March 20th, 2013
11:16 PM ET

North Korea: U.S. bases within range

The North Korean military on Thursday issued a fresh burst of ominous rhetoric, warning that U.S. bases in Guam and Japan are within its "striking range."

The statement from the Supreme Command of the Korean People's Army, carried by the North's state-run news agency, follows the announcement by the United States this week that its B-52 bombers were making flights over South Korea as part of military exercises.

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Filed under: North Korea • South Korea
March 20th, 2013
10:43 PM ET

S. Korea: Hacking traced to IP address in China

The suspected cyber attack that appeared to target South Korean banks and broadcasters Wednesday originated from an IP address in China, South Korea's Communications Committee said in a statement Thursday.

The attack damaged 32,000 computers and servers of media and financial companies, the committee said.

South Korean officials are analyzing the cause and are working to prevent any further damage, the committee said.

The attack infected banks' and broadcasters' computer networks with a malicious program that slowed or shut systems down, officials and the semiofficial Yonhap News Agency said.

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Filed under: China • Media • North Korea • Security breaches • South Korea • Technology
March 20th, 2013
10:16 PM ET

Military names 7 Marines killed in accident

The U.S. Marine Corps has released the identities of the seven Marines killed in Monday's explosion at the Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada. They are:

• Pfc. Joshua M. Martino, 19, Clearfield, Pennsylvania;

• Lance Cpl. David P. Fenn II, 20, Polk City, Florida;

• Lance Cpl. Roger W. Muchnick Jr., 23, Fairfield, Connecticut;

• Lance Cpl. Joshua C. Taylor, 21, Marietta, Ohio;

• Lance Cpl. Mason J. Vanderwork, 21, Hickory, North Carolina;

• Lance Cpl. William T. Wild IV, 21, Anne Arundel, Maryland;

• Cpl. Aaron J. Ripperda, 26, Madison, Illinois.

The cause of the Monday night blast was a 60 mm round that detonated inside a mortar tube, Brig. Gen. James W. Lukeman, commanding general of the 2nd Marine Division, told reporters.

The Marines said in a statement Tuesday evening that all 60 mm mortar rounds and tubes used to fire them are being pulled pending an investigation.

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Filed under: Marines • Military • Nevada • U.S.
Judge rejects options for guilty pleas by Fort Hood defendant
Army Maj. Nidal Hasan is accused of killing 13 people and wounding 32 at Fort Hood in 2009.
March 20th, 2013
08:27 PM ET

Judge rejects options for guilty pleas by Fort Hood defendant

The judge in the court-martial of an Army psychiatrist charged in a deadly shooting spree on a Texas military base rejected three options presented by his lawyers under which he would plead guilty and ordered the trial to begin in May.

Maj. Nidal Hasan is charged with killing 13 people at Fort Hood in November 2009, called the worst incident of its kind on a military base.

 

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Filed under: Courts • Crime • Fort Hood shooting • Texas • U.S.
Jury recommends death for 'Craigslist killer'
Richard James Beasley, 53, was convicted of being the mastermind of a plot to kill men lured by Craigslist ad.
March 20th, 2013
06:40 PM ET

Jury recommends death for 'Craigslist killer'

A jury on Wednesday unanimously recommended Richard James Beasley be sentenced to death for killing three men who had answered a Craigslist ad for work on an Ohio cattle farm.

Summit County Judge Lynne Callahan set sentencing for Tuesday.

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Filed under: Crime • Death Penalty • Ohio • U.S.
Porn legend Harry Reems dead at 65
Harry Reems at the New York City premiere of "Inside Deep Throat" in 2005.
March 20th, 2013
05:46 PM ET

Porn legend Harry Reems dead at 65

Harry Reems, the porn star best known for playing Dr. Young in the 1972 adult film classic "Deep Throat,"  died Tuesday, according to a spokeswoman at a Salt Lake City hospital. Reems, whose real name was Herbert Streicher, was 65.
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Filed under: Showbiz • U.S.
March 20th, 2013
04:51 PM ET

Senate OKs bill to keep government running

The U.S. Senate approved legislation on Wednesday aimed at funding the government through the end of September and avoiding a partial federal shutdown, while also softening the blow of sweeping forced spending cuts. The measure now goes to the House of Representatives.

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Filed under: Politics • U.S.
March 20th, 2013
04:24 PM ET

California mayor, council members convicted of corruption charges

Former Bell, California, Mayor Oscar Hernandez was found guilty Wednesday on five felony charges for the misappropriation of funds, with more such verdicts possible as the jury continues to weigh several counts in the case.

Hernandez and several former city council members in Bell, a city of 36,000 people about 10 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, had been on trial since January after prosecutors accused them of widespread corruption.

In addition to convicting him on five charges, the jury on Wednesday found Hernandez not guilty of five other charges.

There were similarly split verdicts for former Bell city council members Teresa Jacobo, George Mirabal, George Cole Jr. and Victor Bello. The only ex-council member found not guilty on all counts announced Wednesday was Luis Antonio Artiga.

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Filed under: California • Crime
March 20th, 2013
03:54 PM ET

U.S. offers $5M bounties for alleged American terrorists in Somalia

The State Department has put a multimillion-dollar bounty on the heads of two Americans who the United States claims belong to an al Qaeda affiliate in Somalia, CNN has learned.

Posters and matchbooks in Somali and English emblazoned with the names and pictures of Omar Shafik Hammami and Jehad Serwan Mostafa tout rewards up to $5 million each for information leading to their arrest or conviction. Both men are on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists List.

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Lawyer: Client will plead not guilty to slapping child during flight
Joe Rickey Hundley is accused of slapping a crying child sitting near him during a flight in February.
March 20th, 2013
03:26 PM ET

Lawyer: Client will plead not guilty to slapping child during flight

The Idaho man accused of slapping a crying 19-month-old boy on a commercial airline flight will plead not guilty, attorney Marcia Shein said.

Joe Rickey Hundley, who is charged with assaulting a minor, is scheduled to appear in a federal courthouse in Atlanta Wednesday.

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Filed under: Air travel • Crime • Georgia • Travel • U.S.
March 20th, 2013
02:40 PM ET

Obama, Netanyahu exchange assurances on Iran, Syria, Palestinians

President Barack Obama is visiting Israel, Jerusalem and the West Bank for the first time since he became president. He and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a joint news conference Wednesday evening in Jerusalem.

[Update 3:16 p.m.] The news conference has concluded.

[Update 3:15 p.m.] Netanyahu said the United States and Israel have a "common assessment" on Iran's progress in developing a nuclear weapon.

[Update 3:09 p.m.] Obama said that he "purposely did not want to come here and make some big announcement that might not match up to the reality" on the ground regarding the Middle East peace process.

[Update 3:04 p.m.] "I think there is time to resolve this issue diplomatically," Obama said about tension over Iran's nuclear program.

[Update 2:56 p.m.] Obama said that "all options are on the table" regarding Iran's nuclear ambitions, adding that "we will do what is necessary in preventing Iran from getting the world's worst weapons."

Netanyahu said he was "absolutely convinced" that Obama is "determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon."

[Update 2:52 p.m.] Obama said he has ordered an investigation of whether the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its own people, adding he was "deeply skeptical" of any claim the opposition had used them.

"Once we have established the facts, I have made clear that the use of chemical weapons is a game-changer," Obama said, stopping short of saying what he would do if Syria had crossed his "red line" for stronger action.

[Update 2:49 p.m.] Obama said the Syrian government's "use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people would be a serious and tragic mistake," adding that Damascus "will be held for accountable for the use of chemical weapons or their transfer to terrorists." 

[Update 2:45 p.m.] Obama said he and Netanyahu discussed extending U.S. assistance for Israel beyond the 2017 deadline of the current agreement between their countries.

 [Update 2:42 p.m.] Netanyahu said Wednesday that he hoped the visit by Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry can "help us turn a page in relations" with Palestinians seeking their own state.

[First post 2:38 p.m.] Netanyahu said Wednesday that diplomacy and sanctions have not stopped Iran's efforts to develop a nuclear weapon so far, adding that a peaceful solution also requires a clear and credible threat of military action.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Iran • Israel • Military • Palestinians • Politics • Syria • World
March 20th, 2013
02:35 PM ET

Rat may have cut power at Fukushima plant

A "rat-like animal" just might be the reason for power outages at a critical Japanese nuclear facility this week.

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi plant suspects such a critter of causing a short circuit in a switchboard that led to a power outage, Japan's Kyodo news agency reported Wednesday.

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March 20th, 2013
02:29 PM ET

Saudi native charged with fighting for al Qaeda

A federal grand jury in New York has indicted a Saudi native on charges of joining al Qaeda in fighting U.S. forces in Afghanistan and conspiring to bomb U.S. diplomatic facilities in Nigeria.

Ibrahim Suleiman Adnan Adam Harun, also known as "Spin Ghul," was extradited from Italy to the United States in October.

The six-count indictment accuses him of, among other things, joining al Qaeda after arriving in Afghanistan in 2001, fighting U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan in 2002 and 2003, and traveling to Africa "with the intent to conduct attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Nigeria," according to the office of the U.S attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

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Filed under: Al Qaeda • New York • Nigeria • Saudi Arabia • Terrorism
March 20th, 2013
11:52 AM ET

Hacking attack hits South Korea

[Updated at 11:52 a.m. ET] South Korean investigators now believe computer outages at South Korean banks and broadcasters Wednesday were caused by cyberattackers, though they're still not sure who those attackers were, South Korean officials and the semiofficial Yonhap News Agency reported.

[Posted at 2:42 a.m. ET] South Korean police said Wednesday they are investigating a computer outage that is affecting servers at three leading television broadcasters and a large bank.

Customers of Shinhan Bank are unable to log into the lender's website at the moment, the company said in an online statement.

And the broadcaster YTN reported that 500 of its computers had been disabled by the outage. Police didn't immediately provide a reason for the server failure.

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Bangladeshi president dies at 84
President Zillur Rahman at the swearing-in ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Dhaka, February 12, 2009.
March 20th, 2013
11:33 AM ET

Bangladeshi president dies at 84

Bangladeshi President Mohammad Zillur Rahman died Wednesday at a Singapore hospital, where he was being treated for a lung infection, an official with his office said. He was 84.

Rahman was admitted to Mount Elisabeth Hospital on March 10. He died there Wednesday afternoon, according to the official, Mohammad Shafiul Alam.

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March 20th, 2013
11:28 AM ET

Official: Israel believes chemical weapons used in Syria

Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni says "it is clear for us here in Israel" that chemical weapons have been used in Syria, and an international response to the crisis should be "on the table in the discussions between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama" during the president's trip to Israel.

When pressed during an interview in her Tel Aviv home, Livni wouldn't say whether there is evidence that the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has directed the use of any chemical weapons.

But she said this development poses a direct threat to Israel, which shares a border with Syria. Livni told CNN that "the appearance is that it's not going to be only in Syria, but that Hezbollah can reach all these chemical weapons and use them against Israel in the future."

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Filed under: Israel • Syria
March 20th, 2013
10:19 AM ET

Colorado prison chief shot dead at his door, authorities say

[Posted at 10:19 a.m. ET] The executive director of Colorado's prison system was shot when he opened his door, according to a 911 caller that police have identified as a relative in the home.

El Paso County Sheriff's deputies arrived at Tom Clements' Black Forest home - about 20 miles outside Colorado Springs - to find the 58-year-old dead Tuesday night, said Lt. Jeff Kramer.

[Posted at 9:47 a.m. ET] The executive director of Colorado's prison system has been found dead in his home, and authorities believe someone killed him, a spokesman for Gov. John Hickenlooper said early Wednesday.

Tom Clements, executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections, was found dead at his home in Black Forest, Colorado, spokesman Eric Brown said.

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Filed under: Colorado • Crime
March 20th, 2013
07:38 AM ET

Wednesday's live events

The murder trial of Jodi Arias has gripped the nation.  Watch CNN.com Live for gavel-to-gavel coverage of the trial.

Today's programming highlights...

9:45 am ET - Syria crisis hearing - With new allegations of chemical weapons being used in the conflict, the House Foreign Affairs Committee will look at how the United States should respond to the fighting in Syria.

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Filed under: Crime • Justice • On CNN.com today • Politics • Syria • World
Islamists claim Iraq anniversary attacks
March 20th, 2013
04:54 AM ET

Islamists claim Iraq anniversary attacks

An al-Qaeda affiliate claimed responsibility Wednesday for a chain of 24 bombings and two gun attacks in Iraq a day earlier, as the death toll rose to 61.

A statement attributed to the Islamic State of Iraq appeared on extremist websites, calling Tuesday's carnage "retaliation" against Shiite members in government.

Though Iraq has grown safer in the last six years, sectarian violence and instability still grip the country 10 years after the start of the U.S.-led war.

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March 20th, 2013
04:23 AM ET

Obama makes first trip to Israel as president

For the first time as president, Barack Obama is visiting Israel as concerns about Iran's nuclear progress percolate.

The trip is part of his sweep across the Middle East, which will include visits to the West Bank and Jordan.

Obama's first stop Wednesday will be a visit to an Iron Dome missile defense launcher in Tel Aviv.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Israel
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