May 20th, 2011
08:04 PM ET

AC360 Preview: GOP senator says Obama violating War Powers Act

Editor’s note: Watch the interview with Sen. Paul here.

(CNN) - When we book guests on the show, we generally have a pretty good idea what they’re going to talk about. But every now and then, we get some surprises.

Today, a surprise came courtesy of Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky.

We wanted to talk to him about the War Powers Act and whether the Obama administration was breaking that law by participating in the NATO strikes in Libya.

Sen. Paul has been pretty adamant about the administration’s failure to comply with the law, which says that if the president starts military action, he must seek congressional approval within 60 days, or the mission will have to stop. Congress was formally notified about the airstrikes in Libya on March 21. That means at the end of today, Obama’s 60 days are up.

“We need to have a debate and let the people decide. Before we send our young men and women to war, we need to have a debate in Congress. That's the way it should be, and I'm going to do everything I can to make it so,” the Kentucky lawmaker told Anderson Cooper in an interview set to air Friday on AC360°.

Paul points out that the administration took the time to get approval from the United Nations and the Arab League to intervene in Libya, but has yet to ask Congress for its stamp of approval.

But the interview took an unexpected turn when Cooper pressed Paul on Congress’ responsibilities. That’s when the new senator unleashed some pretty harsh words about members of the House and Senate – and admitted that he sometimes wants to return his paycheck. So there is clearly a lot of pent up frustration there.

May 12th, 2011
07:07 PM ET

AC360 Preview: Syrian still speaks out about protests even after husband's arrest

New York (CNN) - The Assad regime continues to unleash waves of bloody reprisals on pro-democracy protestors in Syria, but the scale and gravity of the violence has been difficult to gauge because the country has been closed off to Western journalists. So we’ve had to rely on grainy videos uploaded on YouTube, and testimony from Syrians themselves, who at great risk to their safety, have given chilling first-hand reports.

One such person is Razan Zaytouni, a human rights activist and lawyer inside Syria. Last month, she appeared on our show, insisting that we use her real name. Asked if she were worried about her own safety, she said: “Sure, nobody is safe these days. Many of our friends are in prison now.”

Today, those fears were realized. CNN has learned that Zaytouni’s husband, Wael Hamada, also a prominent human rights activist, was arrested by Syrian authorities. The two of them had spent the last few days in hiding. Zaytouni remains on the run, but today, it seems, Hamada’s luck ran out.

Anderson Cooper just spoke with Zaytouni again. Hear the interview tonight, and watch as this courageous Syrian bear witness to the violence around her and rippling through her country.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Middle East
May 11th, 2011
09:28 PM ET

AC360 Preview: Diplomat defends Pakistan's commitment to fighting terrorism

Editor's note: Tonight on AC360°, Anderson Cooper speaks with Husain Haqqani, Pakistan's ambassador to the U.S.

(CNN) - With each passing day, new revelations about Osama bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan for years before his recent death are placing strains on the vital relationship between Pakistan and the United States.

The Pakistanis are fending off accusations that they were essentially sleeping on the job or, worse, may have been complicit in hiding the world’s most wanted terrorist. At the same time, they have accused the U.S. of violating their national sovereignty with a secret military operation in the country that hunted down bin Laden.

It hasn’t helped that Pakistani officials have been sending mixed messages on several critical issues: whether there will be a full inquiry into who knew what about bin Laden’s half decade in Pakistan, whether the U.S. can question bin Laden’s wives who are now in Pakistani custody, and whether the Pakistanis will allow China to examine the wreckage of a previously undisclosed American stealth helicopter used in the mission that killed bin Laden.

Many Americans now have their doubts about whether Pakistan can be a trusted partner in the war on terror. Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the U.S., insists that his government has been holding up its end of the bargain.

Watch Haqqani’s interview with Anderson Cooper tonight on AC360° beginning at 10 pm ET and judge for yourself whether you believe him.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Osama bin Laden • Pakistan