November 20th, 2013
11:51 AM ET

Iran Plan Takes Stage in Geneva

A breakthrough deal on Iran's nuclear program could be on the horizon - even though Western allies are splintered on the terms.

World leaders will meet Wednesday in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss a proposed deal that would loosen economic sanctions against Tehran in exchange for a suspension of part of its nuclear program.

The Geneva talks involve Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council - the United States, Russia, China, Great Britain and France - as well as Germany in what is known as the P5+1 in diplomatic shorthand.

U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice said the plan would benefit the global community.

"The international community would have unprecedented access to Iran's nuclear facilities and full transparency into what they're doing, so they wouldn't have the ability to sneak out or break out," Rice said.

Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes  spoke to Kate Bolduan on "New Day" Wednesday saying "In the last rounds in Geneva we narrowed the differences significantly. And going into this round of talks, we have a unified position with our partners. So basically, there is a deal that the Iranians should take. And it'd be a good deal for us, because it would stop the progress of the Iranian nuclear program for the first time in a decade."

But Israel, the United States' closest ally in the region, staunchly opposes the tentative plan.

"It's a bad deal - an exceedingly bad deal," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told CNN this week.

Netanyahu opposes lifting some sanctions now without getting further concessions to ensure Iran would be unable to continue with uranium enrichment and other steps.

"I think you should not only keep up the pressure; I think you should increase the pressure, because it's finally working," Netanyahu said, labeling Iran's economy as close to paralysis. "If you give it up now, when you have that pressure, and Iran doesn't even take apart, dismantle one centrifuge, what leverage will you have when you've eased the pressure?"

At the same time, Netanyahu repeated his insistence that Israel "always reserves the right to defend itself against any threat," which is diplomat-speak for a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities to stop the development of a weapon.

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November 20th, 2013
11:40 AM ET

Toronto Mayor Stripped of Powers, Says He Quit Alcohol

The TV show of embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was canceled Tuesday, just one day after it debuted, CNN's Nic Robertson reports.

He and his brother hosted "Ford Nation" on Canada's Sun News Network.

"It beat our record of 100,000 viewers," but the time and production the show required does not make it a viable option, said Kory Teneycke, vice president of Sun News Network.

The Ford brothers will appear as regular guests on Sun News programming, he said.

The show debuted Monday, the same day the Toronto City Council voted to strip the mayor of most of his powers in a tumultuous meeting during which a charging Ford knocked down one of its members.

Roughly two weeks after Ford admitted to smoking crack cocaine in a "drunken stupor" - an admission forced by a drug investigation that resulted in extortion charges against a friend - the mayor said he was done apologizing. He called Monday's vote "a coup d'etat" and compared it to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990, warning council members, "What goes around, comes around, friends."

Mayor Ford, talking on TV, claims his drinking days are done saying, "I haven't touched a drop of alcohol in three weeks."

William Moyers is vice president of the Hazelden Foundation, which operates an addiction treatment center for drug and alcohol rehab.  He's also author of "Broken: My Story of Addiction and Redemption."

Moyers weighs in on Ford’s downward spiral on "New Day," describing the embattled mayor as a man standing between the problem and the solution. (SEE VIDEO BELOW)

“Rob Ford needs to stop running, turn around, embrace his demons, take some time off, take the gift that the city council has given him and take a leave of absence and really step away from the limelight, step away from the three-ring circus he's created and focus on taking care of Rob Ford and getting himself back to a healthy place of mind, body and spirit.”

“This is not really a funny story. It has bizarre moments. But what I think we're seeing here is a man who's deeply troubled by alcohol and other drugs as he's admitted, probably some other issues, too. And while it might make good television…It's really a sad commentary on where a very troubled individual is in his personal life and his professional life.”

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November 20th, 2013
11:39 AM ET

Rivers' Garbageman Named CNN Hero of the Year

Chad Pregracke, an Illinois man who has dedicated his lifeto cleaning the Mississippi River and other U.S. waterways, was named the 2013 CNN Hero of the Year on Tuesday night.

Pregracke organizes community cleanups across the country through his nonprofit, Living Lands & Waters. About 70,000 volunteers have pitched in, helping Pregracke collect more than 7 million pounds of trash in the past 15 years.

"The garbage got into the water one piece at a time," Pregracke said earlier this year. "And that's the only way it's going to come out."

Pregracke was recognized Tuesday night along with the rest of this year's top 10 CNN Heroes - everyday people doing extraordinary things to help change the world. He was chosen as Hero of the Year through a five-week public vote on CNN.com.

"I'll just keep on cleaning up America's rivers and loving every minute of it," said Pregracke as he accepted the award Tuesday night.

For being named CNN Hero of the Year, Pregracke receives $250,000 to continue his work. That is in addition to the $50,000 that each Hero receives for making the top 10.

On Tuesday night, Pregracke pledged to spread some of his Hero of the Year money to the rest of the top 10 Heroes: "I've met so many great people today, the other Heroes, and I'm really moved by all their stories and all the things they do around the world. ... I'm going to give 10 grand to each of them, because they're awesome."

Pregracke, 38, grew up in East Moline, Illinois, where the Mississippi River was in his backyard. As a teenager, he worked as a commercial shell diver and began to notice the heaps of debris in the fabled waterway, which supplies drinking water to 18 million people in more than 50 U.S. cities.

"I saw thousands of barrels, thousands of tires, cars, trucks and tops of school buses. ... I got sick of seeing it and just wanted to do something about it," said Pregracke, whom some have called "the rivers' garbageman."

For nine months out of the year, Pregracke lives on a barge with members of his 12-person crew. They go around the country with a fleet of boats, and they try to make cleanup fun for the volunteers who show up in each city.

"CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute" airs Sunday, December 1, at 8 p.m. ET.

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Saying the N-Word and Other Confrontations in Sports Culture
November 20th, 2013
11:19 AM ET

Saying the N-Word and Other Confrontations in Sports Culture

The Miami Dolphins hazing scandal made "locker-room culture," a pop-culture buzzword.  What's acceptable there?  What's not?  What about the N-word?

CNN Sports Analyst,  Greg Anthony  says the word is used often in the locker-room, and not always necessarily in a racist context.  He and Major League Baseball pitcher LaTroy Hawkins, who says the word should never be tolerated, spoke about the issue on "New Day" Wednesday.

Anchor Chris Cuomo  also brought up the issue of bullying versus hazing along with this language and Hawkins said: "When you're a rookie, you're going to go through some hazing. I've done it for twenty years. I was hazed. Never once was my manhood, anything like that disrespected from that word. And I think when you start taking it to that level, you change the game of hazing. You don't change it to bullying but you change it to a personal attack."

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