Occupy movement plans a comeback
Occupy Wall Street organizers, from left, Hussein Amin, Haywood Carey and Pete Dutro have been strategizing over the winter.
March 19th, 2012
01:33 PM ET

Occupy movement plans a comeback

The attempt to re-occupy Zuccotti Park and subsequent arrests of dozens of protesters in New York over the weekend was the start of what Occupy organizers said will be a comeback for the movement this spring and summer. But some city and state governments, armed with new ordinances specifically aimed at the Occupy movement, are ready to prevent demonstrators from re-establishing encampments.

Police in New York put 74 people in handcuffs Saturday night as protesters tried to establish a foothold in the birthplace of Occupy Wall Street, a public plaza in the heart of the financial district. The move followed a week during which protesters tried to occupy several Bank of America branches in New York and more than 100 people demonstrated outside a Mitt Romney fundraiser at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

“Clearly the Occupy movement as we’ve known it that is sort of occupying public spaces around government structures is facing a stronger legal challenge,” said Gene Policinski, executive director of the Washington-based First Amendment Center, a self-described nonpartisan think tank that educates people about issues surrounding the First Amendment.

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How Occupy Wall Street compares to the tea party
Occupy Wall Street protesters demonstrate in New York on Tuesday.
October 13th, 2011
08:45 PM ET

How Occupy Wall Street compares to the tea party

Neither movement wants to be identified with the other, but commonalities between Occupy Wall Street and the tea party including being born out of anger and frustration are hard to ignore.

"I think the target is different, but the frustration (among Wall Street protesters) is the same, and the frustration is a sense that these institutions are no longer working for average Americans," said Kate Zernike, a New York Times reporter and author of the book "Boiling Mad: Inside Tea Party America."

Some of the criticisms being levied against the Occupy Wall Street movement are the same as those made against the tea party in its infancy, according to Zernike.

"The portrayal of the Occupy Wall Street forces, fairly or not, has been people who don't really know what they are there protesting," Zernike said. "You can launch the same criticism about the tea party. Many people who showed up to tea party meetings or rallies didn’t really know what they were there protesting."

Click the audio player to hear the story from CNN Radio's Steve Kastenbaum:

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Filed under: Occupy Wall Street • Politics • Protest • Tea Party
New Yorkers in the post-9/11 landscape: 'People have bonded together'
Minas Polychronakis reopened his shoe shop on Wall Street after the original was destroyed in the September 11 attacks.
September 10th, 2011
07:00 AM ET

New Yorkers in the post-9/11 landscape: 'People have bonded together'

There’s no denying that New York is a changed place 10 years after the attacks that destroyed the twin towers and took the lives of 2,753 people.

The city has physically changed and people will forever mourn the losses. The psyche of the city has changed, too.

“We are more patient. We are more caring. I think people have bonded together,” said Sandy Levine, owner of the Carnegie Deli in midtown Manhattan. "I think we all think as one now."

Minas Polychronakis greets his customers every morning from behind the counter of his shoe shop on Wall Street. The store wasn’t always there. The original shop was on the lower concourse of the World Trade Center.

“It was raining glass, papers and bodies of course,” Polychronakis said. “I went outside and I saw the second plane hit the number two building.”

He saw a change in people that day, one that has lasted: "more kind."

"Sometime you have to pay the price to realize how good we are. They changed us for better," he said.

Newspaper columnist Pete Hamill has written about the people who make up the fabric that is New York for five decades.

“Because September 11 happened to us not to me, not to he or she or you, but to us  that stayed in our character,” Hamill said.

“And I think with any kind of luck it will stay there as long as we’re here.”

Click the audio player to hear this story from CNN Radio's Steve Kastenbaum:

You can also listen to CNN Radio Report podcasts on itunes or subscribe to the podcast here.

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Filed under: New York • September 11
Tsunami victims ponder their future
Chiba Kayuma's home in the small Japanese coastal community of Ushiami was destroyed by the tsunami.
March 18th, 2011
07:50 PM ET

Tsunami victims ponder their future

The race to avert a nuclear disaster at Japan’s damaged nuclear plant reactors is far from Chiba Kayuma's mind. The 62-year-old's primary concern is figuring out where he will live.

The house he built more than 30 years ago was in the path of the tsunami that tore a path of destruction through Ushiami and dozens of other coastal communities like it in northeast Japan.

Kayuma's rubber boots are caked in mud as he sifts through what's left of his home.

"I just looked at everything and thought what am I going to do next, what is going to happen," Kayuma said.

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Filed under: 2011 tsunami • Japan
Egypt transitioning, but to what?
February 8th, 2011
02:01 PM ET

Egypt transitioning, but to what?

With protesters still in the streets of Cairo and newly appointed government officials meeting with some opposition leaders, Egypt faces an uncertain future. The outcome will depend largely on the course charted by a transitional government.

Many other countries have been down the path Egypt finds itself on. A popular uprising undermines the authority of a long-standing regime and a period of chaos ensues. Transitional governments often take control and their success at ushering in change varies depending on a multitude of factors.

"In many of these cases, if the military splits or goes against the ruler and helps to bring in some transition with popular support, it still may take a cycle or more to get to an actual democratic regime or to accomplish real change," said Georgia State University political science professor Jennifer McCoy, citing past transitions in Latin American, Eastern Europe and the Philippines.

There is no guaranteed route to success, McCoy said, and often, while there may be some wholesale changes, the people in positions of authority remain at the top in transitional governments. 

“In a case where there is no clear leader or leading group such as in Egypt today that spurred the change, it’s very difficult to predict where it’s going to go."

Click here for the entire interview:

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Filed under: Egypt
The state of jobs
General Motors announced Monday it is adding a shift and 750 jobs at its Flint Assembly Plant in Michigan.
January 25th, 2011
01:21 PM ET

The state of jobs

The nation's economy spent 2010 slowly meandering through a lackluster recovery. It was held back, in part, by continuing high unemployment. While the unemployment rate dropped a little during the year, only a fraction of the number of new jobs needed to make a dent in the figure were created.

People looking for work are finding few new opportunities. "A year ago, it was terrible, and it's not much better today," said Ed Regan of the Taylor Hodson job placement firm in New York. "We've definitely turned a corner, but we're still looking at people who were out of work for two years who were highly employable."

But the nation's job market is showing signs of improvement. Lakshman Achuthan of the Economic Cycle Research Institute said, "We're going to be growing faster. A slowdown that we've had for the last couple of quarters - not a recession, just a slower growth - that is over, and we have a revival of growth in 2011."

President Obama will spend a significant amount of time during this evening's State of the Union address talking about the job market and the need to put people back to work. CNN Radio's Steve Kastenbaum looks at where the nation's labor force is today, compared with one year ago, and where it's heading one year from now.

Click on the icon to hear Kastenbaum's full story:

You can also listen to the CNN Radio Reports podcast on itunes or subscribe to the podcast here.

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Filed under: Economy • Jobs • Politics
Reuniting families in Haiti a year later
A handful of aid organizations in Haiti have taken on the task of reuniting children who were separated from their families.
January 12th, 2011
05:31 PM ET

Reuniting families in Haiti a year later

Thousands of nongovernmental organizations have been working in Haiti in the past year. They range from  operations of just a few people supporting a school or orphanage to some of the largest aid groups in the world, like the Red Cross. Regardless of their size, there has been no shortage of work for them to do after the devastating earthquake.

A handful of aid organizations have taken on the difficult task of reuniting children who became separated from their families. They've developed a database of information on more than 5,000 cases. In a country where accurate records of family histories were already difficult to come by, it can take months of painstaking detective work to establish a verifiable connection between a child and a living relative.

CNN's Steve Kastenbaum spoke with an official from an aid organization that has been reuniting families amid the chaos. Listen to the story here:

You can also listen to the CNN Radio Reports podcast on itunes or subscribe to the podcast here.

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Filed under: Child safety • Haiti
November 11th, 2010
04:50 PM ET

Currency manipulation tops G-20 agenda

President Obama shakes hands with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak Thursday at the G-20 summit.

A fierce debate over currency manipulation may be unfolding behind closed doors at the G-20 Summit in South Korea. Leaders from the nations with the 20 largest economies around the world are meeting in Seoul to discuss how to stabilize and grow the world's economy.

The United States is pressuring China to revalue the yuan at a higher rate relative to the US dollar. The U.S. believes China takes steps to set the value of the yuan artificially low, giving Chinese exports a competitive advantage.

CNN's Steve Kastenbaum takes a look at how currency manipulation affects the U.S. economy and how a change in the yuan's value could help and hurt Americans.

Listen to the full story here:

You can also listen to the CNN Radio Reports podcast on itunes or subscribe to the podcast here.

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Filed under: Economy • G-20 Summit • South Korea
September 29th, 2010
03:59 PM ET

9/11 responders hope to finally get help with medical bills

[Updated at 3:59 p.m] A bill to provide health benefits for emergency workers who were first on the scene of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks won approval Wednesday from the U.S. House.

The measure passed on a mostly partisan 268-160 vote. The Senate has yet to act on the issue.

Gabriele Pacino is a construction worker who took part in the clean-up after September 11.

[Posted at 7:47 a.m] A bill that would cover health care expenses incurred by thousands of first responders, clean-up workers and residents in the September 11 attacks and clean-up at the World Trade Center site is expected to come up for a vote in the House Wednesday.

The 9/11 Health and Compensation Act was first introduced in Congress in February of 2009. The bill's sponsors want it to pay for long-term medical needs associated with chronic respiratory and digestive problems that doctors and researchers have linked to toxins at Ground Zero following the terrorist attacks. The legislation would also pay for treatment of mental health issues and compensate people for economic losses.

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Filed under: Health • Politics • September 11
September 23rd, 2010
08:57 AM ET

Fighting Ahmadinejad: Where movement in Iran stands

Iranian protesters take to the streets to dispute the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in December 2009.

Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, will address world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly later today.

When he spoke at last year’s meeting, he launched into an attack against the United States, Israel and the West while, back in Iran, the pro-government Revolutionary Guard cracked down on pro-reform demonstrators. During elections, the Green Movement gained momentum, and for a time it seemed like supporters with the use of Twitter could topple Ahmadinejad.

But this year, Ahmadinejad may dial down the rhetoric a notch as Iran comes under increasing pressure from world powers to end their nuclear program. The United Nations Security Council imposed a new round of sanctions in June and the Council members – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States – have renewed efforts to bring Iran back to the negotiating table.

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Filed under: Iran