CNN Radio News Day: March 20, 2013
US President Barack Obama is welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Nethanyahu at Ben Gurion International Airport on March 20, 2013 near Tel Aviv, Israel. This will be Obama's first visit as President to the region, and his itinerary will include meetings with the Palestinian and Israeli leaders as well as a visit to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
March 20th, 2013
05:10 PM ET

CNN Radio News Day: March 20, 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.

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(CNN) – Welcome to CNN Radio News Day.

  • Barack Obama is back on Israeli soil, but this is his first trip there as U.S. president. After meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres, Mr. Obama met later with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. This is a trip with a heavy agenda.  Topping it – the security of Israel.  There's the spectre of the nuclear threat from Iran, but also a possible greater threat from Syria, its neighbor to the north. While president Obama didn't arrive in Israel with any peace plan in hand, Robert Danin former head of mission at the Jerusalem office of Quartet Representative Tony Blair, spoke to CNN:

"The real purpose of this visit is not just to do policy, but to really reach out to the people of the Middle East, and to demonstrate that the United states is still committed to the Middle East, on a number of issues..."

  • Are chemical weapons now being used in Syria? That question is again front and center after yesterday's attack in the northern province of Allepo. Syria's government is accusing rebels of firing some type of chemical weapon, killing more than two dozen people. But, the rebels were quick to deny that charge, instead blaming President Bashar al-Assad's regime for the attack. CNN's Ivan Watson is covering the story from Amman, Jordan:

"There's a lot of finger-pointing going back and forth, when you talk to some chemical weapons experts they say 'I don't see enough conclusive evidence in th little amount of video that's been released by the Syrian government to concretely point to the fact that some kind of neurotoxins were used in this town'."

  • The Supreme Court will begin tackling gay marriage next week, and all month long we've been bringing you stories surrounding the issue. We wanted to hear from our listeners about what it's like to grow up or live in the part of the country where polls show opposition to gay marriage is the strongest: the Bible Belt. Brandon, a 25-year-old gay man from Boone, North Carolina, says he's going back to work as a truck driver in Texas, and says that will force him back into the closet.

"Going back into trucking, just knowing the kind of people who work in that industry, a lot of those companies are based, you know, head-quartered in the South, run by men who are Southern men, essentially. And that's why I feel it's necessary to go back into the closet and to camouflage myself and just play the straight guy roll, and... I can do that."

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