Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days
September 11th, 2011
05:52 PM ET

Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days

Social Security might be one hot point of contention when eight GOP presidential candidates participate in Monday’s debate in Tampa, Florida. Here’s a look at this and other stories that CNN plans to follow this week:

Social Security battle, round 2?

Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney might continue their war of words over Social Security during Monday’s “Tea Party Republican Debate” at the Florida State Fairgrounds, produced by CNN and the Tea Party Express.

During a debate last week, Perry, who became the GOP front-runner in national polls after his recent entry into the race, stood by his previous characterization of Social Security as a Ponzi scheme that shouldn't be described as something that will be around for today's young workers. Romney countered that GOP candidates should be committed to saving Social Security, and other candidates distanced themselves from Perry's stance.

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Filed under: Ahead of the curve • Politics
Atika Shubert: In London, a 9/11 event both solemn and confrontational
A member of the English Defence League shouts at Muslim extremist protesters near London's Grosvenor Square.
September 11th, 2011
04:16 PM ET

Atika Shubert: In London, a 9/11 event both solemn and confrontational

The memorial for British victims of 9/11 stands in London's Grosvenor Square at the far end of a quiet park directly across from the U.S. Embassy.

There you can find the names of the 67 British victims who lost their lives in the attacks. A set of wooden pillars stands with these words carved above them: "Grief is the price we pay for love."

On Sunday, families of those victims gathered at Grosvenor Square. Prince Charles attended with his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. Prime Minister David Cameron also came. They laid wreaths at the memorial and later took the time to speak with the families over scones and finger sandwiches. At the memorial, a white rose was laid for each of the 67 British victims.

The ceremony was marred somewhat by two competing protests. Muslims Against Crusades, the radical Islamic group led by Anjem Choudary, arrived shortly before the ceremony full of fiery speeches. There were fewer than 100 with him but their chants of "USA you will pay!" could still be heard over the music that played as families began arriving.

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Filed under: Anti-Islam • Islam • September 11 • Terrorism • United Kingdom • World
Soledad O'Brien: An Uptown memorial for New York's bravest
New York firefighters observe a moment of silence Sunday at the city's firefighters memorial at Riverside Park.
September 11th, 2011
02:48 PM ET

Soledad O'Brien: An Uptown memorial for New York's bravest

Among the memorials placed along Riverside Drive in Manhattan's Upper West Side is a massive statue - 12 feet long and 8 feet wide, and easily one of the most beautiful. It was dedicated in 1913 to firefighters who died on the job, but for the past 10 years it's become a focal point for members of the New York Fire Department. It's become a place to carve out a private ceremony where each year after 9/11 they've remembered the 343 firefighters who lost their lives in the terror attacks of that day.

"It's not about speeches and it's not about politicians," FDNY Lt. Ken Durante told me. His title is "event organizer," but really he's the guy wrangling the dozen TV crews and cameras that have set up at 100th Street and Riverside Drive, about eight miles north of ground zero. They didn't want the media attention. This memorial was intended to be simple and to focus on the firefighters. But a bit of controversy - when firefighters were not invited to Sunday's ground zero ceremonies - focused more attention on this usually low-key event.

Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano says not going down to the site of the World Trade Center attacks is no big deal. Firefighters want to remember the day in their own way, with their own colleagues.

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Filed under: New York • September 11 • Terrorism • U.S.
Tweets and blogs address 9/11 emotions
Peter Samuelson, 6, tires on a firefighter hat after a memorial service Sunday at Old St. Patrick's Church in New York City.
September 11th, 2011
02:20 PM ET

Tweets and blogs address 9/11 emotions

Twitter users and bloggers were keen Sunday to share tributes to the victims and heroes of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Frequently used Twitter hashtags included #Sept11, #NeverForget, #WTC, #FDNY, #Wherewereyou, #911whereiwas, #NYC, #godblessamerica, and #RIP 9 (which probably was supposed to be 9/11, but Twitter cut it off after the slash).

While many tweets sounded the same notes of honor for the dead and condolence to their families, a few stood out. Some examples:

FDNYnews: Today we honor the 343 #FDNY members & thousands of others killed 10 years ago. They were all heroes.

Queen Rania of Jordan: As we remember that tragic morning ten years ago today, let us work together for better understanding and reconciliation.

1PolicePlaza: Today we remember the 23 NYPD Officers, NYC's finest that were killed at the site of the WTC.

Anonym_Iran: On 2001/09/11, thousands and thousands Iranians went instantly in the streets with candles in homage to the victims.

Rachel Sklar, editor-at-large, Mediaite.com: Hold ya head, NYC ... still the greatest city in the world. Salute, 143 (143 is code for "I love you")

JennymontyinSD (Jennifer Montgomery): I was working in the US Capitol, the Let's Roll heroes of Flight 93 prob saved my life. Peace, Love, & Remembrance to all.

Pandaa_TC: It's hard to think that the victims of 9/11 were home sleeping in bed with their families 10 years ago. RIP 9/11.

Jeffhardyforevr, a New Yorker named Dawn: Unfulfilled unfinished undone and innocent. The sadness n stress is washing over me like a black cloud. Miss you SO much Joey RIP 9/11/01

New York poet Amalie Flynn completed a year-long project to post a short poem every day to remember 9/11 and honor its victims and heroes on her blog at http://septembereleventh.wordpress.com/.

A blogger called Star Bear on WordPress.com wrote, among other things, "Things are changing, some minds are changing. There are quiet, joyful voices singing in harmony. Peace to you this day, may your heart be filled with peace - and joy."

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Filed under: History • September 11 • Terrorism • Twitter • U.S.
September 11th, 2011
01:00 PM ET

In rural Afghanistan, many don’t know 9/11

Most Americans probably remember the moment they first saw images of airplanes flying into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

In rural Afghanistan, where the United States struck the Taliban and al Qaeda the following month, you may be hard pressed to find someone who knows what the attacks were.

Last year, when 1,000 men in the southern Helmand and Kandahar provinces were read a three-paragraph description of the attacks, only 8 percent said they knew about them, according to a survey by the International Council on Security and Development think tank.  The finding suggested a vast majority of men in those provinces a major area of conflict between coalition forces and the Taliban didn’t know about the event that precipitated the invasion of their country.

Journalist Adam Pletts went to see for himself. While on patrol with U.S. Marines in Helmand province recently, he showed pictures of the burning World Trade Center towers to Afghan men. In encounter after encounter, villagers and Afghan policemen said they didn’t know about 9/11.

“We don’t know, sir, because we’re farmers. We never heard anything else about the world,” one said, according to a translator with Pletts.

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