October 3rd, 2013
02:18 AM ET

Navy – Air Force football game on

Are you ready for some football? Not so fast!

The Navy-Air Force game is on. But there's no word yet on whether 24 other weekend athletic events at service academies will take place, thanks to the government shutdown.

Even the Navy-Air Force game practically became a matter of national security. Though the game was sold out, the two sides had to wait for the Defense Department's greenlight.

A senior department official said the game was allowed to go forward because it involved all non-budgeted funds, and thus was not affected by the shutdown.

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Filed under: Politics • U.S.
October 2nd, 2013
04:38 AM ET

The shutdown: What we know and don't know

We're only two days into this government shutdown, but it already seems like we've been here before.

And in a way, we have.

The Republicans and Democrats got in each other's faces over the U.S. debt ceiling in 2011. The GOP demanded significant budget cuts before agreeing to give Uncle Sam more borrowing power. That amounted to $2 trillion in cuts over 10 years.

But Congress never could agree on where to make the cuts, so they were implemented across-the-board.

The package averted a shutdown then, but didn't sooth the hard feelings created by the standoff.

With that history in mind, here's what we know and what we don't know about the shutdown.

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Filed under: Politics • U.S.
September 29th, 2013
06:19 AM ET

House delays Obamacare; shutdown looms

In a move that makes a government shutdown more likely, House Republicans approved a spending plan Sunday morning that would delay Obamacare for a year and repeal its tax on medical devices.

The temporary budget resolution now goes back to the Senate, where Democrats have consistently said any changes to President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law is a deal-killer.

On top of that, Obama has already issued a veto threat.

If Washington can't reach a deal, a government shutdown will begin at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Congress • Politics • U.S.
September 19th, 2013
11:44 AM ET

Tom DeLay's conviction tossed

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's conviction on money laundering charges was overturned Thursday by a court in Texas.

DeLay, who was once one of the most powerful men on Capitol Hill, was convicted in 2010 for allegedly trying to influence Texas elections by trying to channel nearly $200,000 in corporate donations to Republicans running for the state legislature, which is prohibited by Lone Star state law. Delay, who served more than two decades in the House before resigning in 2006, was sentenced to three years in prison.

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Filed under: Politics • Texas
September 16th, 2013
06:03 AM ET

CNN 2016 Poll: Clinton tops Dems; GOP crowded

A new national poll in the battle for the 2016 Democratic and Republican presidential nominations indicates what you would expect: Hillary Clinton is the overwhelming Democratic frontrunner, and there's no real leader among the possible GOP White House hopefuls.

But if you get beyond the obvious, the CNN/ORC International survey released Monday becomes more revealing.

It showed 65% of Democrats and independents who lean toward that party say they would likely back Clinton as their presidential nominee. Vice President Joe Biden comes in a distant second, at 10%, with freshman Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts at 7%, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at 6%, and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley at 2%.

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Filed under: Politics • U.S.
Flames do what Sandy didn't to NJ boardwalk
September 13th, 2013
05:27 AM ET

Flames do what Sandy didn't to NJ boardwalk

Billows of smoke rolled gently out over the ocean early Friday in New Jersey after firefighters defeated the behemoth blaze that spawned them.

Superstorm Sandy had left Seaside Park's boardwalk wracked but repairable a year ago. But the flames that raged for nine hours Thursday consumed four blocks of it.

By the time the fire crew of hundreds managed to corral the fire, it had destroyed or damaged 50 businesses, CNN affiliate WCBS reported.

"I feel like I want to throw up," said Gov. Chris Christie after getting a look at the fire on Thursday.

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Filed under: Chris Christie • New Jersey • Politics • U.S.
September 12th, 2013
04:17 AM ET

Syria civil war: 5 things to watch today

The United States isn't leaving anything to chance.

While it pursues a diplomatic solution to the Syria crisis by sending U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to meet with his Russian counterpart in Geneva on Thursday, it has also started arming the rebels. The rebels, though, say the arms have yet to reach them.

Meanwhile, a Vladimir Putin-penned editorial in the New York Times has at least one White House official saying it's an indication the Russian President is "now fully invested in Syria's chemical disarmament." And a U.N. report says that both sides - the regime and the rebels - have committed war crimes in the bloody two-year-long civil war in Syria.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • U.S. • World
September 12th, 2013
02:56 AM ET

CIA-funded weapons reach Syrian rebels

CIA-funded weapons have begun flowing to Syrian rebels, a U.S. official told CNN late Wednesday night.

The official confirmed details first reported by the Washington Post but would not speak publicly.

"That is something we are not going to dispute, but we are not going to publicly speak to it," the official said.

The weapons are not American-made, but are funded and organized by the CIA. They started to reach rebels about two weeks ago, the official said.

The artillery provided were described as light weapons, some anti-tank weapons and ammunition.

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Filed under: Politics • U.S. • World
September 11th, 2013
03:54 AM ET

Point/Counterpoint: Obama's speech on Syria

In his speech Tuesday night, President Barack Obama hammered Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad for his alleged use of chemical weapons, made the case for a military intervention, and then said he'll let diplomacy play out - for now.

The assertions Obama made weren't new ones. Both he and the White House have said them before. The difference? A majority of Americans who watched the prime time address said they favor the approach he spelled out.

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Filed under: Politics • U.S. • World
September 8th, 2013
09:18 PM ET

NAACP leader Benjamin Jealous resigns, will leave in December

Benjamin Todd Jealous will step down as president of the NAACP after five years as president of the oldest and largest U.S. civil rights organization, he announced Sunday.

"The NAACP has always been the largest civil rights organization in the streets, and today it is also the largest civil rights organization online, on mobile and at the ballot box too," Jealous said in a statement issued Sunday afternoon. "I am proud to leave the Association financially sound, sustainable, focused, and more powerful than ever."

Jealous, 40, was named president 2008 after working as a community organizer, a newspaper editor and Amnesty International official. He took over from Bruce Gordon, a retired telecommunications executive who clashed with the NAACP's governing board.

In announcing his resignation, he said he wanted to spend "a lot more time with my young family." Jealous and his wife, Lia, have two children, a 1-year-old son and a 7-year-old daughter.

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Filed under: Politics
September 4th, 2013
04:49 AM ET

The White House makes its case on Syria

The White House's case for a military strike on Syria enters Round II Wednesday.

Secretary of State John Kerry returns to the Hill, this time to be grilled by the House Foreign Affairs Committee. On Tuesday, he appeared before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee to sway skeptical lawmakers. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey joined him.

Some 43 lawmakers in the House and the Senate now say they can get behind President Barack Obama. But about two-thirds remain undecided or haven't announced how they plan to vote.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Politics • U.S. • World
September 3rd, 2013
04:03 AM ET

White House makes its push for Syria strikes

The Obama administration will spend this week trying to persuade lawmakers at home and allies abroad that an attack on Syria is the appropriate response to the alleged use of poison gas by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

The White House's push comes after al-Assad once again raised the specter of an all-out regional war if the United States strikes.

Syria's allies Russia and China, meanwhile, remain steadfastly against military action, unconvinced by evidence presented by the United States and France that they say show al-Assad's forces used chemical weapons.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • U.S. • World
September 2nd, 2013
04:06 AM ET

The debate on Syria: To bomb or not to bomb?

U.N. evidence that could show whether chemical weapons were used in Syria will head to a lab Monday, but the answer may just be a formality.

The American president has already said there's no doubt Syria's government killed hundreds of civilians in a chemical weapon attack. Independent tests have revealed "signatures of sarin gas" in blood and hair samples from Syria, Secretary of State John Kerry said.

President Barack Obama wants Congress to sign off on limited strikes on Syrian targets - but some lawmakers bristle at the idea of getting ensnared in another overseas conflict.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Politics • Syria • U.S. • United Nations • World
September 1st, 2013
06:21 AM ET

Obama's recoil on Syria strikes draws heat

What appeared to be imminent U.S. military action against Syria will have to wait - at least for another week.

Now that U.S. President Barack Obama is asking for Congress' approval before launching strikes, he must wait until at least September 9, when lawmakers come back from recess.

In the meantime, he's getting heaps of criticism from both sides of the debate around the world.

"We can't understand how you can promise to help those who are being slaughtered every day in the hundreds, giving them false hope, then change your mind and say let's wait and see," said the Syrian National Coalition, a key group of Syrian dissidents.

But Iran, a staunch supporter of the Syrian regime, warned the United States will pay a price if it strikes Syria.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Politics • Syria • U.S. • World
August 27th, 2013
02:42 AM ET

U.N. probes alleged gas attack site

U.N. inspectors on Tuesday are expected to examine for a second day sites of reported chemical weapons attacks around Damascus.

Government and opposition forces have accused each other of unleashing poison gas last week in a number of towns in the region of Ghouta. Syria's opposition said that as many as 1,300 people were killed.

On Monday, as U.N. experts visited the town of Moadamiyet al-Sham.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • World
August 23rd, 2013
05:01 AM ET

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner could resign today

Bob Filner, the embattled mayor of San Diego, is expected to step down Friday, after weeks of growing calls for his resignation and a torrent of sexual harassment claims.

His resignation is dependent on the San Diego City Council accepting a proposed mediation agreement - a matter they'll take up during a closed session on Friday, an official familiar with the negotiations told CNN's Lindy Hall.

"It is still our understanding that his resignation is part of the deal that the San Diego City Council needs to sign off on during (the) closed session," the official said.

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Filed under: Politics • U.S.
August 20th, 2013
02:49 AM ET

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner in mediation

Embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is expected to be back at work on Tuesday even as efforts to oust him from office seemed to intensify.

A closed-door mediation session between Filner, his representatives, city officials, a retired judge and a few others on Monday ended with no apparent resolution, but San Diego City Councilman Kevin Faulconer said the discussions are ongoing.

Also attending the session were City Attorney Jan Goldsmith and City Council President Todd Gloria.

A source with direct knowledge of the meeting declined to say what exactly was under discussion. However, CNN affiliate KGTV, citing anonymous sources, reported that the mediation was "designed to include a review of a potential resignation" by the mayor.

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Filed under: Politics • U.S.
August 19th, 2013
02:59 AM ET

Petition to recall San Diego mayor kicks off

Armed with clipboards and pens, volunteers hit the streets of San Diego over the weekend to collect signatures they hope will lead to the recall of embattled Mayor Bob Filner.

They must get more than 101,000 signatures by September 26

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Filed under: Politics • U.S.
What will the U.S. do about Egypt?
August 15th, 2013
04:26 AM ET

What will the U.S. do about Egypt?

When Egypt's first democratically elected president was tossed out earlier this year, the White House stopped short of calling it a coup.

Doing so would force an end to the $1.3 billion that the U.S. sends in military aid every year - and change the course of its relationship with one of its strongest Arab allies in the region.

But that was before Wednesday when the military-led interim government stormed two camps full of former President Mohamed Morsy's supporters. More than 300 people were killed and close to 3,000 wounded in the bloodiest day in Egypt's recent history.

Will the carnage in Egypt change the U.S. policy toward the most populous Arab country?

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Egypt • Politics • U.S. • World
August 14th, 2013
05:41 PM ET

Jesse Jackson Jr. going to jail; says he 'manned up'

Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., once a rising Democratic star whose political fortunes imploded over the use of campaign finances to support lavish personal spending, was sentenced to 30 months in prison on Wednesday.

"I misled the American people," Jackson, 48, said before U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson imposed the term, which also included an order for restitution and community service.

The ex-Illinois lawmaker's wife, Sandi, received a 12-month sentence for her role in her husband's misuse of roughly $750,000 in campaign funds over several years.

"I don't have to tell you this is a very sad day and a very difficult case," Judge Jackson said, calling it an example of organized and joint misconduct and a violation of the public trust.

"You knew better," she said.

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Filed under: Courts • Justice • Politics
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