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February 1st, 2011
08:03 PM ET

CNN Heroes: Israeli extends helping hand to sick Palestinians

Jerusalem (CNN) - Aya Abu Mouwais, a 3-year-old who lives in the West Bank, can barely walk or talk because of a failing kidney and liver. For much of her life, the Palestinian child has needed dialysis to survive.

Thankfully, an Israeli man has been able to help her get the treatment she so desperately requires.

More than 500 times in the past two years, Yuval Roth and his volunteers have driven Aya and her mother roundtrip from a checkpoint near the West Bank border to Rambam Medical Center, which is an hour away in Haifa, Israel.

"What Yuval has done, no one else has done," said Aya's mother, Suhair. "He is day by day helping us to get her to the hospital. I'm not allowed to drive an Israeli car, so if not for Yuval, we wouldn't be able to transport her. I thank him."

Leaving the West Bank is the only way Aya's family can get dialysis. For one thing, medical facilities are limited in the territory.

"In the Palestinian Authority, it's very expensive to get health care, and most of the people cannot afford it," Roth said.

It's also expensive to make the trip to Israeli hospitals. Although the Palestinian Authority allows sick children and adults to leave the West Bank for treatment, Palestinians are not allowed to drive past the checkpoints. To get to Israeli hospitals, they'd have to take a taxi, which would cost at least $90 each way.

Read more on this story here.

Filed under: CNN Heroes
February 1st, 2011
09:20 AM ET

Lay off the salt, ease up on the drinking, say new USDA guidelines

The USDA gives new guidelines this week for the food you put on your plate. The focus is less about specific foods and more about the ingredients inside the foods that make up a meal, especially sodium.

The recommendations encourage Americans to not only focus on what they eat, but on how they eat as well. The USDA says people need to cut back on salt, sugar and fat, trim their portion sizes and limit alcohol to one drink a day for women and two for men.

The guidelines, which are updated every five years, recommend that people over age 51, African-Americans and people with a history of hypertension, diabetes or kidney problems limit their daily salt intake to a little over a half a teaspoon. For everyone else, the daily recommendation remains at 2,300 milligrams - about one teaspoon of salt. But that could be tough. A cup of spaghetti and meatballs has approximately 1,000 milligrams of salt in it, and an average frozen meal can have 500 to 1,500 milligrams in just one serving.

Today on American Morning, chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains the new guidance on sodium and how the food industry will handle the recommendations.

How will you make the new guidelines work for your family's meals?

Filed under: Food • Health
February 1st, 2011
08:59 AM ET

'Sky will not fall in' if Muslim Brotherhood gains power in Egypt

(CNN) - The scenes in Egypt have been dramatic, as thousands turn out onto the streets demanding that President Hosni Mubarak resign after 30 years in power. Few images have been more powerful than those of demonstrators dropping to the ground to pray in the face of security forces. And while some have been inspired by the role of religious faith in the protests, there are definite worries that the banned Muslim Brotherhood is waiting in the wings, hoping for a chance to take over.

The Muslim Brotherhood has been part of the political scene in Egypt for more than 80 years and advocates a move away from secularism and a return to the rules of the Quran. It's the oldest and largest opposition group in Egypt and is illegal under Egyptian law. And while the Brotherhood officially rejects the use of violent means to secure its goals, offshoots of the group have been linked to attacks in the past.

CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank has met with top leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. Today on American Morning, he gives his analysis on the Muslim Brotherhood's current role in Egypt. Cruickshank explains to AM's TJ Holmes why many are concerned about their influence and how their role in Egypt affects al Qaeda.

For more on the Muslim Brotherhood:

Filed under: Egypt • Religion • World
February 1st, 2011
08:36 AM ET

Health care takes blow from federal judge, heads to Supreme Court

(CNN) - A federal judge in Florida has tossed out the sweeping health care reform law championed by President Barack Obama, setting up what is likely to be a contentious Supreme Court challenge over the legislation in coming months. Monday's sweeping ruling came in the most closely watched of the two dozen separate challenges to the law. Florida along with 25 states had filed a lawsuit last spring, seeking to dismiss a law critics had labeled "Obamacare."

Unlike the judge who ruled the individual mandate unconstitutional last month, the federal judge in Florida, U.S. District Judge Robert Vinson, ruled that the unconstitutionality voided the entire act.

So what does this mean for your health care coverage today?

This morning on American Morning, CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin explains how the law stands today. He describes what parts of the law the judge ruled unconstitutional, why it may be the most far reaching ruling yet, and what happens next.

Filed under: Law
February 1st, 2011
07:39 AM ET

Cruickshank: Why Egypt revolt threatens al Qaeda

By Paul Cruickshank, CNN
February 1, 2011 7:20 a.m. EST

(CNN) - One Middle Eastern dictatorship has been toppled and another is hanging on for dear life. And the terrorist organization that casts itself as the vanguard in the struggle to overthrow "un-Islamic" Arab regimes had absolutely nothing to do with it.

Al Qaeda has an Egyptian problem.

Its support base, already severely shaken by its barbaric excesses in Iraq and biting criticism from fellow jihadists, could narrow yet further.

The televised scenes of secular, middle-class youngsters and Egyptians from all walks of life courageously and largely peacefully challenging the regime of President Hosni Mubarak have been transmitted onto tens of millions of television screens across the Arab world and have captured the imagination, providing vastly more attractive role models for young Arabs, whose hopes for too long have been strangled by political, economic and cultural sclerosis.

While policymakers in Washington are understandably nervous about what happens next, this early Arab Spring has the potential to severely damage al Qaeda's standing in the Arab world and deflate its claims to be the only vanguard for change in the Middle East; for energized Arab populations, never has the group seemed more irrelevant. The Obama administration should not let the moment get away.


Filed under: Egypt • World
February 1st, 2011
07:33 AM ET

American student hits frontlines of Cairo protests

(CNN) - Egypt braced for a "march of millions" in anti-government protests Tuesday as embattled President Hosni Mubarak tried to throw up literal and figurative roadblocks in the way of demonstrators calling for his ouster. Major demonstrations are planned for Cairo, Alexandria and other cities, the latest in a series of rallies that began a week ago. Protesters have defied orders for a curfew, and the country's powerful military announced Monday that it would not open fire on peaceful demonstrators.

Thousands of American tourists and residents are fleeing Cairo, taking State Department-chartered flights sent to ferry American citizens out of the escalating crisis zone. But amid the chaos, one young American woman who's witnessed the rising revolution for months, decides to stay.

Today on American Morning, Lauren Bohn, a 23-year-old Fulbright Fellow studying Arabic and journalism at American University in Cairo, tells AM’s TJ Holmes what provoked her to remain in Cairo. The former CNN intern tells AM what's happening on the Cairo streets Tuesday and updates about the cell phone and Internet access.

For full CNN coverage from on the ground in Egypt, head here:

Filed under: Egypt • World
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