April 15th, 2010
03:38 PM ET

Volcano forces up to 6,000 flight cancellations

[Updated at 3:35 p.m.]  Some other developments:

- France closes 24 airports, including Paris Charles de Gaulle, the French civil aviation authority said Thursday.

- British airspace will be closed at least until 7 a.m. (2 a.m. ET) Friday, air traffic authorities said Thursday.

 - The U.S. Air Force says RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath in England are shut down for at least two days. That means dozens of U.S. Air Force F-15s and other fighter jets and tankers are not flying. Flights to Iraq and Afghanistan flying through that airspace are being diverted to other routes.

- Belgian airspace was partially closed at 2:30 p.m. (8:30 a.m. ET), affecting the western part of the country, a spokesman for Brussels airport confirmed. At 4:30 p.m. (10:30 a.m. ET) all Belgian airspace will be closed, he said. 

- Dutch airspace is due to close at 7 p.m. (1 p.m. ET), officials at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport said.

- Danish airspace will shut at 6 p.m. (12 p.m. ET), Danish airspace agency Navair said.

- Finnish airspace is "heavily restricted" but not closed, according to Finavia, the company that oversees Finland's air navigation system.

[Updated at 3:33 p.m.]  A cloud of volcanic ash will force up to 6,000 flight cancellations across Europe Thursday, according to the intergovernmental body that manages European air travel.

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Filed under: Air travel • Travel • World
April 15th, 2010
03:30 PM ET

Sports Update: Stanley Cup playoffs continue

Two-time reigning MVP Alex Ovechkin takes center stage as the Stanley Cup Playoffs continue with three series openers while the NBA takes two days off before the post-season begins. Here are a few highlights on Thursday's docket. All teams are Eastern.

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April 15th, 2010
03:16 PM ET

Former Wisconsin governor: I won't run for Senate

Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson has decided against mounting a Senate bid, dealing a blow to Republicans who viewed him as the party's best chance to topple incumbent Democrat Russ Feingold.

Read full story on CNN Political Ticker

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Filed under: Politics
April 15th, 2010
02:58 PM ET

WebPulse: Tax day rallies, a volcano and a fireball

Tea Party adherents are using tax day to bring their messages of fiscal responsibility and small government to the streets, raising questions about how to identify a typical Tea Party member, what do they stand for, and how do they come up with some of those crazy signs? Other Americans just want to know where to find tax day deals and freebies.

As ash spewing from an Iceland volcano wreaks havoc on air travel worldwide, images of the natural wonder are captivating the collective consciousness of the Web.

A different kind of natural phenomena is generating a plethora of Youtube clips of the massive fireball lighting up skies over the Midwestern United States. The National Weather Service says a large meteorite could be the cause.

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Filed under: Iceland • Politics • Web Pulse
April 15th, 2010
02:49 PM ET

Police make arrests in human smuggling probe

Hundreds of law-enforcement officers were making arrests and executing search warrants Thursday in Arizona as part of an investigation into human smuggling, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said.

Read full story on CNN.com

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Filed under: Politics
April 15th, 2010
02:26 PM ET

Obama criticizes mine owner, orders safety review

President Obama on Thursday ordered a review of mines with poor safety records and criticized the owner of a West Virginia coal mine where an explosion killed 29 people last week.

The April 5 blast was the worst U.S. mine disaster in nearly 40 years.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Energy • Politics • West Virginia
April 15th, 2010
01:57 PM ET

Ousted Kyrgyz president leaves country

Ousted Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev left the country and resigned Thursday after negotiations among the government, the president, and international states and agencies.

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Filed under: Kyrgyzstan • World
April 15th, 2010
12:28 PM ET

Former NSA worker charged with leaking documents

A former employee of the secretive National Security Agency has been indicted in connection with the leak of classified information about the agency's electronic intelligence programs to a reporter, the Justice Department announced Thursday.

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Filed under: Justice • National security
April 15th, 2010
10:59 AM ET

On the Radar: Volcano, taxes and Tea Party

Smoke billows Wednesday from an erupting volcano in Iceland.

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

Iceland volcano – CNN has had stories over the last few weeks about the volcano that erupted under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland for the first time since 1821. Residents were evacuated while some tourists turned up to watch. But now the huge plume of ash from the volcano is spreading through the skies, closing airspace and bringing travel chaos to northern Europe. CNN will be plotting the airport closures and asking meteorologists where the cloud will affect next as well as seeking pictures of the volcano, which are quite stunning, particularly if you are not affected.

Tax Day: It's April 15 and for many people that means just one thing - got to file those tax returns! CNN will be watching for the expected last-minute rush at tax preparers and post offices.

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Filed under: Air travel • Barack Obama • Iceland • On the Radar • Space • Taxes • Weather
April 15th, 2010
10:06 AM ET

Tax tips and treats

Time is running out for those who still haven’t filed their tax returns, but the procrastinators need not panic! Here are useful links to getting it done, and then some deals to make it cheaper to celebrate - until you get that refund.

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Filed under: On CNN.com today • Taxes • U.S.
April 15th, 2010
08:16 AM ET

Thursday's live video events

Continuous coverage - Tax day Tea Party rallies - Thousands nationwide are expected to "express concern against reckless government spending."  There will be rallies held across the U.S.

10:00 am ET - Postal Service financial crisis hearing - The House Oversight Committee holds a hearing on the future of the U.S. Postal Service.

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Filed under: On CNN.com today
April 15th, 2010
07:56 AM ET

Thursday's intriguing people

Amy Kremer

It’s tax day, and the Tea Party Express completes its cross-country bus tour with a rally today in Washington - just one of some 600 rallies scheduled to be held across the country on Thursday.

Kremer, director of grass roots and coalitions for the Tea Party Patriots, is a speaker at the rally in the nation’s capital. At Wednesday’s demonstrations in Boston, Massachusetts, Kremer urged followers to elect conservatives to public office.

“We, the people, are making it happen, and in November, we are going to vote the bums out," said Kremer, one of the original founders of the Atlanta, Georgia, Tea Party.

According to her biography on the Tea Party Express Web site, Kremer “considers herself a true Southern Belle. She was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, and attended Auburn University. She is a former Delta Airlines flight attendant who has traveled all over the world.”

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April 15th, 2010
06:30 AM ET

World update: Volcano ash shuts airports in Europe

An update from London on some of the international stories we expect to develop on Thursday:

Volcano disruption - Airspace over the United Kingdom will close for six hours Thursday - affecting all flights to or from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - because of ash from a volcanic eruption in Iceland. Norway, Sweden and Finland have also been affected. Read the full story

UK election debate - Thursday is a seminal moment in British politics as the three party leaders face off in the first of three leadership debates - a tactic borrowed from the United States, and a first for UK politics. The first debate concentrates on domestic issues: Immigration, health, education and public services. More on the UK election

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April 15th, 2010
03:59 AM ET

Mazda recalls 90,000 vehicles

Mazda recalled nearly 90,000 vehicles in Japan and China because of a problem with the transmission, a company spokesman said Thursday.

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Filed under: China • Japan
April 15th, 2010
01:17 AM ET

Iraq closes airport, changes flight paths over threats

Key Iraqi officials traveled to the holy city of Najaf  Wednesday, a week after closing the airport there "as a precautionary measure."

Sheikh Fayyad al-Shimari, head of the Najaf provincial council, and other officials downplayed reports of a security threat.

"There were talks concerning some security threats in Najaf," he said. "Those threats are not new to the province."

Al-Shimari pointed out that Najaf was one of the first provinces to be handed over to Iraqi authorities and had been very stable both politically and in terms of security since that time.

But, he said, "We will increase the security measures in order to assure the officials in the province and in the federal government."

Transportation Minister Aamer Abdul Jabbar, Defense Minister Abdul Al-Qadir Jassam and National security adviser Muwafaq al-Rubai made the trip to Najaf, about 160 km (100 miles) south of Baghdad and home to one of Shia Islam's holiest shrines, the Imam Ali Mosque, where the grandson of the prophet Muhammad is buried.

At a news conference broadcast by state-run Iraqiya TV, Jabbar said the threat did not present a danger.

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Filed under: Air travel • Iraq
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