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August 15th, 2013
12:09 PM ET

Should 3-Yr.-Old be with Biological Father or Adoptive Parents?

A resolution maybe in the works for a bitter custody battle over a three-year-old that has spread from Oklahoma to South Carolina and back again.

Melanie and Matt Capobianco adopted and raised baby Veronica for two years, before losing her over in a bitter custody dispute. Wednesday, they arrived in Oklahoma to try to regain custody.

"As soon as we arrived, we requested a visit with our daughter,” Melanie Capobianco said. “As a mother, my heart broke when our request was denied.”

"It's time for this to be over,” Matt Capobianco said. “With each passing day we lose another day with our daughter.”

Four years ago, Veronica's biological father Dusten Brown waived his parental rights.

“A member of the Cherokee nation, Brown later changed his mind, arguing federal law protects Native American children from being separated from their families,” reports CNN’s Zoraida Sambolin.

He was awarded custody in December 2011, but the case didn’t end there.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Capobiancos and South Carolina ordered the baby be handed back to them.

Even Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin weighed in via Twitter Wednesday, saying “Mr. and Mrs. Capobianco deserve an opportunity to meet with their adopted daughter.”

Another tweet read, “They also deserve the chance to meet with Mr. Brown and put an end to this conflict."After failing to show up to a court appearance Monday, Brown turned himself in to Oklahoma authorities.

“He was freed on $10,000 bond, but he still faces an extradition order to South Carolina,” Sambolin reports, “an order the Oklahoma governor promises to expedite if Brown fails to cooperate.”

Brown’s attorney told CNN, at his client’s request, and Governor Fallin's suggestion, that he reached to the Capobiancos’ representative to discuss a resolution with in the best interest of baby Veronica, including an offer to meet personally with the adoptive parents.

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Filed under: Adoption • Children • Parenting
August 15th, 2013
11:31 AM ET

UPS Plane Goes Down in Alabama Field

Residents in Alabama witnessed a deadly crash early yesterday when a UPS cargo jet flying out of Louisville, Kentucky slammed to the ground near Birmingham's airport. 

Both pilots on board were killed, and many who live near the scene say they are counting their blessings it wasn't much worse.

“The broken and burnt wreckage of the A-300 cargo plane sits in an open field a half mile from a neighborhood,” reports CNN’s David Mattingly.

“Nearby broken trees and power lines show how close the jet came to killing people in their homes.”

Pieces of the plane littered witness Barbara Benson’s yard.

“I'm thankful that it did not kill us,” says Benson, “because that's dangerous.”

The flight was uneventful until its final seconds, approaching the airport in Birmingham, when people awoke to what one woman says sounded like sputtering over their rooftops.

“Seconds later, fire and explosions,” Mattingly reports.

“Federal crash investigators are only beginning to find answers, a mystery compounded by an absence of critical communication."

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Filed under: Plane Crash
August 14th, 2013
08:49 AM ET

NYC Candidates Debate as Weiner Tries to Regain Footing

It wasn't that long ago that Anthony Weiner was leading the field to be New York City's next mayor.

The embattled politician’s record actually held with voters for good measure—until the latest revelations about sexting he admitted to engaging in, long after he left Congress for the same behavior.

So when he and his fellow candidates met to discuss the race on TV, it was no surprise that Weiner’s past came into fold.

The democratic candidates for New York City mayor faced off in their first televised debate with “Anthony Weiner apologizing once again for his latest sexting indiscretions,” reports CNN’s Rosa Flores.

“I've made mistakes, embarrassed myself and have hurt my family,” Weiner said.

“In recent weeks, the scandal-plagued candidate has gone from first to fourth place,” Flores says. “His support plummeting from 26% before the latest sexting admission, to 10% in a new Quinnipiac University poll.”

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Filed under: Debate • NYC Mayoral Race
August 14th, 2013
08:00 AM ET

Violence in Cairo as Police Try to Break up Sit-Ins

A promised crackdown operation on protesters in Cairo this morning turned violent.

Police moved in on the two sit-ins around dawn, firing warning shots in the air and demanding the supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsy leave.

But they refused to go. Now, after hours of fighting, Egyptian officials say at least one demonstration camp has been cleared.

“This place looks like a warzone,” CNN’s Reza Sayah reports from East Cairo, in the midst of the main sit-in that’s been underway for more than six weeks.

There are conflicting claims over just how many people were killed and injured.

The Muslim Brotherhood says hundreds are dead. Egyptian officials say only sixwere killed, dozens more injured.

“It’s not clear who’s doing the shooting,” Sayah says. “It’s a highly charged atmosphere, a lot of people emotional.”

Sayah says protesters are defiant, telling him they are not leaving, "and we are prepared to die."

Stay tuned for live updates on CNN and follow along at CNN.com for developments.

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Filed under: Crisis • Egypt • Protests • World
August 13th, 2013
09:41 AM ET

Biological Father Won't Give Daughter to Adoptive Parents

In an adoption battle spanning nearly 4 years, the adoptive parents of three-year-old Veronica are demanding her biological father return their child to them as ordered by the Supreme Court.

But the father, Dusten Brown, is refusing and has now been arrested. Now Veronica’s legally adoptive parents Matt and Melanie Capobianco want answers.

"We prayed the courts would do the right thing and they did,” Melanie Capobianco told the press. “Now we pray that those who are holding Veronica will do the right thing."

The Capobiancos adopted the little girl in 2009. “They raised Veronica for two years before a court forced them to return to her biological father,” reports “Early Start” Anchor Zoraida Sambolin.

“Brown had initially waived his parental rights during the adoption proceedings, but later changed his mind, and filed suit using a little known federal law that protects Native American children from being separated from their families,” Sambolin explains. “Brown is part Cherokee.”

When the case reached the Supreme Court in June, however, justices ruled that “the federal law does not apply in this case since Brown waived his parental rights," Sambolin reports.

Brown, who was charged with failing to show up last week to a court hearing which was meant to ease Veronica back into the home of the Capobiancos, turned himself in on Monday.

“The Capobiancos say they how understand how Brown feels, but they urge him to do the right thing and return Veronica,” Sambolin says.

Veronica’s location is still undisclosed. Brown’s wife Robin says she is safe and with her grandparents.

“Brown wants the case brought back to Oklahoma, the state where Veronica was born and where she has been living,” Sambolin reports.

“The Capobiancos just want Veronica back in their home in South Carolina.”

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Filed under: Adoption • Custody battle
August 13th, 2013
08:33 AM ET

Hannah Anderson Returns to Heal in California

Sixteen-year-old Hannah Anderson is home safe and sound this morning, more than one week after being abducted by a close family friend, but her horrible ordeal is far from over.

“Hannah is just learning that her mother and 8-year-old brother were murdered—their bodies found in the burning home of abductor James Lee DiMaggio in East of San Diego on august 4th,” reports CNN’s Miguel Marquez.

“She was found 1,000 miles from DiMaggios home.”

According to authorities, DiMaggio had a rifle when FBI reached a remote location in Idaho where he held Hannah “under durress”, and was gunned down by the FBI.

The tip to the location came from a group of horseback riders who encountered the pair in the backcountry and later recognized the teen from an Amber Alert.

Marquez reports, “Now that Hannah is back, her father says, the family needs to heal and grieve.”

CNN EXTRA: Watch the "New Day" interview with the horseback riders who provided authorities with the critical tip leading to Hannah's rescue.

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Filed under: Amber alert • Kidnapping
August 12th, 2013
08:20 AM ET

Daring Rescue of Missing Teen, Alleged Captor Shot Dead

The search for a teenage girl missing for days ended with a daring rescue and the killing of her apparent captor in the Idaho wilderness over the weekend.

Sixteen-year-old Hannah Anderson is recuperating this morning after her harrowing experience.

“She's secluded in a government facility—her father now with her, an FBI victim specialist helping her cope with the devastating loss of her mother Christina, her brother Ethan and a terrifying week on the run with her captor James DiMaggio,” CNN’s Miguel Marquez reports.

Two couples on horseback in Idaho's backcountry provided authorities with critical tips after their strange encounter with Anderson and DiMaggio.

“They showed up at the lake and there was just like a square peg going into a round hole,” one rider said. “They didn't fit. He might have been an outdoorsman in California, but he was not an outdoorsman in Idaho and he didn't fit.”

DiMaggio also told the four on horseback he was headed for the Salmon River. “They didn't say it but they knew he was going in the wrong direction,” Marquez says, further setting off alarm bells.

A government plane surveyed the pair for hours after a tip from the riders.

“The FBI's hostage rescue team, delivered to waiting choppers in a U-Haul, were dropped off more than a two-hour hike from the campsite,” Marquez reports.

“Stealthily they surrounded the camp, waiting for DiMaggio and Hannah to separate. Then they moved in.”

Posted by
Filed under: Amber alert • Missing child • Rescue
August 7th, 2013
09:06 AM ET

Authorities Search for Family Friend in Connection to Amber Alert

The hunt continues this morning for a California man after the remains of a woman and a child were found in his burned out home near San Diego.

The suspect is on the run, possibly with a 16-year-old girl. Now the children's family is pleading for a safe return.

“Overnight, a vigil of hope for children allegedly kidnapped by James DiMaggio,” reports CNN’s Miguel Marquez.

The children’s' father Brett Anderson made an emotional appeal speaking directly to DiMaggio following the vigil.

“Jim, I can't fathom what you were thinking. The damage is done,” Anderson said. ”I'm begging you to let my daughter go, you've taken everything else.”

Investigators believe DiMaggio killed Anderson's ex-wife and possibly his 8-year-old son, then kidnapped his 16-year-old daughter, Hannah.

“Hanna we all love you very much,” Anderson said, addressing his daughter. “If you have a chance, you take it. You run. You'll be found.” 

The case led to California's first statewide Amber Alert over cellphones late Monday night, with “road signs calling motorists' attention to the nationwide alert, investigators anxious to catch a break,” Marquez says.

Investigators are now updating pictures of the kids and the alleged kidnapper, “even a mockup of a bald James DiMaggio,just in case he's shaved his head to disguise his appearance.”

“Authorities are still analyzing the remains of a child found in the burned out home,” “Early Start” anchor John Berman reports.

“They won't say if it was 8-year-old Ethan Anderson, but his father did not mention the boy, when he called on DiMaggio to set his daughter free.”

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Filed under: Amber alert • Manhunt • Missing children
August 6th, 2013
10:35 AM ET

Details Inside the Threat Overseas

The State Department is now ordering all U.S. citizens out of Yemen because of terrorist activities there and growing civil unrest.

The embassy in Sana'a is being evacuated, except for essential personnel.

This comes on the heels of emerging details into what was behind a terror threat so specific, and so immediate that officials in this country decided to shut down nearly two dozen embassies and consulates across the Arab world.

 “The cascade of warnings and American embassy closures was triggered by an intercepted communication, which is now being revealed as a direct order from Al Qaeda's leader,” reports CNN’s Chris Lawrence reports.

“CNN has learned Ayman al Zawahiri ordered his new deputy in Yemen to basically 'do something,' and launch an attack. That deputy, Nasir al Wuhayshi, is now high on the US target list, along with another Yemeni, Al Qaeda's master bomb-maker Ibrahim al-Asiri.”

This set off extreme measures from Washington.

“On Monday senior Administration officials met to talk about a resurgent Al Qaeda,” Lawrence says.

 “US military and intel assets were being re-deployed around the world, in light of the new threat. Special operations teams have been placed on high alert overseas. Drone surveillance has been stepped up, and analysts are collecting more satellite images, trying to pinpoint a target.”

Follow along at CNN.com for developments.

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Filed under: Security • Terrorism
August 5th, 2013
10:29 AM ET

Zoraida's Conversation with Her Kids about Breast Cancer

Telling your kids about being diagnosed with cancer is no easy task.

“Early Start” anchor Zoraida Sambolin was faced with that difficult task when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and underwent a double mastectomy in May.

Sambolin says, “The first thought I had when I was diagnosed with cancer was this, ‘How will I tell my kids?’” 

She has two children she had to break the news to: Nico, 14, and Sofia, 10.

“Once he knew, my son became one of 2.85 million U.S. children sharing their parents' fight against cancer,” Sambolin says.

He reached out to his friends Kyle and Miles for support, and was himself supportive of his mother the entire time.

“Nico's was the last familiar face I saw before surgery,” Sambolin says. “And the first when I came out.”

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Filed under: Breast cancer • Health • Medical
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