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Twitter founder Dorsey and Iran President Rouhani exchange tweets

October 1st, 2013
06:20 PM ET

The founder and chairman of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, exchanged tweets with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday.

Dorsey started the exchange:

Just over five hours later, the Twitter account representing Rouhani's office replied, and referenced his interview last week with CNN's Christiane Amanpour.

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Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Iran

Assad will never give up chemical stockpile, defected Syrian General al-Sakat tells Amanpour

October 1st, 2013
03:47 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

A defected Syrian general told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday that Bashar al-Assad will never give up his chemical stockpile.

“The locations of most of the scientific research centers in Syria and the storage facilities are known and under surveillance, thus, he will give up those centers and facilities for sure without lying. That said however, Bashar al-Assad will not give up the chemical stockpile,” Syrian Brigadier General Zaher al-Sakat said.

General al-Sakat says that he defected from the Syrian military after he was ordered to use chemical agents; he says he swapped the chemicals out for something non-toxic to fool his commanders.

The general said that in addition to four secret locations within Syria, the regime is currently transferring chemical weapons to Iraq and Lebanon, an enormous claim that the commander of the opposition Free Syrian Army, General Salim Idriss, recently also made to Amanpour.

Lebanon and Iraq denied the claims at the time, and CNN's Barbara Starr reported that, if true, the allegation would fundamentally shift the assessments of U.S. intelligence officials.

Al-Sakat said that the oppositions’ intelligence monitored “twenty eight large trucks moving from Jdeedet Yabous, toward Lebanon, then to Hezbollah, which were heavily guarded. They also found in the Frouqlus area more than fifty large Mercedes and Volvo trucks, also heavily guarded, moving in the direction of Iraq.”

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Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode • Syria

Is America a failed State?

October 1st, 2013
03:17 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

NASA’s unmanned Voyager 2 spacecraft may have put it best when it “tweeted” from beyond the solar system: “Farewell, humans. Sort it out yourselves.”

Most employees at NASA are now among the million U.S. government employees on forced leave because congress has failed to pass a spending bill, forcing a shutdown.

The world is watching in seeming disbelief. So, is America a failed state?

Not quite, but the apparent failure of the American congress to govern certainly raises the question. If we were covering some of the far-flung failing states we often do, we’d know just how to put it.

“The capital’s rival clans find themselves at an impasse, unable to agree on a measure that will allow the American state to carry out its most basic functions. … The current crisis has raised questions in the international community about the regime’s ability to govern this complex nation of 300 million people.”

That, of course, was a satirical post; it appeared in the online magazine Slate, but it just about fits.

A small cabal of representatives in the House have blocked passage of a government spending bill, and are threatening to default on America’s debts, because they disagree with a bill, Obamacare, passed by congress three years ago.

At stake, unlike a “Banana Republic” is the world’s largest economy and the currency of global trade.

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Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Economy • Latest Episode • U.S. Politics