April 13th, 2009
07:48 PM ET
5 years ago

Challenges await potential U.S. prosecution of surviving pirate

The US-flagged container ship Maersk Alabama and its American crew, seized by Somali pirates, docked Sunday in Kenya.
The US-flagged container ship Maersk Alabama and its American crew, seized by Somali pirates, docked Sunday in Kenya.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Federal law enforcement authorities are discussing what to do with the lone surviving pirate captured Sunday off the Somalia coast as a successful military rescue operation abruptly ended a five-day hostage standoff at sea.

U.S. government officials are weighing potential legal hurdles they may face if the young Somali captive is flown to New York or Washington to face federal criminal charges, according to sources familiar with the case.

Officially, the government is virtually mum on the discussions.

"The Justice Department continues to review the evidence and other issues to determine whether to seek prosecution of this individual in the United States," said Dean Boyd, spokesman for the Justice Department National Security Division.

Sources who asked not to be identified because they are not authorized to discuss the matter said the detained Somali youth remains in military custody, but is likely to be turned over eventually to the FBI for transport to the United States.

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Filed under: Extra • piracy
April 13th, 2009
07:30 PM ET
5 years ago

Panel says Franken should be declared winner

Coleman suffered a legal setback Monday.
Coleman suffered a legal setback Monday.

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - A three-judge panel ruled Monday against Republican Norm Coleman in his dispute with Democrat Al Franken over who should be declared the winner of the U.S. Senate race in Minnesota.

The judges determined that "Franken is entitled to receive the certificate of election" after defeating Coleman by 312 votes.

Coleman has 10 days to appeal the 68-page ruling to the state Supreme Court.

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Filed under: Al Franken • Norm Coleman
April 13th, 2009
06:28 PM ET
3 years ago

Activists gear up for national 'Tax Day Tea Party'

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Legions of small-government, anti-tax activists around the country are mobilizing for a second wave of nationwide "Tea Party" demonstrations on Wednesday to protest the fiscal policies of the Obama administration.

Frustrated conservatives are expected to gather in towns and cities from Pensacola to Portland on April 15 for a national "Tax Day Tea Party" that organizers hope will send a message to Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill that the president's spending plans are putting the country on a potentially ruinous economic path.

Several GOP congressmen and other prominent Republicans like South Carolina governor Mark Sanford and former House speaker Newt Gingrich are speaking at rallies around the country.

Georgia Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, the chairman of the conservative House Republican Study Committee, said he has plans to speak to at least two Tea Party rallies in his state on Wednesday. He called the gatherings "a visible display of concern and frustration and angst about the direction of the nation."

"I think these Tea Parties answer the question for many folks, 'What can we do?'," Price said.

Keith Appell, a Republican strategist who has been working with some of the Nationwide Tea Party organizers, said that the president's spending plans - a $787 stimulus package, a publicly-financed plan to help distressed mortgages, and a series of cash infusions for financial firms - have sparked "a backlash at the grassroots level."

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Filed under: Tea Party movement
April 13th, 2009
06:20 PM ET
5 years ago

Podcast: President Obama battles pirates

CNN=Politics Daily is The Best Political Podcast from The Best Political Team.
CNN=Politics Daily is The Best Political Podcast from The Best Political Team.

(CNN) – In the latest installment of CNN=Politics Daily, President Obama goes head-to-head with pirates. After a sea captain's dramatic rescue off the coast of Somalia, the president vows to crackdown on pirates and hold them accountable for their crimes. CNN White House Correspondent Dan Lothian has the commander-in-chief's reaction to the daring sniper operation rescue.

Plus: A dramatic shift in US policy toward Cuba. Listen to  President Obama usher in a new era of openness toward the island nation after 50 years of sanctions.

Also: Since he took the oath of office, President Obama has been confronted with the North Korean missile launch and the standoff involving the pirate seizure of an American ship. Do Americans trust that the president is doing everything he can to keep the country safe? CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider breaks down the latest numbers.

Finally: Arizona State University tells President Obama it's sorry. The university isn't planning to reverse course and offer the president an honorary degree, but offers up another option. Former Bush advisor Ron Christie and Democratic strategist Hillary Rosen talk about the controversy in Monday's Situation Room.

Click here to subscribe to CNN=Politics Daily.


Filed under: CNN=Politics Daily
April 13th, 2009
05:46 PM ET
5 years ago

McDonnell flush with cash in crucial Virginia race

McDonnell has more money in his campaign war chest than any of his potential fall rivals.
McDonnell has more money in his campaign war chest than any of his potential fall rivals.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Republican Bob McDonnell has more money in his campaign war chest than any of his potential Democratic rivals in the closely-watched Virginia governor's race, his campaign announced Monday.

McDonnell collected $2.2 million in the first three months of the year, despite being prevented by Virginia law from raising money during the state's legislative session, which for McDonnell ran from Jan. 15 until he resigned from the Attorney General's office on Feb. 20.

That fundraising total includes a $1 million gift from the Republican Governors Association, which was given to his campaign in March.

Crucially, McDonnell now has $3.5 million on hand. That's a million dollars more than Terry McAuliffe, the prolific Democratic fundraiser who entered the race last year touting himself as the candidate with the best chance to raise the cash to beat McDonnell in November.

The numbers highlight a potentially serious problem for Virginia Democrats, who are locked in a contentious, full-time primary battle that forces them to spend their cash on advertisements, field organizations and campaign staff. McDonnell, meanwhile, has been free to save his money and plot strategy.

Several prominent national Republicans - including John McCain, Bobby Jindal and Rudy Giuliani - came to Virginia over the last three months to help McDonnell collect checks.

"We have far more cash on hand than any of our potential opponents," said McDonnell campaign manager Phil Cox. "While they must raise and spend, we are building the resources we need to win in November."

McAuliffe reported raising $4.2 million during the first quarter of 2009, the highest total of any Democrat, but he spent much of it and began April with $2.5 million on hand.

As for the other two Democrats in the Virginia race, state senator Creigh Deeds began April with $1.2 million in the bank, while former House delegate Brian Moran reported having $824,000.


Filed under: Bob McDonnell
April 13th, 2009
05:32 PM ET
5 years ago

Alaska lawmakers take aim at timing of Palin trip

Palin will speak at a pro-life dinner in Indiana this week.
Palin will speak at a pro-life dinner in Indiana this week.

(CNN) - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is coming under fire from state lawmakers, including members of her own party, over her decision to spend half of the final three days of the legislative session to headline a pro-life dinner in Indiana.

"There are some concerns [in the Capitol] about the focus of our chief executive because she's taken a speaking engagement in Indiana for a 36-hour period with only 72 hours left in the legislative session," state Rep. Jay Ramras of Fairbanks told the Anchorage Daily News.

Earlier, Palin had opted to skip a number of events, including the annual Conservative Political Action conference in Washington. Her aides had cited the demands of the state's legislative session. This weekend, she defended her decision. "I'll be gone for one day. I already have been on record with lawmakers on this," she told the ADN. "I told lawmakers, you know what, 'Please, don't make me feel that I have to ask you permission, lawmakers, to leave the capital city.' "

Two thorny issues remain unresolved as the session draws to a close. Lawmakers want to accept all the stimulus money that has been offered the state, while Palin wants to reject about a third of the nearly $931 million the federal government has offered. And her controversial pick for attorney general - the outspoken Wayne Anthony Ross - has not yet been confirmed.


Filed under: Sarah Palin
April 13th, 2009
05:30 PM ET
5 years ago

Clinton to visit Haiti, announce $50 million in aid

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this week turns the spotlight on the poorest country in the Americas.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this week turns the spotlight on the poorest country in the Americas.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this week turns the spotlight on the poorest country in the Americas: Haiti.

She will attend a Donors' Conference on Haiti tomorrow in Washington to discuss how the world can come to Haiti's aid. That high-level gathering that will include United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and a variety of international organizations.

Clinton plans to visit Haiti Thursday, the State Department announced today. "While in Haiti Secretary Clinton will meet with President René Préval to discuss issues of common concern including stability, security and assistance," State Department spokesman Robert Wood said Monday.

After visiting Haiti, and a stopover in next-door Dominican Republic, Clinton will join President Obama to attend the Summit of the Americas at the end of the week in Trinidad and Tobago.

Clinton-watchers are wondering if the Tuesday meeting in Washington will produce something that has become a recent rarity: a photo of both Clintons together. Secretary Clinton is expected at the gathering in the morning, and former President Clinton is giving the keynote speech after lunch at the conference.

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Filed under: Haiti • Hillary Clinton
April 13th, 2009
03:42 PM ET
5 years ago

Geithner to host global finance meeting

Geithner will host a global finance meeting next week.
Geithner will host a global finance meeting next week.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will host a meeting of international finance ministers next week, the Treasury Department said Monday.

The April 24 gathering of Group of 7 officials in Washington, D.C., will be followed by a larger meeting of Group of 20 ministers.

After a summit in London earlier this month, G-20 member nations agreed to increase oversight of the global financial system and pledged more than $1 trillion to the IMF to help economies in need.

However, certain details of the plan remain unclear and analysts said next week's meetings will likely involve discussion of, among other things, how much money individual members will commit to the IMF.

Full story


Filed under: Timothy Geithner
April 13th, 2009
03:17 PM ET
5 years ago

UN Security Council adopts declaration condemning NK

UNITED NATIONS (CNN) – The U.N. Security Council Monday adopted a declaration condemning North Korea for launching a rocket earlier this month.


Filed under: North Korea • United Nations
April 13th, 2009
02:45 PM ET
5 years ago

'Bo' runs the WH halls with President Obama

ALT TEXT

Photo Credit: White House


Filed under: President Obama
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