March 19th, 2013
09:35 PM ET

Sanford in runoff; Colbert's sister wins

[Update 11:46 a.m. Wednesdsay] Former Gov. Mark Sanford will compete against Curtis Bostic, a former Charleston councilman, in a runoff election in two weeks. The third place finisher, state Sen. Larry Grooms, conceded the race Wednesday.

[Update 9:30 p.m.] CNN projects former Gov. Mark Sanford will finish first in the Republican congressional primary, but short of the 50% needed to avoid a runoff. The second-place finisher, whom Sanford will face in the runoff, has not yet been determined.

[Update 9:02 p.m.] CNN projects that no candidate will reach 50% in the South Carolina 1st Congressional District Republican special primary, forcing a runoff April 2. One of the candidates is likely to be former Gov. Mark Sanford; the other has not yet been determined.

[Original post 8:45 p.m.] CNN projects Elizabeth Colbert Busch, a political neophyte and the sister of TV comedian Stephen Colbert, as the winner of the Democratic primary for a seat in the U.S. House representing South Carolina.

The First Congressional District seat opened up in December when Republican Rep. Tim Scott was appointed to replace outgoing U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint.

Sixteen candidates were seeking the Republican nomination for the House seat. Among them were former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, trying to restart a political career that was derailed by an extramarital affair; Teddy Turner, the son of CNN founder Ted Turner; and state Sen. Larry Grooms, who has amassed some important conservative endorsements.


Filed under: Politics • South Carolina • U.S.
March 19th, 2013
08:55 PM ET

Report: French hostage killed in Mali

A French hostage held in Mali has been executed by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Mauritania's ANI news agency reports.

The agency attributed the information to an AQIM spokesman.

Six other French hostages are still being held in Mali.

French and allied forces, including Malian and Chadian troops, have made significant inroads in recent weeks combating Islamist extremist fighters.

Islamist extremists carved out a large haven in northern Mali last year, taking advantage of a chaotic situation after a military coup by the separatist party MNLA. The militants banned music, smoking, drinking and watching sports on television. They also destroyed historic tombs and shrines.

French involvement in the conflict began on January 11, the day after militants said they had seized the city of Konna, east of Diabaly in central Mali, and were poised to advance south toward Bamako, the capital.

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Filed under: Africa • France • Mali • World
March 19th, 2013
08:17 PM ET

Obama takes off for Israel, West Bank

President Barack Obama departed Joint Base Andrews Tuesday evening aboard Air Force One for his first visit to Israel and the West Bank since he became president in 2009.

Iran is the top issue as Obama heads to Jerusalem for meetings with Israeli officials, including President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The prime minister has at times voiced concerns Washington has a less urgent view than Israel of Iran's progress toward developing a nuclear warhead. But Netanyahu has welcomed the administration's more muscular language of late that "all options" are on the table and that its policy is to prevent - not contain - a nuclear Iran.

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March 19th, 2013
06:57 PM ET

House intel chair: 'High probability' Syria used chemical weapons

There is a "high probability" that Syria used chemical weapons during fighting with opposition forces, though a final verification is needed, U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday.

"I have a high probability to believe that chemical weapons were used," Rogers, R-Michigan, told CNN. "We need that final verification, but given everything we know over the last year and a half, I would come to the conclusion that they are either positioned for use, and ready to do that, or in fact have been used."

Rogers and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, struck ominous tones in an interview on CNN's "Situation Room" about the possibility that Syria had crossed what President Barack Obama has said was a "red line" that could lead to the United States' getting involved militarily in the conflict.

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Filed under: Politics • Syria
March 19th, 2013
05:54 PM ET

Lockdown ends at Indiana college

A lockdown imposed Tuesday afternoon at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis has been lifted, according to the school's Twitter account.

Students and staff at the university had been asked to take shelter earlier Tuesday afternoon while police investigated a report of an armed person on campus.

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Filed under: Crime • Indiana • Justice • U.S.
Statue of Liberty to reopen
The Statue of Liberty, damaged in October by Superstorm Sandy, is due to reopen in July, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says.
March 19th, 2013
04:13 PM ET

Statue of Liberty to reopen

The Statue of Liberty will reopen to the public by the Fourth of July, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Tuesday afternoon during a conference call with reporters.

The World Heritage Site was damaged during Superstorm Sandy in October and has been closed to the public since.

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Filed under: New York • Superstorm Sandy • U.S. • Weather
March 19th, 2013
03:46 PM ET

Carnival cancels Triumph cruises through May

Carnival Cruise Lines announced Tuesday afternoon that an additional 10 cruises have been canceled for the Carnival Triumph while repairs are made to the fire-damaged ship.

The Carnival Triumph, which was stranded in the Gulf of Mexico for several unpleasant days in February, is now slated to return to service on June 3, Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen said.

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Filed under: Travel • U.S.
Months after shooting, Malala at school
Malala Yousafzai, 15, waves as she is discharged from a hospital in central England earlier this year.
March 19th, 2013
01:47 PM ET

Months after shooting, Malala at school

For the first time since the Taliban shot her five months ago, Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai has done what made her a target of the would-be assassins: She's gone to school.

The 15-year-old on Tuesday attended Edgbaston High School in Birmingham, England, the city in which doctors treated her after she received initial care in Pakistan, a public relations agency working with her announced.

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Officials: 7 Marines killed in training exercise
March 19th, 2013
12:29 PM ET

Officials: 7 Marines killed in training exercise

[Updated at 12:29 p.m. ET] The blast that killed seven U.S. Marines and injured eight others Monday night during a training exercise at Nevada's Hawthorne Army Depot was caused by a 60 mm round that detonated in a mortar tube, according to a military official.

[Posted at 9:22 a.m. ET] Seven U.S. Marines were killed and several others were injured during a training exercise Monday night at the Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada, the Marine Corps said Tuesday.

The cause of the incident is under investigation, the Marines said.

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Filed under: Marines • Military • Nevada
Ohio school shooter gets life in prison
T.J. Lane, wearing the word "killer" on his T-shirt in court Tuesday, had pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated murder.
March 19th, 2013
11:50 AM ET

Ohio school shooter gets life in prison

Ohio school shooter T.J. Lane should spend the rest of his life in prison in the deaths of three students last year, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Wearing a white T-shirt with the word "killer" written on it, Lane declined to allow his attorneys to present evidence on his behalf at the sentencing hearing before Geauga County Common Pleas Judge David L. Fuhry.

Lane pleaded guilty last month to three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of attempted aggravated murder and weapons-related charges in the February 27, 2012, shooting at Chardon High School in northeastern Ohio.

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Filed under: Courts • Crime • Gun violence • Justice • Ohio
March 19th, 2013
10:55 AM ET

Syrian regime, rebels make chemical claims

The specter of chemical weapons attacks in the Syrian civil war emerged on Tuesday, with the government and rebels each blaming the other side for using such munitions.

The embattled government of President Bashar al-Assad accused rebels Tuesday of a deadly chemical weapons missile attack. At least 25 people died and dozens more were injured Tuesday in the town of Khan al-Asal in Aleppo province, Syrian state media said, quoting government figures. Rebels rebuffed the claims and blamed the regime.

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Police: Chicago baby killed with single gunshot
Jonylah Watkins was fatally shot while in her father's minivan in Chicago on March 11, police say.
March 19th, 2013
09:48 AM ET

Police: Chicago baby killed with single gunshot

A Chicago baby who was killed when someone fired on her father's minivan last week was shot once, not multiple times as previously reported, police said Tuesday.

Chicago police spokesman Adam Collins also said the father was not changing 6-month-old Jonylah Watkins' diaper when she was shot as previously reported, but rather that the baby was simply on her father's lap in the vehicle.

And Jonylah's mother wasn't shot in the leg while she was pregnant with Jonylah as some news accounts had said, according to Collins.

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Inauguration of the new pope
March 19th, 2013
07:18 AM ET

Inauguration of the new pope

Pope Francis officially became the Catholic Church's pontiff Tuesday, in a ceremony that the Vatican said ahead of time would be short in keeping with the spirit of simplicity exuded by the new Holy Father. We live-blogged the event below. You can read the full story here

[Updated at 10:21 a.m. ET] That's all for the live blog of Pope Francis' inauguration as the Catholic Church's 266th pontiff. Tens of thousands of people listened from St. Peter's Square in Vatican City as Francis called for the protection of the weakest in society during his homily.

For more on today's event, check out our full story. Also, see a number of select photos of the event.

[Updated at 7:18 a.m. ET] U.S. Vice President Joe Biden greets Pope Francis.

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Filed under: Catholic Church • Italy • Religion • Vatican
March 19th, 2013
05:50 AM ET

Russia slams Texas D.A. over boy's death

Russia's child rights ombudsman slammed Texas prosecutors for deciding not to charge the adoptive parents of a Russian boy who died suddenly in January, Russia's RIA Novosti news agency reported Tuesday.

The Ector County district attorney's office said Monday that a grand jury declined to indict Laura and Alan Shatto, the adoptive parents of 3-year-old Max Shatto.

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Filed under: Adoption • Russia
Colorado to tighten gun control with 3 new laws
Gov. John Hickenlooper will sign three bills into law Wednesday, including one that will require a 15-ammunition limit on magazines.
March 19th, 2013
04:16 AM ET

Colorado to tighten gun control with 3 new laws

After witnessing two of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history, Colorado is expected to pass a series of gun control laws Wednesday.

Gov. John Hickenlooper will sign three bills into law Wednesday, his office said. The new legislation includes:

- A 15-ammunition limit on magazines;

- A universal background check for prospective gun buyers; and

- A requirement for gun purchasers to pay for their own background checks

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Filed under: Colorado • Gun Control • Gun violence • Politics
Ohio school shooter faces sentencing
March 19th, 2013
03:30 AM ET

Ohio school shooter faces sentencing

T.J. Lane took a .22 caliber gun to school just over a year ago in northeastern Ohio.

Without saying a word, he walked up to a table in the cafeteria of Chardon High School and opened fire.

He killed three and wounded three more.

On Tuesday, Lane finds out what price he will pay for his crime when he is sentenced.

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Filed under: Cleveland • Crime • Gun Control • Gun violence • Ohio • U.S. • Uncategorized
March 19th, 2013
03:29 AM ET

American convicted of murdering Irish student

A Japanese court on Tuesday found a 19-year-old American man guilty of murdering an Irish student in a Tokyo hotel room last year.

The Tokyo District Court recommended that Richard Hinds, a musician, be sentenced to no fewer than five years and no more than 10 years in prison.

Nicola Furlong, the 21-year-old Irish woman, died in the presence of Hinds in May 2012, police said.

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Filed under: Japan • U.S. • World
March 19th, 2013
02:52 AM ET

Spate of attacks kills 18 in Iraq

Car bombs and roadside explosions killed at least 18 people within a one-hour period in and around Baghdad on Tuesday, authorities said.

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Filed under: Iraq War • World
Spring may be around the corner - but winter's not done yet
March 19th, 2013
02:29 AM ET

Spring may be around the corner - but winter's not done yet

The official start of spring is just a day away.

But, along parts of the Upper Midwest and Canada, winter plans to stretch its last hurrah until the waning minutes.

Fourteen inches of snow are forecast for the mountains of New England on Tuesday, prompting school closures from Massachusetts to Maine.

With all the snow this winter, the school system has already burned through the five snow days built into the schedule and will have to make up two more at the end of the year.

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Filed under: U.S. • Weather
March 19th, 2013
01:57 AM ET

U.S.-educated Kurd to lead Syrian opposition

Hopes for a peaceful, credible alternative to Syria's embattled government now rest largely on the shoulders of a U.S.-educated Kurdish businessman.

A Syrian opposition alliance elected Ghassan Hitto, an information technology executive, to lead its provisional government.

Hitto went to college in Indiana and lived for many years in Dallas.

The role of the provisional government he will lead will likely be spelled out at a Tuesday news conference by the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces.

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Filed under: Syria • World
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