Doctor defends autism study – A physician accused of an "elaborate fraud" in a now-retracted British study that linked autism to childhood vaccines is defending himself, telling CNN his work has been "grossly distorted."
Speaking on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," Dr. Andrew Wakefield said Wednesday he has been the target of "a ruthless, pragmatic attempt to crush any attempt to investigate valid vaccine safety concerns." An investigation published by the British medical journal BMJ concluded that Wakefield misrepresented or altered the medical histories of all 12 of the patients whose cases formed the basis of the 1998 study – and that there was "no doubt" Wakefield was responsible. The journalist who wrote the BMJ articles said Thursday he believes Wakefield should face criminal charges.
Sentencing in Anna Nicole Smith case – The psychiatrist and lawyer-boyfriend of Anna Nicole Smith are expected to be sentenced Thursday.
Ivory Coast's President-elect, Alassane Ouattara, is "confident" that military action to remove self-delcared President Laurent Gbagbo is on its way, he told CNN Thursday.
Ouattara said he expects the regional group the Economic Community of West African States to intervene in the situation. But he doesn't think such military intervention will lead to civil war, he added.
Gbagbo has refused to concede power, after the internationally-accepted results of a November 28 runoff show he did not win.
Ivory Coast's Independent Electoral Commission declared that Gbagbo lost the election to challenger Alassane Ouattara, but the Gbagbo-appointed Constitutional Council invalidated the results and the incumbent leader is still clinging to power - despite repeated pleas to step down by regional and international leaders.
This story is developing. We'll bring you the latest information as soon as we get it.
The United States plans to send about 1,400 more Marines to Afghanistan, a U.S. military official told CNN Thursday.
The Marines will support the expansion of its security efforts in southern Afghanistan, and they will be on the ground for only a few months, the official said.
"We intend to keep the pressure on the Taliban throughout the winter and take advantage of the security gains already achieved," the official said.
Southern regions such as Kandahar and Helmand provinces have long been major fronts in the war against the Taliban.
The number of Americans filing for their first week of unemployment benefits rose 18,000 to 409,000 last week.
While the latest data puts a damper on the prior week's eyebrow-raising headlines - when the figure had fallen below 400,000 for the first time in two years - the slight increase does not come as a complete surprise either.
Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had expected initial claims to rise to 405,000 in the latest report.
Figures for the week ended Dec. 25 included a federal holiday, and while economists try to adjust accordingly, the seasonal adjustment could have distorted the figure slightly, they say. Not only that, but the most recent data also includes the New Year holiday.FULL STORY
It's the second day of the current congressional legislative session, and CNN.com Live is there for all the happenings from Capitol Hill.
Today's programming highlights...
10:00 am ET - Constitution read on House floor - Did you ever have to memorize the preamble to the U.S. Constitution in high school? Well, now's your chance to see if you remember the words as House Republicans have the document read on the floor as part of today's session.
An update from the CNN newsdesk in London on the stories we're following on Thursday:
Criticism of autism report: A now-retracted UK study that linked autism to childhood vaccines was an "elaborate fraud" that has done long lasting damage to public health, a leading medical publication has reported.
Alert ahead of religious festival: Egypt is on high alert ahead of the Coptic celebration of Orthodox Christmas Eve on Thursday, as well as Friday's holy day. It comes after a church bombing in Alexandria last weekend which cost 23 lives.
Transparency call over Sudan oil: A report released Thursday calls for more transparency over Sudan oil revenues to avoid conflict as the nation prepares for a vote that could see it split into two.