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.
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,‚ÄĚ said High Commissioner for Refugees Ant√≥nio Guterres. ‚ÄúThe moral imperative to help is clear."
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.
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.FULL STORY
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
President Barack Obama will sign an executive order on Tuesday outlining standards that companies operating critical infrastructure should follow to protect from cyberattacks, a source informed of the planning told CNN.
The president is expected to discuss the order during tonight's¬†State of the Union address, a¬†source informed on the planning tells CNN.
Obama will release the order in detail on Wednesday, the source said.
The order will have an information sharing provision that will¬†enable exchange of data between the private sector and government.¬†The¬†order does not include an enforcement mechanism. The administration¬†still wants DHS to regulate critical infrastructure and Congress to pass¬†more expansive legislation.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced just days before leaving office that the Pentagon is extending some benefits to the same-sex partners of service members.
Same-sex partners who sign a military "Declaration of Domestic Partnership" form will be eligible for several benefits, including military identification cards as dependents.
This would allow them unescorted status on bases, access to commissaries, and the right to visit their partners in military hospitals.
They will also be able to receive many survivor benefits, including life insurance payments.FULL STORY
A major winter storm whipped the Upper Midwest early Monday, just after a historic snowfall buried much of the Northeast.
The latest blizzard dumped 8 to 15 inches of snow across parts of seven states, but saved most of its fury for the Dakotas and Minnesota, the National Weather Service said.
Snow showers and blowing snow were expected to linger Monday across the area.
More than 1,000 miles away, residents of the Northeast spent the weekend digging out from a storm that dumped several feet of snow across the region.
In the Southeast, at least 15 tornadoes formed across southern Mississippi and Alabama Sunday afternoon as a cold front moved in. Major damage was caused by a tornado that struck Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The Mobile,¬†Alabama, National Weather Service Office was to begin conducting damage surveys Monday.
According to Storm Prediction Center reports, nearly 70 people were injured in Sunday's storms, with at least 61 of those in Hattiesburg.FULL STORY
When Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday that he would step down at the end of the month, an interesting debate sprang up: Do popes resign or abdicate?
In English, the pope said he is renouncing his role at the end of the month "because of advanced age." ¬†In some other languages, he uses the word "vacating."
This is a rare situation; the last pope to resign was Gregory XII in 1415.
But it turns out there is some specific language to help guide the linguistics of it all.
"Should it¬†happen¬†that the¬†Roman¬†Pontiff¬†resigns¬†from his¬†office, it is¬†required¬†for¬†validity¬†that the¬†resignation¬†be¬†freely made and¬†properly¬†manifested, but it is not¬†necessary¬†that it be¬†accepted¬†by anyone,"¬†according to laws that guide the church.
So according to those rules, the correct word to describe the pope's actions would be resignation.
But many people have been calling the pope‚Äôs announcement an abdication. That word normally applies in a royal context, when the person who leaves their position has an immediate successor in place.
In this case, the cardinals will vote on a new pope.
[Updated at 10:53 a.m. ET] Two female shooting victims are dead after a gunman opened fire in a Delaware courthouse.
The suspected gunman also was killed during an exchange of gunfire with officers, Delaware State Police spokesman Sgt. Paul Shavack said. Two capitol police officers were injured in the incident. Their injuries are non-life-threatening.
[Posted at 9:03 a.m. ET] There has been a shooting at a¬†courthouse in Wilmington, Delaware,¬†according to Wilmington Police spokesman Jamaine¬†Crawford.
A constable was¬†among¬†those shot, Crawford said.
The shooting occurred this morning at the New Castle County¬†Court of Common Pleas. The number of injured and the severity of their¬†injuries were not immediately available.FULL STORY
The U.S. Postal Service will end Saturday home delivery of letters and other first-class mail, but will still deliver packages, starting in August.
This story is developing. We'll bring you the latest from our CNNMoney.com colleagues as soon as we get it.
[Updated at 7:07 a.m. ET] Protesters stormed several offices of Tunisia's ruling political party Wednesday after a prominent opposition leader was assassinated outside his home in Tunis, Tunisian Interior Minister Ali Al-Areed told Tunisia State TV.
"I call everyone in Tunisia and our intellectual elite not to allow the chaos to takeover and we urge the security forces to track down these perpetrators and bring them to justice," he said.
The protests took place in offices of the party al Nahda across the country, he said.
[Posted at 5:13 a.m. ET] A Tunisian opposition figure was shot dead Wednesday morning outside his home in Tunis, Tunisian State TV reported.
Chokri Belaid, was a leader of the Popular Front coalition.
Computer company Dell has agreed to be sold to founder Michael Dell and investment firm Silver Lake for about $24.4 billion.
Want to know more about what this means for the company? Our colleagues at CNNMoney.com break it down for you.
As the President continues to push for new gun control measures, new FBI data shows January was the second highest month on record for gun background checks.
FBI figures posted Tuesday show there were 2,495,400 background checks done through the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System known as NICS. The number was more than a million higher than any previous January. The data does not indicate exactly how many weapons might have been purchased as some customers buy more than one gun at a time.
December was the number one record-setting month with 2,783,765 background checks.
The FBI does not comment on the data but makes it available on its website. But the figures typically show high numbers of background checks during the holiday shopping months of November and December. The background check numbers usually decline January. There also is often a spike in checks after dramatic incidents of gun violence. The NICS system was launched in November 1998 after being mandated by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993.FULL STORY
Iranian President¬†Mahmoud¬†Ahmadinejad joked he is so serious about making sure Iran advances¬†technologically¬†that he'd volunteer to go to space for his country if needed.
"I am ready to be the first human to be sent to space by Iranian scientists,‚ÄĚ he said after meeting Monday with Iranian space scientists,¬†according¬†to the semi-official¬†Mehr News Agency.
The president's comments, made in jest, came a week after the state's semi-official Fars News Agency said Iran¬†had "sent a monkey to the orbit, brought it back to the Earth and retrieved the animal and the relevant data successfully."
[Updated at 11:17 a.m. ET]¬†We've just received video that shows Malala Yousufzai¬†speaking for the first time on camera since she was shot.
"I'm getting better day by day," she said, citing the prayers of her supporters. "Because of these prayers God has given me this new life."
[Posted at 9:57 a.m. ET] Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai who was shot in the head by the Taliban is doing very well after two operations over the weekend and will not require further surgery, her doctors said today.
"She has no long-lasting brain injuries ... the brain is healing very well," her neurosurgeon Anwen White told reporters in Birmingham, England.FULL STORY
Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will give an opening statement today at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence, according to two sources close to Giffords.
It is the first congressional hearing on gun violence since the Connecticut school massacre that left 26 people dead. A top NRA official plans to tell lawmakers Wednesday that new weapons restrictions are not a "serious solution" to the problem.
Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, will be one of five witnesses at the hearing. Giffords' husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, will also testify.
The hearing comes a few weeks after President Barack Obama's legislative proposals aimed at curbing gun violence after the Newtown shootings, which left 20 children and six adults dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The shooter, Adam Lanza, also killed his mother and himself.FULL STORY
[Updated at 3:36 p.m. ET] Politicians are beginning to weigh in with their views on Twitter.
Perhaps no surprise, but House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has high praise for Obama's announcement.
Democratic Rep. Matt Cartwright from Pennsylvania hit on one of the specifics Obama spoke about: Business.
[Posted at 8:37 a.m. ET] Three people have now been arrested in connection with the deadly nightclub fire in Brazil, according to CNN affiliate Band News in Brazil.
The owner of the nightclub Elissandro Sphor, known as "Kiko", was arrested at a hospital in Cruz Alta, Brazil, according to Band News.
The media outlet also reported a vocalist from the band and a person in charge of stage safety for the band were arrested in Mata, Brazil.
[Posted at 8:25 a.m. ET] One of the club owners and a member of the band have been arrested in connection to the Brazil nightclub fire, CNN affiliate Band News in Brazil is reporting.
[Posted at 8:02 a.m. ET] The death toll in Sunday's nightclub fire in Brazil has risen to at least 233, officials say.
Panicked crowds pushed toward the exits as fire swept through the packed Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria. Many died of smoke inhalation, state-run Agencial Brasil reported. Others were trampled, a security guard told CNN affiliate Band News.FULL STORY
It looks like immigration might be the next hot issue in Washington, D.C.
A bipartisan group of senators will hold a press conference today at 2:30 p.m. ET¬† "to provide a key update on their discussions on a
comprehensive immigration reform bill," according to a release from Sen. Marco Rubio office.