April 15th, 2014
09:28 AM ET

Oscar Pistorius: I Didn't consciously Pull the Trigger

Oscar Pistorius didn't consciously pull the trigger the night he shot and killed his girlfriend, the Olympic sprinter testified during his murder trial Tuesday.

Pistorius said he was "overcome with a sense of terror and vulnerability" before he shot through a closed bathroom door, fearing an intruder was inside.

Defense attorney Barry Roux asked his client what he meant when he referred to the shooting as an "accident."

"I mean the situation, and the situation as a whole, it wasn't meant to be," Pistorius said.

The double amputee said he was terrified when he heard the sound of the toilet door opening.

"I didn't think about pulling the trigger. As soon as I heard the noise, before I could think, I pulled the trigger," he said.

The testimony came after the prosecution ended its cross-examination Tuesday.

Pistorius cried and his voice trembled as prosecutor Gerrie Nel challenged his account of what happened the night he shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Nel asked who should be blamed for shooting his girlfriend on Valentine's Day 2013.

"I'm not sure, my lady," Pistorius said, directing his answer to the judge. He repeatedly said he feared for his life and thought there was an intruder in his bathroom.

A day earlier, Pistorius testified, "I blame myself for taking Reeva's life."

He became emotional as he described finding his girlfriend slumped over by a toilet after shooting her through a closed bathroom door.

"I was saying, 'Baby hold on. Jesus, please help me,' " he said Tuesday.

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April 15th, 2014
08:03 AM ET

'Blood Moon' Explained

Last night, millions had the chance to see a total lunar eclipse across North America.

With the peak viewing just before 4am on the East Coast, it was early-risers and night-owls who enjoyed the celestial show.

"At 3:46 this morning, we were lucky enough to see the peak of the blood moon," reports CNN's Indra Petersons"A total eclipse that makes the moon appear bright orange. It's like seeing all the sunsets on earth projected on the moon at once!  This is the first in a unique series of 4 total eclipses that will be visible from all parts of the US in the next year and a half."

Did you stay up to see it?

Some of our fans sent in their photos to our CNN iReport assignment. Take a look below:

ireport bloodmoon

 

Also, if you want to catch the entire lunar eclipse in a minute, see here:

And even MORE images can be viewed here in this CNN Image GALLERY.

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Filed under: Videos • Weather
April 15th, 2014
06:35 AM ET

"Morning Minute" with Michaela Pereira – April 15, 2014

Need to get today's top stories on-the-go? Watch Michaela Pereira's morning minute now! 

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April 15th, 2014
05:53 AM ET

Ukraine Leader Says Anti-terror Operation Under Way, State Media Report

Ukraine's acting President Oleksandr Turchynov told the country's parliament Tuesday that an "anti-terrorist operation" is under way in part of Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region.

"It will be conducted step by step, responsibly, carefully," he said, according to the Ukrinform news agency.

The reported operation comes as EU defense ministers and NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen meet in Luxembourg with the crisis in Ukraine high on the agenda.

Turchynov had given pro-Russian protesters in other eastern Ukrainian cities until 2 a.m. ET Monday 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, including in the eastern city of Donetsk, where protesters have held the regional government building for more than a week. Similar deadlines in the past have come and gone with no consequences.

A U.N. human rights report released Tuesday on the situation in Ukraine, including the Crimea region annexed by Russia last month, cited an urgent need to counter "misinformation, propaganda and incitement to hatred" in the country to avoid the further escalation of tension.

"Facts on the ground need to be established to help reduce the risk of radically different narratives being exploited for political ends," said U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.

Based on information gathered by U.N. human rights monitors since March 15, the report draws concerning parallels between what happened in Crimea and events unfolding in eastern Ukraine now.

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