December 31st, 2012
03:11 PM ET

Obama says 'fiscal cliff' deal in sight

An agreement to avert the "fiscal cliff" of automatic tax increases and spending cuts appears to be "within sight," President Barack Obama said Monday.

The deal would prevent a tax increase for the overwhelming majority of Americans, extend the child tax and tuition credits for families as well as those for clean-energy companies and extend unemployment benefits for two million people, Obama said.

"There are still issues left to resolve, but we are hopeful Congress can get it done," Obama said.

Nevertheless, he did not sound hopeful a deal was imminent, saying he expected to remain at the White House for New Year's Eve while lawmakers used up every last second available to them.

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: Politics
Twitterverse explodes: Kim Kardashian is pregnant!
Rapper Kayne West announced Kim Kardashian's pregnancy during a concert Sunday in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
December 31st, 2012
11:28 AM ET

Twitterverse explodes: Kim Kardashian is pregnant!

[Update at 11:27 a.m.] Kim Kardashian formally announced the news herself in a post on her website Monday: "It’s true!! Kanye and I are expecting a baby. We feel so blessed and lucky and wish that in addition to both of our families, his mom and my dad could be here to celebrate this special time with us. Looking forward to great new beginnings in 2013 and to starting a family. Happy New Year!!! Xo"

The Twitterverse exploded early this morning after everyone‚Äôs favorite bad boy rapper Kanye West announced that his girlfriend ‚Äď the famous-for-being-famous Kim Kardashian ¬†- was pregnant.

A spokesman for Kardashian then confirmed the news to CNN, but provided no other detail other than to say that West announced it at a show Sunday in Atlantic City in New Jersey.

The two have been dating for about eight months and have denied pregnancy rumors in the past.

Kardashian, for her part, is still legally married to Kris Humphries  - although she filed for divorce from the NBA player 72 days after tying the knot in October 2011.

Soon after this morning's announcement, Kardashian family members took to Twitter to share the news with the world.

Khloe and Kourtney are Kardashian's sisters, and Kris Jenner is the new grandma-to-be.

Within minutes, the hashtag #Kimye took off on Twitter - as did the inevitable ribbing.

Some poked fun at West's healthy ego, saying Kanye will name his baby "Kanye" - or perhaps "Babye."

Others alluded to West's infamous interruption of singer Taylor Swift's MTV Video Music Awards speech in 2009 when he grabbed her microphone and let loose an outburst on behalf of singer Beyonce Knowles who had lost out in the Best Female Video category to Swift.

"Taylor, I'm really happy for you, and I'm gonna let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time," West said that night.

Judging from the tweets this morning, that incident is still fresh on many minds.

December 31st, 2012
08:58 AM ET

With no deal and only hours to go, U.S. economy heads toward fiscal cliff

With only hours left Monday to avert what economists predict will be a one-two punch to the U.S. economy, Senate Democrats and Republicans were trying to negotiate a last-minute deal aimed at heading off a year-end combination of spending cuts and tax increases that could trigger a new recession.

The Senate was scheduled to reconvene at 11 a.m. ET, when Majority Leader Harry Reid said he hoped to have an announcement despite acknowledging Sunday that there was "still significant distance between the two sides."

CNNMoney.com: What if there's no deal on fiscal cliff

The negotiations hit a stumbling block Sunday over a Republican demand that a deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff" include changes to Social Security benefits, even as the two sides appeared close to agreeing on who would be required to pay more taxes once the Bush-era tax cuts expire.

As the fiscal cliff looms, what's your New Year's message to Washington? Go to CNN iReport to share your video.

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: Politics
December 28th, 2012
10:29 AM ET

Nelson Mandela back home, playing with grandkids

Former South African President Nelson Mandela, at home after a long hospital stay, is alert and playing with his grandchildren, his granddaughter Zaziwe Manaway told CNN exclusively Friday.

Mandela, who is 95, is aware of social media rumors that he's close to death, Manaway said. "That is absolutely not true. My grandfather is well," she said. "It can be very very hurtful for us to hear these messages out there in the social media that our grandfather is going to go home to die. It is insensitive."

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: Nelson Mandela • South Africa • World
December 28th, 2012
09:12 AM ET

Drone strike kills 4, Pakistani sources say

A drone strike killed four militants in North Waziristan, one of the seven districts of Pakistan's volatile tribal region bordering Afghanistan, two Pakistani intelligence officials told CNN.

The officials said the drone fired two missiles at a militant hideout.

Post by:
Filed under: Pakistan • World
Syrian civil war in photos
December 28th, 2012
08:37 AM ET

U.S. officials: Syria using more accurate, Iranian-made missiles

The Syrian regime this week fired at least two Iranian-made, short-range ballistic missiles in what appears to be an effort to more precisely target Syrian rebels, two U.S. military officials tell CNN.

The Fateh A-110 missiles are more accurate than the older Scud variants that Syrian government forces have used in recent weeks.

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: Iran • Syria
December 28th, 2012
07:38 AM ET

Friday's live events

The talk in Washington is all about the "fiscal cliff" and what the president and Congress need to do to avoid it.  Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of the fiscal cliff debate.

Today's programming highlights...

11:30 am ET (est.) - Senate Democrats briefing on fiscal cliff - Sen. Tom Harkin and others will call on Congressional Republicans to help resolve the fiscal cliff crisis at a Capitol Hill briefing.

CNN.com Live is your home for breaking news as it happens.

 


Filed under: Budget • Economy • Finance • On CNN.com today • Politics • Taxes
December 28th, 2012
05:31 AM ET

Russia's Putin signs anti-U.S. adoption bill

President Vladimir Putin signed a controversial measure banning the adoption of Russian children by U.S. families, the Kremlin said Friday.

The action could affect hundreds of American families seeking to adopt. Americans adopted close to 1,000 Russian children last year, according to U.S. State Department figures.

Read more: Russia's lower house approves bill to ban U.S. adoption

FULL STORY

Filed under: World
December 28th, 2012
02:49 AM ET

More snow, more frustrations as powerful storm pushes on

A powerful winter storm that whipped its way across the United States this week still had more to give early Friday.

Portions of northern Maine face up to 13 more inches of snow, the National Weather Service said.

While the Northeast is used to dealing with heavy snow in late December, some parts of the country have not seen this kind of weather in decades. Canadians braced for a whiteout, too.

"If you are in Atlantic Canada ... you are just getting going. If you are in New York City the cold air is coming down the Hudson (River)," CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said.

"If you are off to the east, you're still going to get snow in Maine on up into New Brunswick. And that snow could be heavy at times. We're talking about another foot in some spots."

FULL STORY

Filed under: U.S. • Weather
December 28th, 2012
01:39 AM ET

Ailing Mubarak returned to military hospital after fall

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was transferred to a military hospital after doctors found fractures in his ribs from a recent fall, his lawyer said.

Mubarak is serving a life sentence in a Cairo prison for his role in the deaths of protesters during last year's uprising.

The 84-year-old suffered a head injury and a bruised chest when he slipped in a prison hospital bathroom this month.

Last week, he was taken to a military hospital for X-rays on his head and ribs, and returned to Tora prison the same night, according to his lawyer, Farid El Deeb.

Doctors determined his condition requires more attention and better medical equipment not available at the prison, his lawyer said.

The lawyer is demanding that Mubarak remain at the military hospital permanently so he can get access to proper care.

FULL STORY

Filed under: World
December 27th, 2012
12:19 PM ET

Obama, Senate back in Washington as fiscal cliff deadline looms

Let the endgames begin.

After a Christmas holiday, President Barack Obama returned to Washington from Hawaii and the U.S. Senate reconvened Thursday as the deadline approached for going over the fiscal cliff of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts.

However, the House remained on Christmas break, with members warned they could be called back on 48 hours' notice if needed.

Hopes for a so-called grand bargain that would address the nation's chronic federal deficits and debt appeared dashed for now, with four days remaining to reach agreement on a smaller plan that would avoid the harshest effects of the fiscal cliff's tax increases and slashed spending.

With House Republicans unable to resolve the impasse, the focus shifted to the Democratic majority in the Senate to come up with a way forward that could pass the House and get signed into law by Obama.

Geithner: U.S. to hit debt ceiling Dec. 31

Consumer confidence dips on cliff fears

Will fiscal cliff hurt economy?

FULL STORY
EPA administrator leaving post after State of the Union
December 27th, 2012
10:40 AM ET

EPA administrator leaving post after State of the Union

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson announced that she is leaving her post after the State of the Union Address, according to a release on the Agency's website.

Her statement in full is below:

I want to thank President Obama for the honor he bestowed on me and the confidence he placed in me four years ago this month when he announced my nomination as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. At the time I spoke about the need to address climate change, but also said: ‚ÄúThere is much more on the agenda: air pollution, toxic chemicals and children‚Äôs health issues, redevelopment and waste-site cleanup issues, and justice for the communities who bear disproportionate risk.‚ÄĚ As the President said earlier this year when he addressed EPA‚Äôs employees, ‚ÄúYou help make sure the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat are safe. You help protect the environment not just for our children but their children. And you keep us moving toward energy independence‚ĶWe have made historic progress on all these fronts.‚ÄĚ So, I will leave the EPA confident the ship is sailing in the right direction, and ready in my own life for new challenges, time with my family and new opportunities to make a difference.

You can read more on our Political Ticker blog.

Lawyer: Egypt's Mubarak sent to hospital for fractured ribs
Ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak sits inside a cage in a courtroom during his verdict hearing in Cairo on June 2, 2012.
December 27th, 2012
10:01 AM ET

Lawyer: Egypt's Mubarak sent to hospital for fractured ribs

[Updated at 10:01 a.m. ET] Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was ordered to a military hospital after a report conducted by doctors stated that he had fractures in three of his ribs after he slipped in a prison hospital
bathroom this month, his lawyer Farid El Deeb told CNN.

[Posted at 8:19 a.m. ET] Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who is serving a life sentence in a Cairo prison, is being transferred to a military hospital for medical treatment, state-run TV reported Thursday.

Egypt's state prosecutor ordered the transfer. An update of Mubarak's health was not given.

Mubarak suffered a head injury and a bruised chest when he slipped in a prison hospital bathroom this month. The 84-year-old is serving a life sentence in Cairo's Tora prison for his role in the killing of pro-reform demonstrators during Egypt's recent revolution.

 

FULL STORY
December 27th, 2012
09:20 AM ET

Newtown overwhelmed by gifts, asks for temporary halt of donations

An outpouring of support and gifts for Newtown, Connecticut, in the wake of a mass shooting has forced the town to ask for a temporary halt in donations.

"Our hearts are warmed by the outpouring of love and support from all corners of our country and world," Newtown First Selectman Patricia Llodra said. "We are struggling now to manage the overwhelming volume of gifts and ask that sympathy and kindness to our community be expressed by donating such items to needy children and families in other communities in the name of those killed in Sandy Hook Elementary on December 14.

"Thank you for understanding our message of appreciation and our need to now defer gifts to others in need."

The town has received worldwide support after Adam Lanza opened fire on Sandy Hook Elementary school, killing 20 children, six school employees and his own mother before taking his life.

People can still donate through the Sandy Hook Donations Fund, maintained through United Way of Western Connecticut.

A message from beyond: Peace in Newtown

Glimpses of normalcy amid reminders of horror 

Candles and tears: Portrait of a grieving town 

Strangers inspired to honor Newtown victims

December 27th, 2012
07:54 AM ET

U.N. envoy: Transitional government plan could end Syrian war in a 'few months'

In his latest diplomatic push to end the Syrian civil war, U.N. peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said the conflict could be over in a "few months" - provided that warring parties agree to a plan with a transitional government.

Brahimi is in Damascus this week meeting with President Bashar al-Assad and other officials.

"I discussed with all the parties the need to have a transitional government that will hold broad powers," Brahimi said in a statement aired on Syrian state-run TV.

He pushed for the implementation of the Geneva communique, a plan laid by world leaders in June that calls for a transitional government, an end to violence and lasting democracy.

"The Geneva communique had all that is needed for a road map to end the crisis in Syria within few months," Brahimi said Thursday.

The plan united countries that had been at odds on how to handle the Syrian crisis. Russia and China joined France, the United Kingdom, the United States and Turkey in agreeing on the plan.

FULL STORY
Post by: ,
Filed under: Syria
December 27th, 2012
07:45 AM ET

Thursday's live events

The talk in Washington is all about the "fiscal cliff" and what the president and Congress need to do to avoid it.  Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of the fiscal cliff debate.

Today's programming highlights...

Ongoing coverage - Winter weather

11:30 am ET - Obama returns to Washington - President Obama cuts short his Christmas vacation in Hawaii to return to Washington and resume work on a deal to avert the fiscal cliff.

CNN.com Live is your home for breaking news as it happens.

 


Filed under: Budget • Economy • Finance • On CNN.com today • Taxes • Weather • Winter weather
December 27th, 2012
03:44 AM ET

Snow, high winds to pummel areas as winter weather marches on

Another day of frightful weather awaits some areas Thursday as a powerful winter storm hurtles across the northeastern United States.

The Christmas storm unleashed heavy snow, bristling winds and tornadoes in the Midwest, killing six people, including two young children. The two - ages 1 and 2 - died in a car accident in Arkansas, state officials said.

And as the storm, which started in the Midwest, continues surging east, snow will leave thousands of passengers stranded after flight cancellations.

More than 360 flights have already been taken off the schedule for Thursday, tracking website FlightAware.com said. That's in addition to about 1,780 flights canceled a day before.

Travelers are advised to check before leaving home to see if their flights are postponed or canceled.

Forecasters said additional heavy snowfall is expected in various states, including upstate New York, southern New England and central Maine through Friday morning.

As much as two feet of snow is possible in central Maine, leading to hazardous roads, forecasters said.

FULL STORY

Filed under: U.S. • Weather
December 27th, 2012
03:42 AM ET

Snowstorms ground air travel in Northeast

A powerful winter storm system will again snarl air traffic in the Northeast on Thursday, canceling hundreds of flights as travelers try to get home after the Christmas holiday.

Winter storm advisories are in place from central Pennsylvania to Maine, with snow accumulations of up to a foot expected by Friday morning, according to CNN meteorologist Bonnie Schneider.

A tracking website said many flights across the country have been called off for weather and mechanical reasons. According to FlightAware.com, more than 360 flights have already been taken off the schedule for Thursday. That's in addition to about 1,780 flights canceled Wednesday.

FULL STORY

Filed under: U.S. • Weather
December 26th, 2012
01:18 PM ET

Official: At least 100 homes, businesses damaged by storms in Alabama

[Updated at 1:16 p.m. ET] At least 100 homes and business were damaged in the city of Mobile, Alabama with an additional 20 to 25 structures damaged just outside of the city, an Alabama Emergency Management official said.

Eleven other counties are reporting structural damage, however August did not have exact numbers.

Pike County, south of Montgomery, reported that one adult male was severely injured by the storm, however the extent of his injures were not known.

[Posted at 9:27 a.m. ET] At least 215,000 power customers are without power in the Gulf Cost region due to a weather system that moved thru the region yesterday and overnight, according to local power companies

[Posted at 9:17 a.m. ET] Major Chris Heathscott, spokesman for the Arkansas National Guard, says they have deployed resources for ambulance support in Pulaski and Faulkner counties.

Fourteen personnel, and seven ambulances are providing ambulance support in the region. Heathscott, says that the area has had 6-8" of snow. Little Rock is in Pulaski County.

Post by:
Filed under: Arkansas • Tornadoes • Weather
December 26th, 2012
12:54 PM ET

Video: Syrian military police chief defects to join 'the people's revolution'

In what could be one of the highest-level defections from the Syrian government, the country's military police chief has reportedly left Bashar al-Assad's forces to join "the people's revolution."

In a video posted online this week, a man identified as Maj. Gen. Abdul Aziz Jassim al-Shallal announced his defection and said he was joining the country's popular uprising.

"The Syrian military has strayed from its core mission in protecting the homeland to become nothing but armed gangs that kill and destroy the cities and the villages, carrying out massacres against our innocent civilian population that came out demanding freedom and dignity," he said.

Al-Shallal had been plotting his escape to Turkey for weeks with the help of rebels, said Louai Miqdad, a spokesman for the rebel Free Syrian Army.

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: Syria
« older posts