Early Start's new website

Head to http://www.cnn.com/shows/early-start for your news.

 

 

 

August 28th, 2013
06:25 AM ET

U.S., Russia Trade Barbs Over Syria

A U.S. response to Syria is imminent after clear word from the Obama Administration insisting the Assad regime is to blame for a deadly chemical weapons attack near Damsacus, which rebels say left some 1300 people dead.

Plans are apparently in the works for a U.S. response, but the White House says nothing has yet been decided.

CNN has learned the National Security Council met Tuesday night at the White House, to discuss Syria. The president did not take part.

Meanwhile, Russia is warning the U.S. against an attack.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin tweeted Tuesday: "The West handles the Islamic world the way a monkey handles a grenade."

“There's no love affair between Russian president Vladimir Putin and Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, but their countries have been in a tight embrace since Soviet times,” reports CNN’s Jill Dougherty.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem has said, “The Russian-Syrian relationship is a historical relationship that goes back decades back and is still continuing in the same momentum till this day.”

From military ties to those of blood and religion, the Russians and Syrians have a clear vested interest in one other.

“Syria has been buying its military weapons from Russia since Assad's father, Hafez al-Assad, ruled the country and Moscow is still fulfilling some of those Soviet-era contracts,” Dougherty reports.

Also, Russia's naval facility in Syria's port of Tartus is Moscow's only remaining Mediterranean repair spot for its ships.

According to Russian media, at least 25,000 Russian women are married to Syrian men.

And the largest Christian denomination in both Syria and Russia is the Orthodox Church. Moscow fears that if Islamist rebels win, they will be decimated.

“But the deepest reason the Kremlin sticks with Assad is Russia's anger over any unilateral military action or regime change by the West,” Dougherty explains.

“It started with NATO's 1999 air campaign against Russia's ally, Serbia.”

Matters worsened when the west launched airstrikes against Libya's Muammar Gadhafi, in 2011.

Andrew Kuchins of the Center for Strategic and International Studies says, “Mr. Putin basically came to the conclusion that never again, this will never happen again. That they will stick by Mr. Assad and Syria. Not because they particularly like Mr. Assad but because they see him as the legitimate president, or the legitimate leader of Syria.”

Dougherty says, “Russia now claims there's little difference between President Obama and President George W. Bush. And they predict that if Assad falls what comes after him could be even worse.”

Posted by
Filed under: Russia • Syria • White House • World
August 8th, 2013
09:16 AM ET

Frosty Relations Between the US & Russia

The White House now says President Obama will not meet with Russian President Vlaidmir Putin in Moscow.

"This is certainly a significant turn," CNN's Phil Black reports. "The key trigger for calling off this meeting is that name we've come to know so well, Edward Snowden, and Russia's decision to grant him temporary political asylum."

But it is by no means the only issue at stake. This is really the culmination in a long, steady decline in the relations between these two countries. This is partly because of some big disagreements and a lack of progress on big international issues like Syria, missile defense, nuclear disarmament and also domestic Russian politics in the United States.

Posted by
Filed under: Russia
June 28th, 2013
06:35 AM ET

NSA leaker waiting on safe passage to Ecuador from Russia – Phil Black reports

CNN is following the trail in Russia today where NSA leaker Edward Snowden is holed-up this morning.

Snowden, considered a fugitive from justice in the U.S., is believed to be waiting for safe-passage to Ecuador, but the government there says it won't be forced into a decision concerning Snowden's asylum request.

CNN's Phil Black is following developments live in Moscow.

Posted by
Filed under: Edward Snowden • Leak • NSA • Russia • World
June 17th, 2013
10:32 AM ET

Did Putin steal Super Bowl ring? – Alina Cho reports

Did Russian President Vladimir Putin steal a Super Bowl ring from New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft?

Kraft says yes, but an aide to Putin says he witnessed Kraft give the ring as a gift. Alina Cho has more on the story.

Posted by
Filed under: NFL • Russia • World
June 7th, 2013
07:08 AM ET

Russian president Vladimir Putin & wife announce divorce – Phil Black reports

FROM CNN WIRES:

Vladimir Putin's nearly 30-year marriage has ended in divorce, the Russian president and his ex-wife told state-run television in a joint interview.

"This was our joint decision. Our marriage is over," Putin told Russia 24, standing next to Lyudmila Putin, in an interview shown Thursday. "We almost don't see each other. We have different lives."

Lyudmila Putin said the two shared a love for their two adult children, but hinted life in the public eye took a toll.

"I don't like to be in public, and it's hard to take (airplane) flights," she said. "We love our children a lot, we are proud of them and see them all the time."

READ MORE: Putin announces divorce: 'We have different lives'

Posted by
Filed under: Russia • World
June 3rd, 2013
07:59 AM ET

Seagal with U.S. Congressional Delegation in Russia – Phil Black reports

American film star Steven Seagal joined a congressional delegation in a press conference aimed at counter-terrorism and intelligence cooperation in Moscow Sunday night. CNN's Phil Black reports that the delegation has been meeting with Russian officials to try and determine what lessons can be learned about cooperation between the two countries in the aftermath of the Boston bombings.

The head of the delegation said that it was actually Seagal who was instrumental in setting up some of their meetings. Black says Seagal received “overwhelming praise about the role that he played” and was credited with “setting up very high level meetings within the Russian establishment, particularly with one of Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister’s.”

Seagal himself credited the U.S. Embassy with playing a large role in making the meetings possible. But the actor, who shares an interest in martial arts with Russian President Valdimir Putin, has said in his own words that he is “friends with many presidents in many countries.”

April 29th, 2013
06:52 AM ET

Militant killed in Russia raid linked 'tangentially' to Tsarnaev? Nick Paton Walsh reports

In developments Monday in the Boston marathon bombing investigation, Russian special forces killed two members of a jihadist group during an early morning raid in Dagestan, a semi-autonomous republic in southern Russia, two Russian police sources told CNN.

One of those killed, Shakhrudin Askhabov, was a close associate of Abu Dujan, the islamist group's leader.

Nick Paton Walsh reports on the death of Shakhrudin Askhabov, a close associate of Abu Dujan, and possible 'tangential links' to Tamerlan Tsarnaev.


Filed under: Abu Dujan • Russia • Tamerlan Tsarnaev
February 20th, 2013
10:19 AM ET

VIDEO: Russia wants to stop all internation adoptions after boy's death in Texas – Phil Black reports

CNN's Phil Black on Russia's response to the suspicious circumstances in the death of an adopted Russian boy in Texas.


Filed under: Adoption • Russia
February 19th, 2013
06:58 AM ET

Texas officials investigating suspicious death of adopted Russian boy – David Mattingly reports

FROM CNN WIRES:

(CNN) - Officials in West Texas said Monday they are investigating the "suspicious" death of a 3-year-old boy, adopted from Russia, and a Russian official blamed the death on "inhuman abuse."

The boy was born on January 9, 2010, and died on January 21, 2013, according to Konstantin Dolgov, the Russian Foreign Ministry's special representative for human rights.

"I would like to draw your attention to another case of inhuman abuse of a Russian child by U.S. adoptive parents," he said in a statement.

Dolgov claimed the child suffered injuries to his head and legs, as well as to his abdomen and internal organs. The wounds, he said, "could only be caused by strong blows."

Kim Herrington, an investigator with the Ector County Medical Examiner's Office, said the case was referred to his office because of the "suspicious" nature of the child's death.

Patrick Crimmins, of Texas Child Protective Services, said his office is investigating. The allegations include physical abuse and neglectful supervision, or neglect, he said.

This morning on "Early Start," CNN's David Mattingly details more in the investigation.

READ MORE: Russia decries death of adopted boy in Texas


Filed under: Adoption • Russia
December 31st, 2012
10:56 AM ET

Kendra Skaggs on bringing her daughter home in the face of a new Russian law banning U.S. adoptions

Many American families are in a painful limbo this morning because of a new Russian law that goes into effect tomorrow banning U.S. adoptions. For the past 13 months, Kendra and Jason Skaggs have been in the process of adopting a five year old girl with special needs named Polina. A Russian judge granted the Skaggs' adoption petition on Christmas Eve but it requires a 30 day waiting period. The Skaggs family already considers Polina a part of the family but the new law has them feeling unsure as to whether they will be allowed to bring their daughter to the United States. This morning Kendra Skaggs joins “Starting Point” from Los Angeles to share her story.


Filed under: Adoption • Russia
« older posts
newer posts »