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January 10th, 2013
11:05 PM ET

AC360 VIDEO: Syrian Activist Zaidoun Released After being Held in "Factory For Madness & Turture"

After appearing on Anderson Cooper 360° this past year, always insisting on using his real name, activists Zaidoun Al Zoabi was vocal against the Assad regime and wanted the world to know the truth of what was happening inside his country. On December 15th he was kidnapped and imprisoned by the Syrian secret police on. He was released yesterday and tonight spoke with Anderson about his time in a facility in Damascus known for torture.
“There was no oxygen; it is a factory for madness and death.” “People are losing mind inside because of, there is no food, you can't sleep, there is no medicine. People are there for no reason.
His brother and so many others are still inside.  While CNN had nothing to do with his release, he credits AC360 for making sure his name wasn’t forgotten.After appearing on Anderson Cooper 360° this past year, always insisting on using his real name, activists Zaidoun Al Zoabi was vocal against the Assad regime and wanted the world to know the truth of what was happening inside his country. On December 15th he was kidnapped and imprisoned by the Syrian secret police on. He was released yesterday and tonight spoke with Anderson about his time in a facility in Damascus known for torture.
“There was no oxygen; it is a factory for madness and death.” “People are losing mind inside because of, there is no food, you can't sleep, there is no medicine. People are there for no reason.
His brother and so many others are still inside.  While CNN didn’t have a direct hand in his release, he credits AC360 for making sure his name wasn’t forgotten.


Topics: AC360 • Anderson Cooper • Syria
CNN Soars on Social Media in 2012
January 10th, 2013
03:27 PM ET

CNN Soars on Social Media in 2012

CNN Worldwide ended 2012 as the number one news organization with the largest social media following on Twitter and Facebook. Additionally, CNN had the top two most followed journalists on Twitter and was the only cable news network with two shows on the list of the 2012 Top Social TV Shows (Source: Trendrr.)

Top 10 news organizations with the most people following their journalists on Twitter (as of 12/21/12):

  1. CNN: 17,004,673 total followers
  2. New York Times: 10,361,924 total followers
  3. ABC News: 8,080,255 total followers
  4. NBC News: 4,886,734 total followers
  5. Guardian: 4,653,253 total followers
  6. ESPN: 4,468,903 total followers
  7. MSNBC: 3,927,080 total followers
  8. Fox News: 3,248,385 total followers
  9. CNBC: 2,699,308 total followers
  10. BBC: 2,136,011 total followers

Top 10 news organizations on Facebook:

  1. CNN: 4,371,614 total likes
  2. Fox News: 2,784,338 total likes
  3. BBC: 2,635,351 total likes
  4. New York Times: 2,599,715 total likes
  5. CNN International 1,559,061 total likes
  6. ABC News: 833, 675 total likes
  7. NBC News: 677,830 total likes
  8. The Guardian 466,789 (App page)
  9. MSNBC: 124,565 total likes
  10. CNBC: 270,214 total likes

Top 10 most followed journalists (as of 12/21/12):

  1. Anderson Cooper: 3,455,256
  2. Piers Morgan: 3,004,433
  3. Rachel Maddow: 2,434,423
  4. Larry King: 2,319,449
  5. Bill Simmons: 1,931,155
  6. George Stephanopoulos: 1,814,086
  7. Chris Hardwick: 1,757,790
  8. David Gregory: 1,584,068
  9. Dr. Sanjay Gupta: 1,567,922
  10. David Pogue: 1,454,191

2012 Top Social TV Cable News Shows:

Piers Morgan Tonight

Anderson Cooper 360

View the full list here.


Topics: CNN • Social Media
January 10th, 2013
01:25 PM ET

AC360 Video: Gen McChrystal: "Afghans Want Strategic Partners"

Last night on AC360, Retired General Stanley McChrystal says military style firearms shouldn’t be in civilian hands. He spoke with Anderson Cooper about gun control here at home and as the former U.S. commander in Afghanistan, he had some thoughts on the potential pullout of all U.S. troops by 2014.


Topics: AC360 • Afghanistan • Anderson Cooper • CNN
January 10th, 2013
11:21 AM ET

Fareed Zakaria Hosts Global Broadcast ‘Memo to the President’

Memo to the President: The GPS Road Map for a 2nd Term debuts Sunday, Jan. 13, at 8:00pm ET & PT

In advance of President Obama’s second inauguration, CNN’s and TIME’s Fareed Zakaria will host a primetime special with advice for Mr. Obama on the foreign and domestic challenges that yet await him, from top statesmen and women of our time who have served this president and others.

Memo to the President: The GPS Road Map for a 2nd Term – A Fareed Zakaria GPS Special debuts Sunday, Jan. 13 at 8:00pm and 11:00pm ET & PT on CNN/U.S.

Offering counsel to President Obama for a successful legacy in the areas of fiscal management, immigration, foreign policy, trade, investments and more, from their own experience advising the most elite office of power in the world, are:

  • James Baker III, Chief of Staff to President Ronald Reagan (1981-1985); U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (1985-1988); U.S. Secretary of State (1989-1992);
  • Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York (I) (2001-present);
  • Zbigniew Brzezinski, PhD, U.S. National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981);
  • Elaine Chao, U.S. Secretary of Labor (2001-2009);
  • Ken Duberstein, Chief of Staff to President Ronald Reagan (1988-1989);
  • Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson, (R-TX) (1993-2013);
  • Paul O’Neill, U.S. Treasury Secretary (2001-2002); co-chairman, Alcoa (1987-1999);
  • Peter Orzag, Director of the Office of Management and Budget (2009-2010); Director Congressional Budget Office (2007-2008);
  • John Podesta, Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton (1998-2001);
  • Steven Rattner, former counselor to the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (“car czar”) (2009);
  • Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell (2003-2011); chairman, Democratic National Committee (1999-2001), and;
  • Robert Rubin, U.S. Treasury Secretary (1995-1999); co-chairman, Council on Foreign Relations

Rubin, who served during an earlier hyper-partisan era, feels this one is worse.  “In a democracy, you can only move forward if both sides, albeit having very different philosophical views, are willing to come together to govern…And without it, I think we’re going to be in terrible trouble,” Rubin says.

For his own counsel, Zakaria cautions that though Mr. Obama has secured a legacy with historic healthcare reform, he must now ensure its funding mechanisms are sustainable.  “Getting healthcare reform right may be more important to our fiscal future, than any other set of policies,” Zakaria says in the special.  And of exceptional importance, Zakaria advises, is managing the economy for the next generation, specifically, improving the nation’s aging infrastructure, fixing education, and reforming entitlement programs to secure them.

Baker agrees that managing the economy and bipartisan compromise are the priorities for second term success.  “President Obama …wants a legacy.  He deserves one.  He’s not going to have a legacy if he can’t fix our economy,” Baker says to Zakaria.

Memo to the President: The GPS Road Map for a 2nd Term will replay on CNN/U.S. on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 8:00pm and 11:00pm ET and PT.  The special will debut on CNN International on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 9:00pm, with replays on Sunday, Jan. 20 at 7:00am, 3:00pm, and 9:00pm.  All international broadcast times are Eastern Time in North America.

Closer to the premiere, commentary related to foreign policy and domestic opportunities for President Obama’s second term, written by Fareed Zakaria, may be found at www.cnn.com/gps.   During the special broadcast, producers of the special will engage viewers with their policy advice for the president via Twitter, using the hashtag “#ObamaMemo.”

CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is the most trusted source for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; CNN Digital Network, the No. 1 network of news Web sites in the United States; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively-syndicated news service; and strategic international partnerships within both television and the digital media.

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