March 11th, 2010
02:07 PM ET

Chile leader: 'Significant damage' in Rancagua

A USGS map shows the area where a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit in Chile Thursday.

[Updated 2:07 p.m.] Rancagua Mayor Eduardo Soto said that no fatalities were immediately reported and that the biggest worry was damage to homes, CNN Chile reported.

[Updated 1:24 p.m.] The central Chilean city of Rancagua was affected by today's earthquakes newly inaugurated president, Sebastian Pinera said Thursday.

"There is significant damage in Rancagua," the new president said. "We're going to send the necessary armed forces to guarantee citizens' safety."

Are you there? Send your photos, videos and descriptions to CNN iReport

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Filed under: Earthquake
March 11th, 2010
01:40 PM ET

Soldiers accused of having boy check suspicious bags

Israeli military prosecutors indicted two staff sergeants Thursday for allegedly instructing a boy to check several bags that were suspected to be booby-trapped.

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Filed under: Israel
March 11th, 2010
01:13 PM ET

FBI investigating alleged al Qaeda member from N.J.

The FBI is investigating a New Jersey man on suspicion of being a member of al Qaeda, an agency spokesman said Thursday.

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Filed under: U.S.
March 11th, 2010
12:55 PM ET

Web Pulse: Betty White, Conan tour, a Move past Wii

It started with a Facebook fan page and grew into a movement. Now Betty White will be hosting SNL May 8.

Here’s a quick glance at the collective consciousness of the Web on Thursday:

Betty White - You wanted her on "Saturday Night Live," and now you've got her. That's right, Golden Girl Betty White will be hosting the show on May 8. Now, we just have to wait, and that's the hardest part. And Lorne Michaels is making the wait even more excruciating (at least for me) because not only will the TV, movie and commercial star be hosting, but she'll be joined by some of the funniest women to grace the SNL stage - Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Molly Shannon, Maya Rudolph, Ana Gasteyer and Rachel Dratch.

Conan O'Brien - Just because the funnyman can't take his shtick on the air, doesn't mean he can't take it on the road. And that's just what Conan has done. O'Brien, who can't perform on TV for a length of time because of his decision to leave NBC, announced he will be performing stand-up material in "The legally-prohibited-from-being-funny-on-television tour." The CoCo faithful couldn't be more thrilled - since he's been off the air, fans have flocked to O'Brien's Twitter account to fill the void.

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March 11th, 2010
12:04 PM ET

Hall of Fame football player, actor Merlin Olsen dies

Merlin Olsen at 2005 NFL Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio.

Former football player and actor Merlin Olsen has died after a long battle with cancer, the St. Louis Rams said Thursday. He was 69.

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Filed under: Showbiz • Sports
March 11th, 2010
11:48 AM ET

Ex-New Orleans cop pleads guilty in bridge shooting

A second former New Orleans police officer pleaded guilty Thursday in connection with police shootings of civilians on a Louisiana bridge in the days following Hurricane Katrina, authorities said.

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Filed under: U.S.
March 11th, 2010
11:31 AM ET

Thousands protest Greek austerity measures

Thousands of people marched through Athens Thursday as part of a 24-hour nationwide strike to protest further government austerity measures.

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Filed under: Economy • Greece • World
March 11th, 2010
11:29 AM ET

Kansas City, Missouri, chief defends shuttering schools

The superintendent of the Kansas City, Missouri, school district on Thursday defended a controversial plan to shutter nearly half the district's schools.

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Filed under: Economy
March 11th, 2010
11:25 AM ET

Sports Update: Big ACC test, Big East games, golf tourney

Syrcause faces Georgetown today in the Big East tournament.

The standard pro hoops and hockey fare takes a backseat to college hoops, college hoops and more college hoops. Forty-seven conference tournament games should be enough to satisfy the most devout hoops fanatic (all times Eastern).

Georgetown vs. Syracuse (Noon, ESPN): The third-ranked Orange, always formidable at Madison Square Garden in March, open their Big East tournament campaign against the 22nd-ranked Hoyas.

Red Sox vs. Mets (1:10 p.m., MLB.TV): New York free-agent signee Jason Bay faces his former club for the first time in a Grapefruit League exhibition.

WGC-CA Championship (2 p.m., The Golf Channel): The first of the four annual World Golf Championships tournaments gets under way from Miami’s TPC Blue Monster at Doral. Follow GOLF.com throughout the day for comprehensive coverage.

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March 11th, 2010
11:12 AM ET

Early Iraq election results put prime minister's group in lead

The first results from Iraq's parliamentary elections were released Thursday, five days after millions of Iraqis went to the polls in defiance of the threat of violence.

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Filed under: Iraq • World
March 11th, 2010
10:28 AM ET

Chile swears in new president as quake hits

Sebastian Pinera was sworn in Thursday as president of Chile, taking over a country battered by a recent earthquake but with a strong economy and stable social institutions.

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March 11th, 2010
09:43 AM ET

Suicide bomber trips, kills 5, injures 13

Five civilians were killed and 13 injured when a bumbling suicide bomber tripped Thursday as he tried to attack a military convoy in northwestern Pakistan, police said.

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Filed under: Pakistan • Terrorism • World
March 11th, 2010
09:41 AM ET

Pakistan backs away from reported terror suspect arrest

Authorities in Pakistan were backing away Thursday from reports that they had arrested Adam Gadahn, a U.S.-born spokesman for al Qaeda.

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March 11th, 2010
09:30 AM ET

Thursday's intriguing people

Tom Hanks: A ceremony at the National World War II Memorial in Washington will honor 250 World War II veterans. Hanks and Steven Spielberg, executive producers of the new HBO series, “The Pacific,” will participate in the tribute. Tonight, President and Mrs. Obama will host a preview screening of the series in the White House movie theater.

Hanks has become America's historian-in-chief, Time magazine says. “Over the past two decades — from his movies 'Saving Private Ryan' and 'Charlie Wilson's War' to the HBO miniseries he has produced, 'From the Earth to the Moon,' 'Band of Brothers', 'John Adams' and 'The Pacific,' which begins March 14 at 9 p.m. — Hanks has become American history's highest-profile professor, bringing a nuanced view of the past into the homes and lives of countless millions. His view of American history is a mixture of idealism and realism.”

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March 11th, 2010
09:18 AM ET

On the Radar: Missouri schools, tornadoes, Iraq vote

The Kansas City, Missouri, school board has voted to close 28 of the district's 61 schools.

Here’s a look at some of the stories CNN.com reporters are working on Thursday:

Missouri school closings - Superintendent John Covington called for the closing or consolidation of almost half of Kansas City, Missouri's public schools as part of his "Right Size" plan. A divided Kansas City Board of Education voted Wednesday night to approve the downsizing as parents pleaded and children cried.

A Thursday morning news conference is set to discuss the decision. We follow the story and the latest from CNN affiliate KSHB-TV and look at what implications the decision may have and whether other states will follow Missouri's path. This development and a Rhode Island high school's recent firing of all its teachers raise these questions: How can the failing schools be saved, and what is the best way to do it?

Extreme weather - A vigorous storm system blasted eastern Arkansas and northern Louisiana on Wednesday night and shifted into southeastern Missouri, southern Illinois, western Kentucky, western Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama overnight.

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Filed under: Economy • Iraq • Jobs • On the Radar • World
March 11th, 2010
09:12 AM ET

Jobless claims edge lower

The number of Americans filing for first-time claims for unemployment insurance fell last week, the Labor Department said Thursday.

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March 11th, 2010
08:12 AM ET

Thursday's live video events

9:30 am ET - Kansas City superintendent on school closings - The superintendent of the Kansas City, Missouri, school district is expected to speak about plans to close nearly half of the district's schools for budgetary reasons.

10:00 am ET - NHTSA administrator on Capitol Hill - NHTSA Administrator David Strickland testifies before a House subcommittee on the Toyota recall controversy.

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Filed under: On CNN.com today
March 11th, 2010
07:56 AM ET

British journalist freed in Gaza

British journalist Paul Martin was free Thursday and on his way to Israel after his arrest by Hamas in Gaza a month ago.

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March 11th, 2010
05:23 AM ET

World update: Greece crippled by strikes

Ferries sit docked in the port of Piraeus, Greece.

An update from London on some of the stories that our reporters are following that we're expecting to develop through the day Thursday:

Greek strikes - Public services and transport in Greece have ground to a halt as workers stage a third general strike in protest at the government's austerity measures.  Jim Boulden will bring us the latest from Athens.

Middle East - Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas says it is difficult to have any negotiations with the Israelis unless they revoke their order to build new homes on disputed land in Jerusalem, Abbas' top negotiator says.

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March 11th, 2010
04:17 AM ET

Kansas City board OKs plan to close nearly half its schools

The superintendent calls it the "Right-Size" plan," but many Kansas City residents say it's plain wrong.

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