February 13th, 2013
10:30 AM ET

Italian magazine defends publishing royal vacation photos

The editor of an Italian magazine that published vacation photos of William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, defended the publication against widespread criticism.

"Chi" editor-in-chief Alfonso Signorini said the photos were not scandalous and "portray a couple in love in a happy moment while they are walking on the beach."

The photos of the duke and the pregnant, bikini-clad duchess were taken on a public beach and bought from an international agency, he said.

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Filed under: Prince William • United Kingdom
February 13th, 2013
09:05 AM ET

U.N. refugee agency delivers aid to Syrians for only second time in two-year civil war

For only the second time in the nearly two-year Syrian civil war, the U.N. refugee agency completed an aid delivery to displaced people inside Syria, the group said Wednesday.

Seven trucks delivered blankets and tents near the Syrian-Turkish border in the country's northwest. A previous aid convoy to northern Syria at the end of January was the first of its kind, the U.N. agency said.

"These are complex operations and not without risk, but the humanitarian needs of the displaced civilians in these areas require action,” said High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres. “The moral imperative to help is clear."

Syria death toll probably at 70,000, U.N. human rights official says

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Filed under: Syria
February 13th, 2013
08:50 AM ET

Afghan president: We've wanted troop withdrawal 'for so long now'

Afghan President Hamid Karzai welcomed President Obama's announcement of a major troop withdrawal, saying "this is something Afghanistan has wanted for so long now."

The pullout, announced at the State of the Union on Tuesday, will help ensure "peace and full security," according to a statement released by Karzai's office Wednesday.

The United States will draw down 34,000 troops currently stationed in Afghanistan in a year's time, Obama said in his State of the Union address Tuesday night. The current number stands at 66,000.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Barack Obama
Victims suing BBC, Savile estate in sex abuse case
Jimmy Savile sports his Order of the British Empire medal after his 1972 investiture at Buckingham Palace in London.
February 13th, 2013
07:32 AM ET

Victims suing BBC, Savile estate in sex abuse case

Alleged sexual abuse victims of the late BBC entertainer Jimmy Savile are suing both the British broadcaster and the Savile estate, attorneys for the victims said Wednesday.

Police said in a report that Savile sexually abused hundreds of people and carried out more than 30 rapes.

Police: TV host Jimmy Savile exploited fame to abuse children on vast scale

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Filed under: United Kingdom
February 9th, 2013
07:05 PM ET

Live blog: Reports of five deaths in Connecticut, governor says

[Updated at 8:42 p.m. ET] Authorities are now saying at least nine people were killed in accidents related to the storm - five in Connecticut, according to the governor, two in Canada, one in New York and one in Massachusetts.

[Updated at 7:05 p.m. ET] The storm has apparently resulted in more deaths. Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy said in a news conference that "we believe there are now five fatalities" tied to the storm. At least six deaths had been reported earlier: two in Canada, two in Connecticut, one in Massachusetts, and one in New York. It isn't clear whether the two deaths reported earlier in Connecticut were among the five Malloy mentioned.

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Filed under: Boston • Canada • Connecticut • Maine • Massachusetts • New Hampshire • New York • Rhode Island • Vermont • Weather
U.N. report says Israeli settlements violate rights of Palestinians
A Palestinian man points toward a home demolished by Israeli bulldozers in Arab East Jerusalem on January 15.
January 31st, 2013
11:28 AM ET

U.N. report says Israeli settlements violate rights of Palestinians

Israeli settlements have taken a "heavy toll" on the rights and sovereignty of Palestinians, a U.N. report said Thursday.

The U.N. Human Rights Council report ticked off a range of rights it says have been consistently violated in the West Bank and East Jerusalem during what it calls "creeping annexation" by Israel.

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Filed under: Israel • Palestinians • World
January 22nd, 2013
12:59 AM ET

For Israeli voters, missile fire, money main issues in election

The pundits in Israel, the United States and the West Bank have pretty much forecast the winner of today's Israeli national elections.

Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing political coalition with former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman– Likud Beitenu - will prevail. He'll trot to the finish line in an easy horse race, analysts say, citing poll after poll.

But this is just the first stage in forging a new government. After the election for Knesset seats, the arduous government coalition-building begins.

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Obama nominates John Kerry to be secretary of state
December 21st, 2012
02:11 PM ET

Obama nominates John Kerry to be secretary of state

[Updated at 2:11 p.m. ET] President Barack Obama on Friday nominated Sen. John Kerry, the former presidential candidate who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to be the next secretary of state.

The senior senator from Massachusetts is noted for the experience, gravitas and relationship-building skills that could help him succeed Hillary Clinton, the outgoing top U.S. diplomat.

Kerry (pictured) has traveled the globe on behalf of the Obama administration to mend frayed relationships. Most notably, he traveled to Pakistan after a series of incidents, including the raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, that had set relations back.

He has support from Republicans as well as Democrats. The nomination will be sent to the Senate for confirmation.

"There are very few people with greater experience over a longer period of time," said Nicholas Burns, a former career ambassador who has served every secretary of state since Warren Christopher, and was most recently undersecretary for political affairs under Condoleezza Rice. "He would be a very, very impressive choice."

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December 7th, 2012
02:39 PM ET

Rebels set their sights on Syria's capital

Emboldened rebels fighting to hasten the fall of Syria's regime set their sights on the capital, Damascus, as diplomats went into high gear amid concerns over chemical weapons.

"Our country will be free, we have no one but God," protesters rallying against President Bashar al-Assad chanted on Friday outside the capital in Douma. "The glad tidings are coming."

The war for control of Damascus is being waged in its suburbs, where rebel forces say the casualty count has increased in recent days. And so has talk of a turning point in Syria's 21-month civil war.

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December 5th, 2012
12:52 PM ET

Morsy supporters, anti-government protesters clash in Cairo

[Update, 12:52 p.m. ET] Two protesters have been killed Wednesday in clashes between supporters
and opponents of the government of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy, according to a spokesman for the Egyptian Ministry of Health, Dr. Mohammed Sultan.

[Update, 12:49 p.m. ET] Thousands of supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy clashed with anti-government protesters outside the presidential palace in Cairo Wednesday, driving them from the grounds where they had set up camp.

Morsy opponents pushed back, charging Morsy supporters with Molotov cocktails. Both sides exchanged rocks and fireworks before the anti-Morsy protesters were pushed back again.

It was unclear if anyone was hurt in the latest exchange. Earlier, the Ministry of Health said four people were injured in the scuffles.

Q & A:What's driving Egypt unrest?

[Initial post, 7:31 a.m. ET] Egypt's capital boiled Wednesday as protesters supporting and opposing President Mohamed Morsy geared up for demonstrations.

People angered by Morsy continued a sit-in in Cairo's Tahrir Square after a night marked by violent clashes outside the presidential palace.

Police fired tear gas Tuesday night after protesters broke through barbed wire around the palace building and hurled chairs and rocks at retreating officers. Opposition forces later were calling for a march toward the palace.

After the initial clashes, police withdrew behind fences and the large demonstration was peaceful for several hours. A few dozen protesters and a scattering of tents remained outside the Itihadiya palace Wednesday.

The Muslim Brotherhood, the pro-Morsy Islamist movement, called for a rally in front of the presidential palace Wednesday afternoon in support of the country's leader and against his foes in the street.

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December 4th, 2012
04:38 PM ET

Internet pioneer John McAfee moves to Guatemala, hires attorney

John McAfee, the Internet security pioneer wanted for questioning in the killing of a neighbor in Belize, is now in Guatemala City, said Telesforo Guerra, the former attorney general of Guatemala.

McAfee has hired Guerra as his attorney, Guerra told CNN en Espanol on Tuesday.

Belize authorities want to talk to McAfee about the November 11 shooting death of American businessman Gregory Faull, 52, who was found dead in his home near San Pedro, on the Caribbean island of Ambergris Caye.

On his website, McAfee commented about his relocation: "I apologize for all of the misdirections over the past few days. It was not easy to exit Belize and required many supporters in many countries.

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Work begun to exhume Arafat's body
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat salutes during a meeting with supporters in the West Bank city of Ramallah in September 2004.
November 13th, 2012
07:21 AM ET

Work begun to exhume Arafat's body

Editor's Note: Work began Tuesday to exhume the body of Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat amid an investigation of his 2004 death.

[Update 8:48 a.m.] The process of removing the marble tombstone on Arafat's grave to allow for exhumation of the body is under way, a Palestinian source said.  The glass surrounding the mausoleum has been removed.

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October 26th, 2012
02:08 PM ET

NHL cancels more games amid lockout

The National Hockey League on Friday announced the cancellation of the 2012-13 regular-season schedule through November 30.

The league and the NHL Players' Association have not been able to reach a collective bargaining agreement.

Three-hundred twenty-six regular-season games – or 26.5% of the season - had been scheduled for October 11 through November 30.

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Russian protest leader charged with plotting mass disorder
Russian activist Sergei Udaltsov talks to reporters Friday after being questioned in Moscow.
October 26th, 2012
08:30 AM ET

Russian protest leader charged with plotting mass disorder

A high-profile Russian protester has been charged with plotting mass disorder, a Russian state media outlet reported Friday.

He is Sergei Udaltsov, who has helped organize mass protests against President Vladimir Putin's rule, RIA Novosti said.

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Filed under: Russia
October 26th, 2012
07:25 AM ET

14 dead in sinking off Moroccan coast

At least 14 passengers on a Spain-bound vessel died when the craft sunk off the coast of Morocco, a Moroccan official said Friday.

Mustapha Khalfi, Moroccan minister of communication, said the sinking took place Thursday in the Mediterranean Sea off the Moroccan city of Alhucemas. FULL POST

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Filed under: Morocco • Rescues • Spain
October 25th, 2012
11:13 AM ET

Syria agrees to cease-fire, sort of

Editor's note: Syria's government and its main rebel force, the Free Syrian Army, both said Thursday they will halt military operations during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, which lasts from Friday to Monday.

[Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET] Though Syria's government says it agrees to the holiday truce, it says it reserves the right to respond to "terrorist" attacks, including bombings, as well as "terrorists" trying to reinforce their positions; and to protect neighboring borders that "terrorists" cross.

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Filed under: Syria • World
September 7th, 2012
09:29 AM ET

Officials: Clinton to label Pakistan-based group terrorists

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will notify Congress Friday of her intent to formally designate the Pakistan-based Haqqani network as a terror organization, two senior administration officials told CNN.

The designation of the group as a Foreign Terrorist Organization would make it easier to pursue those who provide support for the al Qaeda- and Taliban-linked movement. But it could further deteriorate relations with Pakistan.

"The secretary expects to send the report on the Haqqani network to Congress today," said a senior State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The official was not authorized to offer details of the report ahead of its submission to Congress.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Pakistan
August 21st, 2012
12:01 PM ET

Ebola outbreak kills 10 in Congo

The Ebola virus has killed 10 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the World Health Organization said Tuesday.

As of Monday, WHO said, the deaths are among 13 probable and two confirmed Ebola cases reported in Orientale province in eastern Congo.

The Congolese Ministry of Health has set up a task force to deal with the outbreak and is working with WHO, UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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High-ranking general defects from Syrian military
Brig. Gen. Manaf Tlas, right in an undated photo with Bashar al-Assad, has been a key member of the Syrian president's regime.
July 6th, 2012
05:19 AM ET

High-ranking general defects from Syrian military

[Updated at 9:22 a.m. ET] Manaf Tlas, a Sunni general in Syria's elite Republican Guards, has defected, a Western diplomat said Friday, a stunning blow to the Bashar al-Assad regime.

Tlas, the son of a former Syrian defense minister and cousin of a first lieutenant in al-Assad's army, is possibly the most senior Sunni in a power structure dominated by the Alawite minority.

"He's an inside confidant of Assad. So it counts that even an insider thinks it's time to go," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The official was not authorized to speak to the media.

Syria has been engulfed in nearly 16 months of unrest. Thousands have died as Syrian government assaults against protesters led to a nationwide uprising.

FULL STORY
June 8th, 2012
12:34 PM ET

I'll Have Another scratched from Belmont, ending Triple Crown bid

[Updated at 12:34 p.m. ET] The racehorse I'll Have Another has been scratched from Saturday's Belmont Stakes, ending its bid to become the first Triple Crown winner in 34 years, a spokesman for trainer Doug O'Neill confirmed Friday.

Earlier Friday, O'Neill told the "Dan Patrick Show" that I'll Have Another was out, citing swelling in one of the horse's legs.

“I’ll Have Another is officially out of the Belmont," O'Neill told the radio show. "He galloped great yesterday, and in the afternoon he had a little bit of swelling in his left front leg.

“This morning, he looked perfect. I took him out and I just did a little something with him. After training, that swelling came back.

"I had the vet come over. He scanned his left front leg. He’s got the start of tendinitis going on in that front leg, so he’s not 100%. And we ain’t taking any chances."

O'Neill told the show that he didn't know how the horse became injured.

“Pulling him out, it’s not tragic, but it’s a huge disappointment. (I’m) just so disappointed for the horse, obviously, and … the whole team.

News of the withdrawal comes after O'Neill sent the horse out to the Belmont Park track for earlier-than-usual training Friday morning - jogging a half-mile and galloping a mile, starting at 5:30 a.m., according to a New York Racing Association story on the Belmont Stakes website.

Before the withdrawal, the horse's owner, Paul Reddam, told CNN on Friday morning that preparations were going well.

Had the horse won the Belmont, it would have been the first Triple Crown winner since 1978, when Affirmed won the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.

I'll Have Another won the first two races this year, but wasn't the favorite for either. Before Friday's withdrawal, oddsmakers said the horse was favored to win the Belmont at odds of 4-5, according to the New York Racing Association.

Since 1990, only seven horses have won the first two legs of the title.

I'll Have Another was "lightly raced" and only competed in two prep races leading up to the Kentucky Derby, which happened in May. The horse competed in the shadow of Bodemeister, which was predicted to win the Kentucky Derby.

High stakes, long race at Triple Crown's Belmont

The time leading up to the Belmont Stakes has not been without controversy. A workers strike at Belmont Park was averted this week.

The racetrack's workers, who manage the grounds and put the horses in the gate, have been involved in a contract dispute with the New York Racing Association over wages and health care since 2010.

Also, I'll Have Another's trainer is to begin a 45-day suspension, handed down by the California horse-racing authorities, on July 1.

O'Neill was found responsible for high carbon dioxide levels in 2010 California Del Mar track racer Argenta's blood. However, he was not found guilty of "intentional acts" or any sign that betting was skewed toward Argenta in the race.

Despite that, O'Neill still was able to participate in the Stakes this weekend.

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