Not long after the United States said it will start arming Syrian rebels, Syria's longtime ally Russia fired back by saying the move supports those "who kill their enemies and eat their organs."
The latest dispute sets a riveting backdrop to the Group of Eight summit in Northern Ireland on Monday, where the Syrian civil war will likely top the agenda among eight of the world's most powerful countries.
On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama will meet one-on-one to discuss the war that has now killed more than 92,000 people - including thousands of children.FULL STORY
[Updated at 2:25 p.m. ET] President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced he was bringing longtime confidante Susan Rice, the U.N. ambassador caught up in political controversy over the Benghazi terrorist attack, to the White House to succeed Tom Donilon as national security adviser.FULL STORY
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called for a special election this year to replace Frank Lautenberg, the longtime Democratic senator who died early Monday.
Christie set the primary date as August 13, and said a general election vote will be held October 16. He'll name an interim senator by next week to serve until the special election.
"We must allow our citizens to have their say," Christie said, noting the time between now and the 2014 election would have been too long for an unelected replacement to hold the seat.FULL STORY
House investigators are interviewing two front-line Internal Revenue Service employees from the Cincinnati tax exempt office this week in Washington, and plan to interview two others next week, two congressional sources familiar with the investigation tell CNN.
House investigators are hoping these IRS employees will shed light on exactly why tea party and other conservative groups were inappropriately targeted for excess scrutiny when applying for tax exempt status.FULL STORY
Officials intercepted Thursday a letter addressed to the White House that was similar to threatening letters sent to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a group he founded.
The off-site facility that screens mail addressed to the White House turned the letter over to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force for testing and investigation, U.S. Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said.
A U.S. law enforcement official said the letter was addressed to President Obama.
The letters sent to Bloomberg and his group are suspected of containing poison. Preliminary tests indicate ricin was found in the letters, New York Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne said Wednesday. Officials have not said whether any such substance was found in the letter sent to the White House.FULL STORY
An Internal Revenue Service official who headed the division involved in targeting conservative groups invoked her constitutional right against self-incrimination Wednesday and refused to answer questions from a congressional committee.
Lois Lerner read a statement at a House Oversight Committee hearing that declared she did nothing wrong and broke no laws before saying she would not answer any questions.
"I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules and regulations," Lerner said, adding that she never misled or lied to Congress, as contended by some legislators.FULL STORY
A huge increase in workload, rather than deliberate targeting, led to "foolish mistakes" and the political discrimination in the Internal Revenue Service cited by an inspector general's report, the agency's outgoing commissioner said Friday.
The testimony by Steven Miller, who was forced to announce his resignation this week as acting IRS commissioner, came at the first congressional hearing on the matter that has put President Barack Obama's administration on the defensive.
Rep. Dave Camp, chairman of the Republican-led panel, and other GOP members sought to depict the controversy as indicative of government gone wild, with the IRS abusing conservative groups and other political foes of the administration.
"This kind of reconfirms that, you know what, they can do anything they want to anybody they want any time they want," GOP Rep. Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania said about the IRS.FULL STORY
President Barack Obama vowed Wednesday to hold accountable those at the Internal Revenue Service involved in the targeting of conservative groups applying for federal tax-exempt status, beginning with the resignation of the agency's acting commissioner who was aware of the practice.
In a brief statement delivered to reporters in the East Room of the White House, the president announced that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew had requested - and accepted - the resignation of acting IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller.
The president said the "misconduct" detailed in the IRS Inspector General's report released Tuesday over the singling out of conservative groups is "inexcusable."FULL STORY
After turning 50 years old, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie secretly underwent lap-band surgery in February for the sake of his wife and kids, a source close to the governor confirmed to CNN.
Christie (pictured) told the New York Post, which first reported the story, that the invasive procedure came after his family and friends urged him to start improving his health.
"I've struggled with this issue for 20 years," he said. "For me, this is about turning 50 and looking at my children and wanting to be there for them."FULL STORY
The Senate passed legislation Monday that would allow the 45 states (and the District of Columbia) that charge sales tax to require online retailers to collect taxes on purchases made by their residents.
The bill will now move to the House.
So how would the passage of the "Marketplace Fairness Act" affect your online shopping? A lot depends on where you live.
From California to New York, here's a look at what you can expect:FULL STORY
[Updated at 12:58 p.m. ET] In rare bipartisan accord, normally quarrelsome U.S. lawmakers passed a measure designed to end budget-related air traffic controller furloughs blamed for widespread flight delays.
The House of Representatives approved the legislation, capping a major congressional initiative as delays snarled traffic at airports. The House vote comes a day after unanimous approval by the U.S. Senate.
The measure - which is expected to be signed into law by President Obama - gives the Transportation Department budget planners new flexibility for dealing with forced spending cuts.FULL STORY
In a central Texas town still looking for answers, President Barack Obama will join the community of West on Thursday for a memorial service for the 14 people killed in a fertilizer plant explosion last week.
First lady Michelle Obama will also attend the service at Baylor University in nearby Waco, Texas.
Before leaving Washington, Obama signed a proclamation ordering all flags in the state to be flown at half-staff for the day.FULL STORY
Heading into last week's gun control vote, polls showed that nearly nine in 10 Americans favored background checks not currently required by law for gun sales–a rarely seen, overwhelming amount of support for a piece of legislation in Washington.
Now that the Senate actually failed to pass such a measure, a new poll indicates Americans aren't as upset about the unsuccessful bill.
The Washington Post/Pew Research Center poll suggests that post-vote attitudes stray from the wide support for the background check measure before the debate, which hovered around 85% in multiple polls.
A plurality of Americans – 47% – say they are either "angry" or "disappointed" with the Senate's action on gun legislation, far different from the amount of people who strongly approved the proposal before the vote. Meanwhile, 39% say they are "relieved" or "happy" about the vote.FULL STORY
The politics of oil and ecology have put President Obama between a rock and hard place, as he faces a decision on whether or not to permit construction of a new pipeline. The squeeze just got tighter with a new, negative environmental assessment.
The Keystone XL pipeline will give America energy independence, thousands of jobs, important industrial infrastructure and won't cost taxpayers a dime, say proponents. Many of them are Republican lawmakers.
It is dangerous, inherently filthy and must be stopped, say opponents, some of whom are Democrats who helped get the president elected.FULL STORY
Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of the investigation and fallout from the fatal bombings at the Boston Marathon.
Today's programming highlights...
The Jodi Arias trial resumes on Tuesday, April 23
12:00 pm ET - White House briefing - The Boston Marathon bombings, gun control and immigration will likely dominate discussion at today's briefing in Washington.
Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of the investigation and fallout from Monday's fatal bombings at the Boston Marathon.
Today's programming highlights...
8:30 am ET - Boston hospital briefing - Hear from officials at Boston Medical Center on the conditions of those injured in the marathon bombings.
9:30 am ET - John Kerry on Congressional host seat - The secretary of state will testify before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on securing U.S. interests abroad. He may bring up North Korea and the Boston bombings.
The U.S. Senate will begin voting on amendments to gun legislation on Wednesday, including the leading proposals for tighter restrictions spurred by the Connecticut school massacre in December.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the list of first votes would include the bipartisan yet controversial agreement on expanding background checks proposed by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, and Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania.
Also up in the first round will be Sen. Dianne Feinstein's proposal to ban the sale of semiautomatic firearms modeled after military style assault weapons.FULL STORY
An envelope that tested positive for the deadly poison ricin was intercepted Tuesday afternoon at the U.S. Capitol's off-site mail facility in Washington, congressional and law enforcement sources tell CNN.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he was told the letter was addressed to the office of Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Mississippi. After the envelope tested positive in a first routine test, it was retested two more times, each time coming up positive, the law enforcement source said. The package was then sent to a Maryland lab for further testing.
Senators were briefed on the matter Tuesday evening and told the congressional post offices would be temporarily shut down.
The border with Mexico must be secure.
This requirement is the cornerstone of an immigration reform bill a bipartisan group of senators are to file on Capitol Hill Tuesday. There will be no path to legal residency for migrants without it.
Undocumented immigrants may also not reach the status of fully legal residents under the proposed legislation, until the Department of Homeland Security has implemented measures to prevent "unauthorized workers from obtaining employment in the United States."FULL STORY
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will stop in Chicago on Monday on his way back from a tour of Asia to meet with the parents of a foreign service officer killed in a suicide attack in Afghanistan.
Anne Smedinghoff, 25, was one of six Americans killed on April 6.
The American diplomat, a civilian from the Defense Department and three U.S. service members were killed when a suicide bomber hit their convoy while they were delivering books to an Afghan school. Another U.S. service member was killed in a separate attack.