MTV's Choose or Lose campaign and CNN Worldwide today announced they've teamed up to host a cross-network television event that includes a concert to mobilize support for our country's newest generation of young veterans and news programming on both MTV and CNN highlighting young veterans' stories of triumph, as well as issues facing those veterans as they return from battle.Leading artists from multiple genres will take-part in "A Night for Vets: An MTV Concert for the BRAVE," taped in New York City on October 23 and airing on MTV on October 24, to raise awareness of veterans' causes, including employment, healthcare, homelessness, and education. CNN will air "Anderson Cooper 360: Back from the Battle," a special that delves into the stories of several young vets and the challenges facing them, on October 25 and October 26 at 8 p.m. ET. Additionally, MTV today announced the Bill of Rights for American Veterans (BRAVE), a petition created in partnership with a group of top non-partisan veterans' organizations calling on elected officials to support veterans' issues and swiftly enact positive legislative changes."A Night for Vets: An MTV Concert for the BRAVE" will air Friday, October 24, 2008, at 8pm ET on MTV, followed by airings on MTV2, mtvU and MTV Tr3s. The special, hosted by MTV News Correspondent Sway Calloway and taped before an audience of specially invited young veterans and their families, will feature live performances by artists including 50 Cent, Ludacris and Saving Abel and taped performances from Kanye West, Kid Rock, Angels + Airwaves, Fall Out Boy, Juanes, Nelly and Taylor Swift, performing songs dedicated to our nation's veterans. Beyonce, Will Ferrell, Cameron Diaz, Common, Fat Joe, Seth Green, Elizabeth Banks, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, James Marsden and Wyclef Jean will make taped appearances throughout the concert to show their support for our nation's young heroes. The special will also include an interview with CNN international correspondent Michael Ware, via satellite from Baghdad. MTV News and CNN news packages, introduced by CNN's Anderson Cooper, will air throughout the show. Headline News' anchor Robin Meade (Morning Express with Robin Meade) will conduct interviews with young veterans in the audience. Additionally, the show will screen online in the MTV Virtual World. Viewers will be able to watch the concert in full and interact with some of the artists participating in the show."It doesn't matter where you stand on the war -- we can all agree that young veterans serving our country must receive the benefits they've earned for their sacrifices," said Van Toffler, President of MTV Networks. "By raising awareness through 'A Night for Vets: An MTV Concert for the BRAVE,' and by launching the BRAVE petition, we aim to elevate these issues and ensure they're a top priority for our government officials.""We are honored to help shine a light on the issues facing young veterans, and to bring these veterans' stories to both the CNN and MTV audiences," commented Jon Klein, president, CNN/U.S."Anderson Cooper 360: Back from the Battle," hosted by Cooper, will highlight the challenges facing young vets returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan. Cooper will report on families left behind to deal with the stress of wartime deployment, and the mixed emotions of pride, fear, and even detachment. Cooper will also report on Homes for Our Troops, a small, non-profit organization that started when builder John Gonsalves realized many soldiers were returning with disabilities but no suitable place to live; Cooper is there as they enter their new homes for the first time. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon and CNN's senior medical correspondent, will revisit and update the amazing tale of Jesus Vidana, a young Marine whose life Gupta saved when he operated on him while embedded with U.S. troops. Gupta will also examine the impact of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) on the lives and families of troops returning home from battle. CNN's Baghdad-based correspondent Michael Ware reunites with a soldier he followed into the battle of Fallujah to see how much of the war in Iraq he has brought home with him. The special will also include footage, interviews, and other highlights from the October 23rd concert.
CNN International plans to start broadcasting live daily programming from its new broadcast center in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates in a landmark move that signals the global network’s significantly expanded commitment to the Middle East. The as-yet-titled CNN International program marks CNN’s first regularly scheduled program from the region.The development is part of ongoing plans for CNN’s new broadcast and production center set to open in the Abu Dhabi Media Zone in early 2009. In addition to the daily, local prime-time newscast, the new production center will provide the infrastructure for expanded newsgathering activities throughout the region. The center enhances CNN’s existing presence in the region which currently comprises news operations in Amman, Jordan; Baghdad, Iraq; Beirut, Lebanon; Cairo; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and Jerusalem and is part of the company’s ongoing newsgathering expansion which over this year has seen more than 50 additional staff and more newsgathering operations in Africa, Asia and Latin America.CNN’s Abu Dhabi operation complements the network’s ongoing presence in Dubai as well as existing international broadcast facilities in London, Hong Kong and Mexico City and U.S. production centers in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., New York and Los Angeles.“Our UAE expansion is one of our boldest editorial undertakings of recent years and one that builds on our existing newsgathering heritage in the region,” said Tony Maddox, managing director for CNN International. “For a global news organization, the Middle East was the logical choice for an investment of this scale. Our new operation in Abu Dhabi will enable us to continue to meet and exceed the demands of our audiences at a time when many of our competitors are having to retrench.”The expansion cements CNN’s desire for a broad presence in the United Arab Emirates at a time when the Middle East is making headlines in the political, business and cultural arenas.“With a successful long standing operation in Dubai, the natural next step is to have a base in the capital city,” Maddox said. “We have long covered the Middle East region comprehensively on our air, and now we will have the on-the-ground infrastructure to serve, support and facilitate that coverage to the next level through these complementary operations in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. This groundbreaking initiative allows us to put news from the Middle East right at the heart of our output in a proper reflection of the role the region is playing on the world stage and is a significant plank in our ongoing newsgathering expansion.”In addition to the launch of live daily news programming, CNN will also move the production of its popular Middle East-focused feature programs Inside the Middle East and Marketplace Middle East to the new center.The new CNN hub will be a custom-built news center overseen by the newly created role of managing editor CNN Abu Dhabi. The operation will house approximately 30 staff including a new CNN International anchor and programming, production and newsgathering staff who will play a key role in increasing CNN’s coverage of the Persian Gulf region and the wider Middle East for all of CNN Worldwide’s networks.The new production center in Abu Dhabi marks another significant step in CNN’s content ownership strategy launched at the end of last year. This has seen the network invest heavily in new news operations around the world as part of its commitment to producing premium news content for its audiences across CNN’s many platforms and services.In November 2007, CNN announced the hiring of an additional 50 staff including 12 new correspondent positions. CNN also announced plans to open new editorial operations in Kabul, Afghanistan, and Santiago, Chile.
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