Obama to pitch immigration reform
January 29th, 2013
02:15 AM ET

Obama to pitch immigration reform

President Barack Obama rolls into Las Vegas on Tuesday, ready to double down on immigration reform.

While the president will highlight immigration proposals in a speech at 2:55 p.m. ET, senior administration officials say, he will not introduce new legislation - at least not now.

While in Nevada, Obama will press for quick action on immigration reform and share more details about his immigration proposal, which includes a path to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants.

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Filed under: Politics • U.S.
January 28th, 2013
10:00 PM ET

Paper's stunning reveal in JonBenet case: Grand jury really wanted to indict parents

Eight women and four men convened regularly over 13 months. They heard from dozens of witnesses, considered 30,000 pieces of evidence. All of it was with one question in mind: Who was responsible for 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey's death?

On October 13, 1999 - nearly three years after the diminutive Colorado pageant queen's body was found in her home - the 12 grand jurors went back to their own homes, sworn to silence and with nothing apparently to show for their effort.

"We do not have sufficient evidence to warrant the filing of charges," then-Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter said.

The presumption was that the grand jury hadn't voted to indict anyone. That included failing to take action against JonBenet's parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, whom Boulder police had said were under "an umbrella of suspicion" in the girl's death.

Yet the Boulder Daily Camera, the daily newspaper in that Colorado city, now says more than a decade later that there was more to the story. Citing several unidentified jurors as well as an assistant district attorney in Hunter's office, the paper reports that the grand jury did, in fact, vote to indict the Ramsey parents on charges of child abuse resulting in death.

Read more about what has been revealed in the case
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Filed under: Justice
January 28th, 2013
11:55 AM ET

French-led forces now 'control' Timbuktu, France says

[Updated 11:55 a.m. ET] French Defense Ministry spokesman Thierry Burkhardt says French and Malian forces are now in control of Timbuktu and Gao.

[Posted at 4:30 a.m. ET] French-led troops in Mali have seized control of the airport in Timbuktu from Islamist militants and are fighting their way into the city center, a spokesman for the Malian military said Monday.

Malian and French forces have together been battling the Islamists to loosen their grip on the country's north, which the militants have controlled for months.

The United States has also stepped up its involvement in the conflict by conducting aerial refueling missions on top of the intelligence and airlift support it was providing.

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Filed under: France • Islam • Mali
January 27th, 2013
08:47 PM ET

94 to be tried for alleged overthrow plot in UAE

The United Arab Emirates will try 94 people on charges of seeking to seize power, WAM, the UAE's state news agency, reported Sunday.

Citing a statement from Attorney General Salem Saeed Kubaish, the agency reported that the suspects were referred to the Federal Supreme Court.

"They launched, established and ran an organisation seeking to oppose the basic principles of the UAE system of governance and to seize power," the statement read.

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Filed under: United Arab Emirates • World
Iran sentences U.S. pastor to 8 years in prison, group says
Saeed Abedini, a resident of Idaho, was charged wtih trying to undermine the Iranian government.
January 27th, 2013
05:20 PM ET

Iran sentences U.S. pastor to 8 years in prison, group says

An Iranian judge has sentenced an American Christian pastor to eight years in prison after he was tried for his religious beliefs, a U.S.-based religious group said Sunday.

Saeed Abedini was swiftly sentenced by a member of the Islamic Republic's Revolutionary Court, according to the American Center for Law and Justice, an organization founded by television evangelist Pat Robertson.

CNN was not immediately able to confirm what went on in the court proceedings.

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Filed under: Iran • Religion • World
Man charged in alleged threat to blow up Liberty Bell
January 27th, 2013
03:20 PM ET

Man charged in alleged threat to blow up Liberty Bell

An Arizona man accused of threatening to blow up Philadelphia's Liberty Bell was charged Sunday, police said.

Carlos Balsas, 41, of Tempe, Arizona, is charged with terroristic threats, bomb threats and several other offenses, police spokeswoman Christine O'Brien said. Prosecutors approved the charges and will take up the case Monday, she said.

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Filed under: Crime • Pennsylvania • Terrorism • U.S.
January 27th, 2013
03:08 PM ET

Egypt's Morsy imposes curfew

With violence continuing in pockets of Egypt, President Mohamed Morsy on Sunday night invoked emergency powers by declaring curfews from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. in Port Said, Ismailia and Suez.

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Filed under: Africa • Egypt • World
January 27th, 2013
07:15 AM ET

Brazil nightclub fire death toll 233 and rising

[Update 2:49 p.m. ET] The death toll in Sunday's nightclub fire in Brazil has risen to at least 233, officials say.

Panicked crowds pushed toward the exits as fire swept through the packed Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria. Many died of smoke inhalation, state-run Agencial Brasil reported. Others were trampled, a security guard told CNN affiliate Band News.

[Original post 7:15 a.m. ET]  A fire swept through a popular nightclub in the southern Brazilian city of Santa Maria, killing at least 90 people early Sunday, officials said.

The death toll was expected to climb as firefighters continued to pull bodies from the Kiss nightclub, Col. Adilomar Silva, the regional coordinator of civil defense said.

Most of those killed appeared to have died of smoke inhalation, he said. Hundreds are believed to have been injured, though an exact count was not immediately available.

The fire started at about 2 a.m. after the acoustic insulation in the Kiss nightclub caught fire, he said.

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January 27th, 2013
06:33 AM ET

At least 90 killed in Brazil nightclub fire

A fire swept through a nightclub in southern Brazil, killing at least 90 people early Sunday, officials said.

The fire started around 2 a.m. at the Kiss nightclub in the city of Santa Maria. At 9 a.m., firefighters were still pulling out bodies.

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Filed under: Brazil • World
Chelsea star faces violent conduct charge
Swansea ball boy Charlie Morgan grimaces after the incident which led to Eden Hazard's ejection.
January 25th, 2013
01:40 PM ET

Chelsea star faces violent conduct charge

Chelsea's soccer star Eden Hazard today was charged with by the English Football Association with violent conduct after being ejected from his team's League Cup match at Swansea earlier this week for kicking a ball boy.

Hazard, a Belgian, is facing a lengthy ban after a statement on the FA website said his actions "constituted violent conduct whereby the standard punishment that would otherwise apply was clearly insufficient."

Hazard has until January 29 to respond to the charge. The case will then go before an FA disciplinary panel who will decide on any punishment more than the standard three-game ban.

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Filed under: Soccer • Sports • United Kingdom
January 25th, 2013
01:57 AM ET

Official: Taliban targeted U.S. troops in Afghan attack

A suicide car bomb blasted through two homes in Afghanistan Friday morning killing five people and wounding 15 others, authorities said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in Kapisa province, saying the terror organization was trying to target U.S. troops, said Mehrabuddin Safi, the governor of the eastern province.

No troops were killed or wounded, only civilians, Safi said.

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Filed under: World
January 25th, 2013
01:24 AM ET

After threats against U.S., North Korea turns ire to South

In its latest bout of hostile rhetoric, North Korea on Friday warned of the possibility of "strong physical countermeasures" against South Korea in relation to tougher sanctions imposed this week by the United Nations.

The threat against South Korea came a day after the North said it would carry out a new nuclear test and more rocket launches as part of a new phase of confrontation with the United States.

The statement Friday from North Korea's Committee for Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland said it would take action against South Korea if it "takes a direct part" in the U.N. sanctions.

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Filed under: World
U.S. defense chief says women may serve in combat
January 24th, 2013
01:43 PM ET

U.S. defense chief says women may serve in combat

The U.S. military will end its longstanding policy of excluding women from combat and open front-line units to female servicemembers, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta formally announced Thursday.

"The fact is, they have become an integral part of our ability to perform our mission, and for more than a decade of war they have demonstrated courage and skill and patriotism," Panetta told reporters at the Pentagon.

Panetta said women will be integrated into combat units "expeditiously" but without hurting the effectiveness or morale of the armed forces.

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Filed under: Military
John Kerry faces hearing for secretary of state post, armed with bipartisan support
January 24th, 2013
03:55 AM ET

John Kerry faces hearing for secretary of state post, armed with bipartisan support

Nine years after his presidential bid ended in defeat, John Kerry's political career might take a major turn Thursday during his hearing to become the next secretary of state.

The longtime senator from Massachusetts could sail to an easy confirmation, as politicians from both parties expressed optimism he would win approval.

"Over these many years, John's earned the respect and confidence of leaders around the world. He is not going to need a lot of on-the-job-training," President Barack Obama said when he nominated Kerry last month.

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Filed under: Politics • U.S.
January 23rd, 2013
08:02 PM ET

New Mexico governor takes aim at immigrant driver's licenses

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez said Wednesday that she plans a new push to repeal the state law allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses.

Martinez, who has tried to get the law repealed twice before, described it as dangerous in a post on her official Facebook page.

"I am once again asking the legislature to repeal the law that gives driver's licenses to illegal immigrants," said Martinez, a Republican. "I am always willing to discuss this issue with legislators from both parties and explore ways to find common ground, but I believe the most effective solution is to simply repeal this dangerous law."

Her comments are the latest salvo in a nationwide debate over the controversial issue.

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Filed under: Immigration • New Mexico
January 23rd, 2013
07:48 PM ET

Five things we learned from the Benghazi hearings

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday took on Republican congressional critics of her department's handling of the deadly September terrorist attack in Libya.

Conservative GOP members challenged Clinton on the lack of security at the diplomatic compound in Benghazi as well as the erroneous account that the attack grew spontaneously from a protest over an anti-Islam film produced in the United States.

At two hearings, which together totaled more than five hours, Clinton acknowledged a "systemic breakdown" cited by an independent review of issues leading up to the armed assault and said her department was taking additional steps to increase security at U.S. diplomatic facilities.

Here are five things we learned from the hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations and House Foreign Affairs committees.

Click here to see the five things we learned from the hearings

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Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Libya • State Department
Algeria hostage takers demand passage to Libya
January 17th, 2013
06:38 AM ET

Algeria hostage takers demand passage to Libya

Islamist militants who seized Westerners at an Algerian gas plant are demanding a safe passage to nearby Libya, authorities said, as fallout from the French offensive in Mali reverberates globally.

Media in the region reported that the attackers issued a news release demanding an end to "brutal aggression on our people in Mali" and cited "blatant intervention of the French crusader forces in Mali."

In the news release, the militants said they carried out the operation in Algeria because it allowed French forces to use its air space in attacking Islamist militants in Mali.

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Filed under: Algeria • Libya • Mali
January 16th, 2013
06:42 AM ET

Two killed in London helicopter crash

A helicopter crashed into a construction crane atop a new luxury residential building in thick London fog Wednesday, killing two people and sparking a blaze when it plunged to the ground.

Nine others were injured in the crash that took place at the height of the morning rush hour in Vauxhall, south of the River Thames in central London.

Are you there? Send your pictures, video but stay safe.

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Filed under: United Kingdom • World
January 15th, 2013
11:29 AM ET

Court rules British Christian has right to wear cross at work

A British Christian woman suffered religious discrimination when British Airways told her not to wear a visible cross over her uniform, a top European court ruled Tuesday.

However, three other British Christians lost related religious discrimination claims at the European Court of Human Rights.

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Filed under: Christian • Courts • Justice • Religion • United Kingdom
January 11th, 2013
10:52 AM ET

No military solution for Syria, envoy says

U.N. special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said there is "no military solution" in Syria, after meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns at the United Nations in Geneva.

Brahimi's statement came amid reports of the capture by rebels of a strategic northern Syria city, fresh fighting and a mounting refugees crisis in the country.

Read more: CNN Inside Syria

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Filed under: CNN Inside Syria • Syria • World
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