We're Keeping Them Honest tonight on the myth that will not die. The bogus belief that President Obama wasn't born in the United States. You'll hear from "birther" Donald Trump and we'll talk to a Louisiana state lawmaker who's hoping to get legislation passed that would require candidates to provide their long-form birth record. It's one of several states considering such legislation. Plus, the countdown to the royal wedding. Tonight see why Prince William and Kate's path to the alter hasn't always been easy.
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CNN Wire Staff
Tripoli, Libya (CNN) - Large explosions and the sound of jets over Tripoli Thursday night indicated NATO has likely increased the intensity of its air strikes on Moammar Gadhafi's key command and control military sites.
CNN's Fred Pleitgen, reporting from Libya, heard at least three major explosions.
The alliance has issued a new warning to Libyan civilians to stay away from military areas, foreshadowing plans for attacks on targets seen as strategically significant in stopping the government's attacks against civilians, a NATO military official said Thursday.
The next phase will largely involve increased air strikes on key Gadhafi command, control and communications sites in and around Tripoli, although targets in other areas could be hit as well, said the official, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.
NATO now has the use of armed U.S. Predator drones at its disposal.
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates disclosed that the drones saw their first use in Libya Thursday, but poor weather forced them to return.
Unmanned aerial vehicles offer more precise targeting, because their low-flying capability allows for better visibility, "particularly on targets now that have started to dig themselves into defensive positions," Gates said.
The Predators bring "capabilities to the NATO commander that they didn't have before," he said. President Barack Obama approved their use.
Rebels, who have complained that NATO was not being aggressive enough to protect civilians, said Thursday they had gained control of a key border crossing into Tunisia.
Editor's note: CNN's Nic Robertson explains the ongoing battle in Libya between Moammar Gadhafi's forces and opposition forces.
(CNN) - A desperate call for more help sounds from Libya almost every day. Libyans are disappointed, feeling let down by NATO, said one resident of Misrata, the western city under a vicious siege from Moammar Gadhafi's forces.
As blood flows on the battlefields that are Libya's towns and cities, the optimism that surfaced at the start of the conflict is but a memory. The military campaign in Libya was expected to be quick and precise, using sophisticated aerial military technology optimized to reduce casualties.
But it became apparent that Gadhafi was not going to fall quickly in the footsteps of his neighbors Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia or Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. He was not going to be the third data point, as it were, in the trend line of the Arab Spring.
Now it seems the war could drag on for weeks, months or, by some troubling estimates, perhaps even years as NATO squabbles over strategy and Gadhafi camouflages his forces within civilian populations and, according to reports, is using banned weapons such as cluster bombs.
It can be perceived as a snub of Western military might. And the question now is whether any sort of political victory can be weaned from a seemingly struggling military campaign.
How long before calm comes to Libya? Will Gadhafi go? And how will Western powers, facing potential military embarrassment, respond?
"They are trying to avoid losing," said military strategy scholar Michael Keane, a fellow of National Security at the Pacific Council on International Policy. "But we're not trying to win because we're not sure what that means."
Not sure because from the very beginning, U.S. President Barack Obama and his European counterparts have made it expressly clear that the Libyan campaign is not about regime change.
The airstrikes began in mid-March under a United Nations mandate to protect civilians, and NATO has been cautious to operate under that threshold, even when three of its members - Britain, France and Italy - decided this week to send military advisers to Benghazi.
The choice to act in Libya came when it appeared the opposition effort - previously implausible in a nation that has known only the iron grip of Gadhafi for more than 40 long years - faced a series of setbacks that made massacre seem imminent in Benghazi.
Some now believe that had Western powers intervened earlier, when the rebels were high on momentum in their march westward, the situation might be different.
Editor's Note: Richard Quest is part of the team anchoring CNN's special live coverage of the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29.
London (CNN) - I have often wondered why I care about a family to which I am not related; that I will never know on personal or confidential terms; that has little bearing on what happens in my everyday life. In other words - why do I care about the royal wedding?
I tried to explain this relationship to an American last week. He could hear what I was saying. He just couldn't understand it. We were talking a different language.
You see, while we wish any newlyweds all the happiness in the world, the marriage of the heir apparent and his queen consort-to-be has struck home with many subjects of the Crown.
The reasons go deep into the psyche of those who have been brought up under monarchy and are content for it to continue.
Editor's note: Potential presidential candidate Donald Trump defends his belief that President Obama may not have been born in the U.S.
CNN Wire Staff
(CNN) - Conservative Rep. Michele Bachmann Wednesday joined a growing list of Republican politicians and strategists distancing themselves from the "birther" issue that questions where President Barack Obama was born.
The issue is causing a split on the political right, with Donald Trump and some conservatives continuing to challenge Obama's constitutional eligibility to be president based on the contention that he was born outside the country.
More and more, though, top Republicans - including some with presidential ambitions - are trying to push the debate away from a question considered extremist by many independent voters who are crucial to electoral success in 2012.
On Monday, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a so-called "birther bill" that would have required any presidential candidate to produce authenticating documentation proving they were American citizens born in the United States to get on the state ballot. The move by Brewer followed rejection of the birther issue as a serious topic by former Bush administration strategist Karl Rove, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a likely GOP presidential candidate.
Speaking on ABC's "Good Morning America," Bachmann said Wednesday that she accepted the validity of a signed, stamped Certification of Live Birth that showed the president was born in Hawaii in 1961.
"Well, then that should settle it," Bachmann, a favorite of the conservative Tea Party movement, said on seeing the document. "I take the president at his word."
Asked if that ended the story. Bachmann said "I guess it's over" and added the birther question "is not the main issue facing the United States right now."
Analysts said Brewer's veto could reflect part of a GOP shift away from a fringe but vocal group pushing the birther issue.