Violence in Syria and Libya -¬† The Syrian army launched a military operation Monday cracking down on anti-government protesters in the southern city of Daraa, and Syrian authorities have closed the border with Jordan.
Witnesses early Monday reported bodies lying on the streets of Daraa. Ambulances were unable to help the injured because snipers and army officers were deployed across the city, a witness said. "They shoot on anything that moves," the witness said.¬† Another witness spoke to CNN by phone, estimating about 3,000 soldiers are in Daraa. "They are breaking into people's houses, firing randomly at houses," said the resident as the sound of gunfire and people screaming could be heard in the background. "We were sleeping and not protesting."
Meanwhile in Libya, the casualty toll continued to mount Monday in Misrata despite reports that Moammar Gadhafi's forces have withdrawn from the besieged city. Misrata has been the scene of some of the fiercest fighting as rebels try to oust Gadhafi.¬† NATO jets bombed targets in the capital of Tripoli early Monday as state-run TV reported airstrikes flattened a building at Gadhafi's compound. Republican¬† Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said NATO should start bombing Gadhafi's inner circle to remove him from power.
U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, suspected of leaking classified information to the WikiLeaks website, is being moved is being moved to the Joint Regional Correctional Facility at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, a defense official told CNN.
Manning, 23, had been held at Quantico Marine Base in Virginia. He is awaiting a decision on whether he will face a court martial.
The Ecuadorian government on Tuesday declared the U.S. ambassador in their country, Heather Hodges, persona non grata and asked her to leave Ecuador as soon as possible, the state-run Andes news agency reported. The decision was based on a State Department cable leaked by WikiLeaks.
State Department Spokesman Mark Toner said the expulsion of the US ambassador to Ecuador was "unjustified."
After days of protest and finger-pointing, a controversial hearing on so-called "Muslim radicalization" begins on Capitol Hill.¬† CNN.com Live is there for gavel-to-gavel coverage of the event.
Today's programming highlights...
9:30 am ET - 'Muslim radicalization' hearing - Rep. Peter King, the New York Republican who called this hearing, calls it a serious look at the extent of "radicalization" in the American Muslim community.¬† Critics say it's McCarthyism with a new target.¬† Following the hearing, Rep. King will discuss the day's events with reporters.
The filmmaker behind the Oscar-winning documentary "Bowling for Columbine" appeared before union activists in Wisconsin and praised them for "arousing a sleeping giant," the Wisconsin State Journal reported.¬†Moore addressed at least 30,000 protesters, urging them to continue their demonstrations against Gov. Scott Walker's budget proposals. "America is not broke," he told the crowd, according to the Madison newspaper. "The only thing that's broke is the moral compass of the rulers."
A Ukrainian nurse whose employment by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was famously described in a leaked diplomatic cable is trying to avoid the media's glare upon her departure from the North African nation.
Galyna Kolotnytska, who returned to Ukraine over the weekend amid the uprising in Libya, spent Sunday and Monday at her apartment in Brovary, about 15 miles east of Ukraine's capital, Kiev. Footage from Russian TV channels on Monday showed reporters gathered outside, trying but failing to get her to talk to them.
CNN also has attempted to reach her, but her daughter said Kolotnytska is not speaking to reporters.
Kolotnytska gained notoriety in November after WikiLeaks released a cable from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli describing Gadhafi's almost obsessive reliance on her.
Turmoil in Libya - It's Day 10 of anti-government protests in Libya. There were bloody clashes Thursday between security forces and demonstrators in¬†Zawiya, a town west of the capital, Tripoli. Seven people have died there, witnesses¬†said. "Blood is all over the streets," a mother told CNN,¬†saying her son had been shot. A witness said the violence began when people who support leader Moammar Gadhafi came into the city square and encountered those who are protesting his ouster.
Speaking by phone Thursday on state TV, Gadhafi blamed the country's violence on young people, who he said were taking drugs and being influenced by al Qaeda. Addressing the situation in Zawiya, he said, "We shouldn't leave (the town) without any control."
Lawyers for Julian Assange wrapped up their case against his extradition to Sweden on Tuesday and challenged a Swedish prosecutor to "come to London" to defend her handling of the sexual misconduct allegations facing the WikiLeaks founder.
"Today, we have seen a Hamlet without the princess - a prosecutor who has been ready to feed the media within information, but has been unwilling to come here," Assange attorney Mark Stephens told reporters outside a south London courtroom. Stephens called on Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny to attend the extradition hearing when it resumes Friday and "subject yourself to the cross-examination."
Assange has not been charged with a crime, but Swedish prosecutors want to question him in connection with sexual misconduct allegations related to separate incidents last August. Assange denies the accusations, and his attorneys are fighting his extradition on procedural and human-rights grounds.FULL STORY
Will Assange be extradited? - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange returns to court in London. He's fighting extradition to Sweden, where he's wanted for questioning in a sex crimes investigation. The 39-year-old Australian has repeatedly said he is innocent and is confident he will be exonerated. He has not been charged with a crime.
Assange's lawyers have said Swedish prosecutors are attempting to discredit¬†him because of his work with WikiLeaks, which published reams of classified government intelligence last year. The attorneys speculated that if Assange were extradited, Sweden could hand¬†him to the U.S., which could charge him with espionage, leading to his confinement in Guantanamo Bay prison and his execution. The proceeding in London should wrap up today.
Protesters in peril? - There have been no reports of gunfire in Cairo, Egypt, today, but Middle East expert Fouad Ajami cautions that that is no indication protesters are safe. He says¬†this¬†is the most dangerous phase of the conflict for protesters because many of their identities are known to security services. If President Hosni Mubarak's administration survives, people speaking against Mubarak could face severe consequences, he says. Ajami is a professor of Middle East studies at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
Meanwhile, the White House's position toward Egypt appears to be changing, and details are surfacing of abuse that journalists have suffered while trying to cover the protests. See CNN.com's full coverage of the crisis.
Toyota report due - A report is expected today about the government's 10-month investigation into sudden acceleration problems in Toyota cars and trucks. The Department of Transportation and scientists from NASA conducted the study at the request of Congress, following a string of consumer claims that Toyota cars and SUVs accelerated out of control.
A two-day extradition hearing for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange opened Monday in a London court, where celebrities watched as Assange's lawyers argued against his transfer to Sweden.
Assange has not been charged with a crime, but Swedish prosecutors want to question him in connection with sexual misconduct allegations related to separate incidents last August.
His lawyers argue Assange could ultimately end up at Guantanamo Bay or be executed if he is extradited to Sweden, according to papers they released Monday.
While the sexual misconduct allegations are apparently unrelated to Assange's role as head of the WikiLeaks site, his lawyers say Sweden could send him to the United States to face espionage charges related to the site's disclosure of thousands of secret U.S. military and diplomatic documents.FULL STORY
A U.S. lawmaker said he requested Friday a visit with the Army solider accused of leaking classified documents to the WikiLeaks website.
"I am concerned about reports of his treatment while in custody that describe alarming abuses of his constitutional rights and his physical health," Rep. Dennis Kucinich said in a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
Kucinich, a member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said in a statement that he wants an "explanation of reports that the Army ignored evidence of mental health problems of Pfc. (Bradley) Manning, and that he is being held in conditions that could contribute (to) a violation of the his Eighth Amendment right of protection from 'cruel and unusual' punishment."
He asked for a visit, he said, because as a member of the House committee, "It is my duty to conduct effective oversight."
The allegations of abuse gained more attention on Tuesday after a friend visited Manning at the U.S. Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Virginia.FULL STORY
The fashion designer issued a quick apology Thursday after Twitter followers were not amused by his attempt at an Egypt-related joke.
That went over like an orange-and-yellow-plaid evening jacket.
It wasn't long before Cole tweeted his regrets:
"Re Egypt tweet: we weren't intending to make light of a serious situation. We understand the sensitivity of this historic moment."
It also wasn't long before a fake Kenneth Cole PR account was created to make fun of him. A couple of its latest tweets:
"Check out our new colab with @BP_America - slick looks for spring!"
"People of Haiti, fall into our store for earth-shattering savings!"
"Iran is enriching uranium. Our shoes will enrich your suits."
The 26-year-old member of Norway's parliament said he nominated WikiLeaks for a Nobel Peace Prize because it has helped "redraw the map of information freedom."
"Publishing material that is deemed classified by the government is an obvious right that newspapers and media have practiced for many, many decades," Valen wrote on his blog. "This way, the public has become aware of abuses of power that governments should be held accountable for.
"The internet doesn't change this - it merely makes information more accessible, easier to distribute, and more democratic in the sense that virtually anyone with an internet connection can contribute."
Coblentz, a longtime aide to Mohamed ElBaradei, says the Egyptian opposition figure previously had no ambitions for office in Egypt, according to a Wall Street Journal article.
"When people were first approaching him saying, 'Will you run for president of Egypt in 2011?' he was very dismissive of it," Coblentz told The Journal.
Coblentz helped ElBaradei write a memoir that is due out in April, The Journal reported.
After ElBaradei learned how to use social networking on the internet, he learned he was more popular than he had realized, Coblentz told The Journal.
"It was really this last 14 months, where someone I knew as not being particularly computer savvy, taught himself to use Facebook and Twitter and YouTube and started to do in virtual space which was forbidden to do by the Mubarak regime, the freedom of assembly by large groups," Coblentz said, according to The Journal.
Michael B. Colbert
Colbert is the first minority appointed to new Ohio Gov. John Kasich's Cabinet.
Kasich has been criticized for his string of white appointees, but Colbert, who is black, broke the string when Kasich named him to lead the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
Colbert had been interim director of the department, The Columbus Dispatch newspaper reported.
"I am comfortable with who I am," Colbert said at the announcement of his appointment, according to the Dispatch. "I understand my heritage. I'm very proud of that heritage. I'm very proud of those that paved the way for me to get this position. Additionally, I know the job that I'm doing. I've been doing this for the last three years on the financial side, and I understand what we need to do to get services to Ohioans."
Ohio hadn't had an all-white Cabinet since 1962, when Democrat Michael DiSalle was governor, according to The Dispatch.
Two interesting¬†posts¬†popped up¬†on the WikiLeaks site today. The first is the announcement of¬† "The WikiLeaks Roundtable" on Tuesday, which would be the first of its "regular direct meetings with the public and press." WikiLeaks will take questions via Twitter (prefix "#wlquest" tag)¬†and e-mail (email@example.com).¬† The posting didn't explain who would be answering questions, or how much time would be available for the back-and-forth. But if you have a question, e-mails will be received¬†until 6 p.m. GMT (1 p.m. ET) on Saturday. This first digital news conference of sorts will be videotaped, the posting promises, and broadcast at 11:30 a.m. GMT (6:30 a.m. ET) on Tuesday, according to the post.
The other¬†posting on the WikiLeaks site that caught CNN.com's attention: "WikiLeaks is looking for the most reliable and trustworthy organisations to collaborate with on our upcoming releases. If you would like to register your interest please fill out the form below. Should an appropriate collaboration opportunity present itself we will be in touch. http://wikileaks.ch/Medias.html?nocache."
On Monday in London, a former Swiss bank executive gave WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange two discs with the names of prominent individuals and companies the executive says are involved in tax evasion and other crimes.
Rudolf Elmer would not say where he obtained the information or which banks were involved. The¬†discs outline wrongdoing by several dozen politicians and "pillars of society," he said.¬†His motivation?¬†He wants to "educate our society," he said. "I know how the system works. ... It's damaging."
Elmer was fired in 2002 from the Julius Baer Group. He ran the bank's Cayman Islands office for eight years. On Wednesday, he will go to trial in Switzerland on charges that he stole bank information. Elmer was reportedly held for a month in 2005, accused of falsifying documents and threatening people at the bank, among other allegations.
Julius Baer released this statement about Elmer: "After his demands (including financial compensation) in connection with the dismissal could not be satisfied, Mr Elmer embarked in 2004 on a personal intimidation campaign and vendetta against Julius Baer. The aim of his activities was and is to discredit Julius Baer as well as clients in the eyes of the public."
In 2008, WikiLeaks published hundreds of pages of secret Julius Baer banking records.
In addition to Elmer, Assange is also facing charges. Assange's sex crime investigation continues to play out in Sweden as he remains out of jail on bail. Assange is due in court in London in early February.
Golden Globes - The Golden Globes show launched the Hollywood awards season with 26 trophies handed out by an array of stars. For "Social Network"¬† and "Glee" it was a good night.
Take a look at who took home the awards, watch the winners' reactions,¬†get a glance at the fashion and flair from the red carpet, and take a peek at our full gallery of stars on the big night. We'll also be looking at the reaction to one man of the hour - the host, Ricky Gervais - and whether his expected but¬†over-the-top routine was hit or miss for the stars and critics.
Tunisia in crisis - A new Tunisian government could be announced Monday, one day after the country's army clashed with armed gangs and remnants of ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's personal guard.
A Swiss whistle-blower Monday handed over what he said were secret Swiss banking records to WikiLeaks, the website dedicated to revealing secrets.
Swiss banker Rudolf Elmer handed two discs to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at a news conference in London.
WikiLeaks could release the secret Swiss banking records in "a matter of weeks" if it can process them quickly enough, Assange said.
Elmer said he would not reveal the names in the records and said he was unable to say how many people were involved.
He said about 2,000 clients' records were included, but that because of the way trusts and corporations are set up, he could not determine how many individuals were involved.
Elmer describes himself as an activist/reformer/banker.
"I think, as a banker, I do have the right to stand up if something is wrong," he said Monday, explaining why he was giving the documents to the website.
Elmer is due to go on trial Wednesday in Switzerland for violating the country's banking secrecy regulations.FULL STORY
WikiLeaks has contributed to the legal defense of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, an online group supporting Manning announced Thursday.
WikiLeaks transferred $15,100 to the legal trust account of Manning's attorney, the Bradley Manning Support Network said in a news release.
Manning, 23, is facing eight counts of violating U.S. Criminal Code for allegedly leaking a secret military video from the Iraq war that made its way to WikiLeaks.org. He is the suspected leaker of cables and other documents relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.FULL STORY
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could end up at Guantanamo Bay if he is extradited to Sweden, his lawyers will argue next month, according to legal papers they released Tuesday.
He would be at risk of mistreatment or even execution, they will argue, saying that means Britain cannot extradite him without violating his human rights.
"There is a real risk he could be made subject to the death penalty," Assange lawyers say in documents they released Tuesday, citing British media reports that Republican politicians Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee have called for him to be executed.
The lawyers released a preliminary outline of their planned arguments Tuesday, ahead of an extradition hearing for Assange next month.
Prosecutors in Sweden want him for questioning in connection with sexual misconduct allegations unrelated to WikiLeaks.
Assange has denied the allegations, and is free on 200,000 pounds ($310,000) bail while he fights extradition.
Assange and his lawyers appeared briefly in court in London Tuesday for a procedural hearing.
The judge in the case agreed to a change in Assange's bail conditions for two days next month so he can get to the main extradition hearing on time on February 7 and 8.FULL STORY
A man who played an instrumental role in the WikiLeaks website is penning a memoir that will hit stores February 15. No, it's not Julian Assange. We're talking about Daniel Domscheit-Berg, who abruptly quit WikiLeaks as its spokesman in September. His book will debut just weeks after a Vanity Fair article that promises to reveal the dramatic back story about the Guardian and New York Times' dealings with Assange.
"Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website" will "reveal the evolution, finances, and inner tensions" of WikiLeaks, according to Crown Publishing. Domscheit-Berg will also explain why he left WikiLeaks and his "disenchantment with the organization's lack of transparency, its abandonment of political neutrality, and the increasing concentration of power by Assange," according to a David Drake, the senior executive vice president of publicity at Crown.
Since leaving WikiLeaks, Domscheit-Berg has said he plans to launch OpenLeaks.org, a site that will share information - obtained from anonymous sources - with outlets such as news media and nonprofit rights groups that are best able to report it.
The book will tell the story of how Domscheit-Berg met Assange in 2007 at the Chaos Computer Club, a controversial hacker group based in Germany. CCC once reportedly published a German politician's fingerprints to protest using identity technology on passports.
Domscheit-Berg worked with WikiLeaks for several years, helping coordinate significant leaks, including information about a corrupt election in Kenya and the release of a classified video showing a U.S. Apache helicopter firing at and killing civilians (including two journalists) on the ground in Iraq.
It was reported in December that Assange had signed book deals worth more than $1 million.
It's no secret that WikiLeaks' cable document dumps have caused ripples of concerns and speculation about how well the United States can keep secrets - its own and those of other countries.
It's been embarrassing to both U.S. diplomats and foreign leaders mentioned in the cables, but there haven't been any bombshells from the small percentage of documents released so far. The CIA, known for its ability to keep secrets, is taking no chances of being pulled further into the fray. The CIA has only been mentioned a few times in the cables, and has not been hit nearly as hard as other agencies and diplomats, but it does not appear willing to wait on the sidelines.
And it has an answer for WikiLeaks: WTF. Seriously.