Gridlock and Gaddafi

September 23, 2009 12:48:37 PM PDT
Whatever your politics, we can all agree that it's a pain logistically to have the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

The traffic and gridlock is non-stop, and when you add in security for President Obama, well - it's a good time to take a vacation.

But logistics aside, it's fascinating to live in the host city for the biggest gathering of world leaders.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech tonight (supposedly about 7 o'clock on 7online.com) is much-anticipated, no surprise. There are demonstrations planned outside, and cameras trained on him inside.

Today, Libya's Moammar Gaddafi spoke for way-too-long, blasting the U.S. war in Iraq, sometimes and uncomfortably praising Pres. Obama, and engaging in conspiracy talk that the swine flu was spawned by pharmaceutical companies trying to profit from a new vaccine.

And President Obama spoke as well.

All highly charged and exciting.

We'll have the latest on today's news from the U.N., and reaction, at 11.

As an aside, also today in New York, just 2 miles north of the U.N. and at the same time Gaddafi was speaking, I was walking in Central Park with my family, when we hear music and my wife says, "Hey, that sounds like Carol King."

Sure enough, there was Ms. King, performing at a sound check for a big concert tonight in support of the National Park System and to preview Ken Burns' PBS series on the parks. What a New York moment - King singing "You've Got A Friend" as we walked our two month under the glorious early fall sky.

Peter Yarrow was also there, and although I was a bit of a ways from the stage, I saw him hug King, and thought she mouthed how sad she was and how much she cried when Mary Travers died last week.

For me, a moment to remember.

Also at 11 tonight, a disturbing story by our investigative reporter Jim Hoffer. He spent weeks literally following the food chain - from wholesalers to restaurants. And what he discovered was sickening, literally and figuratively: Perishable foods getting tossed into the back of car trunks, blistering hot vans and open pick-up trucks. There are temperature-sensitive foods such as fresh chickens and hamburger and raw seafood and milk and eggs.

It's part one of Jim's two-part investigation.

We're also at the memorial on Long Island for Annie Le, the Yale grad student who was murdered earlier this month.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast and Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER


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