January 4th, 2013
06:10 PM ET

U.S. Navy's dramatic video warning sailors about bath salt drug

The Navy put out a PSA warning sailors to stay off the synthetic drug bath salts. In a shocking video an actor plays an American sailor high on the drug. CNN's Chris Lawrence reports on the Navy's increasing efforts to warn sailors of the drug's serious side effects, after military doctors started seeing more cases of its use.

Chavez illness fuels speculation and rumors
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez
January 4th, 2013
06:08 PM ET

Chavez illness fuels speculation and rumors

By Jill Dougherty and Jamie Crawford

Speculation is swirling that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is sicker than the government is letting on and there is some thought the United States may be trying to influence the socialist leader’s transition from power.

Chavez, 58, has not been seen in public since arriving in Cuba for his fourth cancer operation more than three weeks ago.

A top Venezuelan official said on Thursday that Chavez was suffering from a severe lung infection that has caused respiratory failure. The type of cancer he is fighting has not been disclosed and there was no word on his prognosis.

The National Institutes of Health says the outlook for respiratory failure “depends on the severity of its underlying cause, how quickly treatment begins” and overall health of the patient.
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White House has told some members of Congress to expect Hagel nomination
January 4th, 2013
05:27 PM ET

White House has told some members of Congress to expect Hagel nomination

By CNN's Gloria Borger

The White House has told some senior members of Congress to expect President Obama to nominate Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense, according to a knowledgeable source. Another source with knowledge of the nomination called it "locked down."

The timing is uncertain, but other sources have told CNN it could come early next week.

A Republican, Chuck Hagel represented the state of Nebraska in the US Senate from 1997 until January 3, 2009 when he retired.

The White House has previously said that the president has made no final decisions. One source told CNN Thursday that the president was "mulling" over appointments in Hawaii this week.
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Filed under: Pentagon
January 4th, 2013
04:19 AM ET

Report: Iranian spies have global reach

CNN's Brian Todd looks at a new report on Iran's 30,000-strong intelligence service and its international activities.

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Filed under: Iran • Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer • Spying
U.S. troops arrive in Turkey; rebels battle for airport in Syria
A patriot missile is launched.
January 4th, 2013
03:11 AM ET

U.S. troops arrive in Turkey; rebels battle for airport in Syria

By Ben Brumfield

U.S. troops arrived in Turkey on Friday to man Patriot missile defense batteries near the Syrian border, according to Turkish state media.

Syria has previously launched Scud missiles at cities near the Turkish border in a desperate bid to extend its firepower.

In response, the U.S., Germany and the Netherlands deployed Patriot air defense missiles to the border region to intercept any Syrian ballistic missiles.

The missiles and troops will be under the overall control of NATO, but the missiles will be operated by U.S. forces.

A group of 27 U.S. troops landed in Gaziantep, Turkey, where they will survey the Patriot deployment, according to Turkish state news agency, Anadolu.

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Filed under: Missile Defense • Syria • Turkey