect. The military is on the ground. But, the bloodshed continues. Our Christian Purefoy joined us live from Lagos with the latest... and, he'll continue to monitor the situation.

Then, throughout the programme, we took you to London, Baghdad, New York, Washington, Los Angeles, North Carolina, and Bangkok. Like I said - a BUSY day!

At the end, a couple light and fun stories, including: Italy's winning lottery numbers, which had just been picked, and are worth about $150 MILLION. I wish I had a ticket! Then, the UK government is urging civil servants to use Twitter. Yes, the government wants you to "tweet". Go figure.

That's a quick wrap-up of Tuesday at the I-Desk... We'll see you on Wednesday with Isha.

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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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July 23, 2009
Posted: 1809 GMT


The easiest – though not always the most accurate – way to determine whether there is a sense the economy is rebounding, is to track the movements of a major stock market index.

Today, the Dow Jones burst throught the 9,000 mark and will most probably close at an eight-month high. It's a psychological barrier and, once broken, gives us clues as to whether investors believe the global economy is bottoming out.

Of course, on the road to recovery, there are ups and downs. A few weeks ago, there was optimism too, but it was soon folllowed by another sell-off. Today, however, encouraging earnings reports and not too shabby economic indicators are giving investors new reasons to buy back into the market.

After several blue chip companies surprised the market with better than expected earnings, some even raising their full-year forecasts, a real estate group is now saying that month-on-month sales of previously occupied homes rose more than expected in June.

We will go live to the New York Stock Exchange for more on the Dow's jump with Susan Lisovicz. Don't forget to vote in our poll today: "Do you think the global economy is bottoming out?" We will compare today's results with a May 5th idesk poll and see if you are more or less optimistic on the economy going forward.

Also today, we'll speak with Jill Dougherty about the heated rhetoric between the United States and North Korea. The back-and-forth is starting to sound downright childish: two days after the US secretary of State said the North Koreans were acting like "unruly teenagers," Pyonyang fired back saying Clinton "sometimes looks like a primary schoolgirl and sometimes like a pensioner going shopping."

Where will the war of words go next?

Plus we'll look at reports that one of Osama Bin Laden's sons may have been killed by a U.S. airstrike earlier this year. The information comes from an American counter-terrorism official quoted in reports. Nic Robertson will bring us the latest on that story.

We will again go to Honduras, for the latest on the soap opera drama playing out between deposed Honduran president Mauel Zelaya and the military backed government that through him out of the country. Talks to resolve the crisis have failed. Zelaya is pledging to return to Honduras today even though his opponents have said they will not allow him in. Karl Penhaul has the latest on the story.

That, and the rest of the day's top stories as always.


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Posted: 1721 GMT

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July 22, 2009
Posted: 1804 GMT


Iraqi Prime Minster Nouri Al-Maliki is in Washington today. He is in the United States in a push to assert Iraq's independence from the United States and to court foreign investors.

A few weeks after U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq's cities and towns, back to their sprawling bases, Nouri Al-Maliki wants the world to see Iraq as its own country, not America's client state.

The problem is that violence has spiked in the last few months in Iraq and sectarian tensions, though they have softened, are still percolating under the surface. Oh, and a national law establishing the division of resources from Iraq's potentially massive oil revenue still hasn't been passed by parliament.

Invest in Iraq? At your own risk.

We will take you live to the news conference, and live to Baghdad for more on today's violence across the country.

I expect most of the show will be taken up by the Obama-Maliki White House news conference, but if time permits, we will discuss Amnesty International's latest report blasting Saudi Arabia for "gross" human rights abuses in its campaign against terrorism.

Amnesty says Saudi routinely denies terrorism suspects basic human rights.

Nic Robertson goes through the report and asks Saudi officials for their reaction. We hope to talk to Nic live, as well.

We are also planning on bringing you the latest from Iran and the day's earnings reports on Wall Street.

Hope to see you at the Idesk!


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Posted: 1712 GMT

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July 21, 2009
Posted: 1750 GMT

We are live in Afghanistan again today with the latest on Taliban attacks on coalition positions in the eastern part of the country. The crucial battle between international forces and Taliban elements continues. And the conflict isn't just military, it's economic.

Choking the Taliban supply routes for weapons and men is essential: coalition forces are bombing poppy fields to halt the flow of drug money funding insurgent activity. Ivan Watson is in Helmand province, embedded with the U.S. troops on the frontlines of the battle and will bring us the latest.

Also today, we have reports of fresh clashes between opposition demonstrators and security forces in Tehran. Reza Sayah is at our Iran Desk and will tell us what happened. We also have new video to show you of militiamen apprently cracking down on protestors.

We will take you live to Jerusalem as well, where Israeli government officials say they have an "indisputable right" to continue to build Jewish homes in the Eastern, Arab part of the city. This goes directly against what the Obama adminstration, the EU and Russia say they want.

Plus, Guillermo and I will chat about the upcoming total solar eclipse. We have a team of correspondents fanned out across the eclipe's path covering the "once in a blue moon" event.

On a lighter note,'s Nicole Lapin will join me in the studio with a list of the five most germ-infested tourist attractions. Have you ever visited Oscar Wilde's tomb in Paris or strolled across Saint Mark's square in Venice? We'll tell you why these two locations made TripAdvisor's top 5 "germiest" tourist spots.

Plus the day's latest weather, sport and market news.

See you on TV!


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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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