April 26th, 2009
07:15 PM ET
5 years ago

SOTU exclusive: Behind the scenes with the Obamas

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The Obamas share a moment at a black-tie event. Photo credit: White House/Pete Souza


Filed under: Extra • State of the Union
April 26th, 2009
06:31 PM ET
5 years ago

Ahmadinejad: Iran would accept 2 state solution if Palestinians did

The Iranian leader said he would accept a two-state solution if it as the will of the Palestinian people.
The Iranian leader said he would accept a two-state solution if it as the will of the Palestinian people.

(CNN) – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in an interview broadcast Sunday, said his government would accept a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians if Palestinians did.

"Whatever decision they take is fine with us," he told ABC's "This Week."

"We are not going to determine anything. Whatever decision they take, we will support that. We think that this is the right of the Palestinian people. However we fully expect other states to do so as well."

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Filed under: Iran
April 26th, 2009
06:30 PM ET
5 years ago

Protesters rail against IMF, World Bank for a second day

Protestors hit the nation’s capital for a second day.
Protestors hit the nation’s capital for a second day.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Protesters gathered in downtown Washington Sunday to denounce the International Monetary Fund and World Bank during the two organizations' joint annual spring meetings.

About a hundred people marched from Dupont Circle to the IMF headquarters as delegates from around the world met inside to discuss the organizations' role in the global economy.

"We are here to protest the failed policies of the IMF and World Bank," said Lacy MacAuley, a spokesperson for the DC-based Global Justice Action group, which sponsored the demonstration.

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Filed under: World Bank
April 26th, 2009
03:01 PM ET
5 years ago

U.S. declares health emergency over swine flu

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The federal government declared a public health emergency Sunday as the number of identified cases of swine flu in the United States rose to twenty.

The declaration is part of a “standard operating procedure” that will free up additional government resources to combat the virus, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said at the White House. Additional cases of swine flu are expected to be reported in the coming days, added Dr. Richard Besser, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The declaration came as the World Health Organization (WHO) advised all countries to be on the lookout for “unusual” outbreaks of flu, following an emergency meeting Saturday as the seriousness of the outbreak became clear.


Filed under: Swine Flu
April 26th, 2009
02:00 PM ET
5 years ago

Gibbs issues 100-day grades for administration, press

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Reporters are outshining the Obama administration in the first hundred days, at least according to the administration's press liaison.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs gives the Obama administration a "B plus" on its first 100 days.

"I think there's always - and I think the president would say - there's room for improvement," he said Sunday, in response to a question.

This isn't the first 100-day grade Gibbs has issued. He recently told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that the White House press corps deserved "a strong A" for its efforts in covering the first 100 days of the new administration.

"I think they're obviously doing a tough job particularly well," Gibbs said Friday in an interview on "The Situation Room."


Filed under: Robert Gibbs
April 26th, 2009
12:49 PM ET
5 years ago

Senators rip WH for releasing interrogation memos

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama's decision to release four Bush-era memos regarding the use of so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" was heavily criticized Sunday as a couple of prominent senators told CNN's John King that the decision was a potentially dangerous mistake.

"I think it was a mistake to release the techniques that we're talking about and inform our enemy as to what may come their way," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, said on "State of the Union."

Graham, who opposed the use of techniques that many consider to be torture, added that he still believed "there's a way to get good information in an aggressive manner to protect this nation without having to go into the Inquisition era."

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April 26th, 2009
12:00 PM ET
5 years ago

Summers: economic decline to continue 'for some time to come'

Larry Summers said the recession will continue for 'some time to come.'
Larry Summers said the recession will continue for 'some time to come.'

WASHINGTON (CNN) – One of President Barack Obama's top economic advisers predicted Sunday that the economic downturn will continue for the next several months despite some signs that a recovery may take root by the end of 2009.

"I suspect that the economy will continue to decline for some time to come," National Economic Council Director Larry Summers said. But "I do think if you look at the consensus of professional forecasters, that consensus suggests a somewhat better performance towards the end of the year."

The former Clinton administration treasury secretary, speaking on the show "Fox News Sunday," noted that were several indications that the economy was starting to turn the corner.

"Six or eight weeks ago, there were no positive statistics to be found anywhere. The economy felt like it was falling vertically," he said.

"Today, the picture is much more mixed. There are some negative indicators, to be sure. (But) there are also some positive indicators."

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Filed under: Economy • Larry Summers
April 26th, 2009
11:55 AM ET
5 years ago

Bipartisanship isn't dead, says Jarrett

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett told CNN Sunday that President Obama still wants to work with Republicans in a bipartisan way on major policy initiatives like health care reform.

"He has reached out more aggressively I think to the Republican Party than I could ever imagine a president could possibly do," she told John King on State of the Union. "So I think the burden is on him to reach out his hand, and that's what he's done, and that's what he's going to continue to do throughout this administration."

After failing to secure Republican support for most of his economic plan, the president called on the Senate last week to use a parliamentary procedure that would allow legislation - including massive efforts like a health care overhaul - to pass without any GOP votes.


Filed under: State of the Union • Valerie Jarrett
April 26th, 2009
10:29 AM ET
5 years ago

There's nothing new in CIA memos, says Jarrett

The CIA memos are grabbing headlines – but they’re not news, says Jarrett.
The CIA memos are grabbing headlines – but they’re not news, says Jarrett.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - There’s nothing new in the interrogation memos whose release has stirred controversy, senior White House advisor Valerie Jarrett told CNN Sunday.

The CIA memos described waterboarding and other tough interrogation methods on alleged al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah.

Jarrett said the United States is “a nation of laws,” and the administration had a legal requirement to release the documents.

"The techniques that were being used by the prior administration were well known," she told John King on State of the Union. "When the president came in office, he said we're not going to use those techniques anymore. That's not who we are as a country."

“There’s nothing in these documents that Americans hadn't seen all over the news,” she said, adding that Obama said it was time to release them and “move forward.”

But the president is leaving any prosecution decisions up to the attorney general, she added.


Filed under: State of the Union • Valerie Jarrett
April 26th, 2009
10:05 AM ET
5 years ago

Jarrett: Obama taking swine flu outbreak 'very seriously'

Jarrett is one of the president’s top advisors.
Jarrett is one of the president’s top advisors.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett told CNN Sunday the president takes the swine influenza outbreak "very seriously," as the White House announced an afternoon briefing to provide an update on efforts to keep the disease from spreading to the United States.

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and acting CDC director Dr. Richard Besser will speak at 12:30. The State Department is also involved in tracking efforts.

This week, isolated cases of the illness were reported in at least three states. The swine flu has stricken more than a thousand and been blamed for more than 80 deaths in Mexico over the past few weeks.


Filed under: State of the Union • Swine Flu