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September 2nd, 2009
09:11 AM ET

Were Darfur promises for real?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/africa/08/29/sudan.peacekeeping.workers.kidnap/art.darfur.un.mission.afp.getty.jpg caption="Soldiers with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) pictured in June."]

Dave Eggers and John Prendergast
Special to CNN

We have been part of an extraordinary social phenomenon over the past four years surrounding Darfur: the development of a genuine anti-genocide people's movement. It's succeeded in cultivating a number of true champions in the political sphere, led by three former senators: Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Barack Obama.

Now that Obama, Biden and Clinton are in office, and another fierce anti-genocide advocate, Susan Rice, is in as ambassador to the United Nations, we felt there finally would be a consequence for the perpetrators of the genocide, the regime officials in Khartoum, Sudan.

But rather than the kind of tough actions the these top officials had all advocated in their previous jobs and on the campaign trail, President Obama's Sudan envoy instead began to articulate a friendly, incentives-first message that even Sudan's president, an indicted war criminal, publicly welcomed. Our chins hit the floor in disbelief, because our chins had nowhere else to go.

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Filed under: Darfur • Global 360°
September 2nd, 2009
09:00 AM ET

Dear President Obama #226: The amazing 'health care reform diet'

Reporter's Note: President Obama appears remarkably physically fit. Not a bad quality in an American president. Of course, that’s not a bad quality in an American, either. My daily letter to the president...

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2007/TRAVEL/09/06/fitness.tips/art.runner.gi.jpg]

Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

I went for an eight mile run this morning in my continuing preps for the upcoming half-marathon, and as I trotted along I was thinking. (After all, what else is there to do?) I was thinking about 20 pounds. That is about how much excess weight the average American is carrying, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In very broad terms, it’s like we’re all toting a one-year old in a backpack everywhere we go. And mind you, I said the “average” American. Considering that I know a fair number of pretty skinny people that means some folks are packing a considerably larger load than they are due even in Sansabelt land.

The CDC released some startling figures a while back: Medical care for an obese person costs about $1300 a year; eighty percent more than for a regular person. (We’ll presume regular refers to someone who is fit…not a jacket size.) And one in three adults is technically obese. You don’t need a calculator to instantly know we are spending a fortune on treating people who are simply too heavy for their own good.

I don’t want to be unfairly harsh. Many people struggle mightily to keep their weight down. Sometimes circumstances of their lives, their upbringing, and their genetics can make it so hard that they fail. I know too that I am fortunate to have been born with genes reasonably well-suited for not loading up the lbs. My parents gave me a general sense that while beans did not always taste great, I had to eat them before I could have pie. And I’ve exercised with some regularity for most of my life.

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September 2nd, 2009
08:39 AM ET
September 2nd, 2009
07:21 AM ET

Sound Off: Your comments 9/1/09

Editor's Note: “The Secret Harvest” segment last night drew strong and often emotional response from many of you.  Sharing the struggles of family members in need of transplants, many of you weighed in with stories of  experiences involving organ donors and transplants. We heard from many who are organ donors, and from many awaiting a matching donor. Some also shared their appall over this organized crime and the impact on those waiting for a chance to live. Here’s a little of what we heard from some of you. We’d love to hear more thoughts, opinions and personal stories from you:

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I was reading about the organ black market. My 16-year-old son needs a kidney and here recently our local newspaper wrote an article about him, and the fundraiser we were planning for him. After the article ran a comment was sent to the reporter saying a kidney was sale. The comment came from the Republic of Georgia)..it said to contact them at their email address...crazy...But you know what...if I could afford it I think I would buy my son his kidney. If that is what it took to make him healthy again, I would do it.

I am a live kidney donor. My kidney went to my husband. The transplant was done in 2001 and the kidney is working very well. I am not having any problems as a result of being a donor. I had to go through all the screening and see six different doctors before I could be a donor. I had to attend a group therapy as well as one on one therapy. It was hard to get approval to be a donor even though it was for my husband! I don't think my surgeon and transplant team would be easily fooled by someone being paid to donate. It could be done, but not easily.

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Filed under: Behind The Scenes
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