April 14th, 2014
10:59 AM ET

New Flashpoint in Ukraine

Pro-Russian protesters forced police out of a building in an eastern Ukrainian city on Monday, even as a government deadline for demonstrators to leave occupied facilities passed with no immediate consequences in two other cities.

Video from a demonstration in the eastern Ukrainian city of Horlivka showed protesters confronting police and walking through the building, which had small fires burning and broken windows. A severely beaten man in a police uniform was taken to an ambulance as onlookers shouted at him.

The seizure is a new complication for the government in Kiev. Acting President Oleksandr Turchynov had given pro-Russian protesters in other eastern Ukrainian cities until 2 a.m. ET to disarm or face a "full-scale anti-terrorist operation" by Ukraine's armed forces.

But the deadline passed with no sign that it was heeded in the eastern cities of Donetsk and Slaviansk. There was no movement at the regional government building in Donetsk, which has been occupied for more than a week.

Steven Pifer, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, weighed in on this deadline with Kate Bolduan on "New Day."

Pifer acknowledged the Ukrainian government faces difficult choices ahead as Russia continues its aggression.

"I think what you're seeing are isolated cases – now in about 8 or 10 towns in eastern Ukraine where there have been armed takeovers of buildings that very much look to be inspired, instigated by Russian special services. And this is going to put the Ukrainian government really at a dilemma. On the one hand, do they act and try to retake some of these building?...Or do they sit back and do nothing and watch these sort of seizures continue?

In Slaviansk, pro-Russian protesters milled around with makeshift shields outside the occupied police station.

Similar deadlines in the past came and went with no consequence.

Horlivka, with a population of about 300,000, became at least the 10th city or town in Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine - mainly in the Donetsk region - where activists took over security or government buildings in recent days.

See updates on this story as it develops HERE.

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April 14th, 2014
10:26 AM ET

3 Shot Dead at Jewish Centers

A Missouri man, with a long virulent history of anti-Semitism, is suspected of killing a boy and his grandfather outside a Jewish community center in Kansas City and a woman at a Jewish assisted living facility nearby.

While police in Overland Park, Kansas, stopped short of labeling the Sunday attacks a hate crime until they were further along in their investigation, the suspect, Frazier Glenn Miller, is the founder and former leader of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Patriot Party.

Both operated as paramilitary organizations in the 1980s, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups.

Miller, 73, who also goes by Frazier Glenn Cross, faces charges of premeditated first-degree murder. He is expected to appear in court Monday.

The shootings took place at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park and at the Village Shalom Retirement Community in Leawood - a day before the start of Passover, the major Jewish spring festival.

"The timing is terrible. The timing is awful," said Rabbi Herbert Mandl, a chaplain for the Overland Park police.

In all, the gunman shot at five people, none of whom he's believed to have known, said Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass.

Three people died; the other two were not injured.

Shortly afterward, authorities arrested the suspect at a nearby elementary school.

Video from CNN affiliate KMBC showed the suspect sitting in the back of a patrol car and shouting, "Heil Hitler."

Douglass said police were investigating statements the man made after his arrest but declined to provide additional details.

The Anti-Defamation League said it warned last week of the increased possibility of violent attacks against community centers in the coming weeks, "which coincide both with the Passover holiday and Hitler's birthday on April 20, a day around which in the United States has historically been marked by extremist acts of violence and terrorism."

You can follow this story as it develops HERE. 

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April 14th, 2014
10:11 AM ET

Prosecutor Rips at Pistorius' Version of Events in Murder Trial

The chief prosecutor in the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius accused him on Monday of "tailoring" his version of how he killed his girlfriend, as the grueling cross-examination of the track star went into a second week.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel has accused the athlete of hiding the truth about the death of Reeva Steenkamp, whom he shot last year through a closed toilet door in his luxury home in Pretoria, South Africa.

His questions have sought to undermine Pistorius' reliability and credibility and to portray the Olympic and Paralympic athlete as someone who was inventing his version of events to suit his story.

Nel, known in South African legal circles for his bulldog-like approach to questioning, has gone through minute detail regarding the early hours of Valentine's Day 2013, repeatedly challenging the double amputee over his actions that night.

On Monday, in yet another intense scrutiny of his story, the prosecutor again tried to exhaustively highlight apparent inconsistencies between Pistorius' bail application and his testimony in court to show he is "tailoring his evidence" to suit the defense case.

"I am going to point out to you how improbable your version is," Nel told the runner, who sat immobile, staring ahead at the judge as he answered questions.

The prosecution's argument is that Pistorius shot Steenkamp intentionally after a heated argument. Pistorius does not deny shooting her but insists that he mistook her for an intruder.

"I did not fire at Reeva," Pistorius told the court, his voice breaking, causing a second brief adjournment in the day's proceedings so he could gather himself.

See updates on this story at CNN.com. 

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April 14th, 2014
10:05 AM ET

GOP Base Includes Racist 'Elements,' Congressman Charges

 Over 50 years after Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, the issue of race is back in the political headlines, after comments from Attorney General Eric Holder and events marking the anniversary of the law’s passage renewed the dialogue over race relations in the 21st century.

Rep. Steve Israel, D-New York, said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" that "not all" of his GOP colleagues are racist but "the Republican base does have elements that are animated by racism."

Watch this story and more from today's "Inside Politics" with John King.

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