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
December 25th, 2012
12:21 PM ET

Shooter that lured firefighters left note: Killing is what I do best

The shooter who ambushed and killed two upstate New York firefighters Monday left a note behind indicating his intentions, police said Tuesday.

"I still have to get ready to see how much of the neighborhood I can burn down and do what I like doing best - killing people," the 3-page typewritten note said.

New York town's 'Firefighter of the Year' shot dead responding to blaze

Authorities haven't given a motive for the latest violence, which left two firefighters dead and two other firefighters and an off-duty police officer from a nearby town wounded after they responded to the call of a fire.

And they can't ask the shooter, who was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head around 11 a.m., about six hours after first calls about the fire came in.

Investigators believe the suspect, William Spengler, 62, set the original fire, then likely set himself up on a berm with a clear view of the scene and started shooting.

N.Y. man who shot dead 2 firefighters killed grandmother in 1980

"It appears that it was a trap," Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering said. "There was a car and a house that were involved in flames, probably set by Mr. Spengler, who laid in wait in armament and then shot the first responders."

In chilling audio heard over the scanner, a West Webster Fire Department firefighter reported "multiple firemen shot" - including himself, with wounds to his lower back and lower leg - and "shots still being fired."

For several hours after that Monday, the threat of gunfire stopped firefighters from battling the blaze and forced police SWAT teams to evacuate 33 people in the neighborhood of small, waterfront homes.

Eventually, seven houses were "totally destroyed" by the fire. Although the fires were under control as of 2:30 p.m. ET, by then authorities still hadn't been able to get in any of the homes. Pickering said it's possible more victims could be inside.

FULL STORY
December 25th, 2012
11:44 AM ET

Tuesday's live events

The staff at CNN.com Live would like to wish all of our viewers and fans a Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

Today's programming highlights...

4:00 pm ET - Firefighter shootings briefing - Officials in Webster, New York, will discuss the fatal shootings of two firefighters who were responding to a structure blaze.

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

 


Filed under: On CNN.com today
December 25th, 2012
10:03 AM ET

Gunmen kill 6 in attack on church in Nigeria

Gunmen in northern Nigeria attacked a church's Christmas Eve services, killing six people and setting the building on fire, police said.

A pastor was slain in the incident, police said.

It was the latest strike against Christians in the region. More than 30 people died in a wave of Christmas Day attacks in the north last year, blamed on Boko Haram, a militant group that has targeted Christians and Muslims it considered insufficiently Islamist.

"Suspected members of the group have bombed or opened fire on worshipers in at least 18 churches across eight northern and central states since 2010. In Maiduguri, the group also forced Christian men to convert to Islam on penalty of death," Human Rights Watch said in an October report.

It is not immediately known if the group was behind the latest attack.

FULL STORY
December 25th, 2012
09:10 AM ET

21 vehicles in accident on interstate in Oklahoma

[Updated at 9:10 a.m. ET] Interstate 40 westbound has now been opened after it was shut following a 21-vehicle accident at  2:50 a.m. CT (3:50 ET).

[Posted at 7:51 a.m. ET] An interstate has been shut down for two miles this morning in a suburb of Oklahoma City after more than 20 vehicles crashed in an accident that the Oklahoma Highway Patrol says likely was caused by freezing rain.

The chain-reaction-style accident occurred on Interstate 40 westbound in Del City, Oklahoma, and involved 21 vehicles, including three big rigs, Oklahoma Highway Patrol dispatcher Kerri Markey told CNN. The accident took place at 2:50 a.m. CT (3:50 ET).

Markey said an unknown number of people have been transported to a hospital with injuries characterized as not life-threatening.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said they do not know when the highway will reopen.

December 25th, 2012
02:41 AM ET

Christmas tornadoes, snow possible as weather system moves east

A large, powerful storm system threatened to bring a white Christmas to parts of the Great Plains and dangerous tornadoes to the Southeast, forecasters said.

A winter storm warning is in effect through at least midnight Tuesday for much of Oklahoma and Arkansas and parts of southern Missouri. By the time the storm is through, these areas could have between 4 to 6 inches of sleet and snow.

But precipitation is just part of the concern. The same system could produce relatively long-lasting tornadoes not normally seen this time of year, the National Weather Service notes in its severe weather outlook.

A moderate chance of severe weather is forecast from southeast Texas to portions of the Florida panhandle, according to forecasters. The threat of severe storms may reach as far east as parts of Alabama, southeast Tennessee and western Georgia by Tuesday evening and could reach coastal South Carolina by early Wednesday, the weather agency said.

FULL STORY

Filed under: U.S. • Weather
December 25th, 2012
02:39 AM ET

Police continue crackdown amid outrage over gang rape

Police continued to block off a key government district in India Tuesday in an effort to stop protesters angered about the gang rape of a woman.

Furious weekend demonstrations rocked the Raisina Hills section of New Delhi as public outrage surged. The protests started after a 23-year-old woman was sexually assaulted and beaten to near death on a bus on December 16 by a group of six suspects, now under arrest, police say.

The security barriers throughout the Raisina Hills area, home to the presidential mansion, the parliament building and federal ministerial blocks, did not stop protests in other areas Monday.

Scores of young students held demonstrations at the Jantar Mantar observatory, a regular protest site, some distance from the restricted area in New Delhi.

Many demanded immediate convening of a special session of parliament to amend laws to make rape a crime punishable with death.

FULL STORY

Filed under: Crime • World
December 24th, 2012
01:22 PM ET

Police officer, bystander killed after Houston car chase

A police officer and a bystander died from wounds suffered in a parking lot shootout after a car chase in a Houston suburb Monday, police said.

The pursuit started after a driver refused to stop when a Bellaire, Texas, police officer tried to pull over his vehicle, Houston police spokesman John Cannon said.

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Filed under: Texas
Two firefighters dead after being shot while responding to house fire; suspect dead
December 24th, 2012
11:55 AM ET

Two firefighters dead after being shot while responding to house fire; suspect dead

[Updated at 11:55 a.m. ET]  The shooter who killed two firefighters in upstate New York on Monday is dead, Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering told reporters.

"The threat has been eliminated. The shooter is believed to be deceased at the scene," he said, adding that it appears the shooter set a trap for the firefighters.

[Updated at 9:48 a.m. ET] Two firefighters were killed when one or more shooters opened fire at the scene of house fire in upstate New York on Monday, police said.

[Posted at 8:39 a.m. ET] Firefighters who responded to a fire in Webster, New York, were shot at as they tried to put out flames that tore through a home, the town's fire marshal told CNN.

Gunfire erupted as firefighters responded to a call shortly before 6 a.m. Monday at a residence on Lake Road in the small town of Webster, Fire Marshal Rob Boutillier said. Webster is about 15 miles east of Rochester, New York, near Lake Ontario.

Two firefighters from the scene are now being treated at a hospital in Rochester, according to Strong Memorial Hospital public relations director Terry D'Agostino.

Boutillier said one of the firefighters was in satisfactory condition.

He also said the fire has spread to a second house in the neighborhood. Firefighters are currently not fighting the active fire, according to Boutillier, because of the gunfire.

WHAM: Fire, and shots fired in Webster

FULL STORY
Nelson Mandela to spend Christmas in hospital, government says
Nelson Mandela and his third wife, Graca Machel, arrive at the 2010 World Cup before the final match on July 11, 2010.
December 24th, 2012
11:52 AM ET

Nelson Mandela to spend Christmas in hospital, government says

Former South African President Nelson Mandela will remain in a Pretoria hospital through Christmas, the government said on Monday.

In a statement on his website, President Jacob Zuma said that Mandela is responding well to treatment.

"We also humbly invite all freedom loving people around the world to pray for him. He is an ardent fighter and will recover from this episode with all our support," said Zuma, who visited Mandela on Saturday.

Mandela, 94, has received round-the-clock care since an acute respiratory infection in 2011. He was hospitalized for a lung infection on December 8; and on December 15, he had successful endoscopic surgery to have gallstones removed.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: South Africa
December 23rd, 2012
10:54 AM ET

Sunday'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...

3:00 pm ET - Sen. Inouye memorial service - President Obama will attend the final memorial service for the late Sen. Daniel Inouye at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii.

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

 


Filed under: Budget • Economy • Finance • Hawaii • On CNN.com today • Politics • Taxes • U.S.
Obama nominates John Kerry to be secretary of state
December 21st, 2012
02:11 PM ET

Obama nominates John Kerry to be secretary of state

[Updated at 2:11 p.m. ET] President Barack Obama on Friday nominated Sen. John Kerry, the former presidential candidate who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to be the next secretary of state.

The senior senator from Massachusetts is noted for the experience, gravitas and relationship-building skills that could help him succeed Hillary Clinton, the outgoing top U.S. diplomat.

Kerry (pictured) has traveled the globe on behalf of the Obama administration to mend frayed relationships. Most notably, he traveled to Pakistan after a series of incidents, including the raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, that had set relations back.

He has support from Republicans as well as Democrats. The nomination will be sent to the Senate for confirmation.

"There are very few people with greater experience over a longer period of time," said Nicholas Burns, a former career ambassador who has served every secretary of state since Warren Christopher, and was most recently undersecretary for political affairs under Condoleezza Rice. "He would be a very, very impressive choice."

FULL STORY
December 21st, 2012
01:44 PM ET

GOP disarray jeopardizes fiscal cliff deal

[Updated at 1:44 p.m. ET] House Speaker John Boehner said at a news conference Friday morning that his Republican colleagues refused to back his Plan B fiscal cliff bill because of what he called unfounded fears of being blamed for a tax increase.

"They weren't taking it out on me," he told reporters. "They were dealing with the perception that somebody might accuse them of raising taxes."

Boehner on Thursday dropped plans to bring the bill to a vote after it became clear that it didn't have enough support from members of his party. This leaves negotiations in limbo Friday 11 days before automatic tax increases on everyone.

[Initial post, 8:43 a.m. ET] House Speaker John Boehner will hold a news conference in Washington Friday morning, a day after fellow Republicans effectively scuttled his proposal to avert the looming fiscal cliff's automatic tax increases.

Boehner wanted to pass his Plan B fiscal cliff bill which would have extended tax cuts that are set to expire at year's end for most people while allowing rates to increase to 1990s levels on income over $1 million this week, before members of Congress went home for the holiday.

But it didn't come up for a vote, because House GOP leaders learned that they couldn't get enough of their fellow Republicans to sign on.

What this means next in the fiscal cliff talks is unclear. From here, scenarios range from intensified and ultimately successful talks in the coming days or entrenchment as the fiscal cliff becomes a reality next year, when a new Congress could enter negotiations with Obama.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Politics
December 21st, 2012
12:41 PM ET

South Sudan forces say they shot down U.N. helicopter

[Updated at 3:36 p.m. ET] The South Sudanese armed forces admitted shooting down a United Nations helicopter in eastern South Sudan on Friday.

The Sudan People's Liberation Army said it was an accident, according to spokesman Philip Aguer.

Four crew members were killed, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan said. The group reported that there were no passengers on board.

Aguer said that a craft was seen about 9 a.m. hovering near an SPLA command area. The army asked the U.N. mission whether it had sent a plane.

"The U.N. said there is no plane, they don't have plane in the area," Aguer said.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: South Sudan • United Nations
Put armed officers in every school, NRA official says
A protester holds a sign at the NRA's press conference in Washington on Friday. The protester was removed.
December 21st, 2012
11:28 AM ET

Put armed officers in every school, NRA official says

Congress should "appropriate whatever is necessary" to put armed police officers in every school in the United States, the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association told reporters in Washington on Friday.

"If we truly treasure our kids more than our money, more than our celebrities ... we must give them the greatest level of protection possible ... properly trained, armed good guys," Wayne LaPierre said.

LaPierre, whose comments come in the wake of last week's shooting that killed 20 children and six women at a Connecticut elementary school, said the media demonizes gun owners, but that guns in the hands of "good guys" are desired by everyone in the moments they find themselves in danger.

LaPierre said former U.S. Rep. Asa Hutchinson, R-Arkansas, will lead an NRA effort to help schools develop safety programs.

Given federal spending in areas such as foreign affairs, "can't we afford to put a police officer in every single school?" LaPierre asked.

There were at least 132,180 public and private schools in the United States in the 2009-2010 school year, according to U.S. Department of Education.

"For all the noise and anger directed at us ... nobody has addressed the most important, pressing and immediate question we face: How do we protect our children right now ... in a way that we know works?" LaPierre said.

He said media outlets report "untrue" claims about firearms. "They don't know what they are talking about," he said.

LaPierre did not appear to signal that the NRA was willing to consider any of the various gun control proposals floated since the Connecticut shooting.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Gun Control
Reaction to Newtown school killings
December 21st, 2012
11:14 AM ET

Bells across country toll for Newtown shooting victims

For the people of Newtown and for people across the country, 9:30 a.m. was a time to stop, listen and remember.

Bells rang in the Connecticut town and in churches and other buildings in multiple states Friday morning to remember the 20 children and six women who were gunned down at Newtown's Sandy Hook Elementary School at that hour a week ago.

Standing in rain some holding umbrellas and others letting the water wash over their bowed heads people in Newtown gathered outside various locations and paused as multiple churches rang their bells, once for each victim.

Connecticut Gov. Dannell Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman stood with others under the awning of Newtown's Edmond Town Hall, listening to bells of a nearby church. People also paused elsewhere in town under a tent that covered the numerous flowers and stuffed animals left as a memorial and outside various churches.

Post by:
Filed under: Connecticut
December 21st, 2012
07:52 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...

9:00 am ET - School safety forum - In the wake of the Newtown shooting, Education Secretary Arne Duncan will address a Washington on the need for comprehensive protocols and policies to protect students from violence and crime.

FULL POST


Filed under: Budget • Connecticut • Crime • Economy • Finance • Gun violence • On CNN.com today • Politics • Taxes • U.S.
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