January 11th, 2012
03:38 AM ET

Divers to search for missing girl in Maine

Dive teams in Maine will scour the Waterville area Wednesday as the search for a missing 21-month-old girl continues, authorities said.

"The bodies of water to be searched have been selected by the warden service, and the divers will enter the water during the morning and continue through the afternoon," according to a statement by the Maine Department of Safety.

The search for Ayla Reynolds is in its fourth week. Police have said they suspect foul play in the case.

Post by:
Filed under: Maine • Missing Children • U.S.
January 11th, 2012
03:29 AM ET

California man convicted for throwing son off boat

A Southern California man has been convicted of child endangerment for hitting his crying 7-year-old son and then throwing him off a tour boat in busy Newport Harbor, Orange County, the district attorney's office said this week.

A court sentenced Sloan Briles to three years of formal probation, one year in a child abusers treatment program, and 180 days in a Veterans Administration residential treatment program, the Orange County District Attorney's Office said in a statement. It added that prosecutors objected to the sentence, arguing that the defendant should be ordered to spend more time in jail.

In response to a court offer, Briles, 35, had pleaded guilty to one felony count of child abuse and endangerment and one misdemeanor count of resisting an officer, the statement said.

Briles had previously claimed that he had done nothing wrong.

He told CNN affiliate KTLA in August that "we were having fun, it was a harbor cruise!" He said he did not hit his son and he "did nothing except jump in the water with my kid."

Briles, who's divorced, was on the tour boat on a Sunday afternoon in August with his two sons, ages 6 and 7, when he got into an argument with his current girlfriend, sheriff's office spokesman Jim Amormino said in August.

Post by:
Filed under: Crime • U.S.
January 11th, 2012
02:52 AM ET

Ex-soldier in Al-Shabaab case returns to court

A former U.S. Army soldier, charged with attempting to travel to Somalia to join the terrorist group Al-Shabaab, will be in court Wednesday for a detention hearing.

Craig Benedict Baxam, 24, was arrested Friday at Baltimore-Washington International Airport as he returned from a failed effort to get to Somalia, authorities said.

The Maryland resident had an initial court appearance Monday afternoon on the charge of attempting to provide material support to a terrorist group.

The only time Baxam spoke during the hearing was to respond "Yes" when the judge asked if he understood the charge against him and the possible penalty.

Magistrate Judge William Connolly ordered that Baxam will remain in jail at least until the detention hearing.

According to a criminal complaint, Baxam departed the United States on December 20 en route to Kenya and tried to travel on to Somalia from there. He was arrested by Kenyan authorities on December 23, on suspicion of terrorism.

Baxam was interviewed twice by FBI agents while he was in Kenyan custody and allegedly told them he wanted to join Al-Shabaab, live under Sharia law and never intended to leave Somalia.

Post by:
Filed under: Crime • Justice • U.S. • World
January 11th, 2012
02:50 AM ET

Van der Sloot returns to court to face murder charge

Joran van der Sloot returns to a Peruvian courtroom on Wednesday, five days after requesting more time to "reflect" on what plea he will make in his murder trial.

The 24-year-old Dutch national indicated on Friday that he was willing to make a "confession" in the 2010 killing of Stephany Flores, but that he did "not agree with the aggravating factors" as defined in the murder charge levied against him.

Given this statement, the panel of three judges decided to give van der Sloot until Wednesday to make a final decision. There is no jury.

This was the latest twist in a case that has made international headlines, in part because of the circumstances of the killing but also because van der Sloot was arrested twice, but never charged, in the 2005 disappearance of U.S. teenager Natalee Holloway.

Police say van der Sloot killed Flores in his Lima hotel room in May 2010, then took money and bank cards from her wallet and fled to Chile, where he was arrested a few days later.

Post by:
Filed under: Crime • Justice • World
January 11th, 2012
02:49 AM ET

Ten years of 'Gitmo' - and more to come

Exactly 10 years ago Wednesday, the first batch of terrorist suspects seized in Pakistan and Afghanistan arrived at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on board a C-141 transport plane. From freezing nights in the depths of the Afghan winter, the 20 detainees stepped into a tropical breeze looking dazed and bedraggled.

As more arrived over the next weeks, then-U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld described them as the "the worst of the worst." And a few weeks after GTMO (as it quickly became known) opened its doors, President George W. Bush said the detainees were not entitled to the protection of the Geneva Conventions - because they were not part of a regular army.

Guantanamo's population grew rapidly to a maximum of 680 the following year, and expanded beyond "Camp X-Ray" to other blocks. In those early days, Human Rights Watch says, detainees were subject to "painful stress positions, extended solitary confinement, threatening military dogs, threats of torture and death" and other abuses. The Bush administration, while insisting enhanced interrogation techniques did not amount to torture, contended that exceptional methods were legitimate in the face of an ongoing threat from terrorism.

Over the past decade, the very word Guantanamo has become a touchstone in the debate over how democracy can protect itself from terror while not denying access to justice. It has also become a byword for political point-scoring and the subject of bitter argument in federal court over the principle of habeas corpus. It has found its way into popular culture, featured in Michael Moore's film "Sicko" and a Patti Smith song.

Post by:
Filed under: U.S. • World
January 11th, 2012
02:47 AM ET

GOP race moves south after Romney wins New Hampshire

All six Republican contenders are heading to South Carolina on Wednesday to contest the next presidential primary despite Mitt Romney's convincing victory in New Hampshire.

It was the second straight triumph by the former Massachusetts governor and bolstered his front-runner status to take on President Barack Obama in November.

The sweep of the first two contests for the GOP nomination made history. It was the first time a non-incumbent Republican won both the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary.

Exit polls indicated Romney would get about 36% of the vote in Tuesday's New Hampshire vote, with Texas Rep. Ron Paul receiving 23% and former Utah Gov. and U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman at 18%.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum came in with 10% each and Texas Gov. Rick Perry trailed everyone with 1%, according to the exit polls.

"We didn't compete in New Hampshire. So it doesn't surprise us that our score there was a bit on the low side," Perry said on "Piers Morgan Tonight."

With Romney's New Hampshire victory expected, based on polling in recent weeks, the battle for second place and beyond had implications for the South Carolina primary on January 21.

Despite the strong showing by Romney, who won nearly every group of voters after his narrow victory last week in the Iowa caucuses, all the other contenders made clear they would continue their campaigns in South Carolina.

The Palmetto State will be the first Southern contest of the nomination process and more welcoming to conservatives such as Santorum, Perry and Gingrich, who hails from neighboring Georgia.

Post by:
Filed under: Politics • U.S.
January 11th, 2012
02:39 AM ET

Report: Iran nuclear scientist killed in blast

(CNN) - A blast in a Tehran neighborhood reportedly killed a nuclear scientist Wednesday morning, the latest in a string of attacks against such scientists in the country that Iran has blamed on Israel.

A motorcyclist placed a magnetic bomb under Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan's Peugeot 405, the country's IRNA news agency said.

The blast wounded two others who were passengers in the car, the news agency said.

Roshan worked at Natanz uranium enrichment facility in Isfahan province, according to another news agency, Fars.

Natanz, which is said to have 8,000 centrifuges in operation, is one of two facilities that are enriching uranium in the country. This week, the United Nations' nuclear watchdog agency identified the second in the mountains of Qom province.

The Wednesday attack followed a similar mode of operation as others that have killed nuclear scientists in the capital city.

On January 12, 2010, Iranian university professor and nuclear scientist Massoud Ali Mohammadi was killed in a blast when an assailant stuck a bomb under his car. Officials later arrested a person in connection with that incident

In November 2010, nuclear scientist Majid Shahriari was killed in a blast where, again, a bomb was stuck under a car by someone on a motorcycle.

Post by:
Filed under: Iran • World
January 11th, 2012
01:38 AM ET

Restricted soldiers are allowed to return home after thefts

About 100 soldiers at a large military base in Washington state were allowed to return home Tuesday evening while the Army continues to investigate the theft of "sensitive" and valuable "military-grade" equipment.

"The soldiers were detained due to the investigation of a theft of weapon accessories worth about $600,000," a statement from Joint Base Lewis-McChord said.

On Monday, Maj.  Chris Ophardt, a spokesman for the U.S. Army's I Corps that is headquartered at the base and includes the affected unit, said members of the Army Criminal Investigation Command are at the base trying to find out who is responsible for the missing items

"Hundreds of items" are missing from a vault that is inside a building on the base, the spokesman said. They include things such as scopes and night-vision goggles but no guns or ammunition.

Post by:
Filed under: Crime • U.S.
January 11th, 2012
12:31 AM ET

Ahmadinejad to go to Cuba

As part of his whirlwind tour of Latin America, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is set to visit Cuba Wednesday.

Ahmadinejad previously visited Venezuela and Nicaragua as part of an effort by an increasingly isolated Iran to strengthen diplomatic and economic ties in the region.

Congresswoman Illeana Ros-Lehtinen, a Cuban-American who has called for tougher sanctions against the Cuban government, called Ahmadinejad's itinerary a "tour of tyrants."


Filed under: World
newer posts »