Weekend: April 18 – 20

Tune in at 4 am ET
October 30th, 2013
05:49 AM ET

Witness: Macneill Told Me He Never Loved His Wife

Former Utah doctor Martin MacNeill made a startling confession about his love for his wife after popping the question to his mistress Gypsy Willis in July 2007, according to his Willis' mother, who testified in MacNeill's murder trial Tuesday, CNN's Jean Casarez reports.

"He said to me that he had never loved Michele. And then he amended that to say, ‘Well I did, I loved her as a sister but I did not love her the way I love Gypsy,'" Vicki Willis testified.

Martin MacNeill’s wife, Michele, was found lifeless in the family's bathtub on April 11, 2007. MacNeill has pleaded not guilty in her death and his attorneys say she died of natural causes.

Tuesday marked the seventh day of testimony in MacNeill’s murder trial in Provo, Utah. Jurors also heard from MacNeill’s youngest daughter, Ada. She did not take the stand, but an interview she gave in 2008 was played for the jury.

Ada MacNeill was 7 at the time of the interview and answered many of the questions about her family’s home in Utah with, “I don’t want to talk about it.” She finally opened up about the morning she found her mother’s body in the bathtub, saying the water was almost “brown” and that her mother was “all the way” in the bathtub.

Posted by
Filed under: Martin MacNeill trial
October 30th, 2013
05:30 AM ET

Sebelius On The Hot Seat For Obamacare Website

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is just hours from entering the lion's den.

At 9 a.m. ET, Sebelius will face off with House Republicans who've been calling for her head over the botched Obamacare rollout, CNN's Brianna Keilar reports.

According to a confidential report obtained by CNN, this hearing comes after the Obama administration was given stark warnings just one month before the healthcare.gov launch that the federal healthcare site was not ready to go live.

At the hearing, Sebelius is expected to point a finger at some of the private contractors her agency hired.

Last week those very contractors pointed the finger at HHS.

Posted by
Filed under: Obamacare
October 29th, 2013
06:07 AM ET

NSA Spying: What Did Obama Know, And When Did He Find Out?

When it comes to leadership and personal responsibility, President Barack Obama has made his stance very clear: "The buck stops with me."

It's a phrase he's echoed countless times in the past. But now, he's dealing with an accountability double-whammy - fallout from the botched Obamacare website and global fury over the wiretapping of some allied leaders' conversations.

So what all did the President know, and when did he find out? Depends on who you ask.

Some U.S. officials have said that Obama didn't know about problems with the health care enrollment site before it launched and that he only recently learned about a National Security Agency operation that wiretapped German Chancellor Angela Merkel's phone for a decade.

"It is my understanding that President Obama was not aware Chancellor Merkel's communications were being collected since 2002," Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein said. "That is a big problem."

But other officials said Obama - or at least his White House staff - did know about it.

Questions about what the President knew and when he knew it have important implications, analysts say. If Obama was aware, that could mean he isn't being clear with the American public now. And if he wasn't aware, that could mean his own staff kept him in the dark.

Posted by ,
Filed under: NSA spying • Obamacare
October 29th, 2013
05:58 AM ET

Hurricane Sandy: One Year Later

The boardwalk and amusement park in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, were destroyed by Superstorm Sandy on October 31, 2012. CNN's Indra Petersons reports from the area this morning, one year after the storm.

Sandy

Here is an animation that shows how huge Sandy was compared to Hurricane Irene, which happened the year before.

Sandy animation

Posted by
Filed under: Hurricane Sandy • Sandy Anniversary
October 29th, 2013
05:55 AM ET

2 of 4 Oklahoma Jail Shower Escapees Captured, Sheriff Says

Two of the four inmates who escaped through the ceiling in the shower of the Caddo County Jail in Anadarko, Oklahoma, this weekend have been captured, Caddo County Sheriff Gene Cain told CNN Monday.

The two men, Dylan Ray Three Irons, 21, and Prime Brown, 23, were taken into custody in Chickasha, Oklahoma, the sheriff said, less than 20 miles away from the jail.

The men were spotted by Grady County District Attorney investigators as they were walking to a convenience store. Both men "appeared very wet and dirty," according to the Grady County Sheriff's Office.

The four inmates made a clean getaway Sunday after prying open a maintenance hatch in their shower - the first escape from the 2-year-old Caddo County jail, Cain said.

They broke a lock on the hatch above the shower head, Cain told CNN affiliate KFOR-TV, and then moved through a crawl space until they reached a wall, where they knocked out cement block or two. That got them to an unlocked door outside the jail area, Cain explained.

For more, visit CNN.com.

Posted by
Filed under: Oklahoma escaped prisoners
October 28th, 2013
05:59 AM ET

Report: White House Stopped Phone Tapping of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Other Foreign Leaders This Summer

Germany is sending senior intelligence officials to Washington, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Saturday, amid outrage over claims the U.S. National Security Agency monitored German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone.

Among them will be the heads of Germany's foreign and domestic intelligence services and the coordinator of the federal intelligence services, the government's press office said.

The trip comes amid a series of reports that have challenged relations between the two long-time allies. The latest is a story in the German magazine Der Spiegel that - citing a secret U.S. intelligence file - claimed Merkel's phone had been monitored for more than 10 years, stretching back before her current post.

The same database indicated the United States was spying on many others in Berlin's political district, at least up to when U.S. President Barack Obama visited Berlin this year, Der Spiegel reported.

Asked about these claims, U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said her agency does not "comment publicly on every specific intelligence activity."

"And, as a matter of policy, we have made clear that the United States gathers foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations," said Hayden, echoing comments she and others have made in recent days.

Still, it remains to be seen if citizens and leaders in Europe will accept such explanations - and whether recent efforts by the Obama administration to address their concerns will be successful.

Posted by ,
Filed under: NSA
October 28th, 2013
05:59 AM ET

Rock Legend Lou Reed Dies At 71

Lou Reed, who took rock 'n' roll into dark corners as a songwriter, vocalist and guitarist for the Velvet Underground and as a solo artist, died Sunday, his publicist said. He was 71.

The publicist, Peter Noble, confirmed Reed's death but released no details. Reed had undergone a liver transplant in May, his wife, the musician/performance artist Laurie Anderson, disclosed over the summer.

Reed was a rock pioneer who went from record label songwriter to a member of the short-lived but innovative and influential Velvet Underground. The band and Reed's solo work tackled taboo topics like drug addiction, paranoia and sexual deviancy in songs that were largely spare, muscular and often saturated in feedback.

"Lou Reed's influence is one that there are really only a tiny handful of other figures who you can compare to him," said Simon Vozick-Levinson, a senior editor at Rolling Stone.

"He spoke incredibly frankly about the realities of being an artist, being a person who lived life on one's own terms. He didn't prettify things. He didn't sugarcoat things. He showed life as it really is and that's something that made him a true original, and one of our great all-time artists," he said.

Reed, violist/keyboard player John Cale, guitarist Sterling Morrison and drummer Maureen Tucker played their first show as the Velvet Underground in 1965 and soon drew the attention of pop artist Andy Warhol, who became their manager. Rock mythology has it that even though the group sold few albums, everyone who bought one started a band.

Posted by ,
Filed under: Lou Reed
October 28th, 2013
05:57 AM ET

Oklahoma Prison Break

Authorities in Oklahoma are searching for four men who escaped from prison out of a shower room.

Dylan Ray Three Irons, Prime Brown, Anthony Mendonca and Triston Cheadle. The men were convicted on drug, burglary and weapons charges and escaped from the Caddo County Detention Center, about 70 miles southwest of Oklahoma City.

The inmates were able to break a lock and enter a trap door above the shower early Sunday morning and made their way to freedom through a tiny crawl space beneath the roof.

Four orange prison jumpsuits have been found discarded a few blocks from the prison and neighbors are trying not to panic.

Posted by
Filed under: Oklahoma prison break
October 25th, 2013
05:59 AM ET

Through Tears, Daughter Testifies Against MacNeill

Former Utah doctor Martin MacNeill had to face his oldest daughter Thursday as she cried and visibly trembled for much of her testimony against him, the man she said she once called her best friend.

Rachel MacNeill told jurors that her father moved his mistress into the family’s home within two weeks of her mother’s funeral. She also said that, in the hours after her mother, Michele MacNeill, died, her father was adamant about showing her how he found the body.

“He said that my mother was under the water. He said that her head - that she was under the water, feet sticking out,” Rachel MacNeill said, stepping down from the witness stand and hunching over the bathtub prosecutors had hauled in the Provo, Utah, courtroom. It’s not the actual tub from the family’s home that Michele MacNeill was found in, but it's the same make and model.

On cross-examination, defense attorney Susanne Gustin pulled out a medical record stating that Rachel MacNeill suffered from "delusions and psychosis" in August 2012, and when questioned, MacNeill admitted she has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

The way Rachel MacNeill said her father described the position of her mother's body in the tub conflicts with the testimony of other witnesses. Several neighbors who saw Michele MacNeill the morning of her death said she was on her back and slumped down inside the tub, not slumped over the side with her head under water in the manner Rachel MacNeill said her father depicted.

Martin MacNeill has pleaded not guilty to murder and obstruction of justice in the death of his wife, who had a powerful cocktail of drugs in her system on April 11, 2007, following face-lift surgery. His attorneys say Michele MacNeill died of natural causes, but prosecutors accuse Martin MacNeill of murdering her in order to be with his mistress, Gypsy Willis.

SEE FULL STORY 

Posted by
Filed under: MacNeill Murder
October 25th, 2013
05:58 AM ET

What We Learned — And Didn't - From Obamacare Website Hearing

The congressional hearing lasted for 4½ hours. Of the thousands of words spoken between what seemed like all 54 members on the House committee roster and four witnesses representing government contractors responsible for healthcare.gov, five things could be taken away.

No answers to key questions

How many error logs did you receive? How many people have been able to enroll? When will it be fixed? Those are three major questions lawmakers asked. Reasonable, especially since those questions would provide insight about the scope of the problem. But those are the questions that the witnesses did not answer.

"I don't have that information," or, "I don't have that (data) with me" or "I'm not able to provide that information" were the responses.

Witnesses told lawmakers on the Energy and Commerce Committee they would provide that information by 9 a.m. Friday. If not, perhaps next week's hearing on the website woes will provide clarity to some of those questions.

SEE FULL STORY 

Posted by
Filed under: Obamacare
« older posts