June 28th, 2010
10:34 PM ET

5.8 magnitude earthquake in southern Chile

USGS reports 5.8 magnitude earthquake 65 miles south of Concepcion in southern Chile and 15 miles underground.

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Filed under: Chile • Earthquake
June 28th, 2010
06:40 PM ET

Security Brief: Pentagon eyes $100 billion in savings by trimming overhead

The Pentagon is out to save $100 billion over the next five years in a major push to cut overhead costs, according to U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Gates officially unveiled his plan at a Pentagon news conference Monday, announcing he is putting department acquisition chief Ashton Carter in charge of finding where the $100 billion will come from in the budgets beginning in 2012.

"The department's leadership has already taken strong action in this area, and needs to do more," Gates said. FULL POST

June 28th, 2010
06:35 PM ET

Gen. McChrystal to retire

General Stanley McChrystal has told the Army he will retire, U.S. Army spokesman Gary Tallman says.

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Filed under: Gen. Stanley McChrystal • Military
June 28th, 2010
04:19 PM ET

Sea turtle eggs being moved to Atlantic

A sea turtle egg relocation project has been started in hopes of keeping hatchlings out of the oil that's spreading through Gulf of Mexico.

Henry Cabbage of the  Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said they have  started digging up sea turtle eggs in nests  in Florida's Panhandle.

The eggs are being moved to a secure facility in Cape  Canaveral, Florida, where the turtles will be released in the Atlantic Ocean once they're hatched. Cabbage said the fear with leaving the eggs on the Gulf Coast is "the turtles wil ride the current into the oil."

The  eggs will be collected three times a week from now until November.

June 28th, 2010
02:59 PM ET

Radical Islamists in Somalia release video of street battles

A video posted on YouTube purportedly shows street fighting between Islamist fighters and Ugandan peacekeepers.

Islamist fighters battling Somalia’s fragile government have released new video of recent street battles against Ugandan peacekeepers in Mogadishu. It’s the latest propaganda video made by Al-Shabaab – an affiliate of al Qaeda – as it seeks to extend its appeal on the internet to young ethnic Somalis in Europe and North America.

Not that the Ugandans are described as “peacekeepers” in the perfectly accented English narration for the 10-minute video.

Titled “The African Crusaders,” the opening line sets the tone: “As dawn breaks in Mogadishu every morning, a new chapter also begins in the battle against the coalition of crusaders and their apostate allies.” They are, the narrator continues, “fighting America’s war in a foreign land.”

Sources in Mogadishu say the scenes were filmed at the beginning of June as Al-Shabaab fighters threatened to close in on the presidential palace, one of the few buildings still controlled by the government. The sources say Al-Shabaab was driven back – and one of its commanders was reported to have been seriously wounded – but the narration inevitably paints the conflict as a triumph for the insurgents against the African Union force.


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Filed under: Security Brief
June 28th, 2010
01:56 PM ET

X Prize's multimillion-dollar challenge for Gulf oil solutions

An EPA worker takes photos of oil coming ashore in Orange Beach, Alabama.

The X Prize Foundation announced today that it is developing a multimillion-dollar “oil spill cleanup X challenge” to come up with solutions to cleaning up shorelines and open water fouled by oil leaking from the BP Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

Speaking at the TEDxOilSpill conference in Washington, Frances Beland of the X Prize Foundation asked the audience of 300, and many more watching the conference’s videostream, “What do you prize?” Beland told CNN after his appearance that the oil-related challenge will probably offer about $3 million in prize money for a cleanup solution.

The X Prize Foundation gained public attention for its X Prize of $10 million awarded for the development of private spacecraft, and the nonprofit foundation has created other prize challenges.


June 28th, 2010
01:15 PM ET

Mexican gubernatorial candidate killed in gunfire

A gubernatorial candidate in the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico, was killed by gunfire Monday morning in Ciudad Victoria, the government-run Notimex news agency reported.

The candidate, identified as Rodolfo Torre Cantu, belonged to the Institutional Revolutionary Party, known by its Spanish acronym PRI.

Three other people, including his campaign manager, also were killed in the shooting, Notimex said. Another four were wounded and transported to the Doctor Norberto Trevino General Hospital in Tamaulipas, where they were under heavy guard, the news agency said.

Mexico holds elections Sunday and Torre was considered a front-runner in his race.

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Filed under: Mexico
June 28th, 2010
12:32 PM ET

Hurricane watch issued for parts of Texas

The National Hurricane Center on Monday issued a hurricane watch for the Texas coast from south of Baffin Bay to the mouth of the Rio Grande.

And the Mexican government issued a hurricane watch for the coast of Mexico from the mouth of the Rio Grande to La Cruz, Mexico.

That means that hurricane conditions are possible within those areas. A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated arrival of tropical-storm-force winds.

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Filed under: Texas • Weather
June 28th, 2010
12:01 PM ET

U.S.-Ghana game makes TV history

U.S. soccer fans in New York react Saturday during their team's match against Ghana.

[Updated at 1:30 p.m.] History may have repeated itself when Ghana beat the United States 2-1 in extra time, eliminating the Americans from the World Cup on Saturday, but the weekend match did make television history of its own.

The contest became the most-watched men's game in FIFA World Cup history in the United States, according to ESPN. In 2006, Ghana also eliminated the U.S. with a 2-1 win.

For more than two hours Saturday afternoon, an average 14.9 million viewers tuned in to ABC, according to ESPN, 13 percent more than the highly anticipated U.S. versus England World Cup game June 12, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Combined with viewers from Spanish TV network Univision, the number of viewers exceeds 19 million, according to latest data from Nielson media research.

The U.S.-Ghana contest also ranks as the third highest-rated Men's World Cup game on record, behind two matches in 1994 - the game between the U.S. and Brazil and that year's men's final between Brazil and Italy.


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Filed under: Sports
June 28th, 2010
11:28 AM ET

BP reports progress on relief well

One of two relief wells being dug in an attempt to kill the runaway oil well in the Gulf of Mexico has reached a point within 20 feet of it horizontally, a BP executive said Monday.

The relief well has reached a depth of 16,770 feet, but engineers still plan to drill another 900 feet vertically before cutting in sideways, said Kent Wells, BP senior vice president of exploration and production.

"In the last 200 feet, we will angle the well in directly towards it," he said, adding that the operation is expected to occur in early August.

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Filed under: BP • Gulf Coast Oil Spill
June 28th, 2010
10:38 AM ET

Court rules against Christian group in discrimination case

The Supreme Court has ruled against a Christian campus group that sued after a California law school denied it official recognition because the student organization limits its core membership to those who share its beliefs on faith and marriage.

At issue was the conflict between a public university's anti-discrimination policies and a private group's freedom of religion and association.

The 5-4 ruling was written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was on the bench a day after her husband passed away.

The law school, wrote Ginsburg, "caught in the crossfire between a group's desire to exclude and students' demand for equal access, may reasonably draw a line in the sand permitting all organizations to express what they wish but no group to discriminate in membership."

In dissent, Justice Samuel Alito wrote, "I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that today's decision is a serious setback for freedom of expression in this country." He was supported by Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.


June 28th, 2010
10:06 AM ET

Court rules for gun rights, strikes Chicago handgun ban

In another dramatic victory for firearm owners, the Supreme Court has ruled unconstitutional Chicago, Illinois' 28-year-old strict ban on handgun ownership, a potentially far-reaching case over the ability of state and local governments to enforce limits on weapons.

A 5-4 conservative majority of justices on Monday reiterated its two-year-old conclusion the Constitution gives individuals equal or greater power than states on the issue of possession of certain firearms for self-protection.

"It cannot be doubted that the right to bear arms was regarded as a substantive guarantee, not a prohibition that could be ignored so long as states legislated in an evenhanded manner," wrote Justice Samuel Alito.

The court grounded that right in the due process section of the 14th Amendment. The justices, however, said local jurisdictions still retain the flexibility to preserve some "reasonable" gun-control measures currently in place nationwide.

In dissent, Justice Stephen Breyer predicated far-reaching implications. "Incorporating the right," he wrote, "may change the law in many of the 50 states. Read in the majority's favor, the historical evidence" for the decision "is at most ambiguous."

He was supported by Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor.

June 28th, 2010
09:52 AM ET

A.M. Security Brief

It’s never easy to keep up with the multiple threads of news from Afghanistan: military, political and diplomatic. And now it’s even more difficult, as different opinions emerge on the military campaign and whether/when/how a dialogue with the Taliban should begin.

On ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, CIA Director Leon Panetta said the U.S. had seen “no evidence that [the Taliban] are truly interested in reconciliation, where they would surrender their arms, where they would denounce al Qaeda, where they would really try to become part of that society.” Those are the essential demands of the U.S. for allowing the Taliban to the negotiating table.


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Filed under: Security Brief • Uncategorized
June 28th, 2010
09:45 AM ET

Sports Update: World Cup, Wimbledon battles

Former champions Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova will battle on center court at Wimbledon Monday.

Team USA’s fairy-tale run in the World Cup came to a quick end (and left much to be desired for 2014) Saturday when it fell to Ghana 2-1 in overtime. Though U.S. fans may still be grieving, there’s plenty to look forward to in the sports world, including Wimbledon, Major League Baseball and, yes, even the Cup.

- Netherlands vs. Slovakia (10 a.m., ESPN)

The Dutch enter the round of 16 with a flawless record, but they have a history of faltering after strong tournament starts. This could be their chance to prove otherwise, as they face Slovakia, who upended the defending champion Italians 3-2 on Thursday. The Netherlands’ star striker Arjen Robben returned Thursday after spending three weeks on the sideline nursing a calf injury to help his team take down Cameroon, 2-1. He may get the start as the Dutch look for more production up front. They better be careful though: Six players carry yellow cards, and a second one would result in a suspension for an ensuing matchup against Brazil or Chile.  SI.com: U.S. World Cup post-postmortem

- Wimbledon, Day 8 (Noon-5 p.m., ESPN2, NBC, Tennis Channel)
Rivalries continue in the fourth round at Wimbledon, as No. 8 Kim Clijsters and No. 17 Justine Henin face off in what is sure to be a battle. Their last two meetings ended in a third-set tie-breaking win by Clijsters, and Henin seems determined to reverse the trend.

Also on the women’s side is a must-see match-up between top-ranked Serena Williams and No. 16 Maria Sharapova. Williams hit 19 aces in her win over Dominika Cibulkova on Saturday, but if anyone has a knack for beating the Williams sisters on grass, it’s Sharapova.


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Filed under: Sports
June 28th, 2010
09:11 AM ET

On the Radar: Robert Byrd dies, Kagan hearings, Gulf oil

Sen. Robert Byrd passed away at the age of 92.

Robert Byrd dies - West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd, the self-educated son of a coal miner who became the longest-serving member of Congress, died early Monday at age 92, the senator's office said. Byrd, a nine-term Democrat, was known as a master of the chamber's often-arcane rules and as the self-proclaimed "champion of the Constitution," a jealous guardian of congressional power.

As news of Byrd's passing echoes through Washington, and as his family plans his funeral, colleagues are remembering Byrd for his humble nature, fighting spirit and determination.

Senator Byrd: 'I love the Senate' Video | Modest roots shaped Byrd's life Video


Filed under: BP • Elena Kagan • Gulf Coast Oil Spill • On the Radar • Politics • Robert Byrd • Supreme Court
June 28th, 2010
09:08 AM ET

Iran ready to resume nuclear talks in August, president says

Iran is prepared to resume talks over its nuclear program but will wait until late August as punishment for recently imposed U.N. sanctions, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Monday.

The outcome of the talks will depend on whether Western powers hold Israel to the same standards over its nuclear program, Ahmadinejad said at a news conference.

"Western countries have no problems with Israel's nuclear bombs," Ahmadinejad said.


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Filed under: Iran • Security Brief
June 28th, 2010
09:06 AM ET

Colleagues mourn Robert Byrd, longest-serving senator

[Updated at 10:13 a.m.] Colleagues of Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia mourned his death as family and friends planned his funeral. Byrd, the longest-serving member of the U.S. Congress, died Monday at the age of 92.

Under West Virginia law, the state's popular two-term Democratic governor, Joe Manchin, has the power to appoint Byrd's successor. Manchin is expected to name a fellow member of his party to succeed Byrd, who was also a Democrat, thereby keeping a total of 59 Democrats in the Senate. There are questions, however, regarding exactly how long Byrd's appointed successor can serve before another election is held. West Virginia law says that if a Senate vacancy is created within two and a half years of the end of a term, the appointed successor will automatically serve out the remainder of the term. If not, a special election is required.Byrd's current term is scheduled to end on January 3, 2013. The two and a half year mark will be reached on Saturday, July 3.

West Virginia law fails, however, to state exactly when a vacancy occurs. Whether the vacancy is considered to have been created at the moment of Byrd's death, when the Senate informs state officials of the vacancy, or when Manchin declares the seat vacant will be crucial. West Virginia - a traditional Democratic stronghold - has been increasingly competitive for the Republicans. John McCain easily defeated Barack Obama in West Virginia in the 2008 presidential election. Neither Manchin nor the Democratic-led Senate have made any official declarations yet.

As question swirl around the timing of the next election for Byrd's seat, numerous political leaders have been issuing statements in remembrance of the nine-term senator:

- Gov. Joe Manchin

"Sen. Byrd was a fearless fighter for the constitution, his beloved state and its great people. He made a significant mark as a member of Congress in both our state's and nation's history. His accomplishments and contributions will define history for eternity."


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Filed under: Politics • Robert Byrd • West Virginia
June 28th, 2010
08:28 AM ET

Monday's intriguing people

Otis McDonald

The 76-year-old retired custodian asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a 1982 municipal handgun ban so that he can protect himself in his inner-city Chicago home. On Monday, the high court ruled unconstitutional the Illinois city's ban on handgun
ownership, a potentially far-reaching case over the ability of state and local governments to enforce limits on weapons.

McDonald told the Chicago Tribune that he has lived in the same area of Chicago for 38 years. After thugs broke into his house three times, McDonald said he used his own hunting rifle to chase them away. In 2005, when Illinois lawmakers considered an assault-rifle ban, McDonald attended a gun rally.

"I was the only black guy that I saw," McDonald told the AARP Bulletin.

At the rally, he met Alan Gura, the attorney who helped to overturn Washington, D.C.'s handgun ban. Gura persuaded McDonald to become the main face of the Chicago lawsuit.

"It doesn't matter what anyone's motives were for picking me for this," McDonald told AARP. "I have my own motives, and they are so compelling and so heavy that to me this is worthy of my effort."

The Chicago law has been shown to reduce crime, according to gun-control advocates. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley is a powerful supporter of the ban.

"Maybe he could come there and spend the night, especially during the summer, and listen to what I listen to out my window," McDonald said. "Maybe he would understand where I'm coming from."


June 28th, 2010
08:13 AM ET

Monday's live video events

Ongoing coverage - BP webcam of Gulf oil disaster

12:00 pm ET - National security remarks - House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer delivers remarks in Washington on the Democratic Party’s national security strategy.

12:30 pm ET - Kagan confirmation hearing begins - Confirmation hearings begin in the Senate for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.

12:30 pm ET - House in session - House lawmakers return from their brief recess to debate the issues of the day.

2:00 pm ET - Senate in session - Senators return from their brief recess to remember the late Sen. Robert Byrd and debate small business legislation.

2:15 pm ET - Gulf oil disaster briefing - U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen briefs reporters from New Orleans on efforts to fight the Gulf Coast oil disaster.

CNN.com Live is your home for breaking news as it happens.

Filed under: On CNN.com today
June 28th, 2010
07:54 AM ET

Tropical Storm Alex could strengthen into hurricane

Tropical Storm Alex could strengthen into a hurricane Monday but is heading away from the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Center said.

The storm could become a major hurricane and could make landfall anywhere from Port Lavaca, Texas to Tampico, Mexico, the center said Monday.

Forecasting models suggest that it could make landfall in northeastern Mexico, probably on Thursday.


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