September 25th, 2013
04:56 AM ET

238 killed in Pakistan quake; island forms

An earthquake in Pakistan, powerful enough to prompt the appearance of a small island off the coast, has killed at least 238 people, Pakistani officials said.

The 7.7-magnitude quake struck in a remote, sparsely populated area of southwestern Pakistan on Tuesday, but it had severe consequences.

In addition to the fatalities, around 400 people have been injured, he said. And more people are still feared to be trapped in wreckage.

The quake was strong enough to cause a mass 20 to 30 feet high to emerge from the Arabian Sea like a small mountain island off the coast of Gwadar, local police official Mozzam Jah said. A large number of people gathered to view the newly formed island, he said.

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Filed under: Pakistan • World
Attackers defeated in mall siege, Kenya's president says
September 24th, 2013
08:07 PM ET

Attackers defeated in mall siege, Kenya's president says

After four days of bloody mayhem, Kenyan security forces have "ashamed and defeated" the terrorist gunmen who had besieged Nairobi's Westgate Mall, President Uhuru Kenyatta said Tuesday.

In a nationally televised address, Kenyatta declared his country "bloodied but unbowed" after the attack.

"We confronted this evil without flinching, confronted our deep grief and pain, and conquered it," he said.

Five terrorists were killed in the fighting, Kenyatta said. Eleven other people had been arrested over possible connections to the attack.

The victory came at a cost: at least 61 civilian deaths, six dead security officers and some 175 injuries. Sixty-two people remain hospitalized, he said. The Kenya Red Cross was reporting 62 deaths.

The death toll may yet rise. The Red Cross said 65 people remain unaccounted for, and Kenyatta said three floors of the mall had collapsed, trapping some bodies.
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Biological dad returns 4-year-old Veronica to adoptive parents
September 23rd, 2013
10:19 PM ET

Biological dad returns 4-year-old Veronica to adoptive parents

The 4-year-old girl at the center of a lengthy, high-profile custody dispute between her Native American father and her adoptive parents has been returned to the couple, a spokeswoman for the adoptive family said Monday.

Earlier in the day, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Dusten Brown, the girl's father, must return the girl, named Veronica, to Matt and Melanie Capobianco, who live in South Carolina.

"Veronica is safely in the arms of her parents and has been reunited with her family. Our prayers are with everyone involved this evening. There is no happy ending in this travesty, only closure," said Jessica Munday, a spokeswoman for the family.

The Capobiancos adopted Veronica at birth in 2009 and have been involved in a custody battle since then with Brown, who lives in Oklahoma.

Brown's attorney, Clark Brewster, said his client handed Veronica over Monday night. He said the Browns were "devastated" but thought it best after the court's decision to hand Veronica over to the Capobiancos, with whom she spent the first two years of her life.

"One thing we wanted to avoid was some type of showdown, or sometime of event that would affect Veronica," Brewster said.

The four-year case has spanned state lines and tested an unusual federal law.

The Capobiancos legally adopted Veronica, and Brown learned of her adoption a few months later. Brown, a registered member of the Cherokee tribe, asserted his custody rights under the Indian Child Welfare Act, setting off the legal fight.

A family court judge ruled in Brown's favor in late 2011, and he took his daughter back. The Capobiancos had fought ever since to have Veronica returned.

In June, a divided U.S. Supreme Court sided with the Capobiancos. The justices said the adoption was proper and did not intrude on Brown's federal rights.

The father then took his case to Oklahoma courts. The Oklahoma Supreme Court issued an emergency stay last month to temporarily delay the transfer of Veronica to the Capobiancos.

Monday, it lifted the stay after the two sides couldn't come together on a custody agreement.

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Filed under: U.S.
September 23rd, 2013
01:23 PM ET

2 presumed dead in Navy chopper accident

Two crew members who went missing when their helicopter went into the Red Sea on Sunday are believed to be dead, the U.S. Navy said Monday.

Search and rescue efforts for the two, who were in a MH-605 Knighthawk helicopter, have been suspended, the Navy said. The sea lies between Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

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Filed under: Bahrain
September 23rd, 2013
01:19 PM ET

Two held in Chicago park shooting

Two people are in custody in connection with last week's shooting in Chicago, and a 3-year-old boy injured in gunfire remains in intensive care, authorities said Monday.

The two are regarded as "persons of interest," police told CNN. The Chicago Tribune quoted police as saying no charges have been filed against the two, who are men. They say that "several people of interest" were being interviewed.

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Filed under: Illinois
September 23rd, 2013
03:30 AM ET

Al-Assad: Syria rebels may attack inspectors

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has suggested that some outside governments may urge rebels to attack international inspectors sent into war-fractured country to secure its arsenal of chemical weapons.

"There might be countries that might ask the terrorists to attack the inspectors to prevent them from doing their job, and blame the Syrian government," he said in an interview aired Sunday by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.

"At this point, this remains just a possibility and we cannot know until the inspectors arrive in Syria," al-Assad said.

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Filed under: Syria • War • World
September 23rd, 2013
02:55 AM ET

Kenya-style mall attack: Can it happen here?

t's hard to imagine a softer target than an enclosed, easy-to-enter space with large numbers of civilians, many of them children or elderly, milling about with no authority clearly in charge.

And the al Shabaab terrorist group that carried out this weekend's mall attack in Kenya is known to have recruited in the United States.

If you connect those dots, you get the kind of scenario that "keeps us up at night," as a federal law enforcement source told CNN's Pamela Brown: an attack at a shopping mall in the United States.

Can it happen here? Yes, say security experts, but it hasn't.

There have been shootings at U.S. malls, although not by terrorists. And there have been terror plots that were foiled.

But the U.S. has not witnessed anything close to the scope of the violent siege at Nairobi's Westgate mall.

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Filed under: U.S. • World
September 22nd, 2013
07:01 PM ET

Two missing after crash of U.S. Navy helicopter in Red Sea

Three crew members aboard a U.S. Navy helicopter that crashed in the Red Sea on Sunday were found alive and in stable condition, the Navy said. Two others remained missing.

The MH-60S Knighthawk was operating with the guided-missile destroyer USS William P. Lawrence when it went down in the central Red Sea, which lies between Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

Search efforts are under way for the two remaining crew members.

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Filed under: U.S. Navy
43 killed at Kenyan mall; more carnage feared
September 22nd, 2013
03:22 AM ET

43 killed at Kenyan mall; more carnage feared

Almost 24 hours after gunmen stormed an upscale Nairobi mall, spraying bullets and killing dozens, the terror wasn't over.

An unknown number of hostages were still holed up Sunday in parts of Westgate mall, Kenya's National Disaster Operation Centre tweeted.

"That is what we suspect. We cannot share any further information," the agency said.

At least 43 people have been killed in the attack, Kenya Red Cross chief, Abbas Gullet said Sunday. He said more than 200 others were wounded.

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Filed under: Crime • Kenya • World
September 21st, 2013
11:13 PM ET

Bo Xilai found guilty

A court in eastern China sentenced Bo Xilai - the former rising star of the ruling Communist Party who fell from power amid a scandal involving murder, betrayal and financial skullduggery - to life in prison Sunday after being found guilty on charges of bribe-taking, embezzlement and abuse of power.

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Filed under: World
September 21st, 2013
09:51 PM ET

Venezuela takes over toilet paper factory

When you're running low on toilet paper and getting desperate, what do you do? If you're the Venezuelan government, you take over a toilet paper factory.

On Saturday, Vice President Jorge Arreaza announced the "temporary occupation" of the Paper Manufacturing Company's plant in the state of Aragua. The aim, he explained, is to review the "production, marketing and distribution (of) toilet paper."

"The ... People's Defense from the Economy will not allow hoarding or failures in the production and distribution of essential commodities," the vice president said.

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Filed under: Venezuela
September 21st, 2013
06:25 PM ET

Terrorists take credit for Kenya mall attack

Armed gunmen waged a tense standoff with Kenyan police and soldiers inside an upscale Nairobi shopping mall early Sunday, hours after brazenly gunning down shoppers, diners and more.

Bodies still littered the lobby and ground floor of the Westgate Mall more than 10 hours after the attack began, according to the Kenya National Disaster Operation Centre. And with gunmen dug in and an unknown number of innocent civilians - perhaps dead or being held hostage - still unaccounted for, there are fears the carnage will get even worse.

There were 39 confirmed dead as of around midnight Saturday, according to Kenya's president, who added his close relatives are among those killed. Two gunmen, including one who was detained after being shot, are also dead.

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Filed under: Kenya
September 21st, 2013
06:35 AM ET

Syrian opposition rejects Rouhani's offer to broker peace deal

The Syrian opposition coalition rejected Iran's offer to broker a peace deal between rebels and the government, calling it a "ridiculous and desperate" attempt.

A week before he attends the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said he can help bring peace to Syria, a long-time Iranian ally torn by civil war.

In the Washington Post op-ed on Thursday, he also called for an end to "the unhealthy rivalries and interferences that fuel violence and drive us apart." He signaled his desire for better engagement with the West.

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Filed under: World
September 21st, 2013
03:49 AM ET

Ivory Coast won't transfer ex-first lady to ICC

Ivory Coast says it will not transfer former first lady Simone Gbagbo to the International Criminal Court despite an arrest warrant against her.

Gbagbo is accused of crimes against humanity following postelection violence in 2010.

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Filed under: Uncategorized • World
September 20th, 2013
01:34 AM ET

11 shot in Chicago park

A child and 10 adults were hit by gunfire in a park on the South Side of Chicago late Thursday night.

All the victims were alive when transported to various hospitals, deputy fire chief James Mungovan said.

The shooting was reported about 10:15 p.m. Central Time.

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Filed under: Justice • U.S.
September 19th, 2013
11:44 AM ET

Tom DeLay's conviction tossed

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's conviction on money laundering charges was overturned Thursday by a court in Texas.

DeLay, who was once one of the most powerful men on Capitol Hill, was convicted in 2010 for allegedly trying to influence Texas elections by trying to channel nearly $200,000 in corporate donations to Republicans running for the state legislature, which is prohibited by Lone Star state law. Delay, who served more than two decades in the House before resigning in 2006, was sentenced to three years in prison.

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Filed under: Politics • Texas
September 19th, 2013
11:41 AM ET

Pope: Church can't 'interfere' with gays

Pope Francis said the church has the right to express its opinions but not to "interfere spiritually" in the lives of gays and lesbians, expanding on explosive comments he made in July about not judging homosexuals.

In a wide-ranging interview published Thursday, the pope also said that women must play a key role in church decisions and brushed off critics who say he should be more vocal about fighting abortion and gay marriage.

The interview, released by Jesuit magazines in several different languages and 16 countries on Thursday, offers perhaps the most expansive and in-depth view of Francis' vision for the Roman Catholic Church.

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Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Francis • Religion • Vatican
September 19th, 2013
02:42 AM ET

Navy Yard shooting: Navy orders 3 reviews

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus on Wednesday night ordered three reviews into security clearances in the wake of the Navy Yard shootings, including into whether red flags were missed on gunman Aaron Alexis' clearance.

In the statement, Mabus said there will be a review of "the service record and performance of former Sailor Aaron Alexis. This review is designed to determine the degree to which his conduct on and off duty in the Navy did or did not meet the threshold for the sustainment of his security clearance and fitness for duty."

A second review will be conducted of the "requirements and processes in place that do or do not require contracting companies to inform the Navy in the event those companies choose to review an employee's security clearance.

And a third review, expected following today's wider review ordered by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, will be into "the entire process and procedures under which security clearances are granted, validated and renewed in the Navy."

Mabus wants particular attention paid to "the threshold at which conduct issues demand a review of one's clearance privileges."

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Filed under: Crime • U.S.
September 19th, 2013
01:28 AM ET

Winning Powerball ticket sold in South Carolina

ou were more likely to be struck by lightning or attacked by a shark - maybe even at the same time - than win Wednesday night's Powerball drawing.

But then again, you're not Mystery Ticket Holder in Lexington, South Carolina.

Millions played, hoping against hope, defying the odds, dreaming the dream of winning the $400 million estimated jackpot.

But there was only one winning ticket that hit the jackpot.

One that spit in the face of the formidable 1-in-175,223,510 odds.

One that drew the winning numbers: 7, 10, 22, 32, 35 and Powerball 19.

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Filed under: U.S.
September 18th, 2013
09:27 PM ET

Iranian human rights activist: 'Free forever'

Tehran, Iran (CNN) - Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prominent Iranian human rights advocate, was among several prisoners released Wednesday from a Tehran prison where she had been jailed since 2010.

"I'm glad, but I'm worried for my friends in prison," she told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in a telephone interview soon after her release, citing other political and human rights activists who remain in prison.

Sotoudeh said authorities at the notorious Evin Prison initially told her she would be allowed out on a short break. They then put her into a car.

It was only after she had been driven out of the gates that one of the prison heads told her, "No, you are free forever, and that's why we're taking you home," she said.

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Filed under: Uncategorized
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