June 13th, 2009
05:59 PM ET
5 years ago

White House monitoring ‘reports of irregularities’ in Iran

Iranians protest against the reelection of Ahmadinejad outside the interior ministry in Tehran.
Iranians protest against the reelection of Ahmadinejad outside the interior ministry in Tehran.

(CNN) - The White House is watching closely the results of the Iranian election, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Saturday.

“Like the rest of the world, we were impressed by the vigorous debate and enthusiasm that this election generated, particularly among young Iranians. We continue to monitor the entire situation closely, including reports of irregularities,” Gibbs said in a statement.

The Iranian government announced Saturday that incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had won the nation’s closely watched election with 62.63 percent of the vote. The results were met with skepticism from supporters of the main challenger, former Prime Minster Mir Hossein Moussavi.

Related: Ahmadinejad hails election as protests grow

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton echoed Gibbs on Saturday, saying, “We watched closely the enthusiasm and the very vigorous debate and dialogue that occurred in the lead up to the Iranian elections.

“We are monitoring the situation as it unfolds in Iran, but we, like the rest of the world, are waiting and watching to see what the Iranian people decide. The United States has refrained from commenting on the election in Iran, we obviously hope that the outcome reflects the genuine will and desire of the Iranian people,” she said.

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Filed under: Iran
June 13th, 2009
01:39 PM ET
5 years ago

Extensive health care coverage on 'State of the Union'

Kathleen Sebelius joins 'State of the Union' Sunday to talk about plans for health care reform.
Kathleen Sebelius joins 'State of the Union' Sunday to talk about plans for health care reform.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - As the debate over health care reform intensifies on Capitol Hill, CNN's "State of the Union with John King" takes on the subject from both inside and outside the beltway Sunday.

President Obama's top official on health care policy, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, joins the show to discuss how the administration will move forward with its promise to reform health care.

Then, three senators who will play a critical role in passing health care legislation, Sens. Ben Nelson, D-Nebraska, Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Kent Conrad, D-North Dakota, debate what the future of American health care will be.

And finally, in a report from Orlando, Florida, John King speaks directly with doctors, patients and ordinary Americans about the current state of our country's health care.

Tune in at 9 a.m. ET to watch this special "State of the Union with John King."


Filed under: Health care • State of the Union
June 13th, 2009
01:38 PM ET
5 years ago

Republicans target climate bill

Rep. Mike Pence gets 'The Last Word' on CNN's 'State of the Union with John King' this Sunday. Tune in at 9 a.m. ET.
Rep. Mike Pence gets 'The Last Word' on CNN's 'State of the Union with John King' this Sunday. Tune in at 9 a.m. ET.

(CNN) – Indiana Rep. Mike Pence on Saturday touted the Republicans' omnibus, “all-of-the-above” energy plan, while warning that proposals from Democrats would lead to higher energy prices and massive job losses.

Pence, the chairman of the House GOP American Energy Solutions Group, and other House Republicans this week introduced the American Energy Act, a plan they say will reduce energy costs, create jobs and help clean up the environment.

The plan calls for expanded exploration of domestic sources for oil and natural gas, a commitment to nuclear energy, investments in renewable and alternative energy technology and incentives for the public to focus on conservation.

“The American Energy Act is the comprehensive energy solution this country desperately needs to achieve energy independence, create good jobs and help our environment,” Pence said in the weekly Republican address.

Republicans have criticized the Democrats' proposal to curb greenhouse emissions using the so-called “cap-and-trade” program, saying it amounts to an energy tax.

A bill drafted by Democrats sets a target for cutting greenhouse gases by 17 percent from their 2005 levels by 2020. An auction for the credits, which effectively starts in 2014, allows businesses that meet the new energy standard to sell their credits to those who are still working to become more energy efficient. The theory is that as businesses become more energy efficient and less polluting, the market in pollution credits will help bring down emissions.

FULL POST


Filed under: Energy • Mike Pence
June 13th, 2009
01:37 PM ET
5 years ago

Arne Duncan addresses education disparities

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan talks to CNN's T.J. Holmes about disparities in the nation's school systems.


Filed under: Education
June 13th, 2009
12:16 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama proposes more cost savings in health care

President Obama says new savings would come from 'commonsense changes.'
President Obama says new savings would come from 'commonsense changes.'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Saturday he wants to make additional resources available for overhauling the nation's health care system by dramatically reducing current medical costs to the government.

In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama proposed $313 billion in cuts and new savings over the next decade. Some of the funds would come from from expected increases in efficiency, reductions in excessive hospital payments and drug cost savings from individuals enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid, the White House said.

But he did not specify precisely what form much of those cuts might take, saying the new savings would "come from commonsense changes."

"For example – if more Americans are insured, we can cut payments that help hospitals treat patients without health insurance," he said.

"If the drug makers pay their fair share, we can cut government spending on prescription drugs. And if doctors have incentives to provide the best care instead of more care, we can help Americans avoid the unnecessary hospital stays, treatments, and tests that drive up costs."

The funds would be in addition to the $635 billion in spending cuts and tax funds Obama has already requested to help ease the transition to a new system that would cover uninsured Americans and do a better job of slowing the surge in medical costs.

FULL POST


Filed under: Health care • President Obama
June 13th, 2009
12:15 PM ET
5 years ago

King: Diners skeptical about prospects for health care overhaul

CNN's John King, from left, talks health care with diners Stafford Ezzard and Margaret and Blanche Dormady.
CNN's John King, from left, talks health care with diners Stafford Ezzard and Margaret and Blanche Dormady.

ORLANDO, Florida (CNN) - Blanche and Margaret Dormady bristle at the mention of a stronger federal government hand in their health care. Stafford Ezzard, on the other hand, can live with that.

"I trust the government more than many people do," said Ezzard, a music teacher.

"It will make it worse," Blanche Dormady said without hesitation.

At Junior's Diner in Orlando, the raisins added just the right touch to the oatmeal, and the cinnamon muffin was perfect.

And a breakfast conversation about health care is a reminder to us - and to Congress - that even those who agree that the American health care system needs some serious work are not necessarily on the same page about how to go about the repairs.

Margaret Dormady, Blanche's daughter, described herself as a Democrat who votes on issues, not party label.

"I'm against national health care," Margaret said.

She works as a real estate appraiser and a massage therapist. "I personally don't have health insurance because it is too expensive," she said. "But I want to get for myself what I need. And I don't want to be told what I can have and when I can have it. And I sure as hell - excuse me - don't want the government having my medical records running throughout the United States."

Full story


Filed under: Health care
June 13th, 2009
12:12 PM ET
5 years ago

King: Falling between health care cracks in Orlando

Dr. Jenni Keehbauch is the medical director at a free clinic for the uninsured.
Dr. Jenni Keehbauch is the medical director at a free clinic for the uninsured.

ORLANDO, Florida (CNN) - Mary Yates has high blood pressure, high cholesterol and a nagging, sore hip. And no health insurance.

"You know, I am the person that has fallen through the cracks here after working all these years," is how she puts it. "I thought I was saving towards retirement. I have used that."

She sold most of her jewelry, too, after losing her job as a legal secretary, and then her home two years ago. She moved from Memphis, Tennessee, to the Orlando area because she has a daughter who lives here and believed it would be easier to find work.

"Not realizing what was happening with the economy," Yates says. "And a year later, here I am without a job."

Without a job and now among the more than 40 million Americans who lack health insurance.

We met Yates at the "After Hours Clinic" - a free clinic for the uninsured that borrows space from the employees' clinic at Florida Hospital in Orlando. Dr. Jenni Keehbauch is the medical director at the clinic, which is open three days a week. She says Yates' story is all too common these days.

"We have a finite number of visits that we can see in an evening," Keehbauch told us in an interview as the clinic prepared for its evening rush this week. "What we've found is that we're turning more patients away, unfortunately.

"We're seeing patients that saw us in the early 2000s, left us, got insurance, and then now they are coming back saying, 'Hey we're glad you are here - I just got laid off.' We're seeing a lot of that recently."

Full story


Filed under: Health care
June 13th, 2009
09:14 AM ET
5 years ago

Former President GHW Bush stands up for Sotomayor

Former President George H.W. Bush stood up for his former judicial nominee Sonia Sotomayor Friday.
Former President George H.W. Bush stood up for his former judicial nominee Sonia Sotomayor Friday.

(CNN)–Former President George H.W. Bush stood up for his former judicial nominee Sonia Sotomayor Friday, telling HLN Anchor Robin Meade that GOP critics who called President Obama's Supreme Court pick a racist were off-base, and unfair.

"I don't know her that well but I think she's had a distinguished record on the bench and she should be entitled to fair hearings. Not – [it's] like the senator John Cornyn said it," he told CNN. "He may vote for it, he may not. But he's been backing away from these...backing off from those radical statements to describe her, to attribute things to her that may or may not be true.

"And she was called by somebody a racist once. That's not right. I mean that's not fair. It doesn't help the process. You're out there name-calling. So let them decide who they want to vote for and get on with it."

High-profile Republican voices like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh had both accused the judge of racism for her past comment that a "wise Latina" might make more informed judicial decisions than a white male. Gingrich later backed away from that assessment.

Cornyn had urged Republicans to avoid labeling Sotomayor a racist, calling that brand of criticism unhelpful to the process.

Related: President Bush weighs in this afternoon on his legacy — and why he won’t be writing a tell-all


Filed under: Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court