The CNN Daily Mash-up is a roundup of some of the most interesting, surprising, curious, poignant or significant items to appear on CNN.com in the past 24 hours. We top it with a collection of the day's most striking photographs from around the world.
During an interview with CNN's Piers Morgan, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad slammed an anti-Islam film that has provoked a violent reaction in the Muslim world. Ahmadinejad denounced the online film, "Innocence of Muslims," which portrays the Prophet Mohammed as a womanizer, child molester and killer. However, he also said random violence is not a good response.
[W]e condemn any type of extremism. Of course, what took place was ugly. Offending the Holy Prophet is quite ugly. This has very little or nothing to do with freedom and freedom of speech. This is the weakness of and the abuse of freedom, and in many places it is a crime. It shouldn't take place, and I do hope the day will come in which politicians will not seek to offend those whom others hold holy. We also believe that this must also be resolved in a humane atmosphere, in a participatory environment, and we do not like anyone losing their lives or being killed for any reason, anywhere in the world.
The Iranian president also talked about his country's tensions with Israel, and about homosexuality, which in 2007 he said did not exist in Iran. As always, his remarks sparked passionate responses from CNN readers, to wit:
Ahmadinejad is obnoxious because he portrays himself as this enlightened, reasonable person who thinks everyone should just be left alone to do whatever they want in their own country. But he is as hypocritical as any other world leader, if not more so. He complains here about a world where Israel can threaten Iran over suspected nuclear ambitions, yet Iran refuses to recognize Israel as a state and has said that he wants the current Israeli political regime to cease to exist. Iran also funds and supports militants on Israel's border who have thousands of rockets aimed at Israeli population centers. The idea that Iran just wants to live in peace and security with its neighbors is a fiction. I'm not saying Israel is not militaristic as well, but at least they don't pretend they're not.
I am an American, and no big supporter of Ahmadinejad; however, any U.S. and Israeli foreign policy of sanctions and pre-emptive attack based on falsified information is completely wrong. An attack on Iran only stands to endanger Israel and the Iranian people. An attack on Iran could quite easily be the catalyst for WW3 and nuclear destruction should China and Russia become involved. Only the severely brainwashed would believe that containment, and undiplomatic solutions are the best course, continuing down this path of aggression could very well lead to a major world depression once the Strait of Hormuz is threatened, and at worse resulting in death and destruction worldwide, including America.
Transportation planners in Atlanta, ranked 11th in North America for worst city traffic, are reaching into their bag of tricks for a way to control driving speeds based on real-time conditions.
The¬†Georgia Department of Transportation will be installing new electronic variable speed limit signs along the northern half of Interstate 285. The speed limits will range between 45 mph and 65 mph, and they will fluctuate depending on traffic volume and weather conditions.
"We have been considering this legislation for about three years," said Georgia DOT Commissioner Keith Golden. "We want to give drivers a speed limit that they'll be more compliant to."
According The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the idea is to reduce stop-and-go driving and discourage frequent lane changes.
The whole system will be a relative easy project to set up, according to Golden. Work on the installation of the electronic signs is set to begin next month, and the system should be up and running by next summer.
When Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith showed up Sunday night for the game against the Patriots, he had a lot more on his mind than the AFC championship rematch so many fans were waiting to see.
Smith had barely slept and wasn't even sure if he would play. He had driven home¬†to Virginia after learning hours earlier his younger brother Tevin had been killed in a motorcycle accident. Shortly before grabbing an hour of sleep, at around 5:30 a.m., he tweeted about how much his brother meant to him.
An hour later, as tributes to his brother were pouring in,¬†Smith posted a picture of the two of them together, saying, "I can't say a bad thing about him... proud to have him as a brother. ..."
At 4:30 p.m. Sunday,¬†he finally made the decision he would play -¬†in honor of his brother.
"It was tough emotionally. I didn‚Äôt know how I would hold up," Smith said after the game. "I was telling my teammates a minute ago that this is new territory for me personally. I never really had to deal with a death in the family, let alone my brother. In our family, everyone‚Äôs so tight. Just like a lot of other families. It‚Äôs part of life and, due to my teammates and my family and friends, I‚Äôll be able to get over it.‚ÄĚ
When Smith got to the stadium, he said he texted his mother.
"That‚Äôs when I really made my decision I was going to play," Smith told reporters¬†at a press conference after the game. "So she was excited about it. She was like, ‚ÄėOf course, he‚Äôd want you to play.‚Äô He‚Äôd admired me so much ... and it‚Äôs just a tough situation altogether."
Smith received words of encouragement from everyone inside the club and around the globe. On Twitter, fans shared their¬†condolences. Inside the clubhouse, safety Ed Reed, who lost his brother in 2011, gave Smith a psalm that he hoped would help him through the tough time.
"God‚Äôs in control, and God has a plan bigger than ours. We don‚Äôt know our time, none of us. We all experience the same things, so I just told him that we‚Äôre here for him; I‚Äôm here for him," Reed said, recalling his conversation with Smith to reporters after the game.
"I can relate to him. I told him we get so caught up, like our pastor said today, in the physical and what we see. I still talk to my (late) brother to this day because I know there's much more to us than just being here. I told him that he could still have those conversations. Just know that he‚Äôs in a much better place."
As diplomats from around the world converge on New York for the U.N. General Assembly this week, the Syrian civil war - and what to do about the country's embattled regime - will be high on the agenda.
Some of the main goals are "to increase pressure and to increase the isolation of the regime of al-Assad," German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said. Germany holds the rotating presidency of the U.N. Security Council this month.
But if history repeats itself, talks about Syria at the United Nations won't necessarily amount to effective action at the world body.
Many countries decry what they say is the Syrian government's cruel, violent treatment of civilians, and some have issued sanctions against the Syrian government.FULL STORY
Iran blocked YouTube and its owner Google over the weekend because of an inflammatory movie trailer about the Prophet Mohammed that has infuriated Muslims in many countries around the world.
The sites were blocked "because of public demand," Iran's semiofficial Mehr news agency said Monday.
"Google and YouTube continued to carry the film clip that insulted our people's sacred beliefs," the agency said, citing an unnamed source in Iran's Internet Authority.
Iran was responding to a 14-minute online trailer for "Innocence of Muslims," a once obscure film that mocks Mohammed as a womanizer, child molester and killer.FULL STORY
Veterinarians at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington have ruled out the possibility that a newborn giant panda cub was crushed by its mother, but an initial necropsy on the 4-ounce cub failed to provide a clear cause of death, officials said Monday.
The cub, believed to be a female, died Sunday, just six days after its widely celebrated birth. Just the size of a stick of butter, it had not yet been named.
The necropsy - the animal version of an autopsy - revealed the cub had some potentially unusual fluid in its abdomen and its liver was discolored and had hard in spots, said Dr. Suzan Murray, the zoo's chief veterinarian.
But investigators won't know if those findings are significant until lab tests and a full necropsy report come back in two weeks, she said. The initial exam revealed no obvious cause of death, zoo officials said. The cub had nursed, the exam showed, but it was unclear how well, Murray said.FULL STORY
President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney hold their first debate October 3 from the campus of the University of Denver.¬† Watch CNN.com Live for all the latest coverage from the election.
Today's programming highlights...
9:00 am ET - Clinton Global Initiative - The annual Clinton Global Initiative continues in New York with a keynote address by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on designing diplomacy for the 21st century.¬† President Obama and GOP rival Mitt Romney will both address the event tomorrow.