Like a groggy traveler after a long, cold night, the European Space Agency's comet-chasing Rosetta spacecraft woke up, warmed up and took stock of its surroundings early Monday as it prepared to phone home before setting off on the final leg of its journey.
At least, that's the hope of ESA controllers, who won't know exactly what happened in the dark reaches of our solar system until the spacecraft manages to shake off its 31 months of sleep, turn its antennas toward Earth and send a brief message that will take 45 minutes to arrive. The message isn't expected to arrive at the ESA's Darmstadt, Germany, operations center until at least 6:30 p.m. (12:30 p.m. ET).
That's about 5Â½ hours after the spacecraft's internal alarm was set to go off.
The spacecraft, launched in 2004, is some 497,000 miles (800,000 kilometers) from Earth, ESA says.FULL STORY
Former basketball star Dennis Rodman has checked into an alcohol-rehabilitation center after facing backlash for his visit to North Korea.
"Dennis Rodman came back from North Korea in pretty rough shape emotionally. The pressure that was put on him to be a combination 'super human' political figure and 'fixer' got the better of him," his agent, Darren Prince, said Sunday in a written statement. "He is embarrassed, saddened and remorseful for the anger and hurt his words have caused."
Prince said Rodman is at a facility in New Jersey, one with a "28- or 30-day" program. He said Rodman drank heavily in North Korea during a recent tumultuous trip to the secretive state to play a basketball game with some former NBA stars against national team players from the regime.FULL STORY
A video surfaces threatening the Winter Olympics. Russia's President vows the Games will be safe. Some U.S. lawmakers warn that they won't be.
One thing was clear as debate over the situation surged on Sunday: Security is a top concern, less than three weeks away from the competition.
"It's a very serious fear," Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, told CNN's State of the Union Sunday.
A video that highlighted the security situation has surfaced online. In the video, posted on a well-known Jihadi forum website, two young men believed to have been suicide bombers in last month's back-to-back bombings in the Russian city of Volgograd speak of those attacks and make an ominous promise.FULL STORY
New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno on Monday called allegations that she issued an ultimatum to Hoboken's mayor to support a redevelopment plan backed by Gov. Chris Christie or lose Hurricane Sandy recovery aid "false" and "illogical."
"Mayor (Dawn) Zimmer's version of our conversation in May of 2013 is not only false but is illogical and does not withstand scrutiny when all of the facts are examined. Any suggestion that Sandy funds were tied to the approval of any project in New Jersey is completely false," Guadagno said at a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday service project in Union Beach, New Jersey.
Guadagno's denial flies in the face of allegations by Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, who said Sunday that Guadagno told her to support a redevelopment project backed by Christie or lose Sandy recovery funds for her city.FULL STORY
Car bombs rocked a number of predominantly Shiite Muslim neighborhoods of Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 13 people and wounding 53 others, police officials told CNN.
The violence adds to the particularly bloody fighting and political instability that Iraq and its capital, Baghdad, has seen in recent months.
Six car bombs detonated Monday in five neighborhoods across Baghdad within a period of about two hours, police said.FULL STORY
Kenneth Bae, a U.S. citizen being held in North Korea, made a statement Monday saying he had committed a "serious crime" against North Korea, which does "not abuse human rights," according to China's state-run news agency Xinhua, which has a presence in Pyongyang.
He urged the United States to cooperate with North Korea to secure his release, Xinhua said.
Any statement made by Bae in captivity would be sanctioned by the North Korean government, whose widespread human rights abuses are known to the world.FULL STORY
Hiroo Onoda, a Japanese soldier who refused to stop fighting World War II until the 1970s, has died in Tokyo at the age of 91.
During the war, Onoda was sent to the small island of Lubang in the western Philippines to spy on U.S. forces in the area.
He ended up remaining there, eking out a life in the jungle, until 1974, nearly three decades after Japan surrendered.FULL STORY
Under pressure by last year's classified leaks of U.S. surveillance, President Barack Obama on Friday unveiled new guidance for intelligence-gathering and reforms intended to balance what he called the nation's vital security needs with concerns over privacy and civil liberties.
In a speech at the Justice Department, Obama sought to defend the need for the government to gather intelligence while responding to protests raised at home and abroad over programs revealed in the leaks by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
Obama outlined a series of steps - some immediate and some requiring time to work out, possibly with Congress - that would change some aspects of NSA collection of phone records and other information but generally leave intact the core and function of existing programs.FULL STORY
A gunman killed two women inside an Indiana grocery store Wednesday night before police rushed to the scene and gunned him down.
The tragic scene played out in a sprawling grocery store in Elkhart, Indiana.
Officers were called to the scene just after 10 p.m. and found an armed man in the store, according to Indiana State Police Trooper Brooks Shirk. The man also fired at officers.FULL STORY
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned aside Arizona's appeal to reinstate its law banning most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
A federal appeals court last year said the restrictions were unconstitutional.
The high court's refusal without comment to intervene now means the provisions passed in 2012 cannot be enforced.FULL STORY
The mother of an Omaha toddler is defending her son after he unleashed a slew of obscenities in an online video that has gone viral.
In the video, the diapered boy is taunted and cursed at by adults, who coax him into using crude words.
The African-American toddler knocks down a chair and responds to some of the comments with a middle finger salute.FULL STORY
Eccentric basketball star Dennis Rodman's bizarre outburst about an American citizen jailed in North Korea has drawn widespread criticism, including from the prisoner's family.
Rodman is in North Korea with other former NBA players for a basketball game against a local team that's due to take place Wednesday, the birthday of the country's leader Kim Jong Un.
Rodman, 52, who visited North Korea three times previously in the past year, describes Kim as a beloved friend, shrugging off the regime's heavily criticized human rights record.
Soon, it will be time to strike up an old fight song and send the iceman packing: "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye!"
The mighty polar vortex marched down the length of the nation to the Gulf of Mexico with a glacial momentum that may have seemed unstoppable.
But its days are numbered, as a southern one-two punch is set to knock the rare arctic blast back up to Canada, said CNN meteorologist Jenny Harrison.
Basketball star Dennis Rodman defended his controversial visit to North Korea with a team of former NBA players in a combative exchange Tuesday, saying it was a "great idea for the world."
In an exclusive interview with Chris Cuomo of CNN's "New Day," Rodman reacted angrily when pressed on whether the group should have traveled there given recent events in the secretive country.
The trip takes place just weeks after North Korea shocked the world by announcing the purge and execution of Kim's once-powerful uncle. There are also concerns for the welfare of U.S. citizen Kenneth Bae, who's been detained there for more than a year for reasons that are unclear.
The other former NBA players are due to take part in a controversial basketball game on the birthday of Kim Jong Un, the country's young, unpredictable leader. The friendly contest with North Korea's team is planned for Wednesday, when Kim is believed to turn 31.FULL STORY
Lindsey Vonn's knee troubles apparently are too much to overcome in time for Sochi.
Vonn, the reigning Olympic and World Cup downhill skiing champ, will not compete in next month's Winter Olympics, according to a post Tuesday on her official Facebook page.
"I am devastated to announce that I will not be able to compete in Sochi," Vonn's post read.
The news comes 11 months after she hurt her right knee knee at the world championships. The four-time World Cup overall champion underwent reconstructive surgery but aggravated the problem in a crash during training in November.FULL STORY
Starting Wednesday, openly gay youths will be allowed to join scouting.
Boy Scouts of America made the decision in May to accept them into their ranks. The resolution took effect when the new year rang in.
More than 60% of the group's 1,400-member national council voted back then at an annual meeting in Grapevine, Texas, for the change.
The U.S. military is moving about 150 Marines from Spain to Africa, most likely Djibouti, to be prepared to go into South Sudan to either provide security for the U.S. Embassy in Juba or to help evacuate the estimated 100 U.S. citizens believed to be there, two U.S. military officials told CNN's Barbara Starr on Monday.FULL STORY
Flamboyant former NBA star Dennis Rodman has left North Korea without meeting the country's leader Kim Jong Un, but with high praise for local basketball players Rodman trained while there.
"They are awesome," Rodman told CNN while in transit at Beijing Capital International Airport on Monday.
Rodman started his third visit to North Korea last week, spending four days in the isolated nation to assist setting up an exhibition game featuring North Korean players and a dozen NBA veteran players - identities of which are yet to be announced. The friendly game is planned for Kim Jong Un's birthday on January 8.FULL STORY
National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden has written an "open letter to the people of Brazil" offering to help investigate U.S. surveillance of Brazilian citizens.
The letter was posted on the website pastebin and on the Facebook page of David Michael Miranda, partner of journalist Glenn Greenwald, according to a tweet from Greenwald.
In the letter, Snowden says he has told Brazilian lawmakers that he is willing to help investigate "suspected crimes against Brazilian citizens."
"I have expressed my willingness to assist wherever appropriate and lawful, but unfortunately the United States government has worked very hard to limit my ability to do so - going so far as to force down the Presidential Plane of Evo Morales to prevent me from traveling to Latin America!
"Until a country grants permanent political asylum, the U.S. government will continue to interfere with my ability to speak."FULL STORY
Before 13-year-old Jahi McMath went into a surgery meant to improve her quality of life, she had a terrible premonition.
"The worst thing about all of this is that Jahi told my sister, 'I don't want to get this surgery, something bad is going to happen. I'm not going to wake up,' " Jahi's uncle Omari Sealey told CNN in a phone interview Monday.
Jahi went in to have her tonsils taken out. Now, the Oakland, California, girl is brain dead, her family says, and they are fighting to keep her on a ventilator.
They have presented the hospital with a cease-and-desist letter aimed at preventing the hospital from taking her off of life support, family attorney Chris Dolan told CNN Tuesday.FULL STORY