Texas, international election monitors face off
October 25th, 2012
06:31 PM ET

Texas, international election monitors face off

By Elise Labott

The presence of international monitors observing next week's presidential and Congressional election has caused a firestorm among voter ID law supporters and, particularly, the Texas attorney general.

The reservations came after the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) announced it is sending dozens of monitors from around the world to monitor the upcoming presidential and Congressional elections.

The OSCE, which sends monitoring teams to elections around the world, has been observing U.S. elections since 2002, when the Bush administration invited them after the hotly contested 2000 presidential election. They are expected to observe in 15 states on November 6th.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott Thursday wrote a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressing his displeasure with the OSCE's approach, stating that "an unnecessary political agenda may have infected OSCE's election monitoring." Texas law, he notes, does not allow "unauthorized individuals" within 100 feet of polling places. He asked Clinton to work with the OSCE to ensure the group abides by the state law or they will risk "legal consequences."
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What is going on inside North Korea?
Kim Jong Un is shown inspecting the Seoul Ryu Kyong Su 105 Guards Tank Division of the Korean People's Army earlier this year in this photo taken by North Korea's official news agency.
October 25th, 2012
05:31 PM ET

What is going on inside North Korea?

By Jamie Crawford

In the famously opaque world of North Korean politics, the ongoing leadership transition is in some ways proving more dagger than cloak with reports of executions and purges of top military officials in recent days.

South Korean newspapers this week reported on the execution of Kim Chol, North Korea's vice minister of the North Korean military, and other senior military officials earlier this year for drinking liquor during the mourning period for former leader Kim Jong Il. Kim's son, Kim Jong Un, who is the new leader of North Korea, has overseen purges of other former leaders from the military ranks for being involved in sex scandals the reports also said.

"Contrary to what might be the popular perception that there is a smooth transition going on from the father to the son, these reports show there is still a lot of churn going on inside the system," Victor Cha, a former Korea specialist on the National Security Council during the George W. Bush administration, told CNN.

For Cha, now with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the moves under way in North Korea may signal a shift in leadership styles for the new young leader.
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Filed under: Kim Jong-un • North Korea
Mending the 'Space Fence'
Raytheon animation image of satellite collision
October 25th, 2012
06:00 AM ET

Mending the 'Space Fence'

By Mike Mount, CNN Senior National Security Producer

The Air Force wants to rebuild a “fence” around Earth to keep the riff-raff out.

Sounds like a Hollywood script to counter aliens or asteroids but it's a real program the military wants to update at an estimated cost of $3.5 billion.

Just don't expect any space cowboys digging post holes and wrangling barbed wire in orbit.

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