September 28, 2012
Posted: 2334 GMT

Mona Eltahawy, the columnist arrested as she defaced a “Defeat Jihad” poster in a New York subway came on the show today to defend her actions. She said she would do it all over again because she acted "out of a belief in freedom of expression.”

Filed under: CNN •Idesk •Mona Eltahawy

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Posted: 1718 GMT

Bo Xilai has been expelled from the Communist Party and relieved of his duties.

Hello everyone,

Today we’ll bring you the latest from China on the dramatic fall from grace of former Communist party star Bo Xilai. We learned today he will be thrown out of the party and will face a variety of criminal charges. This come a little over a month before the once a decade Party Congress in China where a crucial leadership transition will take place.

Also today, don’t miss our interview with George Lopez of Notre Dame University. He’s a UN adviser and top sanctions expert. I’ll ask him what he thinks can pressure the Assad regime in Syria to change course. Are sanctions the answer anymore? Did they ever work?

Richard Quest will join me to talk about an independent audit just released in Spain on the real cost of rescuing Spanish banks, crumbling under the weight of the debt crisis in the Eurozone. We’ll also tell you how markets are reacting to the announcement on this last trading day of the week.

Also, you’ll want to tune in for my interview with Egyptian-American activist Mona Eltahawy. She made a name for herself as a commentator on the Egyptian revolution in an outspoken style that has made her a familiar face on U.S. television over the last couple of years. But she was in the new for another reason this: she was arrested for spray painting an ad equating critics of Israel to “savages” in the New York subway, sparking debate about the best way to respond to racist attack ads.

Tune in for that and more at 1pm EST/7pm CET on CNN International.

See you on air!


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Filed under: China •Debt Crisis •Mona Eltahawy •Syria •Today At The I-Desk •UNGA

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September 27, 2012
Posted: 2033 GMT

The spokesman for UN envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, came on the show and stressed how focused the envoy is on the crisis in Syria. Watch to see how he responds when asked for a specific plan of action or a specific time table.

Filed under: CNN •Idesk •Syria •UNGA

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Posted: 2030 GMT

Today we continue our in depth look at the crisis in Syria with CNN’s Ivan Watson. He reports from a refugee camp on the border of Syria and Turkey where people are desperately trying to gain access to Turkey.

Filed under: CNN •Idesk •Syria •UNGA

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Posted: 1710 GMT

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, center, arrives at the United Nations on Tuesday.

Hello from the newsroom,

Today we will be bringing you the latest from the UNGA. The big headliners du jour: Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Abbas is expected to reiterate the Palestinian’s request for the United Nations to upgrade their status to a "non-member observer state". Netanyahu (who we learned today will speak with US President Barack Obama in the telephone) is expected to again draw what he has called a “red line” over Iran’s nuclear program.

Today, as we do every Thursday, we will take an in-depth look at the Syrian conflict. By any standard, even for those who’ve gotten used to daily triple digit death tolls, what happened yesterday in Syria was shocking: almost 350 people were reportedly killed in a single day. A death toll inflated by reports of yet another massacre of civilians in a village near Damascus.

We are expecting to speak to Lakhdar Brahimi’s spokesperson Ahmad Fawzi from the United Nations. I will ask him to expand on what the joint UN/Arab League envoy told reporters after a closed door Security Council session earlier this week. Brahimi has said he doesn’t yet have a final plan to solve the crisis. He also said that without a unified Security Council, his mandate is essentially meaningless. Should Syrians expect anything from Brahimi after his predecessor Kofi Annan’s plan failed so resoundingly?

Also today, we will take you live to Madrid where Spain’s government just announced a drastically slimmed down budget for 2013. There’ve been massive anti-austerity demonstrations in that country, as well as in Greece. Both countries need to make some very painful budget cuts in order to tackle a debt crisis that is threatening their economies and their membership in the Eurozone. Full coverage plus all the market reaction to the announcement.

We’ll have that and all the day’s other top stories, as always.

Hope you can join us!


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Filed under: Debt Crisis •Israel •Palestine •Syria •UNGA

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September 26, 2012
Posted: 2258 GMT

Many people are worried about the effects of cell phone radiation on the brain and the debate continues. CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, came on the show today to talk about the latest research and precautions you can take everyday.

Filed under: CNN •Health •Idesk

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Posted: 1719 GMT

Today on the show, we will take you live to the Athens and Madrid where mass anti-austerity demonstrations are taking place. In Greece, we saw protesters clash with police. In Madrid, tens of thousands poured out onto the streets to signal their frustration with the Spanish government’s pledge to make deep budget cuts.

We will also go live to New York for more on some of the most anticipated speeches of the day. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Egyptian president Mohammed Morsy both addressed the general assembly hall in New York.

Nick Paton Walsh will bring us the latest on a twin bomb blast targeting the military’s headquarters in Damascus. This is the deadliest and most strategically important hit for the FSA since a bomb blast killed top security officials in the Syrian capital last July. All the while, Syrians continue to die every single day at an alarming rate. Today alone, activist networks report more than 200 Syrians were killed across the country.

There’s a new poll giving U.S. President Barack Obama a sizeable lead in key swing states Ohio and Florida. At this stage, Republican challenger Mitt Romney has to be thinking hard about what to do to help him rebound in states he knows he can’t win the presidency without in November. CNN’s Mark Preston joins me live from Washington to break down the last numbers.

See you on air at 1pm EST/7pm CET


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Filed under: Ahmadinejad •Syria •UNGA

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Posted: 019 GMT

Doctors and scientists are currently trying to identify and treat a new "mystery" virus that has already claimed one life. CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen visited the show today to explain what we do know.

Filed under: CNN •Health

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September 25, 2012
Posted: 1751 GMT

Hello everyone,

Today, we will start the show off live from New York, where the United Nations General Assembly is officially under way. We will break down the speeches so far, including U.S. President Barack Obama’s address. He paid tribute to American ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, killed in an attack on the U.S. consulate last September 11th and expanded on the notion that the assault wasn’t an assault on America only, but on universal democratic ideals.

What were your thoughts on Barack Obama’s UNGA speech? Tweet me @HalaGorani

Also, today, we will run Bill Neely’s must-watch report from the frontline in Homs. He is following regime snipers and soldiers as they battle rebels in a street by street stalemate in Syria’s third largest city. I don’t recognize the images in Neely’s piece as Homs at all. The scenes are of the aftermath of an unimaginably brutal, violent war.

Nick Paton Walsh will join me live for a look at Save The Children’s report on the child victims of the Syrian conflict.

Here is an excerpt:

“I knew a boy called Ala’a. He was only six years old. He didn’t

understand what was happening. I’d say that six-year-old boy was

tortured more than anyone else in the room. He wasn’t given food

or water for three days, and he was so weak he used to faint all the

time. He was beaten regularly. I watched him die. He only survived

for three days and then he simply died. He was terrified all the time.

They treated his body as though he was a dog.”

Wael, 16

The testimonials in the organization’s report are extremely hard to read. You can find them here:

Also today, Elizabeth Cohen joins us on the discovery of a new virus that can be extremely deadly. It has already sickened two men in the Arabian Gulf.

Plus, CNN’s Chief U.S. Correspondent John King joins us for a look at U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speech in New York at the Clinton Global Initiative. Where does Romney stand in the race? We’ll break down the numbers.

And, as always, the latest weather, sport and business headlines.

See you on air!


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Filed under: Chris Stevens •Syria •Today At The I-Desk •UNGA

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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

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

See you on air!


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

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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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