July 24th, 2014
10:10 AM ET

In Somber Ceremony, Dutch Receive the First Remains of MH17 Victims

A lone bugler sounding the traditional military farewell "Last Post" marked the arrival Wednesday in the Netherlands of the first dead from the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

The grieving nation then held a moment of silence to honor those killed in the crash of the jetliner, downed last week by a suspected surface-to-air missile over war-torn eastern Ukraine.

In a ceremony rich with martial symbolism - from saluting soldiers to the haunting tune used to send war dead to their rest - 40 simple wooden caskets were solemnly unloaded from two military planes. Soldiers then walked them to waiting hearses and lowered them inside before rendering a final salute.

The only sounds were the hushed orders of soldiers and a whipping wind.

A long line of hearses, accompanied by police, carried the remains slowly toward a Dutch military base in Hilversum, where forensic investigators will begin the grim work of identifying them. Thousands of Dutch residents lined roads and overpasses along parts of the route to pay respects to the dead.

Some applauded as the hearses finally passed through the base gates, some tossed flowers on the vehicles. Others stood silently, red-eyed.

"The Netherlands are in shock, and Hilversum, as well," said the city's mayor, Pieter Broertjes.

Harun Calehr, whose two nephews were among the 298 people killed in the crash, called the ceremony "very moving and a beautiful tribute."

See more on this story at CNN.com

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July 4th, 2014
04:29 AM ET

Hurricane Arthur Makes Landfall in North Carolina as Category 2 Storm

Sherman Lee Criner is vacationing in a bull's eye. Emerald Island, North Carolina, is just west of where Hurricane Arthur came ashore late Thursday with 100 mph winds.

The Category 2 storm made landfall at 11:15 p.m. between Cape Lookout and Beaufort, the National Hurricane Center said. Arthur was charging to the northeast at 15 mph.

Criner didn't plan it to be right in its path. He asked his two children and niece where they wanted to spend the holidays, they voted for the beach and he granted the wish.

He thought of canceling the trip as the storm brewed but decided against it.

"It's a doable storm," Criner said.

The lawyer lives in Wilmington and has sat out hurricanes before. He also felt confident sturdiness of their accommodations of concrete and steel.

"We're in an 8th floor condominium," he said. When Arthur's eye wall hits, he will wake up son Sherman, 9, daughter Elizabeth, 14, and niece Mary Brown, 10.

They'll to look out the window at the surf below, as the storm surge pushes it up Indian Beach.

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May 23rd, 2014
09:47 AM ET

Stop Doubting California Woman on Kidnapping, Michelle Knight Says

Stop judging the California woman who walked away from her alleged captor after a decade, an angry and emotional Michelle Knight told CNN's "New Day" Friday.

"Unless you were walking in her shoes, you have no reason to talk, none at all," said Knight, one of three women freed from years of brutal captivity in a Cleveland home in 2013.

Knight was referring to the case of a California woman who approached police after contacting her sister on Facebook, saying she had been abducted by her mother's boyfriend at 15, then raped, beaten and forced to marry her captor.

In the days since the woman's story came to light, some neighbors in the Bell Gardens neighborhood where she lived with the man and their 3-year-old child have questioned the abduction story, saying she appeared to be happy and well cared for.

"She never showed a sad face or worried face," said a neighbor who identified herself only as Erika.

"She had plenty of time to actually escape so it's hard to believe this is really going on because she had a lot of free time."

Knight has just one answer to those doubting the woman's story: You couldn't possibly understand.

"Just because you're not chained up and you're not locked in the basement doesn't mean you ain't trapped," she told CNN's Kate Bolduan. "I know exactly what it feels like to be trapped in your own mind, your emotional mind, and told you can't do anything about it, nobody will care about what you say."

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April 29th, 2014
01:13 PM ET

Deep South in Bulls-Eye For Storm

From Missouri to New York, Michigan to Florida, forecasters urged millions of Americans to keep an eye on the weather Tuesday, warning of tornadoes, high winds and hail spawned by the storm system that's killed 29 people in the last two days.

A slow moving system has impacted the country since Sunday.

See CNN's Indra Petersons full report on the storms above.

indra

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