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A cook’s Guantanamo nightmare
Ahmed Errachidi, nicknamed 'The General,' was falsely detained at Guantanamo for more than five years.
May 9th, 2013
09:53 AM ET

A cook’s Guantanamo nightmare

By Jim Roope, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @jimroopeCNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) - The Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention facility has been troubled since it opened in 2002. Last week President Obama renewed his pledge to close it:

[0:19] “That is contrary to who we are. It is contrary to our interests and it’s gotta stop.”

One hundred Guantanamo detainees are currently on a hunger strike protesting conditions and their continued detention without trial. According to the Department of Defense, 24 of the hunger strikers are being force fed with three of those being watched at a hospital.

Here is one man’s story that underscores the problems with Guantanamo, the seemingly random rounding up of suspected terrorists:

[0:46] “I am not a terrorist. I am only a cook.”

Ahmed Errachidi, a Moroccan citizen, was trying to raise money in 2002  for a heart operation his young son needed.  His idea was to import jewelry from Pakistan, but he was kidnapped by Pakistanis, sold to the Americans for bounty and taken to Guantanamo.

He spent over five years in detention, before a lawyer was able to prove that Errachidi was only a cook and not a terrorist:

[01:25] “His is one of the most ludicrous cases," says attorney Clive Smith. "And there were quite a few ludicrous cases that I came across at Guantanamo, but his was one of the worst.”

Errachidi wrote a book about his years at Guantanamo titled, The General: The Ordinary Man Who Challenged Guantanamo.

Listen to our podcast to hear more of Errachidi's story.

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. And listen to CNN Soundwaves on our SoundCloud page.

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Filed under: Faith • History • International • Politics • Soundwaves • Stories
Driving and distractions a challenge for teens
Teens are put to the distracted driving test.
April 22nd, 2013
05:29 PM ET

Driving and distractions a challenge for teens

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

By Jim Roope, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @jimroopeCNN

(CNN) - Car accidents are the number-one cause of death for teenagers. And 25 percent of all teen driving crashes are due to distracted driving.

Since April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, events are being held all over the country to try and focus teens behind the wheel.

Bonny Spray knows first-hand, the dangers of distracted driving:

[2:06] “Six years ago on this date, my daughter was pronounced dead following a single-car accident from texting and driving.”

Spray and her 19-year-old daughter Amanda were trading text messages about a fight Amanda was having with her roommate.

[2:43] “The last text I got was, ‘I‘m not doing too well.’”

Spray now goes to high schools to share her daughter's story and talk about the dangers of distracted driving.

Outside John Burroughs High School in Burbank, California, teen volunteers get set to take the distracted driving challenge; an obstacle course that’s more about the distractions inside the car than those outside it.

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. And listen to CNN Soundwaves on our SoundCloud page.

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Filed under: Soundwaves • Stories • Technology
CNN Radio News Day: April 19, 2013
Members of a SWAT team search for 19-year-old bombing suspect Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev in Watertown, Massachusetts.
April 19th, 2013
04:40 PM ET

CNN Radio News Day: April 19, 2013

CNN Radio News Day is an evening news program providing an informative, thoughtful and creative look at the day's events. It's posted Monday through Friday at 4:30 pm ET.

You don’t have to be at this blog to listen, we want you to take us with you! Click the download button in the SoundCloud player and put us on your smart phone or tablet and bring us with you in the car, on the train or while you’re working out.

(CNN) – Welcome to CNN Radio News Day.

  • The city of Boston has been under siege all day. Authorities put surrounding communities and neighborhoods on lockdown, telling residents to stay inside. In some parts of town police were going door-to-door looking for Dzhokar Tsarnaev. Law enforcement officials say Tsarnaev escaped an overnight shootout with police that left his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the other man wanted in the bombings, dead. CNN's Barbara Starr reports investigators are combing through everything – photos, intel reports, phone records – to learn more about the suspects:

"They are indeed looking to see if these two men had any connections to overseas groups, frankly to overseas, terrorism. No conclusion about that yet. We want to emphasize that very strongly." FULL POST

Perfect Timing: Los Angeles synchronizes all of its 4400 traffic signals
Los Angeles synchronizes 4400 traffic signals on its 7000 surface streets.
April 17th, 2013
02:45 PM ET

Perfect Timing: Los Angeles synchronizes all of its 4400 traffic signals

By Jim Roope, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @JimRoopeCNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) – Take a ride with me on a major thoroughfare in Los Angeles. The city's mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, just announced that all 4400 traffic signals along all 7000 public roadways are synchronized.

We wanted to find out exactly what that means for drivers.

[1:24] “I’m kind of ashamed to admit this but I think traffic lights are incredibly cool.”

USC engineering professor James Moore said traffic signals never reduce delay:

[2:03] “You use traffic signals to ensure that all movements are accommodated." FULL POST

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Filed under: Behavior • Science • Soundwaves • Stories
CNN Radio News Day: April 12, 2013
US Secretary of State John Kerry (3rd L) is welcomed and escorted by US Ambasador to South Korea Sung Y. Kim (2nd L) and deputy director general of South Korea's Foriegn Ministry, Moon Seoung-hyun (2nd R), in front of a traditional honour guard (R and L) at Seoul air base on April 12, 2013. Kerry was expected to meet South Korean officials for discussion on North Korea and its expected missile launch.
April 12th, 2013
04:50 PM ET

CNN Radio News Day: April 12, 2013

CNN Radio News Day is an evening news program providing an informative, thoughtful and creative look at the day's events. It's posted Monday through Friday at 4:30 pm ET.

You don’t have to be at this blog to listen, we want you to take us with you! Click the download button in the SoundCloud player and put us on your smart phone or tablet and bring us with you in the car, on the train or while you’re working out.

(CNN) – Welcome to CNN Radio News Day.

  • Secretary of State John Kerry visited Seoul today to try to ease some of the tension that's been building in the Korean Peninsula. Kerry met with South Korea's president and military leaders in charge of 28,000 U.S. troops stationed in the country's capital. He said the U.S. will hold off on a number of military exercises, and is lowering its rhetoric. CNN's Anna Coren in Seoul, says Kerry's comments could be seen as an olive branch:

"He did seem to open the door for diplomacy.  Basically the United States will talk to North Korea if it's serious about de-nuclearization." FULL POST

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