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By Mick Krever, CNN
An American default on its debt could do “nothing good” for the economy, either in the U.S. or abroad, Former Republican Senator Judd Gregg told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday.
Gregg spoke with Amanpour as the U.S. faced dual financial crises: An impeding government shutdown imposed by a congress unwilling to fund the government, which could come Monday night, and a possible default on the government’s debts, which would come in about three weeks.
It is that second problem, a default on America’s debts, that would be the much “bigger problem,” Gregg said.
“It would,” he told Amanpour, “obviously [have] significant ramifications for the country and for our fiscal policies.”
There are a group of Republicans in the House of Representatives who do not want President Obama’s healthcare reform – dubbed Obamacare – to go into effect, and are willing to do anything possible to block it.
Scientists are now 95% certain that humans are responsible for climate change, according to a major new study, and two prominent environmentalists told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that the time is now for a “groundswell” of changed thinking.
Amanpour spoke with Jane Goodall, a primatologist best known for her work with chimpanzees, and Doctor Vandana Shiva, an environmental activist who fights for changed agricultural practices, in an interview that aired Monday.
“I really believe the time has come for sanity, for responsibility,” Shiva told Amanpour, “for recognizing the rights of Mother Earth, for recognizing a deep science that works in accordance with the laws of Gaia” – the Greek personification of Earth – “not the shallow and irresponsible science that works only in the marketplace for profits and power.”
Goodall and Shiva spoke with Amanpour as they were attending the International Women’s Earth and Climate Change Summit in New York.
Goodall too emphasized the need for change.
“All my life I have loved being out in nature,” she said, “and I see nature shrinking and shrinking as human populations spread, as development takes over areas that once were so beautiful and so clean; forests, which protect the quality of the air and of the water, are being destroyed.”
For Shiva, a change in agricultural practices would have an impact of incredible scope.
“For every crisis we face today,” she said, “whether it be the economic crisis and the disappearance of wealth and jobs, or it be the ecological crisis with climate at the center, or it be the food crisis that a billion people are facing directly for lack of food and two billion for lack of good food, healthy food, and are suffering diseases of obesity, diabetes, etc. – all of these problems get solved by promoting ecological agriculture on the basis of a science of agroecology.”
“I think,” she said, “we need a groundswell across the world that creates another paradigm and another worldview.”
Goodall has focused much of her work of late on inspiring young people to do their part in keeping the planet healthy.
“It makes me so angry when I look at a small child today and I think how we’ve harmed this beautiful planet since I was that age,” Goodall said. “And it makes me so sad to my soul when young people, like in college, say, ‘Well, you know I feel depressed, or I feel angry, or I don’t care because you’ve compromised our future and there’s nothing we can do about it.’”
“And we have,” she said. “We have compromised their future.”
By Lucky Gold, CNN
In the midst of the Annual UNGA Madness here in New York – gridlock traffic, a glut of world leaders at the United Nations and the whole diplomatic in-crowd there – it's worth nothing that diplomacy can take other forms, and music is one of the most universal.
Last year, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright beat the drums for jazz, diplomatically, at Washington's Kennedy Center.
It's a tradition that goes back half a century, to the remarkable journey of one of the world's great jazz composers and diplomats.
Imagine a world where you can "Take the A Train" all the way to Kabul.
Is the Muslim Brotherhood banned in Egypt?
Earlier this week, an Egyptian court ordered a ban on activities of the Muslim Brotherhood and froze its finances, according to state-run news website EgyNews.
Not so fast, a top adviser ElMostafa Hegazy, political and strategic adviser to the president of Egypt, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday.
“The Muslim Brotherhood as an organization” – Hegazy using air quotes as he said the word – “has never been a legal organization,” he told Amanpour. “It has been only a name, a slogan, that’s called the MBs, but all the time – as you said – they’ve been running as independents under this kind of theme, under this kind of slogan.”
“Maybe,” he allowed, “I would say – in a slogan way of saying it – that they have been a ‘banned organization.’”
“Libya is not a failing state,” Prime Minister Ali Zeidan emphatically told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in an interview that aired Thursday. “The state of Libya doesn't exist yet.”
“We are trying to create a state, and we are not ashamed of that,” he said. “The outside world believes that Libya is failing, but Libya was destroyed by Gaddafi for forty two years and was destroyed by a full year of civil war. And that's why we are trying to rebuild it.”
He said that the idea that democracy can be built “within a month” is “an illusion.”
The most-current crisis in Libya involves the militias that have run rampant since the revolution.
Militias in the east of the country are demanding more autonomy from the central government, and have severely constrained Libya’s oil output, which is central to its export revenue.
Prime Minister Zeidan denied reports that his government had tried to pay off the militias to get their cooperation, a charge he vigorously denied, calling such a move “immoral” and “inappropriate.”
Part one of CNN's Christiane Amanpour's interview with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in New York.
Part two of CNN's Christiane Amanpour's interview with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in New York.
By Josh Levs and Mick Krever, CNN
Iran's new president has acknowledged that Nazis killed Jews, furthering the stark contrast between himself and his predecessor, who called the Holocaust a "myth."
In a wide-ranging interview with CNN, he also discussed Israel and Syria.
"Any crime that happens in history against humanity, including the crime the Nazis committed towards the Jews as well as non-Jews, was reprehensible and condemnable," President Hassan Rouhani said in an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour.
"Whatever criminality they committed against the Jews, we condemn, because genocide, the taking of the human life, is condemnable and it makes no difference whether that life is a Jewish life, a Christian or a Muslim or what. For us it's the same."
He also referred to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the full interview and accompanying transcript of CNN's Christiane Amanpour's conversation with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, HOST: Mr. President, welcome. Welcome to the program. Thank you for joining us.
PRES. HASSAN ROUHANI, IRAN (through translator): I thank your program and you for preparing this interview.
By Christiane Amanpour, CNN
Hassan Rouhani is the fourth Iranian President I have interviewed, and each time these discussions seem to come at crucial times.
I was struck by the fact that he agreed to say a sentence or two in English to reach the American people in their own language, saying he was bringing peace and friendship from Iran.
I recall the huge excitement there was the first time when the first reform president, Mohammad Khatami, sat down with me and delivered what many called his manifesto for moderation: change and freedom … that was in 1998.
Like Rouhani, he too was the “mullah with a smiling face” and spoke words on CNN that truly changed the tone of the country’s relations with the rest of the world.
But soon it was clear that Khatami did not have the mandate from the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, and hardliners quickly swept away his reforms, and people’s hopes. The brief Tehran Spring withered and died.
I asked Rouhani: What would be different this time?
Editor's note: This is an excerpt from Christiane Amanpour's full interview with President Hassan Rouhani, which will air at 2 p.m. ET Wednesday on CNN International.
Iran's new president has acknowledged the Holocaust, furthering the stark contrast between himself and his predecessor.
"Whatever criminality they committed against the Jews we condemn. The taking of human life is contemptible. It makes no difference whether that life is a Jewish life, Christian or Muslim."
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