In reaching out to the world’s one and a half billion Muslims with today's historic speech, it's unclear if President Obama is also pushing away America's longtime ally Israel.
Speaking in Cairo - the president recognized the U.S.'s unbreakable bond with the Jewish state and the horror of the Holocaust, but also talked about the suffering of the Palestinian people. He described their situation as intolerable and stressed the need for a two-state solution.
President Obama called on Palestinians to abandon violence - pointing to America's own civil rights history and saying it was a "peaceful and determined insistence" that brought about equal rights.
And, he once again called on Israel to stop building settlements; and to allow Palestinians to live and work and develop their society. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already rejected President Obama's call for a settlement freeze.
To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion click here
WASHINGTON (CNN) – He may be the 44th president of the United States but Barack Obama will have to settle for being 49th on Forbes' Celebrity 100 list.
Obama is the first sitting head of state to make the list, according to Forbes.com. The magazine describes the list as "a measure of power based on money and fame."
Although Obama's overall ranking was 49th, the president ranked first in terms of online hits, mentions in print media, and exposure on radio and television.
Categorized as an author by Forbes, Obama ranked in 100th place in terms of pay based on the estimated $2 million generated by his two best-selling books.
But "[t]he real money will be made years from now," observed Forbes. "Obama could certainly earn tens of millions of dollars a year giving speeches full time."
Media mogul and longtime Obama ally Oprah Winfrey fell from first to second place on this list, losing the top spot to actress Angela Jolie.
(CNN) - On the same day President Barack Obama delivered a speech to the Muslim world, a full version of a statement believed to be from al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden appeared on Islamic Web sites.
Portions of the statement aired Wednesday on Al-Jazeera television and focused on the Pakistani military's offensive against the Taliban movement in the Swat Valley. The statement criticized both Obama and the Pakistani leadership, citing the many casualties and widespread displacement in the offensive.
The purported bin Laden statement Thursday made reference to the September 11, 2001, attack on America by al Qaeda, a topic Obama addressed in Cairo, Egypt, the same day. The president's wide-ranging speech was designed to mend fences between the United States and the Muslim world.
The apparent bin Laden statement said the Qaeda militants who launched the strike were "serving the oppressed by punishing the tyrants in America."
"True, the free men who carried out the events of 9/11 didn't live the bitterness of subjection and expulsion from their lands and homes, and they were not sheltered in the tents and eat the leftover food," the statement said.
The world quickly began to react online to President Obama's historic speech in Cairo Thursday. (Photo Credit: Erika Dimmler/CNN)
(CNN) – Before President Obama had finished his speech in Cairo, Egypt, on Thursday calling for "a new beginning" in relations between the United States and the Muslim world, the conversation had moved online.
"I believed every word he said and I am sure he is sincere, but we wants [sic] action not words," read the text of a message sent from Saudi Arabia to a page set up by the administration at America.gov. "We want to feel that America is friend to us [and] not against us. We want to be treated fairly by you."
Obama revolutionized the use of technology during his presidential campaign, and his administration has aggressively used the Web, including popular online-networking tools, to spread his message since he took office in January.
Political observers believe that his administration wants to use the power of the Web to create a more transparent style of governing that will help win public support.
CNN Radio: CNN's Octavia Nasr and John Lisk review the president's speech
"In the spirit of engagement, we invited the international audience to submit comments via text message," reads a page at America.gov, which began sending out text updates as soon as Obama's speech began about 6:10 a.m. ET Thursday.
CAIRO, Egypt (CNN) - President Obama outlined a series of outreach programs he wants to implement between the United States and Muslim-majority countries.
"I know that for many, the face of globalization is contradictory. The Internet and television can bring knowledge and information, but also offensive sexuality and mindless violence into the home. Trade can bring new wealth and opportunities, but also huge disruptions and change in communities. In all nations - including America - this change can bring fear.
"On education, we will expand exchange programs, and increase scholarships ... On economic development, we will create a new corps of business volunteers to partner with counterparts in Muslim-majority countries. ... On science and technology, we will launch a new fund to support technological development in Muslim-majority countries."
CAIRO, Egypt (CNN) - "I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal, but I do believe that a woman who is denied an education is denied equality," President Obama said.
"Now, let me be clear: Issues of women's equality are by no means simply an issue for Islam. In Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, we've seen Muslim-majority countries elect a woman to lead. Meanwhile, the struggle for women's equality continues in many aspects of American life, and in countries around the world."
CAIRO, Egypt (CNN) - "Among some Muslims, there's a disturbing tendency to measure one's own faith by the rejection of somebody else's faith," President Obama said.
"The richness of religious diversity must be upheld - whether it is for Maronites in Lebanon or the Copts in Egypt. And if we are being honest, fault lines must be closed among Muslims, as well, as the divisions between Sunni and Shia that have led to tragic violence, particularly in Iraq."
CAIRO, Egypt (CNN) - Freedom of speech and religion are human rights and should be promoted and protected as such, but democracy should not be imposed onto one nation by another, President Obama said.
"No system of government can or should be imposed upon one nation by any other. That does not lessen my commitment, however, to governments that reflect the will of the people. Each nation gives life to this principle in its own way, grounded in the traditions of its own people. ... But I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn't steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. These are not just American ideas; they are human rights. And that is why we will support them everywhere."
(CNN) - A week after calling Sonia Sotomayor a "racist" in reference to her 2001 "wise Latina" remarks, conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh said Wednesday he's now open to supporting President Obama's Supreme Court nominee.
"I can see a possibility of supporting this nomination if I can be convinced that she does have a sensibility toward life in a legal sense," Limbaugh said on his radio program.
Limbaugh's statement comes the same day former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who himself derided Sotomayor as a "racist" last week, wrote in an op-ed that he regretted his choice of words.
On his show Wednesday, Limbaugh said his potential support of Sotomayor stems from the nominee's unclear stance on abortion coupled with the fact that she is a Catholic.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – The House Republican leadership upped the ante Thursday in the ongoing debate over the size and scope of the federal budget, unveiling a proposal to cut spending by $375 billion over the next five years.
The bulk of the GOP's proposed savings would come from capping non-defense discretionary spending at the level of inflation.
President Barack Obama "challenged us to come up with budget savings, and today House Republicans encourage him to not only look over our proposed ... common-sense taxpayer savings, but to join our effort," House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, said in a statement.
"For the sake of our young people and America's long-term fiscal viability, Congress simply cannot keep spending money that the president
himself admits we don't have."
Obama asked congressional Republicans to propose new budget reductions
during an April 24 meeting at the White House.