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February 24th, 2011
02:09 PM ET

You Choose! Winning & Losing Stories

Dirty Air & Heart Attacks
Scientists report in today's Lancet Journal that air pollution triggers more heart attacks than using cocaine. The study says bad air poses as high a health risk as alcohol, coffee and physical exertion. The world health organization describes air polition as a "major environmental risk" causing an estimated 2 million premature deaths around the world each year.

Ugandan President May Release Rap Album
According to Reuters, Uganda's president Yoweri Museveni says he might release an album after record producers made a hit song out of his rallies by mixing folk chants he preformed with hip-hop beats.

Arrests in Killing of U.S. Agent
Mexican authorities have made 10 arrests in the fatal shooting of a US immigration agent earlier this month. One suspect is the presumed leader of a drug cartel allegedly behind the hit. Agent Jaime Zapata was killed in an ambush while on a Mexican highway. Five other men, three women and a minor were also arrested. Via CNN

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Filed under: Ali Velshi • You Choose
August 6th, 2010
12:50 PM ET

Mission Possible: "Honored and Humbled"

It's not easy out there. Joblessness. Sickness. Poverty. War. You name it. You turn on the TV and you see it – especially when you turn on the news. It's hard to avoid it. No matter what city or what country you live in. So our small team here on the Ali Velshi Show wanted to take a little piece of our television real estate and devote it to people you may otherwise never meet who in small ways are doing great things. People who are doing things that you could do in your community to affect change. Things we believe are scalable. We call it Mission Possible.  I'm going to try to write a little about these people each day. Today, we met Deonte Bridges. He is the first black, male valedictorian at Booker T Washington High School in Atlanta, Georgia in 10 years. Deonte caught our attention because his small speech caught some big attention and now is a You Tube sensation. (You can see it for yourself below). Deonte's mother is dying of leukemia. Deonte's brother died. He's survived an armed robbery. He lives in a tough neighborhood during tough times.

Deonte didn't tell people his story though because he didn't want people to feel sorry for him. He graduated with a 3.9 GPA and is now the recipient of scholarships totaling over one million dollars. That's all I really need to write here though because Deonte tells his story best, right here in his own words:

Deonte Bridges\' Speech

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Filed under: Ali Velshi
August 3rd, 2010
02:37 PM ET

Q&A: Starting Thursday, August 12th on CNN

This is your chance to quiz Richard Quest and Ali Velshi.

From Dreamliners to deep sea drilling – You choose the topics and in one minute, they’ll tell you everything you need to know.

BUT what happens when Ali and Richard go head to head? Who will win? Send us your questions and they’ll be quizzed – live on Q&A every Thursday!

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Filed under: Ali Velshi • Q&A
May 3rd, 2010
08:51 AM ET

A Brand New Day by Ali Velshi

It's a brand new era for CNN.  Unfortunately I can't be here with you this week as we launch our new set and our new show but I've left you in good hands with my colleagues TJ Holmes and Don Lemon.
Before I left though, I wanted to leave this message for you.  This new set is symbolic of changes we're continually making to make watching us important and useful to you. Obviously we look a little different today than we did last week, but we're also going to be delivering a different experience. Our team will  be introducing new segments this week that we hope will keep you visiting us during this time we share, in this space where we welcome all kinds of backgrounds, views and political stripes.
  • In this new space we'll bring you stories of people affecting great change in a segment we call Mission Possible.
  • For my geeky friends out there…and trust me…I'm not mocking-I am one…we'll have The Big I.  The Big I tackles big ideas:  inventions, new ways of doing business, cures, scientific advances, whacky proposals and technology.  It's the stuff of our science fairs and business plan competitions, ideas that will change the way we live and ways you can prosper from them. It's positive, optimistic and it's not stuff you'll see on other news shows.
  • But those inventions and innovations wont keep coming unless our kids are educated properly, which is why each day, we'll be bringing you Chalk Talk. If your child doesn't get a high school diploma, they're twice as likely as the average of being unemployed. Who is doing education right? And how can we make that happen in every classroom across America? Chalk Talk will tackle that.
There's lots more like this so please continue to join us here every weekday at 1pm on the East coast and 10 am on the West coast.
And don't worry news and politics – you'll still get it all here.  The news is, after all, what CNN is all about.
These are my words;  Ive said it before and I'll keep saying it – YOU  are the people I get up in the morning to serve.
I need your input and your criticism – good or bad.  This show is for you.
So reach out to me on Facebook-send me a tweet @alivelshi -   The street I work on runs two ways. If you have a story you think needs telling–send my Executive Producer a note:
I grew up on and love the news but today when you can get the news anywhere you look, we're aiming to give you more insight, deeper analysis, and a detailed understanding of the things that matter to you; information that can help you make better decisions about your health, your safety, your prosperity and your family.
I'm trying to build a different relationship with you.
My team and I will do the heavy lifting.
All you have to do is turn us on.
I promise-I'll work hard to make it worth your time.
Thanks for watching,
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Filed under: Ali Velshi • CNN Newsroom • XYZ
April 30th, 2010
11:15 AM ET

Ali Velshi's Top Ten Things to do When Stranded on an Airplane

Time now for the XYZ of it...a new dawn for airline passengers as rules go into place that will fine airlines up to $27,000 PER PASSENGER if a plane stays on the tarmac for more than THREE hours.

Seems that no one's going to be pleased if a plane's on the ground for that long – airlines don't want to pay the fines, and passengers don't want to be on the plane. So I've come up with 10 ideas that'll cost a LOT less than TWENTY SEVEN GRAND per passenger to help airlines make the time spent waiting a little more enjoyable. Here they are:

NUMBER ONE: Once everyone is on board and it looks like a delay in taking off is inevitable, have passengers write down their guesses as to how long the flight will be delayed. Winner gets cash prizes, although you have to cancel the contest if the plane gets clearance to take off BEFORE everyone has written down their guesses.

NUMBER TWO: Give every passenger a card: lets say GREEN for those who guess that the plane WILL eventually take off, and RED for those who think, in order to avoid the fine, the plane will eventually turn back to the gate and the flight will get cancelled. Give everyone who guesses right a prize.

NUMBER THREE: After the flight has been delayed on the tarmac for 2 hours, give everyone a voucher to go to a movie at a theater. I mean, have the stranded passengers associate being stuck on YOUR plane with something they actually ENJOY spending two hours doing.

NUMBER FOUR: Conduct a scavenger hunt, allowing passengers to REALLY get to know the plane they are stuck on.

NUMBER FIVE: Provide stationery and envelopes and invite frustrated passengers to write letters of complaint to the Department of Transportation. Then read the letters out loud, and publish the best letters in next month's edition of the in-flight magazine.

NUMBER SIX: Have passengers pry their enormous carry-ons out of the bins; the ones they're forced to carry because of checked baggage fees, and bring them up front for a little show-and-tell.

NUMBER SEVEN: Buy a roll of those cheap raffle tickets you get at parties and conduct a draw with a fun prize for every 15 minutes the plane is delayed from taking off.

NUMBER EIGHT: This is my personal favorite: Always keep one seat in first class open. Invite passengers in coach to come up front and deliver an impromptu, unscripted 2-minute speech entitled "Why I Should Sit Up Here With You Fat Cats.". After the speeches, passengers already SITTING in first get to vote on which one gets the upgrade.

NUMBER NINE: Explain to us all again why I have to shut ALL of my electronics of when the doors close, because I'm still unclear as to how my little blackberry is somehow going to interfere with a multi-billion dollar navigational system. But I really DO like hearing the speech.

NUMBER TEN: And if all else fails, start a round of Jeopardy using the flight-attendant call button in place of the buzzer

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Filed under: Ali Velshi • XYZ