October 12th, 2011
07:54 AM ET

Wednesday's live events

Watch CNN.com Live for gavel-to-gavel coverage of Dr. Conrad Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial. 

Today's programming highlights...

10:15 am ET - GOP candidates address NH lawmakers - Five GOP presidential candidates will speak before the New Hampshire State Legislature in Concord.  The candidate include Gary Johnson at 10:15 am ET, Rick Santorum at 10:30 am ET, Newt Gingrich at 10:45 am ET, Herman Cain at 11:00 am ET and Rep. Michele Bachmann at 11:30 am ET.

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Filed under: Conrad Murray • Crime • Politics
October 12th, 2011
04:29 AM ET

Libya's NTC fighters stage final advance in Sirte holdout

Forces loyal to the new Libyan government were staging a final advance into the last area in Sirte still controlled by pro-Moammar Gadhafi fighters.

National Transitional Council field commander Ibrahim Ashour said Wednesday that his forces control 90% of the city, but are encountering stiff resistance in securing the rest of it.

On Tuesday, seven NTC fighters were killed and 15 wounded in clashes with Gadhafi loyalists there, Ashour said.

Fighting has raged for days in Sirte, east of the capital, Tripoli, on the Mediterranean coast. It is Gadhafi's hometown and the last city with a seaport under the former Libyan leader's control.

The other area with signifiant pro-Gadhafi sentiment is Bani Walid, southeast of the capital, a NATO spokesman said Tuesday.

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Filed under: Libya • World
October 12th, 2011
04:05 AM ET

U.S. to make diplomatic push after alleged Iranian plot revealed

Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns plans to brief the diplomatic corps Wednesday at the State Department on an alleged Iranian assassination-for-hire scheme targeting Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States.

An official described it as an "informational briefing" and said that Burns will explain the details of how it went down, how the Obama administration handled it and the need to hold Iran accountable.

The U.S. government is also expected to take an even stronger stance against Iran, which is already the subject of numerous sanctions.

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Filed under: Iran • Saudi Arabia • U.S. • World
October 12th, 2011
03:37 AM ET

Truth Squad: Fact checking the GOP debate

CNN's Truth Squad fact checked some of the claims made at Wednesday night's Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire.

We'll take a look at some of the questions posed to the candidates, then share with you how they answered the question. The topics range from discussions about health care decisions, uninsured children, health care's association with unemployment, Americans' spending habits and job creation in Texas.

Our Truth Squad team delves deep into the candidate's responses to see just how true the candidate's claims ring before delivering their verdict.

Will political appointees be making all of your health care decisions?

At Tuesday night's GOP Presidential Debate in Hanover, New Hampshire, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann criticized the Affordable Care Act claiming the health care plan puts political appointees in charge of medical decisions that are currently made by patients and their doctors.

The Statement: "The way that Obamacare runs, there is a board called IPAB. It's made up of 15 political appointees. These 15 political appointees will make all the major health care decisions for over 300 million Americans. I don't want 15 political appointees to make a health care decision for a beautiful fragile 85-year-old woman who should be making her own decision. - Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota

Truth Squad verdict: False

Read why

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Filed under: Politics
October 12th, 2011
03:28 AM ET

Friend: Man accused in Saudi assassination plot likes to be called 'Jack'

To a friend of more than 20 years, Manssor Arbabsiar was a man who liked to be called "Jack" and didn't seem to have strong views on politics or religion.

To U.S. authorities, the 56-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen is a suspect in an alleged Iranian plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States.

"It was shocking because it didn't seem like he would be the type of person to do something like that," said Mitchel Hamauei, who said he met Arbabsiar through mutual Iranian friends.

"He was a happy go lucky guy, always joked around," Hamauei said. "He had a really happy demeanor."

Hamauei, who runs a gyro and kebab restaurant in Corpus Christi, Texas, said the two were close enough that he attended the graduation of Arbabsiar's son.

Arbabsiar was a used car salesman, Hamauei said. Their conversations would be about "life in general," he said. "Nothing religious. Nothing political."

"He would go out and party," Hamauei said. "As far as I know he never practiced religion."

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Filed under: Crime • Iran • Justice • Saudi Arabia • Security • U.S. • World
October 12th, 2011
01:44 AM ET

Myanmar begins prisoner release

Myanmar has begun the release of what it said will eventually be more than 6,300 prisoners under a mass amnesty.

Among the inmates freed by noon Wednesday, 70 were political detainees, a rights group said.

The Thailand-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners said it obtained its information from staff members and political activists inside Myanmar.

Maj-Gen Hso Ten who was sentenced to 105 years in prison on sedition charges in 2005, was among those released, the group said.

Also released were some members of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party, the party said

Party spokesman Nyan Win said the NLD was expecting more releases later Wednesday.

About 200 NLD members are in prison, he said.

Myanmar's mass amnesty is one in a series of recent moves that could help the isolated nation normalize relations with Western nations including the United States.

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Filed under: Myanmar • World
October 12th, 2011
01:14 AM ET

U.S. weighs how to pressure Iran in wake of alleged plot

With many sanctions already in place, the U.S. government is poised to take an even stronger stance Wednesday against Iran amid allegations that Tehran was behind a plot to assassinate a Saudi envoy on U.S. soil.

Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, called carrying out such a scheme an "act of war" five times during a five-minute CNN interview.

While outlining several other steps that Washington may take, he insisted that no options be ruled out.

"We should not be ... automatically saying we're not going to have military action," King said Tuesday night, claiming that this "flagrant and notorious" alleged plot brought already testy relations between the United States and Iran to a "very precipitous level."

"Everything should be left on the table when you are talking about a potential attack (in) the United States, an act of war."

Mohammad Khazaee, Iran's permanent representative to the United Nations, told CNN Tuesday night that he was "shocked to hear such a big lie."

He claimed the chain of events outlined by U.S. authorities was an "insult to the common sense" of people everywhere.

A senior U.S. defense official said Tuesday that there has been no change in U.S. military posture in reaction to the alleged terror plot.

No U.S. Navy ships, for example, have been repositioned and there currently are no plans to do so.

"The act is already done," the official said, noting the plot purportedly has been disrupted and calling it "much more of a law enforcement matter" than a military one.

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Filed under: Iran • Politics • Saudi Arabia • U.S. • World
October 12th, 2011
01:04 AM ET

Private investigator joins search for missing Missouri girl

The family of Lisa Irwin, a missing 11-month-old Kansas City girl, has brought in a prominent private investigator to help with the search.

Flanked by family members wearing T-shirts with a picture of Lisa and the word "Kidnapped" above it, investigator Bill Stanton said Tuesday night that he wants a "happy ending" to the case.

"I will be asking questions," he added. "I am here to seek the truth."

Stanton is a former New York City police officer who has served as a security consultant for several television networks. He said his role is to help "coordinate and focus the family" in both the investigation and in its dealings with the media.

"We are here to cooperate with anyone and everyone that will help us find the guilty party and return Lisa home safely," he said.

Stanton said the family - which remains united and strong despite the "tremendous hardship" - will release more information soon but did not elaborate.

Irwin went missing more than a week ago in a suspected kidnapping. She turned 11 months old on Tuesday, the eighth day of the search.

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Filed under: Crime • Justice • Missing Children • U.S. • Uncategorized
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