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August 28th, 2014
03:59 AM ET

Official: Russian Forces Back Separatists With Tanks in Eastern Ukraine

Separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, backed by Russian tanks and armored personnel carriers, battled government forces on two fronts Thursday, a Ukrainian military official said.

The fighting was taking place southeast of Donetsk, and along the nation's southern coast in the town of Novoazovsk, about 12 miles (20 km) from the Russian border, according to Mykhailo Lysenko, the deputy commander of the Ukrainian Donbas battalion.

"This is a full-scale invasion," Lysenko said, referring to the fighting in the south.

A day earlier, Ukraine's National Defense and Security Council told reporters that Russian forces were directing massive artillery fire over the border at Novoazovsk.

Russian forces and pro-Russia rebels have seized villages around the town, the NSDC said.

The NDSC also claimed that members of a Russian tactical battalion were present in the village of Pobeda, in Ukraine's Luhansk region.

"If these troops got lost and accidentally found themselves in Ukraine as well, they should go back East," the update said.

See more on CNN.com

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Winners of the 2014 Emmys
August 26th, 2014
04:01 AM ET

'Breaking Bad' Strikes Emmy Gold

"Breaking Bad" is in blue heaven.

The AMC series - about a chemistry teacher-turned-drug lord who rides powerful methamphetamine called "Blue" to wealth and pain - concluded its triumphant run last year as one of the most-lauded TV series of all time: the story of "Mr. Chips turning into Scarface," as creator Vince Gilligan liked to describe it. On Monday, the show received one more set of honors: a slew of nods at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards, including the Emmy for outstanding drama series.

The show won six Emmys total, second only to "Sherlock: His Last Vow's" seven among all programs.

Quick read: Full list of winners

There was some tough competition this year, notably from "True Detective," the moody HBO detective series starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.

Bryan Cranston won the lead actor Emmy for his performance as meth king Walter White, beating out the Oscar-winning McConaughey, who was the subject of laudatory and humorous remarks all night long.

"Even I thought about voting for Matthew," joked Cranston, and then turned serious.

"My own family nicknamed me Sneaky Pete," he said, noting he didn't expect he'd find his niche. And then he found acting.

He dedicated the Emmy to "all the Sneaky Petes of the world. ... Take a chance, take a risk. It's really worth it."

Aaron Paul got his third win for playing Jesse Pinkman, White's sometimes undependable right hand.

"I've learned so much, on screen and off," he said to Cranston, sitting in the audience.

And Anna Gunn won for outstanding supporting actress for her performance as White's wife. She also won last year.

Show writer Moira Walley-Beckett also won.

"Detective" wasn't completely shut out. It won four technical awards at the Creative Arts Emmys on August 16 and another one on the telecast, the latter for director Cary Joji Fukunaga.

See more on the awards HERE

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Filed under: Breaking Bad • Emmys
August 25th, 2014
05:40 AM ET

California Earthquake Damages Historic Buildings

In the heart of Northern California's wine country, piles of stemware lay shattered on the ground.

Building facades in historic downtown Napa crumbled into the streets.

And residents who enjoyed decades of calm were harshly reminded that intense quakes can strike anytime.

"I was in shock to see people's homes and offices on the floor," Napa resident Elise Martinez said. "This is life-changing."

But even as the Bay Area tries to clean up from its strongest earthquake in 25 years, the tremor could have been much worse.

No one was killed in the 6.0-magnitude earthquake that jostled residents awake early Sunday morning, though more than 100 people were injured.

And while 70,000 customers lost power after the quake, that number dwindled 2,200 by Monday morning, electric company PG&E said.

See the latest on CNN.com

August 22nd, 2014
05:48 AM ET

Pentagon Chief: ISIS 'Beyond Anything we Have Seen'

America's top defense officials left open the possibility of targeting fighters with the so-called Islamic State in Syria, saying during a news briefing Thursday it was not enough to just hit the extremist group in Iraq.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stopped short of calling for U.S. military action in eastern Syria, an ISIS stronghold.

"Can they be defeated without addressing that part of the organization that resides in Syria? The answer is no," Dempsey said during the briefing at the Pentagon.

Repeatedly pushed by reporters about whether that meant operations against ISIS in Syria, Hagel said, "We're looking at all options."

While it's unclear what those options may be, Hagel said the United States is "very clear-eyed" about ISIS.

"They are beyond just a terrorist group. They marry ideology, a sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess," Hagel said.

"...This is beyond anything we have seen, and we must prepare for everything. And the only way you do that is that you take a cold, steely hard look at it and get ready."

See more on this developing story on CNN.com

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Filed under: Chuck Hagel • ISIS
August 20th, 2014
06:11 AM ET

ISIS Beheads American: James Foley Remembered as 'Brave and Tireless' Journalist

When war reporter James Foley wasn't writing for GlobalPost or recording video for AFP or appearing on the PBS "NewsHour," he occasionally shared stories on his own blog, aptly titled "A World of Troubles."

For a subtitle, he chose the famous Carl von Clausewitz sentence "War is fought by human beings."

And that is exactly what Foley sought to show with his reporting: humanity amid the horror of war.

Foley was abducted while on a reporting trip in northern Syria in November 2012. He was never heard from again.

A video published Tuesday by the extremist group ISIS showed Foley being beheaded. It is not known when or where the video was recorded.

For Foley's family and friends, the recording was the answer they hoped they'd never hear to their questions about his disappearance.

"We have never been prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people," his mother, Diane, said Tuesday night,

She called him "an extraordinary son, brother, journalist and person."

See more on this story on CNN.com

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August 19th, 2014
04:33 AM ET

Tear Gas, Gunfire Fly in Ferguson Again

An evening of peaceful protests devolved into another night of chaos as gunfire, tear gas and Molotov cocktails flew through Ferguson, Missouri.

At least 31 people were arrested, some of whom came from as far away as New York and California, said Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson said.

For almost two hours, police in riot gear formed a barricade and stood watch as hundreds of peaceful protesters marched in a single-file line that stretched so long that different parts chanted different slogans.

"Hands up, don't shoot," some repeated. "No justice, no peace," others said. Still others were singing church hymns.

But the scene quickly deteriorated after a handful of protesters threw rocks, bottles and Molotov cocktails at police. Officers responded by firing stun grenades and tear gas canisters.

Amid the frenzy, the sounds of gunfire rang out from different parts of the city. Two people were shot within the protest site, Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson said.

One group of protesters made a barricade with portable toilets and orange cones. Some ripped out street signs, including the symbolic "Do Not Enter" sign.

Armored vehicles rolled down the streets with officers perched atop, their hands steadied on guns. Other officers darted into the protest crowd to make an occasional arrest before retreating.

Johnson, who was asked by Missouri's governor to try to keep order in Ferguson, said police are still trying to use a peaceful approach.

"For the most part it works," he said. "But tonight we had gunfire occur. Officers were taking shots at their vehicles."

He urged demonstrators to protest during the daylight hours Tuesday and not after dark.

"Make your voices heard where you can be seen and you're not the cover for violent agitators," he said.

MORE on CNN.com

August 18th, 2014
05:51 AM ET

Michael Brown Death: Missouri National Guard Headed to Ferguson

The chaos in Ferguson has gotten so unruly that Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon signed an executive order deploying National Guard troops to the St. Louis suburb.

"Given these deliberate, coordinated and intensifying violent attacks on lives and property in Ferguson, I am directing the highly capable men and women of the Missouri National Guard ... in restoring peace and order to this community," Nixon said in a statement.

Gunfire, tear gas and Molotov cocktails Sunday night marked some of the fiercest clashes yet between police and protesters furious over the death of an unarmed teenager.

And the tensions continued escalating after autopsy results revealed 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot six times.

See more on this developing story on CNN.com

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Filed under: Ferguson • Michael Brown
August 15th, 2014
06:25 AM ET

Ukrainian Border Guards Inspecting Convoy of Trucks in Russia

Ukrainian border guards are in Russia and have started to examine the contents of a huge convoy of trucks that Moscow says is carrying relief goods for civilians in war-torn eastern Ukraine, a border guard official said Friday.

The purpose of the procession of trucks, which abruptly changed course earlier this week, has been the subject of dispute between Russia and Ukraine.

The Ukrainian government has expressed fears that the mission is a camouflaged effort to smuggle supplies to pro-Russian rebels and has vowed to keep the convoy out.

Russia insists that it should be permitted to send aid to the conflict-battered region, many of whose residents are Russian speakers.

The Ukrainian government, whose forces have been fighting the pro-Russian rebel groups for months, has said any aid needs its approval and has to go through the Red Cross or the United Nations.

Serhay Astahov, a spokesman for the the Ukrainian border guard service, told CNN on Friday that border guards had started inspecting the trucks at a checkpoint on the Russian side of the border from Ukraine's Luhansk region.

See more on CNN.com

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Filed under: Russia • Ukraine
August 14th, 2014
04:14 AM ET

Teen Runaway Hides Out in Texas Walmart for Days

There in the baby section, behind boxes of strollers, was a 14-year-old boy with a secret.

The runaway had made the 24-hour Walmart in Corsicana, Texas, his getaway hideout.

For what may have been more than two days in July, he roamed the store unnoticed. When he was tired, he'd lay down in his hidden cubby and sleep while shoppers were unaware the runaway was back there.

Police had been looking for the boy, who was visiting his aunt in the town about an hour's drive south of Dallas, for 54 hours when they got a call from a Walmart. An employee had spotted the lad on the lam coming out of his hiding place.

Walmart spokesman Brian Nick told CNN the chain cannot verify how long the boy was in the store but said this is definitely an isolated incident.

"It seems to be a unique situation, for sure," he said.

Nick said Walmart hasn't asked for police to press charges.

"Our concern was getting the child to safety," he added.

See more on CNN.com

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August 13th, 2014
04:22 AM ET

Famed Actress Lauren Bacall Dies at 89

Actress Lauren Bacall, the husky-voiced Hollywood icon known for her sultry sensuality, died Tuesday. She was 89.

Robbert de Klerk, co-managing partner of the Humphrey Bogart Estate, said Bacall died in New York.

She was anointed a legend during her lifetime by the American Film Institute, but she wasn't fond of that, she told CNN's Larry King in an interview in 2005.

"I don't like the category. And to begin with, to me, a legend is something that is not on the Earth, that is dead," she said.

Legends were part of the past, and Bacall preferred the present.

See more on CNN.com

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