Two of the three women rescued from a Cleveland home where they'd been held for about a decade or more returned home Wednesday while police readied charges against the men accused of keeping them captive.
Well-wishers from the neighborhood cheered as a gray van carrying Amanda Berry and the 6-year-old daughter she gave birth to during her captivity pulled up. The porch was decorated with balloons and stuffed animals and draped with a red banner that read, "Welcome home Amanda."
"We are so happy to have Amanda and her daughter home," her sister, Beth Serrano, told reporters. "I want to thank the public and media for their support and courage over the years."FULL STORY
Amanda Berry was last seen after finishing her shift at a Burger King in Cleveland in 2003. It was the eve of her 17th birthday.
Georgina "Gina" DeJesus disappeared nearly a year later, in April 2004. She was 14.
Michele Knight vanished in 2002, at age 19, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper.
All three were found alive in a home in a Cleveland neighborhood Monday night, police announced in a development hailed as a miracle by their families.
"Help me, I am Amanda Berry," Berry told police in a frantic 911 call from a neighbor's house. "I've been kidnapped, and I've been missing for 10 years. And I'm here, I'm free now."
Firefighters continue to battle what has been a fast-growing Southern California wildfire,one that has already consumed more than 2,950 acres.
The spread of the blaze seemed to slow early Thursday morning and crews gained greater containment, now pegged at 35%, according to the state agency Cal Fire.
The Riverside County Fire Department said 425 firefighters were involved in what's being called the Summit Fire. Six air tankers dropped chemical retardants on the flames.FULL STORY
Wait a minute, didn't spring start last week? Apparently not.
Folks in parts of a dozen states from Missouri to New Jersey and down to North Carolina and Tennessee are getting an ugly start to their work week. All are under winter storm warnings Monday, according to the National Weather Service.
Accumulations of up to 7 inches will be common in places like St. Louis, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh. Some areas will receive a foot of snow.FULL STORY
The United States on Monday handed over control of a U.S.-run prison near Bagram Air Base to Afghan authorities.
The handover of control of the detention center in Parwan fulfills an agreement between Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.FULL STORY
A corporate jet, sheared in half - it's nose poking through the front window of a shattered home.
Such was the scene in a South Bend, Indiana, neighborhood Sunday when a Hawker Beechcraft 390 slammed into a row of single-story homes, damaging three.
Two of the four people aboard the plane died on impact.FULL STORY
The Vatican has sought to quell controversy over Pope Francis' conduct during Argentina's so-called Dirty War, amid accusations that he could have done more to protect two Jesuit priests who were kidnapped.
A meeting on the pope's agenda on Monday may be another sign that he's trying to put the past behind him. Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is scheduled to meet with Francis in the afternoon.FULL STORY
A month after one of its ships was crippled in the Gulf of Mexico, Carnival Cruise Lines is dealing with another ship problem, this time at port in the Caribbean.
The Carnival Dream suffered a generator failure while docked at Philipsburg, St. Maarten. Although power has been restored and facilities are functioning again, the ship still can't leave its port. Passengers say that for a time on Wednesday, some toilets stopped working and no one was allowed to leave even though the ship was docked.
Carnival says it is working to fly all passengers on one of its cruises back to Florida.FULL STORY
The questions go to the heart of the issue, presenting possible scenarios some may find challenging.
The Boy Scouts of America, now considering a change in the group's longstanding policy against allowing openly gay members, has sent out surveys to leaders and parents.
The survey asks nine questions on the issue that go beyond a simple yes or no. Among them: Is it acceptable or unacceptable for a gay scout and a straight scout to share a tent on an overnight camping trip?
The five multiple-choice answers range from "totally acceptable" to "totally unacceptable."FULL STORY
Two days after he was pulled from the bottom of a swimming pool at a Disney resort in Florida, a 13-year-old boy from Missouri has died.
Anthony Johnson passed away Tuesday morning, according to the Orange County Sheriff's office. No cause of death was given.
"We are saddened by Anthony Johnson's passing and our hearts go out to his family, friends and loved ones," a statement from Disney said. "We have reached out to his family to offer care and assistance during this difficult time."
The boy was swimming at Disney's Pop Century Resort pool on Sunday evening with family members and other guests when he was spotted in about 4 feet of water by a cousin, who pulled him out, sheriff's deputies told CNN affiliate WKMG-TV. Lifeguards were not on duty at the time of the incident.FULL STORY
A civil rights complaint is being filed on behalf of a transgendered child barred by her Colorado school district from using girls' restrooms, an advocacy group said Wednesday.
The complaint to a Colorado civil rights agency, on behalf of 6-year-old Coy Mathis, will be the first to challenge a restriction on a transgender person's bathroom use under Colorado's anti-discrimination laws, the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund told reporters in Denver.
First-grader Coy, who was born with male sex organs but identifies herself as female, had been allowed to use her school's girls' bathrooms until school officials barred her from doing so after winter break, her family says.FULL STORY
Just like she did during the first half of the school year, first grader Coy Mathis wants to use the girls' restroom at her Colorado elementary school. But school officials won't let her.
The reason? Coy is transgendered, born with male sex organs but a child who identifies herself as female.FULL STORY
[Updated at 10:05 a.m.] The Midwest's second blizzard in as many weeks has contributed to the deaths of at least three people, officials say.
Gobs of wet, heavy snow plopped to the ground early Tuesday in the Kansas City area along the Kansas and Missouri border in what the National Weather Service called a "crippling, historic blizzard." The storm could bring up to 18 inches of snow to parts of Kansas, Missouri and Illinois a day after plastering Oklahoma and Texas.
One person died in Woodward, Oklahoma, when a roof collapsed, the city's mayor said. The other two deaths came in Kansas on Monday in separate weather-related accidents on Interstate 70, the Kansas National Guard said.FULL STORY
[Updated 10:40 a.m. ET] So, that's about it from the Pretoria courtroom. To sum up: A magistrate granted bail to Pistorius after giving a roughly 90-minute speech in which he covered the history and law of South African bail, summarized the case, criticized the police investigation and expressed skepticism about Pistorius' account.
Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair said the former chief investigator in the case, Hilton Botha, had made "several errors and concessions" during his testimony this week, and said prosecutors had failed to prove that Pistorius was a flight risk or had a propensity toward violence.
Pistorius will be free pending trial, as long as he meets the conditions listed below.
[Updated 10:35 a.m. ET] Pistorius' uncle, Arnold Pistorius, has told reporters the following on the behalf of the Pistorius family:
"We are in mourning over the death of Reeva, with her family. We also grateful for the ... magistrate to come to the conclusion, and for our legal team that has delivered extremely professional and legal (services) that led to the decision to give him bail today.
"As a family we know that Oscar’s version of what happened at that tragic night, and we know that that is the truth, and that will prevail in the coming court cases."
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has returned home from Cuba and will continue his cancer treatment there, according to his official Twitter account.
"We have returned to Venezuela. Thanks my God. Thanks beloved people. We will continue treatment here," he tweeted.FULL STORY
The Carnival Triumph, the cruise ship that had been marooned in the Gulf of Mexico, is expected to arrive in Mobile, Alabama, between 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. ET Thursday, according to an official briefed on plans for the recovery of the vessel.
On Wednesday, the plan was for the vessel to arrive in the early Thursday afternoon, but rough waves overnight has slowed the recovery.FULL STORY
A major winter storm whipped the Upper Midwest early Monday, just after a historic snowfall buried much of the Northeast.
The latest blizzard dumped 8 to 15 inches of snow across parts of seven states, but saved most of its fury for the Dakotas and Minnesota, the National Weather Service said.
Snow showers and blowing snow were expected to linger Monday across the area.
More than 1,000 miles away, residents of the Northeast spent the weekend digging out from a storm that dumped several feet of snow across the region.
In the Southeast, at least 15 tornadoes formed across southern Mississippi and Alabama Sunday afternoon as a cold front moved in. Major damage was caused by a tornado that struck Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The Mobile, Alabama, National Weather Service Office was to begin conducting damage surveys Monday.
According to Storm Prediction Center reports, nearly 70 people were injured in Sunday's storms, with at least 61 of those in Hattiesburg.FULL STORY
Officials are calling it one of the largest operations against human traffickers in Europe.
Police in Europe arrested 103 people in 10 countries this week, all accused of smuggling in people on boats, freight trains and small hidden compartments in the floors of buses and trucks.FULL STORY
It's the 17th time Jordan has gone to the polls to elect a parliament since becoming a nation in 1946, but Wednesday's balloting is an election of firsts.
For the first time, the country has allowed observers. It's also the first time that an independent election commission will oversee the polling.
These deliberate steps at transparency are crucial for a country that's under a great deal of political strain - and whose stability has ramifications for the world outside its borders.
It is amidst this backdrop that most Jordanians went to the polls. Opposition groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, boycotted itFULL STORY