February 8th, 2013
07:12 PM ET

Obama to honor Sandy Hook teachers and staff posthumously

President Barack Obama will honor the six teachers and staff killed in the Newtown, Connecticut, school massacre last December with the second highest civilian honor, the Citizens Medal in a ceremony next Friday at the White House.

In announcing the honor, the White House said, "the names of six courageous women were forever etched into the heart of our Nation as unthinkable tragedy swept through Newtown, Connecticut."

Principal Dawn Hochsprung, school psychologist Mary Sherlach and teachers Anne Marie Murphy, Lauren Rousseau, Rachel Davino, and Victoria Soto and twenty children were killed when a gunman opened fire inside the Sandy Hook Elementary School in December.

FULL STORY


Filed under: Uncategorized
February 8th, 2013
06:46 PM ET

Foundation: Chile to exhume body of Nobel laureate Neruda

Chilean authorities will exhume the body of poet Pablo Neruda as part of an investigation into his 1973 death, a foundation said Friday.

Neruda is buried alongside his wife, Matilde Urrutia, in Isla Negra, a coastal area in central Chile.

He died on September 23, 1973, just 12 days after a right-wing military coup ousted socialist President Salvador Allende.

"We hope that the exam will help to clarify doubts that might exist with respect to the poet's death," the Pablo Neruda Foundation said in a statement.

It said a date for the exhumation has not been set.

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Filed under: Chile • Literature
States declare emergencies ahead of major storm
A snowman is all smiles Friday on Boston Common.
February 8th, 2013
06:17 PM ET

States declare emergencies ahead of major storm

  • Potentially historic winter storm closes in on New England
  • Boston could get just under 2 feet; worst could hit from 5 p.m. Friday to Saturday morning
  • About 1 foot expected in New York City; heaviest snowfall there expected to start at 7 p.m. Friday
  • Check back here for the updates; full story here; see if storm affects where you live.

Up to 30 inches of snow. That's how much some predicted could be dumped on Boston by the time this blizzard was done - which would amount to a new all-time snowfall record for the Massachusetts city, one hardly unfamiliar with winter storms.

These kind of forecasts, throughout the Northeast, were matched by frequent calls by officials to hunker down. The governors of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut ordered cars off the roads. In Boston, that translated to largely empty streets - spare a few plows - on what would have been Friday rush hour.

That meant fewer people out to experience the elements - in the form of small, icy snowflakes blowing in winds that, in some places, gusted up to 60 mph. That intensity of snow, and wind, was expected to continue - if not get even stronger - into Saturday morning.

[Updated at 6:17 p.m.]  The storm has taken a toll on flights to and from the Northeast.

U.S. airlines have cancelled more than 4,700 flights that were to take off from Thursday to Sunday.

FULL POST

February 8th, 2013
03:41 PM ET

Manufacturer blames Super Bowl outage on incorrect setting

[Updated at 3:41 p.m. ET] We're now getting possibly competing explanations about why the Super Bowl power outage happened Sunday.

Hours after the Entergy New Orleans power company announced that it believed a newly installed electrical relay device was to blame, the device's manufacturer responded that the outage happened because the device was operated at an incorrect setting.

Get the details here.

[Posted at 9:49 a.m. ET] The cause of Sunday's power outage at the Super Bowl in New Orleans has been traced to an electrical relay device, Entergy New Orleans Inc. announced Friday. This device has since been removed from service and new replacement equipment is being evaluated.

The 35-minute electrical outage at the Super Dome set off a storm of social media amusement among viewers and inspired advertising tweets with blackout twists.

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Filed under: Football • Louisiana • New Orleans • Pro football • Sports
Northeast blizzard
February 8th, 2013
12:44 PM ET

Major winter storm: Is your city affected?

The winter weather storm that's set to wallop the Northeast is a combination of two fronts: a rainy weather system coming up from the mid-Atlantic and a cold snow system coming off the Great Lakes.  It's already dumping heavy snow on the states near the Great Lakes as it makes it way toward the heavily populated northeast United States,  the National Weather Service said.

The worst snowfall is predicted in southern New England, from eastern Massachusetts to Maine, creating white-out conditions.  Airports are closing, and thousands of flights are canceled.  Blizzard warnings are in effect for most of the Northeast coastal communities from New Jersey north to the Canadian border in Maine.

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Filed under: Travel • U.S. • Winter weather
Iran's Qaher-313 fighter plane
February 8th, 2013
11:55 AM ET

Iran's newest warplane something from 'GI Joe?'

First it was monkeys in space (or not) and now it’s “GI Joe” fighter jets. Not the best of times for Iran’s aviation and aerospace programs, at least if you listen to the skeptics.

First there were doubts about Tehran’s claim it sent a monkey into space in late January.  After photos of two different monkeys that were aboard the alleged one-monkey space shot surfaced, Iran media said there was a photo mix-up and, yes, there was just one Iranian monkey in space.

Then this week Iran unveiled what it said was its new high-tech stealth fighter plane. The jet shown in pictures on the website of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been the butt of jokes all week from aviation bloggers.

“This aircraft looks a lot like an old GI Joe toy,” wrote one blogger.

And from another, “This has to be a joke, right?”

Click through the gallery above to see the bloggers' comments and evidence in the photos.

Iran unveils "flying boats"

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Filed under: Aviation • Iran • Military
Third large quake in a week hits Solomon Islands
February 8th, 2013
11:43 AM ET

Third large quake in a week hits Solomon Islands

[Updated at 11:43 a.m. ET] A magnitude-7.0 earthquake occurred at 10:26 a.m. ET in the vicinity of the Santa Cruz Islands in the Pacific Ocean, at a depth of 27 kilometers  (16.8 miles), 25 kilometers (15 miles) south-southeast of Lata, Solomon Islands.  No tsunami warning has been issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

[Posted at 8:31 a.m. ET] A 7.1-magnitude earthquake rattled the Solomon Islands on Friday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. There were no immediate reports of a tsunami.

The quake comes two days after an 8.0-magnitude earthquake struck the same region, triggering a tsunami that killed five people but didn't threaten the wider region.

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Filed under: Earthquake • Natural Disasters
Storm may blow away the ACT for 12,000 students
February 8th, 2013
11:22 AM ET

Storm may blow away the ACT for 12,000 students

Up to 12,000 students scheduled to take the ACT on Saturday could be affected by a massive winter storm that's expected to engulf much of the Northeast this weekend.

Approximately 80 test sites out of 190 in the region have canceled ahead of the storm, Ed Colby, a spokesman for the tests, told CNN.

Each site will reschedule the test, and students and parents can get information at http://www.actstudent.org/.

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Filed under: U.S. • Weather
Taliban attack victim Malala released from hospital
February 8th, 2013
10:08 AM ET

Taliban attack victim Malala released from hospital

Pakistani teen Malala Yousufzai, shot by the Taliban in October, has been released from the hospital following operations to repair her skull and restore her hearing, according to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England.

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Filed under: Pakistan
Investigation opened into hacked Bush family e-mails
February 8th, 2013
09:37 AM ET

Investigation opened into hacked Bush family e-mails

Someone hacked into and published private e-mails between members of the Bush family, and it's caught the attention of the U.S. Secret Service.

The Secret Service is investigating the hacking of the e-mails, which include those of former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. They were published on a gossip site late Thursday.

Check out the full story here.

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Filed under: Crime • George W. Bush • Politics
February 8th, 2013
08:30 AM ET

9 in vaccine team killed in Nigeria

Nine polio vaccinators were killed Friday morning in the northern Nigerian city of Kano, a police spokesman told CNN.

The victims, eight women and one man, were working for a government program established to vaccinate people across Nigeria. The killings are under investigation; police said they have no suspects.

According to the World Health Organization, Nigeria is one of only three countries in the world that have never stopped transmission of polio, along with Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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Filed under: Nigeria
February 8th, 2013
07:49 AM ET

Friday's live events

President Obama will deliver his fourth State of the Union address before Congress on February 12.  Watch CNN.com Live for all of your political coverage.

Today's programming highlights...

Ongoing coverage - U.S. winter storm preparation and briefings

12:00 pm ET - Murder suspect manhunt briefing - The search continues for ex-Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner, who is accused of killing three people.  Police update the investigation.

FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama • Congress • Crime • Gun violence • On CNN.com today • Politics • Weather • Winter weather
February 8th, 2013
07:32 AM ET

Murdoch company settles dozens of phone hacking suits

Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper publisher News International settled 144 lawsuits over phone hacking on Friday.

High Court officials did not announce the names the people involved or the amount of the settlements.

Seven cases were not settled and will go to trial in June.

Friday's settlements were the second group of suits to be settled by News International after a widespread scandal around the hacking of
celebrities, politicians, victims of crime and others by people working for Murdoch tabloids.

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Filed under: United Kingdom
February 8th, 2013
06:50 AM ET

5 must-reads from around Africa

Every week, we bring you some of the most interesting stories from around Africa. Here are the five you need to know.

New smartphones for Africa

Africans in select cities will have more choices when it comes to smartphones.

In a move targeting the world's fastest-growing mobile market, Microsoft is teaming up with Chinese company Huawei to sell a Windows smartphone in seven countries.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: World
Manhunt continues for ex-cop wanted in 3 deaths
February 8th, 2013
04:19 AM ET

Manhunt continues for ex-cop wanted in 3 deaths

Police continued the massive manhunt for Christopher Dorner early Friday in a California mountain town despite the bitter cold, the lack of tips and the chilling fact that the angry ex-cop may also be looking for them.

As quickly as Dorner had emerged on the scene with his guns, bravado and bitter manifesto, the burly man, who was wanted for three murders, had disappeared, it seemed.

Read more: Mood tense among officers

FULL STORY

Filed under: Crime • U.S.
February 8th, 2013
04:17 AM ET

Whopping winter storm marching in Sandy's path

Elizabeth Frazier grabbed the last bottles of water in sight, then left the store.

"It's a zoo in there," she said. "There's nothing left on the shelves," the Reading, Massachusetts, resident told CNN affiliate WHDH.

A gathering snowstorm is driving droves of New Englanders into shops to seize up the last supplies, then dash home to stock their cupboards, baton down the hatches and brace for a potentially long haul. Its icy rage will commence Friday afternoon, the National Weather Service predicts, and will last into Saturday.

FULL STORY

Filed under: U.S. • Uncategorized • Weather