Big-name speeches at the U.N. We've got the raw rhetoric mixed with raw politics. Pres. Bush's former speechwriter speaks out and shares what his ex-boss thought of Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton and candidate Obama. Plus, actor John Travolta shares heartbreaking details on the death of his son Jett in court. Find out why he's in the middle of a legal fight. It's all part of our "Prime Suspects" series.
Want to know what else we're covering? Read EVENING BUZZ
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[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/23/art.sanjay.sick.jpg caption="Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who contracted H1N1 in Afghanistan, receives treatment."]
Dr. Sanjay Gupta | BIO
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent
It started as a cough. It wasn’t the kind of cough where something is temporarily stuck in your throat. It wasn’t the kind of cough where simply clearing your throat would’ve been adequate. This was the kind of cough that hurts when you do it. A stinging pain that makes you wince and guard and hope that you don’t have to cough again any time soon.
I thought I might have a fever, but of course, I was in the middle of covering a war in Afghanistan, and the conditions were… well, hot. So, maybe it was that. Problem was, the next day I wasn’t feeling any better – in fact, I was worse. I woke up in my dusty desert tent and tried to step out of my sleeping bag. Two steps later, I almost hit the deck. Incoming. Except this wasn’t due to any sirens going off, this was due to my own body simply being unable to hold myself up. I was lightheaded and freezing cold – even though it was over 100 degrees outside at that early hour of the morning.
I was nauseated and my entire body hurt. I tried to explain away my symptoms with lots of different excuses. You don’t sleep much while covering a war. My bulletproof jacket didn’t fit perfectly and was very heavy. There was a lot of dust and dirt, and maybe I had what the Marines referred to as the Kandahar Krud. It turned out to be none of those things.
Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more about the addresses of Libyan Leader Moammar Ghadafi and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is in New York attending the United Nations General Assembly. His visit has provoked protests around the country.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/09/23/un.general.assembly.meet/art.gadhafi.un.gi.jpg caption= "Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi addresses the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday."]
It was a wild day at the United Nations. Three big speeches. Three very different views on our world.
President Obama spoke for the first time at the U.N. But what has everyone talking are the speeches by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. There were a lot of empty seats when Gadhafi and Ahmadinejad had their turn at the mike. Many delegates didn't want to hear them speak.
Colonel Gadhafi spoke for a rambling 96 minutes. Here are some of Gadhafi's key points:
– The U.N. Security Council should be called the "terror council."
– H1N1/Swine flu is a military tool and a weapon of proliferation.
– The Taliban should be able to form an Islamic emirate and not be an enemy, just like the Vatican.
– U.N. headquarters should be moved outside New York so that everyone does not have to deal with U.S. Security.
That's not all. He also talked about the assassination of Pres. Kennedy and more. We'll have the highlights for you.
We'll also dig deeper on Ahmadinejad's message to the world just a couple hours ago. He covered everything from the world economy to Israel and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Iranian leader also had some choice words aimed at the U.N.
Pres. Obama seemed to scold the U.N., as well. "The United Nations can either be a place where we bicker about outdated grievances, or forge common ground; a place where we focus on what drives us apart, or what brings us together," Mr. Obama said.
He also made it clear he's nothing like his predecessor, former president George W. Bush.
"Every nation must know: America will live its values and we will lead by example," Pres. Obama said.
What do you think of the U.N. speeches? Share your thoughts below.
Join us for this story and much more starting at 10pm ET. See you then!
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/01/27/ew.review.springsteen/art.springsteen.gi.jpg caption="Bruce Springsteen turns 60-years-old today."]
CNN Senior National Editor
Happy Birthday to Bruce Springsteen, 60-years-young today.
I bought two tickets when Springsteen came to Atlanta back in April.
Having rocked at one of his shows here several months earlier, I gave these tickets to my teenagers, so that my daughter and son could experience “The Boss” and the E Street Band in concert.
I’ve had that pleasure several times, dating back to September 20, 1975 in Darby Gym at Grinnell College.
That was less than a month after release of the album “Born to Run” and five weeks before Springsteen simultaneously landed on the covers of TIME and Newsweek, back when that was a big deal.
So what was he doing in a small town in Iowa when rock-and-roll stardom beckoned?
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/09/23/obama.un/art.obama.un.wed.afp.gi.jpg caption="President Obama addresses the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday."]
World Public Opinion.org
A new WorldPublicOpinion.org poll of Iranians finds that six in 10 favor restoration of diplomatic relations between their country and the United States, a stance that is directly at odds with the position the Iranian government has held for three decades. A similar number favor direct talks.
However, Iranians do not appear to share the international infatuation with Barack Obama. Only 16 percent say that have confidence in him to do the right thing in world affairs. This is lower than any of the 20 countries polled by WPO on this question in the spring. Despite his recent speech in Cairo, where Obama stressed that he respects Islam, only a quarter of Iranians are convinced he does. And three in four (77%) continue to have an unfavorable view of the United States government.
"While the majority of Iranian people are ready to do business with Obama, they show little trust in him," says Steven Kull, director of WPO.
At the same time, there are some signs of softening. Trust in Obama is three times higher than the 6 percent of Iranians who expressed confidence in George W. Bush in a 2008 WPO poll. Unfavorable views of the United States government are down 8 points from the 85 percent unfavorable views in 2008 (WPO).
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/09/18/iran.moussavi.quds/art.ahmadinejad.afp.gi.jpg caption="Iranian President Ahmadinejad addresses a Friday prayer sermon at Tehran University on Quds (Jerusalem) Day."]
World Public Opinion.org
A new WorldPublicOpinion.org poll finds that two-thirds of Iranians would favor their government precluding the development of nuclear weapons in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions against Iran.
Only one-third would be ready to halt enrichment in exchange for lifting sanctions. However, another third, while insisting on continuing enrichment, would agree to grant international inspectors unrestricted access to nuclear facilities to ensure that that there are no bomb-making activities.
The WPO poll also finds that six in 10 Iranians believe that economic sanctions, imposed by the United States and the United Nations over fears that Iran's nuclear program might produce an atomic weapon, are having a negative impact. Seven in 10 say they believe sanctions will be tightened if Iran continues its current nuclear program.
Steven Kull, director of WPO, comments: "Though most Iranians are feeling the bite of economic sanctions and expect them to tighten, only a third are willing to negotiate away the right to enrich uranium. However, two-thirds are willing to make a deal that would preclude the development of nuclear weapons."
Program Note: Tune in tonight to watch our weeklong series on Prime Suspects and how one cold case was solved. AC360° 10 p.m. ET.
Tonight, as part of our weeklong series on prime suspects, we follow up on a case involving a man – commonly known as the West Side rapist – who was accused of preying on elderly women. We speak to detectives in California who were able to track down the alleged killer through meticulous DNA testing.
John Floyd Thomas Jr. is charged with murdering a 69-year-old woman in California in 1972, and a 67-year-old woman in Westchester in 1976. So how did they find him? Tune in tonight.
But this isn't the only cold case investigators are still trying to solve. Go here to see a list of the FBI's unsolved investigations.
Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption and our staff will join in too. Tune in tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite! Here is the 'Beat 360°' pic:
Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi holds an unidentified booklet while delivering an address to the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters September 23, 2009 in New York City.
Have fun with it. We're looking forward to your captions! Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.
UPDATE BEAT 360º WINNERS
"Ok, ok. I’ll take back that whole “terror council” thing if you validate parking."
"Can someone explain to me who are the fashion police??? And why they gave me a ticket???"