April 16th, 2009
10:00 AM ET
6 years ago

U.S. envoy to press Israel on two-state solution with Palestinians

U.S. envoy George Mitchell, right, meets Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Thursday in Jerusalem.
U.S. envoy George Mitchell, right, meets Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Thursday in Jerusalem.

JERUSALEM (CNN) - U.S. envoy George Mitchell was in Israel on Thursday for his first visit since right-wing politician Benjamin Netanyahu became prime minister.

It is Mitchell's third visit to the region since President Obama appointed him as special envoy for Middle East peace.

Mitchell plans to meet with Netanyahu and other Israeli politicians Thursday, as well as Palestinian leaders - including President Mahmoud Abbas - in the West Bank and Jerusalem on Friday.

The former senator and seasoned diplomat has not been shy in articulating the U.S. desire to see a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which has led to speculation that the new Israeli government and the Obama administration may find themselves on a collision course.

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Filed under: President Obama
April 16th, 2009
10:00 AM ET
6 years ago

Prosecutors: Drop Guantanamo case against ex-Bush officials

The complaint alleges the six former officials were the legal architects of a system that allowed torture of prisoners at Guantanamo.
The complaint alleges the six former officials were the legal architects of a system that allowed torture of prisoners at Guantanamo.

MADRID, Spain (CNN) - Prosecutors will recommend that a Spanish court drop its investigation of six former Bush administration officials for alleged torture of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Spain's attorney general said Thursday.

The claim against the former officials, presented by a human rights group and provisionally accepted last month at the court - pending an opinion from the prosecutors – threatens to turn the court "into a toy in the hands of people who are trying to do a political action," Attorney General Candido Conde-Pumpido said at a meeting at a downtown Madrid hotel.

"We undoubtedly cannot support that action," Conde-Pumpido said, adding that prosecutors would seek to avoid having the court "converted into a toy in the hands of people who seek a certain notoriety or who are trying to take a political action" within the Spanish judicial system.

If alleged torture at Guantanamo is going to be investigated at all, that should be done first in the United States, so that the former American officials would have a chance to defend themselves there, Conde-Pumpido added, according to his press chief, Fernando Noya.

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Filed under: Guantanamo
April 16th, 2009
09:45 AM ET
6 years ago

Napolitano sorry after some veterans take offense to report

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano apologized Thursday after some veterans groups said they were offended by a department report about right-wing extremism.

The report angered some veterans by saying that extremists groups may try to reach out to veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It also said extremists also may use the recession and the election of the nation's first African-American president to recruit members.

The American Legion was among those who raised concerns by the report's mention of veterans.

"I think it is important for all of us to remember that Americans are not the enemy. The terrorists are," the organization's national commander, David K. Rehbein, said in a letter to Napolitano.

Napolitano apologized on CNN on Thursday morning.

"I know that some veterans groups were offended by the fact that veterans were mentioned in this assessment so I apologize for that offense. It was certainly not intended," she told CNN's "American Morning."

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Filed under: Janet Napolitano
April 16th, 2009
08:58 AM ET
6 years ago

Obama: Latin America on equal footing with U.S.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama on Thursday embarks on a trip to Latin America, where the leader of the world's lone superpower said he seeks to engage in talks with the region's leaders as equals.

President Obama declines to criticize any Latin American leaders before heading to the region for a summit.

"Times have changed," Obama told CNN en Español on Wednesday.

Referring to his planned meeting in Trinidad and Tobago with Brazil's president, he said, "My relationship with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is one of two leaders who both have big countries, that we are trying to solve problems and create opportunities for our people, and we should be partners.

"There's no senior partner or junior partner."

Obama and Lula da Silva are among the leaders scheduled to attend the Summit of the Americas this week.

Obama lauded Mexican President Felipe Calderon, with whom he will meet Thursday in Mexico City, as having done "an outstanding and heroic job in dealing with what is a big problem right now along the borders with the drug cartels."

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Filed under: President Obama
April 16th, 2009
06:02 AM ET
6 years ago

Report: Gov. Palin's father slams teenage dad

Gov. Palin's father reportedly told a magazine that he wished Levi Johnston would buy some diapers for his infant grandson.  Johnston is pictured here sitting with Bristol Palin last year at the Republican National Convention.
Gov. Palin's father reportedly told a magazine that he wished Levi Johnston would buy some diapers for his infant grandson. Johnston is pictured here sitting with Bristol Palin last year at the Republican National Convention.

(CNN) – A third generation of the Palin clan is getting in on the increasingly public feud between the family of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and the family of Levi Johnston, Bristol Palin’s ex-fiance who is the father of Gov. Sarah Palin’s infant grandson.

In an issue of US weekly that hit newsstands Wednesday, Chuck Heath, the governor’s father and Bristol Palin’s grandfather, told the magazine that Johnston "’has not contributed anything’" for the infant son, Tripp, he fathered with Bristol.

The strife between the Johnston and Palin clans reached a new level recently when Johnston, his sister, and his mother tried in television interviews to dispel what the Johnstons called false rumors about them.

After an initial appearance by the Johnstons on the Tyra Banks show, a spokesperson for Governor Palin said the teenage father had lied about ever having lived in the Palins' home. Days later, the teenage father struck back in a second interview on CBS, complaining about how the the Palin family is treating him now.

Related: Palin statement fueled coverage, reporters say

In the US Weekly interview, Heath took issue with Johnston’s recent media rounds.

"'I don't agree with what he's doing right now,’" Heath told the magazine. "'It's not right. He's broke, so he's trying to capitalize on this. I wish he’d take some of this money he’s making and buy some diapers with it.’"

In the Johnstons’ interview with Tyra Banks, the talk show host made a point of emphasizing that the family was not being paid for appearing on her show.
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Filed under: Bristol Palin • Levi Johnston • Sarah Palin
April 16th, 2009
05:38 AM ET
6 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Thursday, April 16, 2009

ALT TEXT

The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.

WASHINGTON/POLITICAL

For the latest political news: www.CNNPolitics.com.

CNN: Obama: Latin America on equal footing with U.S.
President Barack Obama on Thursday embarks on a trip to Latin America, where the leader of the world's lone superpower said he seeks to engage in talks with the region's leaders as equals.

CNN: Nationwide 'tea party' protests blast spending
Armed with signs reading "no taxation without deliberation" and "stop bankrupting America," tens of thousands of people spent national tax day at organized "tea party" demonstrations across the country, protesting what some view as excessive government spending and bailouts.

CNN: Obama heads to Mexico amid escalating drug violence
President Obama travels to Mexico on Thursday as the United States' neighbor to the south continues to wrestle with increasingly deadly drug wars.

CNN: Napolitano defends report on right-wing extremist groups
The Department of Homeland Security will never monitor ideology or political beliefs, the head of the agency said Wednesday, responding to criticism of a recent report on right-wing extremist groups.

CNN: Clinton hits milestone in trying to clear campaign debt
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reached an important milestone Wednesday in her quest to pay the debt from her failed 2008 presidential bid: For the first time in eight months, her campaign committee reported having more money in the bank than it owes.

CNN: Clinton unveils initiative to combat 'scourge of piracy'
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday unveiled a diplomatic initiative to thwart attacks on ships off Somalia's coast and combat what she called the "scourge of piracy."

NYT: N.S.A.’s Intercepts Exceed Limits Set by Congress
The National Security Agency intercepted private e-mail messages and phone calls of Americans in recent months on a scale that went beyond the broad legal limits established by Congress last year, government officials said in recent interviews.

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Filed under: Political Hot Topics
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