Channel: Amanpour

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Venezuela faces ‘rocky future’ without dialogue, warns OAS chief

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Venezuela faces a “rocky future” unless all parties can agree to dialogue, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, José Miguel Insulza, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday. “The only way in which the deep economic and political crisis that is happening can be solved is either they get along, and they try to settle things through a dialogue, or the possibility of having some foreign mediation,” Insulza said. The stand-off between Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and the opposition is heading for a perfect storm, with worrying signs that the worst protests in a decade could eventually lead to total economic collapse. In an interview with Amanpour in Caracas earlier this month, President Maduro said that Venezuela did not need outside mediation. “I think what we need is cooperation,” Maduro said. “We are not in despair. Venezuelans have a long history, so we are able to listen to each other, to talk to each other.” But the two sides aren't talking to each other, and now more than three dozen people are dead – most recently a 28-year-old woman shot in the head after her bus was stopped at an opposition barricade. The OAS itself has come under criticism for its inability to intercede in the crisis.

Thought you had a big vocabulary? Think again

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If you thought you had a big vocabulary, think again. The average English-speaker knows between 25,000 and 40,000 words, Oxford English Dictionary Chief Editor Michael Proffitt told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday. His organization – which bills itself as the “definitive record of the English language” – has recorded 800,000 words and counting, he said. “Even people who are doing 40,000, at the highest end, it’s about five percent of what we’ve got in the OED,” he said. “And that’s not all the words in the language.” Proffitt has just taken over the helm of the OED, the first succession in 20 years, and he faces a unique challenge. How will the revered dictionary stay relevant in a 21st century world of Tweets and text messages?

Borno Governor: Deal with devil if it means getting back kidnapped girls

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The governor of Nigeria’s Borno State, where nearly 300 schoolgirls were kidnapped, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday that the government should negotiate with Boko Haram – make a deal “with the devil” – if it means bringing the girls back. “The issue of not negotiation, of not negotiating with the terrorists – it’s out of the question,” Kashim Shettima said. “If it means talking to the devil, it mean the devil can come down, we can get back our girls.” Boko Haram, the group that kidnapped the girls, “are a bunch of raving lunatics,” Shettima said. A month has passed since the girls were kidnapped, and the Nigerian government has been accused of not acting swiftly or efficiently enough to protect villages in the region threatened by Boko Haram. Sharon Ikeazor, a member of Nigeria’s opposition, told Amanpour that “most of the girls in school had their cell phones” when they were kidnapped. “They had contacted their parents,” she said. “So they knew when the attack was happening, and the villagers around had reported to the military.” The government, she said, “could have saved those girls.” Click below to watch Amanpour’s full conversation with Shettima and Ikeazor.

Ancient ruins in Pompeii face ruin again

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Pompeii, destroyed by a volcanic eruption nearly 2,000 years ago, is again facing destruction - by floods. CNN's Hala Gorani, in for Christiane Amanpour, has the story.

Beyond the boundaries of maids and mistresses

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In south Asian countries like India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, the gap between the "have's" and those who cook and clean for them often seems unbridgeable. In "Close Distance," a photo essay by Bangladeshi photographer Jannatu Mawa, the distance between domestic servants and their employers is highlighted. Click above to watch. And you can see more of Mawa's photos here.

America has ‘moral responsibility’ to intervene in Iraq, says Iraqi Kurdish foreign minister

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The foreign minister of Iraqi Kurdistan on Wednesday issued a desperate plea for American and Western intervention to halt the advance of ISIS extremists. “We are left alone in the front to fight the terrorists of ISIS,” Falah Mustafa Bakir told CNN’s Fred Pleitgen, in for Christiane Amanpour. “I believe the United States has a moral responsibility to support us, because this is a fight against terrorism, and we have proven to be pro-democracy, pro-West, and pro-secularism.” While much of the world's attention has recently been focused on Gaza, ISIS has been sweeping across northern Iraq.

In bloody Central African Republic, top imam and archbishop urge peace

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The top Muslim imam and Catholic archbishop in war-ravaged Central African Republic are coming together to advocate for peace and urge their communities to stop their brutal fighting. “We are together to first prove to international opinion that the crisis is not religious,” Oumar Kobine Layama, president of the C.A.R. Islamic Community, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in an interview that aired Tuesday. “Religious temperament has been used for some people in order to reach their objectives, which is power,” he said. Chaos struck the Central African Republic last year after a coalition of rebels dubbed Seleka, a predominantly Muslim coalition, ousted President Francois Bozize – the latest in a series of coups since its independence. Christian groups, called anti-Balaka, sprung up in response. They have continued their vicious vigilante fighting despite thousands of French and African peacekeeping troops, and the election last week of a transitional president.

Rwanda minister warns against repeat elsewhere

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Has the world learned its lesson from the genocide - now 20 years old - in Rwanda? "I can see what is happening in Syria, I can see what is happening in the Central African Republic," Rwandan Justice Minister Busingye Johnston told CNN's Christiane Amanpour. "I'm not so sure that the world is putting out good mechanisms to ensure something like this never happens again. "This kind of eruption can happen." Click above to watch. You can watch more of Amanpour's interview with Busingye here.

Former Kremlin adviser talks Crimea

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Former Kremlin Adviser Alexander Nekrassov speaks with CNN's Christiane Amanpour about Ukraine. Click above to watch.

Journalists call for release of colleagues in Egypt

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Journalists worldwide are demanding the release of Al Jazeera staff detained in Egypt for over a month with the campaign #FreeAJStaff. The White House has also urged Egypt to release imprisoned journalists and academics. "These figures, regardless of affiliation, should be protected and permitted to do their jobs freely in Egypt," White House spokesman told reporters today. It's a story we have been covering for weeks, and we will continue to do so.

Iran enriches and will continue to enrich uranium under deal, U.S. acknowledges

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The U.S. acknowledges that Iran is enriching and will continue to enrich uranium – whether under mutual agreement, as is the case under the interim agreement struck in Geneva this weekend, or in the future, under a permanent, comprehensive agreement. Of course, if there is no comprehensive deal, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Iran will continue to enrich as it has for years, in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and international sanction. “As part of a final resolution,” Rhodes said under persistent questioning, “you could have a mutually agreed-upon state in which Iran’s program is much different than it is today – they’ve dismantled elements of that program, they’ve accepted constraints, limitations, verification measures, and have a very limited enrichment capacity on Iranian soil.” The Obama Administration and its negotiating partners are hoping to finally curtail Iran’s nuclear program to being limited and entirely peaceful in exchange for a wholesale lifting on sanctions. If such a deal is not struck, then Iran and the international community will “revert to a status quo,” Rhodes said, “in which Iran is in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions outside their national obligations and is confronted with pressure.”

Interesting times for time itself

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As parts of the world such as Ukraine and Venezuela remain ticking time-bombs, imagine a world where these are truly interesting times – for time itself. Those anti-government demonstrators in Venezuela who say it's time for a change have a little more daylight to air their grievances, thanks to the late President Hugo Chavez. Back in 2007, he set all the clocks forward, changing Venezuela's time zone to the half-hour – that's 30 minutes ahead of what he called the "imperialist" time keepers, presumably referring to the U.S. And at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, where athletes race against the clock and one another, timing is everything. Russians take pride in knowing that Sochi time is only one of nine different time zones that stretch across their vast country, from Moscow to Vladivostok.

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