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SOTU EXTRA: Same-sex rulings
March 2nd, 2014
09:20 AM ET

SOTU EXTRA: Same-sex rulings

By Paige Hymson

Many observers call it the most rapidly changing social issue of our time. State legislatures and American voters have made widespread modifications over the past years regarding same-sex marriage rights and freedoms. Last month, Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage was deemed unconstitutional by a federal judge. This comes alongside a series of recent federal court rulings that are overturning state’s bans against same-sex marriage.

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SOTU EXTRA: Biden's 2016 dance
March 2nd, 2014
09:20 AM ET

SOTU EXTRA: Biden's 2016 dance

By Paige Hymson

This week Vice President Joe Biden announced he’s running, but not for the 2016 presidential nomination. Biden and President Obama jogged through the White House in a comical YouTube video, as part of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign. Biden says “Mr. President, are you ready to move,” to which the duo shows off how they stay fit.

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Filed under: Joe Biden • SOTU Extra • State of the Union
SOTU EXTRA: Ukraine upheaval
March 2nd, 2014
08:44 AM ET

SOTU EXTRA: Ukraine upheaval

By Paige Hymson and Michelle Koepp

The escalating tensions in Ukraine are developing every moment. The crisis began in November of last year when President Viktor Yanukovych rejected a trade deal with the European Union. This dismissal symbolized a closer tie between Ukraine and Russia. The arrangement was popular among many Western Ukrainian citizens who were expecting a stronger economic connection with the European Union. Ukraine is a country that is bordered by Russia and Central Europe, and has been characterized as a country divided. Most citizens in Eastern Ukraine, specifically in the southern region of Crimea, which functions with regional autonomy, speak Russian and embrace pro-Russian policies. Ukrainian speakers live in the West and lean toward the EU.

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Filed under: Russia • SOTU Extra • State of the Union • Ukraine
SOTU Scoop
February 28th, 2014
04:23 PM ET

SOTU Scoop

By Tracey Webb

Your daily scoop of what State of the Union is watching today, February 28, 2014.

1. The Clinton papers. More than 4,000 pages of documents released by the Clinton Presidential Library is offering a new look at the workings of the Clinton White House. Among the early highlights: Hillary Clinton told Democratic leaders in Congress in 1993 that a Republican alternative to require people to get health insurance would be "a much harder sell" for her husband's administration than its ultimately defeated proposal requiring employers to provide health coverage for workers. Ironically, the mandate is the heart of what is now known as Obamacare.

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Sunday on State of the Union
February 28th, 2014
03:03 PM ET

Sunday on State of the Union

Russia's Parliament signed off Saturday on President Vladimir Putin's request to send military forces into Ukraine, raising the stakes in a quickly escalating game of brinksmanship between the two countries.

Ukraine's ambassador to the United Nations is calling Russia’s actions a clear act of aggression, saying Russian troops are being deployed and increasing "every hour." Ambassador Yuriy Sergeyev joins us exclusively for a live interview.

President Obama and Vladimir Putin spoke on the phone for nearly 90 minutes.  Obama’s Former National Security Adviser Tom Donilon will be here to discuss the implications of rising tensions between the U.S. and Russia.

President Obama said that the US supports sovereignty of Ukraine, warning Russian President Vladimir Putin that “there will be costs” for intervening.  Two members of the Senate, Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin and South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham on Russia’s bold move into the Crimean peninsula, and Obama’s bold move to cut the military budget back here at home.

It might have just been a quick lap around the White House with the President, but the Vice President looks to be getting into shape for more than just a West Wing jog. Can Joe Biden finally make it to the finish line in a presidential run, or will Hillary Clinton trip him up. Our political panel – former Obama insider Bill Burton, New York Times columnist Ross Douthat and Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report – weigh in on the 2016 contenders.

And in our special noon hour, the former U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Beyrle joins us for a discussion on Putin’s next move and the U.S. response. We’ll also have the latest from CNN reporters here in Washington and around the world.

Sunday 9am and Noon ET.

SOTU Scoop
February 27th, 2014
04:59 PM ET

SOTU Scoop

By Tracey Webb

Your daily scoop of what State of the Union is watching today, February 27, 2014.

1. Russia's war games. As tensions grow in Ukraine's Crimea region, Russia is conducting military exercises on the Ukrainian border.  The United States is expressing concern about Russia's moves. "I expect Russia to be transparent about these activities, and I urge them not to take any steps that could be misinterpreted, or lead to miscalculation during a very delicate time - a time of great tension," said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Is the Cold War on again?

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February 27th, 2014
03:35 PM ET

Washington "Scandal"-ized

By CNN's Deena Zaru

Reality is what you choose to show and not necessarily what is; public image is invaluable and what you say can and will be used against you not only in the court of law, but in the court of public opinion; and sometimes silence is more dangerous than anything you might say.

Welcome to Washington D.C. – where if the media and the public pay attention to you, chances are you are in need of an adviser, an image consultant – and in the midst of scandal – a cunning, capable and calculating crisis manager.

Enter Olivia Pope.

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SOTU Scoop
February 26th, 2014
05:39 PM ET

SOTU Scoop

By Tracey Webb

Get your daily scoop of what we're watching for February 26, 20014.

1. Arizona's anti-gay bill. Pressure is growing against a measure that would allow the Grand Canyon state's retailers to refuse service to LGBT customers based on the owners' religious convictions. More than 80 businesses have sent a letter to Gov. Jan Brewer urging her to veto the bill.  "When the legislature passes bills like this, it creates a reputation that Arizona is judgmental and unwelcoming," the letter said. "This will haunt our business community for decades to come." The Hispanic National Bar Association is also pulling its 2015 convention from Phoenix to protest the bill.  Brewer must sign or reject the bill by the end of this week.

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Sochi Goes Social
February 22nd, 2014
08:18 PM ET

Sochi Goes Social

By Paige Hymson

Evident from historic terror attacks, protests, and more, the Olympic Games have been used as a tool for political discourse for many years. An international event intended as an athletic competition, often turns into a political competition by the participating nations. Boycotting the games has been a common pattern of opposition toward the host country in the past. Women’s rights and racial matters are among some of the many issues that have engaged the political agenda in a number of past Olympic events.

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SOTU Scoop
February 21st, 2014
05:28 PM ET

SOTU Scoop

By Tracey Webb

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

1. The governors. The nation's governors are in D.C for a three-day winter meeting that begins Saturday. With both the White House and Congress looking to the midterms, not much is expected out of Washington this year.  That means any action on the country's pressing domestic issues is more likely to happen in the states.  So what's going on out there on minimum wage, health care, same-sex marriage and the death penalty? And what do governors want from Washington? We'll talk with Gov. Mike Pence, R-Indiana, Gov. Dan Malloy, D-Connecticut, Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, and Gov. Jay Nixon, D-Missouri, on State of the Union Sunday.

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