All options on the table regarding Syria, US officials
April 30th, 2013
10:17 PM ET

All options on the table regarding Syria, US officials

By CNN Staff

All options remain on the table as the Obama administration considers what, if any, military action to take in Syria following the suspected use of chemical weapons there, U.S. officials tell CNN.

They say this includes the possibility of providing arms to rebels even though the administration has opposed this step and several caution that its resistance to doing so is unlikely to change.

So far, the United States has provided communications and other non-lethal aid to the rebels fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in a two-year civil war.


Filed under: Chemical Weapons • Security Brief • Syria
April 30th, 2013
08:01 PM ET

Why is North Korea cooling it?

By Elise Labott

After weeks of fiery rhetoric, military saber rattling and threats against the United States and South Korea, North Korea seems downright quiet and willing to dial back the tension.

Fears Kim Jong Un would test a long-range missile have given way to an easing of his daily war threats, and North Korea has produced a list of conditions for dialogue.

In exchange for returning talks, North Korea wants the lifting of U.N. sanctions, the end of the U.S.-South Korea military drills, the withdrawal of U.S. nuclear strike capabilities from the region and a halt on criticism of the North. It also wants a South Korean apology for offending its leadership.

Still, even the subtle shift in tone is an improvement to the war footing Pyongyang was on just weeks ago.

So what gives?

April 30th, 2013
07:48 PM ET

Benghazi 'whistleblowers' intimidated, lawyer says

By CNN's Elise Labott and Dana Bash

At least four State Department and CIA employees are being intimidated and blocked from cooperating with a congressional investigation into the deadly terror attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, last year, according to an attorney for one of the officials.

The officials consider themselves whistleblowers and feel threatened with career damage if they decide to give testimony to Congress, according to Victoria Toensing, an attorney for one of the State Department officials.

Filed under: Benghazi • Libya
Intel chief says review of bombing suspect investigation prudent
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper
April 30th, 2013
03:12 PM ET

Intel chief says review of bombing suspect investigation prudent

By Pam Benson

The nation's top intelligence official believes an independent review of how the government handled its investigation of a Boston Marathon bombing suspect prior to the attack is a prudent step "to ensure that nothing was missed."

James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, believes that all of the agencies involved in collecting and sharing information about Tamerlan Tsarnaev "took all the appropriate steps," says Clapper spokesman Shawn Turner.

The Intelligence Community inspector general, a watchdog that investigates risks, vulnerabilities and deficiencies within 16 intelligence-related agencies and departments across the government, is leading the review.

That office will work with similar officials at the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.


Filed under: Security Brief
President Obama: Gitmo should be closed
April 30th, 2013
11:53 AM ET

President Obama: Gitmo should be closed

(CNN) - President Barack Obama said Tuesday he continues to believe the United States should close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

"I think it's critical for us to understand Guantanamo is not necessary to keep America safe, it's expensive, it's inefficient, it hurts us in terms of international standing, it lessens cooperation with our allies in counter-terrorism efforts. ... It needs to be closed."

Obama vowed to close the prison when he first came into office, but Congress blocked him from doing so.

Dozens of prisoners at that detention camp are currently on their tenth week of a hunger strike.

U.S. authorities said last week that 84 – half of the prisoners – were not eating.

Carlos Warner, a public defender who represents 11 of the detainees, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour last week that multiple sources told him the number was actually higher.

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Filed under: Gitmo • Obama