WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama fought back against criticism of his plan for a Consumer Financial Protection Agency Saturday, telling Americans that the new department would prevent them from being confused or deceived by lenders.
The proposed agency - one element of the massive overhaul of financial sector regulations the administration unveiled last week - has come under fire from industry and other critics who say it will introduce unnecessary government intervention into everyday business practices.
"[T]hese are interests that have benefited from a system which allowed ordinary Americans to be exploited," he said. "These interests argue against reform even as millions of people are facing the consequences of this crisis in their own lives. These interests defend business-as-usual even though we know that it was business-as-usual that allowed this crisis to take place."
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/06/20/reporter.escape.afghanistan/art.nytimes.reporter.handout.jpg caption="Rohde escaped from the Taliban on Friday."](CNN) - On The Reliable Sources segment of CNN’s “State of the Union” this Sunday, Howard Kurtz will get insight on New York Times reporter David Rohde’s daring escape from a Taliban prison from the liberated journalist’s boss, Times Executive Editor Bill Keller.
Rohde, who along with a local reporter and driver was being held at a prison in North Waziristan region of Pakistan, escaped on Friday night by climbing over a wall of the compound.
Rohde was captured on November 10, 2008, but The Times and other media organizations chose not to report the story for fear that it would jeopardize Rohde’s safety.
Related: Read about Rohde's harrowing escape
Keller will also discuss his recent trip to Iran, and his experience covering that country's election.
See Keller at 10 am EST on Sunday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama called Saturday for the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people.
"The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching," Obama said in a White House statement. "We mourn each and every innocent life that is lost. We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people."
He said the United States stands with all who seek to exercise what he called the universal rights to assembly and free speech.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama ribbed the press corps Friday night at the Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner in Washington, thanking them for "this opportunity to tell all the jokes that weren’t funny enough for me to use when we did this five weeks ago" at the more high-profile White House Correspondents Dinner.
“The jokes may not be as good - but neither is the guest list,” Obama joked. “For me there’s no contest. Why bother hanging out with celebrities when I can spend time with the people who made me one?"
“...A few nights ago, I was up tossing and turning trying to figure exactly what to say. Finally, when I couldn’t get back to sleep, I rolled over and asked [NBC News anchor] Brian Williams what he thought.”