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October 19th, 2012
10:53 PM ET

What role will Benghazi play in debate?

Ari Fleischer and Paul Begala discuss the likely topics for the upcoming presidential debate focusing on foreign policy.

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Afghanistan • Ari Fleischer • Israel • Libya • Mitt Romney • Paul Begala • President Barack Obama • Presidential Debate • Raw Politics
October 19th, 2012
10:44 PM ET

Benghazi attack: Who knew what when?

New questions about Benghazi attacks timeline. CNN National Security Contributor Fran Townsend and CNN Contributor Robert Baer discuss.

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Filed under: Fran Townsend • Libya • Robert Baer
October 19th, 2012
10:41 PM ET

Reporter talks about Libya attack suspect interview on AC360

New York Times reporter David Kirkpatrick talks about his interview with a man who was involved in the Benghazi attack.

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Filed under: Benghazi • David Kirkpatrick • Libya
October 19th, 2012
10:39 PM ET

KTH: New details in Benghazi attack

There are new details in the timeline of the Benghazi attack on the U.S. Embassy.

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Filed under: Keeping Them Honest • Libya
October 19th, 2012
10:21 PM ET

Joe Walsh's abortion claim incites anger

Illinois Republican Representative Joe Walsh stated his abortion views while battling for re-election which has outraged some.

During a debate with Democratic opponent Tammy Duckworth hosted by CNN affiliate WTTW Rep. Walsh stated, "I am pro-life without exception. Understand though that when we talk about exceptions we talk about rape, incest, health of a woman, life of a woman. Life of a woman is not an exception."

At a press conference after the debate, Walsh was asked to clarify his comments and seemed to suggest medical advances made dangerous pregnancies rare. Walsh stated, "There's no such exception as life of the mother, and as far as health of the mother, same thing, with advances in science and technology. Health of the mother has been, has become a tool for abortions any time under any reason."

California Rep. Jackie Speier spoke out on the House of Representatives floor in 2011 to talk about an abortion she needed to save her life.

Tonight on AC360 she responds with outrage over Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh's comments.

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Filed under: Abortion • Raw Politics • Rep. Jackie Speier • Rep. Joe Walsh
October 19th, 2012
05:24 PM ET

Letters to the President #1369: 'Funny Business'

Reporter's Note: President Obama and Mitt Romney both spoke at a big, comedy-themed fundraising dinner last night. I was not invited. Not sure why. You know I write a lot of letters to the president. You’d think I might be on the guest list…

Dear Mr. President,

This morning I listened to your comments at the big dinner last night; Governor Romney’s too, and I must say that you were both pretty funny. Frankly, I found it much more entertaining than any of the debates so far.

What I was most impressed by was that each of you did a good job delivering comedic lines. That’s not a small trick. I know that each of you had teams of writers to develop your material, but heck, so do David Letterman and Jay Leno. Even if you have great material on paper, making it funny on the fly is a different matter.

Many people like to say, “I just can’t remember jokes,” but honestly, even if they could, they would not be able to tell them. Telling a joke well requires a certain type of intelligence, empathy, a sense of drama, a wonderful grasp of the fundamentals of writing, and ultimately…as always noted…timing, timing, timing.

I love jokes. I know far more than anyone should. I know so many that friends ask for them; “Tell me one of those Boudreaux jokes,” or “I need a joke to start a speech. What do you have?” And I have come to believe the ability to tell a joke reflects well on leadership skills. When you crack a joke, you are leading an audience into a certain premise, a chain of events, and a payoff.

So congratulations to both you and the governor. You both passed the joke test with flying colors. Now, if you can just inject a little of that levity into your debates…well, then you’ll really have something!

Give me a call if you have a few minutes. I’m around all day. Feeling a little under the weather, but happy to talk.

Regards,
Tom

October 19th, 2012
12:01 PM ET

CNN Heroes Top 10: Razia Jan

Razia Jan is fighting to educate girls in rural Afghanistan, where terrorists will stop at nothing to keep them from learning.

Despite the threat of violence, Jan continues to open the doors of her Zabuli Education Center. She and her team are providing a free education to about 350 girls, many of whom would not normally have access to school.

CNN asked Jan for her thoughts on being chosen as one of the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2012.

CNN: Where were you when you got the call that you'd been selected as a top 10 CNN Hero?

Razia Jan: I was in Bamiyan (an Afghan town northwest of Kabul) when I got a call in my room.

I could not believe my ears. I started to cry, then I felt a great joy, and I started to laugh. I started to jump up and down.

It is the greatest honor to be among these selfless human beings.

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Filed under: CNN Heroes