By Samuel Burke, CNN
The world's second superpower is pouring billions of dollars into Africa, running oil and mining firms all over the continent.
China is constructing everything from roads and bridges to stadiums and important government buildings.
The headquarters of the African Union, perhaps the most important political building in Africa, was built entirely with Chinese money, to the tune of $200 million.
And while China is aggressively investing in Africa, the U.S. appears to be sitting on the sidelines. China has passed the U.S. to become Africa's biggest trading partner. FULL POST
By Samuel Burke, CNN
Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians are completely stalled.
Parties from both sides have called for America to renew its efforts, but one person is not.
Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi argues that America's role in that peace process is actually hindering the situation, not helping it, in his new book called "Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East.
Khalidi believes that a trip like the one President Barack Obama just made to the region has more do with the U.S. relationship with Israel than it does with the Palestinians.
In his book, Khalidi goes as far to argue that the U.S. is largely complicit, whether deliberately or not, in the reality that there's been no peace between these two places. FULL POST
A new Twitter tool tracks every Tweet sent for negative statements and sentiment about people's jobs or bosses. CNN's Samuel Burke looks at how this tool could even be used to save us from ourselves.
Chinese entrepreneur Jack Ma, who is 48, says he's too old for the Internet.
Pope Francis has been shunning the frills of his new job and this time he is choosing a new more modest apartment as his home for now.
Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad Haddad discusses Egypt's continued turmoil with CNN's Ali Velshi.
Money isn’t everything – but if you’re 17 and made $30 million overnight, it certainly doesn’t feel too bad.
Nick D'Aloisio is the 17-year-old wunderkind everyone is talking about since Yahoo announced the purchase of his two-year-old app, Summly.
In an interview with CNN’s Ali Velshi on Wednesday, D'Aloisio explained that though he was the “sole founder” of the company, he did get help from some big names before Yahoo’s purchase.
“I was fortunate enough for the Hong Kong billionaire Lee Ka Shing to just cold approach me,” D'aloisio said – he was fifteen at the time.
Lee’s team was trying to work out a date to meet with D'Aloisio, but when they realized he was still in school, they decided to fly out and meet the schoolboy in person.
D'Aloisio said though he developed the original algorithm, he wasn’t the only person behind the app’s engineering.
“We have a team of in-house scientists that have also been coding,” he said. “We worked with Sanford S.R.I. – they are the guys who did Siri, for example. So they actually generated brand new I.P. – it wasn’t licenses. They didn’t have any staff, previously existing. We built I.P. together, under an exclusive license. And then when we sold to Yahoo – all that I.P. was transferred over to them. So Summly and Yahoo owns 100% of the I.P.”
Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the Russian Duma's foreign affairs committee, speaks to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour about the death of Russian business oligarch Boris Berezovsky. Pushkov also discusses the allegation of chemical weapon use in Syria.
By Samuel Burke & Ken Olshansky, CNN
More and more detainees at Guantanamo Bay prison are joining a hunger strike to protest their conditions.
The U.S. government says 31 prisoners have now stopped eating. At least 11 of them have lost so much weight that they are now being force-fed.
Some of these detainees have been in detention for more than 11 years with no trial and no end in sight, even though many have long-since been cleared for transfer to their home countries, or to a third country.
The hunger strikes started in February, when prisoners claim that guards searched through their personal effects, including their Qurans — a practice they protested.
A military spokesman denies any mishandling of the prisoners' holy books.
In testimony earlier this month, the Marine Corps commander overseeing Guantanamo pointed to a more fundamental reason for the hunger strike.
“They had great optimism that Guantanamo would be closed,” Gen. John F. Kelly said. “They were devastated when the president backed off - at least their perception - of closing the facility.”
Carlos Warner is a public defender representing 11 Guantanamo detainees, two of whom are among are hunger strikers. One of them, a Kuwaiti named Fayez al-Kandari, has lost more than 30 pounds in recent weeks.
Warner just returned from Guantanamo, where he described the conditions as “dire” in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday.
A change in military commander at Guantanamo Bay sparked the current situation, Warner told Amanpour.
“Col. Bogdan lit the fuel on fire by his oppressive search of the men and taking away the things that they had grown accustomed to for years, like isomats,” which Warner described as a type of insulated bed mat the prisoners had been sleeping on. In the midst of that situation, Warner said the search of Qurans took place and became a rallying point for the detainees there.
“This is about frustration; this is about the Obama administration ignoring Guantanamo in every way, shape and form.”
Warner describes himself as a liberal who supported President Obama, but is disappointed that Obama has completely ignored Guantanamo and blamed Republicans in Congress – an argument Warner rejects.
“There's not one person in this administration that I can call and say I need to talk somebody in the White House about the hunger strike.”
Warner said there had been one person in the State Department, Daniel Fried, whose job was to oversee the closing down of Guantanamo; but now, his office has actually been closed down.
This leaves Warner’s clients in “indefinite detention” for life, he said. “It leaves them with the prospect of the only way we leave Guantanamo is death. And unfortunately, I think the men are ready to embrace this. And I don't see the military backing off.”
Warner told Amanpour the military rejected a possible solution his clients offered up: “The men wanted to voluntarily surrender the Qurans. They would rather not have their Qurans than have them searched in the manner that they'd been searched. This would get them eating tomorrow.”
This was previously allowed in Guantanamo from 2006 to 2007, according to Warner. He said the new command either is unaware of that; or is unwilling to go that step.
“That would not solve the problem. But it would get the men eating again,” Warner said.
By Samuel Burke, CNN
When it comes to accepting the American gay-rights movement, courts and politicians have lagged behind pop culture.
But hip-hop has remained one corner of the entertainment world where homophobia has strongly persisted. Now, even that appears to be changing.
A turning point came last year when singer Frank Ocean professed his sexual attraction to men and stunned the music world.
The American rapper Macklemore, whose real name is Ben Haggerty and is the voice behind the hugely popular song "Thrift Shop," has created his own sensation, with the his gay-rights anthem "Same Love."
The accompany music video went viral online, in which he raps, “If I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me; Have you read the YouTube comments lately?”