June 16th, 2009
11:55 AM ET
June 16th, 2009
11:47 AM ET

Iran bans foreign journalists from covering rallies

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/06/16/iran.journalists.banned/art.iran.protest.afp.gi.jpg caption="Supporters of Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Moussavi protest Monday in Tehran."]


Iran's government Tuesday banned foreign media from covering rallies in Tehran being held in the wake of last week's disputed presidential election.

The decision comes after video footage emerged showing violence at demonstrations in support of opposition leader Mir Hossein Moussavi.

Moussavi has contested the results of Friday's election, which showed an overwhelming victory for hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Moussavi's supporters have taken to the streets, often clashing with police and Ahmadinejad's backers.

Iran's government had criticized some of the media coverage and images, describing them as biased.

International news outlets, including CNN, can talk about rallies in their live reports, but they are not allowed to leave their hotel rooms and offices.

Iranian government-run television, which was not affected by the restrictions, aired live coverage of Tuesday's rally in support of Ahmadinejad, whose supporters crowded the streets of central Tehran.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Iran
June 16th, 2009
11:18 AM ET
June 16th, 2009
10:48 AM ET

7 things Sarah Palin must do now

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/06/12/palin/art.palin.sitroom.cnn.jpg caption="Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin disagrees with President Obama's plan to grow government too quickly."]
Roger Simon

Sarah Palin can be the Republican nominee in 2012. I am not saying she will be, but she can be.

Those who underestimate her do so at their own risk. She projects a tough but warm personality. Her most famous line — “You know what they say the difference is between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick!” — reflects that. She is a conservative in an increasingly conservative party.

And though the McCain-Palin ticket went down to defeat in 2008, she has not faded away. In fact, she showed last week how easy it is for her to dominate the news cycle.

She attacked David Letterman last Wednesday for making what she called a “crude, sexist, perverted” joke about her daughter, and by Friday she was being interviewed by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and spending far more time talking about energy policy, the deficit, Israel and North Korea than about David Letterman.

True, her approval rating as governor of Alaska has dropped to 54 percent, her lowest ever, but it is not that far below Barack Obama’s national approval rating of 62 percent.


Filed under: 360° Radar
June 16th, 2009
10:45 AM ET

Obama can succeed in Mideast

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/05/art.getty.obama.jpg]

Julian E. Zelizer and Melissa Lerner
Special to CNN

At a time when the Obama administration is dealing with a barely stable economy while trying to address long-term health care, two wars, the environment and the threat of terrorism, many ask whether it is wise for President Obama to try to resolve a problem that has frustrated so many presidents before him.

With the latest events in Iran, there is even more reason for skepticism that progress towards Arab-Israeli peace is possible.

Despite conventional wisdom, when presidents have become personally active in shaping American policy in the region and resolved to make the Mideast conflict a top priority, they've often succeeded in improving Arab-Israeli relations.

Jimmy Carter oversaw the Camp David Accords, which resulted in the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty that secured calm between the two countries for three decades.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Iran • Israel • Middle East • Palestine • President Barack Obama
June 16th, 2009
10:44 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Is there pot in your park?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/16/art.pot.marijuana.garden.crew.credit.jpg caption="Randi Kaye, producer Susan Chun and our crew traveled with police officials as they discovered and destroyed a marijuana garden in California."]

Penny Manis
AC360° Senior Producer

Our series titled, “America’s High: The Case For and Against Pot” continues. Dan Simon talks to a doctor who prescribes marijuana to patients for medicinal purposes. He explains which of his patients are candidates and the process for obtaining this type of treatment. All it takes is a doctor’s letter and a driver’s license!

Approximately 80% of all marijuana grown in CA comes from National Forests or National Parks. Randi Kaye rides with police officials to hunt down these “marijuana gardens” and discovers 7000 marijuana plants with a street value of $3.5 million! She had quite an interesting experience on this shoot, and you may have seen pictures of her on our blog w/the plants. Reporters find themselves in interesting locations sometimes, lol.

We learned something about the Anderson fans yesterday…you all love talking about pot! We hope you appreciate these reports tonight.


Filed under: Penny Manis • The Buzz
June 16th, 2009
09:45 AM ET

Dear President #148: The health care contract with America

Reporter's Note: I never much cared for writing letters until President Obama said he wanted advice from Americans. Now, my predilection for giving suggestions has overwhelmed my reticence about authoring missives, to the tune of one letter a day to the White House.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/06/15/obama.ama/art.obama.health.cnn.jpg caption="The AMA agrees with Obama on the need for health care reform but not how to go about it."]

Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

A friend had an excellent suggestion this weekend as we dined on some delicious Cuban food, and after watching you try to sell the American Medical Association on your health care reform plans today, I feel there is not a moment to waste in passing it on. Those doctors seemed free enough with the applause, but I suspect keeping your plans on track is going to take more than just a roomful of warm stethoscopes and cold hands.

So here is the idea: Get everyone who supports you in Congress, everyone in your administration, and especially all of your Cabinet members, to join you in publicly signing a pledge that, if your plan is approved, they and their families will use only the health services available to normal Americans under that plan.

In other words, no special treatment. No calling in to say, “Well, yes, I know you have no appointments available until August, but you understand this is for Senator Croquet-Mallets.” No going around the front desk at the hospital to say, “Of course the Secretary’s son can stay in the waiting room with all of those sick people, but the Secretary is very busy. Did I mention the Secretary is involved?”


June 16th, 2009
08:53 AM ET
June 16th, 2009
08:15 AM ET

The changing fight in Pakistan

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/06/16/pakistan.taliban.robertson/art.pakistan.robertson.jpg caption="Authorities beefed up security of sensitive locations in Punjab province after a suicide attack."]

Nic Robertson
CNN Senior International Correspondent

Every time I come to Pakistan these days I see more security.

This time is no exception. On the road from the airport to my hotel I counted nearly a dozen police checkpoints. Two years ago, there were none.

Some police run thorough checks, look inside the trunk, under the hood, peer inside the back of the car, even open the window and ask if I'm OK - apparently concerned I might be an unwilling passenger, a kidnap victim being taken away. Other police posts are lax, waving traffic through with nothing more than a cursory glance.

It would be foolish to think these are an effective defense against a determined bomber. Indeed, the traffic jams caused by some stop and searches are themselves a target for attackers who seem as willing to murder civilians as they are soldiers, policemen and politicians.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Nic Robertson • Pakistan
June 16th, 2009
07:30 AM ET
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