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Cardinal hails ‘welcoming’ language on homosexuals

October 15th, 2014
02:36 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

As the Vatican signals a tone shift towards homosexuals and gay couples, a key author of a report being prepared for Pope Francis said that the new language fits within existing Church doctrine.

It is “not so much a change in the teaching of the Church, but a way of saying it that is far more inviting, far more welcoming,” Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington D.C., told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday.

A group of Cardinals and bishops tasked by the pope with examining issues of the family on Monday said, in an interim report, that “Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community.”

“It’s saying what the catechism of the church already says,” Cardinal Wuerl said, “that every person has a dignity all of their own; a worth, a value, a God-given dignity. And a person, a homosexual person, a person who has this orientation, has the dignity of being who they are.”

The Vatican, and Cardinal Wuerl, emphasized that the opinion is still far from being an official position of the Church, or from impacting its teachings. But for a religion that has long ostracized homosexuals, it is a stunning shift in tone.

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Iran touts ‘experience’ fighting terrorists, says airstrikes not enough against ISIS

October 14th, 2014
03:27 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Iran has “good experience” fighting terrorists, and came to the aid of Iraqis against ISIS, the speaker of the Iranian parliament told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, saying that U.S.-led airstrikes alone would not be enough to destroy the militants.

“I think it is very unlikely to destroy guerilla fighters by just dropping bombs on their heads,” Ali Larijani said through an interpreter.

Along with the president, Hassan Rouhani, and Supreme Leader, Ali Khamanei, he is one of the most powerful people in the country.

“Us, I mean Iran, went to the side of the Iraqis very early when the crisis broke out. We don't really want to broadcast it; we don't want to go to the media and talk about what we did for the Iraqis. But in practice, we defended them.”

The head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force, Qasem Soleimani, has even been photographed on the ground in Iraq.

“Terrorists cannot be destroyed by bombing them. You cannot solve terrorism by occupation. And in order to fight them effectively, you have to choose another method. And you know that we have good experience in that, because we have actually fought against them.”

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Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Iran • Iraq • Latest Episode • Syria

ISIS fight may take 5-10 years, says key Iraqi MP

October 13th, 2014
03:25 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Countering the assessment of the Obama Administration, a key Iraqi parliamentarian on Monday told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that the fight against ISIS could last “five to ten years.”

Mowaffak al-Rubaie represents Baghdad in parliament and is a former national security adviser to then-Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

“I do not agree with the White House assessment that three years is enough to destroy ISIS from Iraq and Syria. I believe this is a long war, and we have to prepare ourselves in a political, social, and ideological challenge as well, as well as the security challenge.”

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Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Iraq • Latest Episode • Syria

Ebola could be under control by end of the year, says U.N.

October 13th, 2014
03:20 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Despite worrying developments about the spread of Ebola internationally and devastating mortality in West Africa, the epidemic could be “under control” by the end of the year, the U.N. Ebola envoy, Dr. David Nabarro, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday.

Owing to an “extraordinary and totally unprecedented response” by the international community, the rate at which Ebola cases are increasing could be slowed, he said, by the end of December – “bend[ing] the epidemic curve down.”

“At the moment, the outbreak curve is increasing exponentially. That means we’re doubling every three to four weeks.”

“Being fully controlled is when transmission completely stops, and that will take a bit more time, after the end of this year.”

“We do need to make sure that we can get all the resources in place in time to support the governments with their response. And if anything gets in the way, then it may be difficult to hit that target.”

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Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Ebola • Latest Episode

Tapes could prove inhuman treatment at Guantanamo, says detainee's lawyer

October 10th, 2014
11:14 AM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Tapes that show the force-feeding of prisoners at Guantanamo bay will show the world that it is “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment,” a lawyer for one of the prisoners told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday.

“Doing it day after day, to people who are suffering a great deal of pain, it can rise to the level of torture, I think,” Cori Crider said.

Her client, Abu Wa’el Dhiab, was cleared for release from the prison camp in 2009 but is yet to be freed, among a morass of toxic bureaucracy and politics.

To protest his imprisonment and treatment, he and several other prisoners are on long-term hunger-strike; the U.S. military forcibly feeds them, with a tube inserted through the nose into the stomach, twice a day.

Crider and the human rights group Reprieve successfully sued the government to release the videos, and a federal judge on Thursday said that the military has until October 17 to redact the videos for release to the public.

“The American people and the rest of the world should be permitted to watch the tapes, see the truth, and decide for themselves,” she said.

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Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Guantanamo • Latest Episode

Bringing the world into focus

October 9th, 2014
03:41 PM ET

For the half a billion people visually impaired, even the sweetest scenes can't be fully enjoyed. But fortunately for many, prevention and treatment may be within reach.

On this World Sight Day, Christiane Amanpour has the story.

By ignoring Assad, U.S. is empowering the ‘pyromaniac’ to be the ‘fireman,’ says Syrian opposition

October 9th, 2014
03:23 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

By waging war only on ISIS in Syria, and not Bashar al-Assad, the U.S. has an incomplete military strategy that plays into Assad’s hands, Bassma Kodmani, an adviser to the Syrian opposition coalition, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday.

“He has basically been the pyromaniac fireman who now comes as the fireman to say I will be the one to help in fighting these groups on the ground.”

“I think he has been waiting for this moment, he has prepared for it.”

U.S President Barack Obama says that Assad long ago lost the legitimacy to rule, but has nonetheless made clear that he is not the priority right now.

America’s war on ISIS in Syria lays bare the Middle East’s complex web of alliances and foes; ISIS is a bitter enemy of Assad’s as well, and as America goes after the group, Assad is able to concentrate on battling non-Islamic opposition groups.

“These strikes are allowing him to come to the other areas where the Free Syrian Army is, where the rebellion is, and to strike there. He has not stopped one day his strikes with barrel bombs and the population continues to die.”

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Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode • Syria

Fall of Kobani risks security of whole region, says Syrian Kurdish leader

October 9th, 2014
02:41 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

The fall of the Syrian city of Kobani to ISIS militants would put the security of the whole region at risk, Syrian Kurdish leader Saleh Moslem Mohamed told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday.

“This brutal organization called Da’esh, or ISIS, they don’t know the border,” he said. “They were in Mosul, against the Kurds, they were in Sinjar, and now they are in Kobani. So what’s the next step?”

If the Kurds in Kobani are defeated, “I don’t want to think of it even, because…it means the victory of ISIS, which ISIS at that time could go to Istanbul…could go to anywhere.”

“We are going step by step to another genocide or maybe massacre, because those people are refusing to give up, insisting on defending their land and defending their homes and defending their dignity.”

FULL POST


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode • Syria • Turkey

ISIS fight needs boots on the ground, says former British military chief

October 8th, 2014
02:43 PM ET

WEB EXTRA: Richards says the world cannot take its foot off the pedal in Afghanistan.

By Mick Krever, CNN

The former head of the British military, General David Richards, said on Wednesday that the international fight against ISIS needed boots on the ground.

"I think you’ve got to make sure that your aerial campaign is accurately delivered, and that probably means some special forces up front," he told CNN's Christiane Amanpour.

Experienced Western armies must play some role in the war, he said, if there is hope for victory.

“I’m not saying they have to be on the frontline, but they have to be deeply involved in the logistics, which is what often discriminates proper armies from amateur armies.”

An air campaign alone, he said, "cannot possibly" succeed.

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Filed under:  Afghanistan • Christiane Amanpour • Iraq • Latest Episode • Syria • Turkey

‘Great momentum’ building for U.S. Ebola operation in Liberia

October 8th, 2014
02:34 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

There is “great momentum” building for the United States Ebola operation in Liberia, the top American diplomatic and military officials told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday.

U.S. President Barack Obama has called Ebola a “national security threat” and is deploying up to 4,000 troops to Liberia, though that operation has been slow to get off the ground.

The U.S. is not sending any military doctors to work directly with Ebola patients, but Major General Darryl Williams said there would be some doctors working in the country.

“We are providing from the Human Health Services some doctors who will arrive here very shortly, to man the twenty-five-bed Monrovia Medical Unit.”

“But the Ebola treatment units … we've been asked to build up to seventeen of these Ebola treatment units.”

FULL POST


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Ebola • Latest Episode
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