Jill Dougherty | Bio
Foreign Affairs Correspondent
When it comes to Russia, the Obama administration has been talking about “pressing the reset button.” It’s meant to symbolize a possible new start in U.S./Russian relations that “crashed” after Russian invaded Georgia last August.
So when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton greeted Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva before sitting down to their working dinner in Geneva she was all smiles when she presented him a small green box with a ribbon.
Lavrov opened it and, inside, there was a red button with the Russian word “peregruzka” printed on it.
CNN Foreign Affairs Editor
As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has a big plane, the official seal of the Secretary on the door, a bed and easy chair aboard. She doesn't appear to be sleeping much but she doesn't look tired. Aides say she's digesting more briefing books, in addition to the thousand of pages of backgrounders she boned up on for her confirmation hearing about a month ago. She also deliberately planned this trip to be intense, they say, that's how she likes to travel.
On this leg of the trip en route to Tokyo she came back to the section of the plane where the journalists sit (near the galley where the crew makes the meals) to take some questions. Planes are noisy places to talk so her aides set up a mini-speaker system with a microphone so that she – and the questioners – can be heard. We set our tape recorders in front of the speakers to make sure we get the quotes right. No one stumped her.
Watch Jill Doughtery report on the status of the Iraqi shoe-thrower.
Jill Dougherty | Bio
U.S. Affairs Correspondent
It’s 7 a.m. on a cold Thanksgiving morning and 500 volunteers at Food & Friends already are at work wrapping up turkey dinners – 3,000 of them. A whole roast turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, green beans and three pies.
Another team of volunteers picks up the boxes and heads for their cars to deliver the dinners to Food and Friends’ clients: people with few financial resources and many health challenges, including HIV/Aids and cancer.
For twenty years, Food and Friends has been providing them with nutritionally balanced meals, three per day, delivered six days a week – for free. “People are making difficult choices in this community between paying for their medical care and eating,” says Craig Shniderman, executive director, “and the job of Food & Friends is to make sure that, for our clients at least, they don't have to make that choice.”
What does the Russian leadership really think about Barack Obama? At the start of a day-long conference in Washington, D.C. on Russia-U.S. relations I pull aside a friend, a Moscow political analyst. Some Russians are intrigued by Obama, he tells me, surprised by his win, but ultimately they think Obama’s policy on Russia won’t be that different from George W. Bush’s. The “Washington establishment,” they believe, is just too strong.
The experts gathered here by the American Enterprise Institute are Russian, American, Western European and Eastern European. They advise presidents, presidential candidates, prime ministers. Many of them have spent significant time in Russia. They live and breathe Russia. Few of them are optimistic.
“Integrating Russia into the West on the West’s terms is dead,” says Thomas Graham of Kissinger Associates. Barack Obama needs a new goal, in Graham’s opinion, but it won’t be easy. The world is now in a “period of great uncertainty of unknown duration,” Graham says. There is a new global equilibrium resulting from the end of the Cold War but it’s notable how little this influences our ideas on Russia, Graham says: “It’s still a “zero-sum, Cold War paradigm.”
How did that happen?
Six years ago, Aliaksei Karol was returning at night from a forum of democracy activists in Lithuania. “He was hit from behind with some heavy object, fainted and came to his senses in a puddle of blood,” says Zhanna Litvina, chair of the Belarusian Association of Journalists. There was an investigation but Karol’s attackers were never found.
Karol, the 63 year old editor-in-chief of the Belarus weekly newspaper Novy Chas, knows the price journalists in his country pay for telling the truth. Belarus, headed by President Alexander Lukashenko, is often called “Europe’s last dictatorship” and there’s good reason.
The sun is up on a new and different America and people are moving slowly along the front of the Newseum, the sleek new museum of journalism, reading newspaper front pages from around the world. The Newseum gets 600 of them every day, via internet, in PDF form. They print them up the size of real newspapers and post approximately 80 of them in glass-covered cases in front of the building and inside.
This morning the headlines are huge and so are the color photos: “It’s Obama” the Chicago Tribune trumpets. “Obama Makes History” exclaims the Washington Post. “Change has come,” announces the Cleveland Plain Dealer. There’s a frontpage from South Korea, from Germany, from Brazil and if there’s one word you can find in almost every story it’s “historic.”
An African-American grandmother approaches with her young granddaughter, pointing and explaining what happened last night. A man from Asia walks along, snapping pictures of every single headline. A college girl with blond hair poses in front of one of the newspapers, smiling and flashing a thumbs up.
Jill Dougherty | Bio
U.S. Affairs Correspondent
Ten-year-old Gabriel Kane thinks Barack Obama is “really cool.” “Because he looks kinda like me,” Gabriel tells me. “And if he's elected, I feel like I could be elected too.”
Gabriel isn’t running for president, at least not yet, but he has some other things in common with this year’s Democratic candidate: like Obama’s father, Gabriel’s mother is from Kenya. Both of Gabriel’s parents went to Harvard Law School, just like Barack and Michelle Obama.
Gabriel and his parents, along with his two sisters, live in Arlington, Virginia and they are watching this election carefully. His father, Bill Kane, a government lawyer from Rochester, New York, says “it's just blowing me away, actually.”
Veronica, 13, knows, win or lose, Obama’s candidacy is historic. “Through the whole thing I just keep getting this image of me telling my grandchildren or someone – I was there!” But, she adds, “I don't really relate to him solely on the fact that he's, like, half-black, half-white like me. I'm very impressed with everything that he does, you know? He’s a very smart person and you hear him speak and you get really inspired.”
It’s 6:30 a.m., still dark outside, as the men, along with a few women, line up outside of Western Presbyterian Church in the affluent Washington, D.C. neighborhood of Foggy Bottom. They are homeless, many carrying plastic bags with their belongings. As the doors to the church basement open, they file in, the smell of breakfast wafting up to the street.
On the menu this morning: scrambled eggs, salad, biscuits and gravy, grits and a fruit smoothie made from fresh apples, bananas, strawberries and honey. “Good morning,” one of the young volunteers behind the counter near the kitchen says. “Would you like some grits?” The customers point to what they want, then move to tables where they sit down to enjoy it.
Miriam’s Kitchen has been providing meals and other services to the homeless for 25 years. It’s been at its current location since 1994. Their client list is growing; this past September, its director says, 20% more people came for breakfast than during the same month last year. In 2007 the Kitchen served almost 53,000 meals.
“Is American-style free-market capitalism dead?” That’s the question I’m asking students in the economics class of Professor Robert M. Dunn, Jr. of the George Washington University.
Bank nationalizations, bailouts, more government control – doesn’t Washington’s proposed solution to the economic meltdown undermine the United States’ free-wheeling free market approach?
Grant Tudor, a third-year student, doesn’t think capitalism is dead but he does think it's going to look a lot different. "Because I think we've grown up in a system where it's very laissez-faire, he says. "Now, government will have a much heavier hand and it's not going to be such a black/white picture between big government and small government and big markets and regulated markets. I think there's going to be a strong mix between the two.”
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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