Democrats record anti-GOP ad at GOP victory celebration

CNN Political Ticker

Updated 2:17 p.m. ET, 5/9/2014

(CNN) — A leading pro-Democratic outside group is up with a new television commercial that attacks the GOP’s new Senate nominee in North Carolina.

But the most interesting part of the ad by Senate Majority PAC is that the woman narrating the spot infiltrated Tuesday’s victory celebration for the candidate, North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis.

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EXCLUSIVE: Rasmussen: Separatist Ukraine referendums ‘don’t count,’ pledges ‘further steps’ if needed

Amanpour

By Mick Krever, CNN

Referendums by separatists in Ukraine, such as Sunday’s in Donyetsk, “don’t count,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday.

“These referendums are illegal, they are organized in a chaotic manner with dubious and ambiguous questions.”

Pro-Russian separatists claimed victory in a vote in the eastern Ukrainian region; they say that 90% of voters wanted independence from Ukraine.

The acting Ukrainian president called the referendum a “propagandist farce.”

“The only thing that counts is the presidential election on the twenty-fifth of May. And I urge all actors to make sure that those general elections can be conducted in an orderly manner,” Rasmussen told Amanpour.

NATO has tried, through limited troop deployments, military exercises, and air flights to present an enhanced deterrent to Russia, its erstwhile Cold War foe.

Amanpour challenged Rasmussen on whether that was enough.

“The allies say they’d like…

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Crime & Punishment: Pistorius cross examination gets combative

Anderson Cooper 360

Oscar Pistorius faced a new round of tough questions from prosecutors. He returned to the stand for his second day under cross examination. The former Olympian claims he accidentally shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, because he thought she was an intruder. The prosecutor called that explanation a lie. Steenkamp’s parents were in the courtroom listening to every word. Robyn Curnow has the latest.

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Kofi Annan: I wish Nigeria action had come sooner

Amanpour

By Mick Krever, CNN

Action by the Nigerian government and international partners to go after the group that has held more than 200 girls captive in that country should have come sooner, former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday.

“I think the government should do all it can to get the girls free,” he said, “and I’m very happy that the U.S., the U.K., and other governments are teaming up with Nigeria to resolve this issue.”

“I wish this had happened earlier, but it is happening, and the Nigerian people are also demanding action.”

Boko Haram abducted 276 schoolgirls last month, and Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has come under fire after waiting three weeks to publicly acknowledge the kidnappings.

The Nigerian government also now accepted U.S. and British offers of assistance, officials with those governments said.

The kidnapping, Annan said, are “abominable.”

“It is something…

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Amanpour asks PM Cameron to join #BringBackOurGirls

Amanpour

Appearing on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show on Sunday, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour asked fellow-guest UK Prime Minister David Cameron whether he would join the #BringBackOurGirls campaign.

“I don’t know, prime minister, whether you would like to hold this and join this campaign,” she asked, holding up a sign with the now-famous hashtag written on it.

“Happily,” he said, according to the BBC.

Photo courtesy the BBC.

More Amanpour coverage of Nigeria.

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World’s ‘poorest’ president: ‘I do not need much to live’

Amanpour

By Mick Krever and Claire Calzonetti, CNN

Jose Mujica is often referred to as the world’s “poorest” president.

“I’m not a poor president,” he told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour through an interpreter on Monday. “Poor are the people who need a lot – Seneca said that. I am an austere president.”

He donates 97% of his salary, drives a 1987 Volkwagen Beetle – the original “peoples’ car” – and sells flowers with his wife at their home.

Mujica, a former Marxist guerrilla, lives in the same modest Montevideo house he always has, forgoing the presidential palace.

“I do not need much to live. I live in the same way I used to live when I wasn’t a president and in the same neighborhood, in my same house, and in the same way. And I am a republican” – small ‘r.’

“I live like the majority in my country lives. It was…

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Germany industry leader talks pressure on Russia

Amanpour

Click here to watch.

By Mick Krever, CNN

As tensions rise in eastern Ukraine, Germany may be the key to détente with Russia.

“We are the West’s number one modernization partner for Russia,” Markus Kerber, director-general of the Federation of German Industries told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour succinctly on Tuesday.

Germany came in for some early criticism of the Ukraine crisis for being viewed as too soft on Russia, because of the massive trade and historic links between the two countries.

Vladimir Putin and Angela Merkel were both behind the Iron Curtain in East Germany in 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell – she as a young scientist and Russian scholar; he as a KGB officer. They speak each other’s languages fluently.

But if diplomacy doesn’t work, then German industry is publicly stepping up to refute the notion that billions of dollars in trade trumps the international rule of law.

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