Pakistani lawmakers have passed a resolution that condemns the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound and they're calling for a reassessment of ties with the U.S. We'll have the breaking news out of Islamabad. Plus, see why U.S. officials are calling an unreleased audio recording by bin Laden 'puzzling.'
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(CNN) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could open the Morganza Spillway within the next 24 hours, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said Friday.
The Corps said it will operate the Morganza Spillway once river flows reach a certain trigger: 1.5 million cubic feet per second.
Opening the spillway would lower anticipated cresting levels along the lower Mississippi River and divert water from Baton Rouge and New Orleans but would flood much of low-lying south-central Louisiana.
The Mississippi River Commission has advised a "slow opening."
Louisiana state and local officials braced for the possibility of major flooding in the Atchafalaya River Basin when, or if, federal authorities open the spillway north of Baton Rouge.
The National Guard worked around the clock to construct a flood barrier in Morgan City, Louisiana, where the Atchafalaya River was already 3.15 feet above flood stage, according to the National Weather Service.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - The voice of embattled leader Moammar Gadhafi was heard on Libyan TV on Friday in an attempt to assure his people that he is alive and in a place where "you cannot kill me."
The audio message was broadcast several times over the course of the day and expressed gratitude to people around the world who were concerned for his safety.
"Tell the crusader cowards that I live in a place you cannot reach me," Gadhafi said.
Libya's combative leader also condemned Thursday's attack that reportedly killed three people. Gadhafi left this message to NATO: "I live in the hearts of millions, and even if you kill my body, you cannot kill my soul that lives in the hearts of millions."
The audio message was released after the Italian foreign minister raised the possibility that the Libyan leader may have been injured after weeks of NATO airstrikes in the country.
Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said he did not have any evidence as to Gadhafi's fate, but Monsignor Giovanni Martinelli, the Catholic archbishop of Tripoli, told him that Gadhafi was wounded, the Italian ANSA news agency reported. Martinelli said Gadhafi was most likely not in Tripoli anymore, Frattini said.
However, Libyan government spokesman Musa Ibrahim said Friday that Ghadafi was in "good health and high spirits" in Tripoli.
Four rockets struck Gadhafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound Thursday and killed at least three people, according to a Libyan government official. The Libyan government took journalists near the site of the blast, where smoke could be seen still rising from the compound.
NATO military spokesman Mike Bracken said NATO had struck a command and control center but did not know whether anyone was inside.
A top Libyan opposition leader urged formal U.S. recognition at the White House on Friday, one day after the interim council secured strong support from Britain.
Mahmoud Jibril, president of the Libyan Transitional National Council's Executive Bureau, and his delegation met with top Obama administration officials.
During the meeting, National Security Adviser Tom Donilon told the leader of the Libyan opposition group that the U.S. views the group "as a legitimate and credible interlocutor of the Libyan people," according to a White House statement released after the Friday meeting.
The statement stopped short of formal recognition of the Transitional National Council.FULL STORY
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Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) - The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility Friday for suicide attacks on a military training facility in the nation's northwest, saying they were carried out in retaliation for the killing of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.
The twin suicide bombings killed at least 80 people, nearly all of them military recruits who had just completed their training, said Bashir Ahmad Bilour, a senior provincial minister. About 140 others were wounded.
"Pakistani and the U.S. forces should be ready for more attacks," said Ihsan Ullah Ihsan, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, who accused the Pakistani military of having alerted the United States to bin Laden's location.
"Osama was our great leader and the killers of Osama will have to pay its price," he said.
The back-to-back explosions took place shortly after scores of recruits had left the Shabqadar Fort, a training facility in the district of Charsadda, said Jahan Zeb Khan, a senior police officer.
Afterward, video of the blood-soaked ground outside the training facility showed it littered with burned vehicles and broken glass.
The recruits had just completed a nine-month training program when the attackers struck.
The district of Charsadda borders Mohmand Agency, one of seven districts in Pakistan's tribal region along the Afghan border.
Mohmand is believed to be a hideout for Taliban fighters and al Qaeda-linked militants fleeing last year's military operation in the district of South Waziristan and ongoing U.S. drone strikes in North Waziristan.
The Pakistani army has carried out numerous ground and air operations in Mohmand but it has not been able to stamp out the militants.
The Pakistani Taliban represent a confederation of Taliban groups in northwestern Pakistan, where they are based, said Bill Roggio, military-affairs analyst who is managing editor of The Long War Journal.
Those fighters attack targets in Pakistan and across the border in Afghanistan.
The group, which is headquartered in Quetta, is different from the Afghan Taliban, which has been focused on re-establishing the Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan.
Both groups swear allegiance to Taliban leader Mullah Omar and have close ties to al Qaeda, he said.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - Former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell is resigning as the Obama administration's Mideast envoy, the White House announced Friday.
Mitchell has served as President Barack Obama's point man in the region as the administration has tried to keep Arab-Israeli peace talks on track.
Deputy Middle East Envoy David Hale will take Mitchell's place, according to the White House.
"George Mitchell has worked as a tireless advocate for peace as the U.S. special envoy for the Middle East," President Barack Obama said in a written statement. He "leaves behind a proud legacy of dedicated public service and the country owes him a debt of gratitude for his extraordinary commitment."
Mitchell's resignation, which takes effect May 20, comes at a pivotal moment in the Arab world. Obama is scheduled to deliver an address Thursday on the "Arab Spring": the uprisings that have shaken long-standing autocratic regimes across North Africa and the broader Middle East.
In addition, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jordan's King Abdullah are scheduled to visit Obama next week. Netanyahu will also deliver an address to Congress.FULL STORY
(CNN) – Current and former advisers to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee insist they do not know what he plans to announce Saturday on his Fox News show, fueling speculation he won't seek a second shot at the Republican nomination.
Signs have mounted for the last two years that Huckabee – while keen on staying in the political arena – has not been preparing to embark on a second national campaign.FULL STORY
(CNN)-Saying "the time is right" because more people agree with his positions, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas on Friday announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination.
The long-time lawmaker, who was first elected to the House of Representatives 35 years ago, says he's optimistic about his chances and that his "supporters are enthusiastic."FULL STORY
Reporter's Note: President Obama had a lot to say about our efforts to support democracy in the Middle East a few weeks ago. I haven’t heard much lately, so I’m asking about that in today’s letter.
Dear Mr. President,
Spring is a time for taking stock of where you stand, and right now I must say that would be a good idea with regard to the Middle East.
Despite an awful lot of cymbals and kettledrums over there in recent months, I’m not entirely sure whether America is better or worse off for our support of the uprisings. Presumably all the “regime changing, rioting in the streets, down-with-whomever-is-in-charge” action has improved the situation for someone. But for whom?
Editor's note: A look back at some of the more memorable soundbites from GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's political career.