April 16th, 2013
03:37 AM ET

Immigration bill: Must secure border

The border with Mexico must be secure.

This requirement is the cornerstone of an immigration reform bill a bipartisan group of senators are to file on Capitol Hill Tuesday. There will be no path to legal residency for migrants without it.

Undocumented immigrants may also not reach the status of fully legal residents under the proposed legislation, until the Department of Homeland Security has implemented measures to prevent "unauthorized workers from obtaining employment in the United States."

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March 22nd, 2013
04:58 AM ET

U.N. human rights inquiry angers North Korea

North Korea reacted with indignation to a United Nations decision to investigate allegations of human rights abuses inside the isolated state, claiming it has one of the best systems worldwide for protecting citizens' rights.

The United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva said delegates agreed Thursday to set up a commission of inquiry to examine what it called "grave, widespread and systematic" violations of human rights in North Korea.

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Filed under: Human rights • North Korea • United Nations • World
March 6th, 2013
04:44 PM ET

Hero or villain? The many ways to see Chavez

Hugo Chavez was as colorful as he was polarizing. Celebrating his 10th year in power four years ago, he held a jewel-encrusted sword of his hero, 19th-century revolutionary Simon Bolivar, and reminded a Caracas crowd what he was about.

"There is no other path to redemption for the human being than socialism," the Venezuelan president said, flanked by like-minded Latin American leaders helping him mark his anniversary.

After his death on Tuesday, detractors and fans had plenty to say about his fiery character and leftist pursuits, and it's hard to remember they're talking about the same guy.

He wrecked Venezuela's economy and trounced on democratic institutions and people's liberties, some say. He improved the lives of the poor and rightly stood up against "imperialist" nations, say others.

One of the more interesting tributes came from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who declared on his Farsi-language presidential website that Chavez was a great leader who will "resurrect" along with Jesus.

How many different ways can people look at Chavez? Here are a few:


March 6th, 2013
10:40 AM ET

Venezuelans bid farewell to Chavez

The political outcome in the wake of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's death remains uncertain, but in plazas across the country Wednesday, his followers made it clear they support a continuation of his policies.

Chavez put social programs at the center of his government, and his most fervent supporters credit him with providing their livelihood.

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Hugo Chavez fights for his life
March 2nd, 2013
12:01 AM ET

Hugo Chavez fights for his life

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is "fighting for his life," the country's vice president said late Friday.
Chavez began chemotherapy after his fourth cancer surgery in Cuba in December, Vice President Nicolas Maduro revealed for the first time, and is continuing the "intense" treatment at a military hospital in Caracas.

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Venezuela's Chavez beats respiratory infection, minister says
Hugo Chavez, shown here last year, has not made a public appearance since undergoing a fourth cancer surgery in Havana six weeks ago
January 26th, 2013
07:32 PM ET

Venezuela's Chavez beats respiratory infection, minister says

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has overcome a respiratory infection he contracted after undergoing cancer surgery in Cuba last month, Information Minister Ernesto Villegas told reporters today.

But the president still has some breathing problems and his treatment continues, Villegas said.

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Spanish newspaper prints, retracts fake photo of ailing Hugo Chavez
Venezuelan Minister of Comunication Ernesto Villegas speaks at the news conference in Caracas on Thursday.
January 24th, 2013
08:09 PM ET

Spanish newspaper prints, retracts fake photo of ailing Hugo Chavez

Early editions of Spain's leading newspaper Thursday displayed a large front-page photo claiming to be an "unprecedented" and "exclusive" look at Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's medical treatment in Cuba.

But the intubated man lying in a hospital bed shown in the photo wasn't Chavez, the newspaper soon discovered, and began backtracking.

El Pais took down the photo, which was on the newspaper's website for about 30 minutes, and also recalled the early editions of its newspaper from newsstands.


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Filed under: Cuba • Hugo Chavez • Spain • Venezuela
FC Barcelona invites Palestinians to Madrid match after Gilad Shalit row
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is sidetracking "El Clásico," a game normally known for featuring the world's biggest stars.
September 28th, 2012
03:46 PM ET

FC Barcelona invites Palestinians to Madrid match after Gilad Shalit row

It's not often a sporting event can stoke the tensions of one of the world's longest-running conflicts, but news that an ex-prisoner and Israeli soldier would attend a Spanish soccer match next month did just that.

Gilad Shalit, who was freed in October 2011 after more than five years as a Palestinian prisoner, is expected to attend next month's "El Clásico," a match between Spanish powerhouses FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. This game, which will be played at Barcelona's Camp Nou on October 7, is one of the world's biggest rivalries.

Despite several reports that Barcelona had extended the invitation to Shalit, the club announced in a Thursday statement that wasn't the case.

Gilad Shalit is expected to attend next month's soccer match between Barcelona and Real Madrid.

"The Club did not invite Mr. Shalit to the game, but accepted a request to watch a match during his visit to Barcelona," the statement said.

Barcelona said it also accepted a Palestinian Embassy request that three of its delegates - Palestinian Authority Ambassador Musa Amer Odeh, Palestinian Football Union President Jibril Rajoub and soccer player and activist Mahmoud Sarsak - be invited to the game.

Though the club statement said the three would attend, the Palestinian-run blog, The Electronic Intifada, cited two reports saying that Sarsak would reject the invitation.

Sarsak was freed from an Israeli prison in June following a three-month hunger strike. The player's refusal to eat prompted Amnesty International to issue a statement saying Sarsak should be released or provided with medical treatment.


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Filed under: Human rights • Israel • Palestinians • Soccer • Sports • World
May 28th, 2012
12:59 PM ET

Children shot, knifed, axed to death in Syria's Houla massacre, reports say

The livid white-haired Syrian’s question to the U.N. blue helmet was rhetorical. He didn’t expect a real answer, not to that question.

“Did the infant carry an RPG?” he asked angrily, gesturing wildly, his hands clad in red rubber gloves.

He had washed the bodies of nine slain children already, one of whom was not even a year old, he told the U.N. observer. He wanted to know why. That question he actually wanted answered. The observer appeared overwhelmed.

Why are they treating us like animals?” the man demanded.

It was an understatement. Across Houla, an anti-regime suburb of Homs, images emerged indicating people there had been treated like something less than animals. The bodies of 108 people killed, most of them women and children, filled rooms, rugs and the backs of trucks.

Children were missing limbs. Others suffered gaping head and chest wounds. Images showed children sprawled on blood-smeared floors, their lifeless eyes staring into oblivion, their clothing torn and stained crimson. While many young victims were apparently shot, there were reports that children had been stabbed to death or attacked with axes.

U.S. National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said the United States was horrified by "credible reports" of the massacre, "including stabbing and ax attacks on women and children."

In one video posted online, a man shows a room full of dead bodies covered with sheets. He pulls back one and asks Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a pointed question: “Here are the children. What was their crime, Bashar? What was their crime, Arabs?”


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Filed under: Human rights • Protest • Syria • World
April 9th, 2012
09:37 AM ET

Report: More than 100 executed by Syrian authorities

Syrian security forces have summarily executed at least 101 people, including civilians, since late 2011 in attacks on cities and towns, Human Rights Watch said in a report released Monday.

The report "documents the involvement of Syrian forces and pro-government shabeeha militias in summary and extrajudicial executions of defecting soldiers, opposition fighters and opposition supporters, as well as civilians who appeared to have had no part in the confrontation with the authorities other than being residents of opposition strongholds," according to the human rights organization.

The 25-page report, "In Cold Blood: Summary Executions by Syrian Security Forces and Pro-Goverment Militias," was based on more than 30 interviews with witnesses to the executions, Human Rights Watch said.

While it was not possible to verify the exact numbers of victims of such executions, the organization said it had documented 12 cases in Idlib and Homs governorates involving at least 101 victims since December 2011. Human Rights Watch said it had received reports of other incidents, but only included in its report incidents where eyewitnesses were interviewed.

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Filed under: Arab Spring • Human rights • Syria
April 3rd, 2012
09:08 AM ET

Bahrain hunger striker's life in danger, daughter says

Fears are growing that a leading human rights activist who entered the 55th day of a hunger strike in Bahrain on Tuesday may not survive the ordeal, his daughter says.

Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who was arrested last year for his role in anti-government demonstrations, has been on hunger strike for nearly eight weeks in protest at his life prison term.

His daughter, Maryam al-Khawaja, told CNN he "is entering a critical phase where his life is at stake."

She said her father had two doctors accompanying him at all times Monday night and was being moved to a different prison Tuesday which has the necessary medical equipment.

The move is due to fears that he may go into a coma at any time, as his blood sugar and blood pressure have both further dropped, she said.

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Filed under: Arab Spring • Bahrain • Human rights
This Week's Top Videos
March 16th, 2012
03:06 PM ET

This Week's Top Videos

Editor's Note: This post is a recap of the top five videos on CNN.com from the past week. So in case you didn't catch our best videos during the week, here is your chance to see what you missed.

The top videos on CNN.com this week featured a jaws-like shark swarm, a new high-tech Dreamliner, the story of a mother's dramatic reunion and some horrifying video of torture and death in Syria as the uprising there reaches the one year mark. Click below to see the videos that impacted so many others this week.


Sharks go on feeding frenzy

Sharks off the coast of Australia go on a feeding frenzy. Australia's Network Ten reports.


Syria: Torture captured on video

CNN's Arwa Damon reports on torture captured on video carried out allegedly by Syrian soldiers.


Child survives family's slaughter

In Syria, a rescue operation to retrieve bodies of a massacred family turns up a child who lived. Arwa Damon reports.


Mom reacts to son found after 8 years

Dr. Drew talks to Auboni Champion-Morin, whose son was found after being kidnapped 8 years ago.


Go inside Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner

Lizzie O'Leary reports on whether the new Boeing 787 is everything it's cracked up to be.

Follow @CNNVideo on twitter!

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U.N. to join humanitarian mission in Syria this weekend
Syrians go about ther daily lives at Reyhanli Refugee Camp in Antakya this week.
March 15th, 2012
12:02 PM ET

U.N. to join humanitarian mission in Syria this weekend

A Syrian-led mission this weekend will "gather information on the overall humanitarian situation and observe first-hand the humanitarian conditions in various towns and cities," the United Nations' humanitarian chief said Thursday.

A U.N. team will be part of the mission. This comes as aid agencies call for "unhindered access" to deliver relief in Syria.

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Filed under: Human rights • Syria • United Nations • World
February 27th, 2012
10:10 AM ET

Former Spanish judge acquitted of abusing power

Spain's best-known judge was acquitted Monday of improperly investigating human rights abuses under the former dictatorship of Francisco Franco.

However, Judge Baltasar Garzon remains under suspension. He was removed from the bench by Spain's judicial authority last week following his conviction in a second case. The nation's Supreme Court said Garzon improperly ordered wiretaps while investigating a financial corruption case.

Monday's acquittal was on a 6-1 ruling, according to a court spokesman.

Earlier this month, the court dropped a third case against Garzon, saying the statute of limitations had expired on alleged abuse involving some courses he taught at New York University years ago.

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Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days
January 15th, 2012
07:52 PM ET

Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days

Here is a look at some of the stories that CNN plans on covering this week:

Martin Luther King Jr. documents go online

Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, one of 10 national holidays in the United States.

Besides marking the day as a federal holiday for the 26th time, January 16, 2012, begins a new age of online accessibility for those wanting to know more about King and his work.

The King Center Imaging Project, which makes 200,000 of  the civil rights leader's documents quickly accessible online, goes live Monday. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech and his letter from a Birmingham, Alabama, jail are among the documents available.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Non-violent Social Change in Atlanta and JPMorgan Chase & Co., working in partnership with AT&T Business Solutions and EMC, are responsible for the project.

Read a TIME.com history of MLK day

Taking King at his words

The memorial to Martin Luther King Jr. has sparked controversy, and perhaps this is fitting. He was a controversial man whose humanity - and words - still speak volumes today.


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Gotta Watch: Story behind Little Rock 9
September 4th, 2011
01:20 PM ET

Gotta Watch: Story behind Little Rock 9

In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court declared all laws establishing segrated schools unconstitutional. That meant African-American students could legally attend all-white schools. By 1957, the NAACP registered a group of nine black students to attend Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas.  The school board agreed to comply with the 1954 ruling and approved a plan for gradual integration that would start that school year. 

On September 4, that group of students, later nicknamed the "Little Rock 9," attempted to enter Central High on the first day of school, but a crowd of angry students and hundreds of National Guardsmen blocked them from entering. The incident grabbed national attention - and the attention of President Eisenhower. As a result, the nine students attended the school under federal protection, opening the door for black students across the country. In today's Gotta Watch, we're featuring highlights from that historic day and reaction from the Little Rock 9 as they look back on their experiences three decades later.

A day that changed history – Take a look at this historical footage from the very day the so-called Little Rock 9 were blocked from entering their school.


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Rebels say Gadhafi holed up; broadcast tells Libyans to stay in Tripoli, fight
Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, seen here in November, is surrounded at an apartment complex in Tripoli, rebels say.
August 25th, 2011
02:13 PM ET

Rebels say Gadhafi holed up; broadcast tells Libyans to stay in Tripoli, fight

[Updated at 4:54 p.m.] An agreement has been reached in the U.N. Security Council to release $1.5 billion in frozen Libyan assets to the country's fledgling rebel government, diplomats said Thursday.

[Updated at 2:13 p.m.] Gadhafi loyalists have destroyed an empty Libyan airline passenger plane parked at the international airport in Tripoli.

[Updated at 11:54 a.m.] A message purportedly from Moammar Gadhafi was aired Thursday on a loyalist radio station.

The speaker urged people not to leave Tripoli "for the rats." It further implored listeners to "Go out into the streets and fight."

CNN cannot independently confirm the authenticity of the recording. Gadhafi has previously described his adversaries before as rats.

[Updated at 10:49 a.m.] The main source of the opposition's supplies is coming from fighters loyal to Gadhafi. As the rebels win battles, they gather up the enemy's weaponry and equipment to add to their own arsenal.

In Ras Lanuf, home to an oil refinery capable of producing hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil a day, a long line of trucks awaited refueling. Most of the trucks had been taken from Moammar Gadhafi's loyalists and been retrofitted with heavy weaponry, including anti-aircraft guns and a rocket launcher.

Ras Lanuf is about 125 miles from Sirte, Gadhafi's hometown and one of the Libyan leader's last strongholds.

Gadhafi has a $1.4 million bounty on his head, but despite claims that he is holed up in an apartment complex in Tripoli, observers are skeptical because of a past rebel assertion that they knew where the Libyan leader was hiding and another announcement that they had captured his son, Saif al-Islam. Neither were accurate.

[Updated at 10:15 a.m.] There has been sporadic but intense artillery fire throughout day near Tripoli International Airport as rebels try to capture the highway connecting the airport and the capital. The airport is about 17 miles south of the capital.


Rebels declare victory as world wonders, Where on Earth is Moammar Gadhafi?
World Chess Federation chief Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, foreground, in June before a screen showing him playing chess with Gadhafi.
August 23rd, 2011
04:39 PM ET

Rebels declare victory as world wonders, Where on Earth is Moammar Gadhafi?

As rebels spread triumphantly through the streets of Tripoli and word of a siege on Moammar Gadhafi's compound is met with jubilation, one glaring question surfaces: Where is Libya's leader of more than four decades?

Some rebel officials say a key to true victory - which is already being declared by many rebels and their sympathizers - is the 69-year-old leader's capture. Observers say his future holds only three possible scenarios: capture, death or exile.

Despite regular promises to fight to the death in the early days of the rebellion, Gadhafi hasn't been seen publicly since June 12, just two weeks before the International Criminal Court issued arrests warrants for him, one of his sons and a brother-in-law, alleging "crimes against humanity." Officials at the ICC have made clear they want the Gadhafis to stand trial in The Hague, Netherlands, if possible.

Gadhafi's June 12 appearance aired on Libyan state television and showed Gadhafi, apparently unfazed by the warfare raging in his homeland, playing chess with World Chess Federation President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.

At the time, Ilyumzhinov quoted Gadhafi as saying he had no intention of leaving Libya. The tune hadn't changed Tuesday when Russia's Interfax news agency caught up with Ilyumzhinov, reporting the chess federation chief had spoken with Gadhafi and his son, Mohammed, by phone and was told the Libyan leader is "alive and well in Tripoli and not going to leave Libya."

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Filed under: Human rights • Libya • Military • NATO • Protest • World
Artist Ai Weiwei back on Twitter, defiantly attacking China over jailed friends
Chinese artist Ai Weiwei speaks to reporters outside his Beijing studio following his June release from prison.
August 9th, 2011
01:08 PM ET

Artist Ai Weiwei back on Twitter, defiantly attacking China over jailed friends

Ai Weiwei is back, and he's not taking any prisoners.

His Twitter missives, however, which began Monday night after a lengthy hiatus, may land the controversial contemporary artist back in a Chinese prison. In one tweet, he directly accused the government of illegally detaining innocent people who had connections to him.

Ai, who was released from prison in June after a three-month stint on tax evasion charges that some observers alleged were trumped up, had been instructed by the government to keep a low profile and to rein in his social-media activity. He had obliged until this week.

An outspoken critic of China's human rights record, Ai had loudly accused the government of trying to silence dissidents before his April detention. His Twitter account went silent shortly thereafter, and his mother told CNN no one heard from him for 43 days.

When he was released, he seemed subdued, telling a Radio Free Asia reporter outside his Beijing home, "I can't talk about anything."


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Filed under: Art • China • Crime • Human rights • Technology • Twitter • World
Suu Kyi attends anniversary of Myanmar uprising that made her an icon
Aung San Suu Kyi, center, attends a religious ceremony Monday on the 23rd anniversary of the student uprising in Yangon.
August 8th, 2011
01:05 PM ET

Suu Kyi attends anniversary of Myanmar uprising that made her an icon

Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is tireless in her efforts to bring democracy to her homeland, and on Monday she continued to poke the tiger that is Myanmar's ruling military junta.

The pro-democracy icon led hundreds in a demonstration at a Yangon monastery to commemorate the anniversary of the 1988 uprising that first put Suu Kyi at the forefront of the opposition's call for democratic change, according to The Irrawaddy news magazine.

Several news outlets reported that authorities kept a close eye on the demonstrations but did not harass protesters despite the government's repeated warning to Suu Kyi that she should refrain from political activities. Voice of America reported that Suu Kyi will make a trip to Bago, about 50 miles northeast of Yangon, this weekend to attend the opening of two libraries and to meet with political network groups.

Cho Cho Kyaw Nyein, a leader of the opposition Democratic Party, told The Irrawaddy magazine, “Without democracy in our country, we will work on together under the leadership of Aung San Suu Kyi.”


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