Friday, November 28, 2008

CNN's Sara Sidner Becomes Star Of Mumbia, India Taj Mahal Hotel Terrorist Attack Story

If you're watching the terrorist attacks in Mumbia, India on CNN or were drawn to their coverage by Twitter Tweets , you can't miss the intelligent, clear, melodic voice and pretty face of my friend CNN Correspondent Sara Sidner.  

Just over one year ago, Sara Sidner, was a popular local television anchor holding the Saturday evening spot on KTVU Channel Two in Oakland, and serving the San Francisco Bay Area.  But Sara apparently decided the men she picked out were not working out in the Bay Area -- just kidding -- and elected to try travel around the World.  

She took a position with CNN International.  

The last time I saw Sara was in the KTVU Studio when I was there for a meeting.  She's so busy, she's hard to consistently pin down, literally.  Still, that was true for all of us in a small band of friends that met up at this party or that around San Francisco.  When she wasn't working, which by her own admission was way too much, I'd see Sara at events that were coordinated by my friend Beth, who -- now it can be told -- wanted me to meet "this really cute African American woman" she knew I'd hit it off with.

She was right.    (That's Sara, me, and Beth, in the photo)

That first encounter happened about three years ago at a little gathering: a party Beth threw at her place for us to watch the NCAA Finals and for me to meet Sara, where Florida (Sara's alma mater) played UCLA.  Beth's instincts were correct -- we did hit it off.  Sara's funny most of the time, great at banter, and possessing a rather quick wit -- not better than mine, but she'll pass.  

The first time I realized Sara was so cool was the first time she and I got together in San Francisco during a Christmas Party, where we ended up walking off to an impromptu dinner.  Truth be told, that ring she's wearing isn't one I got for her but it does look nice on her. Yes, we all had as nice a time as the photos would show.  Sara is really as busy as I am, so I can report this: 

Sara's a workaholic.  

I'm not surprised Sara's performing so well in India -- what I love is her candor in, for example, explaining how CNN lost it's India regional broadcast permit and had to use phones to call in the news --  but I have to admit I wondered why she picked India, of all places in the first place.  The first time I got wind that Sara was in India -- she was in Atlanta for spell where CNN's headquarters are -- was via Beth after my first appearance on CNN International during the Democratic National Convention.  Apparently, Sara was in a hotel bar, saw me on television, and sent an email to Beth, who called me.  "Sara fell out of her chair", Beth said.  

I kinda hoped that would happen.   

But I always wondered why India, and now after seeing CNN's coverage of the Mumbia terrorist story, and Sara's performance, I know why.  She knew where the action was to get that one story which would lead to the big break she certainly deserves. 

This one.  

Right on, Sara!   This time, I'm not falling out of my chair.  I knew I'd see you on the World stage!  It suits you well.  Just stay away from the wrong guys over there!  


Speaking, er, writing of the wrong guys, it seems like Sara's got a handful of them to deal with in the form of some irate Indian bystanders in this video where it sound like she can be heard screaming "stop it" after the camera light went off.  I'm checking for updates like this one on Mediabistro , and here's the video:

Thomas Friedman: Citigroup Failed Every Step of the Way

Citigroup was involved in, and made money from, almost every link in the chain that resulted in the recent economic collapse. And the bank’s executives, including the former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, were clueless about the reckless financial instruments they were creating. These are the people whom taxpayers bailed out on Monday.

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45% Tax Rate on Rich to Fund Recession Package in UK

45% top rate breaks 15-year taboo raising income tax on the wealthy. The government hopes by targeting the rich, people on low, middle incomes will be reassured they are not to be victims of an aggressive spend now, tax later strategy. "There is a change in the public's mood, who have seen what has been happening to bankers and their huge salaries"

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Bush 'very pleased' with Iraq war outcome: report

US President George W. Bush believes the Iraq war was a success and is "very pleased" with what is happening there, he said in a pre-recorded interview broadcast on a Japanese television network Sunday.

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10 Arrested for Afghan Acid Attack

The police in Kandahar have arrested 10 Taliban militants they said were involved in an attack earlier this month on a group of Afghan schoolgirls whose faces were doused with acid, officials in Kandahar said Tuesday.

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Bush Administration faked savings in push to privatize jobs

President George W. Bush's Labor Department misled Congress in an effort to prove outsourcing jobs to private companies was more efficient than assigning the jobs to government employees, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Monday.

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Leading Russian Analyst Predicts DECLINE & BREAKUP of USA

A leading Russian political analyst has said the economic turmoil in the United States has confirmed his long-held view that the country is heading for collapse, and will divide into six separate parts. The Pacific coast, the South, Texas, the Atlantic coast, the Central states, and the North.

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U.S. war on drugs has failed, report says

The United States' war on drugs has failed and will continue to do so as long as it emphasizes law enforcement and neglects the problem of consumption, a Washington think tank says in a report co-chaired by a former president of Mexico.

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Mumbai attacks: Terrorists 'copied al-Qaeda blueprint'

Terrorists behind co-ordinated terrorist attacks on a series of high-profile targets in Mumbai, India, followed a "blueprint" created by al-Qaeda, according to one terrorism expert.

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People run for cover as gunshots are fired from inside the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai November 27, 2008. Maharashtra state police chief A.N. Roy said on Thursday that the hostage situation had ended at the Taj Hotel in Mumbai,

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Drew Barrymore Marches with, Addresses Prop. 8 Protesters


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So, What if the Dark Knight wins Best Picture?

Does it mean we've reached the end of great cinema as we know it? ... [While] I haven't seen all of them, but being in Hollywood and with the friends I know, I've spoken to someone who has seen at least every big contender (we'll get into those later on). And while most are ... good, none of them are ...amazing, which only leaves The Dark Knight.

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Trailer For Much Anticipated Film 'The Wrestler' Looks Great

Mickey Rourke dug so deep into his character, both mentally and physically, it's truly stunning. Director Darren Aronofsky may just have a huge winner on his hands with Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, and Evan Rachel Wood.

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Will It Be Boxoffice Gold? 'Four Christmases,' 'Transporter 3,' 'Australia'

'Four Christmases,' 'Transporter 3,' 'Australia' open wide. One or more could still turn out to be a boxoffice turkey, but film distributors see the long Thanksgiving session as a lucrative opportunity for new pics and holdovers alike.

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Paul Schrader: Bollywood, Here I Come

Paul Schrader is taking a taxi to Bollywood. Saying he feels the U.S. film market has become "barren," the writer of classics "Taxi Driver" and "Raging Bull" is packing his bags for Mumbai to write and direct the Bollywood action movie "Extreme City."

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Eight Classic Movie Bars for the Biggest Bar Weekend of 2008

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving always kicks off the biggest bar weekend of the year, and yet it doesn't get nearly the same attention as the puritan gluttony of Turkey Day. Here are eight of the best bars, taverns, and assorted drinking establishments from the movies to help put you in the mood for this lushiest of holidays

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Rumor: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Movie

Hollywood is rumoured to be alive with the buzz that Joss Whedon, creator of the aforementioned Buffy the Vampire Slayer is eyeing the success of Twilight with anxious hands gripping a feature film script he had prepared for the continuation of the show.

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Batman Bruce Wayne is killed by his own dad in new comic

One of the world’s most famous comic book heroes has breathed his last Bat breath. Bruce Wayne – who by night is Batman – gets murdered by a man claiming to be the father he thought was dead.

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Keanu Reeves - ET - The Day the Earth Stood Still

'Sci-fi's just one of the things I can do'. This Klaatua is a little different from the original character, who was played by Michael Rennie in the 1951 classic. "I have no idea what I would have done if I hadn't been actor," he says. "I've been doing this professionally since I was 16. "I have a bike and it's how I get around.

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Rosie O'Donnell's Variety Show Was A Huge FLOP

The producers had said if the show faired well, they would make it into a series...

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AS we steam toward our first New York-New York Super Bowl, The Great Debate suddenly rages:Who's better, the Giants or the Jets?

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Giants want Six in a Row

With a three-game lead in the division, the Giants (10-1) are on a roll and can virtually wrap up the NFC East with a victory over the Redskins on Sunday. New York will also surpass their win total from last season (10-6).

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Favre's Success With the Jets is an Apology to Gastineau

New York City has been officially diagnosed with Brett Favre Fever. The New York Jets are welcoming new fans to the fold as the team continues to succeed, and everyone is buzzing about the potential for a hometown Super Bowl...

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New York Giants Examiner: Giants at Redskins: Preview

Can the Giants keep their streak alive or will Washington take the champs down

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Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan Officially Best Rookie QB Ever.(At least according

Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan was named the best rookie QB of all time by an Atlanta Journal Constitutional writer, read more about it here.

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Fans and Media Call For Romeo Crennel's Firing

A growing chorus of voices is demanding that Cleveland Browns head coach Romeo Crennel be fired. Crennel has led the underachieving Browns to a dismal 4-7 record. Their latest loss came at the hands of the struggling Houston Texans. In the loss, the Browns defense allowed the Texans anemic offense to gain nearly 400 yards.

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Let's hope Kubiak's comments don't reflect his beliefs

I can't help but react to Dale Robertson's commentary today in the Houston Chronicle about the Texans "porous" defense. In the column, Robertson suggested that the Texans 35-6 win over the Bengals may have (then) signaled that the defense had found some footing.To that I invoke the theory of the blind squirrel and the nut.

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Jets-Broncos: New York Must Step Up Where Denver Excels

The New York Jets and Denver Broncos haven't faced one another very often in recent years, but please believe there's still a very strong sense of animosity for the ponies. Perhaps it's more on the behalf of Jets' fans, but it certainly does exist...

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John Lynch to Retire After 15 Years in NFL

As any Denver Broncos fan knows, safety John Lynch has had one hell of a career in the NFL for both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Denver Broncos.With nine Pro Bowls, 1,277 tackles, 26 interceptions and winning a Super Bowl in 2002 with the Bucs, Lynch is almost certainly a guaranteed first ballot NFL hall of famer.

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Newsday's List of Hall of Fame Eligible Semifinalists

So here we go. Here are the 25 (plus two seniors previously nominated) just-announced semifinalists for enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The inductees will be announced the day before the Jets-Giants Super Bowl in Tampa.Terrell Davis? Really?

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Former Tampa Bay Buc Dave Pear battles NFL for help

Dave Pear will pull himself out of his shallow sleep, the way he has done for countless mornings. He will hobble across his house with the shuffle of a gladiator who has outlived the cheers. He will drink his coffee, he will take his pills, and he will read his Bible.

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Lane Kiffin to coach Tennessee Volunteers

Tennessee has reached an agreement with former Oakland Raiders coach Lane Kiffin to take over as the Volunteers' next coach, with an announcement planned for Monday, barring any snags, according to multiple sources.

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Raiders still tinkering with a formula for winning - TFDS

The Oakland Raiders haven't allowed themselves to become complacent even after winning convincingly in Denver last Sunday. They are still working at getting better and are making the types of moves that we here at TFDS have been begging for since the last off-season. While it may be a little late for the Raiders to get that impact diamond in the...

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Colts Have Rebounded to Become AFC Contenders Again

The Indianapolis Colts started out the 2008 season struggling, but have rebounded to become legitimate AFC contenders again behind Peyton Manning, Bob Sanders, and Tony Dungy.

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December Awaits Dallas Cowboys. Enough of the Turkey Dance

I have been waiting to write this post all season. December is finally here. The playoff run is about to begin. Games really start to matter now.The Dallas Cowboys have won three games in a row for the first time since the season started. After some ego-disrupting losses the rest at

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Raise Your Hand If You Feel Sorry For the Detroit Lions

Chris Johnson was untouched on a short run to the outside and a long gain up the middle. The two plays were symbolic of the canyon-like gap between the once-beaten Tennessee Titans and the winless Detroit Lions.

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Michael 2: Vick Deserves Another Chance in the NFL

I think that Michael Vick should be allowed back into the NFL. I think that the Detroit Lions should give him a chance at RB.

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