U.N. panel may look into Syria allegations - The U.N. Security Council could take up the issue of alleged human rights abuses in Syria on Tuesday, a day after witnesses said thousands of troops invaded the heart of the country's recent protests and carried out a bloody crackdown.
A U.N. diplomat said a draft Security Council statement sponsored by France, Portugal and the United Kingdom condemned the violence and called for restraint. It also supported U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's call for an independent investigation on the matter.
A final statement could be agreed upon by Tuesday, the diplomat said.
A confirmed tornado is approaching the town of Romance, Arkansas, the National Weather Service said.
The weather service urged residents of Romance to take cover immediately.
Northern Georgia took a beating from a fast-moving line of severe thunderstorms, as did the rest of the Southeast. Seven deaths were reported in three states. Here are reports from CNN affiliates and iReporters:
A father and his 3-year-old son were killed in Butts County, Georgia, southeast of Atlanta, when the storm hurled a tree into their home, WSB-TV reported.
Atlanta police said they found one person dead in a vehicle crushed by a fallen tree in northwest Atlanta, according to WXIA-TV.
Fallen trees and limbs were strewn across much of northern Georgia. Many of them fell on power lines, causing widespread power outages, WSB-TV reported.
Power was knocked out for more than 200,000 Georgia customers, 77,000 of them in metro Atlanta, according to WGCL-TV, which also reported a weather-related death in Dodge County and another in Colquitt County.
In southern Georgia, iReporter Rick Pennock of Quitman said, "The lightning was so intense it was like a red carpet event."
A 4.7-magnitude earthquake struck central Arkansas just after 11 p.m. Sunday (12 a.m. ET Monday), the United States Geological Survey said.
There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
The quake's epicenter was 37 miles from Little Rock, Arkansas, USGS said.
CNN affiliate KARK received calls from a number of viewers who reported feeling the impact of the quake and seeing items on their walls shake.
More than 700 quakes have hit central Arkansas since September.
Why is Arkansas having so many quakes? Scott M. Ausbrooks of the Arkansas Geological Survey tells KARK's Gary Dee the latest quakes are on a previously unknown fault.
The Earth is shaking in central Arkansas.
Almost two dozen earthquakes of magnitude 2.3 or greater have struck the region since midnight Wednesday, the U.S. Geological Survey reports.
The largest of the temblors, at 4.3 magnitude, hit at 2:13 a.m. Friday. It followed a 4.0-magnitude event at 11 p.m. Thursday.
No damage has been reported from any of the quakes, all centered near the town of Greenbrier in Faulkner County, CNN affiliate KARK reports. Residents reported hearing a boom at the time of Friday morning's quake, KARK reported.
The earthquake swarm is reminiscent of a swarm that hit the area last fall. More than 500 were recorded in less than a month.
A magnitude 3.8 earthquake struck central Arkansas on Thursday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey reports.
The agency put the quake's depth at four miles and said it was centered about four miles from the town of Greenbrier.
It was the third quake above magnitude 3.2 in the area in the past 24 hours.
Last October, a 4.0 quake stuck the same area as Thursday's temblor.
At that time, officials said they were investigating what could be behind a series of 500 quakes in under a month.
Wednesday's snow and frigid temperatures in parts of the central and southern United States were a cold slap in the face for states still trying to recover from last week's unusually strong snowstorm.
Here's how people in some of Wednesday's snow-hit states were dealing with the latest round of storms:
With northwestern Arkansas receiving up to 25 inches of snow Wednesday and the Little Rock area getting around 5 to 8 inches, police and Arkansas National Guard troops were busy trying to help motorists who became stranded on highways.
In northwestern Arkansas' Benton County, Gary McLennan spent part of Wednesday morning digging out his wife's SUV from a ditch the vehicle had entered, he told CNN affiliate KFSM. He said he previously had tried to persuade his wife not to go to work.
"I said, 'OK, you go, but don't call me when you get in the ditch because we will be on Channel 5 News,' that's the truth," McLennan said. "And I get a call saying, 'I made it to the gate.' She calls again, 'I made it to the Walmart,' and then she calls and says, I'm in the ditch,' and I said, 'OK.' "
Multiple media outlets reported jackknifed tractor-trailers on the state's highways. The storm caused many highway motorists to pause at rest stops. Among those taking a break Wednesday were the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team, whose bus driver pulled over while trying to drive the club from Little Rock to a Wednesday night game in Memphis, Tennessee.
Treacherous travel conditions, power outages and school cancellations stretched across the Southeast as freezing rain and sleet followed on the heels of a heavy snow that blanketed the region over the weekend.
Schools and government offices shut their doors from Arkansas to the Carolinas, while power utilities mobilized crews for widespread power outages. CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen said below-freezing temperatures are expected through Tuesday, and continued precipitation will leave a heavy coating of ice on power lines and trees, which could cause outages.
The power company Entergy reported about 4,000 people without power in Mississippi. About 200 people in north Georgia were still without electricity after snow sent tree limbs into power lines, according to Georgia Electric Membership Corp.
Winter storm warnings were in effect Monday for parts of Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas, and parts of southern Alabama were under an ice storm warning.FULL STORY
Five thousand blackbirds in Arkansas. One hundred pelicans near Jacksonville, North Carolina. Three hundred doves in Italy. Seventy bats in Tucson, Arizona. Thousands of fish in Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brazil and the United States.
Google is now hosting a map of incidents of mass animal deaths around the world. Google Maps' distinctive blue balloons indicate where the deaths took place. Click on a balloon, and the map provides you with a link to a news report on the incident.
As of Friday afternoon, there were about 30 cases pinpointed on the search engine's mapping site, most of them in the U.S. and Europe.
Some might say it's getting spooky - and not just by conspiracy theorist standards - but experts tell CNN Radio that theories of UFOs and secret government weapons are, naturally, far-fetched.
Thousands of birds that fell from the sky just before midnight New Year's Eve in Arkansas likely died from massive trauma, according to a preliminary report released Monday.
The birds - most of which were dead when they were found - were red-winged blackbirds and starlings, and they were found within a one-mile area of Beebe, about 40 miles northeast of Little Rock, the Arkansas Game and Fish
Keith Stephens, a spokesman for the commission, said the birds showed evidence of trauma in the breast tissue, blood clots in the body cavity and a lot of internal bleeding.
He cited a preliminary report conducted by the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission.FULL STORY
It has become one of the strangest stories to come out of the New Year and one of the most puzzling for scientists and local officials: Just what caused 5,000 birds to fall from the sky just before midnight New Year's Eve in Beebe, Arkansas?
As news of the story spread across the globe, so did speculation about what caused the Hitchcockian scene. And as officials wait for the official necropsy (animal autopsy) report, we're taking a look at some of the theories that officials and scientists have suggested.
Karen Rowe, an ornithologist for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, said the incident is not that unusual and is often caused by a lightning strike or high-altitude hail. This theory could hold in this case, she said, especially because a strong storm system moved through the state earlier Friday.
Keith Stephens, a spokesman for the commission, told Reuters that storm weather, including hail or lightning, could be the culprit, but so far, he had yet to see any sign of injury on birds that were collected.
Rowe told Live Science that events like this have happened across the globe, and generally, weather is to blame. She said birds have been swept up and moved when caught up in hurricanes, wind can force them into a large object like a cliff, or large groups of birds can clash and crash in heavy fog, killing them.
On CNN's "American Morning," Stephens told Kiran Chetry and Jim Acosta that in addition to weather, local New Year's Eve celebrations may be to blame.
"We're leaning towards maybe a stress event," he said.
Arkansas game officials hope testing scheduled to begin Monday will solve the mystery of why up to 5,000 birds fell from the sky just before midnight New Year's Eve.
The birds - most of which were dead - were red-winged blackbirds and starlings, and they were found within a one-mile area of Beebe, about 40 miles northeast of Little Rock, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said. Birds fell over about a one-mile area, the commission said in a statement.
As of Saturday, between 4,000 and 5,000 birds had been found dead, the commission's Keith Stephens said.FULL STORY
One day after a violent storm system roared through parts of the nation's midsection, spawning tornadoes in several cities in Missouri and Arkansas, freezing temperatures Saturday threatened to compound the plight of victims left homeless due to the weather.
Temperatures in Sunset Hills, Missouri, dropped Saturday to 16 degrees Fahrenheit – with a wind chill of 7 degrees below zero, according to the National Weather Service.
Temperatures dipped into the 20s in parts of Mississippi, where the storm had knocked out power to nearly 20,000 homes.
Seven people died and dozens were hurt Friday in a storm system that stretched more than 1,000 miles from the Northern Plains down to the mid-Mississippi Valley.
On Saturday, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon toured a neighborhood in Sunset Hills, a St. Louis suburb. "Bottom line [is] significant property loss," he said.
The tornado that hit Sunset Hills will be rated an EF3, the National Weather Service said.
An EF3 twister has winds between 136 – 165 mph, according to the weather service.
A family of seven lost their home in north St. Louis, CNN affiliate KMOV reported. William Gibbs told KMOV that his daughter told him that there would be a tornado. "I took it for granted," Gibbs told KMOV. "I'm thanking God that we're all safe but, I don't know where we go from here," he said.
Latasha Stuhlman told CNN affiliate KMOV that her home has been condemned after the storm hit her neighborhood. The Stuhlmans will sleep in a hotel with other families.
“It’s bad. Real bad," Stuhlman told KMOV. "The people that said they went in [to the property] said my whole bedroom’s gone.”
The St. Louis-area Red Cross said in a news release that it had provided assistance to about 60 people Friday and expected that number to grow following a damage assessment.
You can contact the St. Louis-area Red Cross at (314) 516-2800.
[Updated at 5:05 p.m. ET] A line of fast-moving storms and possible tornadoes stretching from the Gulf Coast states to Illinois left at least six people dead Friday and caused widespread damage to homes and businesses, as forecasters warned of more potentially severe weather.
Three people died in the small northwestern Arkansas town of Cincinnati, which reported power outages after the strong storm went through, said Ann Upton, the county's emergency management deputy.
Two additional fatalities occurred in Dent County, Missouri, according to Salem police spokeswoman Wanda Suhr.
Another storm-related death occurred at a home just north of Rolla, Missouri, about 106 miles southwest of St. Louis, according to Phelps County Emergency Management spokeswoman Sandy North.
The storm also left 12 people injured and caused damage in Benton County, Arkansas, near the state lines with Oklahoma and Missouri, officials said.
[Initial post, 11:19 a.m. ET] At least three people were killed and five critically injured after a suspected tornado hit northwestern Arkansas Friday morning, authorities said.FULL STORY
West Virginia Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin has won his state's Senate seat, CNN projects, beating out Republican nominee John Raese in a tight race for the late Sen. Robert Byrd's seat. Projections are based on CNN analysis of exit poll data.
Connecticut Democrat Richard Blumenthal has won the state Senate seat left open by retiring Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd, CNN projects, beating out Republican nominee Linda McMahon, a wealthy former professional wrestling executive.
School official mocks gays –A school board official in Arkansas is facing fierce criticism for allegedly writing hateful comments about gay people on his Facebook page, including that he wanted gay people to commit suicide, the Advocate reports.
According to the national newspaper, Midland School District Vice President Clint McCance wrote "queer" and "fag" repeatedly, promised to disown his own children if they were gay, and stated that he enjoys "the fact that [gay people] often give each other AIDS and die."
State officials have strongly condemned the comments, saying that the school district tries to foster an environment of tolerance and safety from bullies. Because McCance is elected he cannot be fired.
He's up for re-election Nov. 2 and is running unopposed, according to The Advocate.
Obama on The Daily Show - President Obama had a serious conversation with The Daily Show's Jon Stewart less than a week before Tuesday's midterm elections. Stewart called the president's legislative progress "timid," a contrast to Obama's more aggressive style of campaigning. In a gentle way, Stewart challenged Obama about whether the president has lived up to the big promises he made in 2008. Many who missed the show last night are watching this morning.
Halloween lanterns recalled –– The Consumer Product Safety Commission and Dollar Tree Stores are recalling 682,000 battery-operated lantern skulls, ghosts and pumpkins that can overheat. The bulb in the lanterns poses fire and burn hazards to consumers, according to the agency.