February 17th, 2014
11:35 PM ET

What was it like inside the flight hijacked by the co-pilot?

An Ethiopian Airlines pilot found himself on the wrong side of the fortified cockpit door as his co-pilot hijacked the plane. The flight was headed to Rome, but the co-pilot flew to Geneva, where he sought asylum. Frederik Pleitgen has the latest on what happened on-board that flight.

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August 28th, 2013
10:52 PM ET

"Eerie calm" in Damascus

There are new reports the Syrian military is on the move. CNN's Fred Pleitgen is one of the only western correspondents in Damascus. He says there is evidence the Syrian military is reducing staff at some key installations and moving artillery cannons. Fred describes an "eerie calm" there.

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Filed under: Frederik Pleitgen • Syria
August 28th, 2013
12:02 AM ET

Shocking video from scene of suspected Syrian chemical attack

New video shows the devastating effects of what is widely believed to be the Syrian government's chemical attack against its own people. Today, the Assad regime blocked U.N. inspectors from the scene. CNN's Fred Pleitgen obtained the video of the aftermath. He has the latest from Damascus.

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August 26th, 2013
10:44 PM ET

The latest from inside Syria

U.N. inspectors in Syria today gained access to the site of the suspected chemical attack on the outskirts of Damascus today. According to CNN's Fred Pleitgen, they were not only targeted by sniper fire, but their hotel was also struck by mortars this morning. Pleitgen is the only western network correspondent in Damascus. He is also reporting that the Syrian military is launching artillery strikes that are targeting the same areas where rebels say the chemical attack occurred.

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November 16th, 2012
12:29 AM ET

Pleitgen: Rocket hits Tel Aviv outskirts

Israel says their missile defense system has intercepted as many as 130 rockets since Wednesday. CNN's Fred Pleitgen reports in Ashkelon, Israel.

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October 9th, 2009
11:27 AM ET
August 1st, 2008
08:25 AM ET

Fidel Castro – 21st Century Man

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/31/art.vert.castro.jpg caption="Fidel Castro, 1996" width=292 height=320]
Shasta Darlington
CNN Producer/Correspondent

It was two years ago exactly. A Cuban TV anchor announced there would shortly be a message from Fidel Castro. I canceled dinner plans and waited. Then the bomb fell.

Castro’s personal secretary read a proclamation from the Commander-in-Chief announcing he had temporarily handed power to his younger brother to undergo emergency surgery.

We later learned the operation had already taken place and it was successful. We also learned that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of reservists had been confined to their barracks.

But instead of invasions or uprisings, Cubans have seen a virtually seamless transition to Raul Castro. FULL POST

February 28th, 2008
11:24 AM ET

International manhunt becomes humiliating TV blunder

It was going to be, "the most spectacular manhunt in the history of 'Aktenzeichen XY,'" Germany’s top-rated and longest-running crime show.

In an unprecedented move, America’s FBI was asking the German public for help in a global manhunt for Boston mob boss James J. "Whitey" Bulger - one of America's most wanted crooks - allegedly on the run in Europe.

On the show, FBI agents showed old pictures of Bulger and a photo of an elderly couple, supposedly resembling the gangster and his girlfriend Gail Marcinkiewicz. The new photo was taken by an American tourist in Italy last year and came with a warning: “the couple may be  armed and  is extremely dangerous.”

Calls started pouring in to the show and to Germany's federal investigators.  One was from a young man who had just seen his parents presented as murder suspects on the German media.

It turns out the couple shown in "Aktenzeichen XY" were German pensioners enjoying a summer holiday in Italy at the time. According to their son, they were shocked to find themselves the focus of an international manhunt with a hefty price on their heads.

ZDF, the broadcaster that aired the show, says they didn't have the chance to verify the photos for themselves before they went to air. Rather, that was the job of the FBI and German investigators. The German investigators said it was up to the FBI, not them, to check whether the photo really was that of Bulger himself.

The FBI, despite the mix-up, waited a good five days before they took the offending photo off their website.

We weren’t able to reach the elderly couple in question for comment, though a representative from the show said she had managed to clear the air with their son. It’s not clear whether they're considering legal action.

On a positive note, the show had some of the best ratings ever. Who knows - maybe "Whitey" himself tuned in. If the FBI ever does catch up with him, it'll probably be because he’s laughing so loud at one of TV history's biggest ever blunders. 

– Frederik Pleitgen/CNN Correspondent
CNN's Diana Magnay contributed to this blog

Filed under: Frederik Pleitgen