March 6th, 2012
06:23 PM ET

Overheard on Iran talks spark debate over relations between U.S., Israel

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

The United States and other countries agreed Tuesday to resume negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. readers have been debating not only diplomacy with Iran, but also relations between the United States and Israel. More of our readers seemed to oppose military action against Iran than support it, but there were plenty of nuanced views on the issue.

Obama: Possible Iran talks offer opportunity

We've seen some readers who are quite frustrated with Israel.

rojo1284: "I am a conservative, I am tired of Israel behaving like a spoiled child, demanding that America gives it more machine guns, more tanks and more freedom to take whatever they want and oppress whoever they want without consequence. This has to stop. Israel, if you want to start a war, you're on your own."

Some said there is less reason to fear Israel than many places in the Middle East.

FromBelow2: "When was the last time Israelis burned the American flag? When was the last time there were protests in Israel with people chanting "Death to America"? Know who your friends are. You can start by figuring out who doesn't want to kill you."

This person feared another Iraq war.

SwimLikeaFis: "We need our leaders to work methodically through every issue and every alternative in an effort to avoid war. There is zero trust on both sides. Israel hates Iran; Iran hates Israel. But war is not the answer. WAR IS NOT THE ANSWER. Think in hindsight about Iraq. We rushed to enter and what a disaster it has been. Now we are in the same situation. If only we had waited and tried other means to avoid in Iraq, my brother would not have died on that lonely road near Baghdad."

Many of our readers over at CNN iReport have been discussing these foreign policy issues as well. iReporter Cliff Olney of Watertown, New York, talked about Israel in a recent video. FULL POST

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Iran • Israel • Overheard on • Politics • Republican Party • World
March 6th, 2012
02:31 PM ET

Your playbook for Super Tuesday: Where things stand in key states

Super Tuesday, the biggest single day in the GOP presidential nomination race, will be a key test for the remaining candidates and could give an indication about whether Mitt Romney is able to break away from his rivals. With three wins in a week, Romney has been riding a wave, but depending on how things shake out, the contest may not be over after this long day of voting.

In all, 419 delegates are up for grabs as 10 states hold primaries and caucuses - more than have been at stake in all the contests to date combined, and more than a third of the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the nomination.

Georgia has the most delegates up for grabs Tuesday, but Ohio is the big prize because of its importance as a battleground state in the general election. Here's a guide on how things are shaping up:


Ohio is deemed a make-or-break state in the general election. It has voted for the winning presidential candidate in each of the past 12 elections.

What's at stake? Sixty-three of Ohio's 66 delegates are up for grabs in the primary. The remaining three are unpledged Republican National Committee delegates.

How close is the race? Strong support by Catholic voters in Ohio appears to be one reason why Romney is deadlocked with Rick Santorum, according to a survey released Monday.

A CNN/ORC International poll shows Romney and Santorum each grabbing 32% of likely GOP primary voters. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was at 14%, and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas was at 11%. Santorum had a lead in Ohio, but it seems to have evaporated. A Quinnipiac University survey Friday indicates that 35% of likely GOP primary voters in the Buckeye State say they back the former senator from Pennsylvania, with 31% supporting Romney. Santorum's four-point advantage is within the survey's sampling error.

"The surprise is that the Catholic candidate, Santorum, is losing the Catholic vote," says Keating Holland, CNN polling director. "Among Ohio Catholics who are likely to vote on Super Tuesday, 39% back Romney compared to 33% who support Santorum. Santorum has an advantage among Protestants by a 35%-to-29% margin."

Romney's advantage among Catholics is within the sampling error.

The political landscape: A look at the 2008 Ohio primary, which John McCain won over Paul and Mike Huckabee, shows how the conservative movement breaks down in the state. In that GOP primary, 65% said they were conservative, and 29% said they were moderate. The economy was the top issue then for voters and is likely to be the same again this year. How has Ohio's economy recovered?

March 6th, 2012
02:07 PM ET

Indiana mom loses legs saving kids from tornado

[Updated Wednesday, March 7] After we reported on the story of Stephanie Decker, an Indiana mother who shielded her two children from tornadoes and lost her two legs after being pinned by her collapsing house, CNN received an outpouring of support from readers and viewers asking how they could help.

Some wanted to know if they could help pay for her medical bills, others wanted to wish her well, and others hoped to help her and her children because of Decker's act of bravery.

The family has set up The Stephanie Decker Fund and all donations will be sent directly to them.

Donations can be sent to the following address:

Fifth Third Bank

392 S. Indiana Avenue

Sellersburg, IN 47172

Make payable to: The Stephanie Decker Fund

Any questions can be directed to the Sellersburg location at (812) 246-0982 or the Fifth Third Bank Marketing offices at (502) 562-5355.]

You can also lend your help to all of the victims of the recent tornado outbreak by visiting CNN's Impact Your World page, which has various resources and ways to help.

[Posted Tuesday, March 6] A woman in Indiana lost part of both of her legs as she shielded her children from two tornadoes that slammed into their home.

Stephanie Decker was at home Friday when her husband texted her that a tornado was hurtling directly toward their three-story home in Henryville, Indiana.

Just minutes before the tornado swept through, Decker and her young son and daughter huddled in the basement. She covered them with a blanket to try to shield them from debris.

"I was reaching around, holding them and trying to keep everything away from them so it wouldn't hit 'em," Stephanie Decker told CNN affiliate WLKY.

The wreckage broke seven of her ribs and almost completely severed both of her legs.

"I had two steel beams on my legs, and I couldn't move. I was stuck," she told WLKY.

Then, another storm came roaring through. She again covered her children the best she could, taking the brunt of the debris as her home collapsed around her.

Joe Decker said his wife relayed some of the horror on an iPad, because when he first saw her, she was on a ventilator and unable to speak, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

As the storm rolled through, Stephanie Decker told her husband, she turned and saw a large piece of debris begin to collapse. She pulled her daughter away just before it came crumbling down, according to the newspaper.

"She just kind of grabbed her and turned," Joe Decker told the Courier Journal. "She doesn't remember anything after that."


March 6th, 2012
11:27 AM ET

Opposition: 35 killed in Syria as regime attacks escape route to Lebanon

At least 35 people were killed in Syria Tuesday as government forces took aim at citizens across the country, opposition activists said.

The deaths included 23 people in the opposition stronghold of Homs, according to the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, a network of opposition activists.

Also in Homs, the Syrian military targeted a bridge on the Orontes River near the Lebanese border used as a crossing by wounded Syrian civilians, dissidents and refugees fleeing to Lebanon, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, another opposition group.

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Filed under: Syria
Study claims possible end to Canada's outdoor pastime
Young players listen to a coach's instructions in North Bay, Ontario, during the 1953 filming of the documentary "Here's Hockey."
March 6th, 2012
11:18 AM ET

Study claims possible end to Canada's outdoor pastime

A Canadian icon could face extinction in the coming decades, researchers say.

A study by scientists at McGill and Concordia universities says rising temperatures are reducing the availability of frozen ponds, which eventually could mean the end of outdoor hockey.

The headlines are dire:

"Global warming could spell the end of Canada's outdoor hockey rink," reads one from the National Post.

"Thin ice: Canada's outdoor rinks face meltdown," reports The (Montreal) Gazette.

"Climate change melting backyard hockey rinks," The Record in Waterloo, Ontario, says.

"Outdoor ice hockey could perish in some areas," reads The Spectator in Hamilton, Ontario.

"Outdoor skating rinks threatened by climate change," the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reports.

The men behind the science are Lawrence A. Mysak and Nikolay Damyanov of McGill University and H. Damon Matthews of Concordia University.


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Filed under: Canada • Hockey • Sports
March 6th, 2012
10:23 AM ET

North Korea holds live-fire drills in sight of South Korean island

New video broadcast on North Korean television shows a military unit carrying out live-fire drills in sight of a South Korean island.

The military exercises this week on the southwestern coast of North Korea were close to the disputed maritime border.

State television, KRT, also shows tanks repositioning and an artillery machine being prepared, overlooking waters that have seen a number of violent incidents over the years. North Korea shelled Yeonpyeong Island in November 2010, killing four South Koreans, claiming it was responding to a South Korean military drill in the area.

Fiery rhetoric accompanied the military actions. Deputy commander Li Gum-chol said, "We will turn Seoul into a sea of flames by our strong and cruel artillery firepower, which cannot be compared to our artillery shelling on Yeonpyeong Island. We are training hard, concentrating on revenge to shock Lee Myung-bak's traitorous group and the military warmongers in South Korea."

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Filed under: North Korea • South Korea
New Jersey Congressman Donald Payne dies
March 6th, 2012
09:19 AM ET

New Jersey Congressman Donald Payne dies

Rep. Donald M. Payne, a 77-year-old Democrat from New Jersey, has died, a congressional source close to Payne said Tuesday.

Payne, a native of Newark, was the first African American from New Jersey elected to Congress, in 1988.

He died after a battle with colon cancer, according to the congressional source.

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Filed under: New Jersey • Politics
Huge death toll doubles in Yemen 'slaughter'
Yemeni soldiers gather at the site where two suicide bombers blew up a vehicle at an elite Republican Guard camp in Bayda.
March 6th, 2012
09:17 AM ET

Huge death toll doubles in Yemen 'slaughter'

The death toll from a sophisticated attack by Islamic extremists against soldiers in Yemen jumped to 177 Tuesday, three Yemeni security officials told CNN.

Air raids on militant positions since the attack have left at least 42 militants dead in Abyan province, security officials said.

The attack Sunday at an army base by Ansar al-Sharia, which is allied with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), originally claimed the lives of 90 soldiers and wounded many others.

It "illustrates AQAP's complete disregard for human life," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement.

She vowed that the United States will continue to support Yemen's new President Abdurabu Hadi "and the Yemeni people as they work to realize their aspirations for a brighter and more prosperous future."

The attack was a humiliating defeat to Yemen's army in a power struggle against AQAP.

The militants seized large amounts of weaponry - including rocket launchers, mortars, armored vehicles, and tanks - and appeared to have had help from within the security apparatus, according to Yemeni officials.

The bloodbath took place near Zinjibar, a town on the Arabian Sea where Ansar al-Sharia has been active for nearly a year.

March 6th, 2012
08:24 AM ET

Offers to resume Iran nuke negotiations back on table, EU foreign policy chief says

The United States and other countries offered to resume negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program on Tuesday as Iran signaled a willingness to let international inspectors visit a key military base.

The United States, France, Britain, China, Russia and Germany offered to resume stalled talks in a letter from European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. She was responding to an overture that Iran made last month.

The prospect of negotiations comes amid rising concern that Israel may attack Iran to disrupt its nuclear program.

Israel and the United States suspect Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon. International inspectors also have voiced concern, but Iran insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful, civilian purposes.

Meanwhile, Iran offered Tuesday to let international nuclear inspectors into one of its military bases, but only after significant details are worked out, its team at the International Atomic Energy Agency said.

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Filed under: Europe • European Union • Iran
March 6th, 2012
07:34 AM ET

Tuesday's live events

The race to the Republican presidential nomination continues today with Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses. Live is your home for all the latest news and views from the campaign trail.

Today's programming highlights...

8:45 am ET - Candidates address AIPAC - GOP hopefuls Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney will speak to delegates at the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington.  Santorum will be there in person, while Gingrich and Romney will speak via satellite.


Filed under: Elections • Politics • Republican Party
March 6th, 2012
06:19 AM ET

Seven killed in Pakistan

Seven alleged militants were killed and nine arrested during a clash with security forces in Pakistan's southwest province of Balochistan, Murtaza Baig a spokesman for the security forces said.

The suspected militants were killed when troops retaliated after an attack on their convoy in the area, Baig said.

Authorities also recovered a "huge cache" of weapons, Baig said.


Filed under: World
March 6th, 2012
03:33 AM ET

U.N. officials to visit Syria this week; Colvin's body to return to U.S.

Sounds of explosions and gunfire echoed in Damascus on Tuesday as the soaring death toll in Syria prompted one U.S. lawmaker to appeal for international airstrikes.

Meanwhile, almost two weeks after she was killed by a rocket attack in the city of Homs, the body of American journalist Marie Colvin is expected to arrive in the United States on Tuesday, the U.S. Embassy in Paris said.

With Homs - and many other Syrian cities - besieged by a relentless government crackdown, U.S. Sen. John McCain called for the United States to lead an international effort to protect the Syrian population via piloted airstrikes on regime forces.

"Providing military assistance to the Free Syrian Army and other opposition groups is necessary, but at this late hour, that alone will not be sufficient to stop the slaughter and save innocent lives," the Arizona Republican told the Senate on Monday. "The only realistic way to do so is with foreign air power."


Filed under: World
Ohio shooting suspect heading back to court
Ohio school shooting suspect T.J. Lane walks into court on February 28, 2012.
March 6th, 2012
03:09 AM ET

Ohio shooting suspect heading back to court

Accused Ohio school shooter, T.J. Lane, will be in juvenile court Tuesday for a pre-trial hearing as prosecutors move to limit the release of more information about the suspect.

Lane, 17, is charged with three counts of aggravated murder, two of attempted aggravated murder and one of felonious assault in connection with the shooting last month at Chardon High School.

Last week authorities released police reports and court records that showed that Lane had a troubled childhood.

Another hearing is scheduled for March 19 where authorities plan to discuss a motion to transfer Lane's case to an adult court, prosecutors said.

A funeral mass for 16-year-old Demetrius C. Hewlin, one of the victims, is also scheduled for Tuesday.

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Filed under: Crime • U.S.
March 6th, 2012
02:48 AM ET

Deputy commander of Pakistani Taliban demoted

The Pakistani Taliban has removed its second in command from his post and demoted him to the rank of regular fighter, a spokesman said late Monday, accusing him of holding unauthorized talks with the Pakistani government.

A meeting of nine senior Pakistani Taliban members on Friday approved the removal of the deputy commander, Maulvi Faqir Mohammed, said Ihsanullah Ihsan, a spokesman for the organization.

The decision to relieve Faqir of his duties followed a written demand from the group's leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, Ihsan said.

Faqir had been speaking to the Pakistan government without Mehsud's approval, Ihsan said. The spokesman did not disclose what the substance of those discussions had been.


Filed under: World