September 17th, 2013
11:42 AM ET

Costa Concordia Is Righted

The unprecedented operation to right the crippled cruise liner the Costa Concordia and lift it from its side ended successfully. CNN's Matthew Chance reports .

Salvage crews worked through the night to hoist the 114,000 ton vessel upright, twenty months after it ran aground off the Italian coast, killing 32 people of 4,200 aboard.

Franco Porcellacchia, head of the operation's technical team said, 'It was a perfect operation, I would say."

Though the $800 million salvage operation effort took much longer than expected, first delayed when a violent electrical storm battered the island. The process took 19  hours in total.

A team of engineers monitored every move as the ship emerged from the sea inch by inch and onlookers could measure the progress made by the line of scum embedded in the waterlogged Concordia's side.

Despite the painstakingly slow removal procedure, the people of Giglio are waking up relieved that the deteriorating vessel is once again floating-  and will soon be taken away.

TO SEE A TIMELAPSE OF THE PROCESS: 

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September 17th, 2013
11:19 AM ET

Devastation And Cleanup After Colorado Flooding

Officials in Colorado are on a frantic rescue mission, searching for hundreds still missing since flash floods crippled parts of the state last week.

In some neighborhoods, residents returned home to find they'd lost everything. CNN's George Howell reports.

New images emerged overnight with choppers taking to the sky, evacuating at least 100 people.

Nick Christensen with the Larimer County Sheriff's office said, "Some areas in Larimer County experienced a 100 year flood...others experienced a 1000 year flood, something that would only happen every 1000 years."

Returning to a devastated community, residents in Longmont are seeing their homes for the first time since Thursday and discovering they're no longer habitable.

Resident Jeff Larsen said, "It's ruined, our basement is gone. It stinks so bad in there you can barely stand it."

Thick mud and water moved through Lyons, shifting entire homes from their foundation.

One woman, Kelly Hunt, was unable to reach her home on the other side of the river. She was in utter disbelief that it was picked up and moved several feet.

Hunt said, "Today is our first day up here since we've been evacuated, and I feel like it's worse than I thought it would be. We lost absolutely everything we own."

CNN's Indra Petersons updates the forecast for any more rain as well as tracks where some of the flood waters could end up:

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September 17th, 2013
10:35 AM ET

Bill Clinton Weighs In On Syria, Hillary, Economy

Former President Bill Clinton sits down with CNN Host Fareed Zakaria to discuss his views on the crisis in Syria, budget and debt limit negotiations, the 2016 presidential race, and Hillary and Chelsea’s expanded responsibilities at the Clinton Global Initiative.

Zakaria previewed the interview Tuesday on “New Day” with Anchor Kate Bouldan and Clinton also weighed in on President Obama seeking congressional approval for military authorization.

The former President says:

“I think after he saw the debate in the UK, even though you might say ‘well, that ought to frighten anybody off’ you know, he had a parliamentary majority, Mr. Cameron did, and he couldn’t deliver it…. I think it made [President Obama] think, you know, this is something the country ought to do together. We can’t pretend that this is not important.”

See the full interview on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” on Sunday, September 22 at 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. ET.

 

 

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September 17th, 2013
10:20 AM ET

After U.N. Report, What's Next For Diplomacy In Syria?

President Obama sounds optimistic about the latest attempt at diplomacy in Syria. CNN's Jim Acosta reports.

As the United Nations released a long-awaited report Monday confirming that sarin gas mounted on rockets was used to kill more than a thousand Syrians in August, the U.S. and Russia negotiate a plan for Syria to give up all its chemical weapons to the international community.

The President responded:

"We took an important step in that direction towards moving Syria's chemical weapons under international control so they can be destroyed. And we're not there yet, but if properly implemented, this agreement could end the threat these weapons pose, not only to the Syrian people but to the world."

The U.N.'s Chief Ban Ki-moon said whoever used the poison gas committed a war crime and must face justice.

"Those perpetrators who have used chemical weapons or any other weapons of mass destruction in the future will have to be brought to justice. This is a firm principle of the United Nations."

The diplomatic deal, meanwhile, could give the President a way to avoid U.S. airstrikes in Syria.

Syria's Bashar al-Assad has just a week to list what weapons he has, where they are, and how they're made.

Though to keep the pressure on, Obama says he's keeping the U.S. military at the ready if Assad doesn't comply.

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