Most talked about CNN stories

American Alan Gross freed by Cuba

cnn.com — Washington (CNN) -- U.S. contractor Alan Gross, held by the Cuban government since 2009, was freed Wednesday as part of a landmark deal with Cuba that paves the way for a major overhaul in U.S. policy toward the island, senior administration officials tell CNN.
Dec 17, 2014

RT @inside: After the release of US contractor Alan Gross, Obama announces a breakthrough deal with Cuba via @eliselabottcnn @CNN cnn.com/2014/12/17/pol…

Dec 17, 2014

Cuba releases American Alan Gross, paves way for historic easing of American sanctions cnn.com/2014/12/17/pol…

Dec 17, 2014

RT @CNNPolitics: 2nd step of Obama's new Cuba policy: Review Cuba's designation as state sponsor of terrorism cnn.it/1GQlLVF cnn.it/1xropBq

Dec 17, 2014

RT @CNNPolitics: Third step of Obama's new Cuba policy: Increase travel, commerce and info to and from Cuba cnn.it/1GQlLVF cnn.it/1GQmgyN

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Officials: Boko Haram kidnaps 185, kills 32

cnn.com — Kano, Nigeria (CNN) -- Boko Haram insurgents kidnapped at least 185 women and children, and killed 32 people in a raid in northeastern Nigeria this week, local officials and residents said. Gunmen in pickup trucks attacked the village of Gumsuri, just north of Chibok on Sunday, burning homes and shooting men, before herding women and children together.
Dec 18, 2014

#BokoHaram enslaves more women and children, kills more people, burns another village: cnn.it/1wHCp8A

Dec 18, 2014

In northern Nigeria, Boko Haram reportedly has killed another 32 people and kidnapped 185 women and kids cnn.com/2014/12/18/wor…

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Obama: 'Go to the movies'

cnn.com — Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama says Americans should "go to the movies" without fear, despite hackers' threats against venues that show a controversial film that Sony has now decided to pull.
Dec 18, 2014

Dubya told Americans to go shopping. Obama tells us to "go to the movies." cnn.com/2014/12/17/pol…

Dec 18, 2014

Obama: "For now, my recommendation would be that people go to the movies" edition.cnn.com/2014/12/17/pol…

Dec 17, 2014

RT @mikko: Obama: "The Sony cyber-attack is very serious…but for now, my recommendation would be that people go to the movies." cnn.it/1wj8Gmn

Dec 17, 2014

RT @cnnbrk: Asked about threats surrounding Sony film "The Interview," President Obama says Americans should “go to the movies.” cnn.it/1w0GAXT

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Judge tosses conviction of George Stinney

cnn.com — (CNN) -- A judge has vacated the conviction of a 14-year-old boy who was executed for allegedly killing two girls some 70 years ago in South Carolina. The judgment against George Stinney, the youngest person to be executed by an American state since the 1800s, effectively exonerates the boy, said family attorney Matt Burgess.
Dec 18, 2014

RT @CNN: Executed at 14, George Stinney has been cleared of murder 70 years after his death: cnn.it/1C2B0g3 pic.twitter.com/SSqFHaLhdZ

Dec 18, 2014

RT @CNN: Executed at 14, George Stinney has been cleared of murder 70 years after his death: cnn.it/1C2B0g3 pic.twitter.com/SSqFHaLhdZ

Dec 18, 2014

RT @CNN: Executed at 14, George Stinney has been cleared of murder 70 years after his death: cnn.it/1C2B0g3 pic.twitter.com/SSqFHaLhdZ

Dec 18, 2014

RT @CNN: Executed at 14, George Stinney has been cleared of murder 70 years after his death: cnn.it/1C2B0g3 pic.twitter.com/SSqFHaLhdZ

From dashing spy to Vogue fashion illustrator

Dec 18, 2014

From dashing spy to Vogue illustrator: The double life of Mr. Stonehouse cnn.com/2014/12/18/wor…

Dec 18, 2014

RT @cnni: They said he'd have six weeks to live, they were wrong. The double life of a dashing WWII spy cnn.it/1z7P06Y pic.twitter.com/7rv3mGs0Jm

Dec 18, 2014

RT @cnni: They said he'd have six weeks to live, they were wrong. The double life of a dashing WWII spy cnn.it/1z7P06Y pic.twitter.com/7rv3mGs0Jm

Dec 18, 2014

They said he'd have six weeks to live, they were wrong. The double life of a dashing WWII spy cnn.it/1z7P06Y pic.twitter.com/c8gLDV2WFF

Putin speech promo: 'The bear never asks permission'

cnn.com — (CNN) -- Have no fear, Vladimir Putin is here. That seems to be the message in an epic promo released ahead of the Russian president's annual news conference as the country's economy plummets. The promotion, released by a state-owned Russian channel, has the feel of a movie trailer, showing scenes of tanks, crying children and plenty of Putin.
Dec 18, 2014

"The bear never asks permission": cnn.it/1C1Pgpo I'm so excited for this press conference

Dec 18, 2014

RT @cnni: TV promo for Putin’s press conference contains an epic line: "The bear never asks permission.” cnn.it/13eiOAZ pic.twitter.com/8iMmy2fRqG

Dec 18, 2014

RT @cnnbrk: Putin holds news conference today. State media promotes it with clip of him saying, "The bear never asks permission." cnn.it/1GSM3qk

Dec 18, 2014

RT @cnnbrk: Putin holds news conference today. State media promotes it with clip of him saying, "The bear never asks permission." cnn.it/1GSM3qk

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Russia's Vladimir Putin: 'We're not warmongers'

cnn.com — (CNN) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Russia is ready to mediate in the Ukraine crisis and denied Russians killed there have been members of his country's military. Western powers accuse Russia of sending troops and equipment to help separatists in eastern Ukraine in their fight against Ukrainian government forces.
Dec 18, 2014

RT @cnnbrk: Russian President Putin denies that Russians killed in Ukraine have been members of his country's military. cnn.it/1uVTS7T

Dec 18, 2014

RT @cnnbrk: Russian President Putin denies that Russians killed in Ukraine have been members of his country's military. cnn.it/1uVTS7T

National Geographic Photograher 2014 winners

cnn.com — The winners of the 26th annual National Geographic Photographer Contest have been released. The magazine says more than 9,200 entries were submitted from more than 150 countries in three categories: people, places and nature. The Grand Prize Winner (above) snagged $10,000 and a trip to National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Africa's prosperity Report: The winners and losers

edition.cnn.com — CNN Marketplace Africa covers the macro trends impacting the region and also focuses on the continent's key industries and corporations (CNN) -- What is Africa's most prosperous country? According to new research from the Legatum Institute, which last week ranked prosperity in 38 African countries around criteria ranging from economics to education to health, the title belongs to Botswana, the diamond-rich country in southern Africa.

Obama looks to Cuba to test an old theory

cnn.com — Washington (CNN) -- Since the early days of his first presidential run, Barack Obama made a pledge -- to talk directly with America's enemies -- that most other politicians found naive. The approach famously drew snickers from Republicans and Democrats alike, who derided it as irresponsible -- a criticism that followed Obama into the White House.

Gross release: How it happened

cnn.com — Washington (CNN) -- Alan Gross was in a Cuban prison Tuesday morning when his attorney, Scott Gilbert, phoned to say Gross would soon be released. There was a long pause. "I'll believe it when I see it," Gross finally said, according to family spokeswoman Jill Zuckman.
Dec 17, 2014

RT @deirdrewalshcnn: The release & how it happened:the Pentagon kept in dark --tic toc with @jaketapper & @ericbradner http://t.co/rdclvFCD…

Dec 17, 2014

Free drinks, few questions RT @RachelSmolkin: Secret deal on Alan Gross: party distracted media cnn.it/1BZHg8i

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Appreciation: The man who was 'Stephen Colbert'

cnn.com — Stephen Colbert will take over "The Late Show" upon the retirement of David Letterman in 2015. Colbert's rise includes a number of notable moments. (CNN) -- Goodbye, Stephen Colbert. We hardly knew you. In fact, that was the idea, wasn't it?

The wait for Cuban beaches and cigars remains

cnn.com — Washington (CNN) -- The end of the 50-year freeze in diplomatic relations with Cuba will mean many more U.S. travelers could be on their way to the neighbor island, only 90 miles from Key West, Florida. But the days of Havana as a glamorous destination for U.S.
Dec 17, 2014

RT @CNN: When can you visit Cuba and buy cigars? U.S. tourists won't be overrunning #Cuba just yet: cnn.it/1Afe2jA pic.twitter.com/gGSdQg0G2x

Dec 17, 2014

RT @moody: Reminder: The U.S. ban on casual tourism to Cuba continues, and will remain until Congress takes action. cnn.com/2014/12/17/pol…

Dec 17, 2014

Reminder: The U.S. ban on casual tourism to Cuba continues, and will remain until Congress takes action. cnn.com/2014/12/17/pol…

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Pope aids change in U.S.-Cuba policy

cnn.com — Washington (CNN) -- Pope Francis -- the Catholic Church's first Latin American pontiff -- rang in his birthday Wednesday with a major geopolitical wish granted: the end of a half-century of frozen relations between the United States and Cuba.
Dec 17, 2014

RT @CNN: .@Pontifex reportedly played a key role in renewing diplomatic ties between the U.S. and Cuba. cnn.it/1C17hBj pic.twitter.com/bwEOdOUdHe

Dec 17, 2014

RT @CNN: .@Pontifex reportedly played a key role in renewing diplomatic ties between the U.S. and Cuba. cnn.it/1C17hBj pic.twitter.com/bwEOdOUdHe

Dec 17, 2014

RT @CNN: .@Pontifex reportedly played a key role in renewing diplomatic ties between the U.S. and Cuba. cnn.it/1C17hBj pic.twitter.com/bwEOdOUdHe

Dec 17, 2014

RT @CNN: .@Pontifex reportedly played a key role in renewing diplomatic ties between the U.S. and Cuba. cnn.it/1C17hBj pic.twitter.com/bwEOdOUdHe

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Man gives woman with ex-girlfriend's name a world trip

cnn.com — (CNN) -- Jordan Axani planned to travel around the world with his girlfriend Elizabeth Gallagher, until they broke up. Now, he'll embark on Sunday on the circumnavigation with Elizabeth Gallagher. No need for a double-take: The name may be the same, but the person answering to it isn't.
Dec 18, 2014

✈️ “@CNN: A man has found a woman with his ex-girlfriend's name to take on a free around-the-world trip: cnn.it/1z8g85Q

Dec 18, 2014

Guy plans round-world trip with his girl, loses girl, finds girl with same name to take her place edition.cnn.com/2014/12/18/tra… #ElizabethGallagher

Dec 18, 2014

Guy buys round-the-world ticket for girlfriend, they break-up, he gives it away to another girl with the same name.. edition.cnn.com/2014/12/18/tra…

What irks North Korea? Christmas trees and soap operas

cnn.com — (CNN) -- North Korea's fury over the movie comedy "The Interview" appears to have taken the secretive state's oversensitivity to new extremes. Kim Jong Un's regime had already branded the film "the most undisguised terrorism and a war action." Now, the U.S.

Opinions strong on U.S.-Cuba policy change

cnn.com — Miami (CNN) -- For decades, Cuban exiles in Miami's Little Havana have gathered at the Versailles Cafe to talk about the home they'd left behind and the Castro regime that forced them to. On Wednesday, the mood among many of the regulars was decidedly testy.
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What Congress can do to block Obama on Cuba

cnn.com — Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama's move to relax travel, trade and economic restrictions with Cuba set off a firestorm from opponents on Capitol Hill, who immediately vowed to block the new policy.

Police: Car runs red light in California; 1 dead

cnn.com — (CNN) -- One person died and up to a dozen others were injured after a car plowed into a crowd of people in Southern California after a church Christmas event, police said. "The vehicle struck a group of pedestrians, which included up to ...
Dec 18, 2014

1 person dead, 12 hurt after car plows into crowd in #CA after church event, @CNN rpts: cnn.it/1uVPQfR

Dec 18, 2014

RT @cnnbrk: 1 person died, 12 injured after car plows into crowd of people in So.Calif. after church event, police say. cnn.it/1uVPQfR