April 29th, 2010
08:26 PM ET

U.S. officials: Insurgencies overwhelming Pakistan

U.S. officials say Pakistan is a ‚Äúnation under siege‚ÄĚ and faces a ‚Äúherculean‚ÄĚ task in dealing with multiple insurgencies¬†‚ÄĒ but better co-operation between Washington and Islamabad is reaping dividends.

That was the message from senior Administration officials and U.S. military officers at a committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Thursday.

Lt. Gen. ¬†John Paxton Jr., Director of Operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Pakistan was a ‚Äúnation under threat or a nation under siege ‚Ķ and they realize that they have to respond now.‚ÄĚ Without a sense of urgency, he said, "things could conceivably get worse, and get worse quickly."

Read the full story at CNN.com's Afghanistan Crossroads blog

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Filed under: Pakistan • World
April 29th, 2010
08:13 PM ET

The day's most popular stories

The five most popular CNN.com stories during the last 24 hours, according to Newspulse.

People’s most beautiful people: People's Most Beautiful People issue comes out, and Julia Roberts tops their list.

‚ÄėPink dress‚Äô student becomes celebrity: A college student, expelled for wearing a short, pink dress, is now a celebrity in Brazil. CNN's Rafael Romo reports.

Ditching a $500,000 salary to teach lit: When Gary Buslik graduated from college with a degree in English, his parents were concerned about how he'd earn a decent living. "It worried them to hear me quoting Shakespeare," he jokes.

Foreclosure easing in big cities but still spreading: Foreclosure filings declined in more than half of the country's worst-hit spots in the first three months of 2010. But that doesn't mean the healing has begun.

Dow in triple-digit rally: Stocks jumped Thursday, with the blue-chip Dow index ending more than 120 points higher, as investors reacted to a rise in Exxon Mobil earnings and brushed off concerns about European debt problems.

Filed under: Most Popular
April 29th, 2010
07:54 PM ET

Obama meets with Supreme Court candidate

President Barack Obama has started meeting face-to-face with possible Supreme Court nominees, including talks Thursday with federal judge Sidney Thomas, a senior administration official told CNN.

Thomas serves on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and is from Billings, Montana.


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Filed under: Politics • Supreme Court
April 29th, 2010
07:50 PM ET

France says troops killed 4 Afghan civilians

French troops killed four Afghan civilians during a skirmish with Taliban fighters in early April, the French military acknowledged Thursday.


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Filed under: France • World
April 29th, 2010
07:43 PM ET

Obama to nominate 3 new Fed governors

After months of speculation, President Obama finally named names on Thursday, saying who he plans to nominate to the Federal Reserve's board of governors.

Obama will nominate San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President Janet Yellen to serve as vice chairman of the central bank, the White House said on Thursday.

And the two vacancies on the seven-member board would be filled by Sarah Raskin, the Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation, and Peter Diamond, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


April 29th, 2010
07:35 PM ET

Campaign finance proposal targets corporations

Congressional Democrats unveiled legislation Thursday that would ban foreign-controlled companies and most firms receiving either government contracts or federal bailout funds from spending money on U.S. elections.

The bill also would require the head of any corporation running a political ad to appear in the commercial to say that he or she "approves this message," just as candidates themselves must do today.


Filed under: Politics
April 29th, 2010
07:25 PM ET

Belgium's lower house votes to ban burqa

Lawmakers in Belgium on Thursday approved a ban on the wearing of burqas and other Islamic garb that covers a woman's face but the bill must still be approved by the upper house of parliament before it becomes law.

If the Senate approves it, Belgium would become the first country in Europe to ban the burqa.


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Filed under: Belgium • World
April 29th, 2010
07:22 PM ET

Senate Democrats to push new immigration reform plan

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other leading Democratic senators will formally unveil the outlines of legislation for comprehensive immigration reform late Thursday, CNN has learned.


Filed under: Immigration • Politics
April 29th, 2010
07:19 PM ET

Greece seeking aid package worth $160B

The aid package being negotiated to bail out Greece is worth 120 billion euros (about $160 billion) through 2012, according to Vassilis Papadimitriou, a spokesman for Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou.

But the International Monetary Fund and European Union are demanding further austerity measures as a price for the bailout, according to a top Greek labor union official.


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Filed under: Greece • World
April 29th, 2010
07:14 PM ET

'Landmark' cancer vaccine gets FDA approval

A vaccine treatment for prostate cancer has become the first therapy of its kind to win approval for use in U.S. patients.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Provenge, a novel technique for fighting prostate cancer, on Thursday. The treatment involves taking a patient's own white blood cells and using a drug that trains them to more actively attack cancer cells.


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Filed under: Health
April 29th, 2010
07:11 PM ET

Dow has triple-digit rally

A look at highlights from the day's business news:

Stocks jump

Stocks jumped Thursday, with the blue-chip Dow index ending more than 120 points higher, as investors reacted to a rise in Exxon Mobil earnings and brushed off concerns about European debt problems.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 122 points, or 1.1 percent, to end at 11,167.32. The S&P 500 index added 15 points, or 1.3 percent, to settle at 1,206.77. The Nasdaq composite rose 40 points, or 1.6 percent, to end at 2,511.92.


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Filed under: Economy
April 29th, 2010
06:54 PM ET

United and Continental near merger deal

Continental Airlines Inc. and UAL Corp.'s United Airlines are nearing a deal to consolidate into the world's largest airline, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

The commercial carriers' boards of directors are expected to discuss the negotiations through the weekend and announce the merger on Monday, said the Journal. The union would allow the company to overtake Delta Air Lines, which merged with Northwest Airlines in 2008, as the world's biggest airline.

The deal could still fall through, as it did when the two airlines discussed combining in 2008 and Houston-based Continental backed out. But despite an earlier dispute on pricing, the Journal said discussions are still on track.

Read the full CNNMoney.com story

April 29th, 2010
06:40 PM ET

Iraq explosion kills 8

Eight people were killed and 20 wounded when a car bomb exploded in western Baghdad on Thursday, authorities said. The blast targeted liquor stores, Interior Ministry officials said.

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Filed under: Iraq • World
April 29th, 2010
06:18 PM ET

Polls give UK election debate win to Cameron

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown fought to hold on to his job Thursday in a debate against the two men who hope to replace him, David Cameron of the Conservative Party and Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats.

But he lost the debate decisively, according to two snap polls.

Cameron came first in both polls, with Clegg second and Brown third.


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Filed under: United Kingdom • World
April 29th, 2010
06:14 PM ET

Kentucky miners found dead

Rescue teams have found the bodies of two miners killed in an underground collapse at a western Kentucky coal mine, state and federal safety officials said Thursday.


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Filed under: U.S.
April 29th, 2010
06:11 PM ET

Gulf Coast braces for an oily mess

The Gulf Coast braced for a greasy and unwelcome tide Thursday as the region's largest oil spill in decades threatened the marshlands and beaches at the mouth of the Mississippi River.

"This Saturday is the first date we can go catch live bait," said Glenn Sanchez, who runs a marina in Hopedale, Louisiana. "If this was to happen, this could just devastate the whole of Louisiana."


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Filed under: Louisiana • U.S.
April 29th, 2010
06:01 PM ET

Crist announces independent bid for Florida Senate seat

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist announced Thursday he would run as an independent candidate in November's U.S. Senate election.

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Filed under: Politics
April 29th, 2010
04:41 PM ET

Tucson police officer files suit over immigration law

A police officer in Tucson, Arizona, filed a lawsuit against the state's governor Thursday over a controversial new immigration law.

Officer Martin H. Escobar says in the lawsuit that there are no "race-neutral criteria or basis to suspect or identify who is lawfully in the United States."

The law allows police to ask anyone for proof of legal U.S. residency. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and others who support the law say it does not involve racial profiling or any other illegal acts.

Read the full CNN.com story

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Filed under: Arizona • Politics • U.S.
April 29th, 2010
03:19 PM ET

WebPulse: Louisiana emergency and Jobs' diss

Apple CEO Steve Jobs says no to Flash

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

Oil spill threatens Louisiana - At the top of the most searched words on the Web is "oil" and "Louisiana" as President Obama pledged the federal government will use "every single resource" at its disposal to protect the state from an oil slick creeping toward its coastline. The spill could hurt 400 species and become one of the worst environmental disasters in history. The Coast Guard said the amount of oil spilling from a sunken underwater well caused by a rig explosion last week is much more than originally estimated - five times more. There is about 5,000 barrels, or 210,000 gallons, leaking each day into the Gulf of Mexico.

Jobs disses Flash - Everyone is buzzing about why Apple CEO Steve Jobs has told Flash to buzz off. In a post on Apple's Web site, Jobs said 200,000 applications are available in his company's mobile app store Рand they all benefit because they're not built in Flash, a format that supports video, animation, games and other content and is made by tech competitor Adobe. Some tech bloggers have criticized Apple for not supporting Flash on its mobile devices, including the iPad, iPhone and iPod. FULL POST

Filed under: Apple • Barack Obama • Technology • Web Pulse
April 29th, 2010
12:37 PM ET

Sports Update: Tiger plays, Dwight Howard is fined

Dwight Howard was fined $35,000 for criticizing NBA officials

Tiger Woods (yes, him again) returns to the golf course today, his first competitive round since his fourth-place finish at The Masters earlier this month. Golf.com will have all the action, including Woods's post-round comments, from The Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte. Along with Woods, Masters champion Phil Mickelson and rising star Anthony Kim are entered in the field. The tournament is one of the sports highlights (all times Eastern) on a day that includes a pair of NBA Game 6 playoff games. 

Mavericks at Spurs (8 p.m., TNT) - The basketball battle of Texas turns to San Antonio, with the Spurs up 3-2 in the series. The Mavs have been the NBA's best road team this season and they'll have to draw on that success tonight in order to force a Game 7 Saturday in Dallas. Keep in mind: Only eight teams in NBA history have rallied from a 3-1 deficit. 

Red Wings at Sharks (9 p.m., Versus) - The Sharks, the top team in the Western Conference this season, have never won a Stanley Cup while the Red Wings have defined such success over the past 10 years. Tonight, the two teams meet in the opening game of a Western Conference second round series. The Sharks lost to the Red Wings in this round in 2007. 

Suns at Trail Blazers (10:30 p.m., TNT) The Suns can wrap up the series tonight following an emphatic 107-88 Game 5 victory in Phoenix. It won't be easy, though. Trail Blazers star Brandon Roy says he'll start tonight. He averaged 21.5 points during the regular season but has suffered from a torn meniscus in his right knee since the end of the regular season. 


$35,000 - Magic center Dwight Howard was slapped with a $35,000 fine for criticizing NBA officials on his blog. The Magic star was not happy about the officiating in Orlando's series sweep over Charlotte. 

143 - Average number of RBIs over the past four years for Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard. He has 17 RBI this season. 

35 - Number of college football bowl games  expected to be played in 2011.

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