November 20th, 2015
02:09 PM ET

CNN and Amazon Partner for CNN Heroes Online Donations

Supporters can use Amazon Payments to contribute to the Top 10 CNN Heroes’ designated Non-Profit Organizations


For the third consecutive year, CNN and Amazon have teamed up to enable people around the world to donate to the top 10 CNN Heroes and their causes by using Amazon Payments. Viewers can see the premiere of CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute on Sunday, December 6th at 8pm/ET.

Until December 31, 2015, supporters can make online donations to the CNN Heroes' designated nonprofit organizations by clicking the ‘Donate with Amazon’ button on and on each of the top 10 Heroes' individual story pages. Amazon Payments is a fast, easy and secure way to donate online using the payment information stored in a user’s Amazon account. All donations are tax-deductible in the United States.


Topics: CNN
November 20th, 2015
11:35 AM ET

CNN Republican presidential debate criteria announced

Republicans have three ways to make the cut for the main stage of their fifth presidential primary debate, sponsor CNN announced Thursday.

Candidates must meet one of three criteria in polls conducted between October 29 and December 13 and recognized by CNN: An average of at least 3.5% nationally; at least 4% in Iowa; or at least 4% in New Hampshire.

Right now, nine candidates would make cut for the Republican National Committee sanctioned debate at The Venetian in Las Vegas: Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.


Read the story with the full CNN debate criteria here.

Topics: 2016 Election
CNN Beats Yahoo News, BuzzFeed for Six Months Running
November 20th, 2015
09:34 AM ET

CNN Beats Yahoo News, BuzzFeed for Six Months Running

For the sixth straight month, CNN swept the competition in multi-platform views and video, once again topping Yahoo News and BuzzFeed.  With 87.5 mm, CNN was also within striking distance of Yahoo News’ 89 mm in multi-platform unique visitors.

CNN continued to dominate across social platforms with more fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter than any other news organization.


Topics: CNN Digital • Ratings • Video
CNN Politics Extends Streak as #1 Political News Destination to Eighth Straight Month
November 19th, 2015
09:52 AM ET

CNN Politics Extends Streak as #1 Political News Destination to Eighth Straight Month

CNN Politics claimed an eighth straight month as the number one political news destination in October 2015, once again outranking all competitors in multi-platform unique visitors, mobile unique visitors, multi-platform page views and video starts.

In an impressive display of visitor engagement, CNN Politics also recorded a remarkable 460 million minutes spent on political multi-platform content in October, far surpassing every other competitor.

In the month of October 2015:


November 17th, 2015
11:05 PM ET

Maggie Doyne is named the 2015 CNN Hero of the Year

CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute Airs Sunday, December 6, at 8pm/ET

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 17: Host Anderson Cooper (L) poses with 2015 CNN Heros at CNN Heroes 2015 - Show at American Museum of Natural History on November 17, 2015 in New York City. 25619_022 (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN)

Maggie Doyne, who cares for and educates hundreds of children in Nepal, was named the 2015 CNN Hero of the Year. Hosted by Anderson Cooper, the ninth annual CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute took place tonight in New York City.

A resident of Mendham, NJ and Surkhet, Nepal, Doyne took a life-altering trip to Nepal where she saw, first-hand, the state of suffering that women and children face. Today, she and her nonprofit BlinkNow Foundation provide education in addition to a supportive and encouraging community to orphaned, impoverished, and at-risk children.


Topics: CNN
Blindsided: How ISIS Shook the World to air TONIGHT, Nov. 17 on CNN/U.S. and CNN International #FZGPS
November 17th, 2015
02:43 PM ET

Blindsided: How ISIS Shook the World to air TONIGHT, Nov. 17 on CNN/U.S. and CNN International #FZGPS

The origins of the terror group known as Islamic State or ‘ISIS,’ and what they want, are explored by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, in a one-hour special, Blindsided: How ISIS Shook the World, tonight, Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 9:00pm Eastern on CNN/U.S. and CNN International.   

Deputy National Security Advisor for strategic communication Ben Rhodes; a former jihadi who now leads a counter-extremism think tank, Quilliam, Maajid Nawaz; former director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt. General Michael Flynn; Middle East expert and London School of Economics professor of international relations Fawaz Gerges; former FBI agent Ali Soufan; and others discuss the ambitions and goals of the terror group.

The chief objective of ISIS, or Daesh, is its unique vision of a caliphate – and luring American and Western troops back to the Middle East to apocalyptic ground in combat.

Also discussed, how ISIS grew to become a transnational terror organization, how it recruits followers, what is being done to try to stop it – and what does and doesn’t seem to be working.


November 17th, 2015
12:24 PM ET

Former jihadi: apologies of far left, sensationalism of far right blind us to ending "global Jihadist insurgency" #FZGPS

Sunday's CNN’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS featured an interview with former jihadi and counter-extremism expert Maajid Nawaz, co-founder of Quilliam Foundation, a counter-extremism group. Nawaz discusses how partisan politics in the U.S. and Europe are blinding the world from effectively fighting what he describes as a "global Jihadist insurgency."  Nawaz also discusses why religious extremism is attractive to young people born and raised in the West, and his own journey from extremist to a founder of an organization working to stop radicalization and promote tolerance and democracy.  Below, is a full transcript of the interview – Nawaz also appears in Fareed Zakaria's special one-hour investigation into the origins and aims of the terror group known as "ISIS" or "Daesh," that airs tonight,Tuesday, Nov. 17.  Blindsided: How ISIS Shook the World airs at 9:00pm Eastern on CNN/U.S.


Topics: 2016 Election • Breaking News • CNN • CNN Intenational Shows • CNN U.S. • Fareed Zakaria • Fareed Zakaria GPS • France • Iraq • ISIS • Syria
Preview: CNN International Programme Information Weeks 49 and 50
Kevin Rudd & Hala Gorani
November 17th, 2015
11:57 AM ET

Preview: CNN International Programme Information Weeks 49 and 50

Two Degrees: CNN Climate Change Debate

Two Degrees: CNN Climate Change Debate

Two Degrees: CNN Climate Change Debate

Friday 4 December at 1900 GMT/ 2000 CET

Duration: 60 minutes 


President Obama has claimed “no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations”. Pope Francis has called it “one of the principle challenges facing humanity in our day”.

Climate change dominates the global political agenda, and yet solutions are complex and lack consensus.  Ahead of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, ‘Two Degrees: CNN Climate Change Debate’ explores some of the options available to political leaders – and asks an audience of voters what is most palatable to them.  Which solutions find most favour with regular energy users in the UK, and how does this inform the global debate? FULL POST

Topics: CNN
November 15th, 2015
03:15 PM ET

Secretary of State John Kerry on the Obama Administration’s approach to ISIL #FZGPS

Today's CNN’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS featured Secretary of State John Kerry discussing the next steps for the U.S. response to the crisis in Syria and Iraq. This interview took place in the Benjamin Franklin room at the U.S. State Department on Wednesday, Nov. 11.



John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State: I mean there is a concerted strategy here, Fareed.  You know, I keep hearing people say well, what's the strategy, what's the strategy? The strategy is clear. President Obama, at the very beginning, said we're going to degrade and defeat ISIL.  We're going to stabilize the countries in the region - Jordan, Lebanon, work with Turkey - and we are going to seek a political settlement.

That is exactly the strategy today and it is working, to a degree, not as fast as we would like, perhaps, but we are making gains.  We have liberated major communities. About 75 percent of the border between northern Syria and Turkey has been secured.  You have another piece where we are engaging in an operation with the Turks to secure the final piece west of the Euphrates River.

There is pressure being put on Raqqa. There are major disruptions to the leadership and command and control of ISIL. Their territory has been shrunk by some 17,000 square kilometers.

There's a difference in the way they have to operate as a result of our operations.  And I believe that when you combine what is happening in Iraq with what is happening in Syria, there's an enormous amount of pressure that is continually being ramped up with respect to ISIL.

Now, ultimately, we want more forces on the ground to be able to - not ours - they're going to have to be people on the ground...

ZAKARIA:  But isn't that the key, which is in Syria, you can defeat ISIL or Daesh, but then somebody has to govern that real estate?

KERRY: Correct.

ZAKARIA: And what has tended to happen is, you know, there - we don't have local partners other than the Kurds.  You leave - or the victorious forces leave, and ISIL will come back or Assad comes back. There aren't - those moderate Syrians, just by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs' own admission - there just aren't many of them.

KERRY:  We understand that. But on the other hand, if - if you can move rapidly towards a political settlement, rapidly, over the next six months, towards an election, etc.; if you could have a ceasefire, if - these are all ifs; I understand that. But you have to have several strategies. And we do.

One is the military pressure against ISIL, the military pressure that has taken place from the moderate opposition against Assad, and the political track, where we're trying to get the parties united.  And in - two weeks ago in Vienna, we had a major step forward where everybody, including Iran and Russia, signed on to a unified secular Syria, to maintaining the structures of the government, to all opposing ISIL, and to protecting minorities, coming up with a - with a process that leads to an election.  And now we're working at doing that.

Iran and Russia and all of the rest of our partners - Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, etc.  - are committed to driving this political process that will have a transitional council that will begin to take over management of certain activities in Syria yet to be defined and determined in the negotiation, and that will lead to a sort of transitional process.

And ultimately, that is where we hope the issue of Assad and his future will be resolved.

### END ###

November 15th, 2015
11:52 AM ET

Graham: "There's a 9/11 coming and it's coming from Syria if we don't disrupt their operations inside of Syria."


Today on CNN’s State of the Union, Senator, member of the Senate armed services committee, and presidential candidate Lindsey Graham (R-SC), joined anchor, Jake Tapper to discuss the Paris attacks and the threat of ISIS.


For more information, see Also, text highlights and a transcript of the discussion are below.


MANDATORY CREDIT: CNN’s “State of the Union”


Contacts: Lauren Pratapas —; 202.465.6666; Zachary Lilly –



Graham on how to handle the Syrian refugee crisis: “I believe the United States and the world needs to go on offense and stop the reason people have to leave Syria.  The good people are leaving because they're being raped and murdered and some terrorists are trying to get in their ranks. The best thing the world could do for Syrian people is to create a safe haven within Syria, a no-fly zone.  The best thing the United States could do to protect other homeland is go on offense, to form a regional army with the French involved that they'd like to be and go on the ground to destroy their caliphate. I've come to learn one thing over the last two years.  We're going to fight ISIL in their backyard or we're going to fight ISIL in our backyard.  I choose to fight them in their backyard.  I choose to fight them in Raqqa, not on the streets of the western capitals of the world or American cities.”


Graham responds to the possibility of boots on the ground: “I can only tell you what I've learned after 35 trips to Iraq and Afghanistan in the last decade trying to understand this war. Number one, Obama's strategy against ISIL is failing. It will not working.  You are only going to win this war if you go on offense…So, what I'm pleading with every Republican - I hope Hillary Clinton - I hope the president will listen to what I'm saying.  We don't have until the next election to deal with ISIL.  There is a 9/11 coming and it's coming from Syria if we don't disrupt their operations inside of Syria. So, what I'm suggesting to presidents, to Democrats and Republicans, listen to what I have been saying and follow my advice.  The Arabs in Turkey want to destroy ISIL as much as we do.  France is now a victim twice of this organization.  Let's rally the world, form an army that is there to be formed, lead it, going on the ground and destroy ISIL before they attack our country.”


Graham on the role of Russia in Syria: “I would tell the Russians that you're not going to use military force to keep Assad in power.  That disrupts the region.  It gives Iran more power at a time they should have less.  It's a recruiting tool for ISIL to be able to fight the Iranians, Alawite controlled by Iran, it destabilizes the region.  The Syrian people are not going to accept Assad as their leader. So I would tell the Russians, you have bombed the people we have trained to take Assad out, who needs to go.  If you want to fight for Assad, that will be your choice, but what you will be doing is fighting the entire world. You'll be fighting the region, Turkey, all the Arabs, us, the French.  And we are going to do two things in Syria.  We are going to destroy ISIL before they hit our homeland, and we're going to replace Assad, because if he stays in power, the war never ends.  And let Russia make a decision.  And here's what they would do, they would back out.”



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