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Is U.S. action on Syria too little too late?
May 30th, 2014
06:11 PM ET

Is U.S. action on Syria too little too late?

By CNN's Deena Zaru

President Obama reaffirmed Wednesday in his commencement speech at West Point that the United States will not intervene militarily in Syria, stating that there is “no military solution that can eliminate the terrible suffering anytime soon.”

Taking boots on the ground off the table, the President supports a collaborative and political approach. He pledged to work with Congress to “ramp up” support for elements of the Syrian opposition who "offer the best alternative to terrorists and a brutal dictator."

FULL POST


Filed under: SOTU Extra • Syria
May 24th, 2014
01:40 PM ET

Pivotal Papal pronouncements

As Pope Francis travels to the Holy Land, we take a look back at some pivotal papal pronouncements.


Filed under: Pope Francis • SOTU Extra
“Little light of the world” in the West Bank
May 23rd, 2014
08:34 PM ET

“Little light of the world” in the West Bank

By CNN's Deena Zaru

Pope Francis is making his first trip to the Middle East since becoming the leader of Catholic Church last year. And while the spotlight shines on two cities he will visit, Jerusalem and Bethlehem, Palestinian Christians in Gaza and the West Bank, hope to participate in this religious pilgrimage as well.

Palestinians in the West Bank need permits to enter Jerusalem. During religious holidays, the Israeli government allows a small number of Palestinian Christians to visit the holy sites there.

FULL POST


Filed under: SOTU Extra • State of the Union
The "word gap" in America's schools
May 17th, 2014
07:01 PM ET

The "word gap" in America's schools

By CNN's Deena Zaru

Sixty years ago today, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that racial segregation in schools is unconstitutional; however, a reality of “separate but unequal” still exists in some American schools and is tied to the racial segregation of neighborhoods.

A Pew Research Center study found that in 2010 15.9% of white students attended a majority-minority school, compared to 79 percent of Hispanic and 76.5 percent of black students.

FULL POST


Filed under: SOTU Extra • State of the Union
Fifteen ways to slice the midterms
May 17th, 2014
04:01 PM ET

Fifteen ways to slice the midterms

By CNN's Rick DiBella

Through the cacophony of noise that is political analyses and reporting comes our effort to cut through it all with a User’s Guide to slice and dice the story lines (in no particular order) from now till November.

1)      Return of the Establishment. But will it mean GOP victories in the fall? The tea party’s candidates have failed to catch on in Kentucky, North Carolina and Mississippi, to name a few. Absent any one-time-witches in the field, there’s no guarantee that the tea party faithful will turn out in droves to push Sen. McConnell over the finish line.

2)      Where art thou independents? Are the disenfranchised conservatives or are they middle of the road voters who are thoroughly ticked-off at Washington? Either way; will they vote?

FULL POST


Filed under: Peanut Gallery • SOTU Extra • State of the Union
May 10th, 2014
03:27 PM ET

Some Mother’s Day Love

By CNN's Susan Garraty

President Barack Obama explained to a group of students last month while visiting Kuala Lumpur his biggest regret: he should have spent more time with his mother. In his 20’s and 30’s, the President said his busy life in Chicago as a grass roots organizer and then attorney meant that he didn’t always reach out and communicate with his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham.

“I regret not having spent more time with my mother. Because she died early - she got cancer right around when she was my age, actually, she was just a year older than I am now,” mused the President.

FULL POST

How far (or not) the American political culture has come
April 12th, 2014
06:08 PM ET

How far (or not) the American political culture has come

By Michelle Koepp

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama honored the legislation that helped pave his path to the White House. Fifty years ago, the 1964 Civil Rights Act was signed into law. It made it illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, gender, or national origin.  The act outlawed for the first time the segregation of whites and minorities at lunch counters, on buses, and in other public places. It also notably gave women legal recourse for workplace gender discrimination, giving American women a metaphorical “hammer” which they could wield to shatter the glass ceiling.

FULL POST


Filed under: SOTU Extra • State of the Union
Mental Health in the Military
April 6th, 2014
07:36 AM ET

Mental Health in the Military

By Michelle Koepp

(CNN) Ivan Lopez juggled life as an Army Specialist, husband and father.  His neighbor at Ft. Hood says that whenever Lopez saw someone he would smile.

On Wednesday Lopez shot and killed three people and wounded sixteen others. About twenty minutes into the rampage, he walked towards a military policewoman and shot himself.

All of those killed and injured were U.S. servicemen, shot on the same base still synonymous with a massacre that visited Fort Hood just five years ago. FULL POST


Filed under: SOTU Extra • State of the Union
Beyond the "Black Box"
April 6th, 2014
05:52 AM ET

Beyond the "Black Box"

By Paige Hymson

(CNN) A Chinese patrol ship detected a pulse signal in the Southern Indian Ocean according to reports on Saturday. Although the signal’s frequency of 37.5 kHz matches the standard frequency for cockpit voice recorders, there is no confirmation the signal is from missing flight MH370. Time is running out in the race to locate the flight’s black box, with batteries that last for only a required 30 days.

As the search narrows in focus on the location of the black box, there’s increasing attention to future developments in aviation technology. Perhaps, some experts suggest, the black box is no longer the most resourceful way to reveal information from an airliner in our high-tech age. FULL POST


Filed under: SOTU Extra • State of the Union
March 28th, 2014
05:10 PM ET

Popes and Presidents

Every president since Eisenhower has met with the Pope during his presidency.

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Filed under: SOTU Extra • State of the Union
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