Source: Obama to challenge Iran
March 7th, 2013
09:57 PM ET

Source: Obama to challenge Iran

Barack Obama said on Thursday that he will not engage in any "chest beating" over Iran's nuclear program, but plans to issue a "clear and direct" challenge to Tehran during his upcoming Middle East trip, according to sources familiar with his comments.

Obama said at a White House meeting with Jewish American leaders that he will still work toward a diplomatic resolution with Iran over its nuclear program, but that no options are off the table, including military ones, one of the sources said.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Iran • Politics
Brooklyn fatal crash suspect charged
Julio Acevedo, 44, turned himself in in connection with the hit-and-run crash that killed a Brooklyn couple and their unborn child.
March 7th, 2013
09:53 PM ET

Brooklyn fatal crash suspect charged

The suspect in the weekend hit-and-run crash that killed a Brooklyn couple and their unborn child faces vehicular manslaughter and other charges after being sent back from Pennsylvania, New York police said Thursday.

Julio Acevedo, 44, now faces charges of vehicular manslaughter, three counts of criminally negligent homicide and three counts of leaving the scene of an accident, the New York Police Department announced. He was scheduled to be arraigned late Thursday night in Brooklyn.

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Filed under: Crime • New York
March 7th, 2013
07:30 PM ET

Chavez's body to be displayed 'like Lenin'

The body of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will eventually displayed publicly "just like Lenin (and) Mao Zedong," the country's interim leader said on state-run TV Thursday.

"The body of our leader will be embalmed, and it will ... be surrounded by crystal glass forever, present forever, and always with his people," Nicolas Maduro said.

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Filed under: Venezuela
Brennan confirmed for CIA after drone delay
March 7th, 2013
03:55 PM ET

Brennan confirmed for CIA after drone delay

The U.S. Senate approved John Brennan as the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency Thursday after a Republican senator ended his delay of the vote earlier in the day.

Brennan (pictured) was confirmed by a 63-34 vote that crossed party lines. His elevation to the post was widely expected, though he faced vocal opposition from critics like Sen. Rand Paul, who filibustered the vote and demanded more answers from President Barack Obama's administration on when they might use unmanned drones to target Americans suspected of being terrorists.

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All cardinal-electors are at Vatican
Archbishops (purple hats) and cardinals (red hats) sit in St Peter's Square on February 27 in Vatican City.
March 7th, 2013
03:20 PM ET

All cardinal-electors are at Vatican

All 115 cardinal-electors are now in the Vatican ahead of a conclave to elect a new pope, Vatican spokesman Tom Rosica said on Thursday.

No date has been set for the conclave, or secret election, for the new pope, said the Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman.

But Cardinal Roger Mahony, the retired archbishop of Los Angeles, suggested that the announcement might not be far away in a tweet posted Thursday.

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Filed under: Catholic Church • Christian • Religion • Vatican
March 7th, 2013
03:05 PM ET

Paul 'happy' on drones, will allow vote

[Updated at 3:03 p.m. ET] Sen. Rand Paul has told CNN's Dana Bash that he will allow a vote to end his filibuster against CIA director nominee John Brennan.

He says he's doing this because he's received an answer from the Obama administration about his question on drones.

[Posted at 2:15 p.m. ET] After a nearly 13-hour filibuster by Sen. Rand Paul over his questions about drones, the U.S. attorney general has given a response.

Attorney General Eric Holder says the president does not have the authority to use a drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on U.S. soil, according to a letter he addressed to Sen. Rand Paul on Thursday.

"It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: 'Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?' The answer to that question is no," the letter states.

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Officials: Bin Laden's son-in-law captured
This frame grab from the Saudi-owned television network MBC shows Suleiman Abu Ghaith.
March 7th, 2013
12:14 PM ET

Officials: Bin Laden's son-in-law captured

[Updated at 3:28 p.m. ET] Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, who has served as an al Qaeda spokesman, was captured and has been brought to the United States, two administration officials and a federal law enforcement official said Thursday.

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith is being held in New York, and will appear in court Friday to face federal charges, the law enforcement official said.

A sealed indictment lays out charges against him, the administration officials said.

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March 7th, 2013
10:59 AM ET

Pistorius detective resigns from force

Hilton Botha, the former lead detective in the Oscar Pistorius murder case, has resigned from the police force, South African Police spokesman Brig. Neville Malila said Thursday

The South African Police Service pulled Botha from the Pistorius case after prosecutors reinstated attempted murder charges against him in a 2011 case.

Botha is accused of chasing and firing on a minibus full of people while drunk. He is charged with seven counts of attempted murder.

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Filed under: Crime • Oscar Pistorius • South Africa
March 7th, 2013
10:20 AM ET

U.N. adopts new North Korea sanctions

The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously on Thursday for a resolution strengthening sanctions on North Korea.

The Security Council resolution targeting North Korea and its nuclear program includes tough new financial sanctions, travel restrictions, and inspection powers.

"These sanctions will bite and bite hard," U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice told reporters after the unanimous resolution vote on Thursday.

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Filed under: North Korea • Nuclear • United Nations
March 7th, 2013
07:41 AM ET

Thursday's live events

$85 billion in automatic across-the-board spending cuts became law last week, as President Obama and Congress struggle to find a solution to the crisis.  Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage on this story.

Today's programming highlights...

10:00 am ET - North Korea policy hearing - As North Korea makes new threats amid possible U.N. sanctions over its nuclear ambitions, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee meets to discuss existing U.S. policy toward Pyongyang.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Budget • Congress • Dollars & Sense • Economy • Kim Jong Un • North Korea • On CNN.com today • Politics • World
March 7th, 2013
05:02 AM ET

Kenyan contender says vote 'doctored'

The running mate of one of Kenya's two frontrunners in the presidential election said Thursday  that the vote tallying should stop  because it is '"doctored" and lacks integrity.
A day before the announcement, election officials had said the new electronic voting system broke down, snarling the process and forcing the tallying to be done manually.

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Arkansas lawmakers back strict abortion bill
Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe vetoed the bill, but his veto was overridden by the legislature.
March 7th, 2013
03:32 AM ET

Arkansas lawmakers back strict abortion bill

Overriding a veto by Arkansas' Democratic governor, the state's Republican-controlled House and Senate approved a bill to ban abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy - the most restrictive such law in the country.

Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, vetoed the bill Monday, saying it "blatantly contradicts the United States Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court."

But on Wednesday, the Arkansas House voted 56-33 to override the veto, following a 20-14 override vote a day earlier in the state Senate.

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Filed under: Abortion • Arkansas • Politics
March 7th, 2013
03:06 AM ET

Philippine clan leader wants truce in Sabah

One of the leaders of a clan from the southern Philippines called for a ceasefire Thursday amid deadly clashes in the Malaysian state of Sabah between armed clan members and Malaysian security forces.

The call for the ceasefire was made at a news conference in Manila by Abraham Idjirani, the spokesman for one of the leaders of the Sultanate of Sulu, a now defunct kingdom in the southern Philippines whose followers arrived in a remote corner of Sabah last month and claimed sovereignty over the area.

After failing to persuade the scores of clan members to leave peacefully, Malaysian security forces launched an offensive using fighter jets and mortar shells on Tuesday. But the clan's leadership said its followers hadn't suffered casualties from the attack.

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Filed under: Malaysia • Philippines • World
Cardinals mingle over coffee before conclave
March 7th, 2013
03:05 AM ET

Cardinals mingle over coffee before conclave

The last cardinals summoned to choose the next pope are expected to arrive at the Vatican on Thursday, but the conclave will not begin immediately.

With Easter around the corner, many inside and outside the Catholic Church would like to see a new pontiff to lead ceremonies.

With all the electors in Rome, the conclave could begin at their discretion.

But they will not likely rush into it. Instead, they will take time to prepare - and get reacquainted.

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Filed under: Uncategorized
March 7th, 2013
01:33 AM ET

Acid attack suspects appear in court

Three men detained for the acid attack on the artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet will face a judge Thursday.
The court will decide whether the three will remain in detention, go under house arrest, or be released on bail.

Among those detained is lead dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko who police say masterminded the attack on January 17.
The other two are: Yuri Zarutsky, who allegedly flung the sulphuric acid on director Sergei Filin, and Andrey Lipatov, who allegedly drove the getaway car.

If convicted, the attackers could face up to eight years in jail for willfully inflicting damage on the health of another.

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Filed under: Russia