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May 1st, 2012
02:41 PM ET

House candidate and rising GOP star is black, female - and Mormon

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - To call Mia Love a minority is an understatement. She’s a black woman who won an upset primary race to become the Republican candidate in Utah’s 4th Congressional District. If elected, she’d be the first black Republican congresswoman in the House of Representatives.

Love, who has attracted lots of national Republican support, also stands out because of her religion: She’s a Mormon. The politician is a poster child for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ campaign to present a more diverse face to a historically very white church.

“There are a lot of people who have tried to define me as a person,” Love, a daughter of Haitian immigrants, told CNN’s Kyra Phillips in an interview Tuesday. “I’m not a victim, and I don’t allow anybody to put me in a box.”

Speaking from Salt Lake City, she said, “There may be some challenges. But ... I love this place and love the people that are here, and I represent their beliefs and values.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Love is featured in a video series produced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as part of its “I’m a Mormon” campaign, which aims to bring the faith of about 14 million members worldwide into the mainstream.

In the CNN interview, Love talked about how Mormonism would affect Mitt Romney’s candidacy more than her own, which is happening in the most Mormon state in the nation.

“You know I don’t think those are the issues that Americans really care about,” Love said when asked about the role of Romney’s religion in the presidential campaign. “I think Americans care about jobs, the economy; they care about the debt and deficit spending. … Being a Mormon is part of who he is as a person, and I don’t think it should deter from the issues.”

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Love’s “I’m a Mormon” video shows her working as the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, her current job.

“I am the mayor of Saratoga Springs and I love it,” she says in the video. “I get to make this life better for me and better for others.

“My friends from back home are always saying, ‘What are you doing in Utah?'” she says in the video, referring to her East Coast upbringing. “What they don’t know is that when I came here I felt accepted.”

Watch CNN Newsroom weekdays 9am to 3pm ET and weekends. For the latest from the CNN Newsroom click here.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Mormonism • Politics • TV-CNN Newsroom

soundoff (2,038 Responses)
  1. ShowMe

    What difference does it make if you're a black woman Mormon Republican if you hold the same views and have the same tired things to say that every other politician in your party says? I didn't hear an original thought come out of her mouth. This is not diversity.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:23 am |
    • RBSG

      Per her campaign website, her conservative ethos is based on something her father told her at college orientation: "Mia, your mother and I never took a handout. You will not be a burden to society. You will give back."

      I have no problems with what her father said, or the fact that she uses this philosophy. It's a noble philosophy. However,. I take issue with the way its used as a broad-brush characterization of Democrats/Liberals/Progressives, etc. (as though they do take handouts, are a burden to society, and don't give back).

      I know plenty of Liberal/Progressive folks who have never taken a handout, who aren't a burden to society and who give back a lot (both of their time and material resources). Some of them are quite successful financially and give generously.

      May 2, 2012 at 3:47 am |
  2. RaceBasedDNC

    Racist progressive mythology precludes the possibility of a Mia Love. However, in the real world the GOP loves Mia, a woman of competence and courage. Democrats are notorious for voting on the basis of skin color. The GOP votes for talent, and considers skin pigmentation irrelevant.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • mojo888

      Are you serious? The entire GOP is all about race - and that means keeping Blacks out completely.. Perhaps you didnt watch the last GOP Convention.... There was a Black speaker who is no longer liked by your fellow Repub Fugs... oh and I guess it helps that this Mia Love is married to a White Man.... I can't imagine how little respect or admiration she has for African Americans in this country.. Everything about this woman is fake!

      May 2, 2012 at 1:30 am |
    • souptwins

      mojo– are you serious? Because she doesn't limit her relationships to those of her own race, she's a "fake"? Sounds to me like she's quite genuine in seeing beyond the skin someone is born in. wow!

      May 2, 2012 at 1:39 am |
  3. Richard "BONEHEAD" Cheney

    Token

    May 2, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • Michael Steele

      There's big money in being a token for the Republicans

      May 2, 2012 at 1:23 am |
  4. WWJD

    Mormons are NOT really Christians. The book of mormon goes against the teaching of the Bible which states explicitly not to add to it. The book of mormon does just that. Joseph Smith was a con artist fraud and got what he deserved.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • WWJD

      † † If I can pass along a little hint, when you want to tattoo PRAYER WORKS on your forehead like I tried to, don't do it using a nail gun as a needle. And make sure you spell correctly, because I accidentally wrote PRAYER DORKS † †

      May 2, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • Ryan

      Definition of Christian:

      of, pertaining to, or derived from Jesus Christ or His teachings: a Christian faith.

      Mormons teach about Jesus's teachings. Your argument is invalid.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • Brett

      Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 25:26 'And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.' Sounds pretty "Christian" to me. And, BTW, my personal favorite scripture verse.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • nairb247

      Did you know the Bible was not written chronologically as it currently sits. The Book of Revelation was written by John. well before many of the later books in the New Testament. So if that is your argument then many of the later books should be omitted because they were "added" after John wrote that in Revelation. Also, it says to not "Take Away" either. Guess how many books are missing from the original Bible?

      Secondly – The Book Of Mormon is not an addition to the Bible. It is Another Testament of Christ. If in there were other people living at the same time as those in Palestine, wouldn't it be safe to say that they could have possibly kept a record of their dealings as well?

      Thirdly – If you can explain this scripture to me, I will be happy to believe anything you say. Ezekiel 37: 16-17

      May 2, 2012 at 1:29 am |
    • DMC

      Mormons (or members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) absolutely are Christians. That fact is unmistakably clear after spending even a few minutes at a Mormon worship service or by talking with a member or two.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:30 am |
    • souptwins

      I was about to post something similar to what nair said. Perhaps looking at the content and context of the Revelations verse would be helpful too. It's talking about adding or taking away from the doctrine of needing and having a Savior who is Christ. The LDS Church has that doctrine at it's very core so nothing is added or taken.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:35 am |
  5. zip

    Here's another classic wiki search. Mark Hofmann Perhaps the person Mormons hate the most. You just can't make this stuff up.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:17 am |
    • Brett

      Wrong again Zip. I don't know a single person who hates him. In fact, we actually believe in love, not hate. Love ya man!

      May 2, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • Ryan

      You CAN make this stuff up actually. Sounds like somebody got offended and left the church! Ever going to get over your own issues and let people go on with their faith?

      May 2, 2012 at 1:20 am |
    • souptwins

      You may not be able to make it up but Mark Hoffman could. He did make up a whole slew of stuff and went to prison for it. Exactly what does that prove about Mormons? Too trusting maybe?

      May 2, 2012 at 1:27 am |
  6. WWJD

    Prayer changes all things and improves life.

    Fact: Proven.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:15 am |
    • WWJD

      † † I meant to tattoo GOD on my forehead, but I was using a mirror and I was afraid I would accidentally write DOG, so I thought and thought and got very confused and accidentally wrote OGD instead. Good thing tattoos aren't permanent. † †

      May 2, 2012 at 1:19 am |
  7. CBR

    Maybe we should try to evaluate her on her job as Mayor and on her platform while running for the House. Leave the rest of it aside.
    When you read some of the divisive and rude comments you know why this country is in trouble.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:07 am |
  8. Jaime

    What is Ms Love's status in the Mormon church? Mormon men are considerfed by Mormons with a staus above other (non- Mormon) men; and above Mormon women. Blacks are considered in the lowest classification in the Mormon church and have more restrictions than other Mormons. Would Mormons accept Ms Love and a white Mormom male dating, or worse yet if they should marry? Why did the Mormons baptise Adolf Hitler or President Obama's mother? Does Ms Love have answers for the above? Romney won't answer any questions.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:07 am |
    • zip

      If a white Mormon women were to date a black man, the crap would hit the fan. Her family will disown her. In fact, Brigham Young said that such a union would mean instant death for the white woman. That's a fact. Look it up.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:11 am |
    • Brett

      Wow, just wow! Where do you get this crap? Please do some of your own research and just quit regurgitating stuff you see on the internet. This is the problem with our country. No original thinking for one's self. We surely live in the wiki age.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:12 am |
    • Ryan

      The nice thing about being a member of the church is that when talking about the church with a non-member, I have automatic authority when it comes to what the church does or does not teach/believe. Yes, this is true. We can argue about historical events equally but members are the ones who know what is actually being taught. Without attending the church you CAN'T claim what they teach. Period.

      Having said that, you are incorrect. There are no classifications, no "restrictions," and certainly no discouragement of interracial marriages. Furthermore, politicians are just that – politicians. They aren't representing their religion as political leaders, only their moral values. But the big point is, you are completely wrong about church beliefs and teachings. Yet your claims are made to sound like absolute fact. What does this mean? You have zero credibility.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:14 am |
    • Brett

      Oh crap, that just reminded me, I missed the stoning of my black friend who married a white woman 10 years ago! I guess we better include the 4 kids!

      May 2, 2012 at 1:14 am |
    • Ryan

      By the way, my sister-in-law is a white Mormon. And she is dating a black non-Mormon. Absolutely zero issues. And people try to claim that it is the religious who are ignorant.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:16 am |
    • souptwins

      Interesting since I know many inter-racial Mormon couples, including those sealed in the LDS Temple. One has a son currently on a mission to England. So glad we have all of you to tell us what we do or do not practice or believe.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • alkarrk

      Wow, you obviously don't know anything about Mormons. Here's a little quote for you from The Book of Mormon: "black and white, bond and free, male and female...and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile." (2 Nephi 26:33)

      May 2, 2012 at 1:23 am |
    • TWarrior

      Oh my gosh I am totally stunned by the level of stupidity in this post... Apparently you don't know a thing about the LDS church, its members, or its teachings. I'm white and have a Korean wife; race has never even come close to being a negative variable. The clergy fully embrace us and we are normal members of the congregation, never treated any different.

      If you actually went to an LDS church meeting you'd be embarrassed and ashamed of your comments as they are uncharitable, unchristian, and untrue.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:23 am |
    • Slim

      The mormon church was forced to diversify by the government. This is common knowledge. Stop trying to defend your garbage cult. Everyone knows about it.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:26 am |
    • souptwins

      Slim– apparently "knowledge" is something you are slim on. hehe

      May 2, 2012 at 1:29 am |
    • nairb247

      Jaime, your points are so far out there they aren't even funny.

      Many black men marry white women in the church, and vice versa. One of my dearest friends is a black southern mormon who is married to a white woman.

      Zip, you just sound stupider and stupider as this thread progresses.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:34 am |
    • mojo888

      I google'd her family - She is married to a White Mormon and they have 3 children... They most definitely will be raised as Whites and will never be a part of her heritage... Just listen to her answer to the CNN Correspondant about Obama - she skipped the question entirley... This woman does not consider herself Black or Haitian American...

      May 2, 2012 at 1:39 am |
  9. DAVID (MOSES) MUZUMBUKU

    MORMONISM is not the problem. The truth is, there are good people and bad people in every religion.
    If you think you are perfect, then go ahead and throw the first stone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Blessed.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:06 am |
    • Slim

      Find me a huge rock.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:21 am |
  10. zip

    On this same Belief blog, there is a story called "a rare look inside a Mormon temple" In the comments section, this a short animation called "what Mormons believe" Find it and watch it. It is factual. You will not believe your eyes.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:05 am |
    • Brett

      Zip my friend... Please leave your mom's basement for a while and do some actual research that is not on the internet. You know, some old fashioned, go out in public, experience it for yourself type stuff. I know this is a difficult concept, but you just might actually develop some of your own original thoughts. In case you haven't figured it out yet, anyone can post on the internet, anything they want to. If wiki is your source of truth on everything, you are in for a hard life.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:10 am |
    • souptwins

      Ya ya– that's a propaganda video from the 80's that been denounced by both Mormons and Non-mormons. Isn't it past your bedtime, zip?

      May 2, 2012 at 1:13 am |
    • zip

      son, you' re a cult member. and very soon, all of America will know it.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:13 am |
    • Brett

      14 million people already know. Those are the people who don't get their education from wiki. They actually leave their house, talk with real people, feel the spirit, and have a change in heart.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:17 am |
    • Ryan

      zip you are a member of the anti-mormon cult. look up the definition of cult buddy, you are resembling it.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:18 am |
  11. Ramana7

    I don't know if I believe she really knows and understands the whole picture–of her party, of the mormon church, of America...

    You know, on the first hand though, if the GOP is going to be anything, it needs her blood and soul.

    If she's had a good experience in Republican/Mormon Utah, then perhaps they've earned her loyalty and if she is honest, open and fresh–let those her and those like her be the mechanism of change in the GOP.

    Other hand, I can relate. I came from a Republican household and fundamentalist Christianity. I was am still technically registered Republican. Tho I haven't voted that way since Bush I. But there comes a day when the reality of that world, that party, can creep in on you. At some point she may flop.

    It be nice if all the bipartisan friction manifested a new government. A fresh government. A pathway to taking special interest out of politics entirely. That should be an agreed upon point. I bet the GOP establishment would oppose it. That speaks volumes. Probably many democrats would as well.

    Special interest must go. All special interest in Washington, from the House to the White House, no special interest. Along with this, campaign funding reform and the abolition of superpacs.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:05 am |
    • No Gods, No Masters

      I agree, but all the evils you listed are deeply entrenched, and well-defended with money and lobbyists. They are in control. Voters only have the illusion of being in control. Corporations are in control.

      It's an insider's game, and we ain't inside.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:10 am |
    • TWarrior

      You're an idiot. I love how you assume you know what's right for her better than she knows herself. I'm glad you are so much more enlightened and are able to share your great wisdom with the world. You completely disregard the fact that maybe she's telling the truth about how she feels. Perhaps she does know what she's talking about, and she enjoys being a part of the GOP and the LDS church.

      Next time you feel that tinge of arrogance attempting to assert itself into your thought process, go ahead and repress it.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:17 am |
  12. WWJD

    Few 100% true Reasons why Atheism is TERRIBLE and unhealthy for our children and living things:

    † Atheism is a religion that makes you stupid, ignorant & blind.
    † Atheism is a disease that needs to be treated.
    † Atheism makes you post stupid things (90% of silly comments here on CNN blogs are posted by closet Atheists)
    † Atheist are satanic and have gothic lifestyle.
    † Atheists causes problem in our religious society.
    † Atheists are mentally ill, that's why they have no faith.
    † Atheism won't take you to kingdom of heaven and paradise.
    † Atheism making you agree with Stalin, Hitler (Denied his faith later), Mao, Pol Pot & other terrible mass murder leaders.
    † No traditional family lifestyle, no holidays, no culture, boring and feeling 'outsider'
    † Atheists are angry, drug additcted and committ the most crime.
    † Atheist try to convert people over internet because they feel "safer" behind closet.
    † Atheists do not really exist, they just pretend that they don't believe in God and argue with religious people.
    † Atheists have had terrible life experience, bad childhood and not being loved.
    † Most Atheists are uneducated... No Atheists could run for presidency.
    † Atheism brought upon the French Revolution, one of the most evil events of all of history.
    † Atheism cannot explain the origins of the universe, therefore God exists.
    † All atheists believe in evolution, which means they don't believe in morality and think we should all act like animals.
    † The Bible says atheism is wrong, and the Bible is always right (see: Genesis 1:1, Psalms 14:1, Psalms 19:1, Romans 1:19-20)
    † Countries where Atheism is prevalent has the highest Suicide rate & Communist countries = Atheism!
    **Only 2-3% of the U.S. are Atheists/Agnostics VS. over 90% who believe in God (80% Christians) in the U.S.**

    † † Our Prayers goes to Atheists to be mentally healthy and seek their creator † †

    ATHEISTS WILL BURN IN HELLFIRE AND BRIMSTONE WHERE THEY BELONG AND THEY ALL DESERVE IT AND I CAN'T WAIT TO WATCH FROM ABOVE IN HEAVEN WITH A SMILE WHILE I DANCE ON STREETS OF GOLD WHILE ATHEISTS SKIN BOILS OFF

    May 2, 2012 at 1:05 am |
    • zip

      God you're stupid.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:07 am |
    • WWJD

      † Because I love Jesus, I tattooed GOD on my forehead using ink, a nail and a sledge hammer.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:13 am |
    • Dan

      Just another troll. Nothing to see here folks; move along.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:14 am |
    • tact

      And that my friends is perhaps the most unchristian thing I have ever read. If I am not mistaken by what I have read and studied in the Bible, Jesus spent much of his time with the sinful and lost souls of this world. His mission was to save them and deliver them from evil through his sacrifice. And here you are spewing judgement and ridicule because atheists contrast to your moral belief. Judge not lest ye be judged. Shame on you for smearing Christians with your self righteous, misguided manifesto.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:17 am |
  13. ArmyCSM

    And the Tea Party has promised her $300,000 of support. I live in Utah and the last thing we need is more representatives like our Tea Party Senator Mike Lee to really confirm people's negative views about this state.

    May 2, 2012 at 12:56 am |
    • souptwins

      Even if I lived in her district I wouldn't be voting for her but it would be because of her politics not her race, gender, or religion. Please– not another Lee!!

      May 2, 2012 at 1:03 am |
    • Irony

      Negative views? How could anyone have negative views about Moronistan?

      May 2, 2012 at 1:03 am |
  14. Winner Of Today's "Unclear On The Concept" Award Goes To . . .

    Mia "Curse Of Ham" Love

    May 2, 2012 at 12:56 am |
    • raenil

      very severe case of stockholm syndrome.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:29 am |
  15. Joe

    "I get to make this life better for me and better for others." A real conservative would never say that, a real conservative would say "I get to make this life better for me by using others." or "I get to make this life better for me and to heII with others."

    May 2, 2012 at 12:56 am |
  16. Manny

    If she was also a lesbian midget then you'd really have something there !

    May 2, 2012 at 12:54 am |
  17. marctheduck

    Funny how liberals are completely at a loss about how a black woman in the third millennium could possibly have the audacity to think for herself instead of letting them tell her how she should think. C'mon libs write it our right here, right now: tell her how she should think. She's just a woman. And she's just black, right? Go on. Tell her! You know you want to!

    May 2, 2012 at 12:54 am |
    • ari

      your posts are embarrassing. please save whatever dignity you have left and step away from the computer.

      May 2, 2012 at 12:57 am |
    • Beer Stein

      Psssst. Hey numbnuts, in case you didn't realize this, mormons hate black people, and republicans tend to want to keep women out of politics and in the kitchen.

      May 2, 2012 at 12:57 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      "how a black woman in the third millennium could possibly have the audacity to think for herself instead of letting them tell her how she should think."
      when you join a christian church, you cease to think at all.

      May 2, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • Mormons and Conservatives Think For Themselves, You Stupad Libtards!

      Conservatives do think for themselves; they just need to turn on Rush and Fox every day to find out what exactly they are thinking about when they think for themselves.

      Mormons think for themselves; it is purely a coincidence that they all think the same thing that their church told them to think.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:00 am |
    • Brett

      Beer Stein... got news for you, Mormons (Gasp!!!) don't hate blacks. In fact, some of us even have black children. How could we be so hateful? Maybe you should actually do some personal research (not the ZIP wiki kind) before you speak.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:05 am |
    • souptwins

      Beer boy! You are so wrong. Mormons don't hate Blacks who have been members since the days of J. Smith. And women are encouraged to contribute to society in whatever way they feel inclined. Time to retire those tired stereotypes!

      May 2, 2012 at 1:06 am |
    • WWJD

      Mormons are not real Christians and are just as equally guilty as atheists and will face judgement when Jesus returns and I thank Jesus for this.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:13 am |
    • mojo888

      She only appears to be Black - and that's from the outside.. She does not define herself as that... The Repub Fugs will use her just like they used Steele and every person who tries to pass themselves off as Conservative and Non-White... As long as she stays in her place and do what they tell her... she will be fine... She does not represent us... Nor does she care to!

      May 2, 2012 at 1:48 am |
  18. zip

    Do a wiki search on Parley P. Pratt. He was Mitt Romney's great grandfather. He was killed by a jealous husband. Plus he had 12 wives. Cuz nothing says Christian like 12 wives. You can't make this stuff up!!!

    May 2, 2012 at 12:53 am |
    • ari

      i don't judge people for what their ancestors did, but i do have to admit that mormonism is bizarre regarding the polygamy thing. there are lots of differences between mormonism and christianity, but polygamy was *THE* issue that created conflict between the two communities. polygamy was the reason why mormons were willing to pack up and move across the country to create their own enclave. and now they say "lol jk actually it's not allowed". so, what? was joseph smith WRONG? in that case why do you still follow the religion he founded?! it makes no sense.

      May 2, 2012 at 12:56 am |
    • nairb247

      Dude, you just keep posting the same stuff over and over again. Not once though have you really given a rational coherent thought. Everyone here is now dumber for having read your posts.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:45 am |
  19. marctheduck

    Get out and straighten out your slaves, libs! They're getting uppity! |-))

    May 2, 2012 at 12:51 am |
    • Hector Victorious

      Que? Could you please elaborate?

      May 2, 2012 at 12:52 am |
    • zip

      Dude, every time you post, it's another vote for Obama

      May 2, 2012 at 12:54 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      i'm pretty sure he meant to say he's a half a tard.

      May 2, 2012 at 12:57 am |
    • Irony

      @booty

      Yeah, but he's hoping to be promoted to full tard any day now

      May 2, 2012 at 1:05 am |
  20. ari

    why would you become a member of a church that encouraged slavery and refused to allow black people to become ministers until the late 70s? is this a case of racial self-hatred?

    May 2, 2012 at 12:49 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      i am utterly amazed when i see any black person is a member of the moron church. and a member of the GOP?!? maybe she's blind and doesn't know she's black, like in that Dave Chapelle skit.

      May 2, 2012 at 12:52 am |
    • Nakor the Isalani

      Wow, you really are a dumb little fock aren't you? If you'd bother researching before opening your pathetic little mouth, you would have discovered that Mormons were abolitionist, something that caused a great deal of friction between them and the other residents of Missouri in the early days of the church.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:07 am |
    • mojo888

      She is not Black American - although slaves were brought over to the leeward islands during the trans-Atlantic Slave Trade - Her parents are Haitian Immigrants - She was brought up to admire Whites and their culture - She does not see herself as a American Black Woman - She claims that she is beyond that... Her husband is White and all of her friends are White - Please look up her bio - Google it!

      May 2, 2012 at 1:54 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.