The body of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will eventually displayed publicly "just like Lenin (and) Mao Zedong," the country's interim leader said on state-run TV Thursday.
"The body of our leader will be embalmed, and it will ... be surrounded by crystal glass forever, present forever, and always with his people," Nicolas Maduro said.FULL STORY
Hugo Chavez was as colorful as he was polarizing. Celebrating his 10th year in power four years ago, he held a jewel-encrusted sword of his hero, 19th-century revolutionary Simon Bolivar, and reminded a Caracas crowd what he was about.
"There is no other path to redemption for the human being than socialism," the Venezuelan president said, flanked by like-minded Latin American leaders helping him mark his anniversary.
After his death on Tuesday, detractors and fans had plenty to say about his fiery character and leftist pursuits, and it's hard to remember they're talking about the same guy.
He wrecked Venezuela's economy and trounced on democratic institutions and people's liberties, some say. He improved the lives of the poor and rightly stood up against "imperialist" nations, say others.
One of the more interesting tributes came from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who declared on his Farsi-language presidential website that Chavez was a great leader who will "resurrect" along with Jesus.
How many different ways can people look at Chavez? Here are a few:
[Updated at 5:18 p.m. ET] SpaceX's unmanned Dragon cargo capsule suffered a temporary glitch with its thrusters after it achieved orbit Friday – a development that will delay its arrival at the International Space Station, NASA said.
The Dragon, launched Friday morning atop SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, had been expected to dock with the space station on Saturday to resupply the station's crew.FULL STORY
The events that will lead to the election of a new pope are starting to take shape.
The Catholic Church's cardinals will start general congregations – meetings that precede a conclave to elect a new pope – on Monday at 9:30 a.m. at the Vatican (3:30 a.m. ET), with a second session set for later that day, according to a letter issued Friday by the dean of the College of Cardinals.
Setting a date for the conclave to elect the new pope will be among the items on the agenda. The previous pope, Benedict XVI, resigned Thursday.
[Updated at 2:10 p.m. ET] Uniformed police officers have now taken over the task of guarding the pope emeritus. When his papacy ended 10 minutes ago, Swiss Guards left their posts, closed the doors of Castel Gandolfo, and hung up their halberds.
[Updated at 2 p.m. ET] The papacy of Benedict XVI is now officially over, ending a pontificate in retirement rather than death for the first time in nearly 600 years.
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
The U.S. Department of Justice has joined a whistle-blower lawsuit against cyclist Lance Armstrong that was originally filed by a former teammate, an attorney for Armstrong said Friday.
Former Armstrong teammate Floyd Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title after failing a drug test, filed a suit in 2010 against their former team, which was sponsored the U.S. Postal Service.
The lawsuit accused the team's former management of defrauding the government of millions of dollars because the team management knew about team members' drug use and didn't do anything.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."
[Updated at 5:36 p.m. ET] Police have just released what they believe led to this morning's shooting and fiery crash that left three people dead on the Las Vegas Strip.
It began with a dispute in the valet area of the Aria hotel, Sheriff Douglas Gillespie told reporters moments ago, citing witnesses.
After the altercation, the participants drove north on Las Vegas Boulevard in two vehicles – a black Range Rover Sport and a Maserati – and someone from the Range Rover fired into the Maserati, killing the driver and wounding a passenger.
The Maserati then continued into an intersection with Flamengo Road – near the Caesars Palace and Flamingo casinos – and struck a taxi, causing a chain of crashes that involved four other vehicles.
Two people inside the taxi died. Three other people in the crashes suffered minor injuries, Gillespie said. Check out the full story for more details.
[Posted at 12:58 p.m. ET] Three people are dead and at least three others wounded after a shooting and fiery car crash that shook the Las Vegas Strip early Thursday morning, police say.
The incident began about 4:20 a.m. when someone in an SUV – stopped at a stoplight on Las Vegas Boulevard near Caesars Palace and a number of other casinos – fired into a Maserati that also had stopped at the light, Las Vegas police said.
The Maserati moved into the intersection with Flamingo Road and collided with a taxi, starting a chain of crashes that involved four other vehicles, police said.FULL STORY
Former Chicago-area police sergeant Drew Peterson was sentenced Thursday to 38 years in prison – with credit for nearly four years in jail – for the 2004 murder of his ex-wife, Kathleen Savio, a prosecution spokesman in Illinois said.
Peterson plans to appeal the sentence, one of this lawyers said.
Peterson was convicted of murder last September. Savio – Peterson's third wife – was found dead in her dry, clean bathtub on March 1, 2004
The headline-grabbing case did not arise until after Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy, disappeared in October 2007. It was during the search for Stacy Peterson – who has not been found – that investigators said they would look again into Savio's death, which was initially ruled an accidental drowning.
In February 2008, authorities altered their judgment and ruled Savio's death a homicide. Peterson was later arrested and charged with first-degree murder.FULL STORY
Former cyclist Lance Armstrong will not cooperate with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's investigation of performance enhancing drug use in the sport, an Armstrong attorney said Wednesday.
USADA had given Armstrong – who publicly admitted such drug use last month – until Wednesday to decide whether he would cooperate under oath with investigators as part of a possible path to altering his USADA-imposed lifetime competition ban.
"Lance will not participate in USADA's efforts to selectively conduct American prosecutions that only demonize selected individuals while failing to address the 95% of the sport over which USADA has no jurisdiction," Armstrong attorney Tim Herman said in a written statement Wednesday.FULL STORY
An Idaho man accused of uttering a racial slur and slapping a crying 19-month-old boy on a Delta Air Lines flight has surrendered to federal authorities.
Joe Rickey Hundley of Hayden, Idaho, turned himself in to federal officials in Idaho on Tuesday morning, the U.S. attorney's office in Atlanta said.
Hundley was recently charged with assaulting a minor in the February 8 incident. According to court documents, Hundley, during a flight to Atlanta, allegedly told the baby's mother to "shut that (N-word) baby up."
He then turned around and slapped the child in the face with an open hand, according to the documents.
[Updated at 8:26 p.m. ET] In the middle of a shooting spree that killed three people and unleashed terror on Southern California motorists Tuesday morning, Ali Syed told one of his carjacking victims to walk away, police say.
"Mr. Syed ... said, 'I don't want to hurt you, I killed somebody. Today's my last day. Give me your keys,'" Tustin Police Chief Scott Jordan told reporters.
According to preliminary accounts from police, Syed, 20, didn't intentionally spare another target.
Police say they believe Syed, a part-time college student, fatally shot a woman at his family's Ladera Ranch home before killing two other people - including a senior citizen executed outside his vehicle - and wounding three others as he fired a shotgun at Orange County motorists on the Costa Mesa Freeway and committed three carjackings.
The spree ended when Syed died after he turned his gun on himself as police approached on a road north of Tustin, authorities say.FULL STORY
Danica Patrick became the first woman to win pole position in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series history, posting the top qualifying time for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday.
Her lap of 45.817 seconds – at a top speed of 196.434 mph – means she'll start in the front row in the February 24 race, alongside Jeff Gordon.
Two previous pole positions earned by women in NASCAR came in the Nationwide Series. Those were earned by Patrick last year at Daytona, and Shawna Robinson in 1994 in Atlanta, according to NASCAR.
Patrick, 30, is in her first full year as a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver. Last year she made 10 Sprint Cup starts.FULL STORY
[Updated 8:20 p.m: To clarify the nature of the filed court document]
Federal prosecutors Friday filed felony charges against former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., alleging the illegal misuse of about $750,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses and gifts.
The formal charges of conspiracy, making false statements, and mail and wire fraud, were made public in federal court only days after Jackson had signed a plea deal with prosecutors who were investigating potential financial improprieties.
After the charges were filed Friday, Jackson issued a statement accepting responsibility for making mistakes and bad decisions. He did not dispute prosecutors' allegations.
[Original post, 4:05 p.m.]
Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and a co-conspirator have admitted to concealing about $750,000 in campaign funds for their personal use, according to a plea deal filed in federal court Friday.
Jackson, D-Illinois, admitted to conspiracy and other charges related to the misappropriated campaign funds, according to the court documents.
CNN reported last week that Jackson had signed a plea deal with prosecutors investigating potential financial improprieties, but the details of the alleged improprieties weren't then available.
Jackson, who represented Illinois' 2nd Congressional District beginning in 1995, resigned in late November after winning election to a tenth term in the House. He had not been seen in Washington or his district since last spring, and his office slowly revealed that he was receiving treatment for a mood disorder, depression and gastrointestinal issues at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.FULL STORY
Not even 24 hours after reaching land, a passenger on this week's infamously crippled Carnival cruise in the Gulf of Mexico has filed a lawsuit.
Passenger Terry Cassie of Texas has filed a lawsuit against Carnival in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida. The suit describes Carnival's Triumph cruise ship as a "floating hell."
The Triumph was towed into port in Alabama late Thursday night, five days after it lost power in a engine-room fire. More than 3,000 passengers and 1,000 crew members lived in squalid conditions after the outage, with overflowing commodes splashing floors with waste as the ship listed, passengers reported.FULL STORY
[Updated at 11:24 a.m. ET] Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is temporarily having difficulty speaking following a procedure in which doctors inserted a tracheal tube, Venezuela's communications minister said Friday.
Chavez is going through a difficult recovery period following his recent cancer surgery, Communications Minister Ernesto Villegas said at a news conference. Villegas displayed a picture of Chavez in his hospital bed surrounded by his children.
Chavez hasn't appeared in public or on national television since he went to Cuba for cancer surgery in December.
[Updated at 8:04 p.m. ET] Triumph passenger Sylvester Davis, backing up what other passengers have said today, told CNN by phone that the ship was cleaner today.
“It got a lot better once the notification went out that the (National Transportation Safety Board) and the Coast Guard was coming on board," Davis said. "They spent a lot of time cleaning up, and it's sort of frustrating because it doesn't look like now the way it’s been looking and the way we've been living.”
[Updated at 7:36 p.m. ET] We've received video, taken Sunday morning, showing smoke from the fire that knocked out the ship's power. The video was sent to us by passenger Megan Clemons-Foxall.
[Updated at 7:26 p.m. ET] The end of the trip is near: The ship is about 17 miles from the dock. We're anticipating an arrival between 10 p.m. ET and midnight ET.
It won't be over immediately for the crew and passengers. Because more than 4,000 people are aboard, and there's just one working elevator, Carnival anticipates it'll take about four or five hours to get everyone off the ship.
[Updated at 7:41 p.m. ET] San Berardino County Sheriff John McMahon says he can't positively confirm that a body found yesterday after a massive manhunt in California is that of murder suspect Christopher Dorner, but investigators believe the body is his, and the search is over.
"We’re not currently involved in a manhunt,” McMahon told reporters at a news conference Thursday.
The county coroner's division is working to positively identify the body, which authorities recovered from a cabin after officers stormed it following a shootout Wednesday afternoon in the San Bernardino National Forest.
McMahon also said that officers did not intentionally set the cabin on fire. McMahon said officers toward the end of the standoff fired pyrotechnic tear gas canisters into the structure, which then caught fire, but the fire "was not on purpose."
"We did not intentionally burn down that cabin to get Mr. Dorner out," McMahon said.
[Updated at 11:14 a.m. ET] Los Angeles police will not "speculate at this point" whether the body found after a massive manhunt in California is murder suspect Christopher Jordan Dorner, Police Lt. Andy Neiman told reporters Wednesday.
[Posted at 11:08 a.m. ET] The murder investigation targeting Christopher Jordan Dorner continues, but the Los Angeles Police Department has returned to a normal state of operations since Tuesday night, police spokesman said.
That's when police stormed a cabin where Dorner is thought to have died. Dorner is an ex-LA cop who vowed to kill police officers to avenge what he called an unfair termination.FULL STORY
Ireland plans to send up to eight troops with UK service members to train forces in Mali – the first time the republic will have made a joint deployment with the UK since Ireland broke away last century, Ireland's defense ministry said.
“I believe that the provision of a joint UK/Ireland contingent is another step in the normalization of relations between” the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom, Ireland Defense Minister Alan Shatter said Wednesday.