An American couple that had gone missing in Peru has been found safe, Peru's Ministry of Tourism and Commerce told CNN Tuesday.
Jamie Neal and Garret Hand, both 25 and from the San Francisco area, left the United States last November and chronicled their trip through South America on social media until last month.
That's when their Internet postings stopped and calls to their cell phones went unanswered. A spokesman for Peru's Ministry of Commerce and Tourism told CNN the couple, located in the Amazon region of Peru, told authorities they had no idea their families considered them missing.FULL STORY
It appears Joran van der Sloot is about to add a new role to his résumé - father.
Van der Sloot became well-known around the world for the murder of Stephany Flores in Peru and for being arrested twice, but never charged, in the 2005 disappearance of U.S. teenager Natalee Holloway in Aruba.
Now the Dutch citizen may be preparing to welcome a new child into the world while he is serving 28 years in a Peruvian prison for Flores' death, according to the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, which says it confirmed the news over the phone with van der Sloot himself.
The mother, identified only as "Leidi" by the newspaper, met van der Sloot in prison and became pregnant after an unsupervised visit with the jailed 28-year-old, the paper said.
Van der Sloot's lawyer said he did not confirm the pregnancy, as stated by the newspaper. But Maximo Altez told Mayra Cuevas of "In Session" that Leidi is registered as van der Sloot’s girlfriend at Piedras Gordas Prison and they have had conjugal visits. Van der Sloot can receive visitors once or twice a month. Altez says he met Leidi in prison through another inmate.
This isn't the first time rumors have swirled around van der Sloot's love life since he's been in the spotlight. Earlier reports that he was getting married behind bars were knocked down as false.
Van der Sloot admitted to killing Flores, 21, in his Lima hotel room in 2010. The judges gave him a sentence two years short of the 30-year maximum. They ordered that he be expelled from Peru at the end of his sentence and required him to pay about $74,500 in reparations to Flores' relatives.
Van der Sloot confessed to robbery in addition to murder, admitting that he stole Flores' belongings, including more than $300 in local currency, credit cards and the victim's van as a means to leave the country. He fled to Chile and was arrested a few days later.
Peru's health ministry is asking people to avoid beaches in Lima and north of the capital until officials can determine what caused the deaths of hundreds of dolphins and pelicans.
Last month, the country's production ministry said the authorities were investigating the deaths of more than 538 pelicans, and other birds, on the northern coast.
State-run TV Peru estimated that as many as to 1,200 birds have been found dead along the 100 miles (160km) of northern shoreline extending from Punta Negra, in Piura, to San José, in the state of Lambayeque.
That discovery came after close to 900 dolphins washed up dead on the northern coast of Peru this year.
The investigation into the deaths of both the dolphins and the birds is ongoing, and it is not clear whether they are connected.
The health ministry advised anyone who might handle any of the dead birds to wear protective clothing, such as gloves and masks.FULL STORY
Nine Peruvian miners were rescued Wednesday from a mine where they had been trapped for days.
State television showed the miners leaving the mine, each supported by two rescuers. They wore sunglasses.
Peruvian President Ollanta Humala greeted the miners at the mouth of the mine. The group unfurled the red and white Peruvian flag and waved at the television cameras.
"We are happy that this high-risk operation was successful," said Claudio Saenz, a fire department official with knowledge of the rescue efforts.
The nine miners have been stuck since Thursday in the wildcat Cabeza de Negro mine in southern Peru.
A cave-in over the weekend slowed progress. For days, a hose placed in the collapsed cavern was the only connection the miners had to the surface.
The miners had been getting oxygen, food and water through a tube, which has also allowed them to stay in contact with people above ground, Peru's state-run Andina news agency reported.FULL STORY
A strong earthquake shook coastal Peru early Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.
No tsunami warning was issued.
The magnitude 6.3 quake hit about 15 kilometers (9 miles) southeast of Ica, at a depth of 39.2 kilometers (24.4 miles).
Hotels in the area reported brief power outages, but no damage.FULL STORY
Peruvian Health Minister Alberto Tejada visited Sunday surviving victims of a fire at a rehabilitation center, promising to crack down on treatment facilities that operate "outside the law."
Twenty-seven people were killed and others were wounded when a fire broke out Saturday at the Christ is Love center in Lima.
"You can supervise someone who has formally asked for permission to operate rehabilitation centers, but you're limited in how you can supervise someone who is hiding," Tejada said.
Speaking at a hospital, the minister called for severe sanctions against those responsible for running Christ is Love, which operated "outside the law," he said. Tejada did not specify what laws the facility violated.FULL STORY
Joran van der Sloot on Friday was sentenced to 28 years in a Peruvian prison for the 2010 murder of 21-year-old Stephany Flores.
With credit for time served, his sentence would end on June 10, 2038.
He was also ordered to pay about $74,500 to the victim's family.
On Wednesday, the 24-year-old Dutch national confessed to the charges of "qualified murder" and simple robbery.
It was an apparent attempt to win a more lenient sentence, using a plea called an "anticipated conclusion of the process" under Peruvian law.
Editor's note: Joran van der Sloot returned to a Peruvian courtroom on Wednesday, five days after requesting more time to "reflect" on what plea he will make in his murder trial in the death of Peruvian national Stephany Flores in 2010. Van der Sloot became well-known around the world after he was arrested twice, but never charged, in the 2005 disappearance of U.S. teenager Natalee Holloway in Aruba.
[Updated at 11:00 a.m. ET] The court is now in recess. Joran van der Sloot has pleaded guilty to the murder of Stephany Flores. The next step will be his sentencing, which will take place on Friday at 10:00 a.m.
Van der Sloot walked over to his attorney, smiled and shook his hand as court was adjourned.
[Updated at 10:59 a.m. ET] A prosecutor is now arguing about the respect of the victim and how there needs to be reparation for the victim as well. “[Stephany Flores] had her life taken from her” with so much ahead of her.
Van der Sloot is hanging his head as they talk about Flores' lost life potential.
[Updated, 11:27 a.m. ET] Joran van der Sloot's attorney, who earlier said his client was going to plead guilty to all charges in connection with the death of a Peruvian woman, has asked for a recess in his client's murder trial to give him more time to reflect on what plea he will put forth.
When asked for a plea by the magistrates, van der Sloot said he wanted to give a "sincere confession" - a type of guilty plea - but did not agree with all of the charges against him. When the judge asked for clarification, he said he needed more time to decide his plea.
[Initial post, 8:54 a.m. ET] In a last-minute defense strategy change, Joran van der Sloot is expected to plead guilty to all the charges against him in connection with the killing of a Peruvian woman, his lawyer told CNN Friday.
The original plan going into the trial, which was set to begin Friday, was to admit to killing 21-year-old Stephany Flores, but to fight more stringent charges that could land him more time in prison, attorney Luis Jimenez said.
Jimenez said the intention of the new strategy is to give a "sincere confession," which under Peruvian law can qualify him for a more lenient sentence.
If van der Sloot goes forward with this approach, he could be sentenced as early as next week.FULL STORY
Lori Berenson, the American activist convicted of aiding terrorists in Peru, arrived in the United States Tuesday morning for the first time since her 1995 arrest.
Berenson arrived at the Newark Liberty International Airport just past 7:30 a.m. An hour later, she emerged from the terminal pushing a luggage cart and with her 2-1/2-year-old son at her side.
She exited the terminal without saying a word to reporters and boarded a waiting sedan with her mother and drove off.
A previous attempt by Berenson, currently on parole, to visit the United States for the holidays was foiled Friday because she lacked some paperwork.
She will spend the holidays with her family in New York.FULL STORY
Peruvian authorities have charged Joran van der Sloot with murder in the case of the death of a Peruvian woman.
CNN partner InSession reports that prosecutors are asking for a 30-year jail sentence and a restitution payment to the victim’s family of about $73,100.
Prosecutors have also charged three Peruvian drivers who allegedly took Van der Sloot across the border to Chile as he was trying to flee the country. They are asking for a five-year jail sentence and a restitution payment to the state of about $ 1,800, InSession reports.
"This is what we were expecting from the prosecutor's office given the high profile nature of this trial. We think 30 years is too much for this crime since it was an isolated incident without any further acts of violence. We have had cases in Peru under similar circumstances that have gotten less than 25 years,” said van der Sloot's attorney, Luis Jimenez Navarro.
No date has been set for trial.
Van der Sloot was once the prime suspect in the disappearance in Aruba of American teenager Natalee Holloway, who vanished at age 18 while on a graduation trip. He was arrested twice but never charged in connection with her disappearance.FULL STORY
A 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit northern Peru on Wednesday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.
Authorities did not immediately report any victims or significant damage.
The temblor struck at a depth of 90 miles, about 350 miles north-northeast of Lima and about 50 miles north of Pucallpa, at 12:46 p.m. local time (1:46 p.m. ET), the USGS said.
The epicenter is also about 130 miles west of Cruzeiro do Sul in western Brazil.
The quake shook buildings hundreds of miles away in the capital and temporarily interrupted phone service there, and postings on social network sites say Ecuador and Brazil felt the quake, according to El Comercio newspaper in Lima.
El Comercio reported that people in the cities of Moyobamba, Loreto, Ica and Trujillo also felt the quake.
The USGS considers anything above 6.0 magnitude a "strong" quake.Read CNN's full coverage of the earthquake in Peru
Three things you need to know today.
Van der Sloot case: Formal charges against Joran Van der Sloot, who is suspected of killing a woman in a Peruvian hotel, could be filed on Wednesday.
Van der Sloot and his new private defense attorney were in court on Tuesday for a preliminary hearing. The hearing was held behind closed doors at the Castro Castro prison outside of Lima. No cameras were allowed.
The hearing was postponed last week because Van der Sloot did not have legal representation.
Van der Sloot was once the prime suspect in the disappearance in Aruba of American teenager Natalee Holloway, who vanished at age 18 while on a graduation trip. He was arrested twice but never charged in connection with her disappearance.
He was arrested in May 2010 following the death of Stephany Flores in Peru.
Once charges are filed against him, a three-judge panel will set the date for an oral trial to begin.
Google notebooks: Notebook computers running Google's new operating system, called Chrome OS, come out on Wednesday.
The new operating system is based on Google's Chrome Web browser but adds some extra features for connecting digital cameras and offline usage. Google says 160 million people actively browse the Web using Chrome, up from 70 million a year ago.
Because the laptop runs on a stripped-down system, first-time setup takes three minutes, and the computers boot up in 8 seconds, Sundar Pichai, an executive for the Chrome group, said during a presentation on the system last month.
The notebooks will run Web-based apps and store files in the cloud instead of on a hard drive. "Your apps, games, photos, music, movies and documents will be accessible wherever you are and you won't need to worry about losing your computer or forgetting to back up files," Google said in a blog post announcing the computers.
Samsung Electronics will sell a version with a 12.1-inch screen and Wi-Fi for $429, and another model with Verizon Wireless 3G connectivity for $499. Acer will also make a Chromebook with prices as low as $349.
Stanley Cup final: The Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins square off for the seventh and final game to determine the winner of the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup.
The home team has won each of the previous six games. Wednesday night's Game 7 is in Vancouver, British Columbia.
SI.com's Stu Hackel looks back at the series and what to expect tonight.
Peru's president says Yale University has agreed to return artifacts to the South American country - a move that could end a lengthy dispute over relics excavated nearly a century ago.
A university representative pledged in a meeting Friday to return a massive collection of artifacts collected from the ancient Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, Peruvian President Alan Garcia said.
"The Peruvian government is grateful for this decision and recognizes that Yale University conserved these parts and pieces that otherwise would have been dispersed in private collections throughout the world, and perhaps would have disappeared," Garcia said in a statement.
Miners in America – The men who survived 69 days in a Chilean mine are in Atlanta, Georgia, on their first U.S. tour since being rescued last month. The miners are on their way to Los Angeles, California, to tape "CNN Heroes: An All Star Tribute," which will air on Thanksgiving.
"I want to see the world," said 27-year-old miner Richard Villarroell, who has only been to Argentina. "I know all of Chile, but not the rest of the world."
CNN Heroes brings attention to regular people around the globe who are doing significant things that improve lives. The Chileans were invited because they symbolize the resiliency and endurance of the human spirit.
Rangel punished, Murkowski claims win – Politics is making news Thursday from New York to Alaska. New York Rep. Charles Rangel will be punished by his colleagues for violating House rules. The House ethics committee meets today and could recommend anything from a fine to expulsion. In Alaska, Sen. Lisa Murkowski has finally declared victory over fellow-Republican Joe Miller. The votes are still being counted. Murkowski would be the first write-in candidate to win a Senate race since Strom Thurmond in 1954.
Mystery bone - Investigators hope to determine Thursday whether a jawbone found on an Aruba beach belongs to an animal or a human. It's possible that the bone is from the body of Natalee Holloway, the missing American teenager. If the bone is human, authorities will attempt to find out using a DNA match whether it belongs to Holloway, who was last seen on the island in 2005. The Netherlands Forensic Institute in The Hague is examining the bone. Joran van der Sloot, the suspect in the Holloway case, is being held in Castro-Castro prison in Peru on another murder charge. Holloway's mother met with him recently.
A Peruvian court has granted parole to a U.S. citizen who has been imprisoned since 1995 for aiding leftist rebels.
Lori Berenson has already served 15 years of a 20-year sentence for collaborating with the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement to attack the nation's congress and overthrow the government. She was released from Lima's Chorrillos Penitentiary in May only to be reincarcerated on a technicality, according to her family's website, freelori.org.
"The judge in charge of Lori's parole application has, once again, granted Lori parole on the grounds that she has fulfilled all necessary requirements," her family wrote Friday on the site.
[Update 2:10 p.m.] The "cuentas iguales" tweet attributed to Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez was a hoax.
Gina Sosa of Garcia Marquez's Iberoamerican New Journalism Foundation says the famed author does not have a Twitter account. She referred CNN to the foundation's Twitter account, where Director Jaime Abello explained the account in question belongs to either imitators or the author's followers.
The Twitter account greets visitors with a smiling photo of Garcia Marquez and proclaims in its bio, "I am Gabo, writer and journalist," using Garcia Marquez's sobriquet. The tweets, which began in 2007, are in first person as if they are from the author. They include book promotions, pontifications on the state of journalism and links to articles at Garcia Marquez’s foundation.
The account has more than 132,000 followers, as opposed to about 7,000 at the foundation's account.
CNN and several other media outlets, including BBC and The Associated Press, reported news of the seemingly conciliatory tweet, so the hoaxster - whoever he or she is - duped a few of journalism's big dogs.
[Updated 12:17 p.m.] It is a tale of literary rivals, romantic intrigue, divergent politics, a black eye and a Nobel laureate taking to Twitter in what may be a fitting end to a 34-year saga.
Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa won the Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday, the Swedish Academy said.
Vargas Llosa won the prize "for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individuals resistance, revolt, and defeat," the academy said.
"I am very grateful to have received this privilege," Vargas Llosa told CNN en Espanol.
"The truth is I did not expect it," he said in the televised interview. "It was a surprise ... but a pleasant surprise."
Vargas Llosa felt "very moved and enthused" by the prize, said Andina, the official Peruvian news agency, citing Peter Englund, president of the Nobel literature prize jury.
Vargas Llosa is in the United States, teaching two courses at Princeton University.
"He had gotten up at 5 a.m. to prepare for a class when he received our call at quarter to seven, while he was working intensively," Englund told Andina.
Vargas Llosa is one of Latin America's leading novelists and essayists. He rose to prominence in the 1960s. Some of his best known novels include "The Green House" and "The War of the End of the World."
Joran van der Sloot admitted in an interview with a Dutch newspaper that he extorted money from the family of Natalee Holloway, but his attorney in a Peruvian murder case suggested Monday that his client's comments may have been mistranslated.
Attorney Maximo Alteza said he is not involved in the case of Holloway, the Alabama teenager who disappeared in Aruba after going out on the town with van der Sloot, and was reluctant to comment on van der Sloot's interview with The Telegraph.
"Maybe there were some mistakes in the translation," he said. Alteza said van der Sloot was not paid for the interview.
"I wanted to get back at Natalee's family," van der Sloot said from prison in the Dutch interview. "Her parents have been making my life tough for five years."
"When they offered to pay for the girl's location, I thought: 'Why not?'" he said.