The hunt for Osama bin Laden that went on for almost a decade led to a final mission that was completed in a matter of minutes. But how? The mission utilized specialized troops, heavy government coordination and extreme precision. Go behind the scenes of this tactical operation in today's Gotta Watch.
Night of the killing– What really happened the night the U.S. killed Osama bin Laden? Pentagon correspondent Chris Lawrence takes a close look at the operation that took down one of the world's most elusive and feared terrorist leaders.
The five most popular stories on CNN.com in the past 24 hours, according to NewsPulse.
Water radiation spurs leakage fears: Authorities in Japan raised the prospect Friday of a likely breach in the all-important containment vessel of the No. 3 reactor at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, a potentially ominous development in the race to prevent a large-scale release of radiation.
Kirstie Alley slams George Lopez for pig joke: "Dancing With the Stars" contestant Kirstie Alley is putting her foot down and blasting comedian George Lopez for comparing her to a pig on his talk show, reports Entertainment Weekly.
Docs operate without anesthesia at hospital: For days, the wounded just kept coming to the 60-bed central hospital in Misrata, a city under siege from forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. But there were no empty beds, no electricity - only generator power. No anesthesia or painkillers.
Christian to Muslim - A change of faith: The actual conversion was brief. It only involved one sentence: “I bear witness that there is no God worthy of worship but God, I bear witness that Mohammed is the messenger of God.” For 30-year-old Mathew Miller, those words represented the culmination of a long religious transformation from Christianity to Islam.
A concerned evangelical's open letter to Charlie Sheen: As one of your 3 million Twitter followers, I’ve given you the ability to speak into my life in 140 characters or less, so I figure the least I can do is return the favor. I’m asking you to put away the Tiger Blood T-shirts and pull back from the Hollywood media blitz long enough to consider the following.
The five most popular stories on CNN.com in the past 24 hours, according to NewsPulse.
Wisconsin Assembly passes labor bill: After weeks of demonstrations in the state capital, Wisconsin Republicans cleared a final hurdle to a controversial proposal on Thursday.
Charlie Sheen issues half-apology to Cryer: Charlie Sheen still continues to bash his former "Two and a Half Men" boss Chuck Lorre - but when it comes to costar Jon Cryer, Sheen is rethinking his negative comments.
How the human penis lost its spines: You've read the headline, and it probably made you giggle. Go ahead. Get it out of your system. Then take a deep breath and consider how evolution affected a few specific body parts.
Lohan gets 2 weeks to decide on plea deal: Lindsay Lohan must decide by March 23 if she will accept a plea deal that would send her to jail or move closer to a trial in the necklace theft case.
Controversy precedes radicalization hearings: A controversial congressional hearing Thursday on the radicalization of Muslim Americans touched on sensitive questions involving terrorism and tolerance.
At 9:30 a.m. ET Thursday, the House Homeland Security Committee opened the first in a series of hearings looking into alleged radicalization in the Muslim community in the United States. Below, you'll find a running account of some of the highlights of Thursday's hearing, which ended shortly before 2 p.m.
The hearings, titled "The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and That Community's Response," were called by the committee's chairman, Rep. Peter King, a nine-term Republican from Long Island, New York. On Monday, CNN reported that his personal security had been beefed up because of controversy over the impending hearings. Some have said they fear the hearings will stoke bigotry. Others say they will foster fear of Muslims in general, and suggest that anyone who practices Islam could be radicalized. One of those critics is Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison, the sole Muslim member of Congress, who will testify. "This hearing actually could set us back because it reinforces the al Qaeda narrative, which is that America is at war with Islam. ... This hearing seems kind of like a targeted persecution," Ellison said.
King has responded by saying, "To back down (from holding the hearings) would be a craven surrender to political correctness and an abdication of what I believe to be the main responsibility of this committee - to protect America from a terrorist attack."
CNN's Peter Bergen examined cases since 9/11 of so-call homegrown terrorist threats. Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar, wrote that the hearings could promote the idea that America is really at war with Islam and would actually help terrorists appeal and recruit more fighters. Check out Prothero's thoughts on CNN.com's Belief Blog.
After days of protest and finger-pointing, a controversial hearing on so-called "Muslim radicalization" begins on Capitol Hill. CNN.com Live is there for gavel-to-gavel coverage of the event.
Today's programming highlights...
9:30 am ET - 'Muslim radicalization' hearing - Rep. Peter King, the New York Republican who called this hearing, calls it a serious look at the extent of "radicalization" in the American Muslim community. Critics say it's McCarthyism with a new target. Following the hearing, Rep. King will discuss the day's events with reporters.
The macho James Bond star dons a dress, high heels and a long blond wig in a public awareness video released for International Women’s Day, Britain’s Guardian news website reported on Monday.
The short film, made by artist and director Sam Taylor-Woods, has a voice-over by Dame Judi Dench, who plays Bond’s boss, M, in the movies. "We're equals, aren't we, 007?" asks Dench’s voice. "Yet it is 2011 and a man is still likely to earn more money than a woman, even one doing the same job." Dench continues to list discrepancies between the sexes in income, salary and career advancement, while Craig says not a word. He disappears briefly and returns in drag, looking uncomfortable. “So, are we equals?” Dench asks again. “Until the answer is yes, we must never stop asking.”
The Lebanon-born Maronite Christian author and activist “has become one of the most visible personalities on a circuit of self-appointed terrorism detectors who warn that Muslims pose an enormous danger within United States borders,” The New York Times reports.
Gabriel heads a group called ACT! For America which insists that Islamic militants have infiltrated the United States with the ultimate goal of imposing Sharia law throughout the world. Among her target audiences on the lecture circuit: Republicans, defenders of Israel, Christian conservatives and the Tea Party. Gabriel is scheduled to appear on CNN’s “In the Arena” tonight at 8 ET. “I lost Lebanon, my country of birth, to radical Islam,” she told the Times in an e-mail. “I do not want to lose my adopted country America.”
A week ago, the Tony-winning director of “Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark” told audiences at the 2011 TED conference that she and her production company were “in the crucible and the fire of transformation” due to the $65 million production’s problems. Today’s New York Times reports that the producers are now in negotiations with Taymor that could end her involvement in the troubled Broadway show.
Accidents, alleged safety violations and critics’ backlash have marred the production, which has seen its official opening delayed five times already. Still, the musical’s previews bring in a reported $1 million in weekly ticket sales. Taymor told TED audiences that the show is trying to do what cannot be done in the two dimensions that are television or film. “Anyone who creates knows when it’s not quite there,” Taymor said. “Where it hasn’t quite become the phoenix or the burnt char. And I am right there.”
Libya - Supporters of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi continue to battle anti-Gadhafi forces throughout the country. The unrest has been going on for weeks and is affecting oil prices worldwide as gas prices have spiked in recent weeks. Check out CNN's reporting around Libya, city by city. On Monday, air strikes continued to target the opposition-controlled oil town of Ras Lanuf as Gadhafi supporters tried to take back the city. CNN correspondent Ben Wedeman was just outside Ras Lanuf and heard someone say, "We'll capture [Gadhafi], put him on top of this car and drive all around Libya. Every Libyan will get one shot [at the leader]." Wedeman was one of the first journalists inside the country when the protests began, and he reports on who will be fighting in the conflict.
CNN's Nic Robertson reports that fighting is getting closer to the Libyan capital of Tripoli. Also Monday, as several families in Ras Lanuf fled for cover, Gadhafi's forces made headway in the city of Bin Jawad, which was hotly fought over during the weekend. Anti-government protesters have been rallying for weeks in the hopes that Gadhafi, who has ruled the country for 42 years, will leave power. Similar uprisings occurred earlier this year in Egypt and Tunisia, and other protests have raged throughout the Middle East and North Africa as demonstrators have called for changes in leadership and power structures in their countries. What's next in Libya? Do you have a story that relates to the country? Are you there? Send an iReport.
Hearings on radical Islam - Over the weekend, protesters demonstrated in New York ahead of congressional hearings on radical Islam scheduled for this week. Other critics of the hearings include music mogul Russell Simmons. The topic is sure to remain hot all week as CNN covers every angle of the debate. Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, called the for hearings on what is being called "the radicalization of American Muslims." Critics say the hearings would unfairly target Islam and could stoke fear and fuel violence against Muslims. King and Rep. Keith Ellison, who is the first Muslim elected to Congress, talked about the reasons for the hearings on CNN on Sunday with Candy Crowley.
Freedom Project begins - CNN has launched its Freedom Project, a first-of-its-kind global effort to draw attention to and end all forms of slavery around the world, including in the United States. See what the project is about, and read the first story in the series. It's about a group of boys from Zambia who were trafficked into the U.S. to make money for a faith-based organization. The boys saw little profit for their work and were not given the education or school in their home country that they were promised.
Muslim Brotherhood speaks - After more than two weeks, protests to oust Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak are still going strong. At the same time, a controversial Islamist umbrella group in the country is saying that it wants to promote democracy and will not offer a presidential candidate. The Muslim Brotherhood said through its media office in Cairo that it wants to "participate, not dominate." The group has attracted much attention because some have expressed fear that it would hijack Egypt's pro-democracy movement. Influential political figures across the world have raised concerns over the group. Others have argued that the Brotherhood should have a seat at the table and be recognized as a legitimate party. What is the Muslim Brotherhood? Why did the protests begin?
Phasing out Fannie and Freddie - The Obama administration says it will explain later this week how it plans to phase out housing financing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The publicly traded companies represent major liability for taxpayers who are on the hook for billions of dollars in federal aid Fannie and Freddie received. But getting rid of them could raise borrowing costs for homeowners and further weaken an already fragile housing market.
Lohan charges coming? Prosecutors are expected to formally charge actress Lindsay Lohan with felony grand theft related to a necklace allegedly taken from a California jewelry store in January. The charge comes five weeks after Lohan was released from court-ordered drug rehabilitation and less than three weeks before a judge said he might free her from supervised probation from a 2007 drunken driving conviction.
More snow - Another huge snow storm is slamming Oklahoma and working its way into the Deep South. It snowed in Dallas on Wednesday morning. That city is predicted to get at least 4 inches.
More than 25 years ago, Jake Glaser's mother unknowingly infected him in utero with HIV. His older sister, Ariel, also had been accidentally infected.
Elizabeth Glaser, the wife of TV actor Paul Michael Glaser, became the nation's best-known AIDS activist, making a dramatic speech at the 1992 Democratic Convention.
Both she and Ariel died of the disease.
The FBI announced a $10,000 reward Sunday for information leading to the arrest of the person or people responsible for an apparent attack on an Oregon Islamic center.
The center was was attended by the man authorities say was behind a foiled bomb plot at a recent Portland Christmas tree lighting.
A fire appears to have started sometime early Sunday morning at the Salman AlFarisi Islamic Center in Corvallis, Oregon, authorities said. The building suffered some fire and smoke damage.
Mohamed Osman Mohamud, who was arrested in connection with the plan to detonate what he thought was an explosives-laden van at a Portland tree-lighting ceremony Friday night, occasionally attended the center, the mosque's imam told CNN.
He despises radical Islam as much as anybody, and he has the power to do something about it.
Khaled landed in Sana’a, Yemen, on Tuesday to kick off his training course on moderation for preachers and other leaders. The project will target 70 preachers from across the country.
“The projects will focus on spreading Islamic thought and moderation as well as fighting extremism and violence,” Yemen’s state-run news agency, Saba, reported. “One of them, Balda Tayeba, targets Yemeni young leaders to train them to spread moderation thoughts and projects directing the youth to do good and reform and root out extremism through charitable projects.”
The news agency further reported President Ali Abdullah Saleh met with Khaled and praised the initiative.
Middle East Online said Khaled and the selected preachers will confront extremism and al Qaeda-like ideologies via television interviews, meetings with army leaders and "interviews with some penitent extremists."
Khaled heads Right Start Foundation International, a group whose aims include empowering women, anti-drug and -smoking campaigns and building bridges with non-Muslims.
“[Osama] bin Laden is saying he is talking on behalf of Muslims,” he was once quoted as saying. “Who asked him to talk on behalf of us? Nobody.”
He has spoken extensively on how Muslims can tap their faith and activism to integrate into Western societies, yet he still holds some traditional Muslim views (women should wear headscarves, for example).
Time magazine in 2007 compared the 43-year-old Egyptian layman to Dr. Phil and Rick Warren and said he was among 100 people whose power, talent or moral examples were transforming the world.
The hullabaloo over the firing of ex-NPR news analyst Juan Williams is far bigger than right v. left.
Fox News has assailed NPR for its handling of the situation, calling it an assault on free speech and stoking GOP pundits and potential presidential candidates to demand that NPR's government funding be cut.
But it’s not only the right wing frowning on NPR’s decision. Though a handful have applauded the public radio station, journalists of every shade have come to his defense without condoning his comments. Williams said seeing people in Muslim dress on airplanes makes him nervous, and while plenty view his remark as silly or dangerous, few think he should have been axed.
“First of all, if I got on a plane and someone was in full Muslim attire, I would feel very safe because if you’re about to blow up that plane that’s not the way you’re going to be dressed,” Barbara Walters said Thursday on “The View,” where the controversy ostensibly started. “So if this is what you’re wearing, just as you might wear a cross or a Jewish star, fine. I think it’s a silly statement for Juan to be making.”
NPR has fired Juan Williams over remarks he made on "The O'Reilly Factor" this week, and there is no shortage of opinions on the analyst's ouster.
Many have jumped to his defense and others have applauded NPR's stand, while a few have expressed concern about the recent firings of journalists who made remarks deemed insensitive or inappropriate. One observer compares the editing of the Williams clip to the video of Shirley Sherrod, which saw the U.S. Department of Agriculture employee fired before her remarks were put into context.
NPR CEO Vivian Schiller said his remarks were inconsistent with NPR's editorial standards and practices and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR.
NPR's ethics code provides some insight into the firing: "In appearing on TV or other media including electronic Web-based forums, NPR journalists should not express views they would not air in their role as an NPR journalist. They should not participate in shows electronic forums, or blogs that encourage punditry and speculation rather than fact-based analysis."
To recap, Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly faced heat last week after remarks he made about Muslims on "The View." He was discussing those comments with Williams on "The O'Reilly Factor" when Williams made the remarks NPR found objectionable.
"I mean, look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country," Williams said. "But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they're identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."
Here is a roundup of reactions from blogs, columns and tweets around the nation:
Sarah Palin: "NPR defends 1st Amendment Right, but will fire u if u exercise it. Juan Williams: u got taste of Left's hypocrisy, they screwed up firing you"
The husband-and-wife team behind the planned Islamic center and mosque near New York's ground zero have received threats, a New York police spokesman said Sunday, hours after the wife said her life is under threat.
The threats "began several weeks ago," police spokesman Paul Browne told CNN "We were investigating them."
Browne would disclose no details of the threats made against Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf or his wife, Daisy Khan, or whether they were receiving any police protection.
A cartoonist for Seattle Weekly in Washington state is in hiding after she received death threats for mocking the Prophet Mohammed five months ago, the newspaper reported.
The alternative weekly’s editor in chief reported this week that artist Molly Norris is “going ghost” on the advice of FBI security specialists. She will be moving and changing her name, Mark Fefer wrote.
“You may have noticed that Molly Norris’ comic is not in the paper this week. That’s because there is no more Molly,” he said. “She is, in effect, being put into a witness-protection program – except, as she notes, without the government picking up the tab.”
Norris’ hasty exodus stems from an April controversy in which the creators of “South Park” saw their 201st episode censored over its inclusion of Mohammed as a character. Creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker received death threats because their 200th episode featured the Muslim prophet in a bear suit.
The five most popular stories in the past 24 hours, according to NewsPulse.
Nine years after 9/11, photo provides peace: Judson Box has never known exactly how his son, Gary, died on September 11, 2001. But an unexpected find nine years later has given him a glimpse into his son's final hours.
Florida reverend calls off Quran burning: The pastor of a Florida church says his congregation has decided to call off the burning of the Quran that was to be held Saturday - the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
Stabbing girlfriend was a mistake, actor says: The "40-Year-Old Virgin" actor Shelley Malil testified Thursday he stabbed his girlfriend 20 times when he wrongly thought that she was somebody else going after him in the dark.
'Prince of pot' gets 5 years in U.S. prison: The man once known as Canada's "prince of pot" is now a federal inmate in the U.S. system after a judge in Washington sentenced him Friday to five years in prison.
Senator demands answers in California blaze: California Sen. Barbara Boxer demanded answers Saturday to questions about why a gas transmission line ruptured in a suburban San Francisco town, triggering a
Remembering a fallen brother
Nine years have passed since the September 11 terrorist attacks, but the pain felt by the families of the victims is still intense. CNN's Steve Kastenbaum sat down with a woman who lost a brother who was also her best friend.
Muslim 9/11 families are fearful
Nearly 60 victims of the September 11 attacks were Muslims. CNN's Steve Kastenbaum spoke with the mother of a Muslim New York City police cadet who died in the attacks about growing anti-Muslim sentiment.
The five most popular stories on CNN.com during the past 24 hours, according to NewsPulse.
California fire scene 'like a moonscape': The gas line fire in San Bruno, California, that killed four people and destroyed 38 homes has been fully contained with some small hot spots, authorities say.
MTV VMAs' shocking style moments: From the very beginning of the MTV Video Music Awards, stars like Madonna have aimed to please fans by shocking them with a combination of risqué routines and outré fashion.