CNN State Department Producer
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has a simple answer to Republican criticism over President Obama's foreign policies: In effect, she said, sorry, we won.
Secretary Clinton testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, in her first appearance since being confirmed. Much of it was a love fest in which many her former Democratic colleagues in the Congress praised the Obama administration's new tone in setting foreign policy, calling Clinton "a breath of fresh air" and an "extraordinary secretary of state" who is "destined to be one of our nation's finest, finest diplomats."
But Clinton faced tough questions from some Republican lawmakers. And she gave as good as she got, with a few digs at the Bush administration thrown in for good measure.
On Venezuela, Rep Mike Pence (R-IND) said the photo of President Obama last week smiling with President Chavez at the Summit of the Americas sent the wrong signal. Clinton told the panel that she found the obession with the photo "rather amusing," but Pence aruged the leader of the free world seen laughing with a "virulent anti-American socialist dictator" could be demoralizing to oppressed people around the world fighting for freedom.
CNN Senior Executive Producer
That icicle hanging beneath BJ Kirschhoffer's nose is exactly what you think it is. Polar Bear researchers officially call them snotsicles. And it's what you get when it's about 50 below zero and you're outside for eight hours straight. The mission is to record what few have ever witnessed: hibernating Polar Bears emerging from their dens with their cubs. Human beings are not made to survive in 50 below zero. Neither are video cameras. But the ingenuity of BJ Kirschhoffer, Director of Field Operations for Polar Bears International, and the research team at Brigham Young University, helped capture one of the most remarkable scenes you'll ever see in the natural world. You can view it exclusively on CNN by clicking to the rest of this story.
TALES FROM THE CRYPT
When someone begins a sentence with the words: "Most dens I've been in ..." you know you're talking to a Polar Bear expert. The expert, in this case, is Tom Smith of Brigham Young. He describes Polar Bears as “highly honed seal killing machines” whose dens are like “crypts,” as small as three feet tall, four feet wide, and five feet long. This for an animal that is a couple of feet taller and as much as three times heavier than Shaquille O’Neal.
Chef and Author
My mom from the Greek island of Ikaria lived to 95. My Ikarian aunt on my dad’s side to 95 and my husband’s paternal Ikarian grandmother to 98. It never occurred to me that as a family we were beating the odds. Until, that is, I stumbled on to Dan Beuttner’s book The Blue Zones, about why some people in the world live extraordinarily long and healthy lives.
I was at a friend’s in San Francisco. It was Election Eve 2008 and the air was electric. Before falling to sleep I skimmed the book, then, quite by chance the next day got an email from one of Dan’s assistants, who wanted some information on Ikaria. What I had always taken for granted—my roots on this small, remote island, the simple delicious foods I’d always tasted there during the summers of my childhood, the agrarian routines that seemed so exotic to my New York sensibilities—was suddenly important in the eyes of the “outside” world.
Tonight on AC360°, our secrets to a long life series continues. We told you how sex and naps could help you live longer. Tonight, how not only what you eat, but HOW you eat it is a key ingredient to sticking around longer.
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Taliban fighters are on the move in Pakistan. They've seized a vital part of the country, only 60 miles from Islamabad. Their commander says they have a crucial goal: enforce Islamic Sharia law. There are reports the Taliban have warned barbers to stop shaving men's beards and stores to stop selling movies and music. Sounds similar to life in Afghanistan when the Taliban was once in total control there, doesn't?
In a phone interview with CNN's Ivan Watson a Taliban spokesman said anyone who disagreed with their rule was a non-Muslim. He also said Osama bin Laden would be welcomed in Taliban-controlled areas of Pakistan.
This come after the Pakistani government signed a peace deal last week with a pro-Taliban cleric, Sufi Mohammed, allowing Shari law to be imposed in the Swat valley of Pakistan. But now they're pushing away from that area and setting their sights on the Bunder district. Many people who live in Bunder are afraid to the speak to reporters, because of possible retaliation.
Today U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talked about the crisis on Capitol Hill, telling lawmakers the Taliban in Pakistan "poses a mortal threat to the security and safety of our country and the world." After all, Pakistan has nuclear weapons.
What do you think Pakistan and the U.S. should do about this bold new threat?
Sound off below.
We'll have more on this story and tonight's other headlines starting at 10pm ET.
See you then!
CNN Senior Middle East Affairs Editor
I have no clue how Day 2 of the UN Anti-racism conference in Geneva went. Reporting about the conference itself is scarce, almost non-existent. There is, however, a whole lot of reaction to a speech in which Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Israel a “racist regime.” And, this is keeping the media across the Middle East and the world very busy. It took one speech to turn the world’s focus from racism to a race to condemn or condone the controversial Iranian leader.
From Israel, the response was swift, direct and angry. Israeli newspapers flashed headlines such as “Thank you, from Israel” as they reported on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s gratitude to states that “shunned the UN conference” and those who “walked out on Ahmadinejad.”
Israeli media also showed video of a verbal assault by members of the Iranian delegation to Durban II against Nobel Prize Laureate and Holocaust survivor Eli Wiesel. In the video, Iranians are heard calling Mr. Wiesel a “Zio-Nazi.”
There were also reports highlighting Knesset member Reuven Rivlin who sent letters to his counterparts around the world warning them of “Hitler’s return.” This time he has a beard and speaks Persian the letter reportedly said.
David Gewirtz | BIO
Editor-in-Chief, ZATZ Publishing
It used to be spying was hands-on. To turn someone into an Aldrich Ames, you had to tempt them with money or revenge or ideology, promise them sex or catch them at it. Today's spies are less like a real-life James Bond and more like Lewis Skolnick from "Revenge of the Nerds".
Today's master spies don't wear tuxedos and play baccarat. Instead, they wear sweatpants and play Halo (and, hopefully, shower at least a few times each week). And while old-school spies were trained in all sorts of physical feats, from high-altitude skydiving to deep-sea scuba, today's master spy's most physical activity is walking back from the fridge while balancing a drink and a snack.
James Bond had a license to kill. Today's spies are geeks who can write code and they could well be far more dangerous than any Cold War spymaster ever was.
Stolen fighter jet plans
Yesterday, CNN producers Mike Mount and Eric Marrapodi published an article about an apparent theft of ultra-confidential Pentagon information on the U.S. military's hottest new advanced fighter jet. They reported that not only had thousands of documents been stolen over the last few years, but spies got into the U.S. Air Force's air traffic control system and were able to see where our military aircraft were at any given time, while actually in flight.
I’ve got three wonderful kids between the ages of two and seven, but they make a mess. Okay, my wife and I also contribute, but we never collected this much garbage before we had kids.
I swear we end up filling our trash and recycle bins to the very top each and every day. I guess I never think of where all this garbage goes, I only try to do our part and make sure our paper, cans, bottles, etc. get to the bins where they’re supposed to be recycled. Sadly, for me, that’s where it ends. I feel like I’ve done my part.
A very good friend and colleague Bill Kirkos at CNN feels very differently. He took a year off from his paid newsgathering duties and studied the trash issue putting together an eye-opening documentary, “Trashed.” Most of us touch on an issue when covering stories, but get moved on to the next story so quickly that you hardly have the time you would like to dedicate yourself to the things that you cover.
Bill sunk his own money into his project and has since returned to the newsroom working as a freelance producer with us at CNN. Some of these figures from the EPA and other noted sources got him motivated to check out what’s going on after we dump our trash.
Tonight we'll be looking into Miss California's response to Perez Hilton's question about same-sex marriage.
On Sunday night during the Miss USA pageant, Miss California, Carrie Prejean, answered a question regarding same-sex marriage. Since then there's been a lot of conversation about her answer. Roland Martin is applauding Miss California for being honest.
Do you have questions for Roland about the issue ? Text them and Roland will answer them on the program tonight.
Text AC and your name, location and question to 94553!