May 6th, 2013
08:01 AM ET

U.N.: Syria rebels may have used sarin

A U.N. official says there are strong suspicions that Syrian rebel forces have used the deadly nerve agent sarin gas in the country's civil war.

Carla Del Ponte told an Italian-Swiss TV station that the findings come after interviews with doctors and Syrian victims now in neighboring countries.

Del Ponte, the commissioner of the U.N. Independent International Commission of Inquiry for Syria, said the notion isn't surprising, given the infiltration of foreign fighters into the Syrian opposition.

But rebel Free Syrian Army spokesman Louay Almokdad said rebels don't even have unconventional weapons, nor do they want any.

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Rocket fired from Gaza lands in Israel
Israeli bomb technicians inspect the remains of a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip and near Ashkelon on Tuesday.
February 26th, 2013
01:38 AM ET

Rocket fired from Gaza lands in Israel

A rocket fired from Gaza landed in southern Israel on Tuesday in the first such attack since a cease-fire took hold in November.

Israeli police said it did not receive any reports of injuries from the rocket, which landed on a road outside the town of Ashkelon, about 15 kilometers (9 miles) from Gaza.

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February 12th, 2013
12:52 PM ET

Police set up road blocks in and around Jerusalem

Israeli police have set up road blocks on a number of roads in and around Jerusalem, a spokesman for Jerusalem police said.

Authorities said they had heightened security in Jerusalem as part of a general terrorist threat alert. They have not said what specifically prompted the alert.

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Israel-Gaza conflict
November 19th, 2012
08:33 AM ET

Hamas issues cease-fire conditions, Egyptian general says

Pressure is mounting for an end to the Israeli-Palestinian violence that has left dozens dead and hundreds wounded, with the U.N chief flying to the region to appeal for a cease-fire.

Meanwhile, the head of Egyptian intelligence has given an Israeli delegation a letter for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu containing Hamas conditions for a cease-fire, a general in Egyptian intelligence told CNN. There was no immediate confirmation from Israel.

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Israel-Gaza conflict
November 16th, 2012
05:16 AM ET

Planned cease-fire fails as Egypt's prime minister visit Gaza

Explosions rumbled through Gaza all night into Friday, as Palestinian health officials reported an additional death in the conflict with Israel, bringing the total toll to 20.

The fighting left 235 wounded, Palestinian officials said, as Israeli officials reported no new deaths Friday, saying a total of three have died from rocket fire since fighting broke out.

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November 11th, 2012
12:53 PM ET

Israel strikes rocket sites after Hamas 'escalation'

[Update 12:44 p.m.] The Israeli military says more than 85 rockets from Gaza have hit Israel since yesterday.  "In the past two days, Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip have dramatically escalated their attacks against Israel — firing an anti-tank missile at an IDF jeep as well as launching barrages of rockets at Israeli civilians," the Israel Defense Forces says.

The Palestinian official news agency WAFA posted this photo, saying it was taken in Gaza today after an Israeli strike.  WAFA did not give an exact location.  Israel has said it targeted a rocket-launching squad in Gaza.

This photo shows Israelis running for cover as a siren wailed in the city of Ashkelon in southern Israel, warning people of more rocket attacks coming in from Gaza, on Saturday night.

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Israel returns fire into Syria in warning over spillover violence
On Nov. 7, smoke rose after an explosion in Syria close to the ceasefire line between Israel and Syria.
November 11th, 2012
10:25 AM ET

Israel returns fire into Syria in warning over spillover violence

[Update 10:22 a.m.] Today's firing of warning shots into Syria - in response to apparent spillover violence from the internal conflict in Syria - marks the first time since 1973 that Israel has fired into Syria across the Golan Heights.  After the Yom Kippur War, an international agreement was established between Syria and the Israel, mandated by the United Nations, establishing a demilitarized zone in the region.

Israel's move today came after the fourth time in ten days that the Syrian conflict spilled over into Israel, the Israeli military said.

The complaint Israel filed with the United Nations is the third in the past 10 days.

Syrian tanks entered the Golan Heights demilitarized zone last week and fired into Syria; bullets fired at the tanks in response struck an Israeli military vehicle in part of the Golan Heights that Israel claims as its own. Mortars also fell in part of the Golan that Israel considers its territory.  No one was injured, the Israeli military said.

"“We interpret it as pinpoint leaks into Israel territory," said Avital Leibovich, spokeswoman for the Israeli military.  "It’s totally internal conflict in Syria. We believe that Israel is not the target here. We are looking at either stray bullets or stray mortars."

[Posted 8:05 a.m.] Israel fired warning shots toward Syria today after a mortar shell hit an Israeli military post, the Israel Defense Forces said.

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March 14th, 2012
03:20 PM ET

Suspect in Afghan killings taken from Afghanistan, NATO says

A U.S. soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians in a weekend rampage has been transferred out of Afghanistan, the NATO command in Kabul said Wednesday.

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January 17th, 2012
03:54 AM ET

Govt.: 68.4% of milk sold in India does not meet basic standards

In India, milk is used in holy ceremonies, it is offered to the gods, poured over deities and generally considered the healthiest of drinks.

But a first-of-its-kind government survey reveals that a stunning 68.4% of milk sold in India does not meet basic government standards.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India tested milk across the country. It took 1,791 samples - and of of those, 1,226 were found to be "non-conforming."

In seven Indian states, 100% of the samples failed to meet standards.

Some samples contained water and milk powders; others included potentially toxic ingredients.

"We found about 14% of the samples which found traces of detergent," said V.N. Gaur, the chief executive officer of the food safety authority.

In lesser percentages, the tests also found hydrogen peroxide and urea - a substance found in fertilizer and urine.

"There is a problem and they need to face it head-on and they have to kind of really take some strict action against those people who are violating simple consumer rights of getting a clean glass of milk," said Savvy Soumya Misra, the food safety and toxins deputy program manager with the Center for Science and Environment.

Doctors say ingested over long periods of time, chemicals like detergent can eat away the lining of intestines, stomach and affect the liver and the kidneys.

Just adding water to the milk can pose a real danger in India where waterborne illnesses are commonplace.

"What you get is diarrhea. Vomiting. What we call gastroenteritis," said Dr. Suranjit Chatterjee, a senior consultant for internal medicine at Delhi's Apollo hospital said. "You can get something like cholera. You can have jaundice. There are infections like typhoid fever, which are all part of water-borne infections in this part of the world."

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November 4th, 2010
05:25 PM ET

All-clear given for India-bound flight after emergency hold

[Updated at 5:25 p.m.] An all-clear was given early Friday for Delta Flight 70 from Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Mumbai, India, after a full emergency had been declared due to an unidentified object in plane's cargo hold, according to a Mumbai airport spokesman.

[Updated at 3:40 p.m.] Delta has said the plane is an Airbus A330 and it was carrying 235 passengers and 12 crew members. The flight originated at New York's John F. Kennedy International airport before stopping in Amsterdam.

A spokesman for India's Central Industrial Security Force had put the number at 247 people earlier.

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August 17th, 2010
06:53 PM ET

Pakistani mom: Take my baby; she'll have a better life

CNN reporter Sara Sidner sits in a car surrounded by children as she and a crew prepare to leave the flooded Sindh Province in Pakistan.

Sindh Province, Pakistan - The first things you notice are the flies. They form what looks like a buzzing black crust on children's lips, eyes and foreheads. The children are either too tired to keep brushing them away or too used to them to bother.

"We have terrible problem with flies," 50-year-old Khuda Jatoi says in Sindhi, the local language here. Everyone here is suffering from something. Still, the moment they see us, everyone scrambles to find a suitable place for us. Someone is trying to find a chair for us to sit down. Father Khuda Joti is insisting on giving us tea or sending someone to buy a cold drink. We are guests in his makeshift shelter, and he wants to give us the best of what he has. We cannot bring ourselves to take anything from him. He and his family have lost nearly everything they own.

They are victims of the worst floods Pakistan has ever seen, and yet they are trying to make us comfortable. That keeps happening everywhere we go. The day before, in a school-turned-clinic, a few ladies who had survived the floods handed me a "hair catcher" because they could see that I was sweating profusely, and they wanted to make me more comfortable. At the same time, the men kept fanning us with brightly colored hand fans. It makes me feel both ashamed about how much I have and don't appreciate, and inspired by the kindness that is clearly being extended with no expectation of anything in return.

When we ask about their troubles, the entire clan begins to talk at once. Suddenly we are surrounded by children, women, fathers, uncles, aunts, cousins and grandfathers - all members of the large extended family. They have taken refuge in a small school that the family broke into and turned into an unofficial shelter. They have nowhere else to go.

"We were drowning in the water," one family member says. We couldn't hear much else as the sound of all those voices began to weave together in a suffocating quilt made of despair.

We tried to quiet everyone so that we could have a conversation. They told us their sorrows and spewed anger at authorities for giving too little too late.

Then, something happened that makes me cringe. One of the women in the crowd asked that I take the tiny baby girl I was cooing at. She said the baby would have a better life with me. I wasn't sure I heard her correctly until the actual mother of the baby girl said it. I stood there silent, my brain churning so furiously it was as if it was looking for the right answer to a test from the Almighty. How am I supposed to answer that question? What is the right answer? Is there a right answer?

There have been plenty of days in my line of work where I imagined gathering up all the suffering children and taking them with me - at least I would know that they would have food to eat and books to read. But I never really considered actually taking a baby from the arms of its mother, even if asked. In this case, the family has been so traumatized, I told myself it was just their fear and anxiety talking.

I left with only my notepad and camera in my hand and another of life's difficult questions swirling in my head.

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Filed under: Pakistan
May 18th, 2010
11:45 PM ET

Bangkok waits to see who blinks

Dozens of troops waited in alleyways before dawn preparing to make a move toward the protesters. The government had warned the Red Shirts on Monday to get out by 3 p.m. local time.

On Monday the crackdown never surfaced. Then a glimmer of hope: The streets were relatively quiet as talk of negotiations surfaced on Tuesday, giving weary Bangkok residents a bit of hope this would be resolved soon and peacefully.

That didn't happen.

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