October 21st, 2013
09:09 AM ET

Suspected Child Abduction of Mystery Girl in Greece

The lawyer for a Roma couple accused of abducting the blond girl found living with them says the pair adopted the child from her biological mother.

In a case that has generated huge interest in Greece, authorities have charged the couple with abducting the child they call "Maria." They are due in court Monday.

Authorities released photos of the child, possibly four or five years old, last week and sought public tips on her birth identity.

Kostas Katsavos, the couple's lawyer, told the Reuters news agency they adopted Maria with the permission of her biological mother.

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“Police launched a public appeal and have asked Interpol to find her real parents,” CNN’s Erin McLaughlin reports.

“Now the lawyer for this couple says that a Bulgarian woman gave them Maria because she could not care for her. But police say this couple has changed their story many times.”

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October 21st, 2013
08:58 AM ET

Escaped Killers Captured in Florida

While handcuffed and shackled, Joseph Jenkins and Charles Walker said little during their first court appearance after being arrested. For the two convicted killers, their manhunt ended just 80 miles from where their escape began, CNN's Nick Valencia reports.

Officials tell CNN the two were waiting for a ride from Atlanta in a Panama City Beach motel when they were busted unarmed. They were detained without incident.

At a press conference on Sunday, Florida officials addressed the bureaucratic blunder. The two convicts serving life sentences were accidentally released after showing forged paperwork. It also turns out that apparently this has happened twice before, only the inmates were caught before they got out.

Law enforcement has launched an investigation to figure out how Jenkins and Walker duped the system and obtained the fake documents.

"... there is speculation, and underline speculation, that there was a source where for a certain sum money documents could be constructed for eight thousand dollars, whether that is true or not, is will be determined," says Jerry Bailey, Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner.

Many believe it was an inside job. CNN legal analyst Mark O'Mara says they must have had help.

"It has to be somebody on the inside. It just has to be. Somebody at the clerk's office, somebody in the courthouse, maybe even somebody in a state attorney's office position, a secretary maybe who can actually get that paperwork done," he says.

Police are now promising to hold all who contributed accountable, telling CNN that additional arrests are expected.

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October 21st, 2013
07:32 AM ET

Laser Pointer Attacks on Planes Spark New FBI Probe

Incidents of lasers targeting aircraft and pilots are increasing in frequency in the New York area, the FBI said Friday.

Reports of lasers being pointed at aircraft are up 17% percent from last year, the bureau said. Injuries involving the laser occurrences are also on the rise, the FBI said; lasers can temporarily or permanently blind a pilot and crew.

The most recent incidents happened Tuesday, the FBI said.

The first involved a Shuttle America flight that was on final approach to LaGuardia Airport when a green laser illuminated the cockpit. The second was later that evening when a private aircraft reported a green laser two miles south of LaGuardia.

No injuries were reported in either instance, but earlier this year several commercial pilots suffered significant injuries, including a burnt retina, because of lasers, the FBI said.

"The FBI is asking anyone with information about any of these dangerous laser incidents to pick up the phone and call us," Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos said. "Our paramount concern is the safety of aircraft passengers and crew."

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“Experts say a part of the reason we may be seeing an increase is these incidents is because these lasers are inexpensive and available online," CNN's Rene Marsh reports.

Right now there is no evidence of a link to terrorism. A law signed last year makes it a federal crime to aim a laser pointer at an aircraft and that would explain why the FBI is now investigating.”

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October 21st, 2013
07:30 AM ET

President to address Obamacare Snags and Successes

Nearly 500,000 people have filled out applications for Obamacare coverage despite the highly publicized problems with online sign-ups, administration officials told CNN Saturday.

"The website is unacceptable, and we are improving it," one senior administration official said. "But the underlying insurance product is good, and across the country people are getting access to affordable care on January 1."

The Affordable Care Act is intended to serve more than 48 million Americans without health insurance. Most Americans face tax penalties if they do not have health insurance by January 1.

The online sign-up process began October 1 and immediately ran into technical problems. Users often were unable to create required logins and passwords and ran into error messages even after that stage. CNN's Elizabeth Cohen, who tried to enroll as an experiment, needed two weeks to reach the application stage.

Insurers also have complained of problems. Congressional hearings on the glitches are planned for next week.

The open enrollment period continues through March 31.

"We are going to work intensely for the next six months to make sure we meet the demand," the administration official said.

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“Now, if you look at the homepage this morning for Healthcare.gov, there is something new that you can click on. It says apply by phone,” Cohen reports.

“I must say I have talked to these phone operators many, many times. They are very helpful. They do answer quite quickly.”

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