September 1st, 2010
12:45 PM ET

New video shows trapped Chilean miners in good spirits

Karl Penhaul and Esprit Smith

Copiapo, Chile (CNN) - A new video by trapped miners in Chile shows them in good spirits, with shaved faces, wearing new clothes and sleeping on camp beds.

The nearly 23-minute video, made available to families Tuesday, was shown to reporters Wednesday.

In it, some of the 33 miners are seen wearing red T-shirts, blue shorts with white stripes and calf-length rubber boots.

More video: Trapped miners, families remain hopeful

There aren't enough camp beds for all the miners yet, so the oldest among them get first preference, the men said.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • Karl Penhaul
September 1st, 2010
12:37 PM ET

Hurricane warning issued as Earl approaches East Coast

CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - Hurricane Earl made its presence known Wednesday despite being hundreds of miles from the East Coast of the U.S., menacing swimmers with dangerous rip currents and large swells as forecasters expanded a hurricane watch northward from North Carolina into coastal Virginia.

More video: Rip currents threaten swimmers

Mandatory evacuation orders were issued for Ocracoke Island, on North Carolina's Outer Banks, and Cape Lookout National Seashore, as well as for visitors to Hatteras Island.

Earl lost some of its punch early Wednesday and was downgraded to a Category 3 storm, with maximum sustained winds near 125 mph (200 kph). However, it was still a major hurricane, and forecasters said more fluctuations in intensity were possible in the next 48 hours. Tracking maps show Earl approaching the North Carolina coast early Friday as a Category 3 storm.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • Weather
September 1st, 2010
10:22 AM ET

Letters to the President #590: 'Leaving Iraq'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: President Obama spoke last night about the end of the combat mission in Iraq. I listened and wrote my daily letter to the White House.

Dear Mr. President,

Happy to hear about the progress in Iraq. I know a great many Americans have been waiting a long time for this, and if it truly signals a milestone in that conflict, that is wonderful news. You deserve a good word for following through on your commitment. (I know that some people will quibble about the notion that President Bush pretty much set the time line for withdrawal before he left, and you really didn’t alter it much, and on and on…but let’s just leave it where it is for now.)

That said you may detect a trace of skepticism in my tone. And that’s because we still have 50,000 troops over there and I’m not convinced that the people who want to hurt them are necessarily going to change their plans just because we no longer call it a combat mission. Remember one of the chief problems we had over there for a long time (and presumably still) is that our enemies don’t exactly play by the rules.

And after all, many young Americans spent some pretty scary days in Vietnam calling themselves “advisors.” As best I can tell, advisors get shot at just as easily as combat troops. Maybe easier. And of course we still have Afghanistan flapping in the breeze, which is a dangerous place whether we are making progress or not, and frankly that seems pretty murky at the moment.

September 1st, 2010
09:48 AM ET
September 1st, 2010
09:42 AM ET

TN mosque rep says project’s opponent is an 'extremist'

Martina Stewart
AC360° Digital Producer

(CNN) – Just days after the FBI suggested a suspicious fire at the future site of a Tennessee Islamic center had been set deliberately, a spokeswoman for the center used the religiously charged term “extremist” to hit back at an opponent of the project.

In a taped interview that aired Tuesday on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360°, Laurie Cardoza-Moore said she opposes the construction of an Islamic center in Murfreesboro, because an online posting by one of the center’s board members suggested a radical agenda and raised broader questions about the judgment and the ties of the center’s leadership.

“There has to be some due diligence done on the associations and the ties of the leaders,” Cardoza-Moore said. “That is what we are calling into question. We’ve done the research and now we’re asking questions.”

Cardoza-Moore specifically pointed to a posting on the MySpace page of one of the center’s board members and to ties between the imam of the Murfreesboro mosque and another mosque in Texas.

“That’s it?,” CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked Cardoza-Moore.

“That’s enough. That is enough,” she responded. “It’s not about their religion. It never has been. It’s about stopping the advancement of radical Islam in the United States of America and in our community.”

In a live interview that followed Cardoza-Moore’s sit-down with Cooper, a representative of the Tennessee mosque sought to turn the tables on Cardoza-Moore.

“To me, it seems like she is the extremist at this point,” said Camie Ayash, spokeswoman for the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro. “She’s the one going around the United States lobbying against Islamic centers throughout all of the United States. It’s not just the ones in Murfreesboro. So, she’s the one who’s terrorizing our community. She’s trying to plant doubt and fear within our community.”

Filed under: Islam • Martina Stewart
September 1st, 2010
09:37 AM ET
September 1st, 2010
09:05 AM ET
September 1st, 2010
07:00 AM ET

Is Mideast peace a bridge too far?

Dave Schechter
CNN Senior National Editor

When I was younger, I was fairly confident that Israel and its Palestinian Arab neighbors could create an environment and structures that would provide security and preserve dignity on both sides of a border. Sad to say, but now I am doubtful about that prospect in my lifetime.

Having lived and worked in the region, I would be pleased if my pessimism is proved wrong. But opportunities have come and gone. In the past 20 years alone, the “peace process” has included stops in Madrid, Oslo, Wye River and Camp David.

Next up: The White House, as President Obama hosts Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Along as chaperones of a sort will be Jordanian King Abdullah, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (as envoy for the Mideast “quartet” comprised of the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia). Bi-lateral talks between President Obama and the other leaders on Wednesday will be followed by a dinner. Thursday the focus shifts to the State Department and direct talks between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas.

Over the years, I’ve become less optimistic about such high-level efforts and more impressed with lower-level, people-to-people initiatives. Among these admirable efforts are Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, the Israeli village where Jews and Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel live together; Seeds of Peace, with its Middle East programs and international camp in Otisfield, Maine, a summer respite for Israeli and Arab youth, and the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, located on a kibbutz in the Negev Dessert, where Israelis and Arabs live, study and work together on projects that recognize the environment has no borders. These groups and others similarly motivated are pushing a boulder up a very steep hill. Any incident (Tuesday’s shooting in the West Bank that killed four Israelis, including a pregnant woman, for example) can send that rock rolling backwards.

Filed under: David Schechter • Middle East • Opinion
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