What will you be watching tomorrow night? If you're like millions of Americans and, perhaps, some of the scores detained at the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, your television will be tuned in to see who wins the presidential election.
A detainee at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, died over the weekend, U.S. Southern Command announced Monday.
The detainee was found unresponsive Saturday afternoon during a routine check, Southern Command said in a news release.
Medical personnel were summoned and provided emergency treatment before taking the detainee to Naval Hospital Guantanamo.
"After extensive lifesaving measures had been performed, the detainee was pronounced dead by a physician," the Southern Command statement said.FULL STORY
Violence in Syria and Libya – The Syrian army launched a military operation Monday cracking down on anti-government protesters in the southern city of Daraa, and Syrian authorities have closed the border with Jordan.
Witnesses early Monday reported bodies lying on the streets of Daraa. Ambulances were unable to help the injured because snipers and army officers were deployed across the city, a witness said. "They shoot on anything that moves," the witness said. Another witness spoke to CNN by phone, estimating about 3,000 soldiers are in Daraa. "They are breaking into people's houses, firing randomly at houses," said the resident as the sound of gunfire and people screaming could be heard in the background. "We were sleeping and not protesting."
Meanwhile in Libya, the casualty toll continued to mount Monday in Misrata despite reports that Moammar Gadhafi's forces have withdrawn from the besieged city. Misrata has been the scene of some of the fiercest fighting as rebels try to oust Gadhafi. NATO jets bombed targets in the capital of Tripoli early Monday as state-run TV reported airstrikes flattened a building at Gadhafi's compound. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said NATO should start bombing Gadhafi's inner circle to remove him from power.
U.S. President Barack Obama said Monday that the United States will resume using military commissions to prosecute terrorism suspects held at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility.
The announcement said the Obama administration remains committed to closing the controversial detention facility, but will rescind its previous suspension on bringing new charges before military commissions.
The commissions are military proceedings rather than trials in civilian courts.
Obama previously pledged to close the Guantanamo Bay facility within a year of taking office in January 2009. However, it still is open due to legal complexities involving the status of some detainees and congressional opposition to holding trials for high-profile suspects in U.S. criminal courts.FULL STORY
Will Assange be extradited? – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange returns to court in London. He's fighting extradition to Sweden, where he's wanted for questioning in a sex crimes investigation. The 39-year-old Australian has repeatedly said he is innocent and is confident he will be exonerated. He has not been charged with a crime.
Assange's lawyers have said Swedish prosecutors are attempting to discredit him because of his work with WikiLeaks, which published reams of classified government intelligence last year. The attorneys speculated that if Assange were extradited, Sweden could hand him to the U.S., which could charge him with espionage, leading to his confinement in Guantanamo Bay prison and his execution. The proceeding in London should wrap up today.
Protesters in peril? – There have been no reports of gunfire in Cairo, Egypt, today, but Middle East expert Fouad Ajami cautions that that is no indication protesters are safe. He says this is the most dangerous phase of the conflict for protesters because many of their identities are known to security services. If President Hosni Mubarak's administration survives, people speaking against Mubarak could face severe consequences, he says. Ajami is a professor of Middle East studies at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
Meanwhile, the White House's position toward Egypt appears to be changing, and details are surfacing of abuse that journalists have suffered while trying to cover the protests. See CNN.com's full coverage of the crisis.
Toyota report due – A report is expected today about the government's 10-month investigation into sudden acceleration problems in Toyota cars and trucks. The Department of Transportation and scientists from NASA conducted the study at the request of Congress, following a string of consumer claims that Toyota cars and SUVs accelerated out of control.
State of the Union
President Obama's State of the Union speech will emphasize "winning the future" for America by strengthening the nation's ability to compete in a changing world, according to a Democratic source. Excerpts are expected to be released by the White House a few hours before the address.
Two CNN contributors, Roland Martin and Erick Erickson, offer their opinions on what the president should say:
Martin: "What is needed Tuesday in the State of the Union address isn't lofty ideals but clearly established priorities to get this nation moving again."
Erickson: "I will personally be interested to hear Obama's suggestions for entitlement reform and whether he will lead substantively with suggestions or say he wants reform while offering little on exactly what changes he wants. ... Obama will also need to address Afghanistan."
Watch for who sits with whom in Obama's audience. As members of Congress pair off to show bipartisan unity in the wake of the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, even Rep. Joe ("You lie!") Wilson plans to sit with a couple of Democratic colleagues during the speech.
The official Republican response to Obama's address will be delivered by House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin). To accentuate the GOP's emphasis on fiscal responsibility, Ryan will speak from the Budget Committee room in the Cannon House Office Building. The GOP response will start exactly five minutes after the president leaves the House chamber.
A second response, from the conservative Tea Party wing, will come from Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota), five minutes after Ryan finishes. Bachmann is the founder of the first Tea Party Caucus in Congress and has been a supporter of the Tea Party since its inception.
Guantanamo detainee sentencing
Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani could face life behind bars following a landmark case that made him the first Guantanamo detainee tried in U.S. civilian court. The former bodyguard and cook for Osama bin Laden faces sentencing Tuesday after he was convicted on one charge in connection with the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. The 36-year-old Tanzanian was convicted by a federal jury in November on a single conspiracy charge to destroy buildings and U.S. property in a pair of attacks that killed 224 people, including 12 Americans. He faces a minimum of 20 years in prison but could be handed a life sentence, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney's office for the Southern District of New York.
Ahmed Ghailani, the first Guantanamo detainee tried in civilian court, was found not guilty on all counts except one in connection with the 1998 bombing of U.S. Embassies in Africa.
Ghailani was convicted of conspiracy to destroy public property. He was charged with conspiracy and murder in the 1998 attacks on embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.