Biological dad returns 4-year-old Veronica to adoptive parents
September 23rd, 2013
10:19 PM ET

Biological dad returns 4-year-old Veronica to adoptive parents

The 4-year-old girl at the center of a lengthy, high-profile custody dispute between her Native American father and her adoptive parents has been returned to the couple, a spokeswoman for the adoptive family said Monday.

Earlier in the day, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Dusten Brown, the girl's father, must return the girl, named Veronica, to Matt and Melanie Capobianco, who live in South Carolina.

"Veronica is safely in the arms of her parents and has been reunited with her family. Our prayers are with everyone involved this evening. There is no happy ending in this travesty, only closure," said Jessica Munday, a spokeswoman for the family.

The Capobiancos adopted Veronica at birth in 2009 and have been involved in a custody battle since then with Brown, who lives in Oklahoma.

Brown's attorney, Clark Brewster, said his client handed Veronica over Monday night. He said the Browns were "devastated" but thought it best after the court's decision to hand Veronica over to the Capobiancos, with whom she spent the first two years of her life.

"One thing we wanted to avoid was some type of showdown, or sometime of event that would affect Veronica," Brewster said.

The four-year case has spanned state lines and tested an unusual federal law.

The Capobiancos legally adopted Veronica, and Brown learned of her adoption a few months later. Brown, a registered member of the Cherokee tribe, asserted his custody rights under the Indian Child Welfare Act, setting off the legal fight.

A family court judge ruled in Brown's favor in late 2011, and he took his daughter back. The Capobiancos had fought ever since to have Veronica returned.

In June, a divided U.S. Supreme Court sided with the Capobiancos. The justices said the adoption was proper and did not intrude on Brown's federal rights.

The father then took his case to Oklahoma courts. The Oklahoma Supreme Court issued an emergency stay last month to temporarily delay the transfer of Veronica to the Capobiancos.

Monday, it lifted the stay after the two sides couldn't come together on a custody agreement.

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Filed under: U.S.
September 23rd, 2013
01:23 PM ET

2 presumed dead in Navy chopper accident

Two crew members who went missing when their helicopter went into the Red Sea on Sunday are believed to be dead, the U.S. Navy said Monday.

Search and rescue efforts for the two, who were in a MH-605 Knighthawk helicopter, have been suspended, the Navy said. The sea lies between Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

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Filed under: Bahrain
September 23rd, 2013
01:19 PM ET

Two held in Chicago park shooting

Two people are in custody in connection with last week's shooting in Chicago, and a 3-year-old boy injured in gunfire remains in intensive care, authorities said Monday.

The two are regarded as "persons of interest," police told CNN. The Chicago Tribune quoted police as saying no charges have been filed against the two, who are men. They say that "several people of interest" were being interviewed.

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Filed under: Illinois
September 23rd, 2013
03:30 AM ET

Al-Assad: Syria rebels may attack inspectors

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has suggested that some outside governments may urge rebels to attack international inspectors sent into war-fractured country to secure its arsenal of chemical weapons.

"There might be countries that might ask the terrorists to attack the inspectors to prevent them from doing their job, and blame the Syrian government," he said in an interview aired Sunday by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.

"At this point, this remains just a possibility and we cannot know until the inspectors arrive in Syria," al-Assad said.

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Filed under: Syria • War • World
September 23rd, 2013
02:55 AM ET

Kenya-style mall attack: Can it happen here?

t's hard to imagine a softer target than an enclosed, easy-to-enter space with large numbers of civilians, many of them children or elderly, milling about with no authority clearly in charge.

And the al Shabaab terrorist group that carried out this weekend's mall attack in Kenya is known to have recruited in the United States.

If you connect those dots, you get the kind of scenario that "keeps us up at night," as a federal law enforcement source told CNN's Pamela Brown: an attack at a shopping mall in the United States.

Can it happen here? Yes, say security experts, but it hasn't.

There have been shootings at U.S. malls, although not by terrorists. And there have been terror plots that were foiled.

But the U.S. has not witnessed anything close to the scope of the violent siege at Nairobi's Westgate mall.

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Filed under: U.S. • World