Libya civil war live blog: Libya calls for international observers to verify cease-fire
People celebrate after the United Nations approved a no fly zone over Libya, leading to a cease-fire. But reports indicate that violence is ongoing.
March 18th, 2011
09:22 PM ET

Libya civil war live blog: Libya calls for international observers to verify cease-fire

The latest developments on the situation in Libya, where the government declared a cease-fire Friday after the United Nations voted to impose a no-fly zone in response to weeks of bloody clashes between forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi and rebels. Read our complete story and check out our full coverage on unrest in the Arab world.

[9:22 p.m. ET, 3:22 a.m. in Libya] Forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi are honoring a cease-fire and are not fighting a militia group that is making advances in the eastern part of the country, according to a government official. Rebel forces are advancing on the town of al-Migrun, south of the rebel stronghold Benghazi, said Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim.

[7:45 p.m. ET, 1:45 a.m. in Libya] Several nations laid out their military intentions on Friday regarding Libya:

- Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said his country is sending CF-18 fighter jets to join a Canadian warship on standby off the coast of Libya.

- French government spokesman Francois Baroin said France plans to participate in "swift" efforts against the Gadhafi regime.

- President Nicolas Sarkozy will convene a summit Saturday to examine the crisis. Members of the Arab League, the president of the European Council and representatives of states supporting implementation of the U.N. resolution have all been invited.

- British Prime Minister David Cameron said the United Kingdom has started preparations to deploy aircraft, and "in the coming hours" they will move to air bases where they will be positioned for any "necessary action."

- Spain will offer NATO the use of two military bases and provide air and naval forces for use in operations involving Libya, Spanish Defense Minister Carme Chacon said Friday in Madrid.

[7:15 p.m. ET, 1:15 a.m. in Libya] President Obama is trying to limit the United States' role in enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya to support aircraft only and is very reluctant to commit any offensive U.S. firepower, a senior U.S. official familiar with the military planning discussions said Friday.

"We will provide the unique capabilities that we can bring to bear to stop the violence against civilians, including enabling our European allies and Arab partners to effectively enforce a no-fly zone," the president said in a nationally televised statement about U.S. military action.

"The president chose his words deliberately and carefully, and you should be guided by them," the official said. "He is very sensitive that this not be a U.S. operation. We are part of it. And of course, we by nature of our superior capabilities have a lead and leadership role to play. But we are part of it and expect a lot from our partners," the official said.

[6:30 p.m. ET, 12:30 a.m. in Libya] Deadly conflict is raging in Libya, witnesses say, despite the government announcement of an "immediate" cease-fire after a U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing the use of force to protect civilians. At least 28 people died and hundreds were wounded as fighting raged in the Libyan cities of Mistrata, Ajdabiya and Zintan on Friday, according to Khaled el-Sayeh, military spokesman for the opposition.

[6:30 p.m. ET, 12:30 p.m. in Libya] A resolution permitting "all necessary measures" to protect Libyan civilians does not preclude the United States from arming rebels, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said Friday.

Ambassador Susan Rice told CNN's "Situation Room" that the "U.S. is ready to act" and that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi "should be under no illusions that if he doesn't act immediately he will face swift and sure consequences, including military action."

President Barack Obama warned Gadhafi to adhere to a cease-fire and pull back from several besieged cities or face military consequences. Rice said the immediate focus is protecting civilians.

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50 people in 50 days: Woman on vacation last seen at nightclub
Stepha Henry Henry was visiting an aunt in South Florida over Memorial Day weekend 2007 when she disappeared.
March 18th, 2011
09:20 PM ET

50 people in 50 days: Woman on vacation last seen at nightclub

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 45th case, and it was shown Friday at 9 p.m. on HLN.

Stepha Henry, 22, disappeared after going to a party at a nightclub in Sunrise, Florida.

Henry and her teenage sister were visiting an aunt in South Florida over Memorial Day weekend in 2007. Her aunt said she left her apartment about 1 a.m. to go to a club called Peppers Cafe. The aunt said she saw her get into a car driven by a family acquaintance, Kendrick Williams.

Initially, Williams told investigators he had left the club early and that Henry had decided to stay. She has not been seen since. But a forensic analysis of his car revealed substantial evidence that detectives were able to conclusively link to Henry, police said.

Williams was charged with Henry's murder, but her body has not been found.

Tsunami victims ponder their future
Chiba Kayuma's home in the small Japanese coastal community of Ushiami was destroyed by the tsunami.
March 18th, 2011
07:50 PM ET

Tsunami victims ponder their future

The race to avert a nuclear disaster at Japan’s damaged nuclear plant reactors is far from Chiba Kayuma's mind. The 62-year-old's primary concern is figuring out where he will live.

The house he built more than 30 years ago was in the path of the tsunami that tore a path of destruction through Ushiami and dozens of other coastal communities like it in northeast Japan.

Kayuma's rubber boots are caked in mud as he sifts through what's left of his home.

"I just looked at everything and thought what am I going to do next, what is going to happen," Kayuma said.

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Filed under: 2011 tsunami • Japan
March 18th, 2011
05:06 PM ET

Libya calls for observers from China, Malta, to confirm cease-fire

Libya's deputy foreign minister on Friday called for observers from China, Malta, Turkey and Germany "to come to Libya as soon as possible... to make sure that there is a real cease-fire on the ground."

Khaled Kaim also noted that the "door is open for any other countries to send observers."

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March 18th, 2011
04:58 PM ET

Wisconsin judge halts state budget law curbing unions' power

A Wisconsin judge issued a temporary restraining order Friday halting the state's controversial budget repair law that curbs the union power of most public employees, the Dane County district attorney's office said.

Gov. Scott Walker, who championed the measure and signed it into law last week, said he was confident the initiative would eventually prevail in the court system, a spokeswoman said.

"This legislation is still working through the legal process. We are confident the provisions of the budget repair bill will become law in the near future," Cullen Werwie, the governor's press secretary, said in a statement.

Wisconsin Senate Democrats called the law, which reduces the collective bargaining rights of most state employees, an attack on workers and filed a complaint with the Dane County district attorney, claiming that the Senate's Republican-led vote violated Wisconsin's open meetings law.

The ruling by Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi came in response to a lawsuit filed by District Attorney Ismael Ozanne, charging such a violation of the law.

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Filed under: Budget • Labor • Wisconsin
Four Navy officers get letters of censure over lewd video
March 18th, 2011
03:18 PM ET

Four Navy officers get letters of censure over lewd video

The secretary of the Navy has issued letters of censure to Capt. Owen Honors and three other officers involved in the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise lewd video scandal, Navy spokesman Capt. Danny Hernandez said.

The letters effectively end the officers careers, as they will prevent promotion. The letters cannot be appealed.

Honors created the videos and was second-in-command on the Enterprise at the time. Others receiving censure were his successor, Capt. John Dixon, and former Enterprise commanders Rear Adm. Larry Rice and Rear Adm. Ron Horton.

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Obama lays out what he calls non-negotiable terms for Libya
President Barack Obama says Libya must pull its troops out of its cities and restore utilities.
March 18th, 2011
02:37 PM ET

Obama lays out what he calls non-negotiable terms for Libya

President Barack Obama said Friday that "left unchecked, we have every reason to believe Gadhafi (will) commit atrocities against his own people" and the surrounding region could be destabilized.

"The democratic values that we stand for would be overrun" and the "words of the international community would be rendered hollow," the president said.

The focus of the United Nations is on protecting innocent civilians and holding Moammar Gadhafi accountable, Obama said.

A cease-fire must be implemented immediately, and Gadhafi's troops must be pulled back from several cities, he said.  Power and water must be restored to those cities, he declared.

"These terms are not negotiable," Obama said.

If Gadhafi doesn't comply, the U.N. resolution will be imposed through military action. The United States will work as part of an international coalition, Obama said, but American troops will not be deployed in Libya.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Human rights • Libya • Politics • Protest • World
SI.com: Madness!, Tressel's request, Bulls streak, Goodell reaches out
Delmonte Harper is mobbed by his teammates after hitting the game-winning shot to beat Louisville.
March 18th, 2011
11:49 AM ET

SI.com: Madness!, Tressel's request, Bulls streak, Goodell reaches out

The NCAA Tournament lived up to its “March Madness” moniker Thursday, particularly in the Mile High City.

Three double-digit seeds pulled off stunning upsets in Denver alone, highlighted by No. 13 Morehead State’s shocking 62-61 victory over Louisville, the biggest victory in the program’s history. Twelfth-seeded Richmond held off No. 5 Vanderbilt in the closing seconds and Gonzaga, a No. 11 seed, rocked sixth-seeded St. John’s.

As if that weren’t enough action, both Temple and Butler pulled off buzzer-beating victories to snag vintage March Madness wins on Day 1 of the tournament. No. 4 Kentucky avoided maybe the biggest upset of the day with a late pressure-packed bucket of its own to slip past Princeton.

Madness, I tell you.

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Filed under: Basketball • College basketball • Colorado • Illinois • Ohio • Sports
Sources: State of emergency declared in Yemen
Yemeni anti-government protesters mourn the deaths of their comrades, who were killed in clashes with security forces Friday in Sanaa.
March 18th, 2011
11:16 AM ET

Sources: State of emergency declared in Yemen

The president of Yemen announced Friday that a state of emergency has been declared in his country, according to two sources.

The declaration comes after at least 33 people were killed and more than 100 injured Friday in clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces in Yemen, medical officials said.

Yemen has been wracked by weeks of unrest, with thousands protesting the government of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

High unemployment has fueled much of the anger among a growing young population steeped in poverty. The protesters also cite government corruption and a lack of political freedom.

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Friday's intriguing people
Kelly Gneiting prepares to wrestle during the 2005 USA National Sumo Championship in North Bergen, New Jersey.
March 18th, 2011
10:55 AM ET

Friday's intriguing people

Kelly Gneiting

The 40-year-old sumo wrestler, who weighs 405 pounds and has a 60-inch waist, is training to run 26.2 miles in the Los Angeles Marathon on Sunday. Should he manage it, Guinness World Records is prepared to recognize him as the heaviest person ever to finish a marathon.

Gneiting took up sumo wrestling in the late 1990s and has won three U.S. championships. Running a marathon has been his goal since grade school, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times.

Gneiting lives on an Indian reservation in Arizona, the Times says, and has a master's degree in geography from the University of Idaho, according to a bio at nostringsattachedenews.com. His wife and five children live in Idaho.

"I honestly think I'm one of the best athletes in the world," he says.

FULL POST

Gotta Watch: Behind the scenes of the Reagan shooting
Ronald Reagan exits the Washington Hilton hotel moments before a gunman opens fire in 1981.
March 18th, 2011
10:34 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Behind the scenes of the Reagan shooting

Breaking news, 1981-style – It's hard to believe it's been 30 years this month since the failed assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan. CNN - less than a year on the air as the world's first 24-hour news network - sprang into breaking news mode to report initial details of the attack.

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March 18th, 2011
09:17 AM ET

Libya to release journalists, N.Y. Times reports

Four New York Times journalists missing in Libya have been captured by pro-government forces but will be released, the newspaper reported Friday.

The newspaper identified the journalists as Anthony Shadid, its bureau chief in Beirut, Lebanon, and a two-time Pulitzer winner for foreign reporting; Stephen Farrell, a reporter and videographer who was kidnapped by the Taliban and rescued by British commandos in 2009; and Tyler Hicks and Lynsey Addario, photographers who have covered the Middle East and Africa.

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Filed under: Libya • World
March 18th, 2011
08:52 AM ET

33 reported killed in Yemen protests

At least 33 people were killed and more than 100 injured Friday in clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces in Yemen, medical officials said.

Yemen has been wracked by weeks of unrest, with thousands protesting the government of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

High unemployment has fueled much of the anger among a growing young population steeped in poverty. The protesters also cite government corruption and a lack of political freedom.


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Friday's live video events
March 18th, 2011
07:35 AM ET

Friday's live video events

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

Today's programming highlights...

Ongoing coverage - Japan earthquake/tsunami aftermath

9:30 am ET - Japan nuclear crisis briefing - Experts brief reporters at the National Press Club in Washington on the implications of Japan's ongoing nuclear crisis.

FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama • Brazil • District of Columbia • Earthquake • Hillary Clinton • Japan • Natural Disasters • Nuclear • On CNN.com today • Politics • Tsunami • U.S. • World