Services for George McGovern set for Friday
October 21st, 2012
08:38 PM ET

Services for George McGovern set for Friday

Funeral services for George McGovern will be held Friday in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, his family said.

McGovern, a staunch liberal who served South Dakota in the U.S. Senate and House for more than two decades and who ran unsuccessfully as the Democratic Party nominee for president in 1972, died Sunday. He was 90.

Opinion: George McGovern was ahead of his time

Friday services will take place at the Mary Sommervold Hall at the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science. A public viewing will be held Thursday at the First United Methodist Church, also in Sioux Falls.

McGovern will be buried at a later date in Washington at the Rock Creek Cemetery.

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Filed under: Politics • South Dakota • U.S.
October 21st, 2012
06:47 PM ET

55 hurt after floor of Florida building collapses

The crowded second floor of a Tallahassee, Florida, apartment building collapsed early Sunday - sending scores of people plummeting and, ultimately, 55 to area hospitals - city authorities said.

None of the injuries suffered in the collapse at the Seminole Grand Apartments are considered life-threatening, according to a release on the Tallahassee city government's website.

Witnesses reported an "unusually large crowd" in the two-story, wood frame building before the city fire department got a call at 1:27 a.m. about the collapse.

Using a ladder truck, firefighters rescued seven people after they became stuck in a second-story bedroom and could not access the stairwell, the city said. No one was trapped under the collapsed floor, and the first floor did not contain any apartments.

The building opened for occupancy in December 1995, according to the city. The cause of the collapse - which early estimates suggest caused $250,000 in damage - is under investigation.

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Filed under: Florida • Rescues
October 21st, 2012
01:28 PM ET

Four dead in Wisconsin salon shooting, including gunman

[Updated 6:10 p.m.] Suspected shooter Radcliffe Haughton has been found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, Brookfield police Chief Daniel Tushaus said. He was found inside the salon where the shooting occurred.

[Updated 5:38 p.m.] Froedtert Hospital - the Milwaukee medical facility where four shooting victims are being treated - has "resumed normal operations" after earlier being placed in lockdown mode, the hospital said on its website.

"We are certain that our environment is safe," the hospital said in an update published at 4:25 p.m. CT.

[Updated 5:20 p.m.] President Barack Obama learned of the shooting around 12:30 p.m. CT from homeland security adviser John Brennan and then had a follow-up call an hour later involving, among others, FBI Director Bob Mueller, a White House statement said.

"The president was informed that the shooting did not appear to be terrorism-related," the statement said.

Earlier, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker offered '"our thoughts and prayers to the victims" and "the law enforcement and community support they need to heal in the coming days."

[Updated 4:56 p.m.] Authorities working to clear the building where Sunday's bloody shooting took place "believe we have identified what is being described as an improvised explosive device," Brookfield police Chief Daniel Tushaus said.

The device is "hampering our clearing of that building," the chief added.

[Updated 4:41 p.m.] Authorities "believe" three of the seven people shot Sunday have died, according to Tushaus.

The shooting took place around 11 a.m. CT (noon ET), the chief explained.

Authorities have been able to track down a 2003 Mazda Protege linked to the suspect - which was found outside the city of Brookfield - but the suspect remains at large. He's been identified as Radcliffe Haughton, who Tushaus said weighs 270 pounds and stands just over 6 feet tall.

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Filed under: U.S. • Wisconsin
October 21st, 2012
01:04 PM ET

Train derails; passengers injured

Approximately 12 passengers are being treated for injuries after an Amtrak train derailed near Niles, Michigan this morning, Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said.

None of the injuries is serious, he said.

Train no. 350, eastbound from Chicago, was headed to Pontiac, Michigan.  At about 9:10 a.m., it lost contact with tracks but remained upright.

Some of the injured were treated at the scene; others were treated at a nearby hospital, Magliari said.

Passengers were being taken to another train to continue the trip.

The scene is under investigation, Magliari said.

The accident disrupted train service in western Michigan.

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Filed under: Michigan • U.S.
'Day of rage': Gunfire, tear gas in streets of Beirut
October 21st, 2012
09:37 AM ET

'Day of rage': Gunfire, tear gas in streets of Beirut

[Updated at 10:25 a.m.] Many protesters are calling for the Lebanese government to be dismissed.

Protesters are furious with Prime Minister Najib Mikati, a billionaire supported by Hezbollah.  Read more here.

[Updated at 10:11 a.m.] Former Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, on Lebanese TV, said he understands the feeling of anger, but that violence and attempts to enter the Serial - the government palace - are unacceptable.

[Updated at 9:52 a.m.] Much of the violence appears to have died down.  Video from the scene shows most protesters gathered in a square, chanting and waving flags.

The flags indicate many of the protesters are aligned with the March 14 movement,  the anti-Syrian regime coalition that emerged after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005. That movement was key in forcing the withdrawal of Syrian troops, which had long occupied neighboring Lebanon and pulled out months after Hariri was killed.

Some protesters accuse Syria of involvement in al-Hassan's assassination.  Syria condemned the blasts very quickly after they happened on Friday.

Read CNN's profile of Wissam al-Hassan here.

Lebanon's former Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri - Rafik al-Hariri's son - spoke to al-Jadeed TV, calling on supporters to stay away from the Serail, the government palace.

[Updated at 9:42 a.m.] Tear gas filled streets of Beirut and gunfire could be heard Sunday as furious protesters clashed with police.

Crowds of men - many of them covering their faces with cloths to avoid inhaling the tear gas - wielded sticks and waved flags.  Video showed at least one stick set on fire and tossed over a barrier.

Reports indicated the gunfire may have been authorities shooting into the air in hopes of breaking up the crowds.

Many of the protesters tried to reach the prime minister's office.

The violence came after some politicians had called for Sunday to be a "day of rage" in response to a bombing Friday.

That attack was the country's most high-profile assassination in more than seven years.

Soldiers had carried the flag-draped coffins of  intelligence chief Brig. Gen Wissam al-Hassan and his bodyguard through the streets of downtown Beirut.

Throngs of people had packed the city's central square for the ceremony Sunday.

Friday's attack - in broad daylight, at one of the capital's busiest intersections - left a crater more than a meter deep.

October 21st, 2012
09:06 AM ET

Lance Armstrong laments 'difficult few weeks'

Potentially on the verge of losing his most prized cycling medals, and already shedding sponsors who gave him enormous wealth, Lance Armstrong said Sunday it's been "an interesting and at times very difficult few weeks."

Speaking to participants in his cancer-fighting foundation's annual Ride for the Roses, Armstrong said, "People ask me a lot how are you doing.  And I tell them I've been better, but I've also been worse."

In his brief remarks to a crowd in Austin, Armstrong didn't mention the recent finding by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) of overwhelming evidence that Armstrong was involved as a professional cyclist in "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program."  Armstrong has denied the accusations for years and attacked those who said he took part in doping - including fellow cyclists.

He stepped down last week as chairman of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, but said he will continue to be involved.  Some of the foundation's donors are furious over the scandal, and want their money back.

"We will not be deterred," Armstrong said Friday night at the organization's 15th anniversary celebration in Austin, Texas.  "We will move forward."

The USADA has called for Armstrong to lose his seven Tour de France titles.  The International Cycling Union, which has the authority to strip him of those titles, plans to respond Monday.

See also:

With Armstrong's disgrace, will anything change?

Livestrong donors want money back

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Filed under: Cycling • Lance Armstrong • Sports • Texas • U.S.
October 21st, 2012
07:41 AM ET

George McGovern dead at 90

George Stanley McGovern, a staunch liberal who served South Dakota in the U.S. Senate and House for more than two decades and who ran unsuccessfully as the Democratic Party nominee for president in 1972, died Sunday at the age of 90, his family said.

"Our wonderful father, George McGovern, passed away peacefully at the Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls, SD, surrounded by our family and life-long friends," his family said in a statement.

The son of a Wesley Methodist minister, McGovern was born in Avon, South Dakota, on July 19, 1922.

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Filed under: Politics • South Dakota • U.S.
October 21st, 2012
05:02 AM ET

Today's developments in Syria's civil war

[Updated at 11:38 a.m.] At least 58 people have been killed in Syria so far Sunday, including six children and five women, according to the opposition Local Coordination Committees (LCC) of Syria.  Thirty-six of the deaths were in Damascus and its suburbs.

On state-run media, Syria said its military "repelled several infiltration attempts by armed terrorist groups trying to cross the border from Lebanon" into Homs.

Syrian forces also "continued cleansing neighborhoods in Aleppo and its countryside of terrorists," the state-run news agency SANA reported.  And an explosive device in a Damascus suburb injured some bystanders, the SANA report said, again blaming terrorists.

[Updated at 5:54 a.m.] After three days of fluctuating tolls, the fatality count from the Friday blast in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, has been established. It is three, said Lebanon's National News Agency. They are:  Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan; First Sg. Ahmad Sahyouni, and a bystander.

[Updated at 5:14 a.m.] Lebanon's Prime Minister Najib Mikati said Sunday that the investigating judge into the assassination of the country's intelligence chief, Brig. Gen Wissam al-Hassan, had requested surveillance data and phone signals, and that the government has approved it.

Al-Hassan was killed along with at least nine others in a car bombing in broad daylight Friday at one of Beirut's busiest intersections.  Accusations over who's responsible has homed in on the Syrian government.

Al-Hassan opposed al-Assad, and he was also leading an investigation into a Lebanese politician accused of working with two Syrian officials to plan attacks inside Lebanon.

[Updated at 5:04 a.m.] Syrian state TV is now reporting that the death toll from the car bombing is 10.

[Posted at 5:02 a.m.] A car bomb went off in the Syrian capital of Damascus, killing several people Sunday, the country's state television reported. The report said the attack was carried out by "terrorists," the government's term for rebels.

Meanwhile, Lakhdar Brahimi, the special envoy to Syria, met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday. His aim: try and broker a cease-fire in Syria before the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, which begins Friday.

But if history repeats itself, the odds of a cease-fire between Syrian government forces and rebels are stacked against Brahimi.

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Filed under: Syria • Uncategorized • World
October 21st, 2012
04:13 AM ET

Cops find body in burned house of Inglewood shooting suspect

The tragic Inglewood shooting took another awful turn early Sunday morning when police said they found a body in the burned house of the suspect Desmond Moses.

Moses is wanted for opening fire on a family in Inglewood, California, before dawn Saturday.

The shooting spree killed a father who acted as a shield to protect his kids.

It also killed one of the children the man was trying to protect: a 4-year-old boy shot in the head.

Two other kids were wounded: a 6-year-old boy in the pelvis and a 7-year-old girl in the chest. Their mother was also wounded, shot in the legs.

Police are on the hunt for the gunman who lived in a house in the back of the property.

That house had been set afire, allegedly by the gunman. And it was in that residence that police found the body, which has not been identified.

Police did not release additional details of the latest find beyond this tweet

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Filed under: California • Crime • Justice • Los Angeles • U.S. • Uncategorized
October 21st, 2012
03:34 AM ET

Brahimi in Syria to broker cease-fire – but faces long odds

Will Lakhdar Brahimi succeed where his predecessor failed?

Brahimi, the special envoy to Syria, met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday. His aim: try and broker a cease-fire in Syria before the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, which begins Friday.

But if history repeats itself, the odds of a cease-fire between Syrian government forces and rebels are stacked against Brahimi.

The man he replaced, Kofi Annan, made numerous trips to Damascus but was unable to halt the incessant violence.

Opposition activists say more than 30,000 people have been killed since the Syrian crisis began in March 2011.

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Filed under: Syria • United Nations • World
October 21st, 2012
02:40 AM ET

Lebanese official, Syria critic to be buried Sunday

Lebanon's top intelligence official, Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan, will be buried Sunday alongside the grave of his mentor, former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

Al-Hassan, a critic of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's rule, was killed in a Beirut car bombing Friday. Some blame the attack on the Syrian government.

His death spurred fears that Syria's civil war could boil over into neighboring Lebanon.

Al-Hassan's funeral procession will begin at 1 p.m. (6 a.m. ET) Sunday. He will be buried in Martyrs' Square in Beirut.

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Filed under: Lebanon • Syria • World
October 21st, 2012
02:07 AM ET

Pope to name first Native American saint

Sunday is a big day for Catholics. Pope Benedict XVI will name 17th century Mohawk Kateri Tekakwitha the first Native American saint.

Another newly named saint is Marianne Cope, a German-born woman who emigrated to the United States as a child, became a nun and went on to devote 30 years of her life helping lepers in Hawaii.

Their canonization, along with those of five other saints, will be celebrated at a special Mass in St. Peter's Square Sunday morning.

 

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Filed under: Religion • Vatican • World
October 21st, 2012
01:34 AM ET

What's behind the instability in Mali?

Mali is a ticking time bomb.

Once hailed as a model of democracy in Africa, a coup and an uprising of Islamist militants in the north threatens to create an arc of instability for the continent.

The militants have destroyed ancient shrines, once a major draw for Islamic scholars from around the world. They have banned music.

Reports of human rights abuses grow daily. And international leaders are considering sending troops to Mali soon to reclaim a large portion of the north from extremists.

They're concerned that al Qaeda will capitalize on the chaos and set up a haven there.

Here's a helpful explainer on what spurred the unrest in the country known, among other things, for a world-famous music festival where the likes of Robert Plant and Bono have performed.

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Filed under: World