June 25th, 2011
09:41 PM ET

China releases rights activist

Chinese authorities have released activist Hu Jia, his wife posted Sunday on Twitter.

"On a sleepless night at 2:30, Hu Jia arrived at home. Safe, very happy. Needs to rest for a while. Thanks to each of you," Zeng Jinyan wrote in the tweet.

Hu had written a series of stories denouncing the human rights situation in China ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, the group Human Rights Watch said.

He also has been active on AIDS issues in China.

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Filed under: China • Human rights
Emergency declared in North Carolina as wildfires rage
More than 300 fire departments have been deployed against wildfires that have burned 70,000 acres in North Carolina.
June 25th, 2011
05:38 PM ET

Emergency declared in North Carolina as wildfires rage

North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue declared a state of emergency Saturday for 29 counties as crews battled wildfires that have consumed more than 70,000 acres.

“I want to assure residents of North Carolina that the state Division of Forest Resources and its partnering agencies are working hard to contain the fires in Eastern North Carolina,” Perdue said in a statement on her website.

The emergency order means North Carolina can receive aid from federal authorities as well as other states.

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Filed under: Fire • North Carolina
June 25th, 2011
05:05 PM ET

Libyan soccer players join the rebels

Seventeen prominent soccer players in Libya have defected to the rebels, opposition spokesmen said Saturday, in another setback to the county's embattled leadership.

They arrived in the rebel stronghold of Zintan in western Libya Saturday afternoon to cheering crowds that greeted them with celebratory gunfire and smiles. Players posed with locals and briefly batted a soccer ball between their heads.

"I am telling Colonel (Moammar) Gadhafi to leave us alone and allow us to create a free Libya," goalkeeper Juma Gtat told BBC News earlier in the town of Jadu.

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Filed under: Africa • Arab unrest: developments • Libya • War
Gotta Watch: Remembering Farrah Fawcett
June 25th, 2011
04:18 PM ET

Gotta Watch: Remembering Farrah Fawcett

On June 25th, 2009 Farrah Fawcett passed away at the age of 62 after battling cancer for several years. Best known for her role on "Charlie's Angels," Fawcett became a sex symbol when she posed for a now-iconic poster in a red bathing suit. The poster went on to become one of the best-selling posters of all time, solidifying her status as a pop culture icon. Here at Gotta Watch we looked back at the anniversary of her death with videos from those closest to her.

Remembering Farrah Fawcett - Farrah Fawcett passed on the morning of June 25th, 2009 at St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California after battling anal cancer since 2006.

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June 25th, 2011
01:37 PM ET

Suicide truck bomber targets Afghan hospital, kills 35

A suicide bomb attack targeting a hospital in eastern Afghanistan killed at least 35 people and wounded more than two dozen, a brazen strike that rocked a maternity ward and claimed the lives of numerous women and children.

The incident occurred Saturday in the Azra district of Logar province when a truck packed with explosives detonated, according to Sifatiullah Haqmal, a member of the provincial council.

The head of the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said "much of the damage was in the maternity ward of the hospital, and many of those killed and injured were women and children."

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Filed under: Afghanistan
June 25th, 2011
12:20 PM ET

Libya says NATO strikes kill 15 civilians

NATO airstrikes hit a bakery and a restaurant in the Libyan city of al-Brega Saturday, killing 15 civilians, a Libyan government official told CNN.

NATO denied the claim and said it had struck key command-and-control centers. The alliance said there was "no indication of civilian casualties in connection with these strikes."

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's forces have occupied buildings in an abandoned area of al-Brega from where they are launching attacks on civilians, a NATO statement said. The alliance monitored the buildings and said it determined them to be clear military targets.

"This continues to show Gadhafi's reprehensible tactics of placing military assets and operations at the heart of civilian neighborhoods," said Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard, NATO commander for the Libya campaign.

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Filed under: Libya
June 25th, 2011
12:18 PM ET

2 dead in Nevada truck-train crash

The site of a deadly truck-train collision east of Reno, Nevada, remained shut down Saturday as federal accident investigators examined the scene, a state trooper said.

Two people died in the accident Friday morning, Trooper Dan Lopez of the Nevada Highway Patrol confirmed Saturday.

It was unclear how many people were injured when a tractor-trailer slammed into a Chicago-to-California Amtrak passenger train at a railroad crossing near Lovelock, Nevada.

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Filed under: Nevada
Stranded penguin reported critically ill
This emperor penguin showed up Monday on a beach in New Zealand, almost 2,000 miles from home.
June 25th, 2011
11:37 AM ET

Stranded penguin reported critically ill

The lonely emperor penguin that showed up on a New Zealand beach last week is critically ill from eating sand and sticks, veterinarians told TVNZ.

The 60-pound flightless bird, nicknamed "Happy Feet" by the New Zealand media, has undergone two surgical procedures since being taken to the Wellington Zoo on Friday, TVNZ reported.

The penguin, the first of its kind seen in New Zealand in 44 years, had a 50-50 chance of surviving when it arrived at the zoo, spokeswoman Kate Baker told the New Zealand Herald.

Penguins will eat snow and ice to cool off, and that's what "Happy Feet" may have been trying to do, Colin Miskelly, terrestrial vertebrates curator at New Zealand's national museum, told TVNZ.

Conservation officials are reluctant to place "Happy Feet" with other penguins in a zoo or return it to the wild in Antarctica for fear of spreading disease, according to the Herald.

Mal Hackett, penguin keeper at the International Antarctic Centre in Christchurch, thinks the bird swam 2,000 miles from its Antarctic home because it was already sick, and she isn't optimistic about the outcome.

"I don't like his chances," she told the New Zealand Press Association. "It is a very long way from home and isn't going to return."

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Filed under: Animals • Birds • New Zealand
Gotta Watch: Day Michael Jackson died
Michael Jackson attends a press conference to announce plans for his "This Is It" tour.
June 25th, 2011
10:41 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Day Michael Jackson died

It's a day that music fans around the world will remember. On June 25, 2009, legendary pop icon Michael Jackson died. The 50-year-old "King of Pop" suffered cardiac arrest at his residence  and died hours later. There is no doubt Jackson had a profound influence on the music industry. His show-stopping dance moves and best-selling albums made him one of the most popular artists of all time. In honor of Michael Jackson's memory we at Gotta Watch put together some videos from the day Michael Jackson died.

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Filed under: California • Celebrity • Dance • Gotta Watch • Health • Los Angeles • Michael Jackson • Music
June 25th, 2011
09:57 AM ET

Anthony trial shut down till Monday

Citing an unspecified legal issue, Chief Judge Belvin Perry has ordered the Casey Anthony murder trial into recess until Monday. Perry's announcement follows nearly an hour of discussions in court and in his chambers among the judge and attorneys.

Follow CNN's coverage of the Casey Anthony trial
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Filed under: Casey Anthony • Courts • Crime • Florida