February 13th, 2013
08:02 PM ET

Mexican attorney general: Six suspects confess to raping Spanish tourists

Six suspects arrested and accused of raping a group of Spanish tourists in a Mexican resort city have confessed, a top official said Wednesday.

Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam declared the case "resolved," although one suspect remains at large.

"There are already six arrests, confessed, totally confessed the full story of what happened, and we need only to arrest one more person identified in this process," he said. "The case is solved."

The allegations last week grabbed headlines across Mexico and around the globe. Authorities said hooded gunmen stormed into a beach bungalow in the Pacific port of Acapulco and attacked a group of Spanish tourists, raping six women and tying up a group of men with cell phone cables and bikini straps.

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Filed under: Crime • Mexico
Gen. John Allen may withdraw from NATO nomination
February 13th, 2013
07:49 PM ET

Gen. John Allen may withdraw from NATO nomination

Gen. John Allen is considering whether to retire rather than move forward with the nomination to become the supreme allied commander of NATO, a staff member said.

In a written statement, a member of his staff said, "After 19 months in command in Afghanistan, and many before that spent away from home, Gen. Allen has been offered time to rest and reunite with his family before he turns his attention to his next assignment."

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Filed under: Military • NATO
Police: Can't confirm body is Dorner's, but manhunt is done
February 13th, 2013
07:41 PM ET

Police: Can't confirm body is Dorner's, but manhunt is done

[Updated at 7:41 p.m. ET] San Berardino County Sheriff John McMahon says he can't positively confirm that a body found yesterday after a massive manhunt in California is that of murder suspect Christopher Dorner, but investigators believe the body is his, and the search is over.

"We’re not currently involved in a manhunt,” McMahon told reporters at a news conference Thursday.

The county coroner's division is working to positively identify the body, which authorities recovered from a cabin after officers stormed it following a shootout Wednesday afternoon in the San Bernardino National Forest.

McMahon also said that officers did not intentionally set the cabin on fire. McMahon said officers toward the end of the standoff fired pyrotechnic tear gas canisters into the structure, which then caught fire, but the fire "was not on purpose."

"We did not intentionally burn down that cabin to get Mr. Dorner out," McMahon said.

[Updated at 11:14 a.m. ET] Los Angeles police will not "speculate at this point" whether the body found after a massive manhunt in California is murder suspect Christopher Jordan Dorner, Police Lt. Andy Neiman told reporters Wednesday.

[Posted at 11:08 a.m. ET] The murder investigation targeting Christopher Jordan Dorner continues, but the Los Angeles Police Department has returned to a normal state of operations since Tuesday night, police spokesman said.

That's when police stormed a cabin where Dorner is thought to have died. Dorner is an ex-LA cop who vowed to kill police officers to avenge what he called an unfair termination.

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February 13th, 2013
06:09 PM ET

EU health chief aims to restore confidence after horse meat scandal

As the scandal over the discovery of horse meat in products labeled as pure beef widened, the European Union's health chief vowed Wednesday to put in place a plan to restore consumer confidence.
"The issue before us today is therefore overwhelmingly one of fraudulent labeling rather than one of safety," Tonio Borg said in a statement after an emergency meeting in Belgium with authorities from France, Romania, Holland, Luxembourg and Britain.
He noted that EU legislation allows horse meat to be used for the production of minced meat and meat preparations, "however, it has to be declared on the label."

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Filed under: Uncategorized
February 13th, 2013
04:35 PM ET

Officer slain during Dorner manhunt laid to rest

A day after a man suspected to be renegade ex-cop Christopher Dorner died in a blazing mountain cabin, police from around the Los Angeles area and beyond gathered to bury an officer who authorities say Dorner killed.

A squad of bagpipers led Michael Crain's flag-draped casket through a cordon of blue uniforms into a church Wednesday in Riverside, the Los Angeles suburb where he served 11 years on the force.

Investigators say Crain was one of four people shot and killed by Dorner, a fired Los Angeles cop who launched a vendetta against his old department last week.

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Filed under: California • Crime
February 13th, 2013
02:15 PM ET

Ireland to send troop trainers to Mali in ‘historic’ pairing with British

Ireland plans to send up to eight troops with UK service members to train forces in Mali the first time the republic will have made a joint deployment with the UK since Ireland broke away last century, Ireland's defense ministry said.

“I believe that the provision of a joint UK/Ireland contingent is another step in the normalization of relations between” the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom, Ireland Defense Minister Alan Shatter said Wednesday.

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Filed under: Ireland • Mali • United Kingdom
February 13th, 2013
01:50 PM ET

Report: At least 4 killed in Ukraine plane crash

At least four people were dead after a plane made an emergency crash-landing and caught fire in Ukraine's Donetsk region on Wednesday, Russian state-run media outlet RIA Novosti reported.

The charter flight from Odessa to Donetsk was carrying 45 people, 39 of whom were evacuated before the plane caught fire after the crash-landing, Ria Novosti reported, citing a representative of Ukraine's emergencies service. At least two people were unaccounted for.

“The plane missed the landing strip, turned upside down and broke into pieces,” the spokesman said, according to Ria Novosti.

The Donetsk-bound charter flight was carrying soccer fans from Odessa. They were heading to a UEFA Champions League game between Shakhtar Donetsk and Borussia Dortmund, the Ukrainskaya Pravda website reported.

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Filed under: Air travel • Ukraine
February 13th, 2013
10:30 AM ET

Italian magazine defends publishing royal vacation photos

The editor of an Italian magazine that published vacation photos of William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, defended the publication against widespread criticism.

"Chi" editor-in-chief Alfonso Signorini said the photos were not scandalous and "portray a couple in love in a happy moment while they are walking on the beach."

The photos of the duke and the pregnant, bikini-clad duchess were taken on a public beach and bought from an international agency, he said.

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Filed under: Prince William • United Kingdom
Syrian civil war in photos
February 13th, 2013
09:05 AM ET

U.N. refugee agency delivers aid to Syrians for only second time in two-year civil war

For only the second time in the nearly two-year Syrian civil war, the U.N. refugee agency completed an aid delivery to displaced people inside Syria, the group said Wednesday.

Seven trucks delivered blankets and tents near the Syrian-Turkish border in the country's northwest. A previous aid convoy to northern Syria at the end of January was the first of its kind, the U.N. agency said.

"These are complex operations and not without risk, but the humanitarian needs of the displaced civilians in these areas require action,” said High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres. “The moral imperative to help is clear."

Syria death toll probably at 70,000, U.N. human rights official says

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Filed under: Syria
10 years of war in Afghanistan
February 13th, 2013
08:50 AM ET

Afghan president: We've wanted troop withdrawal 'for so long now'

Afghan President Hamid Karzai welcomed President Obama's announcement of a major troop withdrawal, saying "this is something Afghanistan has wanted for so long now."

The pullout, announced at the State of the Union on Tuesday, will help ensure "peace and full security," according to a statement released by Karzai's office Wednesday.

The United States will draw down 34,000 troops currently stationed in Afghanistan in a year's time, Obama said in his State of the Union address Tuesday night. The current number stands at 66,000.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Barack Obama
February 13th, 2013
07:53 AM ET

Wednesday's live events

President Obama and Congress look to avert $85 billion in automatic across-the-board spending cuts scheduled for March 1.  Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of the sequestration crisis.

Today's programming highlights...

10:00 am ET - Postal Service crisis hearing - The U.S. Postal Service is ending most Saturday delivery amid concerns that its time is running short.  Can the USPS be saved?  The House Government Affairs Committee looks into the matter.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Budget • Congress • Economy • Politics • U.S. Postal Service
Victims suing BBC, Savile estate in sex abuse case
Jimmy Savile sports his Order of the British Empire medal after his 1972 investiture at Buckingham Palace in London.
February 13th, 2013
07:32 AM ET

Victims suing BBC, Savile estate in sex abuse case

Alleged sexual abuse victims of the late BBC entertainer Jimmy Savile are suing both the British broadcaster and the Savile estate, attorneys for the victims said Wednesday.

Police said in a report that Savile sexually abused hundreds of people and carried out more than 30 rapes.

Police: TV host Jimmy Savile exploited fame to abuse children on vast scale

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Filed under: United Kingdom
February 13th, 2013
07:29 AM ET

U.S. analyzing reports that Syrian government has moved chemical weapons

The United States and other countries near Syria are analyzing intelligence reports that the Bashar al-Assad government may have moved some of its chemical weapons in recent weeks, a senior U.S. official told CNN.

Over the last 10 days, the United States has been trying to ascertain the legitimacy of the reports but has been unable to make any firm conclusions, according to officials from a number of U.S. government agencies. The movement could be an attempt to consolidate storage because of deteriorating security across Syria, the official said.

READ FULL SECURITY CLEARANCE POST
February 13th, 2013
05:15 AM ET

Pope Benedict makes first appearance since resignation news

Huge crowds in the Vatican cheered Pope Benedict XVI Wednesday as he made his first public appearance since announcing his resignation at the end of the month.

He thanked the Roman Catholic faithful in several languages and said it was not appropriate for him to continue as pope.

"I've decided to resign the ministry given to me by the Lord. I've done this in full freedom, for the benefit of the Church," he told those gathered in a Vatican City audience hall for his regular weekly appearance.

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Filed under: World
February 13th, 2013
03:15 AM ET

From national championship to jail for 4 Alabama football players

Just a month after reveling in the glory of a national championship, four members of the University of Alabama football team have been arrested after a pair of campus robberies.

The accused are all freshmen members of the Crimson Tide team, which beat Notre Dame in a resounding 42-14 victory last month to clinch the BCS National Championship.

Three players are charged with robbery, and one is charged with fraudulent use of a credit or debit card.

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Filed under: Alabama • Crime • Justice • Sports • U.S.
February 13th, 2013
03:13 AM ET

Thai forces thwart attack on military base, killing 16 insurgents

Sixteen insurgents were killed during a fierce battle after they attacked a military base in a restive area of southern Thailand early Wednesday, authorities said.

Thai military officials said 50 to 60 heavily armed attackers tried to storm the navy base in the province of Narathiwat under cover of darkness, but navy personnel had been forewarned and fought the insurgents off in an intense, hour-long firefight.

It appeared to be the latest flare-up in a worsening conflict between government forces and Muslim separatists in southern Thailand in which more than 5,000 people are believed to have been killed since 2004.

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Filed under: Thailand