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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 7th, 2014
05:47 AM ET

A Worried World Watches as Ebola Death Toll Rises; Liberia Declares Emergency

A nurse in Nigeria. A businessman in Saudi Arabia. A Spanish priest in Liberia.

With the World Health Organization announcing Wednesday that 932 deaths had been reported or confirmed as a result of Ebola hemorrhagic fever, Saudi Arabia joined the list of countries with suspected cases.

"This is the biggest and most complex Ebola outbreak in history," Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said.

Nearly all of those deaths have been in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, where more than 1,700 cases have been reported, according to WHO. The agency said 108 new cases were reported between Saturday and Monday in those countries and Nigeria.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has declared a state of emergency for 90 days because of the deadly outbreak, her office announced Wednesday.

"The scope and scale of the epidemic, the virulence and deadliness of the virus now exceed the capacity and statutory responsibility of any one government agency or ministry," she said in a written statement. "The government and people of Liberia require extraordinary measures for the very survival of our state and for the protection of the lives of our people."

She said Ebola is a "clear and present danger."

Concerns about the spread of the deadly virus escalated with Saudi Arabia reporting that a man died, apparently of the virus, after a trip to Sierra Leone, and Nigeria reported that a nurse died after treating someone believed to have contracted Ebola in Liberia.

WHO did not immediately confirm the deaths, and its count of Ebola cases does not include the two.

The Saudi man died Wednesday at a specialized hospital in Jeddah, the Saudi Ministry of Health said.

He had been in intensive care since late Monday "after exhibiting symptoms of viral hemorrhagic fever following a business trip to Sierra Leone," the ministry said in a statement.

The nurse in Nigeria had helped care for Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian-American man, who died in Nigeria after traveling there from Liberia, Nigeria's Ministry of Health said Wednesday.

See more on this developing story on CNN.com

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Filed under: Ebola
July 30th, 2014
06:21 AM ET

Poll: Most Israelis Don't Want a Cease-Fire

While the vast majority of casualties are Palestinians in Gaza, Israel continues to ward off rocket attacks from Gaza with its Iron Dome missile defense system. Israeli officials say they are committed to destroying tunnels used by Palestinian militants in Gaza to make their way into Israel.

A poll released this week showed 86.5% of Jewish Israelis surveyed say Israel cannot accept a cease-fire because "Hamas continues firing missiles on Israel, not all the tunnels have been found, and Hamas has not surrendered," according to the Jerusalem Post.

But Israel's incursion into Gaza has had ripple effects around the world. Chile, Peru, Brazil and Ecuador have pulled their ambassadors out of Tel Aviv to protest the Israeli offensive.

It's unclear how many in Gaza want militants to stop rocket attacks.

Last month, a poll by the Washington Institute for Near East policy found most Palestinians in Gaza oppose a two-state solution and want to work toward a five-year goal of abolishing Israel. But the majority said they support nonviolent methods of "popular resistance."

Most Israelis support a two-state solution, according to a poll by the Dialog Institute, Haaretz reported.

See the latest on this story on CNN.com

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Filed under: Gaza • Israel
July 24th, 2014
04:58 AM ET

After Day of Tributes, More Remains of MH17 Victims to Arrive in Netherlands

A week after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over war-torn eastern Ukraine, dozens more coffins containing remains of victims of the crash were due to arrive in the Netherlands on Thursday.

They will follow the first 40 wooden caskets, which were flown in Wednesday and greeted by somber, moving tributes across the country.

A lone bugler sounding the traditional military farewell "Last Post" marked their arrival at a military base in Eindhoven.

The grieving nation then held a moment of silence to honor those killed in the crash of the jetliner - caught in a war in which they had no part.

The plane was downed last week by a suspected surface-to-air missile over eastern Ukraine, where groups of pro-Russian rebels are battling Ukrainian government forces.

In a reminder of the ongoing bitter conflict, rebels claimed responsibility for shooting down two Ukrainian military jets on Wednesday. The rebels have denied that they brought down Flight 17.

MORE on CNN.com

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Filed under: MH17 • Netherlands • Ukraine
July 23rd, 2014
05:24 AM ET

MH17 Crash: First Set of Bodies En Route to the Netherlands

After spending days exposed to the elements on a Ukrainian field and then inside refrigerated train cars, the first group of victims from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 are one step closer to home.

The first plane carrying the remains of some victims are expected to arrive in the Dutch city of Eindhoven on Wednesday.

The arrival will mark a homecoming for many of the victims. Most of the 298 people on board the plane were from the Netherlands, which has declared Wednesday a national day of mourning.

Dutch royals, government officials and families of the passengers will be at the tarmac when the remains arrive. After a solemn ceremony, the bodies will be taken to a military facility for forensic testing.

But Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said it could take weeks or even months to identify the remains.

Follow this developing story on CNN.com

July 22nd, 2014
05:13 AM ET

Train Carrying Bodies of MH17 Victims Heads Across Ukraine

A train carrying 282 bodies from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 arrived in Kharkiv, Ukraine, getting the bodies one step closer to their grieving families around the world.

The train arrived at a rail station and continued on to an undisclosed location. The bodies will eventually be taken to the Netherlands.

But a litany of obstacles remain - not just in handling the remains, but in figuring out how and why MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine.

See more on this developing story on CNN.com.

June 24th, 2014
04:43 AM ET

Iraq, Militants Fight for Oil Refinery

The sprawling offensive by militants in Iraq has now reached the country's largest oil refinery - but it's unclear who has control over the strategic target.

On Tuesday morning, the state-run Iraqiya news agency said Iraqi security forces still control the Baiji oil refinery.

The report also said Iraqi special forces have killed the militant leader who led the attacks against the refinery and goes by the name of " Abu Qutada."

But hours earlier, militant fighters believed to be from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) seized the refinery, several Iraqi security sources told CNN.

CNN cannot independently confirm either claim.

The Baiji refinery, in the northern Salaheddin province, is a crucial resource because it refines much of the fuel needed for domestic consumption. Long lines have already formed at many gas stations across the country.

MORE on CNN.com

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Filed under: Iraq
June 23rd, 2014
04:34 AM ET

John Kerry Arrives in Iraq as More Cities Fall

As radical Sunni militants snatch city after city in their march to Baghdad, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Iraq on Monday during the country's tensest time since the U.S. withdrawal of troops.

He'll meet with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, the man some say needs to step down.

With al-Maliki's Shiite-led government losing more ground to militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Kerry has implored the leader to rise above "sectarian motivations" to become more inclusive and more representative of its population.

Kerry will also meet with Iraq's foreign minister as well as both Shiite and Sunni leaders.

His trip will "emphasize our highest-level commitment to Iraq during this time of crisis," a State Department official said.

Kerry will also speak with key leaders about forming a new government "in line with the constitutional timeline that they're on."

But outside the rooms of high-level talks, parts of Iraq are falling by the day.

See the latest on the crisis that is spilling far beyond Iraq's borders from CNN.com.

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Filed under: Iraq • John Kerry
June 16th, 2014
04:32 AM ET

Iraq Crisis Pulls in U.S. and Iran as Violent Militants Capture More Cities

One by one, Iraqi cities seem to be falling to a militant group bent on continuing its march forward.

What's happening in Iraq now has all the makings of a civil war - and a full-blown foreign policy crisis. The United States is mulling direct talks with Iran while it boosts security at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad with military personnel.

Why Iran? In recent days, Iran has sent hundreds of troops to fight alongside Iraqi government security forces in Diyala province, a senior security official in Baghdad told CNN.

Clearly, the crisis in Iraq is spilling far beyond its borders. Here's the latest:

Iraq's military strikes back at ISIS

After days of violent advances by the militant group ISIS, the Iraqi air force killed more than 200 militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Iraqi state TV reported Monday.

The air raids against ISIS took place in Saqlawiya, northwest of Falluja, according to state TV.

ISIS has been fighting to take control of Iraq, seizing cities across the country.

Iran enters the mix

In recent days, Iran has sent about 500 Iranian Revolutionary Guard troops to fight alongside Iraqi government security forces in Iraq's Diyala province, according to a senior security official in Baghdad who spoke to CNN on Friday.

But Iranian President Hassan Rouhani denied reports that some of Iran's elite forces are in Iraq to help bolster Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a fellow Shiite.

"If the Iraqi government wants us to help, we will consider it," Rouhani said, according to an English translation of his remarks Saturday on state-run Press TV.

But "so far they have not asked specifically for help." Rouhani added that Iran could give strategic guidance if requested.

The Obama administration is exploring possible direct talks with Iran over the deteriorating situation in Iraq, two senior U.S. officials told CNN.

Both officials ruled out any type of teaming up with Iran because the United States and Iran don't have a lot of common interests - other than a stable Iraq.

The United States is wary of furthering Iran's already considerable influence in Iraq. The Shiite Iranian regime is al-Malaki's closest ally in the region. And the Obama administration is concerned appearing to team up with Iran would both alienate Iraq's Sunni majority and worry Sunni allies of the United States in the region.

MORE on CNN.com

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Filed under: Iran • Iraq • Syria
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