January 13th, 2014
04:29 AM ET

Rodman 'sorry' about North Korea situation

Dennis Rodman is apologizing. Again.

Last week, he said he was sorry about his bizarre, drunken outburst on CNN about an American citizen held prisoner in North Korea.

Now, Rodman says he's sorry about what's going on inside North Korea, a nation renowned for its human rights abuses.

But the eccentric former NBA star known as "The Worm" isn't contrite about his latest puzzling visit to the secretive state.


Filed under: Basketball • Kim Jong Un • North Korea • Sports • U.S. • World
January 9th, 2014
12:59 AM ET

Rodman apologizes for North Korea outburst

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman apologized Thursday for his outburst against detained American Kenneth Bae during his controversial visit to North Korea.

The eccentric basketball player is visiting Pyongyang to celebrate the birthday of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a man he calls a friend and a "very good guy."

In an exclusive interview Tuesday with Chris Cuomo of CNN's "New Day," Rodman suggested that Bae deserved his 15-year sentence.


Filed under: Sports • U.S. • World
January 1st, 2014
01:55 PM ET

Ariel Sharon's condition worsens, hospital says

The medical condition of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who has been in a coma since 2006, has worsened, Sheba Medical Center spokeswoman Amir Maron said Wednesday.

"In the last few days there has been worsening in the medical condition of Ariel Sharon," Maron said.


Filed under: Israel • Palestinians
December 30th, 2013
01:10 PM ET

South Sudan President: Africa should have helped

African nations should have acted quickly to help avoid the bloody fighting that has consumed parts of South Sudan this month, the President of the new country told CNN on Monday.

As soon as an attempted coup took place and violence broke out, "the original leaders and all African leaders should have come in with military support," so that the rebels would be "crushed once and for all," President Salva Kiir said.

However, he said, he did not ask them for help.

December 29th, 2013
11:33 PM ET

8 killed in China's Xinjiang region

Police shot and killed eight people who attacked a police station in Xinjiang, a restive region in northwestern China, authorities said Monday.
Nine people armed with knives threw explosives at the building and set fire to police vehicles, the Xinjiang government said on its website. One of the people was taken into custody, it said.
The violence took place in Yarkant County in Xinjiang and is under investigation, authorities said.

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Filed under: China • World
December 27th, 2013
03:48 PM ET

Chinese icebreaker stalls en route to stranded ship

A Chinese icebreaker heading to free a polar expedition vessel trapped in an Antarctic ice floe got stopped by the ice and weather, its captain told CNN.

The Chinese government ship Xue Long, or Snow Dragon, was 6 nautical miles away from the stranded Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy, Capt. Wang Jiangzhong said.


Filed under: Antarctica • China
December 26th, 2013
04:18 AM ET

Warren Weinstein feels abandoned, forgotten

Saying he feels "totally abandoned and forgotten," kidnapped U.S. government contractor Warren Weinstein called on President Barack Obama to negotiate for his freedom in a video released by al Qaeda on Christmas.

The 72-year-old Weinstein was abducted from his home in the Pakistani city of Lahore in August 2011.

In the 13-minute video provided to the Washington Post, Weinstein appeals to the President, Secretary of State John Kerry, the American media, the American public and finally his family.


Filed under: U.S. • World
Japan's PM visits controversial war shrine
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, at center, visits the controversial Yasukuni war shrine in Tokyo.
December 26th, 2013
01:58 AM ET

Japan's PM visits controversial war shrine

A 30-minute visit to a controversial shrine by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ignited a predictable firestorm of criticism and condemnation Thursday from Japan's neighbors.
The Yasukuni Shrine is regarded by China, North Korea and South Korea as a symbol of Japan's imperial military past. All three countries suffered under Japan's military aggression in World War II. Millions of Chinese civilians and soldiers, and hundreds of thousands of Koreans, died.
So, each time a top Japanese official has visited, the countries have protested - saying the visits honor war criminals and deny Japan's atrocities in Asia.
Not so, said Abe on Thursday. He wanted to pray for the souls of the war dead, not honor war criminals, he said.
"I have renewed my determination before the souls of the war dead to firmly uphold the pledge never to wage a war again," he said.

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Filed under: Japan • World
December 23rd, 2013
05:12 AM ET

American gets 1-year sentence for video

Shezanne Cassim, the American jailed in the United Arab Emirates and accused of threatening national security for a video parody, was sentenced Monday to one year in prison and a 10,000 UAE Dirham fine (approximately $2,700).
The young American living in the United Arab Emirates has been imprisoned since April, his family says, for posting what was intended to be a funny video on the Internet.

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Filed under: U.S. • World
Pussy Riot band member released
December 23rd, 2013
03:32 AM ET

Pussy Riot band member released

Maria Alyokhina, a member of Russian punk band Pussy Riot who was serving a two-year jail term for her part in a performance critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has been released from prison.
Alyokhina's release from a prison in the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia was confirmed by Pyotr Verzilov, the husband of fellow band member, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova.
Tolokonnikova, who is also imprisoned, is expected to be released later Monday, Verzilov said.

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Filed under: Politics • Russia • Vladimir Putin • World
December 19th, 2013
04:17 AM ET

Dennis Rodman set for 3rd trip to North Korea

Dennis Rodman's latest round of controversial "basketball diplomacy" in a country ruled by one of the world's most repressive regimes is about to begin.

The former NBA star and a documentary crew are due to fly Thursday afternoon from China to North Korea, where he is to spend four days helping train a team of North Korean basketball players for a January exhibition in Pyongyang.

That January 8 exhibition - said to be against a yet-unannounced team of former NBA players - will celebrate the birthday of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, whom Rodman has called a friend and a "very good guy" despite international condemnation of the country's human rights records.


Filed under: Sports • World
December 18th, 2013
10:30 PM ET

Group: Nearly 1,000 killed in Central African Republic

Nearly 1,000 men were killed over a two-day period this month in the Central African Republic, according to Amnesty International.

The human rights group said Wednesday that war crimes and crimes against humanity are being committed in that country.

"Crimes that have been committed include extrajudicial executions, mutilation of bodies, intentional destruction of religious buildings such as mosques, and the forced displacement of massive numbers of people," said Christian Mukosa, Amnesty International's Central Africa expert.

The country has seen violence and chaos since the Muslim-backed Seleka militia and other rebel groups from the marginalized northeast seized the capital Bangui in March. President Francios Bozize fled to Cameroon, and Michel Djotodia, who had been one of the Seleka leaders, made himself President.

Djotodia later officially disbanded the Seleka, but as many as 15,000 kept their arms and instead continued to wreak havoc in Bangui and elsewhere. They mainly targeted Christian communities, which in turn formed their own vigilante group, the anti-balaka (literally "anti-machete").

Anti-balaka forces staged an early morning attack in the capital on December 5, going door to door in some neighborhoods and killing approximately 60 Muslim men, Amnesty International said.

De facto government forces, known as ex-Seleka, retaliated against Christians, killing nearly 1,000 men over a two-day period, according to the rights group. A small number of women and children also were killed.

In a statement, Amnesty International called for the deployment of a "robust" U.N. peacekeeping force, with a mandate to protect civilians, and enough resources to do so effectively.

"The continuing violence, the extensive destruction of property, and the forced displacement of the population in Bangui are feeding enormous anger, hostility and mistrust," said Mukosa.

"There can be no prospect of ending the cycle of violence until the militias are disarmed and there is proper and effective protection for the thousands of civilians at risk in the country.

Residential neighborhoods must be made safe as an urgent priority in order to allow people to go back to their homes and resume their normal lives."

The Central African Republic is about the size of France and a country rich in resources, including diamonds, gold, timber and ivory. The former French colony has rarely seen political stability or economic growth in the 53 years since it gained independence.

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Filed under: Africa • Central African Republic
December 17th, 2013
03:06 AM ET

Beatles bootlegs out on iTunes

A collection of often-bootlegged Beatles songs went on sale via iTunes early Tuesday, but the recordings were online only briefly in several countries.

The tracks - expected to be mostly recordings of BBC performances from 1963, along with demos and studio outtakes - appeared at midnight in Britain, only to be pulled down shortly afterward. The digital music giant's sites in Australia and New Zealand no longer featured the collection by Tuesday morning.

A spokesperson for Universal Music Group confirmed the release of "The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963" for Tuesday, but provided no additional information.


Filed under: Music • U.S. • World
December 13th, 2013
05:51 AM ET

Uncertainty after North Korean execution

As the shock sinks in of North Korea's extraordinary announcement of the execution of leader Kim Jong Un's uncle and former protector, government officials and analysts are trying to decipher what the brutal move means.

The ruthless disposal of Jang Song Thaek - Kim's uncle by marriage who had, until recently, been regarded as the second-most powerful figure in the secretive, nuclear-armed nation - has serious implications for North Korea, its neighbors and the United States, observers said.

But exactly what is going on inside the notoriously opaque North Korea regime remains as murky as ever.


Filed under: World
December 12th, 2013
04:26 PM ET

Women detained in Saudi Arabia for defying driving ban

Four women were detained by traffic police in two Saudi Arabian cities this week for defying the Kingdom's driving ban, according to all the women stopped.

In the Red Sea port city of Jeddah Thursday, two women, Sahar Naseef and Tamador Alyami, were stopped by police after being spotted in a car on one of the city's main thoroughfares.

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Filed under: Saudi Arabia
December 12th, 2013
01:16 AM ET

IKEA recalls children's wall lamps

IKEA has recalled eight of its children's wall-mounted lamps after one toddler died and another was injured, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said Wednesday.

In each case, the lamp cord was pulled into the crib by the infant, creating the strangulation hazard. Both incidents took place in Europe.

There are eight different models involved in the recall: a blue star, a yellow moon, a pink flower, a white flower, a red heart, green bug, a blue seashell and an orange seahorse.


Filed under: U.S. • World
December 10th, 2013
11:48 AM ET

Bangladesh is about to hang an Islamist leader

Shortly after midnight in Bangladesh (1 p.m. ET), authorities plan to hang a top Islamist figure.

Abdul Quader Mollah was sentenced in September for alleged "crimes against humanity" dating back to 1971, during the country's war for independence.

The ruling against him set off rioting in the streets and sparked a strike across the country.

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Filed under: Bangladesh • World
December 10th, 2013
11:44 AM ET

Obama, world leaders praise 'giant of history' at Mandela memorial

They gathered in the tens of thousands - presidents, prime ministers, royals, celebrities and ordinary South Africans - all united to say farewell to a man hailed as a global symbol of reconciliation.

In what has been billed as one of the largest gatherings of global leaders in recent history, representatives from around the world joined street sweepers, actors and religious figures to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela.

From President Barack Obama to Cuba's Raul Castro, praise came from all sides in a four-hour memorial service at Johannesburg FNB stadium for the revered statesman, who died Thursday at age 95.

"We will never see the likes of Nelson Mandela again," Obama said in a speech to roaring cheers.

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Filed under: Africa • World
December 8th, 2013
06:10 PM ET

Brazil: Police fire tear gas as fierce fighting erupts in football stands

Police fired tear gas as fans of rival teams fought in the stands at a Brazilian football game Sunday.

The fighting erupted during a match in the Joinville Arena in Brazil's Santa Catalina state, interrupting the game and forcing a helicopter to land on the field to take away an injured spectator.

Images from the scene showed people in the stands throwing punches and kicks. One man wielded a metal pipe and swung it toward a fallen fan. Security forces fired tear gas into the crowd.

CNN was first alerted to the fight by tweets from Brazil.

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Filed under: Brazil
December 4th, 2013
12:12 PM ET

Truck with radioactive material stolen

A pair of thieves in Mexico may have stolen more than they bargained for when they targeted a truck this week.

The stolen vehicle was carrying a delicate cargo - a radioactive element used for medical purposes, but one that can be used to make a so-called dirty bomb.

The International Atomic Energy Agency announced the theft Wednesday.

Mexican authorities told the IAEA that the truck, which was transporting the cobalt-60 teletherapy source from a hospital in Tijuana to a radioactive waste storage center, was stolen Monday in Tepojaco, near Mexico City.

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Filed under: Mexico • World
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