June 18th, 2011
09:30 PM ET

E Street saxophonist Clarence Clemons dies

[Updated at 10:30 p.m ET] Legendary rock saxophonist Clarence Clemons died Saturday of complications from a stroke, bandmate Bruce Springsteen said. He was 69.

Clemons had played sax in Springsteen's E Street Band off and on since 1972.

"Clarence lived a wonderful life. He carried within him a love of people that made them love him. He created a wondrous and extended family. He loved the saxophone, loved our fans and gave everything he had every night he stepped on stage," Springsteen said in a statement.

"His loss is immeasurable and we are honored and thankful to have known him and had the opportunity to stand beside him for nearly 40 years. He was my great friend, my partner and with Clarence at my side, my band and I were able to tell a story far deeper than those simply contained in our music. His life, his memory, and his love will live on in that story and in our band."

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Filed under: Music
June 18th, 2011
05:06 PM ET

Sources: Pakistan knew about increased U.S. activity in Abbottabad

Pakistan was aware of increased U.S. intelligence activity in the country weeks before the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May, an Arab diplomat with direct knowledge of the events and a senior Pakistani official told CNN Saturday.

The two sources offered slightly different versions of who knew what, when.

The diplomat, who wished to remain anonymous because he is not authorized to speak publicly, said Pakistan knew about the heightened intelligence activity, specifically in the city of Abbottabad, but "never, never had any idea the operation was about bin Laden." The diplomat was approached privately by a Pakistani to inquire about heightened U.S. intelligence-gathering activities. He said it was assumed Pakistan was asking all Arab allies.

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Filed under: Osama bin Laden • Pakistan • U.S.
Kissers explain famous riot photo
June 18th, 2011
11:20 AM ET

Kissers explain famous riot photo

[Update 8:45 a.m. Saturday] Canada's most famous lovebirds have come forward to explain the kiss photo that made them famous.

Australian Scott Jones and his girlfriend, Alexandra Thomas of Vancouver, British Columbia, told the Canadian network CBC that they were not making out in the street during the Vancouver hockey riot as it appeared in the widely circulated photo by Getty Images photographer Rich Lam.

The two were trying to find a way out of the turbulent downtown area when they were overrun by a phalanx of riot police, they said.

"They started charging at us, and we tried to run away, but Alex couldn't," Jones explained.

"I just tripped up," Thomas interjected. "I'm not sure, but I was starting to get really frightened because I'd never experienced anything like that before. And it's really scary, you know? ... I was upset, and he was there to make sure that I got out OK."

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Filed under: Art • Australia • Canada • Crime • Hockey • Protest
First female boss at Parris Island
Recruits are put through their paces in early 2007 at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in South Carolina.
June 18th, 2011
11:13 AM ET

First female boss at Parris Island

Parris Island, the South Carolina military installation that has trained thousands of young Marines, has its first female commander.

Brig. Gen. Lori Reynolds took over at a change-of-command ceremony Friday at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island.

"It's not about male or female, it's about highly qualified officers," Capt. Bernadette Newman told CNN Savannah affiliate WSAV. "The Marine Corps gets it right. It's a performance-based society, and if you look at General Reynolds' bio, she has more than enough experience to add value to this, so it is exciting."

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Filed under: Marines • Military
Anthony defense threatened with contempt
The judge in the Casey Anthony murder trial threatened to charge defense attorney Jose Baez, above, with contempt for calling a surprise witness.
June 18th, 2011
10:54 AM ET

Anthony defense threatened with contempt

The judge in the Casey Anthony murder trial ordered a defense witness off the stand Saturday and threatened attorney Jose Baez with contempt proceedings for failing to tell prosecutors about the witness' planned testimony.

Forensic anthropologist William Rodriguez told Judge Belvin Perry after the jury had been excused that he was preparing to tell jurors that no conclusions can be drawn from duct tape found near 2-year-old Caylee Anthony's body because of decomposition and movement of the bones by animals.

Rodriguez also said he planned to testify that a video prepared by a prosecution expert superimposing Caylee's living face with a picture of her skull and the outline of a piece of duct tape was an "unheard of" application of technology meant only to provide initial identifications of remains.

Rodriguez' opinions are critical rebuttals of the prosecution's theory that duct tape found clinging to the girl's remains was essentially the murder weapon, used to cover her mouth and nose after her mother knocked her unconscious with chloroform.

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Filed under: Casey Anthony • Crime
Syrian forces enter village near Turkish border, sources say
A Syrian refugee waves his nation's flag Saturday at a camp in Turkey.
June 18th, 2011
09:24 AM ET

Syrian forces enter village near Turkish border, sources say

Syrian security forces determined to quell a three-month uprising stormed the northern village of Badama, near the Turkish border, a witness and an activist said Saturday.

Units entered the village equipped with at least six tanks, 21 armed personnel carriers, 10 security buses and randomly fired at houses, the Syrian activist said, adding that security forces also closed the road to the village of Khirbet Aljooz.

Jameel Saib, an eyewitness near the Turkish border, told CNN people that displaced Syrians trying to enter Badama to get bread and supplies saw the Syrian forces close roads leading to the border.

If Badama is taken, Syrian refugees who want to escape the violence in their country will have no medicine or clean water, Saib said.

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Convicts testify in defense of Amanda Knox
Amanda Knox arrives for a court session Saturday in Perugia, Italy.
June 18th, 2011
09:17 AM ET

Convicts testify in defense of Amanda Knox

An Italian inmate on Saturday testified that a fellow prisoner confessed that Amanda Knox, the American student convicted of murder in Italy, was not actually involved in the killing.

Knox was sentenced last year to 26 years in prison for the death of Meredith Kercher at a villa the two shared in Perugia, the central Italian town where both were students.

Knox has vehemently proclaimed her innocence and her family has continued to fight the conviction.

There was nearly two hours of legal wrangling between attorneys before the judge decided to allow inmate Mario Alessi to testify. Alessi is serving a 30-year sentence for kidnapping and killing a 18-month old boy.

Alessi testified that Rudy Guede, who has also been convicted of being involved in Kercher's murder and is serving a 16-year sentence, told him that Knox was not involved in the killing.

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Filed under: Amanda Knox • Crime • Italy
June 18th, 2011
09:10 AM ET

Focus turns to cause, impact of Arizona fire near Mexican border

As some eastern Arizona residents began heading home Saturday after a massive wildfire, the attention turned to another blaze on the Mexican border that has burned more than 20,000 acres.

Gordon Van Vleet, a spokesman for the Joint Information Center, said that no cause has been determined for the so-called Monument fire, which has spread across the Huachuca Mountains.

"The cause of the fire is still under investigation," said Van Vleet, adding that authorities likely won't state a cause until the blaze is more under control.

But in a press conference, Sen. John McCain blamed illegal immigrants for starting unspecified fires in that area.

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Filed under: Arizona • Fire • John McCain