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June 20th, 2014
10:19 PM ET

Bergdahl desertion questions highlight America's history of targeting deserters

New information emerging that the deal to swap five Taliban leaders for Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl may not have been the only option the White House was considering.

The Wall Street Journal reports the administration was also weighing plans to pay off the militants.

How much, is not known.

Another proposal – reportedly trade Bergdahl for an Afghan warlord who's currently serving a life sentence in the U.S. on drug charges.

The news is coming at the same time we're learning more about Bergdahl's recovery. An official telling CNN, Bergdahl is eating and sleeping on a normal schedule.

There is security outside his door. He is interacting with a small staff of less than 12 people and he's speaking to a group of professionals about his years in captivity.

Key information that could eventually be used to determine if Bergdahl did in fact desert his platoon.

Bergdahl hasn't received the hero's welcome many were suspecting. But he's not the first soldier that's happened to.

CNN's Ed Lavandera has more.


Filed under: Bowe Bergdahl • News
June 20th, 2014
10:14 PM ET

Pope Francis says "no" to marijuana legalization

The Pope is speaking out against the worldwide trend toward legalizing recreational drugs.

He calls it a very, very bad idea.

Pope Francis says he opposes making recreational drugs legal

At a drug enforcement conference in Rome, Pope Francis said, "drug addiction is an evil, and with evil there can be no yielding or compromise."

Outfront, CNN Religion Commentator Father Beck, Senior Editor of Reason Magazine Brian Doherty and Former Senior Drug Policy Advisor to President Obama, Kevin Sabet.


Filed under: Marijuana • News • Pope Francis
June 20th, 2014
10:07 PM ET

ISIS group uses social media to appeal to western sympathizers

The first of up to 300 U.S. military advisers are set to arrive in Iraq on Saturday.

The Iraqi military continues to strike at ISIS, but the terror group is still making gains, casualties mounting on both sides.

But ISIS isn't stopping, releasing a new propaganda video that's in high-definition and is highly produced. The video is in English, calling on western Muslims to join their fight.

Do these videos and social media appeals work?

CNN Military Analyst, Retired Army Major General James "Spider" Marks is OutFront.


Filed under: International • Iraq • ISIS • News
June 20th, 2014
09:57 PM ET

Michael Hayden: "We got it wrong" in lead up to Iraq war

In 2008, former Director of the CIA General Michael Hayden wrote in the Washington Post about the fight against al Qaeda "On balance, we are doing pretty well. ... Near strategic defeat of al Qaeda in Iraq."

What changed in Iraq? And how can we trust U.S. intelligence on Iraq now?

General Michael Hayden, Former Director of the CIA and former Director of the NSA tells Erin Burnett what happened.


Filed under: International • Iraq • ISIS • News
June 20th, 2014
09:25 PM ET

Singing tycoon's plan to give away millions of dollars

Hong Kong (CNN) - Eccentric Chinese tycoon Chen Guangbiao took out a full-page bilingual advertisement in the New York Times, inviting underprivileged Americans to a charity lunch and offering cash handouts.

According to Chinese media reports, the ad appeared in the New York Times print edition on Monday, announcing that Chen would host a charity luncheon at New York Central Park's Loeb Boathouse on June 25 for 1,000 "poor and destitute Americans". Each participant would also receive $300.

Chen, who is known for theatrical philanthropic stunts, has a photo of himself in the ad placed side-by-side with a picture of Lei Feng, a Chinese soldier from the Mao-era who is celebrated as a selfless model citizen. The title above the images says, "China's 'Lei Feng for a new era.'"

Those who wish to join the luncheon need to RSVP via a Hotmail email address.

Chen said he was hoping the lunch would show the U.S. that there are Chinese philanthropists.

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Filed under: China • News