Russia has issued an ultimatum to Ukrainian forces in Crimea to clear out by 5 a.m. Tuesday (10 p.m. ET) or face a “military storm,” according to Russia’s state-run news agency Interfax.
Ukraine officials insist that while Russia’s military is going from base to base in Crimea and demanding Ukrainian forces surrender, there is no official Russian ultimatum that they’re aware of, only psychological pressure and threats.
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Just days after his State of the Union address in which he called for Congress to find common ground with him, President Barack Obama sounded less than confident that they could find that common ground.

“I think there are some issues where it’s going to be hard for them to move forward,” Obama said of congressional Republicans, “and I am going to reach out to them and say, ‘Here are my best ideas, I want to hear yours,’ ” Obama told CNN Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper in an interview airing today.

“In no way are my expectations diminished or my ambitions diminished. But what is obviously true is we’ve got a divided government right now,” Obama told Tapper.

The president also discusses whether he can work with Republicans on immigration, whether the Sochi games are safe and legalizing marijuana. Portions of the interview air on “New Day” at 6 a.m. ET and will run in full on “The Lead with Jake Tapper” at 4 p.m. ET.



EXCLUSIVE: President Barack Obama told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Thursday that some of the country’s largest corporations have signed on to a White House plan to boost the hiring of the long-term unemployed. The President will make a formal announcement on Friday.

“What we have done is to gather together 300 companies, just to start with, including some of the top 50 companies in the country, companies like Walmart, and Apple, Ford and others, to say: Let’s establish best practices,” Obama said in the exclusive interview, which will air on CNN over the next two days.

Obama’s move is in line with his pledge to use executive action on his agenda items that he hasn’t been able to get through Congress. The President announced on Tuesday that he was boosting the minimum wage for employees of federal government contractors through executive action.

Tapper’s interview airs on CNN’s “New Day” at 6 a.m. ET on Friday and will run in full on “The Lead with Jake Tapper” at 4 p.m. on Friday.

Get complete coverage of breaking news on CNN TV, and CNN Mobile.

“Boehner to conservative groups: ‘Are you kidding me?’


By Emma Margolin


John Boehner has had enough.

In his strongest rebuke yet, the Republican House leader on Thursday blasted tea party-aligned conservative groups for repeatedly pulling GOP

Boehner Discusses GOP Jobs Plans

Boehner Discusses GOP Jobs Plans (Photo credit: Talk Radio News Service)

lawmakers into unwinnable situations that have only damaged the party brand. The groups’ criticism of a bipartisan budget deal before it was even released was a step too far for Boehner.

“I think they’ve lost all credibility,” Boehner said at his weekly briefing on Capitol Hill. “They pushed us into the fight to defund Obamacare and shut down the government…And the day before the government reopened, one of these groups said, ‘Well, we never thought it would work.’”

“Are you kidding me?” he shouted.



Just Announced . . .


Time magazine has named Pope Francis its Person of the Year.

Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina is known as a humble man, a capable administrator and — as expected of a new Pope — a man of great faith.

He is also a man of many firsts: the first non-European Pope in the modern era; the first pontiff from South America; and the first Jesuit to be elected head of the Roman Catholic Church.

In his first public act, the new Pope broke with tradition by asking the estimated 150,000 people packed into St. Peter’s Square to pray for him, rather than bless the crowd first.

For complete coverage of breaking news, go to CNN TV, and CNN Mobile.



When a poor family in Cambodia fell afoul of loan sharks,

the mother asked her youngest daughter to take a job.

But not just any job.

The girl, Kieu, was taken to a hospital and examined by a doctor,

who issued her a “certificate of virginity.”

She was then delivered to a hotel, where a man raped her for two days.

Kieu was 12 years old.

“I did not know what the job was,” says Kieu, now 14 and living in a safehouse. She says she returned home from the experience “very heartbroken.” But her ordeal was not over.

After the sale of her virginity, her mother had Kieu taken to a brothel where, she says, “they held me like I was in prison.”

She was kept there for three days, raped by three to six men a day. When she returned home, her mother sent her away for stints in two other brothels, including one 400 kilometers away on the Thai border. When she learned her mother was planned to sell her again, this time for a six-month stretch, she realized she needed to flee her home.

“Selling my daughter was heartbreaking, but what can I say?” says Kieu’s mother, Neoung, in an interview with a CNN crew that travelled to Phnom Penh to hear her story.


2014 World Cup News


The United States will play three strong teams, Germany, Ghana and Portugal, in the first round of next year’s soccer World Cup. The tournament draw took Adidas Brazuca 2014 World Cup Ball 1place today in Brazil.

The 32-nation tournament will take place at 12 venues across Brazil from June 12 to July 13.

The 32 teams will be placed into eight groups for the first rounds of the tournament. The top two teams from each group will then advance to the playoffs.

Spain won the last World Cup, held in South Africa, in 2010.

The World Cup is watched by more people than any other sporting event on the planet, with an estimated 3.2 billion people, or about 46% of the world’s population, watching at least part of the coverage from South Africa in 2010.

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“Nelson Mandela death: World mourns South Africa’s first black president” 2


By Arwa Damon and Faith Karimi, CNN

Johannesburg, South Africa (CNN) – In a symbol befitting a nation in mourning, dark gray clouds swept over Johannesburg on Friday.

Under overcast skies that threatened to rain any minute, South Africans draped in flags and images of Nelson Mandela gathered on the streets to sing and dance.

Children spelled out “we love you Mandela” on the grass using rocks near his home in the suburb of Houghton. Nearby, stuffed animals and flowers sat in a heap.

Others wept as they lit candles.

Mandela, 95, died Thursday. The nation’s first black president battled health issues in recent years, including a recurring lung infection that led to numerous hospitalizations.

President Jacob Zuma announced the loss late Thursday night, long after many South Africans had gone to bed.

They didn’t find out until Friday morning.



“Zucker plans massive change at CNN” 1


By Mike Allen and Alex Weprin

After almost a year of tinkering, CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker has concluded that a news channel cannot subsist on news alone.

So he is planning much broader changes for the network—including a prime-time shakeup that’s likely to make CNN traditionalists cringe.

Once, CNN’s vanilla coverage was a point of pride. Now, the boss boasts about the ratings for his unscripted series, and documentaries like the Sea World-slamming film Blackfish.Zucker, in his first one-on-one interview since taking control of CNN last January, told Capital he wants news coverage “that is just not being so obvious.”

Instead, he wants more of “an attitude and a take”:

“We’re all regurgitating the same information. I want people to say, ‘You know what? That was interesting. I hadn’t thought of that,’” Zucker said. “The goal for the next six months, is that we need more shows and less newscasts.”

Zucker—“rhymes with hooker,” he likes to say—also expanded on comments he has made about breaking CNN out of a mindset created by historic rivalries with MSNBC and Fox. He wants the network to attract “viewers who are watching places like Discovery and History and Nat Geo and A&E.”