June 17th, 2009
11:38 AM ET

Young Iranians hoped for more reasons to party

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/17/art.puente.iran.party.jpg caption="A picture of people at the party David Puente attended in Washington, D.C."]

David Puente
AC360° producer

I normally travel to Washington DC for work, not for parties.

I've been to the White House for an interview with Bill Clinton when he was president and I returned several times during George W. Bush's administration. I was there for Barack Obama's inauguration and most recently I went to report on which DC church the Obama family may choose to attend.

But this past weekend I went to Washington for a birthday party.  I'm writing about it for two reasons; first it was my good friend's 25th birthday party, Jacquelyn Puente, (no relation), who works for a public affairs firm and supports various conservative causes in the Beltway.

She is a charismatic, up and coming Latina who can out-debate policy types twice her age. She also knows how to throw a party. It was an over-the-top Miami Vice-themed night and most of the guests ended up in the heated outdoor swimming pool, (some in underwear, others in designer dresses/some of us dove in, many were thrown in).

But more importantly, I'm writing about the party because so many of the guests, including Jackie's husband Robert Fardi, are young Iranians, or of Iranian descent, who work and live in the US now.


Filed under: 360° Radar • David Puente • Iran • Middle East
June 17th, 2009
10:47 AM ET

Iran’s impact on Mideast peace

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/06/17/iran.elections.rallies/art.rallymon.afp.gi.jpg caption="Iranian opposition supporters protest in Tehran on Monday in the largest demonstrations there in 30 years."]

Parag Khanna
Special to CNN

With a recount announced for the Iranian election, and opposition candidate Mir Hossein Moussavi demanding a fresh election, the political situation in Iran remains on a knife's edge.

We're witnessing the mobilizing power of anti-incumbent forces, particularly youth, who are fed up, and the role of technology in getting voters to the ballot boxes and out on the street.

The Iranian drama has upstaged the recent Lebanese elections in which the U.S.-backed, Sunni-led March 14 coalition won a resounding victory over the increasingly politically active Hezbollah.

Both events, however, point to setbacks for what many have perceived as a Shiite axis of Iran and Hezbollah to undermine American interests throughout the Mideast. For this reason, Arab publics are fixated on the events in Tehran as much as Americans are.

Turkey appears to be the only country that has so far accepted the Iranian election results. The Obama administration, meanwhile, has clearly signaled that it considers the first-round results fraudulent, but has also praised the "vigorous debate" going on within Iran. This has so far proven to be an uncontroversial line.

Keep reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Iran • Middle East
June 17th, 2009
10:38 AM ET
June 17th, 2009
09:12 AM ET

Morning Buzz: To Legalize Pot, or Not

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/HEALTH/05/28/addiction.costs/art.marijuana.gi.jpg]

Penny Manis
AC360° Senior Producer

Demonstrations are planned in Iran following Friday’s disputed election. Journalists have been told to stay in their hotel rooms, and the situation continues to be tense and volatile. The Iranian government is jamming cell phone lines and radio transmissions, as many of the images and 'word from the street' is now coming out via the internet.

We'll follow developments and tell you more about Mir Hossein Moussavi, the opposition candidate, who is at the center is of this storm. Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour and Reza Sayeh, our reporter in Tehran, join us tonight.

It’s a busy day for President Obama at the White House. He will lay out a new set of regulatory measures aimed at preventing another financial crisis. We want details! The President will also sign a memorandum extending government benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.


Filed under: Penny Manis • The Buzz
June 17th, 2009
08:58 AM ET

Dear President Obama #149: To intervene or not to intervene ... that is the question

Reporter's Note: President Barack Obama continues to keep a breakneck schedule of policy meetings, pow wows with foreign leaders, and presumably the odd pickup basketball game. And yet he has not rescinded his call for advice from Americans on how to make the country better. So as long as there is still hope that he will be reading, I will continue writing my letter a day to the White House.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/06/16/iran.elections.protests/art.tehran.tues.afp.gi.jpg caption="Al-Alam footage shows Ahmadinejad supporters rallying Tuesday in central Tehran. "]

Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

Well, the kettle certainly seems to be boiling in Iran! Those massive protests over the presidential vote are pretty darn captivating to watch, and I would guess worrisome too: Some protesters saying the election was rigged to keep Ahmadinejad in, others saying a legitimate vote is being attacked in an unfair attempt to throw him out, and you…well, not saying much.

I been following the blasts you are taking for not speaking out more strongly on the whole affair. While some of your critics want you to say unequivocally that the election was a fraud, I understand your reticence to do so. Maybe political analysts, pundits, and less powerful leaders can throw their opinions around like bread crumbs, but if they are wrong no one will really care. If you, however, make a wrong pronouncement, I’m sure you’ll never hear the end of it. Kind of like me with my wife the time I tried to “fix” the sink. (And btw, I suspect the Iranians would see you as meddling in their affairs no matter what you said, and that’s never been a popular tune on the old Ayatollah jukebox.)


June 17th, 2009
08:45 AM ET
June 17th, 2009
08:00 AM ET

Video: Legalize pot?

and add the link to the video.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Anderson Cooper
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