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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.

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October 8th, 2013
05:52 AM ET

Send Us Your #MorningRhyme

This really isn't complicated, we want your creative side to be sated.

So get involved and you can submit small poems on Twitter and Facebook with the #MorningRhyme #EarlyStart and we may read them on air.

They can be about our "Early Start" anchors, news stories of the day, or anything you'd like to share.

Here's an example of something funny Twitter user @RaymonWright submitted Tuesday that we shared on TV:

@RaymonWright: Berman's ok, but I can not lie. Zoraida's the real reason I wake up before 5. #MorningRhyme @JohnBerman @ZoraidaCNN

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September 27th, 2013
05:33 AM ET

Climate Change Report Blames People For Problems

A new U.N. report on climate change just out overnight presents the strongest evidence yet that human activities are largely to blame for the warming of the planet.

The panel's scientists peg it to a 95 percent certainty. CNN’s Indra Petersons reports.

The report is the first issued in six years by the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and says the Arctic sea ice is melting and oceans are warming and rising.


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September 26th, 2013
12:28 PM ET

The Debt Ceiling: Time To Raise It Again?

In four days, the U.S. government could shut down as fierce partisan fighting over funding Obamacare continues. But economic catastrophe may come seventeen days later, when the U.S. could default on its loans if Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling.

CNN's Dana Bash reports.

Though a shut down would lead to the closure of national parks and job furloughs, the White House warns lawmakers not to use the debt ceiling as a bargaining chip.

White House Spokesperson Jay Carney said, "There is no negotiating over Congress' responsibility to ensure that we do not default."

GOP sources tell CNN that as soon as Saturday, House Republicans are planning to pass a bill that does raise the debt ceiling, but also adds several party priorities like tax reform or delaying Obamacare.

Democrats say this is unlikely.

For more, visit CNN.com

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September 25th, 2013
09:33 AM ET

Republicans Keeps On Talking To Defund Obamacare

As Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz continues to make a point to try to defund Obamacare by talking and talking on the body's floor, Senators are expected to eventually pass a new funding bill that preserves the health care law.

Then that bill will go back to Congress, which puts the pressure on Speaker John Boehner to either pass the new spending bill or block it,  CNN's Jim Acosta reports.

Cruz started speaking at about 2:40 on Tuesday afternoon saying "I intend to speak in support of defunding Obamacare until I am no longer able to stand."

In a marathon event, Cruz has read tweets, told stories, and has only breaked while other Republican senators step in to ask him questions.

Though not every colleague supports this action.  Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said,  “I just don't happen to think filibustering a bill that defunds Obamacare is the best route to defunding Obamacare.  All it does is shut down the government and keep Obamacare funded, and none of us want that.”

Though Acosta points out this is not a filibuster because the action will not prevent a vote.

In less than one week, on October first, new online marketplaces open for business across the country to give the uninsured their first shot at buying into health care plans.

President Obama has said, “What we want to make sure of is that everybody in every category in every age group understands why health insurance is important and why they should sign up.”

But Cruz and some other Republicans say they'll only vote for a measure that averts a government shutdown if it also defunds Obamacare.




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September 24th, 2013
05:59 AM ET

Government Shutdown Six Days Away

Lawmakers must agree on a new spending plan in the next six days to keep the federal government up-and-running, CNN's Dana Bash reports.

It’s a family feud that affects every family in the country, at only 6 days till a government shutdown, one member of the figuratively broken GOP family, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, is breaking away from his broken home and gathering support in order to filibuster Obamacare, which would all but guarantee a government shutdown if it succeeds.

To eradicate the healthcare law, Cruz says, “that should be our priority, not simply continuing business as usual in Washington.”

Republican Peter King called him a fraud.

King said, "The issues are too important, too serious. They require real solutions not headline cheap headline hunting schemes."

In the Democratic led Senate, the votes are not there, and some of Cruz' GOP colleagues are so miffed it has gotten really personal. GOP Senator Bob Corker tweeted:

"I didn't go to Harvard or Princeton (the schools Cruz graduated from), but I can count."

Among many grass roots conservatives, Cruz is a hero.  But in the Senate, run on relationships, he's rubbed GOP veterans the wrong way.

For more on this story, visit CNN.com 

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September 24th, 2013
05:57 AM ET

Kenya Mall Massacre Enters Day Four

Kenyan authorities vow the end is near as the nation enters the fourth day of a terror attack that shook it to the core, CNN's Arwa Damon reports.

The Kenyan government now says it has regained control of the Westgate Mall, but it's still unclear if all of the hostages have been freed after a three-day standoff with Islamist militants.

This morning, we're learning more about the attackers who launched the deadly siege.  Three have been killed but the exact number of gunmen that remain inside is still unknown.

Kenya's foreign minister told "PBS' Newshour" that two or three of the militants are young Americans who appeared to be of Somali or Arab origin.  The state department is looking into these reports.

For more on this developing story, visit CNN.com 

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September 23rd, 2013
09:53 AM ET

Kenyan Forces Claim Control Of Mall

Kenyan forces assault terrorists in Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall on Monday afternoon, killing two and claiming to take control of all floors of the building despite sporadic gunfire and the continued presence of the attackers inside.

The Somali militant group Al-Shabaab has taken credit for the attack, which is in its third day,  as retribution for the government sending  Kenyan troops to Somalia to help fight insurgents.

CNN's Nic Robertson gives more background on the terror organization.

Robertson reports their full name is Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen.

Perhaps Shabaab's most well recognized recruit is  American Omar Shafik Hammami from Alabama, known also as Abu Mansoor al-Amriki.

Hammami was killed recently in infighting but the organization boasts it has other American recruits.

As far back as 2010, British security chiefs have been warning about Al-Shabaab's threat beyond Somalia's border. In September of that year, Jonathan Evans, the head of MI5, warned "It is only a matter of time before we see terrorism on our streets inspired by those who are today fighting alongside Al-Shabaab."

Now this group loosely controls swaths of southern Somalia all the way to the Kenyan border and they vow attacks inside Kenya.

For updates on this breaking story, visit CNN.com

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September 18th, 2013
04:32 AM ET

Washington Navy Yard Shooting: A Deeper Look At The Victims

Here are the stories of just some of the twelve victims who were at work at Washington's Navy Yard Monday and never made it home.

Financial Analyst Kathy Gaarde,62, was a die-hard fan of the Washington Capitols. Her daughter says she would do anything for anyone she loved.


Martin Bodrog, 54, had retired from the Navy but kept working as a civilian, designing war ships.  He leaves behind a wife and three daughters.


Mary Francis Knight was an IT contractor who taught at a local community college. The 51-year-old's eldest daughter just got married two weeks ago.


Richard Michael Ridgell, 52, a private contractor, who retired from the Maryland State Police and served three years as a contract security worker in Iraq.


September 17th, 2013
04:44 AM ET

Tragedy At Washington Navy Yard

A 34-year-old contractor opens fire at a Washington Navy Yard Monday and kills twelve people. CNN's John Berman reports.

The chaos started just after 8 a.m., when authorities say Aaron Alexis from Fort Worth, Texas, used his military contractor I.D. to get into a building at the Washington Navy Yard, walked to an atrium and began firing.

But who is Aaron Alexis? CNN's Pamela Brown says the subcontractor entered building 197 legally with an intent to kill armed with three weapons.

Alexis was born in Queens, New York, and joined the Navy as a reservist in May 2007.  According to pentagon officials, he was discharged in January 2011 following a"pattern of misconduct."

While it's unclear what that misconduct was, he did have several run-ins with the law.

Alexis was arrested in Seattle in 2004 for shooting out the tires of another man's vehicle, described in the police report as an anger-fueled "blackout."  His father said his son was suffering from PTSD after helping post 9/11 rescue efforts at ground zero.

In 2008, he was cited and briefly jailed for  disturbing the peace in Georgia.

And he was arrested again in 2010 for discharging a gun in public in Fort Worth, Texas, where he lived until recently. He was never charged in that case.

One of Alexis's friends in Fort Worth, Kristi Suthamtewakul, said he was locked in a financial dispute with the company that contracted him to work for the Navy .

"He did some civilian contract stuff or maybe government contract stuff in Japan for about a month  and then he came back over here.  I was excited because I was the one that picked him up from the airport and he's like a brother to me.  After that, he just didn't feel like he was getting paid the correct amount, or just issues with that."

A motive for the massive shooting is still unknown.


For more on this story, visit CNN.com

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