.
April 10th, 2008
05:24 PM ET

Future of Olympic torch tour?

ALT TEXT

Protestors wave Tibetan flags while an athlete runs with Beijing Olympics torch, on April 7, 2008 in Paris. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

A "crisis" is how the president of the International Olympic Committee describes the protests that have surrounded the torch relay.

But Jacques Rogge insists the torch relay will go on – despite protests in London, Paris and San Francisco which have focused on China's human rights record, its crackdown on Tibet and its close relationship with Sudan. He says the IOC has weathered many bigger storms, like the murder of the Israeli athletes in Munich in 1972 and the boycotts in 1976, 1980 and 1984.

However, Rogge says the committee will reconsider holding this kind of international relay for future Olympic Games.

He also called on China to honor its pledges to improve human rights and give foreign journalists unfettered access – a rare critique of the Communist country coming from the IOC. China shot right back, saying the committee should keep its nose out of its internal politics.

The torch has now arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where there will be a relay tomorrow. It then moves on to 14 more cities in Africa and Asia before returning to China in August.

One IOC member has suggested that the p.r. nightmare that followed the flame this year may make it the last time for an international relay.

Here’s my question to you: In light of what’s happened in London, Paris and San Francisco, how should officials handle the remainder of the Olympic torch tour?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Beijing Olympics • Uncategorized
April 10th, 2008
05:07 PM ET

Are you less likely to fly this summer?

ALT TEXT

(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

If you're planning to jet off somewhere for summer vacation, you may want to reconsider your mode of transportation.

That's because this week's massive flight cancellations by American Airlines are likely to spread to other airlines as federal regulators step up their enforcement of maintenance and safety regulations.

American says it's canceled more than 900 flights today. This is the third day in a row of cancellations, which now total close to 2,500. The airline says it expects all its planes to be inspected and ready for flight by Saturday. This has left more than 140,000 passengers stranded. The company's CEO is apologizing to passengers and says he accepts "full responsibility" for failing to meet FAA standards. Meanwhile, Midwest airlines also grounded 13 "MD-80" planes today.

These inspections were ordered to look for potential wiring hazards in wheel wells and other possible faults – things that could cause fires or trouble with the landing gear. In recent weeks, Delta, Southwest and United Airlines have also canceled flights in order to perform safety checks.

One expert says flight delays and cancellations could soon get worse, especially for airlines with older fleets and may last all the way into June. It's estimated that about 35% of the U.S. fleet is more than 25 years old.

Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration insists it is just doing its job of enforcing the regulations. But today senators blasted the FAA for "becoming too close to the industry it regulates”, saying it had been neglecting its safety operations.

A lot of these safety issues came to light when it was revealed that Southwest airlines was flying planes even after cracks were discovered in a jet's fuselage.

Here’s my question to you: When making travel plans this summer, are you less likely to fly?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Airlines • Travel
April 10th, 2008
02:07 PM ET

Can anyone end the war in Iraq?

ALT TEXT

Spec.Chad Owen of the 2nd Brigade 1st ID participates in a night patrol in Baghdad, Iraq. Click the Play Button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

To Americans who want to end the war in Iraq, a Democratic president is the only answer. Or is it? Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are both promising to withdraw U.S. military forces from Iraq if either is elected. If McCain wins, forget about it. He says we might be in Iraq a hundred years.

The thing is it might turn out to be easier for McCain to keep us in Iraq than for Clinton or Obama to get us out. This George Bush abomination is now in its sixth year. And the quicksand just gets deeper.

Iraq is no closer now to being a true functioning democracy capable of providing for its own security than it was five years ago. And the outlook for meaningful progress is awful. Both General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker describe the country as being in a fragile state and warn that security gains could vanish if troops leave too soon. See Basra without the British.

Meanwhile, former Secretary of State Colin Powell says the next president will have to face the reality that the U.S. has to reduce troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan. At the same time, Powell warns that there will be limitations, “None of them are going to have the flexibility of just saying we're out of here, turn off the switch, turn off the lights, we're leaving. They will have a situation before them."

The unsettling fact is we might not be able to leave without either handing Iraq over to Iran or setting off a tribal war that will end in genocide.

Here’s my question to you: How likely is it that the next president, whether Republican or Democrat, will pull U.S. troops out of Iraq?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • John McCain • War in Iraq