February 12th, 2012
08:31 PM ET

Whitney Houston: What we know, what questions remain

An outpouring of grief was seen from celebrities, fans and beyond on Sunday following the death of songstress Whitney Houston, 48, on Saturday at a Beverly Hills, California, hotel.

Whitney Houston: Powerful voice, stunning beauty, personal trials

However, answers about her final moments were in short supply amid a police investigation into her death - which occurred hours before she was to attend a pre-Grammy party.

What we know:

Authorities were called to Houston's hotel room at 3:43 p.m. Saturday after her bodyguard found her unconscious. Houston was found in the room's bathtub, a coroner's spokesman confirmed. He would not confirm or deny a report by the entertainment news website TMZ that pill bottles were found at the scene. Someone in her entourage removed her from the tub and attempted CPR, the spokesman said. Houston was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m., authorities said.

There were "no obvious signs of criminal intent," said Beverly Hills police Lt. Mark Rosen.

See the latest details here


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Filed under: Music • Showbiz • Whitney Houston
Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days
February 12th, 2012
06:27 PM ET

Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days

Here is a look at some of the stories that CNN plans to follow this week:

Obama to unveil 2013 budget

The White House is expected to release its proposed budget for 2013 on Monday. President Barack Obama's budget proposal will forecast a $901 billion deficit in 2013 and includes plans to make targeted investments in areas such as infrastructure while increasing taxes on the wealthy.

The White House bills the document as a "blueprint for how we can rebuild an economy where hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded."


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Filed under: Ahead of the curve
February 12th, 2012
05:55 AM ET

Greece Parliament to vote on austerity measures

The parliament in Greece is expected to vote Sunday on austerity measures demanded in return for a new eurozone bailout of the debt-stricken country.

In a speech Saturday evening, Prime Minister Lucas Papademos urged the Cabinet to approve the deal, warning of "social explosion, chaos" if it fails.

"The state will not be able to pay salaries and pensions or import basic goods" such as medicine and fuel, he warned, adding that "unemployment, which is currently unacceptably high, would increase even higher."

Ultimately, Papademos said, if parliament rejects the deal, Greece - already in the midst of a prolonged recession - would be "bankrupted and out of the eurozone."

Parliamentary approval would pave the way for the eurozone finance ministers to sign off on the new €130 billion ($172.6 billion) bailout deal.

Greece needs the funds in order to meet €14.5 billion in debt repayments due next month.

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Filed under: Greece • World
February 12th, 2012
05:54 AM ET

Venezuelan primary candidates aim to end Chavez rule

Venezuelan voters hoping for an end to Hugo Chavez's presidency head to the polls Sunday to pick a candidate to compete against him.

The five opposition candidates vying for a spot on the ballot have agreed on one thing: supporting whoever wins the primary.

The unified front could be a key weapon in the political battle leading up to October's presidential election, analysts say.

"The opposition realized that if they are not united, if they divide the vote, they can never beat Chavez," said Federico Welsch, a political science professor at the Simon Bolivar University in Caracas. "After Sunday, President Chavez will have an adversary with a face and a name. ... This time it seems like the opposition has a real possibility of winning. It's not a very high probability, but there's a chance."

Chavez's supporters have slammed the opposition coalition, saying there's no doubt the incumbent president will triumph in October.

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Filed under: Venezuela • World
February 12th, 2012
05:46 AM ET

Activist: Syrian army uses human shields on tanks

Syrian government forces are using detained civilians as human shields, placing them on tanks in the besieged city of Homs to prevent the opposition Free Syrian Army from fighting back, an opposition activist said.

The latest tactic came as shelling rained on city's Baba Amr neighborhood once again Sunday, residents say, marking at least the eighth straight day President Bashar al-Assad's troops have pummeled Homs in an attempt to wipe out the opposition.

"My house is dancing. I am almost dead because of the siege," said the opposition activist, named Omar.

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Filed under: Arab Spring • Syria • United Nations • World
February 12th, 2012
05:38 AM ET

Whitney Houston's storied career: A regal rise, a tragic fall

The news broke on the eve of Grammy Awards, the music industry's biggest night: The woman with the pitch-perfect voice who once reigned as the queen of pop at the awards show had died.
Whitney Houston was found dead Saturday by her bodyguard on the fourth floor of an upscale Beverly Hills hotel where only hours later she was to attend a pre-Grammy bash hosted by her longtime mentor, Clive Davis.
Her death, at age 48, was the final chapter of a storied career that began with the nurturing of a superstar cousin Dionne Warwick, soared in the 1980s and 1990s with one record-setting achievement after another, stalled as her drug use and marriage to Bobby Brown made for tabloid fodder and was on the rebound with a highly anticipated star turn.
"You're going to remember where you were when you heard the news. It's that significant. She was undoubtedly one of the greatest superstars of all time," music producer Simon Cowell said.

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Filed under: U.S. • World
February 12th, 2012
05:33 AM ET

Fans: Whitney Houston's music spanned an era, breaking barriers and records

Another musical titan whose soaring voice ruled the charts for decades has fallen.
Whitney Houston joins an august list of the departed since Michael Jackson's death nearly three years ago.
"First there was MJ, then there was Heavy D and now Whitney,"  said Shaun Jones, 47, of  Titusville, Florida, adding that he jumped out of bed in disbelief when he heard news of Houston's death.
Rapper Heavy D died last year, as did Nick Ashford, who was one half of the Motown duo Ashford and Simpson.
And in late 2010, singer Mary Christine Brockert, better known by her stage name Teena Marie, died in her sleep.
"It's shocking ...  all these people are legends. A lot of them are dying too young. It's crazy."
Pop icons such as Houston enjoyed  staggering success through the 1980s and into the 1990s, and served as role models to a generation of singers today.

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Filed under: Music • U.S. • Whitney Houston • World