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As racial tensions simmer over police shooting, how military police tactics aggravate crowds

August 14th, 2014
03:24 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Tensions are high in the small American town of Ferguson, Missouri as people take to the streets to protest the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager last Saturday.

Stunning images Wednesday night showed police officers in full riot gear using military grade-vehicles and firing tear gas canisters towards crowds.

“I sat and watched snipers from the top of armored cars train their sights on demonstrators,” Jamelle Bouie, a staff writer for Slate reporting from Ferguson, told CNN’s Hala Gorani, in for Christiane Amanpour.

“When that happens, when people see it happens, it agitates them – completely reasonably. I don’t think there’s anyone, really, who could experience that and not come away from it a little shaken.”


Filed under:  Latest Episode • U.S. Politics

Former British Commander: ‘We created Iraq,’ now we have to help fix it

August 14th, 2014
03:20 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

A highly respected former British commander on Thursday said that the UK had a responsibility to help put Iraq back together again.

“Britain created Iraq in 1920,” Col. Tim Collins told CNN’s Hala Gorani, in for Christiane Amanpour, on Thursday. “It’s hard to say at this moment is there such a nation as Iraq.”

There must be a strong diplomatic effort to create a more “balanced country;” an effort to supply the Kurds with equipment, ammunition, and training; and an effort to get Sunni tribes on board with fighting ISIS, itself an extremist Sunni group.


Filed under:  Iraq • Latest Episode

Aid or invasion? Russia and Ukraine officials battle it out over convoy on live TV

August 13th, 2014
04:21 PM ET

By Henry Hullah

A convoy of 280 Russian trucks are heading towards Ukrainian border. Russian officials say they are full of aid desperately needed for relief efforts in Eastern Ukraine, officials across the border are not so optimistic.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has come out strongly against the convoy said the move is "cynical," and that "it would be better for Russia to send 300 empty Kamaz trucks to take their bandits back. Then there would be no need to send humanitarian aid."

Russian officials have insisted the move is to deliver humanitarian aid to areas in need.

Oleksandr Scherba, the Ambassador-at-Large to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, echoed the view of his Prime Minister on the program:

"Of course we are very distrustful of Russia's intentions from the very beginning Russia didn't show any goodwill whatsoever."

"But on the other hand," Scherba stated, "The humanitarian situation on the ground is very desperate, very difficult. We are not in the kind of situation to be very adamant about sending back anything we receive even from the nation that is behaving in a really hostile manner."

When questioned by Hala Gorani, sitting in for Christiane Amanpour, about why there has been no coordination with red cross, Konstantin Dolgov, the Russian Foreign Ministry's Special Representative for Human Rights, rebutted "I am amazed to hear that it hasn't been coordinated. From what has been said many times, not just by Russian officials, all the details, all the parameters of this humanitarian convoy have been meticulously discussed and agreed upon by: Russia, Ukraine, the International Committee for the Red Cross."

"As far as I understand he [Scherba] works in the Foreign Ministry" the special representative went on to say. "The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has officially, by sending a reply note to the Russian Foreign Ministry, has confirmed that all the details of that humanitarian convoy have been agreed upon. Once they have confirmed that all the details have been agreed upon. This was a very precise official reaction."

"The green light was on in Kiev."

Ukraine's Ambassador-at-large responded: "Nobody except for Moscow knows about that meticulous discussion."


Filed under:  Latest Episode • Russia • Ukraine

Egypt security forces wanted to ‘simply mow down demonstrators,’ says Human Rights Watch

August 13th, 2014
03:22 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Egyptian security forces systematically fired on largely peaceful Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators during the worst spate of violence in the aftermath of President Mohamed Morsy’s removal from power, Human Rights Watch said in a damning new report this week.

“The broad accounts that we received largely corroborated each other, and told a story not of a careful effort to deal with the specific threat of violence, but rather a broad effort to simply mow down demonstrators,” Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth told CNN’s Hala Gorani, in for Christiane Amanpour, on Wednesday.

His organization says the killings of more than 800 people at Raba’a Square last August likely amount to crimes against humanity. Human Rights Watch calls it a premeditated attack equal to, or worse than, China’s Tiananmen Square killings.


Filed under:  Egypt • Latest Episode

Former Iraqi Foreign Minister: 'Maliki himself and some of his associates do not realize how big is the threat'

August 13th, 2014
11:41 AM ET

By Henry Hullah

The rise of Haider al-Abadi to the Prime Minister's office has been applauded around the world and across Iraqi party lines.

The general consensus has been that with his tenure so too shall come a more inclusive government. Former Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told the program that more involvment the country's many factions is a pivotal factor in the struggle against ISIS.

"To be truly representative of the Iraqi communities, nationalities, sexes. It is very important to defeat ISIS."

He told the program that in Iraq's current position, the nation needs "a democratic, a representative, an inclusive government to reach out to all communities and fight back."

When asked why the current government, under the incumbent Prime Minister Maliki, had faltered in it's response to the current crisis, the former Foreign Minister said a lack of speed was due to a failure to realize the extent of the ISIS threat.

He told Fred Pleitgen, in for Christiane Amanpour, that "Maliki himself and some of his associates do not realize how big is the threat."

"You don't get that sense of urgency or the need to move or to make concessions in order to save the country from total collapse."

Filed under:  Iraq

‘Iraq will never be the same’ after fall of Mosul to ISIS, says U.N. representative

August 12th, 2014
03:51 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Warning that Iraq “will never be the same” after Mosul fell to ISIS, the head of the U.N.’s mission in Iraq warned on Tuesday that the country’s next government must act quickly to heal political rifts.

“ISIS has been very clever in using the fault-lines that exist within Iraqi society and implanting itself pretty much a cancer would in a human body,” Nikolay Mladenov told CNN’s Fred Pleitgen, in for Christiane Amanpour.

“It needs to be dealt with at a security level, but it also needs to be addressed, the problem needs to be addressed at a political level.”


Former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad: 'I'm shocked but not surprised'

August 12th, 2014
02:42 PM ET

By Henry Hullah

As the United States Ambassador to Iraq from 2005-2007, Zalmay Khalilzad said he was met with "demanding circumstances with a lot of violence."

Since the end of his tenure, Iraq and the region surrounding it have spiraled​ into political unrest and violent conflict.

The events have left the former ambassador "Shocked but not surprised."

The United States stepped into the fray with aid drops and airstrikes this week and by doing so, Zalmay Khalilzad says, U.S. President Barack Obama has "saved the lives of many people" and helped "Kurds prevent a takeover of Irbil, possibly, by the ISIS terrorists."

"I think the president has taken a good step. He needs to build on that as the situation requires."

Regarding the trials facing Nuri al-Maliki's replacement, the "more worldly" Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi, Khalilzad told the program "he has huge challenges confronting him."​

Filed under:  Iraq • Latest Episode

Iraq's Ambassador to U.S. Lukman Faily: ‘Airstrikes need to be wider and more intense’

August 11th, 2014
04:06 PM ET

By Henry Hullah

U.S. airstrikes and aid drops have given hope to many in Iraq, where a large portion of the country is still under the control of ISIS militants.

However political turmoil has peaked in Baghdad with the new Iraqi president's nomination for Prime Minister: Haider al-Abadi. It's a job the incumbent Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki pronounced he wanted for a third term.

A defiant al-Maliki has stated that the nomination of his former aide is in breach of the constitution, while al-Abadi has thirty days to form his new government.

Iraq's Ambassador to the United States, Lukman Faily, remains hopeful about the situation and told Fred Pleitgen, sitting in for Christiane Amanpour, that he is "confident it will be resolved soon".

"What we have seen over the last six weeks we have never seen it before. Previously it took six months and the previous election nine months, now we are talking about six weeks. We are making significant progress now."


Filed under:  Iraq • Latest Episode

Murdoch’s reign ‘like the power of a school bully’

August 8th, 2014
11:31 AM ET

By Mick Krever and Annabel Archer, CNN

It is the scandal that has shaken Britain to its core, embroiling the political elite, the police and the press.

Allegations that British journalists hacked into phones and computers, and were involved in bribery, forced media tycoon Rupert Murdoch to shut down the country’s best-selling newspaper and resulted in the conviction of Andy Coulson, a former newspaper editor and top aide to Prime Minister David Cameron.

“It begins with the crime in the newspapers,” Nick Davies, the reporter who uncovered the hacking scandal, told CNN’s Fred Pleitgen, in for Christiane Amanpour, on Thursday.

“But when you look at the way the authorities reacted to that, you see first of all the press regulator, and then Scotland Yard, refusing to investigate properly, refusing to get anywhere near the bottom of the problem.”

Davies is the author of a new book, “Hack Attack: How the truth caught up with Rupert Murdoch.”


Filed under:  Journalism • Latest Episode

Forty years since Nixon resignation

August 7th, 2014
02:53 PM ET

Forty years ago Friday, Richard Nixon became the first-ever U.S. President to resign.

But just 24 hours before he stepped down, the American president still believed he could remain in office.

CNN's Fred Pleitgen has the story. Click above to watch.

Filed under:  Imagine a World • Latest Episode
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