August 30th, 2013
04:05 AM ET

UK, U.N. and U.S. get jitters over Syria

Going it alone against the Syrian government is not what President Barack Obama wants, U.S. Secretary of State Chuck Hagel said Friday.  But that scenario is looking more and more likely.

A day earlier, the United States' closest ally, Great Britain, backed out of a possible coalition. A U.N. Security Council meeting on Syria ended in deadlock, and in the U.S. Congress, doubts about military intervention are making the rounds.  

Skeptics are invoking Iraq, where the United States government under President George W. Bush marched to war based on a thin claim that former dictator Saddam Hussein was harboring weapons of mass destruction.

Full story

Filed under: David Cameron • Military • National security • NATO • Security • Syria • TV-Piers Morgan • TV-The Situation Room • U.S. • United Kingdom • War • World • World Update
August 8th, 2012
12:32 AM ET

CNN Prime Time: Ex-stepmom talks about Wisconsin temple shooter; Loughner pleads guilty to Tucson shooting


Ex-Stepmom: Suspected shooter 'kind'

The former stepmother of the Wisconsin temple shooter talks to CNN’s Anderson Cooper about Wade Michael Page's life as a child, before he joined the military.


Loughner's mom cries as charges read

Kyung Lah shares what she saw in the courtroom when Jared Lee Loughner pleaded guilty to the mass shooting outside a Tucson, Arizona, supermarket.


Shark attack victim: ‘I was caught in a vice’

Piers Morgan talks to a man who survived an encounter with a great white shark off Cape Cod.

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Filed under: Arizona • Boston • CNN Prime Time • Courts • Crime • Justice • Military • Sharks • TV-Anderson Cooper 360 • TV-Piers Morgan • TV-The Situation Room • Uncategorized • wildlife • Wisconsin
Gotta Watch: So you think you can sing?
President Obama, Warren Buffet and Hermain Cain showed off singing skills in recent days.
January 23rd, 2012
10:26 AM ET

Gotta Watch: So you think you can sing?

Aerosmith's Steven Tyler is a singer, although some might dispute that label, given his performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Sunday's Patriots-Ravens game. In the last few days, we've heard from a few famous folks who do not have "singer" on their resume, yet they thought enough of themselves to give it a go. Today's Gotta Watch: So you think you can sing?

Amateur night at the Apollo - The White House liked President Obama's recent musical homage to the Rev. Al Green so much, they've made it into a ringtone. [cnn-video url=""%5D


April 6th, 2011
01:56 PM ET

Gadhafi letter pleads for stop to NATO bombing

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to stop the NATO bombings, a senior administration official said Wednesday.

Ex-U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon, who met with Gadhafi within the last decade, paid a visit to the Libyan capital with a cease-fire plan and a clear message to the embattled ruler that he must step down.

"It's a very solemn time because there's so much at risk here," said Weldon, who led a congressional delegation to Libya in 2004 and is visiting Tripoli at Gadhafi's invitation.

See CNN's full coverage of the Libya conflict
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Filed under: Barack Obama • Libya • TV-The Situation Room
Reporter's notebook: Japan's devastation left correspondent awestruck
CNN correspondent Brian Todd (from left), producer Dugald McConnell and photojournalist Doug Schantz stand amid the rubble in Unosumai, Japan, during their embed with a search-and-rescue team.
March 24th, 2011
10:01 PM ET

Reporter's notebook: Japan's devastation left correspondent awestruck

CNN Situation Room correspondent Brian Todd, producer Dugald McConnell and photojournalist Doug Schantz spent a week embedded with a USAID search-and-rescue team from Fairfax County, Virginia. The team traveled in some of the most devastated areas in Japan searching for bodies and survivors. Unfortunately, the team found no survivors in the rubble. Here's Brian's reporter's notebook. (The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer airs weekdays 5-7 p.m. ET and Saturday 6 p.m. ET):

I think what stands out most in my memory is the images of standing in the middle of the rubble. The pictures we saw were amazing. To stand in the middle of it and look around at the complete devastation and realize the force of the water, and what it must have been like to stand there and watch everything just get swept away, that was just an amazing sensation.

It was also amazing to look at the people coming back and picking through their houses, that just weren't even there anymore, looking for remnants of their lives. One of the rescuers told me that can be a way of preventing themselves from falling into depression: to find a remnant of their past lives in order to start anew.

The biggest challenges were sometimes just walking 10 or 15 feet over the rubble. I'm following one of the rescuers, to try to bring that home to viewers. It can be tricky going sometimes - stepping over something, squeezing through openings or crossing a pile of rubble.

Another challenge was transmitting our material, where there is no power or internet or cell service. We used batteries and generators and a machine called a b-gan, which let us transmit by connecting our laptop to the internet using a small satellite antenna. It has to be outside and costs about $16 a minute. The other challenge was consuming the MREs, meals ready to eat, in plastic pouches. You're eating what the soldiers eat in wartime. We were eating this every day for about eight days.

But those challenges were nothing compared to the difficulties the people we saw faced in the disaster and will face in rebuilding.

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Filed under: 2011 tsunami • Japan • TV-The Situation Room • World
Blitzer's dispatch: Lighter moments during tense times in North Korea
December 18th, 2010
10:08 PM ET

Blitzer's dispatch: Lighter moments during tense times in North Korea

Even in the midst of incredible tension on the Korean peninsula, there have been a few lighter moments as I continue covering New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson’s extraordinary visit here.

He’s trying to calm down the tensions and has been meeting with senior North Korean diplomats, generals and nuclear officials, including Kim Gye Gwan, the North Korean who invited Richardson here on this mission.

At the start of their meeting, Governor Richardson introduced me to Kim Gye Gwan, and, through a translator, Kim joked that he was very familiar with my work, and that he understood that I was “as powerful as President Obama.” I started to laugh, as did everyone else in the room. He then said, “I understand only you and Obama have your own Situation Rooms” to which all of us laughed again.

I was impressed that he was following CNN and I mentioned that I’d been watching CNN International at this hotel where we’re staying in Pyongyang. I thanked the nuclear negotiator for allowing CNN to come into Korea for Governor Richardson’s visit, and hoped they would let us come back.

This time, he responded in English, saying, “Why not?”

Despite the joking and some of the sight-seeing tours they’ve taken us on, I have to say it’s a very worrisome time in the North Korean peninsula. A lot of people here seem to be somewhat encouraged that the UN Security Council is scheduled to meet for an emergency session Sunday morning East Coast time. Maybe that will calm things down. Bill Richardson tells me that it might give North Korea and South Korea some sort of cover to ratchet down the very bellicose rhetoric.