The day's most popular stories
February 1st, 2011
11:04 PM ET

The day's most popular stories

The five most popular stories on CNN.com in the past 24 hours, according to NewsPulse:

Blinding snow hits Plains, Midwest: A vast winter storm on Tuesday blasted much of the nation with nearly horizontal blowing snow, cloaking trees and power lines with ice up to an inch thick, forcing airports to close and complicating the travel plans of fans headed to this weekend's Super Bowl in Texas.

Mubarak says he won't run again; protesters say it's not enough: Bowing to eight days of protests, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said Tuesday he will not seek office again in elections scheduled for September, but vowed to stay in the country and finish his term.

After mass dog slaughter, stressed man files for worker's comp: An employee of Canada's Outdoor Adventures company admitted to slaughtering 100 sled dogs, according to a workers compensation report he later filed.

Authorities believe body found in California canal is abducted boy: California authorities extended their condolences Tuesday to the family of Juliani Cardenas, 4, after a body was found that they say matches his physical description.

7 teens arrested in recorded beating of bullying victim:  A 13-year-old boy who was attacked while walking home from school earlier this month in a Philadelphia suburb said Tuesday that he had been bullied since the beginning of classes.


Filed under: Most Popular
Egypt crisis: Obama says transition 'must begin now'
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, in an appearance Egyptian state TV Tuesday night, said he won't seek re-election in September.
February 1st, 2011
09:45 PM ET

Egypt crisis: Obama says transition 'must begin now'

    Read full coverage of the unrest in Egypt updated continually by CNN reporters worldwide. Send your photos and video to iReport and see CNN in Arabic here. See also this strong roundup of timely, insightful views on the wave of upheaval in the Arab world.

    [Update 5:13 a.m. Wednesday in Cairo, 10:13 p.m. ET Tuesday] In Alexandria on Tuesday, protesters clashed with supporters of Mubarak, leaving 12 people injured, said Qutb Hassanein, a member of an opposition group. The military was called in to restore calm.

    [Update 3:09 a.m. Wednesday in Cairo, 8:09 p.m. ET Tuesday] Here is a collection of reactions to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's Tuesday night speech, in which he said he would not run for re-election.

    [Update 2:53 a.m. Wednesday in Cairo, 7:53 p.m. ET Tuesday] Video of Obama's speech:

    [Update 1:50 a.m. Wednesday in Cairo, 6:50 p.m. ET Tuesday] U.S. President Barack Obama said he spoke with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak after Mubarak's speech, and that Mubarak "recognizes that the status quo is not sustainable and that a change must take place."

    Obama said that while it is not the role of any outside country to determine Egypt's leaders, he indicated to Mubarak that it is clear that an orderly transition should be meaningful and peaceful and "must begin now."

    Obama said the process must include a broad spectrum of voices and opposition parties and free and fair elections, and it should lead to a government that is responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people.

    [Update 1:33 a.m. Wednesday in Cairo, 6:33 p.m. ET Tuesday] U.S. President Barack Obama spoke with embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak by phone Tuesday for roughly 30 minutes, National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said.

    Obama is expected to give a statement soon on the situation in Egypt, the White House says.

    [Update 1:14 a.m. Wednesday in Cairo, 6:14 p.m. ET Tuesday] Egyptian opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei, the former chief of the U.N. atomic agency, criticized President Hosni Mubarak's announcement that he would continue the rest of his term but not seek re-election, calling it an "act of deception."

    "It's a person who doesn't want to let go, a dictator who doesn’t want to listen to the clear voice of the people," ElBaradei told CNN's Anderson Cooper.

    "Whoever gave him that advice gave him absolutely the wrong advice. He just has to let go. Not only is (he) going - at best - to be a lame duck president, he's going to be a dead man walking," ElBaradei said.

    [Update 12:55 a.m. Wednesday in Cairo, 5:55 p.m. ET Tuesday] Amre Moussa, secretary general of the Arab League, told CNN Tuesday that Mubarak's offer to not seek re-election and to work for a transfer of power was new and should be considered carefully. Moussa is a veteran diplomat who was Mubarak's foreign minister until 2001.

    Earlier, Moussa told Al Arabiya TV that if he is asked to play a role during any Egyptian political transition, he "will carry out my duties to serve the people of Egypt."

    [Update 12:48 a.m. Wednesday in Cairo, 5:48 p.m. ET Tuesday] Here is the text of President Hosni Mubarak's Tuesday evening address in which he said he would not run for re-election.

    [Update 12:35 a.m. Wednesday in Cairo, 5:35 p.m. ET Tuesday] U.S. President Barack Obama will make a statement within the hour on the situation in Egypt, the White House says.

    [Update 12:05 a.m. Wednesday in Cairo, 5:05 p.m. ET Tuesday] Chants continue from thousands of protesters on Cairo's Tahrir Square. Following President Hosni Mubarak's announcement, earlier in the night, that he wouldn't seek re-election in September, thousands erupted in chants of "Down with Mubarak" and "the people want the president to be judged." Some waved shoes in the air - a deep insult in the Arab world.

    [Update 11:47 p.m. Cairo, 4:47 p.m. ET] With President Hosni Mubarak's announcement that he would not run for re-election in September, protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square, where thousands have gathered for days to call for his ouster, erupted in angry shouts. Several of them have said they will continue to demand Mubarak's immediate resignation.

    "This is not enough," Mahmoud Safi, a lawyer taking part in the Cairo demonstrations, told CNN after reports of Mubarak's impending announcement emerged. "We have one request. We want him to leave our country now, immediately, not tomorrow."

    In his speech aired on state television Tuesday night, Mubarak said he will wrap up nearly 30 years as Egypt's president in September and hand over power "in a constitutional way."

    Earlier, sources told CNN that a U.S. envoy sent by President Barack Obama urged Mubarak to announce he wouldn't run for re-election later.

    [Update 11:05 p.m. Cairo, 4:05 p.m. ET] Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said on state television Tuesday night that he will not seek another term in the next elections, which currently are scheduled for September.

    According to an English translation of his speech, Mubarak said that "with all honesty and without looking at this particular situation ... I was not intent on standing for the next elections because I have spent enough time in serving Egypt."

    [Update 10:37 p.m. Cairo, 3:37 p.m. ET] The U.S. State Department says about 1,600 Americans have been evacuated in flights from Egypt since Monday, and more than 60 others are expected to be flown out before the day is over.

    FULL POST

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Filed under: Egypt • Protest
Dow finishes above 12,000
Stocks rose despite jitters over protests in Egypt, where President Hosni Mubarak announced Tuesday he wouldn't seek re-election.
February 1st, 2011
09:21 PM ET

Dow finishes above 12,000

Some highlights from the day's business news:

Dow, S&P 500 close at highest levels in 2 years

U.S. stocks started February with a bang Tuesday, with the Dow and S&P 500 closing above key psychological levels for the first time in more than two years, and the Nasdaq gaining almost 2%.

Investors overcame ongoing jitters over protests in Egypt and new developments in Jordan, where the king dismissed his government and appointed a new prime minister.

The Dow Jones industrial average rallied 148 points, or 1.3%, to finish at 12,040, the highest June 19, 2008. All but three of the 30 blue-chip components moved higher. A 5.5% jump in shares of Pfizer led the advance, with the drugmaker posting better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings. Alcoa and Bank of America were also big Dow gainers.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Business • Economy
Dollars & Sense: Unlimited vacation days; Volt's sticker shock
Imagine leaving work for as long as you think you need.
February 1st, 2011
09:15 PM ET

Dollars & Sense: Unlimited vacation days; Volt's sticker shock

Vacation days: Take as many as you want: It sounds like a dream, but a growing number of companies are adopting flexible vacation policies that shift control and in many cases eliminate an allotted number of vacation days entirely.

N.Y. governor wants to slash funds: Seeking to close a $10 billion budget deficit, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing $8.9 billion in overall cuts, including school and Medicaid spending, while raising $340 million in revenue and $805 million in one-time actions.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Business • Economy
Woman called 'Jihad Jane' pleads guilty
Colleen LaRose was accused of plotting to wage violent jihad overseas.
February 1st, 2011
03:06 PM ET

Woman called 'Jihad Jane' pleads guilty

Colleen LaRose, a woman who authorities say called herself "Jihad Jane" on YouTube, has changed her mind about fighting government charges that she was plotting to wage violent jihad overseas. She pleaded guilty to all counts Tuesday at a federal change-of-plea hearing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

LaRose was indicted in 2009 on four counts, including conspiring to support terrorists and kill someone overseas. She was allegedly part of a plot to murder Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who outraged some by depicting the prophet Mohammed with the body of a dog in 2007.

Five other co-conspirators were allegedly involved, but never named by the government.

LaRose also is accused of lying to a federal agent and attempted identity theft.

Her lawyer, Mark Wilson, would not comment after Tuesday's hearing nor about whether his client has been cooperating with authorities in hopes of avoiding a potential life sentence.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Courts • Crime • Justice • Pennsylvania
Indian warship sunk during 'day at sea' for military families
Smoke rises from a ship inside the naval dockyard in Mumbai on Monday.
February 1st, 2011
02:54 PM ET

Indian warship sunk during 'day at sea' for military families

The heavily armed Indian navy frigate was equipped to do battle with enemy battleships and submarines, but it went up in flames as soon as it was hit … not by a torpedo or enemy vessel, mind you, but by a merchant ship.

The sinking of the INS Vindhyagiri, a 3,000-ton warship, marked the worst-ever peacetime loss for the Indian navy, Indian Express reported, adding that it’s also pretty embarrassing.

The warship was returning from a “day at sea” for families of sailors and officers and was entering the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust off the coast of Mumbai on Sunday afternoon, the website said.

Video taken by a passenger aboard the INS Vindhyagiri caught the collision as it unfolded. Those aboard the navy ship can be seen scurrying nervously as the merchant vessel approaches the frigate.

FULL POST

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Filed under: India • Military
50 people in 50 days: Family of four vanishes
The McStay family's vehicle was found near the Mexican border.
February 1st, 2011
02:18 PM ET

50 people in 50 days: Family of four vanishes

Editor's note: Nancy Grace's new show on HLN, "Nancy Grace: America's Missing," is dedicated to finding 50 people in 50 days. As part of the effort, which relies heavily on audience participation, CNN.com's news blog This Just In will feature the stories of the missing.

This is the 12th case, and it will air at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday on HLN.

How does a family of four simply vanish? Joseph McStay, his wife and two little boys have not been heard from since February 4, 2010.

On February 8, the family vehicle (a white Isuzu Trooper) was found in a parking lot in San Ysidro, California, on the Mexican border. The children's car seats were still in the car.

On February 15, McStay's brother asked police to conduct a welfare check at the family's home. When deputies entered the home they found two dogs home alone without care and it didn't appear as if the family left on a planned trip. Belongings that would have been essential for a vacation were left behind along with perishable items on the counter. It became clear to friends and family that something was amiss.

Almost a year later, the McStays are still missing.


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Filed under: TV-Nancy Grace
Gotta Watch: Whoopie pie dispute; candy caper; extreme skiing
The whoopie pie may become Maine's state dessert.
February 1st, 2011
11:38 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Whoopie pie dispute; candy caper; extreme skiing

Whoopie vs. blueberry – While the debate over a state dessert seems ridiculous enough, what's more is how seriously these lawmakers in Maine are taking this issue.

FULL POST

February 1st, 2011
11:28 AM ET

After mass dog slaughter, stressed man files workers' comp

An employee of Canada's Outdoor Adventures company admitted to slaughtering 100 sled dogs, according to a workers compensation report he later filed.

The employee - whose name authorities have not yet released - worked as a general manager of Howling Dogs tour company in Whistler, British Columbia. He claimed he was suffering from post-traumatic stress after carrying out company orders to kill the dogs, the report said.

A company with the same name, Howling Dogs Tours in Canmore, Alberta, has no connection with this case.

The man cited "a slow winter season" that compelled him to decrease the size of the company's dog pack by 30 percent, the report said.

The slaughter took place over the course of two days in April 2010, when he allegedly shot and knifed the animals before dumping them into a mass grave, including at least one dog that was later found alive, the report said.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Animals • Canada • Dogs • Sports
U.S. student opts to stay in Egypt
A man shouts slogans during Tuesday's protest at Cairo's Tahrir Square.
February 1st, 2011
11:17 AM ET

U.S. student opts to stay in Egypt

Thousands of American tourists and residents are fleeing Cairo, taking State Department-chartered flights sent to ferry American citizens out of the escalating crisis zone. But amid the chaos, one young American woman has decided to stay and document the uprising from the frontlines.

Lauren Bohn, a 23-year-old Fulbright Fellow studying Arabic and journalism at American University in Cairo, told CNN's "American Morning" on Tuesday what she is seeing on the ground and what prompted her to remain in Cairo.

"I've been caught in some tear gas and bumped around a few times, but, if anything, the people here on the ground are very protective of foreigners," Bohn says.

"It's been essentially a media blackstorm," Bohn said about reports of media outages in Cairo. "I was able to tweet yesterday for about an hour. I found internet. I can't tell you where I found it, but I was able to upload some video and people have been able to call me on my cell phone, on my Blackberry."

Bohn said although she's been unable to make outgoing international calls, she can receive them. "It's been completely demobilizing, and, of course, that's the whole point," she said.

She said she has not felt any danger or hostility toward Americans from demonstrators.

"They're embracing me on the ground and embracing people on the ground," Bohn said.

"They want to make sure that the U.S. government is hearing them."

What a judge's ruling means for Obama's health care law
February 1st, 2011
10:37 AM ET

What a judge's ruling means for Obama's health care law

A federal judge in Florida has tossed out the sweeping health care reform law championed by President Barack Obama, setting up what is likely to be a contentious Supreme Court challenge over the legislation in coming months. Monday's sweeping ruling came in the most closely watched of the two dozen separate challenges to the law. Florida, along with 25 other states, had filed a lawsuit last spring, seeking to dismiss a law critics had labeled "Obamacare."

Unlike the judge who ruled the individual mandate unconstitutional last month, the federal judge in Florida, U.S. District Judge Robert Vinson, ruled that the unconstitutionality voided the entire act.

So what does this mean for your health care coverage today?

Tuesday on "American Morning," CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin explained how the law stands today. He described what parts of the law the judge ruled unconstitutional, why it may be the most far-reaching ruling yet, and what happens next.


Filed under: TV-American Morning
Who are the Muslim Brotherhood?
Two Egyptian men hang out in Alexandria near a poster with a message against Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.
February 1st, 2011
10:23 AM ET

Who are the Muslim Brotherhood?

The scenes in Egypt have been dramatic, as thousands turn out onto the streets demanding that President Hosni Mubarak resign after 30 years in power. Few images have been more powerful than those of demonstrators dropping to the ground to pray in the face of security forces. And while some have been inspired by the role of religious faith in the protests, there are definite worries that the banned Muslim Brotherhood is waiting in the wings, hoping for a chance to take over.

The Muslim Brotherhood has been part of the political scene in Egypt for more than 80 years and advocates a move away from secularism and a return to the rules of the Quran. It's the oldest and largest opposition group in Egypt and is illegal under Egyptian law. And while the Brotherhood officially rejects the use of violent means to secure its goals, offshoots of the group have been linked to attacks in the past.

CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank has met with top leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. Today on "American Morning," he gave his analysis on the Muslim Brotherhood's current role in Egypt. Cruickshank explains to AM's TJ Holmes why many are concerned about their influence and how their role in Egypt affects al Qaeda.

Learn more about the Muslim Brotherhood.


Filed under: TV-American Morning
Massive winter storm: Chicago socked by blizzard; millions could be affected
Snow falls on the Cloud Gate sculpture in Chicago's Millennium Park.
February 1st, 2011
09:44 AM ET

Massive winter storm: Chicago socked by blizzard; millions could be affected

A massive snowstorm is raging across the U.S. heartland. The weather will affect areas from New England to New Mexico, and travelers should brace for as many as four days of serious storm conditions, said CNN meteorologist Rob Marciano. Travel will probably be difficult if not impossible in many areas, the National Weather Service warns.

Share your snow images with CNN iReport. Follow @CNNTravel on Twitter for the latest updates.

[Update 11 p.m. ET]  Blizzard warnings were up Tuesday night in eight states - from Kansas to Ohio. The storm system formed an arc that was centered in the Great Lakes region and stretched from northeastern Kansas in the west to the edge of Chesapeake Bay in the east. The stem of the storm brought needed rain to much of the Southeast, but unwelcome ice and hard freeze warnings in other places, as far south as Corpus Christi, Texas. Parts of the Florida Panhandle, southwestern Georgia and southeastern Alabama were under tornado watches.

[Update 10:20 p.m. ET] At Chicago's Wrigley Field, a panel of the roof above the press box was damaged by the extreme winds accompanying Tuesday night's blizzard, said Peter Chase, Chicago Cubs media relations director. Part of the fiber board panel broke away, and the Cubs are working with the city to ensure there aren't any public safety issues. Police have roped off various streets and sidewalks as a precaution. 

[Update 10 p.m. ET] Lake Shore Drive in downtown Chicago is shut down due to blizzard conditions, according to the Chicago Police Department. Get details from CNN affiliate WLS.

[Update 8 p.m. ET] The National Weather Service forecasts and advisories through Wednesday night read like the Abominable Snow Monster's Christmas list: Up to 14 inches of snow in South Bend, Indiana, with winds up to 30 mph; gusts of up to 38 mph in Saginaw, Michigan, with wind chills of 10 below zero the next two nights; as much as 13 inches of new snow in Berlin, New Hampshire, by Wednesday night; hard freeze warnings in Houston and Galveston, Texas. In Illinois, all major thoroughfares from I-70 and further north were covered with - or had patches of - ice and snow, according to the state Department of Transportation.

[Update 7 p.m. ET] Quincy, Massachusetts, a Boston suburb of 92,000 residents, budgeted $750,000 for snow removal this fiscal year. Before this week’s storm it had already spent double that amount, and the city expects it’ll triple its original allotment by the end of the week.   “Snow, you don’t skimp on. You have to do it,” said Chris Walker, director of policy and information for the city. 

[Update 5:15 p.m. ET] In Ohio's Miami Valley, freezing rain led to power outages, with about 200 reported before 4 p.m., Dayton Power and Light told CNN affiliate WHIO-TV. With winds forecast to pick up in the evening, the utility was preparing for more. The massive storm was forecast to spawn snow, ice and bitter cold from New Mexico to Maine. Forecasters said as many as 100 million people in the United States will feel its effects.

[Update 4:15 p.m. ET]  More than 1,300 flights were canceled at the O'Hare airport in Chicago on Tuesday. Few flights, if any, are expected to operate out of the airport on Wednesday, said Karen Pride, a spokeswoman for the Chicago Department of Aviation. United Airlines, Continental Airlines and American Airlines are suspending operations at the airport after 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

[Update 2:50 p.m. ET] Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe has declared a State of Emergency as winter storms hit.

[Update 2:30 p.m. ET] A large tent that was scheduled to shelter partiers Friday and Saturday at Super Bowl XLV has collapsed under the weight of ice and snow, CNN affiliates are reporting.

[Update 2:20 p.m. ET] An ice storm warning was issued in Indianapolis. Roads will become impassable, and widespread, long-duration power outages are likely, officials said.

[Update 2 p.m. ET] The Tulsa, Oklahoma, National Weather Service Forecast Office recorded 12.3 inches of snow accumulation as of noon Central time on Tuesday. That makes this week's storm the largest in Tulsa's history. The largest snow storm occurred in March of 1994 when 12.9 inches of snow fell on the city. Moderate to heavy snow is still falling.

[Update 1:30 p.m. ET] The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety reports numerous vehicles stranded on the Will Rogers Turnpike in northeastern Oklahoma. The National Guard is rescuing people that are stranded in their vehicles on the turnpike, the department said. The turnpike is closed to all traffic.

[Update 1:15 p.m. ET] Dozens of flights for Wednesday are already canceled at Kansas City International Airport. Ice and snow is sweeping across the Plains.

Watch how 100 million people could be affected by the storm.

[Update 12:25 p.m. ET] A partial roof collapse at Hard Rock Casino has occurred near Tulsa, Oklahoma. No injuries have been reported.

– In Northwest Ohio, Interstate 75 is closed due to ice and wrecks.

– The roof of a lumber company has reportedly collapsed in Grand Haven, Michigan.

[Update 11:55 a.m. ET] Chicago is expected to get two feet of snow in the next 24 hours, according to the Chicago Tribune - that's more dire than what was reported earlier Tuesday. The National Weather Service is describing the storm as "potentially life-threatening" for people who venture outdoors. Winds in and near the city could gust up to 60 mph, the NWS says. Power outages are likely. Hundreds of flights at O'Hare airport have been reportedly canceled. The Chicago Weather Center is tracking.

– Several roads and highways in Oklahoma are closed, KOTV reports.

[Update 11:30 a.m. ET] Dallas Fort Worth International Airport has reopened one runway, according to airport spokesman David Magana. The airport has a total of seven runways. It was closed Tuesday at 9:15 a.m. due to ice. Magana says DFW officials are expecting 400 to 500 flight cancellations today. Normal air traffic for DFW is 800 daily flights.

– Wind chills in Omaha, Nebraska, are expected to reach -25 degrees overnight with actual highs only in the single digits on Wednesday, KETV reports.

[Update 11:10 a.m. ET] Detroit officials are saying it could be the worst snow storm to strike since 2005 when 12.2 inches fell. Seven to 12 inches of snow is expected to fall across metro Detroit late Tuesday night and into Wednesday.  The record is 24.5 inches set April 6, 1886. For a comprehensive look at conditions, click here.

– Four states are under a state of emergency and have called in the National Guard. They are  Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas and Illinois.

[10:55 a.m. ET] Four thousand flights have been canceled due to the bad weather. Eight states have active blizzard warnings. In Oklahoma, snow is falling at 2 to 3 inches per hour.

[10:47 a.m. ET] Dallas Cowboys stadium sacked with snow. Road conditions in Dallas are terrible in these few days left before Super Bowl XLV happens at the stadium in Arlington.

[10:40 a.m. ET] Tornado warnings issued for parts of Louisiana.

[Update 10:10 a.m. ET] Sleet is coming down in St. Louis where ice already coats trees, CNN's Reynolds Wolf reports from the Missouri city. Subzero temperatures are expected across the Plains.

New Yorkers are preparing for snow as mounds already piled on Long Island.

– In Mattapan, Massachusetts, transit authorities tried to clear snow.

– Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has activated the state's emergency operations center.

[9:25 a.m. ET] Ice has closed Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and at least 300 outbound flights were canceled, spokesman David Magana said. Meanwhile, Dallas' Love Field is down to one open runway, according to the FAA.

– Blizzard conditions expected across portions of eight states, from Oklahoma to Michigan. Winds gusting up to 40 mph are predicted.

– Oklahoma is under a state of emergency, and Missouri has mobilized 600 National Guard troops to help cope with the storm.

– Chicago is going to get hit hard, forecasters said. Combined snow totals through Wednesday may exceed a foot and a half across much of northern Illinois and far northwest Indiana, according to the National Weather Service.

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Filed under: Weather • Winter weather
Tuesday's live video events
February 1st, 2011
07:34 AM ET

Tuesday's live video events

Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of the crisis in Egypt.

Today's programming highlights...

10:00 am ET - Iraq transition hearing - The Senate Foreign Relations Committee takes a closer look at the future of the U.S. mission in Iraq.

FULL POST


Filed under: On CNN.com today