December 17th, 2013
09:27 AM ET

Harvard Buildings Reopened After Bomb Threat Disrupts Finals

Four Harvard University buildings were evacuated and closed for hours Monday because of a bomb threat, prompting some classes at the Boston-area Ivy League school to reschedule or cancel final exams.

“This campus was covered by canine units, the bomb squad, local state and federal authorities,” reports CNN’s Alexandra Field.

After evacuating three classroom buildings and a dormitory Monday morning, authorities found no suspicious devices and reopened all of them by 3 p.m., Harvard said on its website.

Final exams that were supposed to take place in the affected buildings Monday morning were canceled or postponed because of the report, student newspaper The Harvard Crimson reported, citing university officials.

Two law enforcement sources told CNN late Monday morning that the threat appeared to be a hoax.

The school said its police department received an e-mail, sent around 8:40 a.m., claiming that explosives may have been hidden in the three academic buildings - the Harvard Science Center, Sever Hall and Emerson Hall - and a freshman dormitory, Thayer Hall.

Harvard ordered the evacuations around 9 a.m., alerting students and staff by e-mail, voicemail and text messages.

"Safeguarding our community in this instance unfortunately required the disruption of exams and the evacuation of one of our freshman dormitories," Harvard Executive Vice President Katie Lapp said on the school's website. " (Harvard police), in close cooperation with local, state and federal agencies, is continuing to investigate this incident to determine who may be responsible."

All but the science center were declared safe by 2 p.m., according to the school.

“Today, Harvard officials are trying to reassure students of their safety," Field says.

"They put out a statement letting the community know there are no continued or specific threats to the campus."

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November 20th, 2013
11:52 AM ET

Zimmerman Released on Bond after Domestic Violence Arrest

A Florida judge on Tuesday set bail for George Zimmerman at $9,000 and ordered a number of conditions for his freedom - including that he not possess weapons - while he awaits trial on charges he pointed a shotgun at his girlfriendCNN's Alina Machado reports.

He was released from the John E. Polk Correctional Facility on Tuesday afternoon. He didn't speak with the media. It was unclear where he was headed.

Zimmerman was arrested Monday at his girlfriend's Apopka home, four months after he was acquitted of murdering teenager Trayvon Martin.

Earlier, Zimmerman said little as a judge, during Zimmerman's first appearance Tuesday afternoon in Seminole County court, said he found probable cause for Zimmerman's arrest on a felony charge of aggravated assault and misdemeanor counts of domestic violence battery and criminal mischief. Zimmerman's arraignment has been scheduled for January 7.

A prosecutor revealed a new allegation against Zimmerman while trying to argue for a higher bail - that Zimmerman tried to choke his girlfriend a week and a half before Monday's alleged shotgun incident, and that Zimmerman had talked about suicide.

Psychotherapist Robi Ludwig weighs in with her analysis on Zimmerman's behavior and why he can't seem to get out of trouble. (SEE VIDEO BELOW)

"My sense, always, about George is that he sees life through a very paranoid lens. So he sees people as out to get him,” Ludwig says.

“I think he's somebody who is into power and control. He needs to be in control of his inner personal relationships. And as we know, you can’t script relationships. What happens with someone like a George Zimmerman is, he then gets angry. He doesn't have the verbal skills, the know-how to reduce conflict in nonviolent way.”

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November 6th, 2013
08:15 AM ET

Toronto Mayor Ford Admits Crack Cocaine Use, Won't Step Down

Despite the call for him to step aside after he publicly admitted Tuesday using crack cocaine, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said he will not step down and will run for re-election next year, CNN's Paula Newton reports.

"I was elected to do a job and that is exactly what I am going to continue doing," he said during a news conference Tuesday at his office. "We live in a democracy and on October 27, 2014, I want the people of this great city to decide if they want Rob Ford to be their mayor."

Earlier Tuesday, after months of dodging allegations, Ford told reporters that he smoked crack cocaine about a year ago - probably, he said, during a "drunken stupor."

"Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine. But ... do I? Am I an addict? No," Ford said.

"Probably in one of my drunken stupors, probably approximately about a year ago," he said about the cocaine use.

Ford said later that he knew he had embarrassed everyone in the city and "I will be forever sorry."

He promised the people of Canada's largest city that his mistakes will "never ever, ever happen again."

Pressure on Ford, 44, increased last week when Toronto's police chief announced investigators recovered a video of the mayor that purportedly shows him smoking a crack pipe. That followed allegations in two media reports in May that a video showed Ford using crack cocaine last winter.

Canadian Political Commentator Supriya Dwivedi spoke on "New Day" Wednesday to Michaela Pereira about Toronto City Councillor John Filion's motion to take many of the mayor's powers away from him.

Dwivedi believes that motion has a chance to pass.

“I would say the word inside Council and around City Hall is that there is a lot of support for this movement,” Dwivedi says. “How can anybody realistically get anything done when the mayor admitted to smoking crack cocaine?”

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October 30th, 2013
08:49 AM ET

Spy Directors Grilled on Capitol Hill

The head of the National Security Agency denied Tuesday that the United States collected telephone and e-mail records directly from European citizens, calling reports based on leaks by Edward Snowden "completely false."

“Incredible to see the heads of the most secretive organizations in the U.S. speaking out publicly and openly defending surveillance at home and abroad. They said emphatically that the White House would have known of the spying, but they added the president might not have known of specific targets, and they fought back hard against the storyline that the U.S. is the only country in the business of spying on its allies,” reports CNN’s Jim Sciutto.

"To be perfectly clear, this is not information that we collected on European citizens. It represents information that we, and our NATO allies, have collected in defense of our countries and in support of military operations," Army Gen. Keith Alexander, the NSA director, told a House committee reviewing the agency's surveillance activities.

“Much of the what they defended was the kind of megadeta or using leads to follow up and figure out if they’re terrorists,” CNN’s Fareed Zakaria says.

“I think people understand that. The European public is very disquieted that they’re being spied by this American spy agency.”

SEE FULL INTERVIEW:

The statement by Alexander before the House Intelligence Committee came as a number of lawmakers called for changes to the way intelligence is collected.

The hearing, billed as a discussion of potential changes to the 35-year-old Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, commonly known as FISA, follows a report by the German magazine Der Spiegel that the NSA monitored German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone. Some reports also suggest the United States carried out surveillance on French and Spanish citizens.

SEE FULL STORY

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