August 17, 2009
Posted: 1833 GMT

For those of you who thought that finding the cargo ship that disappeared three weeks ago, along with its Russian crew, would give us answers to the questions surrounding the maritime mystery, think again.

Russian authorities have confirmed that the "Artic Sea" was located off the West African coast, but have given no details on why the ship vanished for so long without communicating its location or asking for help.

Did pirates attack the crew? Did the ship intentionally cut itself off from the world? Was it transporting secret and expensive cargo? We'll go live to Moscow for more on this story with Matthew Chance.

Also today, we'll look at a disturbing Human Rights Watch report on a spate of killings of gay men in Iraq. The contents of the report didn't come as a surprise to me, having reported on homosexuality in the Middle East before, though reading descriptions of torture and execution of the most savage kind still shocked me.

The irony is that being gay in Iraq was safer under Saddam Hussein than it is now. HRW quotes witnesses as saying that security forces have targetted gay men and that some men have been killed by their own families, in what is the Middle East's most perverted justification for murder, so called "honor killings."

We're live in Baghdad for that.

Plus, we'll take you live to Wall Street for the reason behind an ugly stock sell off. Investors are once again worried that they may have been overly enthusiastic in the last few weeks. But here's something to cheer about: in the midst of all the gloom, Japan is now officially out of recession. Its economy rose in the second quarter of 2009, a few days after France and Germany announced that they snapped out of their own recessions.

And, as always, the rest of the day's top news, sports and weather stories.

See you on TV,


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Filed under: Today At The I-Desk

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Dorothee   August 17th, 2009 9:00 pm ET

Commenting on the lapidation of gays in Iraq: There are two things one shouldn't be in certain countries: A Woman and a Gay person...

Tudor alexandru   August 17th, 2009 9:12 pm ET

I would love to see hala gorani with baked beans and gunge poured over her head as she reads the news especially when she is wearing one of her nice outfits, that would be so nice

Biruzz   August 18th, 2009 3:46 am ET

Killing for honour because your son or daughter is gay or your daughters lives a life of her own is just stupid and sad.

On a lighter note that cargo ship is either:

1. Secretly transporting Osama Bin Laden;
2. Is a floating education institution secretly providing english lessons to George Bush;
3. Carrying the exclusive same old video tape of terror training camps that CNN shows every time they run a story about terror. You know the tape which the guys jumps thru the hoop and also jumps and does a kung fu swirl.

Personally I think its number 3.

alloi   August 18th, 2009 5:20 am ET

I don't believe these Iraqis, not content with the increasing number of Iraqi deaths caused by car bombs and suicide bombers, now they're killing members of their gay community. Aren't they sick of all these killings?

Osy Nkem   August 18th, 2009 7:30 am ET


How are you doing?
Your program on CNN at 9pm(CAT) is mine favorite night program followed by Connect the world and situation room,please ask Xtian to report in my country in Nigeria as we in diaspora rely on CNN to know what is happening at home.

Akim   August 18th, 2009 11:40 am ET

Tudor has baked beans for brains.

vic benedicto   August 18th, 2009 12:47 pm ET

How come CNN gives more attention to suffering gays than those innocent women and children killed by drones/airstrikes/bombs?

how about the human rights of innocent women & children.

Is it because the killing is done by the US?

Are gay rights more impt than human rights of victims of US drones/airstrikes/bombs?

Sayan Majumdar   August 18th, 2009 1:06 pm ET

The disturbing fact would be if 'Artic Sea' was chartered by ‘”private” agencies to deliver potentially hazardous cargo.


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