November 27th, 2010
07:51 PM ET

Report: U.S., South Korea begin war exercises

[Updated at 10:35 p.m.] North Korea deployed surface-to-air missiles to near its Yellow Sea border with South Korea days before joint U.S. war exercises with the South were set to get under way on Sunday, South Korea's official Yonhap news agency reported, citing unnamed government sources.

"[North Korea's missiles] appear to be targeting our fighter jets that fly near" North Korea's Yellow Sea border with South Korea, the source said, according to Yonhap.

South Korea and the United States began assembling ships for joint war exercises Sunday off the west coast of the Korean peninsula in the Yellow Sea, a source at the South Korean Joint Chiefs told CNN.

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[Original post, 7:51 p.m.] South Korea and the United States have begun war exercises off the west coast of the Korean peninsula, according to South Korea's official news agency Yonhap.

"The drills started around 6 a.m. Sunday with the USS George Washington joining our warships in the Yellow Sea," an official at the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff told Yonhap.

North Korea had warned of unpredictable "consequences" if the United States fulfilled its vow of deploying the aircraft carrier USS George Washington to the Yellow Sea for joint military maneuvers with South Korea.

Earlier this week, North Korea shelled Yeonpyeong Island, killing four South Koreans. North Korea said the South provoked the Tuesday attack because shells from a South Korean military drill landed in the North's waters. South Korea was holding its annual Hoguk military drill when the North started its shelling, and the South returned fire.

The U.S.-South Korean exercises were planned months ago and are meant to underscore strong ties between South Korea and the United States, defense officials from both countries have said.

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Filed under: North Korea • South Korea
November 27th, 2010
06:53 PM ET

FBI: Suspect claimed he wrote jihadist fitness article

A Somali-American teenager arrested Friday on suspicion of plotting to bomb a holiday ceremony in Portland, Oregon, told an undercover FBI employee that he wrote articles published in an English-language jihadist magazine, including a story on fitness, an FBI affidavit says.

Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, told the undercover operative last summer that he had written articles for the online magazine Jihad Recollections under a pen name, according to an FBI affidavit filed with Mohamud's arrest warrant.

One of the articles Mohamud claimed to have written was "Getting in shape without weights," which was published in the inaugural issue of Jihad Recollections in April 2009, according to the affidavit.

In the article, the author identified as Ibn al-Mubarak writes that jihadists must prepare their bodies for war and "train as hard as possible in order to damage the enemies of Allah as much as possible."

The article implores readers to train without weights, in part because using them is "unrealistic for the Mujahid in the front lines anywhere in the world today," and because gyms are not Islamic environments, with their "music, semi-naked women [and] free mixing."

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Filed under: Crime • Oregon • Somalia • Terrorism
November 27th, 2010
04:00 PM ET

Man arrested in death of missing college student

[Updated at 6:40 p.m.] A man who had a relationship with college student Jenni-Lyn Watson was charged Saturday with second-degree murder after the discovery of a body believed to be hers, authorities in Syracuse, New York said.

A massive manhunt for the woman, who'd been missing since November 19, culminated with the discovery of what are believed to be her remains at 10:30 a.m. Saturday near Clay Central Park in North Syracuse, the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office said.

Watson, 20, and Steven Pieper, 21, had dated on and off for 18 months, said District Attorney William Fitzpatrick at a Saturday press conference.

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Filed under: New York
November 27th, 2010
12:12 PM ET

Protesters march through Dublin over Irish austerity plan

Tens of thousands of people demonstrated on the streets of Dublin, Ireland, on Saturday against the government's austerity plan.

Irish police estimated the number taking part in the largely peaceful demonstration to be about 50,000.

The protests were organized by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), which has called the four-year plan for spending cuts and tax hikes "savage and regressive."

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Filed under: Economy • Ireland • Protest
November 27th, 2010
12:10 PM ET

Diplomats try to head off hostilities in Koreas

Diplomats worked to ease tensions in the Koreas on Saturday after North Korea warned of unpredictable "consequences" if the United States fulfills its vow of deploying an aircraft carrier to the Yellow Sea for joint military maneuvers with South Korea.

China's foreign minister spoke with his Russian, U.S., and Japanese counterparts, and a Chinese representative visited Seoul as envoys underscored the need to lower the temperature in the longtime flash-point region, days after four South Koreans died when North Korea shelled Yeonpyeong Island.

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Filed under: China • Japan • North Korea • Russia • South Korea • U.S. • World
November 27th, 2010
11:47 AM ET

Singer Willie Nelson arrested on pot charges

Country singer Willie Nelson was arrested Friday on charges of marijuana possession by the U.S. Border Patrol in Sierra Blanca, Texas, CNN has confirmed.

No further details were available, and a message left for Nelson's publicist has not been returned.

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Filed under: Drugs • Marijuana
November 27th, 2010
10:31 AM ET

Lightning strike kills 7 at nursery school party in South Africa

A lightning strike killed seven people - including a 4-year-old child - at a nursery school Christmas party in South Africa, a government spokeswoman said Saturday.

Forty others were injured when the lightning struck in KwaZulu-Natal Friday afternoon, said Mashu Cele, a spokeswoman for the province's social development department.

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Filed under: Nature • South Africa
November 27th, 2010
10:27 AM ET

Somali-American accused of plotting to bomb Oregon tree-lighting event

A 19-year-old has been arrested in connection with a plot to detonate a vehicle bomb at an annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon, on Friday evening, the Justice Department announced.

Mohamed Osman Mohamud, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Somalia, was arrested on suspicion of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. He is a resident of Corvallis, Oregon, and a student at Oregon State University, according to the FBI.

Mohamud was arrested by the FBI and Portland Police Bureau after he attempted to detonate what he believed to be an explosives-laden van that was parked near the tree-lighting ceremony in Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square, the Justice Department said in a written statement. However, "the materials were not explosive," said Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd, who called the device a "mock bomb."

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Filed under: Crime • Justice • Oregon • Somalia • Terrorism