Editor's Note: With the announcement that Afghanistan’s run-off elections were canceled, Monday’s American Morning audience strongly urged President Obama to bring the troops home from the country. Those supporting troop withdrawal had various reasons, including the “waste of taxpayer money on war,” and the need for President Obama to ignore “advice from Republican war-hawks, and those in his own party who are terrified of appearing ‘weak.’”
What do you think of the war in Afghanistan now that Hamid Karzai has been officially declared the president?
Legendary athlete Lance Armstrong beat cancer and conquered the cycling world's biggest challenge, the Tour de France – 7 times.
But Armstrong is more than just an inspirational figure, he's become a full-time lobbyist for cancer research.
Our John Roberts had a chance to talk with Lance in an art gallery in New York about his latest project that brings together more than 20 of the world's top artists.
President Obama is expected to make a decision on troop levels in Afghanistan in the coming weeks. His top commander in Afghanistan wants at least 40,000 more soldiers. Is that the right number? Should we be sending more troops at all?
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/02/afghan.troops.panel.art.jpg caption="Veterans Thomas Cotton and Jake Diliberto debate opposite sides of the troop surge divide."]
Two veterans of the war, Thomas Cotton and Jake Diliberto, will be lobbying Congress on opposite sides of the troop surge divide. They spoke to John Roberts on CNN’s “American Morning” Monday. Below is an edited transcript of that interview.
John Roberts: Thomas, let's start with you. What's the pitch that you're going to make in favor of General Stanley McChrystal's call for some 40,000 additional troops in Afghanistan?
Thomas Cotton: I'm going to tell Congress that we need every last one of those troops. That's based not only on my experience over the last year in Afghanistan, but also on General McChrystal's reputation and expertise. He has spent a career in the Army Special Operations community and he's looked at this situation carefully and knows that we can't win with a counterterrorism strategy only.
We need a full-spectrum counterinsurgency that can secure the south and the east while mentoring and training the Afghan national army. And 40,000 troops is the absolute minimum with which he can accomplish that mission.
Roberts: Jake, you heard Thomas' argument. What's your argument against the surge in troops in Afghanistan?
Jake Diliberto: Well, Tom's right – if you want to do a counterinsurgency campaign, you absolutely need 40,000 troops. But that's not enough. You're going to need another 100,000 troops on top of that. And all counterinsurgency experts will pretty much agree that another year is going to look like another 15 years. And so the idea that another counterinsurgency campaign in Afghanistan is in our best interest as Americans, I don't think, is the right answer.
Editor's Note: These are new developments to a story American Morning first brought you over the summer.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/02/cheaters.wpri.art.jpg caption="In June, police found a 16-year-old Boston runaway working as a dancer at Cheaters, a Providence strip club."]
By Beth Rotatori
A legal loophole that allowed minors to perform at strip clubs in Rhode Island has been closed, according to a Rhode Island state lawmaker.
State Representative Joanne Giannini (D-Providence) tells CNN that legislation she introduced to bar anyone under 18 from working in adult entertainment establishments in any capacity was approved by the Rhode Island General Assembly Thursday.
The bill, which takes effect upon passage, is now headed to the desk of Gov. Donald L. Carcieri (R), she said.
“Children should not be publicly performing in any sexual way, ever,” said Rep. Giannini. “It’s called ‘adult entertainment’ for a reason. Minors aren’t supposed to be admitted to those clubs, so they certainly shouldn’t be working in them.”
Before this new legislation, teenagers could perform at strip clubs as long as they were 16, had a work permit and were home by 11:30 p.m. on school nights.
“Having underage girls or boys performing in this way is child exploitation and corruption,” Giannini went on to say. “We’re fixing this law to make it clear that it’s not allowed.”
The loophole came to light in June when Providence police found a 16-year-old Boston runaway, who had been working as a dancer at Cheaters, a Providence strip club. When police investigated her employment at the club, they found there was no law under which they could charge anyone for employing a minor as a stripper, Giannini explained.
Rhode Island lawmakers also passed a bill banning indoor prostitution, which, until Friday, had been legal in the state. Before passage of the ban, another loophole on the state’s books permitted prostitution, as long as solicitation didn’t occur outdoors (ie: as long as prostitutes were not walking the street trying to strike up business).
Giannini said the two issues are closely intertwined, because the indoor prostitution loophole allowed exotic dancers – including any minors who may have legally been working in strip clubs – to engage in prostitution without breaking the law.
It's been three months since Americans Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal were arrested in Iran. The three reportedly crossed an unmarked border while hiking in northern Iraq, and are being held in Tehran.
This morning, a fourth hiker who was not arrested is asking Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his friends' release. Alex Fattal, Josh's brother, spoke to John Roberts on Monday's American Morning to give the latest details.