Morsy arrested, Muslim Brotherhood spokesman says
Fireworks light the Cairo sky Wednesday as opponents of the now-ousted President Mohamed Morsy celebrate in Tahrir Square.
July 3rd, 2013
10:19 PM ET

Morsy arrested, Muslim Brotherhood spokesman says

  • Egypt's top military leader announces Wednesday night that President Mohamed Morsy has been removed from power
  • Head of Egypt's constitutional court will be temporary president until new constitution is drawn up and new elections can be held
  • The military demanded that Morsy share power with opponents after anti-government protests
  • Morsy, elected last year, refused to comply; mass protests continue to support him
  • Refresh this page for the latest news we're seeing and hearing. Catch up with our full story here.

[Updated at 11:52 p.m. ET, 5:52 a.m. in Egypt] Some 40 anti-Morsy protesters are planning to meet with cleaning equipment to polish up their former protest campground, Tahrir Square.  They have invited over 2,000 people to join them on Facebook

[Updated at 11:03 p.m. ET, 5:30 a.m. in Egypt] CNN's Jake Tapper outlines some fine points of Obama's reaction to the Egyptian military's actions:

President Obama’s statement Wednesday evening about the Egyptian military’s seizure of power from President Mohamed Morsy is as telling for what he doesn’t say as for what he does: he doesn’t mention the word “coup.” He doesn’t call upon the Egyptian military to restore power to the “democratically elected civilian government,” but rather to a“democratically elected civilian government” - in other words, it need not be Morsy’s.

The thinking of the president and senior Obama administration officials, according to a knowledgeable source, is that while the administration is not explicitly supporting the removal of Morsy from power - it expressly did not support the move - it is seeking to now push the Egyptian military in a direction.

If the Obama administration were to use the word “coup.” that would have legal ramifications that would result in the end of U.S. aid. If White House officials were to pull the plug completely, they would be removing themselves from the picture altogether.

[Updated at 10:19 p.m. ET, 4:19 a.m. in Egypt] CNN's Ben Wedeman, who spent time at a pro-Morsy rally in Cairo on Wednesday evening, reported he spoke to one protester who said he felt demonstrators would stay there "until Mohamed Morsy is once again president of Egypt."

Wedeman recalled the exchange early Thursday after leaving the pro-Morsy rally to go to the larger gathering at Cairo's Tahrir Square, where people still were celebrating Morsy's ouster.

Wedeman said that although much focus is on the joy and excitement at Tahrir Square, "there's a significant portion of the Egyptian population (although) I wouldn’t suggest it’s a majority who are very upset at what has happened."

Wedeman, a CNN senior international correspondent who'd previously served as CNN's Cairo bureau chief, said it appeared the overall mood in Egypt would be different than 2011, when then-President Hosni Mubarak was deposed. In 2011, Wedeman said, Mubarak's supporters kept a low profile for months.

"There's not going to be that quiet after the storm this time around," Wedeman said.

[Updated at 10:06 p.m. ET, 4:06 a.m. in Egypt] Get ready for an extremist backlash to Morsy's ouster, says Mohammed Ayoob, Michigan State University professor emeritus of international relations.

"The major lesson that Islamists in the Middle East are likely to learn from this episode is that they will not be allowed to exercise power no matter how many compromises they make in both the domestic and foreign policy arenas," Ayoob wrote for a CNN.com opinion piece. "This is likely to push a substantial portion of mainstream Islamists into the arms of the extremists who reject democracy and ideological compromise."

CNN's Ben Wedeman, reporting from Cairo, also said there's a danger that some members of the Muslim Brotherhood will break from the main group and "challenge (Egypt's new leaders) with violence."

They may take the attitude of "we tried to play the game, our leaders were jailed, our media have been shut down ... so we’re going to destroy the system," said Wedeman, who is a CNN senior international correspondent and had previously been CNN's Cairo bureau chief.

[Updated at 9:23 p.m. ET, 3:23 a.m. in Egypt] U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has echoed Obama's call for a quick return to civilian rule. He appealed for "calm, non-violence, dialogue and restraint."

[Updated at 8:24 p.m. ET, 2:24 a.m. in Egypt] More about arrests in Egypt, from CNN's interview with Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad:

Morsy was arrested by presidential guards at their headquarters, and is being "cut off" from the world, El-Haddad told CNN. "They cut all his access, all his calls. No one is meeting him," the spokesman said.

Members of Morsy's presidential team also were arrested, El-Haddad said.

The head of Egypt's Freedom and Justice Party and the deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood also were arrested, according to El-Haddad.

El-Haddad told CNN he understands that hundreds of names have been put on an "arrest list," but "I can't confirm any arrests apart from these."

[Updated at 8:03 p.m. ET, 2:03 a.m. in Egypt] Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad just confirmed his account of Morsy's arrest to CNN by phone.

Presidential guards arrested Morsy at the guards' headquarters, El-Haddad told CNN. He described it as "house arrest." He added that Morsy's presidential team was "entirely put under arrest as well."

[Updated at 7:42 p.m. ET, 1:42 a.m. in Egypt] Morsy is "under house arrest," as are most members of the presidential team, according to a post on Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad's Twitter account.

Reuters also reported Morsy is being held by authorities, citing the Muslim Brotherhood and a security source.

[Updated at 7:27 p.m. ET, 1:27 a.m. in Egypt] At least eight people were killed and 343 were wounded in clashes across Egypt on Wednesday, the day the Egyptian military announced it had ousted Mohamed Morsy as president, according to the state-run al-Ahram news agency, citing the Health Ministry.

[Updated at 7:07 p.m. ET, 1:07 a.m. in Egypt] Egypt's military reportedly is attempting a massive roundup of members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement that helped propel Morsy to power a year ago.

Arrest warrants have been issued for 300 members of the Muslim Brotherhood, and an operation to arrest them is under way, according to the state-run Ahram newspaper website on Thursday, which cited an unnamed security source.

Egyptian security forces also have arrested the Muslim Brotherhood's political party leader, Saad el-Katatni, and its deputy, Rashad Al-Bayoumi, Egypt's official MENA news agency reported Wednesday, citing an unnamed military source.

[Updated at 6:57 p.m. ET, 12:57 a.m. in Egypt] U.S. President Barack Obama, in his first public statement on Morsy's ouster, says the United States is "deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian armed forces to remove President Morsy and suspend the Egyptian constitution," and that he has "directed the relevant departments and agencies to review the implications under U.S. law for our assistance to the government of Egypt."

Obama also called on the Egyptian military "to move quickly and responsibly to return full authority back to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible through an inclusive and transparent process, and to avoid arbitrary arrests of President Morsy and his supporters."

Here is the full statement, released moments ago by the White House:

"As I have said since the Egyptian revolution, the United States supports a set of core principles, including opposition to violence, protection of universal human rights, and reform that meets the legitimate aspirations of the people. The United States does not support particular individuals or political parties, but we are committed to the democratic process and respect for the rule of law. Since the current unrest in Egypt began, we have called on all parties to work together to address the legitimate grievances of the Egyptian people, in accordance with the democratic process, and without recourse to violence or the use of force.

"The United States is monitoring the very fluid situation in Egypt, and we believe that ultimately the future of Egypt can only be determined by the Egyptian people. Nevertheless, we are deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian Armed Forces to remove President Morsy and suspend the Egyptian constitution. I now call on the Egyptian military to move quickly and responsibly to return full authority back to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible through an inclusive and transparent process, and to avoid any arbitrary arrests of President Morsy and his supporters. Given today’s developments, I have also directed the relevant departments and agencies to review the implications under U.S. law for our assistance to the government of Egypt.

"The United States continues to believe firmly that the best foundation for lasting stability in Egypt is a democratic political order with participation from all sides and all political parties secular and religious, civilian and military. During this uncertain period, we expect the military to ensure that the rights of all Egyptian men and women are protected, including the right to peaceful assembly, due process, and free and fair trials in civilian courts. Moreover, the goal of any political process should be a government that respects the rights of all people, majority and minority; that institutionalizes the checks and balances upon which democracy depends; and that places the interests of the people above party or faction. The voices of all those who have protested peacefully must be heard including those who welcomed today’s developments, and those who have supported President Morsy. In the interim, I urge all sides to avoid violence and come together to ensure the lasting restoration of Egypt’s democracy.

"No transition to democracy comes without difficulty, but in the end it must stay true to the will of the people. An honest, capable and representative government is what ordinary Egyptians seek and what they deserve. The longstanding partnership between the United States and Egypt is based on shared interests and values, and we will continue to work with the Egyptian people to ensure that Egypt’s transition to democracy succeeds."

The White House Flickr feed released this photo of Obama discussing Egypt with members of his national security team in the White House Situation Room.

FULL POST

Supreme Court gives two big victories for gay rights
June 26th, 2013
12:12 PM ET

Supreme Court gives two big victories for gay rights

  • The Supreme Court issues two key rulings affecting same-sex marriage in the U.S.  
  • Part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was struck down
  • The justices also cleared the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California after rejecting an appeal on the state's Proposition 8
  • Refresh this page for the latest news, analysis and reaction

[Updated at 12:12 p.m. ET] It's the end of a busy morning of momentous rulings from the Supreme Court. We're still working on getting analysis on and reaction to the two landmark decisions that will impact marriage between same-sex couples in the United States and we'll bring that to you on CNN.com, CNN's mobile apps and CNN TV.

We'll sign off this live blog now, thanks for reading. Here are links to more of the coverage we already have:

Our main story: Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage hailed as historic victory

Details on the DOMA case: Supreme Court strikes down federal provision on same-sex marriage benefits

Details on the Proposition 8 case: Supreme Court dismisses California's Proposition 8 appeal

From CNN Money: The financial impact of the same-sex marriage ruling

Gay celebrities who are married or engaged

Same-sex marriage by the numbers

[Updated at 11:49 a.m. ET] Religion and marriage are intricately tied together for many and our Belief blog co-editor Daniel Burke has got a range of reaction from believers and non-believers.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is one of those looking at the decisions through a religion lens:

[Updated at 11:43 a.m. ET] Both the decisions affecting same-sex marriage were 5-4 splits. And the dissenting justices put out some strong opinions of their own.

Justice Scalia on the DOMA case:

Few public controversies touch an institution so central to the lives of so many, and few inspire such attendant passion by good people on both sides. Few public controversies will ever demonstrate so vividly the beauty of what our Framers gave us, a gift the Court pawns today to buy its stolen moment in the spotlight: a system of government that permits us to rule ourselves.

Some will rejoice in today's decision, and some will despair at it; that is the nature of a controversy that matters to much to so many. But the Court has cheated both sides, robbing the winners of an honest victory, and the losers of the peace that comes from a fair defeat. We owed both of them better. I dissent.

Justice Kennedy on the Proposition 8 case:

What the Court fails to grasp or accept is the basic premise of the initiative process. And it is this. The essence of democracy is that the right to make law rests in the people and flows to the government, not the other way around. Freedom resides first in the people without need of a grant from government. The California initiative process embodies these principles and has done so for over a century... In California and the 26 other States that permit initiatives and popular referendums, the people have exercised their own inherent sovereign right to govern themselves. The Court today frustrates that choice.

[Updated at 11:35 a.m. ET] Kris Perry, one of the key figures in the Proposition 8 case, said it was a victory not just for couples wanting to wed but also children. "No matter where you live, no matter who your parents are, no matter what kind of family you're in, you are equal, you are as good as your friends' parents and your friends."

She added: "We can go back to California and say to our own children - all four of our boys - your family is just as good as everybody else's family."

[Updated at 11:20 a.m. ET] There are a lot of rainbow flags flying today. Including on Google if you search "gay."

[Updated at 11:11 a.m. ET] Family Research Council president Tony Perkins released a statement saying his group was "disappointed" in the DOMA ruling and "disturbed" by the detail of the Proposition 8 decision but that it also took some heart from the Supreme Court's actions.

“Their refusal to redefine marriage for all states is a major setback for those seeking to redefine natural marriage," he said. "Time is not on the side of those seeking to create same-sex ‘marriage.’ As the American people are given time to experience the actual consequences of redefining marriage, the public debate and opposition to the redefinition of natural marriage will undoubtedly intensify."

He concluded: “What is inevitable is that the male and female relationship will continue to be uniquely important to the future of society. The reality is that society needs children, and children need a mom and a dad. We will continue to work to restore and promote a healthy marriage culture, which will maximize the chances of a child being raised by a married mother and father.”

[Updated at 11:08 a.m. ET] The Human Rights Campaign, which has pushed for LGBT equality, is declaring two "monumental victories." Here's the top of their statement:

In recent years, California’s Proposition 8 and the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act became symbols of anti-LGBT discrimination around the country and around the world. Today, both crumbled.
In a watershed moment in the fight for equality, the United States Supreme Court today ruled to return marriage equality to California and to strike down DOMA. The court ruled in the Prop 8 case on procedural grounds, not reaching a decision on the merits of Prop 8 or the broader question of whether the Constitution guarantees the fundamental right to marry the person you love.
Marriages in California are expected to begin again soon. While a joyous milestone, these victories nonetheless throw into sharp relief the uneven progress for LGBT people around the country—a landscape where states like California are rapidly advancing toward equality, but progress in many other places remains stagnant.

[Updated at 11:05 a.m. ET] A little more detail on exactly what the Proposition 8 decision by the Supreme Court means: By dismissing the case, the decision will allow for the lower court decision in California that allows for same-sex marriage to be reinstated. The appeals court stay on the decision will be lifted.

[Updated at 10:59 a.m. ET] Here's what Hollywood is saying - some reactions from celebrities, many of whom have campaigned for gay rights.

And this is George Takei on Facebook:

Today marks a watershed moment in history and a tremendous victory for the principle of equality. The 5-4 decision by our Supreme Court striking down DOMA affirms the universality of love–the desire of all people not only to find, but to value and affirm, a lifelong commitment to another person.

I have lived nearly four score years, and have borne witness to both the heartbreak and promise of true justice and equality in America. Today my heart soars, and my faith in the promise of our great nation is renewed.

Now, if there's anything we gays know how to do well, it is to celebrate! Let the joy of this day ring out with PRIDE.

[Updated at 10:47 a.m. ET] The key couples in the California case just held their arms aloft in celebration on the steps of the Supreme Court building. "This is a great day for America," said one of their lawyers, David Boies.

[Updated at 10:46 a.m. ET] So what's your reaction to the rulings today?

[Updated at 10:38 a.m. ET] It sounds like we'll be looking into these rulings for a while – Jeffrey Toobin just said the Proposition 8 case was "a puzzling decision" and a "puzzling" line-up of justices who backed the decision.

The opinion about Proposition 8 was written by Chief Justice Roberts who was joined by Justice Scalia, a conservative, and three liberals – Justices Breyer, Ginsburg and Kagan.

[Updated at 10:35 a.m. ET] Same-sex marriage can resume in California - that's the result of the Supreme Court ruling just in that dismisses an appeal regarding California's Proposition 8.

From our colleague Bill Mears:

The Supreme Court has dismissed a closely-watched appeal over same-sex marriage on jurisdictional grounds, ruling Wednesday private parties do not have "standing" to defend California's voter-approved ballot measure barring gay and lesbians couples from state-sanctioned wedlock. The ruling permits same-sex couples in California to legally marry. The 5-4 decision avoids for now a sweeping conclusion on whether same-sex marriage is a constitutionally-protected "equal protection" right that would apply to all states. The case is Hollingsworth v. Perry (12-144).

[Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET] New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman told CNN the ruling was a "great win." "“A great win not just for the gay community, it’s a great win for the American tradition of equal justice under the law,” he said.

[Updated at 10:29 a.m. ET] House Speaker John Boehner was just asked about the DOMA case, but he declined comment until he's read the ruling.

[Updated at 10:26 a.m. ET] The ruling on Proposition 8 - California's ban on same-sex marriage - is in.

[Updated at 10:23 a.m. ET] And yes, the president was watching. His Twitter account is calling the DOMA ruling "a historic step forward," though it's not signed with the "bo" that shows he wrote it.

[Updated at 10:22 a.m. ET] President Obama was going to be monitoring the rulings on Air Force One as he heads to Senegal, CNN's Jessica Yellin reports.

[Updated at 10:17 a.m. ET] Supporters of same-sex marriage waiting outside the Supreme Court cheered the DOMA decision. Reaction is also coming in from Twitter.

DNC chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said that "finally" all married couples would get benefits.

[Updated at 10:15 a.m. ET] Of course we can't draw any conclusions from the DOMA ruling about which way the justices will decide on California's Proposition 8. 

[Updated at 10:12 a.m. ET] The justices were split 5-4. The majority ruling was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy. Dissents were written by Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Samuel Alito.

[Updated at 10:09 a.m. ET] Legal expert Jeffrey Toobin puts the ruling in context: "DOMA is gone."

[Updated at 10:08 a.m. ET] From our team in Washington:

The Supreme Court has struck down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, ruling that same-sex spouses legally married in a state may receive federal benefits.

[Updated at 10:06 a.m. ET] This is the case where Edie Windsor said she had to pay more in inheritance tax than warranted because her spouse was a woman not a man.

[Updated at 10:02 a.m. ET] We're reading the decision to see how the justices ruled regarding the rights of legally married same-sex couples to receive federal benefits provided to heterosexual spouses.

[Updated at 10:01 a.m. ET] There is a ruling in the DOMA case.

[Updated at 10:00 a.m. ET] So it's 10 a.m. in the nation's capital and the Supreme Court should be sitting. No cameras inside the court of course, so we can only assume they are good timekeepers.

[Updated at 9:54 a.m. ET] Two days ago Lady Gaga called on the Supreme Court to "make history & stand for MARRIAGE EQUALITY." That's now been retweeted nearly 14,000 times. But will it have had any impact on the nine justices?

[Updated at 9:50 a.m. ET] Here are some of the people who weren't specifically part of the cases argued before the Supreme Court but who will almost certainly be affected by the rulings. CNN's Moni Basu profiled gay couples who are at the center of two big political debates – same-sex marriage and immigration.

[Updated at 9:44 a.m. ET] While we're waiting for the opinions to be delivered, here's Donna Brazile's take on yesterday's landmark ruling on the Voting Rights Act. The Democratic strategist says it's time for President Obama and Congress to pass a new Voting Rights Act.

[Updated at 9: 40 a.m. ET] A quick reminder that you can watch our reporting live on CNN TV as well as refreshing this page and staying with CNN on CNN.com and our mobile apps.

[Updated at 9:19 a.m. ET] Large crowds are gathering outside the Supreme Court in Washington D.C. and on social media. Right now we can see rainbow gay pride banners and blue flags with a yellow "=" sign that is a standard of those fighting for more rights for same-sex couples. Not in view are groups who support traditional marriage between a man and a woman, but that's not to say they're not there. Both sides were strongly represented when the Supreme Court heard the arguments back in March.

On Twitter, #DOMA will probably start trending soon. There's certainly a lot of people tweeting about the Supreme Court today.

The Tie the Knot organization that wants marriage equality tweeted "The big day is here."

It's no surprise that GLAAD wants marriage equality.

Or that the Family Research Council is backing traditional unions.

And this, from CNN legal eagle Jeffrey Toobin:

[Posted at 9:05 a.m. ET] It's set to be the last public day of the Supreme Court session, and we're waiting for opinions in three cases - two of which address same-sex marriage.

It's widely expected that we'll get rulings on the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California's Proposition 8, and those rulings could affect the lives, rights and finances of millions of Americans.

CNN Supreme Court producer Bill Mears writes that DOMA, passed in 1996, defines marriage as between one man and one woman for federal purposes, like taxes. "That means the estimated 120,000 gay and lesbian couples legally married in nine states and the District of Columbia are still considered - in the eyes of DOMA opponents - the equivalent of girlfriend and boyfriend."

That meant that Edie Windsor faced a hefty bill for inheritance taxes when her partner of 42 years died. She claimed in court that she had had to pay $363,053 more than if her spouse, thea Spyer, had been a man.

But Mears points out that the DOMA issue is more than just a financial question:

The larger debate over DOMA's intent and impact 17 years after passage has driven a wedge between the executive and legislative branches.

At issue is what role the federal government should play when it comes to marriage - something states have traditionally controlled.

The other key case expected to be decided today considers Proposition 8. "In the 'Prop 8' case, the high court is being asked to establish a constitutional 'equal protection' right. It is the kind of hot-button issue that will define our society, our laws, our views on family," Mears writes.

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Filed under: Justice • Same-sex marriage • Supreme Court
Victims of the Oklahoma tornado
May 22nd, 2013
04:49 PM ET

Heartbreak, hope and healing in the aftermath of Oklahoma tornado

  • We're learning more about the people hit by the devastating EF-5 tornado that smashed through Oklahoma on Monday, killing 24 people
  • Many of the dead have now been identified and residents are returning to ruined homes to see what's left
  • We'll bring you the latest news and images from the scene here, and you can read CNN's full story here

[Updated at 4:48 p.m. ET] Moore, Oklahoma, Mayor Glenn Lewis said Wednesday that the six people missing from this week's tornado have been accounted for. Five were found alive. The sixth was located at the Medical Examiner's Office and is presumed dead. The mayor was not sure whether the death was in addition to the 24 already reported, or whether it would raise the overall toll to 25.

[Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET] About 4,000 insurance claims have been filed so far in the tornado and storm that rocked the Oklahoma City area on Monday, said Kelly Collins, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma insurance commissioner.

[Updated at 2:26 p.m. ET] CNN's John King has just been taken around the ruins of Plaza Towers Elementary School where seven children were killed. "It's numbing and it's sad," he said. "It's gone. The neighborhood around it is gone."

But given the scale of devastation, it's notable how many were saved. "It’s a miracle that the death toll wasn’t higher," King said.

[Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET] Yesterday we told you NBA star Kevin Durant had donated $1 million to the Red Cross. And today he paid them a visit.

[Updated at 2:05 p.m. ET] Residents have been showing our CNN colleagues what is left of their homes. These are the dreadful kind of scenes that will greet so many in the coming days.

[Updated at 1:56 p.m. ET] Six adults are still unaccounted for after the tornado struck Moore, Albert Ashwood with the Oklahoma Office of Emergency Management told CNN's Nick Valencia.

[Updated at 1:38 p.m. ET] Residents of Moore will be allowed back into their neighborhoods as of 3 p.m. local time (4 p.m. ET) today, Mayor Glenn Lewis said. Light vehicles will be allowed but heavy equipment, trailers and satellite trucks will be prohibited, he added.

[Updated at 1:35 p.m. ET] President Obama will travel to Oklahoma on Sunday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney announced.

[Updated at 1:30 p.m. ET] Earlier today CNN's Pamela Brown shared the survival story of Candace Phillips and her newborn son.

[Updated at 1:15 p.m. ET] Roads and public areas are being cleared as the recovery in Moore begins, Gov. Mary Fallin said.

But the most devastated parts of Moore are still off-limits to residents, CNN's John King reports. It's just too dangerous right now, he tweeted.

[Updated at 12:14 p.m. ET] Those neighbors who have are helping those who've lost all that they own. CNN's Kyung Lah found  people leaving and collecting essential supplies in Moore, Oklahoma.

[Updated at 11:42 a.m. ET] We've learned the names of 18 of the 24 people known to have died in the tornado Monday. Some were babies,  just months old, according to the Oklahoma City Medical Examiner's Office. Then there were the children who died in their ravaged elementary school. And adults – parents and grandparents.

Here are the names of those who lost their lives. We'll bring you more about who they were when we know it.

Terri Long, 49 years old.

Megan Futrell, 29 years old.

Case Futrell, 4 months old.

Shannon Quick, 40 years old.

Sydnee Vargyas, 7 months old.

Karrina Vargyas, 4 years old.

Jenny Neely, 38 years old.

Antonia Canderaria, 9 years old.

Kyle Davis. 8 years old. Kyle was a force on the soccer field, nicknamed "The Wall." 

Jenae Hornsby, 9 years old. Jenae was "a ball of energy, a ball of love," her father, Joshua, said.

Sydney Angle, 9 years old.

Emily Conatzer, 9 years old.

Nicolas McCabe, 9 years old.

Christopher Legg, 9 years old.

Cindy Plumley.

Deanna Ward.

Hemant Bhonde.

Tawuana Robinson.

[Updated 11:26 a.m. ET] About 2,700 insurance claims have been filed so far for tornado and storm damage, Oklahoma's Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak said. He expects more to be filed.

[Updated at 11:22 a.m. ET] A total of 324 people are now known to have been hurt in Monday's tornado, Gov. Mary Fallin tweeted.

If you're looking to help those affected, remember to go to CNN.com/impact where we've got details of organizations who are working in Moore and the other badly-hit areas.

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Filed under: Oklahoma • Tornadoes
'We will come back strong,' governor vows
This is what remains of Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Oklahoma. Officials say seven children were killed at the school during Monday's storm.
May 21st, 2013
11:00 PM ET

'We will come back strong,' governor vows

  • Revised death toll: 24 killed, including nine children, after tornado blasted Oklahoma City area Monday, especially suburb of Moore, official says
  • At least seven children died in pulverized school in Moore, officials say
  • Moore took direct hits from tornadoes in 1999 and 2003
  • Live updates below. Full story here; check our affiliates KFOR, KOCO and KOKH; CNN iReport; how to help

[Updated at 11 p.m. ET] This post is no longer being updated. For full coverage, check out CNN.com.

[Updated at 10:52 p.m. ET]

About 2,400 homes were damaged in the Oklahoma cities of Moore and Oklahoma City, said Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management spokesman Jerry Lojka. Some 10,000 people were directly impacted by the tornado, he said.

[Updated at 10:43 p.m. ET]

A teacher talks about how she and her students survived the tornado by hiding in a closet and bathroom:

FULL POST

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Filed under: Oklahoma • Tornadoes • Weather
Newtown probe: Shooting took under 5 minutes
Authorities say Adam Lanza killed himself after killing 20 students and six women at a Connecticut elementary school.
March 28th, 2013
01:51 PM ET

Newtown probe: Shooting took under 5 minutes

  • Prosecutors release new documents related to December's shootings at school in Newtown, Connecticut
  • Documents: Investigators found a gun safe in shooter Adam Lanza's room
  • Documents: 1,600 rounds of ammunition found in Lanza's home
  • Police say Adam Lanza, 20, killed his mother, then 20 children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut before killing himself
  • People who knew Lanza described him as quiet, smart, socially awkward. Connecticut's medical examiner has said he was told that Lanza had Asperger's syndrome.
  • Live updates below. Also, read the full story; and see the documents

[Updated at 1:51 p.m. ET] This live blog is wrapping up, but please check out our full story for the latest about today's document release.

[Updated at 1:48 p.m. ET] One of the warrants released Thursday cites an interview with a person who said that Lanza rarely left his home, that he was a shut-in, "and an avid gamer who plays Call of Duty, amongst other games." "Call of Duty" is a military-style war game.

In the house, according to the documents, were several books one titled "NRA guide to the basics of pistol shooting," another about Asperger syndrome and one on autism. Both are developmental disorders that are not typically associated with violence.

Police also found a 2008 New York Times article about a shooting at Northern Illinois University. Police took from the house an NRA certificate for Nancy Lanza, a receipt for a shooting range in Oklahoma, a book titled "Train your brain to get happy," and three photographs "of what appears to be a deceased human covered with plastic and what appears to be blood."

As noted below, the NRA issued a statement today saying neither Lanza nor his mother were members.

[Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET] The main details of the shooting have long been known: The carnage began on the morning of December 14, when Lanza fatally shot his 52-year-old mother, Nancy Lanza, with a .22 caliber rifle.

But some of the details are new. "There was no indication of a struggle," according to a statement from Stephen J. Sedensky III, state's attorney for the judicial district of Danbury. The statement came with Thursday's release of five search warrants and related documents.

Lanza shot his mother in the forehead, one of the search warrants says.

Laden with weapons and ammunition, Lanza then went to the elementary school, shooting his way into the building where he killed the 26 victims with a Bushmaster .223 caliber model XM15 rifle, according to Sedensky.

The rampage ended when Lanza, using a Glock 10 mm handgun, shot himself.

Attached to the rifle police found a 30-round capacity magazine that still had 14 bullets Sedensky said, and a search of Lanza's body found that he was carrying more ammunition for the handguns as well as three more 30-round magazines for the Bushmaster, each fully loaded.

"Located in the area of the shootings were six additional 30-round magazines," Sedensky said in his statement, three of them empty and the others holding 10, 11, and 13 rounds. Police found 154 spent .223 caliber casings at the school.

All of the guns appear to have been bought by Lanza's mother, the state's attorney said.

[Updated at 12:59 p.m. ET] We've gotten all the documents together in one place. Here are the documents that Connecticut prosecutors released today in the Newtown investigation.

[Updated at 12:35 p.m. ET] Back to today's Newtown document release. The National Rifle Association has issued a statement, apparently reacting to what the papers say about investigators finding NRA certificates for Lanza and his mother, Nancy.

"There is no record of a member relationship between Newtown killer Adam Lanza, nor between Nancy Lanza, A. Lanza or N. Lanza with the National Rifle Association," the NRA statement said. "Reporting to the contrary is reckless, false and defamatory."

This page from one of the search warrants released in the Newtown case Thursday mentions investigators found an "Adam Lanza National Rifle Association certificate."

FULL POST

Supreme Court appears deeply divided over same-sex marriage
March 26th, 2013
12:40 PM ET

Supreme Court appears deeply divided over same-sex marriage

  • The Supreme Court is hearing two cases this week in the appeals to state and federal laws restricting same-sex marriage.
  • The court today first tackles an appeal of California's ban on same-sex marriage, known as Proposition 8.
  • Tomorrow, the justices will hear oral arguments over the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
  • Live updates below. Also, read the full story.

[Updated at 12:48 p.m. ET] We're signing off on this end for now - check out our main story for more detail and analysis as it comes today. We answer your questions here, and want to hear from you here.

Don't forget to join us again here tomorrow, when the Supreme Court hears the second round of debate on same-sex marriage: the Defense of Marriage Act.

[Updated at 12:31 p.m. ET] Director Rob Reiner, who watched today’s oral arguments, is a vocal critic against Proposition 8. Here's what he had to say after court adjourned:

“Today is a historic day for all those who believe in freedom and equality. After more than four years of working our case through victories at the federal District and Circuit courts, we finally had an opportunity today to present our arguments in support of marriage equality for gay and lesbian Americans before the highest court in the land. This case has always been about the love shared by two individuals and about the central promise from our nation’s founding that all men are created equal and are endowed with inalienable rights, including the pursuit of happiness.

[Updated at 12:11 p.m. ET] Andrew Pugno, general counsel for ProtectMarriage.com, tells reporters outside the court that he believes both sides of the argument have agreed that it is impossible to know with certainly how society would change by redefining "a fundamental institution such as marriage.

[Updated at 12:04 p.m. ET] “Today we feel we clearly presented the winning case for marriage,” says Andrew Pugno, general counsel for ProtectMarriage.com, who is speaking with reporters now.

[Updated at 12:01 p.m. ET] Charles Cooper, lead counsel defending Proposition 8, told reporters that he couldn't sum up his argument in a couple of sentences. "We believe Proposition 8 is constitutional," he said, making a brief statement.

[Updated at 11:48 a.m. ET] Kris Perry, a plaintiff in the Prop 8 case, just spoke, saying: "In this country as children, we learn that there's a founding principle, that all men and women are created equal. … Unfortunately with the passage of Proposition 8, we learned that there are group of people in California who are not being treated equally."

"We look forward to a day when prop 8 is officially eliminated and equality is restored to the state of California."

[Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET] Republican Ted Olson and Democrat David Boies, who joined forces to argue against Prop 8, are speaking outside the courthouse now. What's important from today, Olson said, is "the American people were listening to the argument. The other side, nobody really offered a defense."

"We're very gratified they listened, they heard, they asked hard questions, (but) there is no denying where the right is, and we hope the court (rules that way) in June."

[Updated at 11:43 a.m. ET] According to Toobin, there were a lot of questions along these lines from Justices Scalia and Alito: We don’t know the effects of same sex parenting on children, so why don’t we wait and let the states go experiment? Why do we, the Supreme Court, have to get involved in this process?

Toobin said Roberts also seemed sympathetic to these questions.

[Updated at 11:39 a.m. ET] The attorney general and the governor of California have refused to defend Prop 8. So the question, Toobin says, is "Who can defend the law? Who has the standing?" The answer to that question will be key to resolving the case.

Conservative Justices Scalia, Alito and Roberts were "very hostile of idea of the court imposing same sex marriage," according to Toobin. The four Democratic justices seemed favorably disposed.

Justice Kennedy seemed like he was in the middle, he said things that would "give comfort for both sides," Toobin says. Kennedy suggested the issue was brought prematurely before the court.

[Updated at 11:37 a.m. ET] The justices seemed very focused on how Prop 8 affects children, with Justice Kagan at some point suggesting that California have a law allowing same-sex marriage for people past child-bearing age, Toobin said.

Kagan said, according to Toobin: “I assure you if two 55 year old people, there aren’t a lot of children (coming from that marriage).”

[Updated at 11:34 a.m. ET] "This was a deeply divided Supreme Court, a court that seemed groping for answers," CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said after watching the arguments. "Now I think its even harder to predict the result of this case after hearing this argument."

[Updated at 11:31 a.m. ET] Oral arguments have wrapped up, according to CNN Supreme Court producer Bill Mears. They went just a bit over schedule, lasting about one hour and 20 minutes.


[Updated at 11:23 a.m. ET] While we wait on word from the courthouse, consider this: A new CNN/ORC International Poll indicates that 53% of Americans support same-sex marriage. In the same survey, 57% of respondents said they had a family member or close friend who is gay or lesbian.

Here's a look at the issue, by the numbers.

[Updated at 11:06 a.m. ET] The same-sex marriage debate is a huge issue, and the lawyers inside were penciled in for an hour to make their cases. Doesn't sound like much time, but to be fair, the oral arguments regarding the Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare") last March lasted roughly two hours.

Tomorrow's DOMA arguments have been given one hour and 50 minutes. We'll see if they stay on schedule today.

[Updated at 10:46 a.m. ET] If all is going to plan, Jean Podrasky, a lesbian whose first cousin happens to be Chief Justice John Roberts, is inside the court hearing the arguments.

"I know that my cousin is a good man," she wrote in an op-ed this week. "I feel confident that John is wise enough to see that society is becoming more accepting of the humanity of same-sex couples and the simple truth that we deserve to be treated with dignity, respect, and equality under the law."

You might see a lot of red avatars with a “=” equal sign in your Twitter feed today. Supporters of marriage rights for same-sex couples are wearing red today to show their support – both on their persons and their social media accounts. That includes Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

FULL POST

Hillary Clinton back at work - with a football helmet
January 7th, 2013
01:04 PM ET

Hillary Clinton back at work - with a football helmet

Hillary Clinton went back to work as secretary of state this morning and was greeted by colleagues showing off their sense of humor.

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January 7th, 2013
12:35 PM ET

Dates announced for Supreme Court to hear arguments on same-sex marriage

The Supreme Court has set dates in late March to hear oral arguments in two appeals related to same-sex marriage, CNN's Supreme Court producer Bill Mears reports.

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Newtown school shooting
December 14th, 2012
11:18 PM ET

Children and adults gunned down in Connecticut school massacre

  • 20 children, six adults and the shooter are dead after shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on Friday morning
  • Three law enforcement officials say Adam Lanza, 20, was the shooter, and that he died apparently by his own hand
  • Suspect's mother, Nancy Lanza, found dead in suspect’s home in Newtown, law enforcement source says
  • Ryan Lanza, 24, older brother of Adam Lanza, questioned by police but not labeled a suspect, three law enforcement officials say
  • Below are the latest updates as they come to us. You also can read our story of the Connecticut school shooting

[Updated at 11:18 p.m. ET] Aimee Seaver, the mother of a first-grade girl at Sandy Hook and a fifth-grader who attends a different school, told CNN's Anderson Cooper that her children are having trouble dealing with what happened.

"It's a very rough night here," she said. "When your first-grader goes to bed and says, 'Mommy, is anyone from my class last year are they all OK?' and you look at them and say, 'I'm not really sure,' it's a rough night to tell that to your 7-year-old."

Her younger daughter has asked a lot of questions about Principal Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, who was killed.

FULL POST

Susan Rice takes her name out of running for Secretary of State
December 13th, 2012
03:52 PM ET

Susan Rice takes her name out of running for Secretary of State

U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice has withdrawn her name from consideration for Secretary of State.

This is part of what she wrote to President Obama:

I am highly honored to be considered by you for appointment as Secretary of State. I am fully confident that I could serve our country ably and effectively in that role. However, if nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly - to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities. That trade-off is simply not worth it to our country.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Politics
December 13th, 2012
03:39 PM ET

North Korea releases photos of rocket launch

North Korea's state news agency has put out some photos of the rocket launch earlier this week that is believed to have put a satellite into orbit.

This image from KCNA shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un celebrating with troops.

And here's a shot of the launch.

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House votes: Michigan is going to become a 'right-to-work' state for all
Union members from around the country rally today in Lansing.
December 11th, 2012
01:35 PM ET

House votes: Michigan is going to become a 'right-to-work' state for all

[Updated at 2:18 p.m. ET] Unless something else major happens, it looks like we're done here with the live blog.

But our colleagues over at CNNMoney.com will have you updated on the latest information.

[Updated at 1:35 p.m. ET] Michigan State Police are explaining two incidents that occurred during the protests.

There was an incident where pepper spray was used, but it was only because the crowd at the Capitol had grabbed an officer, according to their Twitter account.

FULL POST

British press get scathing report on phone-hacking sins
November 29th, 2012
03:03 PM ET

British press get scathing report on phone-hacking sins

Editor's note: In a long-awaited report sparked by a phone-hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch's News of the World tabloid, a British judge Brian Leveson recommended Thursday that the British press should have an independent regulator, underpinned by law, and with the power to fine.

Below is information from the report and reaction:

[Updated at 3:03 a.m. ET, 8:03 p.m. GMT] News International, a subsidiary of the Murdoch-owned News Corp., has backed British Prime Minister David Cameron's call for regulation without legislation:

"We are grateful to Lord Justice Leveson for his thorough and comprehensive inquiry, and will be studying its recommendations and comments in detail. As a company we are keen to play our full part, with others in our industry, in creating a new body that commands the confidence of the public. We believe that this can be achieved without statutory regulation and welcome the Prime Minister’s rejection of that proposal. We accept that a new system should be independent, have a standards code, a means of resolving disputes, the power to demand prominent apologies and the ability to levy heavy fines. We have spent 18 months reflecting upon these issues and are determined now to move on as soon as possible with others in our sector to set up a new body that will ensure British journalism is both responsible and robust”.

[Updated at 11:43 a.m. ET, 4:43 p.m. GMT] The Hacked Off campaign, which represents what it says are victims of press abuse, has issued a statement saying Leveson's recommendations need to be implemented:

"What is needed is a regulator which can properly and effectively protect the victims of press misconduct. (Leveson) has recommended that this be backed by legislation to protect the public and the press.

"These proposals are reasonable and proportionate and we call on all parties to get together to implement them as soon as possible.

"The press must be given a deadline. The Inquiry is over. Now is the time for action."

[Updated at 11:30 a.m. ET, 4:30 p.m. GMT] More from Labour Party leader Ed Miliband:

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Petraeus talks ... behind closed doors
November 16th, 2012
10:25 AM ET

Petraeus talks ... behind closed doors

Former CIA Director David Petraeus testified on Capitol Hill on Friday that the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was an act of terrorism committed by al Qaeda-linked militants.

Rep. Peter King told reporters that Petraeus made an opening statement that took about 20 minutes and then answered questions for about an hour and 10 minutes.

King was one of the Republican and Democratic members of the House and Senate intelligence committees who heard from Petraeus about the September 11 attack that left four American dead, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

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Is it the end for Twinkies?
November 16th, 2012
10:14 AM ET

Is it the end for Twinkies?

Twinkies may be going away, with their maker Hostess Foods announcing today that it's asking permission to shut down.

The legendary snack food favorite of many a childhood has spawned a Twinkie defense, a Twinkie diet and, as you'd expect, a trending topic on Twitter this morning.

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It's neck-and-neck in race for Florida's votes
Cookies for sale in Pennsylvania show the candidates.
October 19th, 2012
05:08 PM ET

It's neck-and-neck in race for Florida's votes

The race for the White House is basically tied in Florida, a new CNN/ORC International poll shows.

Likely voters questioned in the key battleground state came out for Mitt Romney 49% to 48% for President Obama, but that's well within the poll's margin of error.

Here's the full analysis from CNN's Political Ticker and don't forget there's the final presidential debate on Monday.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Mitt Romney • Politics
October 19th, 2012
04:46 PM ET

Weak earnings, falling stocks

McDonald's and General Electric released earnings reports that fell short of forecasts this morning and that seemed to set a gloomy tone for the stock markets. CNN Money reports Wall Street had its worst day since June.

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Lebanon on edge after officer's death
October 19th, 2012
12:25 PM ET

Car bomb strikes Beirut

Editor's note: A car bomb exploded in the heart of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, the country's National News Agency (NNA) reported. Below is our live blog of how we learned the news as it came in and here is the full story from Lebanon. Are you in Beirut? Share your photos and video with iReport. Follow this story in Arabic on CNNArabic.com.

[Updated at 12:25 p.m.] A Lebanese political source who did not want to be named told CNN that it had been 99% confirmed that Wissam al Hassan, the chief of the information branch of Lebanon’s internal security service, was killed in the blast. "There is an unrecognizable body found, and they have found his personal belongings at the scene," the source said.

[Updated at 10:49 a.m.] Syria - which borders Lebanon - condemned Friday's deadly car bombing in Beirut,  the state-run news agency reported. Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi called it a "coward terrorist attack."

[Updated at 9:59 a.m.] CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom said the popular, predominantly Christian neighborhood struck by the blast was "the last place nowadays you would expect this kind of violence."  FULL POST

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Filed under: Lebanon
October 19th, 2012
10:37 AM ET

Women are back on the job

The "he-covery" may be turning into a "we-covery", our colleagues at CNN Money are reporting, with more women finding their way back into the workforce.

Read their full story here.

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Peace envoy heads to Syria
Lakhdar Brahimi, left, with Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr earlier this week.
October 19th, 2012
08:02 AM ET

Peace envoy heads to Syria

The man hoping to broker a cease-fire in the Syrian civil war arrived in Damascus today.

A date for Lakhdar Brahimi to meet Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has not been announced, but will happen "eventually," said Ahmad Fawzi, a spokesman for Brahimi, who's working on behalf of the United Nations and the Arab League.

Brahimi wants to get some agreement by Thursday, which is the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. Warplanes are being used in attacks on rebels and there is fighting across the nation.

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