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.

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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
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Filed under: Syria
December 26th, 2012
10:45 AM ET

Newspaper sparks outrage for publishing names, addresses of gun permit holders

An interactive map showing the names and addresses of all handgun permit holders in New York's Westchester and Rockland counties has infuriated many readers since it was posted Saturday on a newspaper's website.

The map, published by The Journal News, allows readers to zoom in on red dots that indicate which residents are licensed to own pistols or revolvers. It had prompted more than 1,700 comments as of Wednesday morning.

Blue dots indicate permit holders who "have purchased a firearm or updated the information on a permit in the past five years."

"So should we start wearing yellow Stars of David so the general public can be aware of who we are??" one commenter wrote.

"This is crazy!" wrote another.

Some of those responding threatened to cancel their subscriptions or boycott the publication.

"I hope you lose readers now," one wrote.

The map came about in the wake of the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, according to a statement from The Journal News.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Gun violence
December 26th, 2012
07:38 AM ET

Wednesday'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 - Severe weather in the Southern, Eastern U.S.

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 26th, 2012
02:27 AM ET

Southern storms to continue after damaging tornadoes

The powerful storms that pounded the South will continue Wednesday, a day after tornadoes ripped through several states

The dangerous thunderstorms that packed house shaking winds and left two people dead on Christmas were expected to move eastward Wednesday hitting Georgia, the Carolinas, Florida and much of the Eastern seaboard, the National Weather Service said.

Wednesday's expected severe storms are "capable of producing more widespread damaging wind gusts and have the potential for tornadoes," the weather service said.

Many in the South know all too well about tornadoes, as a slew of them turned Christmas into a fright fest.

David Saraceno spotted something ominous forming Tuesday as he sped down I-165 in Mobile County in Alabama. He was traveling with his wife and 1-year-old daughter to visit family when he saw the twister on the side of the road. His wife videotaped it.

"It looked like it was about two miles away from us," said Saraceno. "I put the pedal to the floor to try and get out of harm's way but it seemed to be getting closer and closer."

Panicked, Saraceno got off the interstate near the town of Chickasaw, drove in a different direction and then turned around to go home. He couldn't go see family in that weather.

FULL STORY

Filed under: U.S. • Weather
December 26th, 2012
02:25 AM ET

Car bomb hits near U.S. base in Afghanistan

A car bomber hit outside a U.S. base in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing three people and leaving civilians injured, authorities said.

The blast killed a security guard and two truck drivers delivering supplies, according to Abdul Qayoom Baqizoy, the provincial police chief.

Six civilians suffered injuries, he said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred after a minibus stopped at the gate for a security check.

In an e-mail, a spokesman for the terror group said the attack was conducted "when American soldiers were busy searching their Afghan servants" at the gate of the base.

FULL STORY

Filed under: World