April 11th, 2014
11:19 AM ET

Official: Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Resigning

Kathleen Sebelius - who weathered heavy criticism over the flaw-filled launch of the Obamacare website, then saw the program through as it topped a major milestone - is resigning as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, a White House official said Thursday.

President Barack Obama intends to nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell, current director of the Office of Management and Budget, to replace Sebelius, according to the official.

A former Kansas governor and, before that, state insurance commissioner, Sebelius was sworn in as HHS secretary in April 2009.

Her time as head of the federal health agency coincided with the passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the bill often referred to as Obamacare.

Sebelius came under fire last fall for the rocky rollout ofHealthCare.gov, the website central to the new law's implementation.

Watch this story and more from "Inside Politics" with John King above.

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April 9th, 2014
08:00 AM ET

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: 2 New Signals in Search Area Buoy Hope

 In a sea of uncertainty, two bits of good news emerged Wednesday.

Searchers picked up fresh signals that officials hope are locator beacons from the data recorders of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

The Australian ship Ocean Shield had first picked up the underwater pulses Saturday. But then, for the next three days, nothing.

On Tuesday, the ship once again reacquired the signals. That's four signals in the same broad area: two on Saturday; two on Tuesday. All of the signals are within 17 miles of one another.


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March 12th, 2014
04:44 AM ET

Confusion Clouds Search

The puzzling scraps of information that have come to light about the Malaysian airliner that disappeared more than four days ago are generating a lot of bafflement and an increasing amount of frustration.

Amid continued confusion about where the plane with 239 people on board might have ended up, Vietnam said Wednesday it is pulling back its search efforts until Malaysian authorities come up with better information on where to look.

"We have scaled down the searches for today and are still waiting for the response from Malaysian authorities," Phan Quy Tieu, Vietnam's vice minister of transportation, told reporters.

He described as "insufficient" the information provided so far on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which vanished early Saturday over Southeast Asia.

The apparent cause of the veiled irritation on the Vietnamese side concerns the deepening mystery over the path the plane may have taken after it lost contact with air traffic control on its scheduled flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.


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February 17th, 2014
07:46 AM ET

Dunn Convicted of Attempted Murder; Hung Jury on Murder in 'Loud Music' Trial

Nineteen years ago, Ron Davis and Lucia McBath celebrated the birth of a son.

Sunday, they should have celebrated Jordan Davis' birthday with him. Instead, they faced the prospect of a new trial for the man accused of killing him.

A jury in Jacksonville on Saturday found Michael Dunn guilty of attempted second-degree murder for opening fire on three other teens in the same SUV as Jordan Davis - but deadlocked on the murder charge against him in Davis' death.

Prosecutors had argued that Dunn recklessly shot at the teens after complaining about the volume of their music in a convenience store parking lot. Three of his 10 shots struck Davis, one of them cutting through his liver, a lung and his aorta.

Dunn testified that Davis threatened him and that he thought he saw a gun sticking out of the Dodge Durango.

But Ron Davis said his son was a good kid and didn't deserve to be collateral damage in an argument over loud music. McBath said she was happy for a little bit of closure.

"It's sad for Mr. Dunn that he will live the rest of his life in that sense of torment, and I will pray for him," McBath said. "And I have asked my family to pray for him, but we are so grateful for the charges that have been brought against him. We are so grateful for the truth."

And moments before prosecutor Angela Corey said she would seek a new trial on the murder charge, McBath said she and her ex-husband will continue to stand up for their son, who was 17 when he was killed.

"We will continue to wait for justice for Jordan," she said.

Shooter faces decades in prison

A jury on Saturday night convicted Dunn of three charges of attempted murder for shooting at the other three teenagers in the SUV and one count of shooting into the vehicle on November 23, 2012.

As the jury's decisions became clear about 7 p.m. Saturday, Dunn looked ahead solemnly with a frown but no tears. His lawyer, Cory Strolla, told reporters later that his client was "in disbelief."

"Even as he sat next to me, he asked, how is this happening," Strolla said. "... It has not set in. I don't think it will set in anytime soon."

Ron Davis was pleased that Dunn face 60 years or more in prison for the attempted murder charges.

"He is going to learn that he must be remorseful for the killing of my son, that it was not just another day at the office. My son will never be just another day at the office where (Dunn) can leave the scene and be stoic," he told reporters.

He wanted it known that Jordan was not a troublemaker.

"It wasn't allowed to be said in the courtroom, but he was a good kid. We will say it. He was a good kid," he said. "There are a lot of good kids out there ... and they should have a voice. They shouldn't live in fear and walk around the streets worrying about if someone has a problem with somebody else that if they are shot, it is just collateral damage."

The incomplete finale to this hot-button trial - emotionally charged partly because Dunn is white and the teenagers he shot at are black - echoed George Zimmerman's trial for the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin about 120 miles down the road in Sanford, Florida. While the state's "stand your ground" law wasn't used by Dunn, his lawyers did argue that he fired in self-defense.

Another murder trial?

Given the partially hung jury, Corey, Florida's state attorney, said prosecutors would press for a new trial in Duval County on the murder charge.

"Justice for Jordan Davis is as important as it is for any victim," said Corey, whose office also handled the Zimmerman case.

Even without a final decision on the murder count - and pending defense appeals - the 47-year-old Dunn is looking at a lengthy prison term.

Prosecutor Erin Wolfson explained Saturday night that each attempted second-degree murder conviction carries a minimum sentence of at least 20 years. There's also a 15-year sentence possible on the conviction for shooting into the teenagers' vehicle.

"You are looking basically at life in prison," Strolla said, even as he vowed to challenge the convictions. "At 47 years old, that's a life sentence regardless of count one."

CNN legal analyst Paul Callan said in most cases prosecutors will take some time after a mistrial to reflect on the case before planning the next steps.

"If he winds up with 60 or 75 years in jail, from a pragmatic standpoint it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to retry the case," he said Sunday. "On the other hand if you're the parents of Jordan Davis and you believe, as well you should, that your son's reputation has been besmirched by this self-defense claim, the family (might) want a retrial, and that's something that a prosecutor has to consider carefully.

"Hopefully (Corey will) look carefully at the pluses and minuses of doing a retrial."

The decision to convict on these counts, and not on murder, didn't come easily for a jury that had deliberated for about 30 hours since getting the case late Wednesday.

Judge Russell Healey acknowledged earlier Saturday that the jury of four white women, two black women, four white men, an Asian woman and a Hispanic man was "struggling, obviously."

"But it's not for want of trying to reconcile all of this," he said then. "I think we've got some analytical people in there who are trying to do just that - trying to analyze this from every possible angle."

The lack of a murder conviction upset some, including protesters who marched outside the Jacksonville courthouse calling for Corey to lose her job. "The people united will never be defeated," they chanted.

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