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SOTU Scoop
August 21st, 2014
05:18 PM ET

SOTU Scoop

By CNN's Tracey Webb

Your daily scoop of what State of the Union is watching today, August 21, 2014

1. Ferguson face-to-face. Things appear to be calming down in the city. There were fewer protesters in the streets Wednesday night. But there is still a strong demand for answers in the August 9 fatal police shooting of Michael Brown. Attorney General Eric Holder, who visited Ferguson Wednesday, promised a fair, thorough and independent investigation into Brown's shooting by the Justice Department. "In my conversations with dozens of people in Ferguson yesterday it was clear that this shooting incident has brought to the surface underlying tensions that have existed for many years. There is a history to these tensions and that history simmers in more communities than just Ferguson," Holder said. Brown's mother Lesley McSpadden, told CNN that meeting with Holder gave her more confidence about the probe into her son's death. "You can read a person. And when you’re looking at them and they’re looking at you in your eyes it puts some trust back there. That you lost. And he did ensure that it will be a fair and thorough investigation," McSpadden said.

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SOTU Scoop
August 20th, 2014
05:50 PM ET

SOTU Scoop

By CNN's Tracey Webb

Your daily scoop of what State of the Union is watching today, August 20, 2014.

1. Ferguson. Attorney General Eric Holder is in the St. Louis suburb that has been the center of unrest since the August 9th fatal police shooting of Michael Brown. Holder is meeting with federal investigators as well as community leaders. His visit follows what was a relatively peaceful night in Ferguson. Meanwhile St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch said he would begin presenting the Brown case to a grand jury Wednesday, but it will likely be October before the panel has all the evidence.

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SOTU Scoop
August 14th, 2014
06:21 PM ET

SOTU Scoop

By CNN's Tracey Webb

Your daily scoop of what State of the Union is watching today, August 14, 2014.

1. Missouri unrest. Tensions escalated in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson after the most violent night yet since the deadly police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. The town's police chief said 12 people were arrested during protests in which heavily armed police fired tear gas and smoke bombs on largely peaceful protesters. Two reporters were also arrested as police tried to clear out a McDonald's where they were writing. The Washington Post's Wesley Lowery and the Huffington Post's Ryan Reilly both described being roughed up by police. They were later released without explanation.

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SOTU Scoop
August 13th, 2014
03:57 PM ET

SOTU Scoop

Your daily scoop of what State of the Union is watching today, August 13, 2014.

1. Iraq. As nearly 130 more American military advisers arrive in northern Iraq, the U.S. is considering an air evacuation of thousands of Yazidis stranded on a mountain and threatened by ISIS fighters. The plight of the Yazidis, coupled with the ISIS assault against Iraq's semiautonomous Kurdish region, prompted the United States to begin targeted airstrikes over the past several days. Humanitarian airdrops of food and water are also underway. A U.S. official tells CNN that if an air operation is proposed and approved by President Obama, it would require putting U.S. ground troops both on the mountain and at a nearby airfield. The official also said focusing on a possible air option - rather than a ground one - is due to initial indications that going by land would take too long would up the risk to the Yazidis. Meanwhile Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Malaki is fighting efforts to replace him as his support crumbles. Iraq's president has nominated Haider al-Abadi to be the new prime minister, a move supported by both the U.S. and Iraq's neighbor Iran.

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SOTU Scoop
August 8th, 2014
05:04 PM ET

SOTU Scoop

By CNN's Tracey Webb

Get your daily scoop of what State of the Union is watching today, August 8, 2014

  1. U.S. airstrikes in Iraq.  American warplanes have returned to Iraqi airspace targeting the Islamic extremists known as ISIS.  President Obama signed off on the mission after the jihadists became a threat to the city of Irbil, where U.S. personnel are stationed, and to keep ISIS from committing genocide against Christians and the Kurdish minority Yadzis.   The U.S. military is also airdropping food and water to tens of thousands of starving and thirsty Yadzis who were forced into the mountains by the ISIS onslaught.  Sen. John McCain will offer his thoughts on the airstrikes and whether the U.S. should do more Sunday on State of the Union.
  1. Israel-Gaza conflict. The fighting between Israel and Hamas has resumed after the two sides couldn't come to an agreement to extend a three-day truce. Israel hit targets in Gaza in retaliation for what it says were rocket attacks by Hamas.  Palestinians say the renewed fighting has claimed five lives in Gaza.  Israel says rockets fired from Gaza injured one of its civilians and one soldier.   There is no indication if cease-fire talks will be re-started.
  1. The Ebola crisis.  The World Health Organization is now describing the spread of the Ebola virus as an international health emergency.  The WHO says a coordinated global response is needed to curb the crisis.  The epicenter of the Ebola outbreak has been West Africa, where over 900 people have died. Two Americans who contracted the virus while in Liberia are being treated at Atlanta's Emory University Hospital.
  1. The Tea Party.   It lost its last chance to unseat an incumbent Republican senator Thursday, when Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander soundly defeated his primary challenger.   The Tea Party is 0 for 6 in this year's Republican Senate primaries.   The question now is whether Tea Party supporters will back the establishment Republican candidates they railed against.

 

SOTU Scoop
August 7th, 2014
05:54 PM ET

SOTU Scoop

By CNN's Tracey Webb

Your daily scoop of what State of the Union is watching today, August 7, 2014.

1. Iraq. Islamic militants have taken over the country's largest Christian town. The advance of ISIS has forced thousands of Christian Iraqis and other minorities to flee or face death. "We're concerned about the welfare of the large community of Iraqi Yazidis who are stranded on Mount Sinjar without food, water, or shelter, and the Iraqi Christians who have been forced to flee from their villages in the region," said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest. The White House is considering humanitarian air drops as well as airstrikes. In June, the U.S. said it was sending up to 300 military advisers to Iraq to assess conditions there and assist Iraqi forces.

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SOTU Scoop
August 6th, 2014
04:57 PM ET

SOTU Scoop

By CNN's Tracey Webb

Get your daily scoop of what State of the Union is watching today, August 6, 2014.

1. Israel-Gaza crisis. A 72-hour cease-fire appears to be holding after one day, as Israeli and Palestinian officials gathered in Egypt for peace talks. So far there are no signs of an imminent deal to extend or make the truce permanent. Israel is calling for Hamas to disarm, while Palestinian group wants Israel to end its blockade of Gaza. Nearly 1,900 Palestinians have been killed since tensions between Israel and Hamas last month. The U.N estimates civilians deaths account for 70% of deaths in Gaza. On the Israeli side: 64 soldiers and three civilians have died.

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SOTU Scoop
July 24th, 2014
04:29 PM ET

SOTU Scoop

By CNN's Tracey Webb

Your daily scoop of what State of the Union is watching today, July 24, 2014.

1. Israel-Gaza conflict. A strike on a U.N. shelter in northern Gaza has killed and injured multiple people. The Israeli military acknowledges was engaged in combat with Hamas in the area of the shelter at the time, but that it is reviewing the incident and a rocket fired by Hamas could be responsible. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said he was "appalled" by the violence. Meanwhile Secretary of State John Kerry is continuing his shuttle diplomacy in the Middle East to try and broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

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SOTU Scoop
July 23rd, 2014
04:36 PM ET

SOTU Scoop

By CNN's Tracey Webb

Your daily scoop of what State of the Union is watching today, July 23, 2014

1. MH17 victims. The country that suffered the biggest loss in the shoot-down of Flight 17 paused for a national day of mourning as the remains of 40 Dutch victims were returned home.  193 of the 298 people aboard the plane were from the Netherlands. The country's king and queen led the nation of 17 million in a solemn tribute.  Thousands of people lined the route where hearses made their way to a forensics lab.  Examination and identification of the bodies is expected to take months.

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SOTU Scoop
July 11th, 2014
06:11 PM ET

SOTU Scoop

By CNN's Tracey Webb

Get your daily scoop of what State of the Union is watching today, July 11, 2014.

1. Three titans scold Congress. Three of the country's biggest business moguls joined forces to push Congress for immigration reform.  In a New York Times editorial, Warren Buffett, Sheldon Adelson and Bill Gates said there is no excuse for inaction. "It's time for the House to draft and pass a bill that reflects both our country's humanity and its self-interest," they wrote. They also said passage of comprehensive immigration reform legislation would lift the country's spirits which could in turn, improve the economy. Adelson, a casino magnet and a top Republican Party donor, Buffett, the CEO of Berskhire Hathway and a supporter of President Obama, and Gates, the founder of Microsoft, also chided Congress for its role in Washington's constant gridlock. "It's time for 535 of American's citizens to remember what they owe to the 318 million who employ them," they wrote. We discuss the current border crisis and prospects for immigration reform with Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, and four members of the House Sunday on State of the Union.

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