CNN Exclusive: Luis Figo joins race for FIFA presidency
January 28th, 2015
10:34 AM ET

CNN Exclusive: Luis Figo joins race for FIFA presidency

In an exclusive interview with CNN's Alex Thomas (@alexthomascnn), Former Real Madrid and Barcelona star Luis Figo (@LuisFigo) announces his intention to run against Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency.

On why he is entering the race
“I care about football so what I’m seeing regarding the image of FIFA - not only now but in the past years – I don’t like it”

“If you search FIFA on the internet you see the first word that comes out: scandal, not positive words. It’s that we have to change first and try to improve the image of FIFA. Football deserves much better than this.” FULL POST

January 26th, 2015
06:48 PM ET

President Obama interviewed by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria in India

Interview to Premiere on CNN’s NEW DAY on CNN/U.S.

FAREED ZAKARIA GPS Global Television Exclusive

President Barack Obama will sit down with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria for a wide-ranging interview from New Delhi as the President concludes his state visit to India.

Portions of the interview will air first on CNN’s NEW DAY on Tuesday, January 27, beginning at 6:00amET and then air throughout the day on programs across CNN, CNN International, CNN en Espanol, and on

The full interview will air on CNN’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS international affairs program on Sunday, February 1st on CNN/U.S. and CNN International.

Interview topics will include U.S.-India relations, the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, recent terrorism events in the Middle East and Africa, the long conflict in Ukraine, the fall of the U.S.-allied government of Yemen, and more.

In September 2014, Fareed Zakaria was the first person to interview Prime Minister Modi since Mr. Modi’s election as Prime Minister of India.


In the United States on Tuesday, January 27 (U.S. Eastern Time):

  • CNN/U.S.: 6:00a.m.


In the United States:

Saturday, January 31

  • CNN International: 9:00p.m.

Sunday, February 01 (Eastern Time):

  • CNN International: 7:00a.m., encore at 10:00p.m.
  • CNN/U.S.: 10:00a.m., encore at 1:00p.m.


January 25th, 2015
12:04 PM ET

WH Chief of Staff on Iran negotiations: "Congress should let us finish this job"

Today on CNN’s State of the Union, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough (Obama Administration) joined CNN host Michael Smerconish (Smerconish airs Saturday’s at 9:00amET on CNN/U.S.) to discuss the recent reported beheading of a Japanese hostage by ISIS, the power shifts in the Middle East and their effects on United States policy, as well as the nuclear negotiations with Iran and the upcoming Israeli elections and the Congressional invitation to Prime Minister Netanyahu.


On Israel and Benjamin Netanyahu: “This is the most important relationship we have in the world.  This is something that ought to be and will continue to be, as far as we're concerned, above partisan politics.  This is a relationship, given its importance, that stretches across many different things, from values straight through intelligence cooperation to defense and security assistance.  That's the kinds of things that we will be focused on in this regard.  That's why we think also we ought not get involved in their politics.  That's why the president thinks it doesn't make any sense for us to meet with the prime minister two weeks before his election.”

On Iran: .”We have isolated the Iranians over the course of six years.  We now have robust international multilateral sanctions in place and we have very aggressive bilateral sanctions in place.  That's leading to Iran being isolated, its economy being in tatters, its ability to export and sell oil at near - near record lows.  So, we're going to continue to do that.  We can maintain that international unity by pressing through these last several months of negotiations.  Congress should just give us the time to let those negotiations play out.  It doesn't make any sense for them to prematurely act on legislation that the president will veto if it's going to risk maintaining this international unity.  So, Congress should let us finish this job. “

On recent ISIS hostage situations: “We don't either negotiate or make exchanges or pay ransoms.  We think that results in just more cash floating around with these very hateful characters who will just have more ability to ply their trade.”

Full transcript after the jump. FULL POST

Ukrainian president tells CNN Ukraine may seek more sanctions against Russia
January 22nd, 2015
10:18 AM ET

Ukrainian president tells CNN Ukraine may seek more sanctions against Russia

Ukraine is ready to push for more sanctions against Russia, President Petro Poroshenko told CNN’s Richard Quest.

Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos before a meeting between Russia and Ukraine on Wednesday, Poroshenko said there was no room for negotiation.

"Everything was agreed and signed in Minsk," he said, referring to a pact signed in September with the aim of halting the conflict between Ukrainian government forces and separatist pro-Russian rebels.

Ukraine expects Russia to present a plan for implementing the agreement, which calls for an immediate ceasefire, freeing of any hostages, and the withdrawal of armed groups and military equipment from Ukrainian territory.

"The purpose of sanctions is not to hurt Russia. The purpose of sanctions is just to keep Russia to be responsible."


January 18th, 2015
03:03 PM ET

Sen. Murphy: Send military assistance to Ukraine

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) tells Jim Sciutto "the United States needs to start sending more significant military assistance to the Ukraine." Full transcript of the discussion is available after the jump.


January 18th, 2015
01:31 PM ET

Leon Panetta: Obama "missed an opportunity to show solidarity"

CNN’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS features an interview with former Director of the CIA and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. Fareed Zakaria spoke to Panetta about the recent terror attacks throughout Europe, the Obama Administration’s reaction, and the means of preventing future threats.


Panetta on the U.S. absence in Paris: “To the credit of the White House, they admitted that they had made a mistake, and it was a mistake, because we missed an opportunity to show solidarity with the leadership - leadership in the world that is confronting this terrorism threat that we all face.  So it was a missed opportunity. We should have had, if not the president, certainly the vice president or the secretary of state should have attended. As far as what went on in the White House, all I can say is when I - when I was chief of staff, the national security adviser and the chief of staff usually presented these kinds of issues directly to the president, and the president then made the ultimate decision as to what happened.”

 Panetta on the terror attacks in Paris: “You know, I think that what we've seen happening over these last few weeks, between what happened in Ottawa, what's happened in Paris and now what's happened in Belgium, is that we're entering a new and perhaps more dangerous chapter in the war on terrorism. You've got terrorists coming at us from a lot of different directions - from ISIS, from Boko Haram, from Al-Shabab, from AQAP, from other elements of al Qaeda. They are recruiting like crazy from these various wars in Syria and Iraq, in Yemen. And they seem to be involved in more planning and more weapons in terms of the types of attacks that they're working on. So I think it's pretty clear from what we're seeing that we are entering a more threatening and more dangerous period in this war on terrorism.”

Panetta on French intelligence: “Well, there's no question that, I think, the failure to be able to have prevented the attack that took place in Paris was an intelligence failure. And I know they had these individuals on watch lists. I know that, in some ways, they were tracking them, but because of priorities or because of resources, obviously, they were not aware that these attacks were going to be conducted.”

Full transcript after the jump. FULL POST

Topics: Fareed Zakaria • Fareed Zakaria GPS • ISIS
January 11th, 2015
12:48 PM ET

Holder: "We have to monitor each other's citizens"

Today on CNN’s State of the Union, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder joined Gloria Borger from Paris and shared his views regarding the current situation in Paris. Holder described the nature of future terror threats and the means of combating them. Text highlights and a transcript of the discussion are below.


Holder on combatting the terror threat: “We focus mostly on the Americans who have gone to Syria.  About 150 or so have gone to Syria or have attempted to do that, Syria and Iraq.  We think there are about 12 that are there now who are actually engaged in the fight.  But we work with our allies.  We share information.  And it's one of the things, I think, that we frankly have to do better.  We have to monitor each other's citizens, because the reality is that any one nation can be hurt by the citizens of another nation.”

Holder on the terror organization behind the Paris attacks: “We don't have any credible information, at least as yet, to indicate who was responsible, who sponsored this act. That is clearly one of the things that we have to make a determination of.  I will say this, that AQAP remains the most dangerous of the al Qaeda cells, the al Qaeda organizations, and we are constantly focused on them.”

Holder on General Petraeus: “Well, I don't want to comment on - I don't want to comment on what is an ongoing - an ongoing matter.  I will say that, frequently, those things that are leaked to the media are done so by people who are not in a position to know, and are frequently inaccurate. “

Full transcript available after the jump.

January 11th, 2015
12:03 PM ET

Senator McCain: "ISIS right now is winning"

Today on CNN’s State of the Union, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) told Gloria Borger the Obama administration has no strategy to defeat ISIS in Syria and Iraq. In addition, Senator McCain discussed the nature of the terrorist attacks in Paris and the possibility of indicting General George Petraeus. Text highlights and a transcript of the discussion are below.


McCain on General Petraeus: “He deserves better treatment than have a leak to "The New York Times" about a recommendation, which is a violation of his rights and any citizen's rights.”

McCain on the nature of the attack in Paris: “The nature of that attack showed a degree of professionalism that no lone wolf could have carried out. And right now, in training camps throughout particularly Syria, where we are leaving Bashar al-Assad alone with some incredible hope that the Iranians will work with us, which is bizarre, but right now in Syria, they are training people to go back to the country they came from, and commit acts of terror. That was the view of the head of British intelligence, not just mine.”

McCain on the Obama Administration’s foreign policy failure: “When we didn't leave a residual, a sustaining force behind in Iraq, and when the president turned down the advice of his head national security advisers not to arm the Free Syrian Army, and a number of other decisions, that laid the groundwork for ISIS. And now we have a situation where the largest extremist caliphate in history is now in Iraq and Syria, and we have no strategy. We have no strategy to degrade or defeat it.”

January 4th, 2015
11:09 AM ET

Sen. Menendez: "very difficult to get an ambassador confirmed" for Cuba

Today on CNN’s State of the Union, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Robert Menendez, joined Dana Bash to discuss US negotiations with Cuba and additional sanctions on North Korea.


On establishing formal diplomatic relations with Cuba: "We already have an operating interests section, which the administration could easily convert to an embassy. An ambassador, I would think it would be very difficult to get an ambassador confirmed."

​On the Obama Administration's 'secret diplomacy': "And this is a problem not only as it relates to Cuba, but Iran, this secret diplomacy in which witnesses come before the committee and you ask them questions about what's happening, whether it be about Iran or Cuba, and you don't get a straight answer. And now you find out that there was in one case a year-and-a-half, in another case over a year of engagement. That's going to be problematic for the administration as it appears before the committee again and again."

​On North Korea's sponsorship of state terror: "I really do believe that we need to look at putting North Korea back on the list of state sponsors of terrorism, which would have far more pervasive consequences.  You know, the one thing I disagree with - with the president on is when he characterized the action here against Sony by North Korea as an act of vandalism."

On the Obama Administration's deal with Cuba: "So we subverted, in my view, the standards that are important for us to uphold globally in a way that we could have - if you're going to make a deal with the regime, then get something for it. But at the end of the day, they got absolutely nothing for giving up everything that the Castro regime wants to see and has lobbied for."

 Full transcript.


December 28th, 2014
06:41 PM ET

Senator Graham "I can't imagine anything this massive happening in North Korea without China being involved"

In an interview scheduled to air on CNN's State of the Union, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) spoke to Dana Bash about the North Korean hacking crisis, the closing of Guantanamo Bay, the nuclear negotiations with Iran, and the Republican playing field in 2016.


On North Korea's hacking: “You can't talk about North Korea without talking about China. You need to have a heart to heart with the Chinese. I can't imagine anything this massive happening in North Korea without China being involved...”

On closing Guantanamo Bay: “I don't think there's any appetite in Congress to close Guantanamo Bay. I think the American people want to keep it open. And after the rise of ISIS and ISIL throughout the Mideast, most people in the world are more worried about terrorists leaving Guantanamo Bay than they are of the prison being opened."

On reaching an Iranian nuclear deal: “The Sunni Arabs and the Israelis are of one accord. Both of them fear dramatically the effects of a bad deal. I would like to end the nuclear ambitions of the Iranians peacefully, but the deal needs to be looked at and approved by Congress. They have been trying to develop a nuclear weapon, not a peaceful nuclear power program. And of all of the things that could throw the world into more chaos than exists today, it would be a bad deal regarding the Iranian nuclear ambitions.”
Full transcript after the jump. FULL POST

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