October 11, 2010
Posted: 2341 GMT
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March 24, 2010
Posted: 1720 GMT

I just turned my desktop TV to the router where the White House Press Secretary will be holding a news conference in a few minutes. We are expecting reaction to the Israeli announcement that it is building more homes in East Jerusalem, this time in an Arab neighborhood.

The announcement came as a surprise since the decision to expand another East Jerusalem settlement a few weeks ago, during a high-level visit by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, caused such diplomatic tension between American and Israel. Today's news raised even more eyebrows because it came during a visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Washington.

From the White House so far, Assistant Press Secretary Tommy Vietor said: "We've made our position on Jerusalem clear on many occasions. We believe this is a final-status issue, and that both sides should refrain from acts that could undermine trust or prejudge the outcome of negotiations. We are seeking clarification on this and other issues from the Israelis."

Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman, remained relatively tight-lipped as well, saying only that Mister Obama asked the Israeli PM to "take steps to build confidence" to achieve Middle East peace.

That's all we'll hear from the U.S. at this point, it seems.

We will be going live to Jerusalem for more on the issue. Jill Dougherty will join us for analysis from the White House. And Richard Roth from the United Nations with more on the move the Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called "provocative."

Also today, we will bring you the latest on arrest of suspected Al Qaeda terrorists in Saudi Arabia. Authorities are detaining dozens of men they say were operatives planning attacks on Saudi oil facilities, the beating heart of the Kingdom.

Frederick Pleitgen will join us to talk about Daimler's settlement with the U.S Justice Department over accusations the carmaker paid tens of millions of dollars in bribes to foreign officials in order to win contracts.

And guess who the world's richest football player is this year? it's not David Beckham anymore. We'll tell you in our World Sport segment.

All that and the rest of the day's top stories!

See you at the IDesk,


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Filed under: Israel-West Bank •Saudi Arabia •Today At The I-Desk

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March 22, 2010
Posted: 1733 GMT

Hello from the newsroom,

When Hillary Clinton appeared for a speech today at the powerful pro-Israel lobby group, AIPAC, there were fears she might get booed.

America and Israel, after all, have been having some public disagreements lately. Washington made no secret of the fact that it was insulted when Israel announced new settlements in East Jerusalem just as Vice-President Joe Biden was sitting down for dinner with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

But there were cheers from the audience the U.S. Secretary of State reaffirmed that America's "commitment to Israel's security and Israel's future is rock solid."

That said, Mrs. Clinton laced her praise with a rebuke: the status quo in the Middle East is "unsustainable," she said. The U.S does not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement building in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, she added.

The Israeli Prime Minister, who is in Washington, is scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama Tuesday. All this is taking place against the backdrop of violence in the West Bank and the death of two Palestinian teen-agers, shot during demonstrations.
Will this special relationship get back on track? If so, will Israel take some of America's advice on the settlement building issue? It sure doesn't look like it, based on Mr. Netanyahu's recent remarks.

We are live in Washington with the latest on U.S.-Israeli relations. We will also go live to Jerusalem for more on the renewed violence.

Speaking of Washington, President Obama is no doubt celebrating a major political victory today: the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday passed a major healthcare reform bill. This was the centerpiece of Mister Obama's political agenda over the last year. What does its passage say about his political power just as his ratings are dipping among the general public?

Also today, we go live to Paris for analysis of this week-end's bruising political defeat for French president Nicolas Sarkozy. His party was thrashed in week-end regional elections. If this was a referendum on Mr. Sarkozy's popularity, the French leader might consider getting a bit worried. Presidential elections in 2012 aren't that far off.

Those stories and the rest of the day's top news, business and sports headlines, as always!

See you at the IDesk,


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Filed under: Israel-West Bank •Today At The I-Desk

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March 10, 2010
Posted: 2152 GMT
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Posted: 1720 GMT

A quick note today as we prepare a very full show.

We are live in Washington off the top with a live report on President Barack Obama's meeting with Haitian President Rene Preval.

We will then take you live to Jerusalem for the latest on what some have called an "embarrassment" for U.S Vice President Joe Biden, currently on an official visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories: the announcement by Israel that it is building 1,600 more homes for Jewish Israelis in predominantly Arab East Jerusalem.

We will be talking to Israeli Government spokesperson Mark Regev at the half hour and asking him why the Israeli Interior Ministry made the announcement during Mister Biden's visit.

Jeane Meserve will bring us new developments in the case of the so-called "Jihad Jane" – a female American convert to Islam accused of trying to recruit fighter to wage "holy war."

We are also live in Kabul with more on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad to Kabul.

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

See you at the IDesk,


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Filed under: Haiti •Israel-West Bank •Today At The I-Desk

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March 9, 2010
Posted: 1746 GMT

Hello from the newsroom everyone,

The Greek Prime Minister is in Washington, D.C., the latest stop on the George Papandreou 2010 World Tour, designed to ask for a few favors to help his country out of crushing debt.

There is a very interesting piece in the Washington Post today that puts Greece's – and America's – debt problems in perspective. Dana Milbank writes that the U.S. could be in aa tight a spot as Greece in about a decade.

Greek national debt is about 113% of GDP, way more than is healthy and certainly much higher than what Eurozone rules allow for.

In his piece, Milbank notes: "If current trends persist, an American president will be doing the same thing in about 10 years. He or she will probably be in Beijing, asking for more favorable interest rates or pleading with the Chinese government to keep speculators from betting on an American default."

We will be going live to the White House to ask whether Greece will get what it wants from America, but also, why it would be in the U.S.'s best interest to give Athens a hand on this one.

Speaking of high-level meetings, the U.S. Vice President is in the Middle East this week for talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. Joe Biden is the most senior member of the Obama administration to visit the region since the U.S. President took office.

Earlier in the day, Joe Biden was expressing satisfaction that Israelis and Palestinians had agreed to indirect peace talks. But then, right before dinner, Israel said it would authorize the building of 1,600 homes for Jews in Arab East Jerusalem. Now Palestinians are saying this mean no talks are possible.

Expectations regarding peace talks for Biden's trip were extremely low to begin with. We will have the latest from Jerusalem.

Also today, we will have the latest on election result delays in Iraq, the Robert Gates tour of Afghanistan and religious and sectarian violence in Nigeria.

Plus, as always, your complete sports and weather updates.

See you at the IDesk!


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Filed under: Greece •Israel-West Bank •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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