(CNN) – In the latest installment of CNN=Politics Daily: President Obama issued a part progress-report, part-pep talk Tuesday in Washington. The president sees "glimmers of hope" for the US economy, but warns that we're "not out of the woods just yet." CNN White House Correspondent Dan Lothian looks at the strategy behind the speech.
Also: Does the president have a clear plan for solving the country's economic problems? CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider looks at the latest numbers in a new poll.
Plus: New York Gov. David Paterson is on the brink of making a major announcement concerning gay marriage. CNN's Mary Snow has the breaking story.
Meanwhile: Tensions are growing as North Korea vows to restart its disabled reactor and walk away from the negotiating table. CNN White House Correspondent Dan Lothian looks at what the White House is calling "provocative threats."
At the same time, the Obama administration may be fine-tuning its approach to Iran's nuclear program and weighing some sweeping changes. CNN's Brian Todd looks at the enormous potential ramifications.
Finally: Pork opponents brace themselves for the annual "pig book": CNN Congressional Correspondent Brianna Keilar gets her hand son the latest edition of an annual publication that takes a closer look at how Congress is using your taxpayer dollars.
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WASHINGTON (CNN) - A statue of former President Ronald Reagan will be placed in the U.S. Capitol in June, as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection.
Former first lady Nancy Reagan will join House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader John Boehner, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell at the statue's unveiling on June 3.
Reagan, who served as president from 1981 to 1989, died in June 2004. He was 93.
(CNN) – In the latest installment of CNN=Politics Daily, President Obama goes head-to-head with pirates. After a sea captain's dramatic rescue off the coast of Somalia, the president vows to crackdown on pirates and hold them accountable for their crimes. CNN White House Correspondent Dan Lothian has the commander-in-chief's reaction to the daring sniper operation rescue.
Plus: A dramatic shift in US policy toward Cuba. Listen to President Obama usher in a new era of openness toward the island nation after 50 years of sanctions.
Also: Since he took the oath of office, President Obama has been confronted with the North Korean missile launch and the standoff involving the pirate seizure of an American ship. Do Americans trust that the president is doing everything he can to keep the country safe? CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider breaks down the latest numbers.
Finally: Arizona State University tells President Obama it's sorry. The university isn't planning to reverse course and offer the president an honorary degree, but offers up another option. Former Bush advisor Ron Christie and Democratic strategist Hillary Rosen talk about the controversy in Monday's Situation Room.
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(CNN) – Hillary Clinton's camp is offering up a "once in a lifetime opportunity" to her supporters: American Idol season finale tickets.
In an e-mail sent to online supporters on the former democratic presidential candidate's e-mail list serve, democratic strategist James Carville solicited donations from backers to help Clinton pay off her campaign debt.
A contribution will enter participants in a contest to win one of three prizes: a day attending events with former President Bill Clinton followed by "your own special weekend" in New York City, a lunch and political conversation in DC with Democratic political strategists James Carville and Paul Begala, or the chance to attend the American Idol season finale in Los Angeles.
"Your contribution today not only gives you the chance at winning one of these fantastic prizes – it'll also help our dear friend, Hillary Clinton, pay off the very last of her campaign debt," Carville appeals in the e-mail.
Upon suspending her campaign in June 2008, Clinton's debt peaked at $25.2 million, but has since dropped to less than $6 million.
(CNN) – Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday the Obama administration is working "around the clock" on the pirate situation off the Somali coast.
Asked at the end of a stimulus funds meeting what the United States was going to do regarding the capture of a U.S. container ship captain by Somali pirates, Biden began to speak when an aide shouted, "This way guys, out that door."
"We're not going to settle that here," Biden cut-in adding, "This is being worked on around the clock since this happened. I'm not in a position right now (to comment)."
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs gives details Thursday about the government's help with ship hijacking by pirates.
President Obama was also questioned by a reporter about the hostage situation following a meeting with U.S. homeowners about refinancing mortgages, but declined to comment publicly.
"Guys, we're talking about housing right now," the president responded when asked at the close of the event about the standoff.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs responded to news of the attacks Wednesday saying the Obama administration is "closely monitoring" the piracy crisis and "assessing a course of action to resolve this situation."
"Our top priority is the personal safety of the crew members on board," Gibbs said.
(CNN) – How will Thursday night at the White House be different from all other nights?
President Obama will hold a Passover seder for friends and family, marking what is believed to be the first time a president has presided over the ritual feast honoring the Jews' exodus from Egypt in the White House.
(CNN) – Three members of the Congressional Black Caucus met with Fidel Castro Tuesday in Cuba, marking the first time the former Cuban president has met with US leaders since in 2006.
A delegation of congressional Democrats, led by Barbara Lee of California, arrived in Cuba last week to discuss bilateral relations with and review new policies regarding trade and commerce between the US and island nation. The group of seven includes members of the CBS, Reps. Mel Watt of North Carolina, Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri, Marcia Fudge of Ohio, Bobby Rush of Illinois, and Laura Richardson on California, and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus member Mike Honda of California.
President Raul Castro, brother of Fidel, held talks with the six Congressional Black Caucus members of the delegation Monday in Havana.
The trip follows the introduction of a bill last week by a bipartisan group of senators to lift the travel ban on Cuba, maintaining the end of the travel restriction would advance democracy, promote human rights, and benefit US agriculture and small business groups. If passed, The Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act would allow US citizens to travel freely to nation for the first time since 1962.
Cuban-born Republican Sen. Mel Martinez opposes the legislation, arguing that opening the communist-led island for tourist travel would perpetuate the repression of the "Castro regime."
But new changes to US Cuba travel policy could be coming soon. White House Adviser Jeffrey Davidson said Monday he would not be surprised if the Obama administration announced the easing of restrictions to the island before the Summit of the Americas on April 17. The move would fulfill a campaign promise by the then-presidential candidate to ease Cuban-American travel restrictions.
President Castro has said he is open to talks with the Obama administration.
Listen: CNN Radio on the new move in Congress to change U.S. relations with Cuba
(CNN) – Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, who has made limited public appearances over the past year, took the mound Tuesday at Fenway Park.
The ailing senator, currently undergoing treatment for cancer, threw the ceremonial pitch before the Red Sox took on the Tampa Bay Rays at the Boston team's home opener.
Before a crowd of cheering fans, Kennedy fired a ball to Hall of Fame electee Jim Rice, who played 16 seasons in left field for the Red Sox.
(CNN) - Americans gave first lady Michelle Obama high marks following the first couples' debut overseas, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Tuesday.
Eighty percent of those questioned think the first lady strengthened the U.S. image abroad by the way she handled herself on this trip - virtually identical to the 79 percent who feel the same way about her husband's performance overseas.
The poll, which surveyed 1,023 adult Americans, was conducted between April 3-5 and carries a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
President Obama pushes his new ties with Turkey, wooing a predominantly Muslim nation and telling the world the United States is not "at war with Islam." In the latest installment of CNN=Politics Daily, CNN Senior White House Correspondent Ed Henry looks at the president's outreach to the Muslim world.
Plus: Mission Accomplished? President Obama has been making a big splash on his European tour, but how is his trip playing out at home? CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider breaks down the numbers in the latest CNN poll.
Also: If you think the president's economic plan is ambitious, take a look at his plan for nuclear disarmament. Can President Obama rid the world of nuclear weapons? CNN's Brian Todd takes a look at the world's stockpiles.
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