(CNN) - The Federal Emergency Management Agency has denied additional aid tied to deadly explosions at a Texas fertilizer plant, a decision ripped Wednesday by local and state officials who accused President Barack Obama of having "gone against his word."
FEMA's administrator informed Gov. Rick Perry in a letter Monday that it was denying a request to declare West, Texas - the small town where an April 17 fire led to simultaneous blasts at a fertilizer distribution facility, killing 15 and decimating homes, businesses and more within 37 blocks - a "major disaster" area. The letter noted Obama had previously issued an emergency declaration and other measures that paved the way for some direct federal assistance.FULL STORY
(CNN) - Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley will endorse Cory Booker in New Jersey's special Senate election on Thursday, Democratic sources told CNN.
O'Malley, a former mayor of Baltimore, plans to cite the Newark mayor's efforts to reduce crime, attract businesses and improve education in his endorsement.
(CNN) – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie dropped by NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Wednesday to try his hand at "Slow Jamming the News" - a bit famously started by NBC newsman Brian Williams.
And while a special Senate election may not sound like a natural topic for a slow jam, somehow it worked. Christie said his decision to hold the election this October - criticized by Democrats and even some Republicans - wasn't "about playing politics. It's about doing the right thing."
(CNN) - The Guardian's Glenn Greenwald, who worked with NSA leaker Edward Snowden on articles about the agency's secret surveillance programs, slammed U.S. Rep. Peter King after the New York Republican called for the columnist to face criminal charges.
"You can't just go on national television and call for the arrest and prosecution of a journalist and tell outright falsehoods when you're doing it, without consequences," Greenwald told CNN's AC360 on Wednesday night.FULL STORY
CNN: Israel pushes ahead with settlement expansion
Israel said Thursday it will build 675 new settlement homes on the West Bank. The housing units are part of an old agreement and not a new plan, Prime minister spokesman Mark Regev has said. The expansion of Jewish settlements on the West Bank have been a lasting thorn in the side of Palestinians.
Reuters: UN documents 93,000 deaths in Syria, says real toll much higher
At least 93,000 people had been killed in Syria's conflict by the end of April this year, but the true number is "potentially much higher", the United Nations human rights office said on Thursday. An average of more than 5,000 people have been killed every month since last July, while Rural Damascus and Aleppo have recorded the highest tolls since November, it said in its latest study compiling documented deaths.
Washington (CNN) - U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin announced late Wednesday that she will step down next month after four years in the post.
Benjamin, a longtime advocate for a health care model centered on wellness and preventable treatment, announced her decision in an e-mail to staff, thanking them for supporting her vision.
"My goal was to create a grassroots movement, to change our health care system from one focused on sickness and disease to a system focused on wellness and prevention. With your help, that movement has begun," Benjamin wrote.FULL STORY