The end of Oprah Winfrey's run as the queen of talk isn't television's only iconic departure. Last week, Mary Hart left "Entertainment Tonight" after 29 years, and Katie Couric hosted her final broadcast as anchor of the "CBS Evening News."
The week was punctuated by the news that Jim Lehrer, the longtime host of "PBS NewsHour," would leave as well. Next up will be Meredith Vieira's final day on the "Today" show in June. And later this year, Regis Philbin is set to leave "Live," which he has hosted in syndication for nearly 30 years.
The Chicago Tribune's Phil Rosenthal noted the best farewells are usually the shortest ones. However, Winfrey's two-day extravaganza, which begins Monday, is an exception because it is a graduation of sorts, he said. Winfrey moves on to her network OWN. Whether her viewers will follow remains to be seen.
[Updated at 1:32 p.m.] The United States has seen no evidence that the senior Pakistani leadership knew of Osama bin Laden's presence in Pakistan, Adm. Mike Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters Wednesday.
The nation's top military officer said the extensive details told to the media about the Osama bin Laden raid is "jeopardizing precious capability."
"It is time to stop talking," the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Wednesday in answer to a question from CNN's Barbara Starr.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said the agreement in the administration to not talk about the operational details of the raid "lasted about 15 hours."
Pakistan's parliament threatened Saturday to cut off access to a facility used by NATO forces to ferry troops into Afghanistan, signaling a growing rift that began when U.S. commandos killed Osama bin Laden during a raid on a Pakistani compound.
A resolution adopted during a joint session of parliament condemned the U.S. action. It also called for a review of its working agreement with the U.S., demanded an independent investigation and ordered the immediate end of drone attacks along its border region.
Failure to end unilateral U.S. raids and drone attacks will force Pakistan to "to consider taking necessary steps, including withdrawal of (the) transit facility" used by the NATO's International Security Assistance Force, according to the resolution.
U.S. lawmakers have questioned how the world's most wanted terrorist managed to live in plain sight for years in Pakistan - near the country's elite military academy - without being detected.FULL STORY
Pornography was found in a raid of Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan last week that led to his death, a source familiar with the materials said.
The material was sexually explicit, the source said.
The source would not discuss exactly where it was found, what it was, or if it is believed to be the al Qaeda leader's or belonging to someone else living in the compound, like the two couriers or bin Laden’s son.FULL STORY
Members of the U.S. Navy SEAL team that attacked Osama bin Laden's Pakistani compound were wearing helmet-mounted digital cameras that recorded the mission, a U.S. military official told CNN Friday.
The official described the digital recording as hazy and fast-moving, and subject to poor lighting in the rooms. The source also said it is hard to get clear images from the footage.
"This is not movie-quality stuff," the source said.
Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage on the flooding along the Mississippi River.
Today's programming highlights...
8:00 am ET - Race to 2012: Gingrich speaks in Washington - He's expected to announce today that he's running for president, but former House Speaker Newt Gingrich isn't sitting on his laurels. He'll address a Hispanic prayer breakfast in Washington this morning.
The United States will be given access to Osama bin Laden's wives for questioning, Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik told CNN Tuesday. He did not give a timeline.
Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of reaction and fallout to the death of Osama bin Laden.
Today's programming highlights...
8:00 am ET - Louisiana spillway briefing - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will discuss plans to open a Louisiana spillway in order to reduce pressure on New Orleans levees.
Intelligence officials on Saturday unveiled five different videos of Osama bin Laden that were confiscated from the raid by U.S. forces at his Pakistan compound, which left the al Qaeda leader and four others dead.
One video looks suggests how conscious bin Laden was of his image. Sporting a white-gray beard, a dark wool cap and a blanket draped around his shoulders, he is seen sitting in front of a small television, flipping through a selection of satellite channels as he intently views video footage of himself.
Another video is a message to the United States officials believe was recorded in October or November. In that video, bin Laden's beard has been dyed black and he was well-composed as he delivered his message. The three other videos are practice sessions for videos he was planning to release to the world.
The intelligence official said audio was removed from the videos because it would be "inappropriate to spread the words of terrorists and propaganda messages, especially Osama bin Laden." Otherwise, the videos were not altered, according to the official.
Officials say the new videos collected from the site in Abbottabad are a small slice of the haul considered to be the most significant amount of intelligence ever collected from a senior terrorist. The official also said the DNA evidence unquestionably shows that the person shot and killed in the Pakistan compound was bin Laden.FULL STORY
Dozens of people in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad have been arrested because of their suspected connections to the compound where Osama bin Laden was shot and killed, a Pakistani intelligence official said Friday.
Some of the individuals were arrested around the compound and investigators still need to determine if any of the people arrested have any connection with al Qaeda.
This story is developing. We'll bring you the latest information as soon as we get it.
Below is the most current account of the origins and execution of an early Monday morning raid that resulted in the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and four others. These details are from U.S. officials, unless otherwise noted.
– Four years ago, U.S. officials uncover the identity of a trusted bin Laden courier - later identified as a Kuwaiti named Abu Ahmad - whom they believed may have been living with and protecting the al Qaeda leader. Two years later, investigators identify parts of Pakistan where the courier and his brother lived.
– In late 2010, U.S. authorities hone in on a housing compound in Abbottabad, which is 30 to 35 miles north of Islamabad, Pakistan's capital.
– The compound is placed under constant U.S. surveillance, and the CIA gets reports of repeated sightings on a tall man doing "prison yard walks" around the compound yard. They don't definitively identify this man as bin Laden beforehand, but President Barack Obama orders the go-ahead for the raid on April 29 after concluding there's enough evidence suggesting the al Qaeda leader is there.
– The assault is code-named "Operation Neptune Spear," a U.S. official said Thursday. On Monday, a senior Obama administration official said that "Geronimo" was code for the act of capturing or killing bin Laden, not the man himself.
– The CIA and U.S. military decide to move in overnight Sunday in part due to good weather, maximum darkness in the area and a worry that potential targets might move to other locations.
– The raid locale is a compound with outer walls up to 18 feet tall topped with barbed wire, with two security gates and a series of internal walls that sectioned off different portions of the compound. The main structure is a three-story building with few windows facing the outside of the compound, and a third-floor terrace had a 7-foot privacy wall, they said.
– Two families lived at the compound, along with that of bin Laden. One resided on the main house's first floor, while the other was in another building.
– The entire mission is coordinated by Adm. William McRaven, the head of the Joint Special Operations Command, which oversees covert operations involving Navy SEALs. He does so from a base in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.
[Updated at 10:02 a.m. ET] Read the full statement.
[Updated at 8:51 a.m. ET ] The statement, translated by SITE, lauded the late militant, threatened to take action against the United States, and urged Pakistanis to "rise up and revolt."
Bin Laden's death will serve as a "curse that chases the Americans and their agents, and goes after them inside and outside their countries," the message said.
"Soon - with help from Allah - their happiness will turn into sorrow, and their blood will be mixed with their tears," it said.
The statement said al Qaeda will "continue on the path of jihad, the path walked upon by our leaders, and on top of them" bin Laden "without hesitation or reluctance.
Bin Laden and other militants used the internet to post messages to their followers before and after al Qaeda's September, 11, 2001 attack on the United States.
[Updated at 8:40 a.m. ET] CNN has seen the statement posted on the jihadist forum regarding Osama bin Laden's death and is working to translate it. We'll bring you any information from it as soon as we get it.
[Posted at 8:28 a.m. ET] Al Qaeda released a statement on jihadist forums confirming the death of its leader, Osama bin Laden, according to SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant messages.
CNN could not immediately confirm the statement.
Bin Laden was killed early Monday in a raid conducted by the U.S. at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.FULL STORY
Al Qaeda released a statement on jihadist forums confirming the death of its leader, Osama bin Laden, according to SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant messages.
The statement was issued by the al Qaeda organization - General Command on Tuesday May 3, 2011. Read in Arabic here (PDF) or the translation below:
Al-Qaeda statement calls the day " a historic day of the days of the great Islamic umma (nation) and in a noble stand of one of its great men and heroes across its blessed age and on the path taken by the will of all the mighty predecessors and those who will follow them, the Sheikh, the Mujahid & the Commander, the pious migrant fighter, Abu Abdullah Osama bin Muhammad bin Laden, may God have mercy on him was killed in a place where truth shines and where sincerity for good deeds and the call for truthfulness exist. Bin Laden was killed so he can follow the mighty caravan of the umma (the nation) with the great leaders, the loyal soldiers, and the honest knights who refused to abandon their faith for the mundane lives and to hand over the command to those who will be humiliate them and be humiliated and that's why they confronted the weaponry with weaponry, force with force and accepted to challenge the arrogant masses that came out to fight with their killing machines, equipments, aircrafts and forces boastfully so they can be seen as men, and still this didn’t weaken their resolve and didn’t drain their strength, but instead he stood up for them face to face, a mighty mountain, a proud mountain and he was still in the midst of the battle that many got used to and his eyes were used to its sceneries but after that, he was yet to be excused and delivered his message and then he was shot bullets of betrayal and blasphemy delivering his soul to its maker while repeating: 'Who sacrifice the blessed soul for his Lord to fight off the falsehood CANNOT ever be blamed'."
"Congratulations to the Islamic Nation on the martyrdom of their devoted son Osama,
Even when the Americans managed to kill Osama, they managed to do ONLY that by disgrace and betrayal. Men and heroes only should be confronted in the battlefields but at the end, that’s God’s fate. Still we ask, will the Americans be able thru their media outlets, their agents, their instruments, soldiers, intelligence services and their might be able to kill what Sheikh Osama lived for and was killed for? How far! How impossible! Sheikh Osama didn’t build an organization that will vanish with his death or fades away with his departure.
In this context, we in al Qaeda Jihad organization promise God Almighty and we ask Him for help, support and steadfastness to continue on the path of jihad that our leaders, led by Sheikh Osama chose, and that we will not be reluctant, and will not deviate from that honorable path until God be the final judge between us and our enemy.
Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage on reaction and fallout to the death of Osama bin Laden.
Today's programming highlights...
9:30 am ET - Employment numbers hearing - We will learn this morning what April's employment numbers are. The Joint Economic Committee will meet to discuss those numbers and the country's jobs situation.
The Navy SEAL mission that killed Osama bin Laden highlights the return on investment the United States gets from special operations forces, analysts said.
Special operations forces receive about $10 billion, or 2 percent, of an annual defense budget of $670 billion, said Travis Sharp, researcher with Center for a New American Security, a think tank that focuses on terrorism and irregular warfare techniques.
"Special operations have become such a large part of what we do," said Sharp. "They've come to dominate actually, a lot of the policy agendas for people hear in Washington."
The drawn-out deployment in Afghanistan proves terrorism isn't fought with 100,000 boots on the ground, said Democratic Congressman John Garamendi, who serves on the House Armed Services Committee. It's deep intelligence gathering coupled with smaller special ops forces, whose skill set proves invaluable in sensitive missions targeting terrorists.
"It's quick, it's stealthy, it's deadly and it’s effective,” he said.
Special operations forces have been around for a while. The Army’s elite Green Berets formed in 1952 and the NAVY created the first SEAL team in 1962. Vietnam and the guerrilla warfare tactics of the North Vietnamese army made it apparent to military leaders and strategists that it wasn't about how much territory you controlled, but rather, finding and eliminating an elusive enemy.
The SEAL Team 6 was created in 1980 after a failed mission to rescue Americans in Iran. The Air Force created a special operations wing in 1983. The Marines have the youngest special forces command, which was formed in 2005.
Listen to the full story here:
This U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued an unclassified notice stressing security on U.S. railways - an alert prompted, according to a U.S. law enforcement source, by information gleaned from this week's raid on Osama bin Laden's Pakistani compound.
The notice says that, in February 2010, al Qaeda members discussed a plan to derail trains in the United States by placing obstructions on tracks, according to a source who received the notice.
The plan was to be executed this fall, on the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks. But no specific city or rail system was identified in the notice, the source said.
"I would not view it as an operational plan," the source said. "I am not aware that anyone was tasked to carry it out."
Bin Laden was killed early Monday morning at the Pakistani housing compound where he was staying by a team of U.S. Navy SEALs, U.S. officials have said.FULL STORY
A day after joining survivors of the September 11 attacks in New York City, President Barack Obama will meet with those who killed the leader of the group behind the plot, Osama bin Laden, a senior administration official said Thursday.
Obama will travel to Fort Campbell in Kentucky on Friday "to privately thank some of the special operators involved in the operation," according to the official. On Wednesday, the president met at the White House with Adm. William McRaven, the head of the Joint Special Operations Command "to thank him personally," the official said.FULL STORY
[Updated at 1:07 p.m.] For years there has been speculation about the health of Osama bin Laden. A US official says at this point there is no information to suggest there was medical equipment, such as a dialysis machine, at the compound.
The official says no autopsy was done on bin Laden.
[Updated at 12:38 p.m.] Osama bin Laden's wife has told interrogators she didn't venture outside the walled compound where the al Qaeda leader was killed for five years, a Pakistani military spokesman said Thursday.
The wife, who was wounded in the raid, said she lived in the compound in Abbottabad with eight of bin Laden's children and five others from another family, Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas told CNN. All of them have been in Pakistani custody since the pre-dawn U.S. commando raid that killed bin Laden and will be returned to their country of origin, Abbas said.
Abbas said he wasn't sure from her questioning how long bin Laden had lived there himself or whether he had ventured outside.
[Updated at 10:54 a.m.] Pakistan has ordered U.S. military personnel on its territory drawn down to the "minimum essential" level in the wake of the assault that killed bin Laden deep within Pakistan early Monday, a military statement announced.
Flooding in Midwest, South – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it intends to continue a controversial plan to breach a levee on the Mississippi River to help stop catastrophic floods in several states. The group wants to open the final crevasse in the Birds Point-New Madrid levee, moving ahead with a plan to blast holes in it to ease unprecedented flood pressure. The Corps started the blasting Monday.
Some who live where the Ohio and Mississippi rivers meet said it has helped. The Ohio River level at Cairo, Illinois, has dropped nearly 2 feet since Monday afternoon. Officials said they believe the levels would be up to 3 feet higher now if the levee had not been detonated.
Despite the plan, many areas were inundated as the Mississippi River spilled out across huge swaths of farmland, creating massive flooding from Minnesota to Louisiana. Part of westbound Interstate 40 was shut down in eastern Arkansas on Thursday due to flooding, state police said.