May 18th, 2012
10:17 AM ET
Helping the world's hungry feed themselves
The campaign to feed the world's poor will get some much needed star power Friday when Bono, co-founder of the global advocacy organization ONE, arrives to rally leaders of the Group of Eight industrialized nations to take action.
While the crisis in the eurozone will no doubt top the agenda when the G8 leaders gather Friday for a two-day summit, the talks will also tackle the issue of food security and ways to feed a growing world population.
At their annual summit in L'Aquila, Italy, in 2009, leaders pledged to provide $20 billion to fight hunger in the developing world over three years. Since then, U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have embraced food security as a signature foreign policy issue, working to support farmers in Africa and other developing countries to improve agriculture.
Now, those 2009 commitments are set to expire. In an age of shrinking aid budgets with fewer resources available, donor governments can't solve the problem of world hunger alone.
Rajiv Shah, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, said in an interview that major gains have been made in reducing hunger in most of the world, with the exception of sub-Saharan Africa. While he said the private sector has been interested in developing the African market, companies have been reluctant because of corruption and a lack of infrastructure.
Click here for the full story at CNN's Security Clearance blog
October 14th, 2011
02:02 PM ET
Obama sending combat troops to central Africa
President Obama has deployed combat troops to central Africa to aid in the fight against the Lord's Resistance Army. In a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner, Obama says 12 troops with "appropriate combat equipment" were deployed on October 12 and approximately 100 in total will be deployed including a second combat team and headquarters, communications and logistics personnel. The forces will provide information and advise and assist "select partner nation forces," Obama explains. The troops will not fight except in self-defense.
Read the full letter on CNN's Security Clearance blog
July 29th, 2011
12:59 PM ET
Protests outside White House Friday
More than one hundred protestors representing opposing political parties in the African nation of Guinea chanted loudly Friday outside the White House in anticipation of Guinean President Alpha Conde's meeting with President Obama.
The White House called the president's meeting with President Conde and three other African nation presidents "an opportunity to underscore the administration's support support of emerging democracies." FULL POST
June 24th, 2011
05:53 PM ET
Michelle Obama on her husband's election, the upcoming campaign and her daughters' privacy
CNN's Robyn Curnow caught up with first lady Michelle Obama in Botswana for an interview during which she discussed some of the high points of her African trip:
On Mandela: "The one thing I told him, I wanted to make sure he understood how important his leadership and sacrifice has been to who I've become, to who my husband has become and, in short, I just said, 'Thank you.' It's really hard to know what to say to such an icon."
On the U.S. elections: "We really don't talk about the election. We're really doing the work, and that's an important and useful distraction in the midst of it. There's a lot on the president of theUnited States' plate that keeps him focused on what needs to be done, so you just keep doing what you believe is right. I always say this: One of the reasons why I support this president and not just as my husband, but as a citizen, is because I see him taking that long view. I see him every day waking up worrying, not about polls, but worrying about what is the right thing to do for the future. That keeps you pretty focused on what's important."
On husband's campaign: "When it comes to the campaign we're ready to work hard. We did it before and we'll do it again, so we're rolling up our sleeves and getting on with it."
On daughters: "Fortunately, we have help from the media. I have to say this: I am very grateful for the support and kindness that we've gotten. People have respected their privacy, and in that way, no matter what people may feel about my husband's policies or what-have-you, they care about children, and that's been good to see."
June 9th, 2011
11:42 AM ET
Gabon’s Bongo drums up controversy with Oval Office visit
Washington (CNN) - When the president of the United States invites a world leader into the Oval Office it elevates the meeting and extends the warmest of embraces to his visitor. That’s why Thursday’s meeting with President Ali Bongo of the West Central African nation of Gabon is raising eyebrows.
The oil rich nation of an estimated 1.5 million people has been ruled by the Bongo family for decades, but there have long been allegations of corruption.
A 2009 New York Times headline read: “Underneath Palatial Skin, Corruption Rules Gabon.”
The article detailed the lavish life of the Bongo family, which stands in stark contrast to the ‘have-nots…just around the corner.”
Pressed on the wisdom of the visit in light of swirling allegations, White House Spokesman Jay Carney said President Bongo is “making reform efforts which we support.” FULL POST
June 5th, 2011
04:04 PM ET
President’s week ahead tips to global issues
WASHINGTON (CNN) - After spending a quiet weekend in Washington, including a round of golf on Saturday, President Obama faces a busy week ahead at the White House - a week in which he'll focus attention on issues overseas. The president will host three international leaders, discussing a variety of issues, ranging from the world economy to military operations in Libya and Afghanistan to Africa.
On Monday, there are no public events scheduled for the president. President Obama will hold his monthly meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan with his national security team.
June 3rd, 2011
12:33 PM ET
Michelle Obama headed to Africa
(CNN) - First lady Michelle Obama is slated to make a goodwill trip to Africa later this month, the White House announced Friday, part of her ongoing efforts to be a forceful advocate for emerging leaders abroad.
The official state visit, from June 21-26, will include stops in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa, and Gaborone, Botswana, and is aimed at promoting education, health and wellness in addition to leadership. The first lady has engaged in similar efforts during past trips to Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, India, Mexico and the United Kingdom. FULL POST