March 17th, 2010
01:34 PM ET

Beleaguered N.Y. governor's spokeswoman quits

The spokeswoman for embattled New York Gov. David Paterson announced her resignation Wednesday, telling reporters she could no longer be effective after "my unwitting involvement in recent news stories."

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Filed under: U.S.
March 17th, 2010
01:25 PM ET

Nigeria's acting president sacks Cabinet

Nigeria's acting president dissolved his Cabinet on Wednesday, asserting his authority over the country's government while ailing President Umaru Yar'Adua remains sidelined.

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Filed under: Nigeria • World
March 17th, 2010
12:44 PM ET

Schools in the crosshairs - what reform is needed?

It's a big day for education. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke with a Senate committee to discuss the Obama administration's blueprint for overhauling the No Child Left Behind Act.

Obama's overhaul comes as a debate is stirring nationwide about the best way to help fix the nation's worst schools. Education systems are struggling to find a way to make the best changes for students while battling large financial and budget crises.

Today, officials from the Detroit School announced that as part of their $1 billion plan to revamp their system, they will close 44 schools. CNN affiliate WXYZ has full details of the plan, which schools are impacted and location reaction to the decision.

Detroit's announcement follows others around the country. Kansas City, Missouri, schools decided to shutter failing schools and a Rhode Island school decided to fire all of its teachers in an attempt to make the school better, leaving educators, parents and experts weighing in on the current state of the education system.

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March 17th, 2010
12:43 PM ET

Duncan works to sell Obama's education plan

Saying the United States is "falling behind" in education, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan worked Wednesday to persuade lawmakers that the Obama administration's plan to rewrite a federal education law is the right move for the nation's students and schools.

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Filed under: Education
March 17th, 2010
12:02 PM ET

Sports Update: A few games, then... let the Madness begin

All sports will take a backseat for college hoops fans as March Madness gets set to kick off.

Relax. Rest up, people. Might as well enjoy your last 24 hours before the start of the NCAA Tournament. Plenty of sports to choose from today, including a Champions League match at Barcelona’s legendary Camp Nou. The highlights (all times Eastern):

- John Isner vs. Rafael Nadal, Round of 16, BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells (3 p.m.-7 p.m., FSN): Gorgeous contrast of styles here with the 6-foot-9, hard-serving American (he’s ranked No. 20 in the world) against the counter-punching legend-in-the-making lefty (Nadal is 6-foot-1, in case you were wondering.)  Isner has quietly become the second-highest ranked American behind Andy Roddick.

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March 17th, 2010
11:37 AM ET

45 Detroit schools set to close under plan

Forty-five Detroit schools or educational buildings will close in June under a $1 billion plan unveiled Wednesday by the city school district's emergency financial manager.

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Filed under: Education • U.S.
March 17th, 2010
11:17 AM ET

Casey Anthony wants state to help pay for defense

Casey Anthony is headed back to court in Orlando, Florida on Thursday - this time to tell a judge she has run out of money and needs state funding for costs associated with her upcoming murder trial.

Anthony is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, and has pleaded not guilty. Her trial is scheduled to begin on May 9, 2011. The state is seeking the death penalty if she is convicted.

Read full CNN.com story

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Filed under: Justice
March 17th, 2010
11:03 AM ET

Weather causing panic, floods in Northeast, Great Plains

CNN iReporter Jorge Londono captured this striking shot of the flooded Passaic River in Woodland Park, New Jersey, Tuesday evening. Flooding from a different storm is now threatening the Great Plains.

Weather experts say flooding in the Northeast has reached its peak, but in the Great Plains, the worst is still yet to come.

The National Weather Service says the Red River in Fargo, North Dakota, reached “major flood stage” this morning. Volunteers from the community are rushing to fill a million sandbags before the waters reach homes and roads.

Are you in the Fargo area? Show us what’s happening. How high are the floodwaters? Are you worried about damage to your home? Let us know what’s going on, but please make sure you don’t put yourself in a dangerous situation.

Along the East coast, the storms have cleared up and power is being restored.

CNN iReporters captured amazing footage of the aftermath in the Northeast, including the flooded Charles River in Boston and uprooted trees in Connecticut and New Jersey.

March 17th, 2010
11:00 AM ET

Cardinal sorry for failures in response to abuse

The head of the Irish Catholic Church, Cardinal Sean Brady, admitted Wednesday that the church's response to abuse had been "hopelessly inadequate."

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Filed under: Ireland • Religion • World
March 17th, 2010
10:18 AM ET

Key liberal congressman flips to 'yes' on health care vote

Health care reform advocates inched closer to victory Wednesday morning as a high-profile liberal Democrat switched his position and announced his intention to vote for a sweeping $875 billion plan now under consideration in the House of Representatives.

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Filed under: Congress • Health Care • Politics
March 17th, 2010
09:58 AM ET

Ambassador denies saying U.S.-Israel relations in crisis

The Israeli ambassador to the United States said Wednesday he did not make statements attributed to him about relations between his country and the United States being "in a crisis."

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March 17th, 2010
09:54 AM ET

Obama makes his NCAA final four selections

Barack Obama fills out his bracket for the NCAA tournament.

President Obama, a basketball enthusiast, filled out his NCAA tournament bracket with ESPN - and he sees Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky and Villanova rounding out the men's final four.

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March 17th, 2010
09:33 AM ET

On the Radar: Education, health care, river flood watch

Education Secretary Arne Duncan will discuss President Obama's education plans.

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

Education reform - Education Secretary Arne Duncan will appear before a Senate committee to discuss the Obama administration's blueprint for overhauling the No Child Left Behind Act (we'll carry Duncan's comments live). As reported, the blueprint will replace the accountability system with a new one focused on helping students graduate from high school college- and career-ready. Under the guidelines, schools that achieve excellence and show "real progress" will be rewarded.

Severe weather flooding - The Red River at Fargo, North Dakota, reached major flood stage Wednesday as the National Guard and a small army of volunteers filled sandbags to keep the waters at bay. Meanwhile, along the Eastern Seaboard, utility crews made steady progress restoring electricity after a powerful weekend nor'easter whipped the region. We'll keep an eye on the Red River and look for iReports from the area for the latest on the flooding.

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March 17th, 2010
09:11 AM ET

Uganda tense after tombs destroyed

Tensions were high in Uganda Wednesday after fire destroyed a UNESCO-listed cultural site of major significance to the country's biggest tribe.

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Filed under: World
March 17th, 2010
09:10 AM ET

Official: Americans charged in Pakistan terror case

Five Americans accused of plotting terror attacks in Pakistan were formally charged Wednesday with several terrorism-related counts, the prosecutor in the case told CNN.

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March 17th, 2010
09:09 AM ET

Red River at major flood stage in North Dakota

The Red River at Fargo, North Dakota, reached "major flood stage" early Wednesday as the National Guard and a small army of volunteers filled sandbags to keep the waters at bay.

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Filed under: Weather
March 17th, 2010
08:49 AM ET

11 killed in Muslim-Christian violence in Nigeria

Attackers killed at least 11 people Wednesday in a region of Nigeria that has been convulsed by violence between Muslims and Christians, an official said.

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Filed under: Nigeria • World
March 17th, 2010
08:30 AM ET

Wednesday's live video events

9:30 am ET - Senate jobs bill vote - The Senate is expected to vote on a jobs bill that, among other things, would grant companies that hire unemployed workers a temporary payroll tax break.

10:00 am ET - Pentagon budget hearing - Gen. David Petraeus and others testify before the House Armed Services Committee on the Pentagon's budget request for next fiscal year.

10:00 am ET - Health care reform debate - House lawmakers are in session to debate health care reform.

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Filed under: On CNN.com today
March 17th, 2010
07:50 AM ET

Wednesday's intriguing people

Dennis Walaker: The mayor of Fargo, North Dakota, has all the city's contractors on 24-hour shifts - preparing dikes, hauling dirt, delivering sandbags - as Red River communities in Minnesota and North Dakota face rising floodwaters. A sudden snow melt combined with heavy rain was expected to push the river above flood levels.

"We have never lost a flood fight here in Fargo," Walaker said. "We're going to be optimistic about this for the rest of the week, that we're going to be able to save our community one more time."

CNN: Northern plains brace for flooding

City of Fargo: About the mayor

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March 17th, 2010
07:20 AM ET

Report: 86 people from Iran election protests convicted

Eighty-six detainees, who were rounded up following last year's post-election violence in Iran, have been found guilty on charges of acts against the Islamic republic, Iran's semi-official Fars News Agency reported Tuesday.

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