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July 2nd, 2009
10:36 AM ET

Six reasons why Iran cannot be explained in a Twitter feed

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/07/02/iran.information/art.iran.internet.afp.gi.jpg caption="Access to some social networking sites has been blocked in Iran since the June 12 election"]
Jalal Ghazi
New America Media

The world’s attention is on Iran. But the rhetoric of reformists vs. conservatives and students vs. mullahs cannot capture the complexity of what is happening on the streets of Tehran. Here are six reasons why the situation in Iran cannot be reduced to simplistic headlines or Twitter feeds.

First, the post-election crisis in Iran is not only a reflection of divisions between conservatives and reformers. Perhaps more importantly, it has brought divisions within the conservatives to the forefront.

“It is true that most of the armed forces, especially the Revolutionary Guards and the Basij, support the Supreme Leader and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but the decision making in Iran is not exclusive to these two men,” said human rights activist Ghanim Jawad on the London-based (ANB-TV) Arab News Broadcast. He pointed to a “vertical division,” not only within the government but also within the society.

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Filed under: Iran • Twitter
July 2nd, 2009
10:31 AM ET

Obama meets his match in Russia?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/04/01/u.s.russia.nuclear/art.obama.dmitry.afp.gi.jpg caption="Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and President Obama talk on April 1 in London."]
Paul Starobin
Special to CNN

Barack Obama often seems to have much of the planet at his feet in rapt attention to his every word.

But the president as global oracle is about to meet his stony match - in the vast and barren place that proved a graveyard for Napoleon and that has an ingrained suspicion of foreigners as an abiding quality of its cultural DNA.

That place, of course, is Russia, which Obama plans to visit this month. The president will find a Kremlin amenable to doing business with him on traditional diplomatic matters like reducing nuclear weapons stockpiles, so long as Moscow is convinced the deal is an even one.

But if Obama, more ambitiously, hopes to win over the hearts of the Russian people - along the lines of his recent Cairo address, pitched over the heads of the governments of the Islamic world and straight at their citizenry - he can expect to leave disappointed.

Keep reading...


Filed under: 360° Radar • Russia
July 2nd, 2009
10:28 AM ET

Dear President Obama #164: Not another Michael Jackson story

Reporter's Note: President Obama has not said much about Michael Jackson, which distinguishes him from pretty much everyone else in America. I’m saying plenty, however, in my daily letters to the White House.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/07/01/michael.jackson.worth/art.jacksonworth.gi.jpg]

Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

Want to guess how many e-mails I received about Michael Jackson by 4 o’clock this afternoon? More than a hundred! You could chase Kim Jong-Il across the Korean peninsula with a ping pong paddle and I wouldn’t get that many updates. Unbelievable. One of the greatest weaknesses in my sense of judgment (and there is a lot of competition for that trophy) is my tendency to underestimate the public’s interest in celebrities, and how we, the media, will react to that.

This nationwide tendency for star gazing is worse now (or better, depending on your point of view) than I’ve ever known it before. And you know who I blame? Tanya Harding. That’s right, the figure skater.

Back when she and her thuggy pals tried to break Nancy Kerrigan’s knee to thin the competition at the Olympics, I was dispatched to Oregon to chase down the elusive Tanya. So around 2 in the morning, I and a large mob of newsfolks found ourselves huddled in the dark outside of a shopping mall/ice rink where she was practicing, calculating our odds of getting a statement as she left. As it was, she slipped out a back door, we never saw her, and I rode back to my hotel thinking, “This is a bad sign.” It was the first time I felt like my profession had utterly caved to public “interest” versus public “importance.” Come to think of it, I guess that wasn’t really Tanya’s fault.

FULL POST

July 2nd, 2009
10:26 AM ET

Let's end disposable marriage

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/LIVING/07/02/sears.family.divorce/art.sears.family.jpg caption="Leah Ward Sears, with her brothers William Thomas (Tommy) Sears, left, and Michael Sears."]
Leah Ward Sears
Special to CNN

After Tommy's sudden death, we found among my brother's personal effects a questionnaire he had completed in 2005 for a church class.

The very first question was a fill-in-the-blank that went like this: "At the end of my life, I'd love to be able to look back and know I'd done something about ....."

"Fathers," Tommy wrote.

When asked to identify something that angered him that could be changed, Tommy wrote, "Re-establishment of equity and balance and sanity within the American family."

My brother was born to be a father, and he grew into a good and loving one. Tommy was tall and handsome, smart, witty and fun. A graduate of the Naval Academy and a Stanford-educated lawyer, he married and fathered a little girl and boy who were the center of his life.

Keep reading...


Filed under: 360° Radar
July 2nd, 2009
08:48 AM ET

Photo Gallery: AC360° reports from LA

Anderson Cooper and Randi Kaye on the roof of CNN's Los Angeles bureau.

Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta prepare for AC360°.

FULL POST


Filed under: 360° Radar • Behind The Scenes
July 2nd, 2009
07:32 AM ET
July 2nd, 2009
07:00 AM ET

Sound Off: Your comments 7/1/09

Editor's Note: Our Michael Jackson coverage was a major topic of discussion among our Wednesday night AC360° viewers. Questions were raised by viewers about nurse Cherilyn Lee and Jackson’s doctor and their involvement at the end. Others feel too much time has been spent on Jackson, requesting coverage of other world news.

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I have a need to know why the Doctor didn’t at least try to call 911. Surely the police know where high profile people live. Why didn’t the person making the call, use Michael’s name. And why did the doctor leave Michel and stop doing CPR to find someone. And why did the doctor disappear after Michael was pronounced dead. We didn't hear anything for 2 days about the Dr. was he hiding for some reason. I feel uneasy about the Doctor.

Why would Michael need a heart specialist instead of a regular doctor on staff if he never had heart problems?

I can't believe the Jackson family would have gone in to the rented house to remove his personal items & leave drugs in the house. I think someone else may have put those drugs there. I don't believe the Nurse claiming Michael asked her for one of the drugs supposedly found in his house.

I am loyal CNN viewer, but am appalled at how much coverage you have given Michael Jackson's death. Tonight, you actually did a story on the chimp he used to own! How insulting for viewers who are tuning in to find out the latest on important topics such as health care reform and the revolution in Iran. Please, please start covering the real news.

FULL POST


Filed under: Behind The Scenes
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