July 5th, 2009
09:25 PM ET

Rafsanjani doubts Iranians 'satisfied' with election aftermath

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/07/04/iran.rafsanjani/art.iran.cleric.afp.gi.jpg caption="Ex-President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, here voting in Iran on June 12, says trust has been eroded."]


A former Iranian president who backed the top opposition leader in last month's disputed elections has delivered strong and carefully worded support of the grass-roots protest movement, saying he doubts that "any wakened consciousness would be satisfied with the resulting situation."

Former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, chairman of Iran's Assembly of Experts and a supporter of opposition leader Mir Hussein Moussavi, was quoted Saturday by the semi-official Iranian Labor News Agency.

Rafsanjani, who heads the group responsible for appointing or removing the supreme leader, was silent and largely unseen during the first two chaotic weeks after the contested June 12 elections. But Rafsanjani - a key politician in the Islamic republic - has become increasingly vocal about the elections results that gave hardline incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad an overwhelming victory.

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July 5th, 2009
07:46 AM ET

The King of Pop – and polls

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/HEALTH/06/25/michael.jackson.heart.health/art.jackson.2005.gi.jpg caption="Michael Jackson, loved by millions, but not by all."]

David Puente
AC360° Producer

Get this - about half of all Americans count themselves as fans of the King of Pop. That’s what a new CNN poll released today says. It might seem right now like everyone's a Michael Jackson fan.

But it turns out there are big gender, generation, ethnic and even political gaps when it comes to who admires Michael Jackson.

Interviews for the poll were done between June 26-28, with just over 1000 adult Americans. Here are some of the results, tell us how accurate you think they are and how you compare…

Would you say you were a fan of Michael Jackson, or not?

Yes, a fan 51%

No, not a fan 49%

Of that total of fans and non-fans the results here broken down further by gender and race:

                                     Men        Women        White        Non-White

Yes, a fan                   45%         56%              42%            73%

No, not a fan             54%         43%              57%            27%

Broken down by age:

                              18- 34       35-49       50 – 64         65+

Yes, a fan             58%            62%          49%           24%

No, not a fan        42%            38%         49%           76%

Even broken down by political party:

                                                   Republican                       Democrat

Yes, a fan                                    63%                                     35%

No, not a fan                               36%                                     64%

Filed under: David Puente • Michael Jackson
July 5th, 2009
06:55 AM ET

Dear President Obama #167: Freedom of religion

Reporter's Note: I can’t imagine that President Obama has time to read letters from every Tom, Dick, and Harry…well, at least not Dick and Harry.  Nonetheless, he has asked American for input and I’m obliging with a letter a day.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/06/24/iran.invitations/art.obamaserious.gi.jpg]

Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

You must be psychic! Or I’m clairvoyant! Or between us we could bend spoons with our minds. Or, considering the subject I’m about to raise, maybe a higher power is at work. Once again, just as I was thinking of writing to you about a particular subject, you took it on!

I was about to ask when you were finally going to select a church for your family (seeing as how you already said you wanted to) when holy cow you’ve done it. As I understand it, you are going with a non-denominational place up near Camp David, huh?

Good call. As much as I wish presidents could simply choose their churches like the rest of us do (meaning, based on family history, the comfort of the pews, and the distance from our homes) I’m not naïve enough to think that is easily done in this day and time. No matter where you go, people are going to scrutinize every sermon, every song, every prayer, every collection, every Sunday School lesson, to see if there is something not…well, in religious terms…kosher. And as sure as Sarah Palin is packing the moose heads from her office, given enough time people who want to find something bad about any place of worship will succeed.