March 13th, 2013
03:41 AM ET

Survey: Can gay, straight Scouts share tent?

The questions go to the heart of the issue, presenting possible scenarios some may find challenging.

The Boy Scouts of America, now considering a change in the group's longstanding policy against allowing openly gay members, has sent out surveys to leaders and parents.

The survey asks nine questions on the issue that go beyond a simple yes or no. Among them: Is it acceptable or unacceptable for a gay scout and a straight scout to share a tent on an overnight camping trip?

The five multiple-choice answers range from "totally acceptable" to "totally unacceptable."

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Boy pulled from Disney resort pool dies
Disney's Pop Century resort opened in late 2003.
March 13th, 2013
01:03 AM ET

Boy pulled from Disney resort pool dies

Two days after he was pulled from the bottom of a swimming pool at a Disney resort in Florida, a 13-year-old boy from Missouri has died.

Anthony Johnson passed away Tuesday morning, according to the Orange County Sheriff's office. No cause of death was given.

"We are saddened by Anthony Johnson's passing and our hearts go out to his family, friends and loved ones," a statement from Disney said. "We have reached out to his family to offer care and assistance during this difficult time."

The boy was swimming at Disney's Pop Century Resort pool on Sunday evening with family members and other guests when he was spotted in about 4 feet of water by a cousin, who pulled him out, sheriff's deputies told CNN affiliate WKMG-TV. Lifeguards were not on duty at the time of the incident.

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Filed under: Florida
February 27th, 2013
01:30 PM ET

Complaint filed in transgender child's case

A civil rights complaint is being filed on behalf of a transgendered child barred by her Colorado school district from using girls' restrooms, an advocacy group said Wednesday.

The complaint to a Colorado civil rights agency, on behalf of 6-year-old Coy Mathis, will be the first to challenge a restriction on a transgender person's bathroom use under Colorado's anti-discrimination laws, the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund told reporters in Denver.

First-grader Coy, who was born with male sex organs but identifies herself as female, had been allowed to use her school's girls' bathrooms until school officials barred her from doing so after winter break, her family says.

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Transgendered girl files complaint after ban
February 27th, 2013
03:29 AM ET

Transgendered girl files complaint after ban

Just like she did during the first half of the school year, first grader Coy Mathis wants to use the girls' restroom at her Colorado elementary school. But school officials won't let her.

The reason? Coy is transgendered, born with male sex organs but a child who identifies herself as female.

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Filed under: Politics • U.S.
February 26th, 2013
10:05 AM ET

3 killed as blizzard batters U.S. heartland

[Updated at 10:05 a.m.] The Midwest's second blizzard in as many weeks has contributed to the deaths of at least three people, officials say.

Gobs of wet, heavy snow plopped to the ground early Tuesday in the Kansas City area along the Kansas and Missouri border in what the National Weather Service called a "crippling, historic blizzard." The storm could bring up to 18 inches of snow to parts of Kansas, Missouri and Illinois a day after plastering Oklahoma and Texas.

One person died in Woodward, Oklahoma, when a roof collapsed, the city's mayor said. The other two deaths came in Kansas on Monday in separate weather-related accidents on Interstate 70, the Kansas National Guard said.

CNN storm tracker | Photos | Share images

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Oscar Pistorius granted bail
February 22nd, 2013
10:40 AM ET

Oscar Pistorius granted bail

  • Bail for Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius set at 1 million South African rand (about $112,000).
  • Magistrate: State failed to show Pistorius is a flight risk, or that he would be a danger to society, or that his release would cause a public disturbance.
  • Pistorius charged with premeditated murder in February 14 shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, 29. Pistorius claims he thought she was an intruder.
  • Live updates below. Also, read the full story.

[Updated 10:40 a.m. ET] So, that's about it from the Pretoria courtroom. To sum up: A magistrate granted bail to Pistorius after giving a roughly 90-minute speech in which he covered the history and law of South African bail, summarized the case, criticized the police investigation and expressed skepticism about Pistorius' account.

Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair said the former chief investigator in the case, Hilton Botha, had made "several errors and concessions" during his testimony this week, and said prosecutors had failed to prove that Pistorius was a flight risk or had a propensity toward violence.

Pistorius will be free pending trial, as long as he meets the conditions listed below.

[Updated 10:35 a.m. ET] Pistorius' uncle, Arnold Pistorius, has told reporters the following on the behalf of the Pistorius family:

"We are in mourning over the death of Reeva, with her family. We also grateful for the ... magistrate to come to the conclusion, and for our legal team that has delivered extremely professional and legal (services) that led to the decision to give him bail today.

"As a family we know that Oscar’s version of what happened at that tragic night, and we know that that is the truth, and that will prevail in the coming court cases."

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February 18th, 2013
04:11 AM ET

Venezuela's Chavez returns home

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has returned home from Cuba and will continue his cancer treatment there, according to his official Twitter account.

"We have returned to Venezuela. Thanks my God. Thanks beloved people. We will continue treatment here," he tweeted.

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Filed under: Venezuela • World
Arrival time for stricken cruise ship moved back
February 14th, 2013
07:46 AM ET

Arrival time for stricken cruise ship moved back

The Carnival Triumph, the cruise ship that had been marooned in the Gulf of Mexico, is expected to arrive in Mobile, Alabama, between 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. ET Thursday, according to an official briefed on plans for the recovery of the vessel.

On Wednesday, the plan was for the vessel to arrive in the early Thursday afternoon, but rough waves overnight has slowed the recovery.

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Filed under: Alabama • Travel • U.S.
February 11th, 2013
01:43 PM ET

Northeast digs out; storms hit Upper Midwest, South

A major winter storm whipped the Upper Midwest early Monday, just after a historic snowfall buried much of the Northeast.

The latest blizzard dumped 8 to 15 inches of snow across parts of seven states, but saved most of its fury for the Dakotas and Minnesota, the National Weather Service said.

Snow showers and blowing snow were expected to linger Monday across the area.

More than 1,000 miles away, residents of the Northeast spent the weekend digging out from a storm that dumped several feet of snow across the region.

In the Southeast, at least 15 tornadoes formed across southern Mississippi and Alabama Sunday afternoon as a cold front moved in. Major damage was caused by a tornado that struck Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The Mobile, Alabama, National Weather Service Office was to begin conducting damage surveys Monday.

According to Storm Prediction Center reports, nearly 70 people were injured in Sunday's storms, with at least 61 of those in Hattiesburg.

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Filed under: U.S. • Weather • Winter weather
January 31st, 2013
04:04 AM ET

European police arrest 103 in suspected human trafficking ring

Officials are calling it one of the largest operations against human traffickers in Europe.

Police in Europe arrested 103 people in 10 countries this week, all accused of smuggling in people on boats, freight trains and small hidden compartments in the floors of buses and trucks.

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Filed under: World
January 23rd, 2013
04:05 AM ET

A lot at stake for Jordan in an election of firsts

It's the 17th time Jordan has gone to the polls to elect a parliament since becoming a nation in 1946, but Wednesday's balloting is an election of firsts.

For the first time, the country has allowed observers. It's also the first time that an independent election commission will oversee the polling.

These deliberate steps at transparency are crucial for a country that's under a great deal of political strain - and whose stability has ramifications for the world outside its borders.

It is amidst this backdrop that most Jordanians went to the polls. Opposition groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, boycotted it

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Filed under: Politics • World
January 1st, 2013
07:23 AM ET

Senate passes package to avert fiscal cliff; House votes next

We may be into the new year, but we've still got a fiscal cliff vote to deal with.

After the Senate finally voted a full two hours after a midnight deadline on Tuesday, they passed a deal to avert the feared fiscal cliff on an 89-8 vote.

Read Senate bill (PDF)

Today, it will be the House of Representatives' turn, where the proposed package will go for a vote in the Republican-controlled chamber of Congress.

The package passed by the Senate would put off budget cuts for two months and preserve Bush-era income tax cuts for individuals earning less than $400,000 or couples earning less than $450,000.

"Glad it's over," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, after the vote. "We'll see if the Republicans in the House can become functional instead of dysfunctional."

A statement from House leadership made no promises.

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Filed under: Politics
November 13th, 2012
04:40 AM ET

Bomb blast in southwest Pakistan kills 2

A remote-controlled bomb on a bicycle exploded in Quetta today, killing two people and wounding 11 others, police say.

The attack appears to have targeted paramilitary forces that were patrolling the area, according to Mir Zubair Mehmud, a police official.  The blast wounded three paramilitary members.

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Filed under: World
November 12th, 2012
05:15 AM ET

State Department congratulates Syrian opposition factions for uniting

The United States is pleased that Syrian opposition factions have united, the State Department says.

"The United States congratulates the representatives of the Syrian people on the formation of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces," a statement from State Department spokesman Mark Toner says.  "We look forward to supporting the National Coalition as it charts a course toward the end of (President) Assad’s bloody rule and the start of the peaceful, just, democratic future that all the people of Syria deserve."

Syrian opposition factions formally agreed Sunday to unite as the National Coalition Forces of the Syrian Revolution, a spokesman for the Syrian National Council told CNN.

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Filed under: U.S. • World
November 12th, 2012
01:26 AM ET

Israel airstrikes target Palestinian militants in northern and southern Gaza

Israeli airstrikes hit Palestinian targets in Gaza overnight, scoring direct hits on a "terror tunnel" and a weapons storage facility, the military says.

A military representative says militants have launched more than 110 rockets since Saturday.

"The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians, and will operate against anyone who uses terror against the State of Israel," an Israel Defense Forces statement issued today says. "The Hamas terror organization is solely responsible for any terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip."

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Filed under: World
November 8th, 2012
04:47 AM ET

Police: Bombings kill 5 in Iraq, wound dozens more

A string of bombings across Iraq killed five people and wounded more than 30 others, police said today.

A car bomb exploded on a busy road in Mahmoudiya about 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of Baghdad, killing two and injuring five more, according to police.

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November 6th, 2012
12:09 AM ET

A tie for Obama and Romney in nation's first results

The first presidential election results are in - and it's a tie.

President Barack Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, each received five votes in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire.

The town in the state's northeast corner has opened its polls shortly after midnight each election day since 1960 - but today's tie was the first in its history.

Explainer: What if there's a national tie?

The result was unexpected, said town clerk Dick Erwin. The town has two registered Democrats, three Republicans and five independents.
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Filed under: 2012 Election • Barack Obama • Politics • U.S.
Con Edison:  Power restored to 80% of customers hit by Sandy
November 5th, 2012
02:49 AM ET

Con Edison: Power restored to 80% of customers hit by Sandy

Nearly a week after Superstorm Sandy whipped the greater New York City area, about 180,00 customers still don't have electricity, Con Edison said late Sunday.  At the peak of the outage, an estimated 950,000 customers were affected in New York's five boroughs - Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and the Bronx - and Westchester County, the utility said.

But even with the progress, many residents are increasingly frustrated, especially in Westchester, where 80,000 are still in the dark.

The company's Twitter feed bears the brunt of the criticism.

[tweet https://twitter.com/ConEdison/status/265255101701173248%5D

Con Edison says it expects to have the "vast majority" of the power restored by next weekend.

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Filed under: U.S. • Weather
October 31st, 2012
12:47 AM ET

Sandy derails New Jersey Transit's Rail Operations Center

Hurricane Sandy knocks the New Jersey Transit Rail Operations Center seriously off track.  The storm put the center at The Meadowlands - across from New York City - under 8 feet of water, shorting out the back-up power system and emergency generator.

Officials at the commuter railroad say it will be weeks before service resumes on the New Jersey Coast Line because of damage caused by the storm.  Downed trees cover the tracks in many areas, ripping down power lines with them, while other sections of track are washed out.

[tweet https://twitter.com/NJ_TRANSIT/status/263435792150577152%5D

Superstorm Sandy's toll: Mounting deaths, historic destruction, stranded residents
Taxis sit in a flooded lot in Hoboken, New Jersey, on Tuesday.
October 30th, 2012
11:02 PM ET

Superstorm Sandy's toll: Mounting deaths, historic destruction, stranded residents

Editor's Note: Superstorm Sandy smashed ashore last night, triggering floods, fires and devastation. At least 33 people are known to have died in the United States and one in Canada, adding to the storm’s earlier toll of 67. Millions are without power. Floods have hit homes and the New York subway system. Here is the full story and below is the latest news as we learn it.

Are you there? Send your stories and photos to CNN iReport but stay safe.

[Update 11:02 p.m.]  Superstorm Sandy continues to weaken over Pennsylvania. It is some 50 miles east-northeast of Pittsburgh, according to an 11 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center. The storm is expected to move northward into Canada on Wednesday.

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