June 16th, 2009
01:28 PM ET
5 years ago

Carter decries destruction in Gaza

Former President Jimmy Carter arrives in the Ezbet Abed Rabbo district of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip.
Former President Jimmy Carter arrives in the Ezbet Abed Rabbo district of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip.

(CNN) - Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said Tuesday on a visit to Gaza that he had to "hold back tears" when he saw the destruction caused by the deadly campaign Israel waged against Gaza militants in January.

Carter was wrapping up a visit to the region during which he met representatives of all sides of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Among the sites he visited was the American school that was destroyed by the bombings Israel initiated in response to rocket attacks launched from Gaza into southern Israel.

"It is very distressing to me. I have to hold back tears when I see the deliberate destruction that has been raked against your people. I come to the American school which was educating your children, by my own country.

"I see it's been deliberately destroyed by bombs from F16s made in my country and delivered to the Israelis. I feel partially responsible for this - as (do) most all Americans and Israelis," Carter said at a news conference.

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Filed under: Gaza • Israel • Jimmy Carter
June 16th, 2009
01:17 PM ET
5 years ago

U.S. officials: Twitter, Facebook providing critical information on Iran situation

U.S. officials say social networking sites are providing crucial information from inside Iran.
U.S. officials say social networking sites are providing crucial information from inside Iran.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - U.S. officials say the Internet, and specifically social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, are providing the United States with critical information in the face of Iranian authorities banning western journalists from covering political rallies.

"There are lots of people here watching" at bureaus and offices across the State Department, one senior official said. "There are some interesting messages going up."

Because the United States has no relations with Iran and does not have an embassy there, it is relying on media reports and the State Department's Iran Watch Offices in embassies around the world. The largest such offices are in Dubai, Berlin and London, all home to large Iranian expatriate communities.

While officials would not say whether they were communicating with Iranians directly, one senior official noted that the United States is learning about certain people being picked up for questioning by authorities through posts on Twitter.

"It is a very good example of where technology is helping," the official said.

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Filed under: Facebook • Twitter
June 16th, 2009
01:06 PM ET
5 years ago

Racist e-mail aimed at Obama raises hackles in Tennessee

(CNN) – The chairman of Tennessee's Democratic Party wants a Republican legislative aide fired for sending out a "reprehensible" e-mail depicting President Obama as two cartoonish white eyes peering from a black background.

Obama's image is in the last square of a collage containing portraits of the previous 43 U.S. presidents. Copies of the e-mail were posted on the Internet Monday.

Sherri Goforth, an administrative assistant to state Sen. Diane Black, R-Gallatin, has admitted she sent the e-mail May 28 with the title "Historical Keepsake Photo." She said, without elaborating, that she mistakenly sent it "to the wrong list of people."

According to the Tennessean, a Nashville newspaper, a note on the e-mail said it was paid for by the Tennessee Republican Party, but GOP officials denied that they produced it. Black chairs the Senate Republican Caucus.

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Filed under: President Obama • Tennessee
June 16th, 2009
11:39 AM ET
5 years ago

Palin accepts apology but says time for change

(CNN) - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is accepting comedian David Letterman's apology over the controversial joke directed at her daughter, but says she hopes "men who 'joke' about public displays of sexual exploitation of girls will soon evolve."

"Letterman certainly has the right to 'joke' about whatever he wants to, and thankfully we have the right to express our reaction," Palin said in a statement. "And this is all thanks to our U.S. Military women and men putting their lives on the line for us to secure America's Right to Free Speech – in this case, may that right be used to promote equality and respect."

Palin's comments come hours after the late night talk show host formally apologized for the off-color joke he made last week about one of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's daughters that set off a war of words between the Letterman and the Palin family.

"It was kind of a coarse joke. There's no getting around it," Letterman said in the opening monologue of Monday night's show.

Meanwhile John Ziegler, the conservative radio talk show host who has made a film about Palin, is set to lead a protest Tuesday outside the theater where Letterman's show is taped. Ziegler is calling for the late night host’s ouster.


Filed under: David Letterman • Sarah Palin
June 16th, 2009
11:20 AM ET
5 years ago

Obama wants shield for consumers

President Obama on Wednesday will call for the creation of a new financial watchdog agency.
President Obama on Wednesday will call for the creation of a new financial watchdog agency.

WASHINGTON (CNNMoney.com) – When President Obama takes the podium on Wednesday to talk about his proposals for avoiding the next financial crisis, he is expected to unveil one idea that speaks directly to consumers and their pocketbooks.

Obama will call for the creation of a new financial watchdog agency. Its mission will be to protect consumers from deceptive or dangerous mortgages, credit cards and other financial products.

Proponents have dubbed it a "financial products safety commission" akin to the federal agency that oversees safety of toys and other products. Obama himself broached the subject on Jay Leno's "The Tonight Show" in March.

"When you buy a toaster, if it explodes in your face, there's a law that says, 'Your toasters need to be safe,'" Obama said. "When you get a credit card or you get a mortgage, there's no law on the books that says, 'If that explodes in your face, financially, somehow you're going to be protected.'"

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Filed under: President Obama
June 16th, 2009
10:34 AM ET
5 years ago

Poll shows good news for Bloomberg

Bloomberg gets good numbers in a new poll.
Bloomberg gets good numbers in a new poll.

(CNN) – A new poll indicates Michael Bloomberg outpaces either of his main possible Democratic opponents in his bid for a term term as New York City mayor.

The Quinnipiac University survey of New York City voters released Tuesday morning suggests that the Republican-turned-independent mayor tops his chief rival, City Comptroller William Thompson, 54 percent to 32 percent in a November general election matchup.

The poll indicates Bloomberg would win across the board in the hypothetical matchup, winning Democrats by 9 points, Republicans by 59 points, and Independents by 33 points. Bloomberg would also win the white and Hispanic vote and split the African-American vote.

If Bloomberg faces off against Queens City Council member Tony Avella, the survey suggests Bloomberg leads by 30 points. The poll indicates Thompson tops Avella by 28 points in a Democratic primary match up, with nearly half of those questioned undecided.

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Filed under: Michael Bloomberg
June 16th, 2009
09:40 AM ET
5 years ago

DeMint breaks with colleagues, endorses Rubio over Crist

DeMint is backing Rubio over Crist.
DeMint is backing Rubio over Crist.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Jim DeMint is breaking with many of his colleagues to endorse Marco Rubio over Charlie Crist in Florida's high-profile Senate Republican primary.

DeMint, who also endorsed Pat Toomey in the Pennsylvania Senate primary over Arlen Specter when Specter was still a Republican, will appear with Rubio at a press conference in Washington on Tuesday to express his support. The South Carolina senator is among the upper chamber's most conservative members, and has often broken with members of his own caucus.

"For months now, Republicans have been looking around, asking everyone they meet who our next leaders will be. And somehow, inexplicably, many of us have grown blind to the diamonds all around us," DeMint wrote in a column posted on Fox News' Web site. "There are already many young, conservative leaders ready to fight for freedom in Washington and in state capitals all around the country. But we'll never find them if we only look for well-known politicians or choose our party's direction based on the latest polls instead of timeless principles."

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Filed under: Jim DeMint • Marco Rubio
June 16th, 2009
09:15 AM ET
June 16th, 2009
09:15 AM ET
5 years ago

More Hill meetings for Sotomayor

(CNN) - Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is set to meet with six more senators on Capitol Hill Tuesday, according to a statement from the White House:

SCHEDULE OF JUDGE SOTOMAYOR’S CAPITOL HILL MEETINGSTUESDAY, JUNE 16

Today, Judge Sotomayor will visit Capitol Hill to meet with the following Senators:

Senator Jeff Bingaman

Senator Tom Carper

Senator Thad Cochran

Senator Mike Crapo

Senator Frank Lautenberg

Senator Tom Udall


Filed under: Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
June 16th, 2009
05:01 AM ET
5 years ago

David Letterman apologizes to Palins over 'coarse joke'

Late night TV talk show host David Letterman apologized to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for the second time after a recent joke by Letterman stirred controversy.
Late night TV talk show host David Letterman apologized to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for the second time after a recent joke by Letterman stirred controversy.

NEW YORK (CNN) – David Letterman delivered another, more repentant apology for the off-color joke he made last week about Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's daughter.

"It was kind of a coarse joke. There's no getting around it," Letterman said in the opening monologue of Monday night's show.

Letterman, who joked last Tuesday that Palin's "daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez" at a recent Yankees game, still insisted he was referring to Palin's 18-year-old, Bristol, who gave birth to a boy in December, and not her 14-year-old, Willow.

Related video: Letterman's joke was 'perverted,' says Palin

Palin has called that a "weak, convenient excuse" for a joke that was"inappropriate" no matter which daughter was the target.

"My 14-year-old was there with me at the game. She was the only one there with me," Palin said.

Letterman said Monday night that he now realizes, "It doesn't make any difference what my intent was, it's the perception."

"As they say about jokes, if you have to explain the joke, it's not a very good joke," he said. "I take full blame for that."

"I told a bad joke. I told a joke that was beyond flawed," he said.

"So, I would like to apologize, especially to the two daughters involved, Bristol and Willow, and also to the governor and her family and everybody else who was outraged by the joke," Letterman said. "I'm sorry about it and I'll try to do better in the future.

The controversy comes at a time the late-night ratings battle between the "Late Show with David Letterman" on CBS and NBC's "The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien" is in the spotlight.

Letterman has gained ground in the two weeks since O'Brien took over hosting duties from Jay Leno.


Filed under: David Letterman • Sarah Palin
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