CNN correspondent, Kaj Larsen is traveling to Pakistan and will be blogging about his experience. Catch all his stories here and on CNN's American Morning.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/09/09/kaj.powder.art.jpg caption="Kaj preparing ORS medicine the night before heading out to deliver medical aid to flood victims."]
Why is a CNN reporter sitting around a table in rural Pakistan filling up little baggies with white powder? Had it been another story, it would look really bad. But after almost three days of straight travel, over 8,000 miles and several questionable modes of transportation we had arrived at our destination, and these little baggies of white powder were the reason for us being here.
We met up with Team Rubicon earlier in the week on their mission to Pakistan. They had traveled to Pakistan to help with the victims of the flooding that began with the monsoon season earlier this summer. The mission of Team Rubicon is to provide emergency humanitarian relief in disaster zones. They were on the ground in Haiti within just a few days of the earthquake performing dozens of amputations (often with only Motrin) to save the lives of earthquake victims.
Unlike Haiti, where the disaster happened instantly creating a major trauma situation, Pakistan is a natural disaster happening in slow motion before the world's eyes. Watch
Imam: “We’re a country of justice for all”
(CNN) - The religious leader behind plans to erect an Islamic center and mosque a few blocks from New York's ground zero said Wednesday night that America's national security depends on how it handles the controversy.
"If we move from that location, the story will be the radicals have taken over the discourse," Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf told CNN's Soledad O'Brien on "Larry King Live."
"The headlines in the Muslim world will be that Islam is under attack."
The imam, who repeatedly said his mission was to promote peace and build a bridge among faiths, said he was also speaking about "radicals" on both sides of the debate on the Islamic center. "Our national security now hinges on how we negotiate this, how we speak about it."
"The battlefront is between moderates of all sides... and the radicals on all sides," he said.
Moving the project to another location would strengthen Islamist radicals' ability to recruit followers and will likely increase violence against Americans, the imam said.
Rauf said that "nothing is off the table" when asked whether he would consider moving the site.
"We are consulting, talking to various people about how to do this so that we negotiate the best and safest option." Read more
Vatican: Quran burning 'outrageous'
CNN) - Burning the Quran would be an "outrageous and grave gesture," the Vatican said Wednesday, joining a chorus of voices pleading with a small Florida church not to burn Islam's holy book on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks.
The Vatican body responsible for dialogue with other religions expressed "great concern" about the plan by Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said it would be a "disrespectful, disgraceful act." She was speaking Tuesday night at a State Department dinner in honor of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Her statement came a day after the top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus, warned that the plan "could cause significant problems" for American troops overseas.
But despite the growing pressure, the pastor of the Florida church, Terry Jones, said Wednesday that "as of this time we have no intention of canceling."
Jones all week has rebuffed pleas to call off the event, saying radical Islamists are the target of his message.
"The general needs to point his finger to radical Islam and tell them to shut up, tell them to stop, tell them that we will not bow our knees to them," Jones said on CNN's "AC360."
"We are burning the book," Jones said. "We are not killing someone. We are not murdering people." Read more