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4 from Gitmo sent to Afghanistan

President Barack Obama signed an executive order on January 22, 2009, to close the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, within a year. Five years later, the prison for terrorism suspects remains open, with 136 detainees (as of December 2014). Click through for a look inside the <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/11/opinion/warren-guantanamo-bay/index.html'>controversial facility</a>. Here, President George W. Bush's official picture is replaced by Obama's in the lobby of the headquarters of the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo on January 20, 2009, the day the latter was sworn in as president.President Barack Obama signed an executive order on January 22, 2009, to close the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, within a year. Five years later, the prison for terrorism suspects remains open, with 136 detainees (as of December 2014). Click through for a look inside the controversial facility. Here, President George W. Bush's official picture is replaced by Obama's in the lobby of the headquarters of the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo on January 20, 2009, the day the latter was sworn in as president.
The U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay has held <a href='http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/international/2012/01/11/lkl-verjee-gitmo-10-year-anniversary.cnn'>terror suspects since January 2002</a>. Early in the war on terror, the Bush administration argued these detainees were "enemy combatants" who didn't have the protections accorded to prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions. Here, a detainee stands at an interior fence at Guantanamo Bay in October 2009.The U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay has held terror suspects since January 2002. Early in the war on terror, the Bush administration argued these detainees were "enemy combatants" who didn't have the protections accorded to prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions. Here, a detainee stands at an interior fence at Guantanamo Bay in October 2009.
A Navy sailor surveys the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay in October 2009. In December 2013, Congress <a href='http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/12/26/obama-signs-budget-defense-bills-in-hawaii/' >passed a defense spending bill</a> that makes it easier to transfer detainees out of the facility.A Navy sailor surveys the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay in October 2009. In December 2013, Congress passed a defense spending bill that makes it easier to transfer detainees out of the facility.
U.S. military guards move a detainee inside the detention center in September 2010. At its peak, the detainee population exceeded 750 men at Guantanamo.U.S. military guards move a detainee inside the detention center in September 2010. At its peak, the detainee population exceeded 750 men at Guantanamo.
A military doctor holds a feeding tube used to feed detainees on a hunger strike at a Camp Delta hospital at Guantanamo in June 2013. In March 2013, the U.S. military announced that dozens of detainees had begun a hunger strike. By that June, <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/18/health/guantanamo-hunger-strike/'>more than 100 detainees were on a hunger strike</a>, and more than 40 were being force-fed, military officials said.A military doctor holds a feeding tube used to feed detainees on a hunger strike at a Camp Delta hospital at Guantanamo in June 2013. In March 2013, the U.S. military announced that dozens of detainees had begun a hunger strike. By that June, more than 100 detainees were on a hunger strike, and more than 40 were being force-fed, military officials said.
Muslim detainees kneel during early morning prayers in October 2009. Cells are marked with an arrow pointing in the direction of Mecca, regarded as Islam's holy city.Muslim detainees kneel during early morning prayers in October 2009. Cells are marked with an arrow pointing in the direction of Mecca, regarded as Islam's holy city.
A soldier stands near a placard on the fence line of the detention facility in January 2012. A soldier stands near a placard on the fence line of the detention facility in January 2012.
A Quran sits among a display of items isssued to detainees in September 2010. The suspects are given a prayer mat and a copy of the Muslim holy book as well as a toothbrush, soap, shampoo and clothing.A Quran sits among a display of items isssued to detainees in September 2010. The suspects are given a prayer mat and a copy of the Muslim holy book as well as a toothbrush, soap, shampoo and clothing.
A U.S. military guard walks out of the maximum security section of the detention center in September 2010.A U.S. military guard walks out of the maximum security section of the detention center in September 2010.
A German shepherd police dog undergoes training exercises in October 2009 at Guantanamo Bay. A German shepherd police dog undergoes training exercises in October 2009 at Guantanamo Bay.
A camp librarian views artwork painted by detainees in September 2010. A camp librarian views artwork painted by detainees in September 2010.
A detainee rubs his face while attending a "life skills" class inside the Camp 6 high-security detention facility in April 2009. A detainee rubs his face while attending a "life skills" class inside the Camp 6 high-security detention facility in April 2009.
A seat and shackle await a detainee in the DVD room of the maximum security Camp 5 detention center in March 2010. A seat and shackle await a detainee in the DVD room of the maximum security Camp 5 detention center in March 2010.
U.S. Marines join in martial arts training at the U.S. naval base in September 2010. U.S. Marines join in martial arts training at the U.S. naval base in September 2010.
Members of the military walk the hallway of Cell Block C in the Camp 5 detention facility in January 2012. Members of the military walk the hallway of Cell Block C in the Camp 5 detention facility in January 2012.
Guards move a detainee from his cell in Cell Block A of the Camp 6 detention facility in January 2012. Guards move a detainee from his cell in Cell Block A of the Camp 6 detention facility in January 2012.
A detainee waits for lunch in September 2010. The cost of building Guantanamo's high-security detention facilities was reportedly about $54 million.A detainee waits for lunch in September 2010. The cost of building Guantanamo's high-security detention facilities was reportedly about $54 million.
Marines get an early-morning workout at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay in October 2009. Marines get an early-morning workout at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay in October 2009.
A bus carries military guards from their night shift at the detention center in September 2010.A bus carries military guards from their night shift at the detention center in September 2010.
A military guard puts on gloves before moving a detainee within the detention center in September 2010.A military guard puts on gloves before moving a detainee within the detention center in September 2010.
Members of the U.S. Navy move down the hallway of Cell Block C in the Camp 5 detention facility in January 2012.Members of the U.S. Navy move down the hallway of Cell Block C in the Camp 5 detention facility in January 2012.
A U.S. military guard holds shackles before preparing to move a detainee in September 2010.A U.S. military guard holds shackles before preparing to move a detainee in September 2010.
An American flag flies over Camp 6 at Guantanamo in June 2013.An American flag flies over Camp 6 at Guantanamo in June 2013.
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  • Spokesman: A U.S. Air Force C-17 flew the ex-detainees to Afghanistan
  • Repatriation part of U.S. "commitment to close" Gitmo, U.S. envoy says
  • Afghanistan will help "reintegrate these former detainees," U.S. embassy says
  • Guantanamo Bay has held nearly 800 detainees; there are now 132

(CNN) -- The U.S. government continues to shrink its ranks of Guantanamo Bay detainees, announcing Saturday that four more have been repatriated -- this time to Afghanistan.

The Defense Department identified them as Shawali Khan, Khi Ali Gul, Abdul Ghani and Mohammed Zahir. The U.S. Air Force C-17 carrying them arrived in Afghanistan around 6 a.m. Saturday (10 p.m. ET Friday), Pentagon spokesman Lt. Colonel Myles Caggins told CNN.

An administration official told CNN the four detainees are not expected to face further detainment in Afghanistan.

In a statement, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul expressed appreciation to the Afghan government -- which, since September, has been led by President Ashraf Ghani -- "for helping to reintegrate these former detainees."

"We have full confidence in the Afghan government's ability to mitigate any threats these individuals may pose and to ensure that they are given humane treatment," the embassy said.

The move was also made to further President Barack Obama's goal of drawing down the number of those held at the U.S. naval base in southeastern Cuba, something that has been ongoing for years.

"This repatriation reflects the Defense Department's continued commitment to closing the detention facility at Guantanamo in a responsible manner," said Paul Lewis, the Pentagon's special envoy for the closure of Guantanamo.

132 now being held at Guantanamo

The departures of these four Afghan men means that, as of Saturday, 132 people are still detained at Guantanamo.

Former Guantanamo detainee on torture
McCain offers hope that Gitmo could be closed
Six guantamos detainees released

This is down significantly from the numbers soon after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, when the facility widely known as Gitmo was repurposed to hold detainees from the "war on terror."

The administration of then-President George W. Bush claimed that, since Gitmo detainees weren't held on American soil, they could be considered "enemy combatants" and be denied some legal protections. Almost all of the nearly 800 detainees were held without charges.

Senate torture report restarts fight on terror policy

This legal limbo, as well as allegations of torture and other mistreatment, spurred criticism of Gitmo. Shortly after his 2009 inauguration, President Barack Obama signed an executive order to close the detention facility within a year.

Some worry ex-detainees will engage in terrorism

That didn't happen.

One reason was because of strong opposition from lawmakers, many of them Republicans, who cited the risk of freeing men who had fought to kill Americans.

About 17% of the 620 Gitmo detainees released -- most of them during Bush's presidency -- went on to engage in terrorist activities, a September semiannual report from the director of national intelligence found. Another 12% are suspected of having engaged in terrorist or insurgent activities.

Still, the number of detainees has steadily gone down, including six transferred to the government of Uruguay earlier this month. Four of these were Syrians, one was Tunisian and the sixth was Palestinian, according to Rear Adm. John Kirby, press secretary for the Pentagon.

Uruguayan President Jose Mujica said on his website December 5, "We have offered our hospitality for humans suffering a heinous kidnapping in Guantanamo(.) The unavoidable reason is humanitarian."

U.S. transfers 6 Gitmo detainees to Uruguay

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Michigan, said this and other releases by Obama's administration are dangerous, claiming many nations that receive former detainees aren't up for the job and that these countries don't stop them from rejoining the fight.

"We knew that was going to happen," Rogers told CNN. "That's why those of us who were trying to do the review of this were so concerned, because they were so interested in getting them out, that they forgot to do the due diligence -- I think -- that would allow them to at least protect those that were going to go back into the fight, from getting back into the fight."

Embassy: Transfer shows U.S. supports reconciliation

While they came from many countries, many Guantanamo detainees were captured during the U.S.-led military fight against al Qaeda and its Taliban allies in Afghanistan. It's been rare for them to be sent back there, especially given some diplomatic discord and concerns about the country's security situation.

The American military's future in Afghanistan had been uncertain, too, amid contentious talks involving former President Hamid Karzai. The countries signed a security agreement soon after Ashraf Ghani took office. While the U.S. military won't participate in combat operations in Afghanistan, some U.S. troops will remain there into 2015 and beyond as part of the deal.

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul expressed hope that the latest transfer can mark "a step forward in strengthening relations between the two countries and can provide an opportunity for greater confidence among Afghans to engage in political dialogue to end the violence in their country. "

The statement backed an "Afghan-led reconciliation" that includes "all opposition groups, including the Taliban."

"As part of the outcome of any reconciliation process, the Taliban and other armed groups must end violence, break ties with (al Qaeda) and accept Afghanistan's constitution, including its protections for women and minorities," the embassy said. "This transfer demonstrates U.S. support for such a reconciliation process."

CNN's Jonathan Berryman, Masoud Popalzai and Jamie Crawford contributed to this report.

ISIS repulsed; refugee corridor open

  • NEW: Kurdish council says Peshmerga takes town of Sinjar, nearby villages
  • NEW: Morale is high, ISIS fighters are fleeing toward strongholds, council adds
  • This push comes against ISIS is part of a recent, coalition push in northern Iraq
  • 32 truckloads of food, water, other aid head to those on Iraq's Sinjar Mountain

(CNN) -- Kurdish Peshmerga fighters claimed to take control Saturday of Sinjar, the northern Iraqi town that ISIS militants stormed this summer causing minority Yazidis to flee into nearby mountains and spawning a humanitarian crisis.

The Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) said on Twitter that its forces entered Sinjar district around 1:45 p.m.(9:45 a.m. ET) and, just over an hour later, "succeeded in taking complete control of it & nearby villages." The message ended "#Shingal #Kurds." Shingal is another name for Sinjar.

The advance is the latest in recent days by Kurdish forces against ISIS, which has been blamed for atrocities around the area for its treatment of those by any who resist or don't subscribe to its extremist Islamist beliefs.

And few, if any, have gotten worse treatment than the Yazidis -- one of the world's smallest and oldest monotheistic religious minority groups. Yazidis, most of whom are ethnic Kurds, revere an angel figure that some Muslims believe to be the devil.

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters assemble at a shrine on Iraq's Mount Sinjar on Friday, December 19. The Kurdish military said that with the help of coalition airstrikes, it has "cleansed" the area of ISIS militants. ISIS has been advancing in Iraq and Syria as it seeks to create an Islamic caliphate in the region.Kurdish Peshmerga fighters assemble at a shrine on Iraq's Mount Sinjar on Friday, December 19. The Kurdish military said that with the help of coalition airstrikes, it has "cleansed" the area of ISIS militants. ISIS has been advancing in Iraq and Syria as it seeks to create an Islamic caliphate in the region.
A Peshmerga fighter looks down at the body of an alleged ISIS fighter in Zummar, Iraq, on Thursday, December 18. A Peshmerga fighter looks down at the body of an alleged ISIS fighter in Zummar, Iraq, on Thursday, December 18.
A Kurdish fighter stands next to a destroyed armored vehicle in northern Iraq on December 18. The vehicle was destroyed by an improvised explosive device placed by ISIS militants.A Kurdish fighter stands next to a destroyed armored vehicle in northern Iraq on December 18. The vehicle was destroyed by an improvised explosive device placed by ISIS militants.
Peshmerga fighters stop to check a vehicle in Zummar on December 18 as they continue to battle ISIS fighters near the border with Syria. Peshmerga fighters stop to check a vehicle in Zummar on December 18 as they continue to battle ISIS fighters near the border with Syria.
Pro-Iraqi government forces guard a shrine in Balad, Iraq, on Monday, December 15.Pro-Iraqi government forces guard a shrine in Balad, Iraq, on Monday, December 15.
A Yazidi woman displaced by ISIS militants tends to a fire Wednesday, December 10, at a shelter in Dohuk, Iraq.A Yazidi woman displaced by ISIS militants tends to a fire Wednesday, December 10, at a shelter in Dohuk, Iraq.
A Kurdish child from the Kobani, Syria, area holds laundry at a refugee camp in Suruc, Turkey, on Monday, November 17. Tens of thousands of people have fled Kobani, known in Arabic as Ayn al-Arab, to escape ISIS.A Kurdish child from the Kobani, Syria, area holds laundry at a refugee camp in Suruc, Turkey, on Monday, November 17. Tens of thousands of people have fled Kobani, known in Arabic as Ayn al-Arab, to escape ISIS.
Smoke rises from Kobani following airstrikes on November 17. The United States and several Arab nations have been bombing ISIS targets to take out the group's ability to command, train and resupply its fighters.Smoke rises from Kobani following airstrikes on November 17. The United States and several Arab nations have been bombing ISIS targets to take out the group's ability to command, train and resupply its fighters.
A Kurdish child from the Kobani area holds on to a fence at a refugee camp in Suruc on Sunday, November 16. A Kurdish child from the Kobani area holds on to a fence at a refugee camp in Suruc on Sunday, November 16.
People in Suruc watch smoke rise near the Syrian border during clashes between ISIS members and armed groups on Thursday, November 13.People in Suruc watch smoke rise near the Syrian border during clashes between ISIS members and armed groups on Thursday, November 13.
A bomb (upper left) falls on an ISIS position in Kobani during an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition on Saturday, November 8.A bomb (upper left) falls on an ISIS position in Kobani during an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition on Saturday, November 8.
Iraqi military forces take up position in Jurf al-Sakhar, Iraq, on November 8. Iraqi military forces take up position in Jurf al-Sakhar, Iraq, on November 8.
Fire and smoke rise from Kobani following airstrikes against ISIS on Thursday, October 30. Fire and smoke rise from Kobani following airstrikes against ISIS on Thursday, October 30.
Iraqi special forces search a house in Jurf al-Sakhar on October 30 after retaking the area from ISIS.Iraqi special forces search a house in Jurf al-Sakhar on October 30 after retaking the area from ISIS.
Smoke rises during fighting in Kobani on Monday, October 27.Smoke rises during fighting in Kobani on Monday, October 27.
ISIS militants stand near the site of an airstrike near the Turkey-Syria border on Thursday, October 23.ISIS militants stand near the site of an airstrike near the Turkey-Syria border on Thursday, October 23.
An explosion rocks Kobani during a reported car-bomb attack by ISIS militants on Monday, October 20.An explosion rocks Kobani during a reported car-bomb attack by ISIS militants on Monday, October 20.
People watch Kobani from a hill near the Turkey-Syria border on October 20.People watch Kobani from a hill near the Turkey-Syria border on October 20.
Kurdish fighters walk to positions as they fight ISIS forces in Kobani on Sunday, October 19.Kurdish fighters walk to positions as they fight ISIS forces in Kobani on Sunday, October 19.
A U.S. Air Force plane flies above Kobani on Saturday, October 18.A U.S. Air Force plane flies above Kobani on Saturday, October 18.
Heavy smoke rises in Kobani following an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition on Saturday, October 18.Heavy smoke rises in Kobani following an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition on Saturday, October 18.
Cundi Minaz, a female Kurdish fighter, is buried in a cemetery in the southeastern Turkish town of Suruc on Tuesday, October 14. Minaz was reportedly killed during clashes with ISIS militants in nearby Kobani.Cundi Minaz, a female Kurdish fighter, is buried in a cemetery in the southeastern Turkish town of Suruc on Tuesday, October 14. Minaz was reportedly killed during clashes with ISIS militants in nearby Kobani.
Turkish police officers secure a basketball stadium in Suruc on October 14. Some Syrian Kurds have been held there since crossing from Syria into Turkey.Turkish police officers secure a basketball stadium in Suruc on October 14. Some Syrian Kurds have been held there since crossing from Syria into Turkey.
Kiymet Ergun, a Syrian Kurd, celebrates in Mursitpinar, Turkey, after an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition in Kobani on Monday, October 13.Kiymet Ergun, a Syrian Kurd, celebrates in Mursitpinar, Turkey, after an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition in Kobani on Monday, October 13.
Smoke rises from Kobani on Sunday, October 12.Smoke rises from Kobani on Sunday, October 12.
Syrian Kurds from Kobani stand outside the grounds of a refugee camp in Suruc on Saturday, October 11. Syrian Kurds from Kobani stand outside the grounds of a refugee camp in Suruc on Saturday, October 11.
Alleged ISIS militants stand next to an ISIS flag atop a hill in Kobani on Monday, October 6. Alleged ISIS militants stand next to an ISIS flag atop a hill in Kobani on Monday, October 6.
In this photo released by the U.S. Air Force on Saturday, October 4, a U.S. Navy jet is refueled in Iraqi airspace after conducting an airstrike against ISIS militants.In this photo released by the U.S. Air Force on Saturday, October 4, a U.S. Navy jet is refueled in Iraqi airspace after conducting an airstrike against ISIS militants.
A Kurdish Peshmerga soldier who was wounded in a battle with ISIS is wheeled to the Zakho Emergency Hospital in Duhuk on Tuesday, September 30.A Kurdish Peshmerga soldier who was wounded in a battle with ISIS is wheeled to the Zakho Emergency Hospital in Duhuk on Tuesday, September 30.
Iraqi Shiite militiamen aim their weapons during clashes with ISIS militants in Jurf al-Sakhar on Sunday, September 28.Iraqi Shiite militiamen aim their weapons during clashes with ISIS militants in Jurf al-Sakhar on Sunday, September 28.
Syrian Kurds wait near a border crossing in Suruc as they wait to return to their homes in Kobani on Sunday, September 28.Syrian Kurds wait near a border crossing in Suruc as they wait to return to their homes in Kobani on Sunday, September 28.
Syrian Kurds wait behind border fences to cross into Suruc on September 28.Syrian Kurds wait behind border fences to cross into Suruc on September 28.
Tomahawk missiles, intended for ISIS targets in Syria, fly above the Persian Gulf after being fired by the USS Philippine Sea in this image released by the U.S. Navy on Tuesday, September 23.Tomahawk missiles, intended for ISIS targets in Syria, fly above the Persian Gulf after being fired by the USS Philippine Sea in this image released by the U.S. Navy on Tuesday, September 23.
Turkish Kurds clash with Turkish security forces during a protest near Suruc on Monday, September 22. According to Time magazine, the protests were over Turkey's temporary decision to close the border with Syria.Turkish Kurds clash with Turkish security forces during a protest near Suruc on Monday, September 22. According to Time magazine, the protests were over Turkey's temporary decision to close the border with Syria.
Syrian Kurds fleeing ISIS militants wait behind a fence in Suruc on Sunday, September 21.Syrian Kurds fleeing ISIS militants wait behind a fence in Suruc on Sunday, September 21.
A elderly man is carried after crossing the Syria-Turkey border near Suruc on Saturday, September 20.A elderly man is carried after crossing the Syria-Turkey border near Suruc on Saturday, September 20.
A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter launches mortar shells toward ISIS militants in Zummar on Monday, September 15.A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter launches mortar shells toward ISIS militants in Zummar on Monday, September 15.
An ISIS flag flies on the other side of a bridge at the front line of fighting between ISIS and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in Rashad, Iraq, on Thursday, September 11.An ISIS flag flies on the other side of a bridge at the front line of fighting between ISIS and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in Rashad, Iraq, on Thursday, September 11.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reads on a flight en route to Iraq on Wednesday, September 10. Kerry traveled to the Mideast to discuss ways to bolster the stability of the new Iraqi government and combat ISIS.U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reads on a flight en route to Iraq on Wednesday, September 10. Kerry traveled to the Mideast to discuss ways to bolster the stability of the new Iraqi government and combat ISIS.
Kurdish Peshmerga fighters fire at ISIS militant positions from their position on the top of Mount Zardak, east of Mosul, Iraq, on Tuesday, September 9. Kurdish Peshmerga fighters fire at ISIS militant positions from their position on the top of Mount Zardak, east of Mosul, Iraq, on Tuesday, September 9.
An Iraqi fighter jet flies over Amerli, Iraq, on September 3. Amerli had been under siege by ISIS militants.An Iraqi fighter jet flies over Amerli, Iraq, on September 3. Amerli had been under siege by ISIS militants.
Iraqi volunteer fighters celebrate breaking the Amerli siege on Monday, September 1. ISIS militants had surrounded Amerli, 70 miles north of Baquba, Iraq, since mid-June.Iraqi volunteer fighters celebrate breaking the Amerli siege on Monday, September 1. ISIS militants had surrounded Amerli, 70 miles north of Baquba, Iraq, since mid-June.
Kurdish Peshmerga forces stand guard at their position in the Omar Khaled village west of Mosul on Sunday, August 24. Kurdish Peshmerga forces stand guard at their position in the Omar Khaled village west of Mosul on Sunday, August 24.
Kurdish Peshmergas fight to regain control of the town of Celavle, in Iraq's Diyala province, on August 24.Kurdish Peshmergas fight to regain control of the town of Celavle, in Iraq's Diyala province, on August 24.
Peshmerga fighters stand guard at Mosul Dam in northern Iraq on Thursday, August 21. With the help of U.S. military airstrikes, Kurdish and Iraqi forces retook the dam from ISIS militants on August 18. A breach of the dam would have been catastrophic for millions of Iraqis who live downstream from it.Peshmerga fighters stand guard at Mosul Dam in northern Iraq on Thursday, August 21. With the help of U.S. military airstrikes, Kurdish and Iraqi forces retook the dam from ISIS militants on August 18. A breach of the dam would have been catastrophic for millions of Iraqis who live downstream from it.
Displaced Iraqis receive clothes from a charity at a refugee camp near Feeshkhabour, Iraq, on Tuesday, August 19.Displaced Iraqis receive clothes from a charity at a refugee camp near Feeshkhabour, Iraq, on Tuesday, August 19.
A fighter with Kurdish Peshmerga forces battles ISIS militants near Mosul on Monday, August 18.A fighter with Kurdish Peshmerga forces battles ISIS militants near Mosul on Monday, August 18.
Peshmerga fighters inspect the remains of a car that reportedly belonged to ISIS militants and was targeted by a U.S. airstrike in the village of Baqufa, north of Mosul, on August 18.Peshmerga fighters inspect the remains of a car that reportedly belonged to ISIS militants and was targeted by a U.S. airstrike in the village of Baqufa, north of Mosul, on August 18.
Kurdish Peshmerga fighters fire at ISIS in Khazair, Iraq, on Thursday, August 14. Kurdish Peshmerga fighters fire at ISIS in Khazair, Iraq, on Thursday, August 14.
Volunteers of the Iraqi Red Crescent Society unload boxes of goods before distributing them August 14 to families who fled from ISIS.Volunteers of the Iraqi Red Crescent Society unload boxes of goods before distributing them August 14 to families who fled from ISIS.
From the flight deck of the USS George H.W. Bush, which is in the Persian Gulf, two U.S. fighter jets take off for a mission in Iraq on Monday, August 11. U.S. President Barack Obama authorized airstrikes against Islamic militants and food drops for Iraqis who are trapped by the militants.From the flight deck of the USS George H.W. Bush, which is in the Persian Gulf, two U.S. fighter jets take off for a mission in Iraq on Monday, August 11. U.S. President Barack Obama authorized airstrikes against Islamic militants and food drops for Iraqis who are trapped by the militants.
Aziza Hamid, a 15-year-old Iraqi girl, cries for her father while she and some other Yazidi people are flown to safety Monday, August 11, after a dramatic rescue operation at Iraq's Mount Sinjar. A CNN crew was on the flight, which took diapers, milk, water and food to the site where as many as 70,000 people were trapped by ISIS. But only a few of them were able to fly back on the helicopter with the Iraqi Air Force and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.Aziza Hamid, a 15-year-old Iraqi girl, cries for her father while she and some other Yazidi people are flown to safety Monday, August 11, after a dramatic rescue operation at Iraq's Mount Sinjar. A CNN crew was on the flight, which took diapers, milk, water and food to the site where as many as 70,000 people were trapped by ISIS. But only a few of them were able to fly back on the helicopter with the Iraqi Air Force and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.
Thousands of Yazidis are escorted to safety by Kurdish Peshmerga forces and a People's Protection Unit in Mosul on Saturday, August 9.Thousands of Yazidis are escorted to safety by Kurdish Peshmerga forces and a People's Protection Unit in Mosul on Saturday, August 9.
Iraqi Shiite volunteers who have joined government forces to fight ISIS take part in a training session near Basra, Iraq, on Thursday, August 7. Iraqi Shiite volunteers who have joined government forces to fight ISIS take part in a training session near Basra, Iraq, on Thursday, August 7.
Thousands of Yazidi and Christian people flee Mosul on Wednesday, August 6, after the latest wave of ISIS advances.Thousands of Yazidi and Christian people flee Mosul on Wednesday, August 6, after the latest wave of ISIS advances.
A Baiji oil refinery burns after an alleged ISIS attack in northern Selahaddin, Iraq, on Thursday, July 31.A Baiji oil refinery burns after an alleged ISIS attack in northern Selahaddin, Iraq, on Thursday, July 31.
A Syrian rebel fighter lies on a stretcher at a makeshift hospital in Douma, Syria, on Wednesday, July 9. He was reportedly injured while fighting ISIS militants.A Syrian rebel fighter lies on a stretcher at a makeshift hospital in Douma, Syria, on Wednesday, July 9. He was reportedly injured while fighting ISIS militants.
Iraqis who fled fighting in the cities of Mosul and Tal Afar try to enter a temporary displacement camp in Khazair on Wednesday, July 2.Iraqis who fled fighting in the cities of Mosul and Tal Afar try to enter a temporary displacement camp in Khazair on Wednesday, July 2.
Peshmerga fighters check cars at the entrance of a temporary displacement camp in Khazair on Thursday, June 26. Peshmerga fighters check cars at the entrance of a temporary displacement camp in Khazair on Thursday, June 26.
Kurdish Peshmerga take their positions behind a wall on the front line of the conflict with ISIS militants in Tuz Khormato, Iraq, on Wednesday, June 25.Kurdish Peshmerga take their positions behind a wall on the front line of the conflict with ISIS militants in Tuz Khormato, Iraq, on Wednesday, June 25.
Peshmerga fighters clean their weapons at a base in Tuz Khormato on June 25.Peshmerga fighters clean their weapons at a base in Tuz Khormato on June 25.
New army recruits gather in Najaf, Iraq, on Wednesday, June 18, following a call for Iraqis to take up arms against Islamic militant fighters. New army recruits gather in Najaf, Iraq, on Wednesday, June 18, following a call for Iraqis to take up arms against Islamic militant fighters.
An MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter lands on the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the Persian Gulf on Tuesday, June 17.An MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter lands on the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the Persian Gulf on Tuesday, June 17.
Newly recruited Iraqi volunteer fighters take part in a training session in Karbala, Iraq, on June 17.Newly recruited Iraqi volunteer fighters take part in a training session in Karbala, Iraq, on June 17.
Members of ISIS prepare to execute soldiers from Iraq's security forces in this image, one of many reportedly posted by the militant group online. CNN cannot independently confirm the authenticity of the images.Members of ISIS prepare to execute soldiers from Iraq's security forces in this image, one of many reportedly posted by the militant group online. CNN cannot independently confirm the authenticity of the images.
Iraqi men chant slogans outside of an army recruiting center to volunteer for military service Thursday, June 12, in Baghdad.Iraqi men chant slogans outside of an army recruiting center to volunteer for military service Thursday, June 12, in Baghdad.
Kurdish Peshmerga forces, along with Iraqi special forces, deploy their troops and armored vehicles outside of Kirkuk, Iraq, on June 12.Kurdish Peshmerga forces, along with Iraqi special forces, deploy their troops and armored vehicles outside of Kirkuk, Iraq, on June 12.
Children stand next to a burnt vehicle during clashes between Iraqi security forces and ISIS militants in Mosul on Tuesday, June 10.Children stand next to a burnt vehicle during clashes between Iraqi security forces and ISIS militants in Mosul on Tuesday, June 10.
Civilians from Mosul escape to a refugee camp near Irbil, Iraq, on June 10. Civilians from Mosul escape to a refugee camp near Irbil, Iraq, on June 10.
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Photos: The ISIS terror threatPhotos: The ISIS terror threat
Village massacre near Sinjar by ISIS

Last summer, ISIS slaughtered Yazidis by the hundreds, according to Vian Dakhil, the only lawmaker representing the Yazidis in Iraq's Parliament. Women in the group were "treated like cattle," Kurdish Regional Government adviser Nazand Begikhani said. Many were enslaved, raped and sold by ISIS.

The town of Sinjar became central to this drama, when Yazidi residents ran for their lives to Sinjar Mountain, just to the north.

But they had very little food, medical care or water, shortages compounded by Iraq's intense summer heat.

Their dire situation, as well as the harsh treatment they got from ISIS simply due to their religious beliefs, spurred an international coalition to act.

This effort began with the airdrop of supplies to Sinjar Mountain. Rescues came next. And now, the U.S.-led coalition is waging regular airstrikes targeting ISIS in Iraq and neighboring Syria -- an air campaign that helped pave the way for the recapture of Sinjar.

Fight over Sinjar Mountain, surrounding area

This summer's combination of humanitarian and military efforts helped, as thousands of Yazidis fled on foot to Syria.

Still, a few hundred remained on Sinjar Mountain. And ISIS never really went away.

In fact, the tug-of-war in the region has continued for months -- prompting a fresh allied onslaught in recent days.

Tuesday night, coalition aircraft conducted 48 airstrikes near Sinjar -- the heaviest concentration of such airstrikes to date, according to two U.S. defense officials.

Masrour Barzani, chancellor of the KRSC, said Thursday this ground-and-air operation helped "open ... a corridor from south of Zummar to the Mountain Sinjar," giving direct access to those displaced on the mountain and in need of aid.

ISIS fighters, meanwhile, fled toward the Syrian border and ISIS strongholds such as Mosul and Tal Afar, the Kurdish agency said.

Kurdish agency: 'Morale remains high'

The Peshmerga are keeping up the heat.

A press release Saturday from the Kurdistan Region Security Council indicated these fighters launched a new phase of the offensive around 8 a.m. (midnight ET) south of Rabia to Sinjar Mountain.

Three hours later, the KRSC claimed its forces had taken "complete control of Mushrefa" but that they weren't done.

"The objective is to surround and clear an area of approximately 2,100 square kilometers (810 square miles)," the Kurdish agency said.

Meanwhile, humanitarian aid -- in the form of 32 truckloads of food, water and other needed aid -- began rolling out Saturday morning from Irbil, bound for Sinjar Mountain, the KRSC reported.

"Morale remains high as the Peshmerga continue to make advances on both fronts (north and south of Sinjar Mountain)," the Kurdish agency said.

Everything to know about the rise of ISIS

CNN's Yousuf Basil contributed to this report

Key Taliban commander killed

  • Security forces: At least five militants and two suspected militants are killed Saturday
  • The Taliban insurgents are killed in and around Peshawar
  • Taliban gunmen killed 145 people, including 132 children, at a school in Peshawar

Peshawar, Pakistan (CNN) -- Pakistani security forces said they killed several Taliban insurgents in and around Peshawar on Saturday, four days after Taliban gunmen massacred scores of children the northwestern city.

At least five militants, including a key commander, were killed Saturday in a battle between security forces and militants in the Mattani area of Peshawar, sources said.

The Taliban in Pakistan's terror legacy
Gruesome look inside attacked school
Afghanistan 'ready to cooperate' in Taliban fight

In addition, at least two suspected militants and two police officers were killed in Charsadda, a suburb of Peshawar, sources said.

On Friday, the Pakistani military said it killed 32 militants in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, of which Peshawar is the capital. A military statement didn't specify whether any of those killed were Taliban members or whether the ambush was linked to Tuesday's deadly school attack, in which 145 people, including 132 children, were killed.

The school massacre prompted widespread revulsion across Pakistan. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif responded by announcing an end to a moratorium on the death penalty in terrorism cases.

The Pakistani Taliban, known as the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, said they targeted a school, which mostly admits soldiers' children, because the students aspired to follow in their fathers' footsteps and target militants.

They also said it was revenge for the killing of hundreds of innocent tribesmen and their children during a recent offensive by Pakistan's military.

The Pakistani army has been conducting a ground offensive aimed at clearing out Taliban and other militants in the loosely governed tribal areas of northwestern Pakistan. The campaign has displaced tens of thousands of people.

The Pakistani Taliban, which have close ties with their namesake in Afghanistan, have long taken credit for an extensive list of assaults on civilians and security forces in Pakistan.

The attack on schoolchildren, however, was repellent even in the eyes of other militant groups in the region.

A spokesman for the Afghan Taliban condemned the Peshawar school attack because it involved the "deliberate killing of innocent people, women and children."

Osama Mehmood, a spokesman for al Qaeda's affiliate in India, similarly condemned the attack, blasting it as being against Sharia, or Islamic law.

"Our hearts are tearing apart with pain at the killing of innocent children," he said in a statement.

"The fighters of al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent condole the death of these children. Our target is not innocent civilians, women and children, instead we are responsible for their protection."

Zahir Shah reported from Peshawar, and Holly Yan wrote from Atlanta. CNN's Sophia Saifi and Jethro Mullen contributed to this report.

DUI charge in fatal crowd crash

  • Margo Julie Bronstein, 56, faces about 40 years in prison if convicted of all charges
  • Bronstein pleads not guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter and drug-related charge
  • Killed were mom and son, age 6, and two people aged 87 and 81
  • Many victims were leaving Christmas event at a Catholic church

(CNN) -- A 56-year-old Southern California woman was charged Friday with driving intoxicated into a crowd exiting a church Christmas-related event, killing four people, including a 6-year-old boy, prosecutors said.

Margo Julie Bronstein of Redondo Beach pleaded not guilty in a Los Angeles courtroom to four felony counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and one felony count of driving under the influence of a drug causing injury, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office said.

She is being held on $500,000 bail.

Bronstein's attorney unsuccessfully asked the court that bail be reduced to $100,000; Bronstein client has no criminal record and a clean driving history, according to CNN affiliate KTLA.

"This appears to be an accident. It wasn't an intentional act on her behalf," attorney Jeffrey Gray said, according to the station.

Redondo Beach Police Lt. Joe Hoffman said prescription medication was involved "at the very minimum," according to the affiliate.

Timothy Eakin, a friend of Bronstein, told KTLA that Bronstein "takes a lot of pain medications, and she actually drives her vehicle with hand controls."

Bronstein has had many hip and leg surgeries and had been in a wheelchair most of her life, Eakin told KTLA.

Bronstein on Wednesday evening allegedly swerved around vehicles stopped at red light, crossed the light and plowed into a group in a crosswalk on Pacific Coast Highway as they left St. James Catholic Church in Redondo Beach, authorities said.

The highway is the busiest street in Redondo Beach, police said.

Bronstein kept driving before "colliding head-on with a vehicle" going the other way, police said.

Killed were Martha Gaza, 36; and her son Samuel, 6; Mary Anne Wilson, 81; and Saeko Matsumura, 87, prosecutors said.

In all, the felony complaint names nine victims.

At least one pedestrian struck "was moved up to where the head-on collision occurred," police said.

About 12 ambulances rushed to find people lying in the street, suffering from injuries ranging from minor to critical, Division Chief Rob Rappaport of the Redondo Beach Fire Department said.

If convicted on all charges, Bronstein faces about 40 years in prison, prosecutors said.

Authorities: Man stole $$$ to freeze wife

  • Federal prosecutors accuse Whileon Chay of defrauding investors out of millions
  • They say he spent $150,000 to cryogenically freeze his wife
  • Chay said to flee to Peru

(CNN) -- Federal authorities have accused a New York man of defrauding investors out of millions of dollars and using the misappropriated funds to pay for a lavish lifestyle -- luxury cars for himself and something a bit more unusual for his wife.

Authorities say Whileon Chay spent more than $150,000 in order to have his deceased spouse cryogenically frozen. She died in "in or about 2009," according to the indictment.

Cryogenic freezing has been portrayed as a way to preserve living or dead people in order to revive them in the future, according to the Cryonics Institute.

The indictment, unsealed on Friday in Manhattan federal court, accuses Chay of soliciting more than $5 million from investors in commodities pools, which supposedly were primarily engaged in foreign exchange trading.

Chay, 38, lost more than $2 million in commodities trading and in 2011 fled the United States for Lima, Peru, according to a release from the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office.

"Whileon Chay deceived investors about the commodities pools he managed, claiming to be a successful trader when he in fact was losing millions and misappropriating investors' money for his own use," said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in a statement.

Chay has been charged with mail and wire fraud, which each carry a maximum term of 20 years in prison. He also was charged with commodities fraud, which has a maximum of 10 years.

According to Bharara's office, Chay promised investors approximate annual return rates of 24% and claimed that "[t]here is no risk in this activity."

"[W]e have never had a loosing [sic] month," he told investors, according to the release.

The U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission had previously sued Chay and his company, 4X Solutions, Inc.

Authorities: Man stole $$$ to freeze wife

  • Federal prosecutors accuse Whileon Chay of defrauding investors out of millions
  • They say he spent $150,000 to cryogenically freeze his wife
  • Chay said to flee to Peru

(CNN) -- Federal authorities have accused a New York man of defrauding investors out of millions of dollars and using the misappropriated funds to pay for a lavish lifestyle -- luxury cars for himself and something a bit more unusual for his wife.

Authorities say Whileon Chay spent more than $150,000 in order to have his deceased spouse cryogenically frozen. She died in "in or about 2009," according to the indictment.

Cryogenic freezing has been portrayed as a way to preserve living or dead people in order to revive them in the future, according to the Cryonics Institute.

The indictment, unsealed on Friday in Manhattan federal court, accuses Chay of soliciting more than $5 million from investors in commodities pools, which supposedly were primarily engaged in foreign exchange trading.

Chay, 38, lost more than $2 million in commodities trading and in 2011 fled the United States for Lima, Peru, according to a release from the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office.

"Whileon Chay deceived investors about the commodities pools he managed, claiming to be a successful trader when he in fact was losing millions and misappropriating investors' money for his own use," said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in a statement.

Chay has been charged with mail and wire fraud, which each carry a maximum term of 20 years in prison. He also was charged with commodities fraud, which has a maximum of 10 years.

According to Bharara's office, Chay promised investors approximate annual return rates of 24% and claimed that "[t]here is no risk in this activity."

"[W]e have never had a loosing [sic] month," he told investors, according to the release.

The U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission had previously sued Chay and his company, 4X Solutions, Inc.

Same-sex marriages a ‘go’ in Florida?

April Dawn Breeden, left, and longtime partner Crystal Peairs are married by the Rev. Katie Hotze-Wilton at St. Louis City Hall on Wednesday, November 5. A Missouri judge on November 5 overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriages and ordered registrars to start issuing licenses to gay and lesbian couples. More than 30 states and the District of Columbia allow marriage for same-sex couples.April Dawn Breeden, left, and longtime partner Crystal Peairs are married by the Rev. Katie Hotze-Wilton at St. Louis City Hall on Wednesday, November 5. A Missouri judge on November 5 overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriages and ordered registrars to start issuing licenses to gay and lesbian couples. More than 30 states and the District of Columbia allow marriage for same-sex couples.
Rachael Beierle, left, and Boise City Council President Maryanne Jordan, center, laugh at a joke during Amber Beierle's wedding vows Wednesday, October 15, at City Hall in Boise, Idaho. With Boise Mayor Dave Bieter out of town, Jordan officiated the wedding as acting mayor. Earlier this month, a federal appeals court found that same-sex marriage bans in Idaho and neighboring Nevada were unconstitutional.Rachael Beierle, left, and Boise City Council President Maryanne Jordan, center, laugh at a joke during Amber Beierle's wedding vows Wednesday, October 15, at City Hall in Boise, Idaho. With Boise Mayor Dave Bieter out of town, Jordan officiated the wedding as acting mayor. Earlier this month, a federal appeals court found that same-sex marriage bans in Idaho and neighboring Nevada were unconstitutional.
Chad Biggs, left, and his fiance, Chris Creech, say their wedding vows in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Friday, October 10, after a federal judge ruled that same-sex marriage can begin there.Chad Biggs, left, and his fiance, Chris Creech, say their wedding vows in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Friday, October 10, after a federal judge ruled that same-sex marriage can begin there.
Joshua Gunter, right, and Bryan Shields attend a rally in Las Vegas to celebrate an appeals court ruling that overturned Nevada's same-sex marriage ban on Tuesday, October 7.Joshua Gunter, right, and Bryan Shields attend a rally in Las Vegas to celebrate an appeals court ruling that overturned Nevada's same-sex marriage ban on Tuesday, October 7.
From left, plaintiffs Moudi Sbeity; his partner, Derek Kitchen; Kody Partridge; and Partridge's wife, Laurie Wood, celebrate after a news conference in Salt Lake City on Monday, October 6. The U.S. Supreme Court had just cleared the way for legal same-sex marriages in five more states -- Virginia, Utah, Nevada, Indiana and Wisconsin.From left, plaintiffs Moudi Sbeity; his partner, Derek Kitchen; Kody Partridge; and Partridge's wife, Laurie Wood, celebrate after a news conference in Salt Lake City on Monday, October 6. The U.S. Supreme Court had just cleared the way for legal same-sex marriages in five more states -- Virginia, Utah, Nevada, Indiana and Wisconsin.
Abbi Huber, left, and Talia Frolkis exit the City County Building in Madison, Wisconsin, after applying for a marriage license on October 6.Abbi Huber, left, and Talia Frolkis exit the City County Building in Madison, Wisconsin, after applying for a marriage license on October 6.
Rob MacPherson, right, and his husband, Steven Stolen, hug during a news conference at the American Civil Liberties Union in Indianapolis on October 6.Rob MacPherson, right, and his husband, Steven Stolen, hug during a news conference at the American Civil Liberties Union in Indianapolis on October 6.
Mary Bishop, second from left, and Sharon Baldwin, right, celebrate with family and friends following their wedding ceremony on the courthouse steps in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on October 6.Mary Bishop, second from left, and Sharon Baldwin, right, celebrate with family and friends following their wedding ceremony on the courthouse steps in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on October 6.
Jennifer Melsop, left, and Erika Turner kiss after they were married in front of the Arlington County Courthouse in Arlington, Virginia, on October 6.Jennifer Melsop, left, and Erika Turner kiss after they were married in front of the Arlington County Courthouse in Arlington, Virginia, on October 6.
Pastor Carol Hill from Epworth United Methodist Church speaks during a marriage-equality ceremony at the Kathy Osterman Beach in Chicago on Sunday, June 1. June 1 marked the first day that all of Illinois' 102 counties could begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.Pastor Carol Hill from Epworth United Methodist Church speaks during a marriage-equality ceremony at the Kathy Osterman Beach in Chicago on Sunday, June 1. June 1 marked the first day that all of Illinois' 102 counties could begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
William Roletter, left, and Paul Rowe, right, press close to each other after having their photo taken with their newly acquired marriage certificate Wednesday, May 21, at City Hall in Philadelphia.William Roletter, left, and Paul Rowe, right, press close to each other after having their photo taken with their newly acquired marriage certificate Wednesday, May 21, at City Hall in Philadelphia.
Julie Engbloom, left, and Laurie Brown embrace after they were wed in Portland, Oregon, on Monday, May 19. A federal judge struck down the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.Julie Engbloom, left, and Laurie Brown embrace after they were wed in Portland, Oregon, on Monday, May 19. A federal judge struck down the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.
Jennifer Rambo, right, kisses her partner, Kristin Seaton, after their marriage ceremony in front of the Carroll County Courthouse in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, on Saturday, May 10. Rambo and Seaton were the first same-sex couple to be granted a marriage license in Eureka Springs after a judge overturned Amendment 83, which banned same-sex marriage in Arkansas. Jennifer Rambo, right, kisses her partner, Kristin Seaton, after their marriage ceremony in front of the Carroll County Courthouse in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, on Saturday, May 10. Rambo and Seaton were the first same-sex couple to be granted a marriage license in Eureka Springs after a judge overturned Amendment 83, which banned same-sex marriage in Arkansas.
Same-sex couples get their marriage licenses at the Oakland County Courthouse in Pontiac, Michigan, on Saturday, March 22, a day after a federal judge overturned Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage.Same-sex couples get their marriage licenses at the Oakland County Courthouse in Pontiac, Michigan, on Saturday, March 22, a day after a federal judge overturned Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage.
Utah state Sen. Jim Dabakis, left, and Stephen Justesen acknowledge the crowd after being married in Salt Lake City on Friday, December 20. A federal judge struck down Utah's ban on same-sex marriage, saying it conflicted with the constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. Many Utah counties began issuing marriage licenses before the state appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court temporarily blocked enforcement of the lower court ruling until the constitutional questions were fully resolved.Utah state Sen. Jim Dabakis, left, and Stephen Justesen acknowledge the crowd after being married in Salt Lake City on Friday, December 20. A federal judge struck down Utah's ban on same-sex marriage, saying it conflicted with the constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. Many Utah counties began issuing marriage licenses before the state appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court temporarily blocked enforcement of the lower court ruling until the constitutional questions were fully resolved.
Plaintiffs Laurie Wood, left, and Kody Partridge, center, walk with attorney Peggy Tomsic on Wednesday, December 4, after a judge heard arguments challenging Utah's same-sex marriage ban.Plaintiffs Laurie Wood, left, and Kody Partridge, center, walk with attorney Peggy Tomsic on Wednesday, December 4, after a judge heard arguments challenging Utah's same-sex marriage ban.
Hawaiian Gov. Neil Abercrombie, left, and former Sen. Avery Chumbley celebrate with a copy of the Star-Advertiser after Abercrombie signed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in Hawaii on Wednesday, November 13.Hawaiian Gov. Neil Abercrombie, left, and former Sen. Avery Chumbley celebrate with a copy of the Star-Advertiser after Abercrombie signed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in Hawaii on Wednesday, November 13.
Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Cory Booker officiates a wedding ceremony for Joseph Panessidi and Orville Bell at City Hall in October 2013. The state Supreme Court denied the state's request to prevent same-sex marriages temporarily, clearing the way for same-sex couples to marry.Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Cory Booker officiates a wedding ceremony for Joseph Panessidi and Orville Bell at City Hall in October 2013. The state Supreme Court denied the state's request to prevent same-sex marriages temporarily, clearing the way for same-sex couples to marry.
A couple celebrates at San Francisco City Hall upon hearing about the U.S. Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage in June 2013. The high court cleared the way for same-sex couples in California to resume marrying after dismissing an appeal on Proposition 8 on jurisdictional grounds. The court also struck down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 federal law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. A couple celebrates at San Francisco City Hall upon hearing about the U.S. Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage in June 2013. The high court cleared the way for same-sex couples in California to resume marrying after dismissing an appeal on Proposition 8 on jurisdictional grounds. The court also struck down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 federal law defining marriage as between a man and a woman.
At the state Capitol in St. Paul, Minnesota, Gov. Mark Dayton signs a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in May 2013.At the state Capitol in St. Paul, Minnesota, Gov. Mark Dayton signs a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in May 2013.
Delaware Gov. Jack Markell holds up legislation in May 2013 allowing same-sex couples to wed in the state.Delaware Gov. Jack Markell holds up legislation in May 2013 allowing same-sex couples to wed in the state.
Rhode Island state Sen. Donna Nesselbush, right, embraces a supporter after the Marriage Equality Act was signed into law at the statehouse in Providence in May 2013.Rhode Island state Sen. Donna Nesselbush, right, embraces a supporter after the Marriage Equality Act was signed into law at the statehouse in Providence in May 2013.
Jamous Lizotte, right, and Steven Jones pose for photos while waiting for a marriage license in Portland, Maine, in December 2012.Jamous Lizotte, right, and Steven Jones pose for photos while waiting for a marriage license in Portland, Maine, in December 2012.
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, center, shakes hands with Senate President Thomas V. "Mike" Miller after signing a same-sex marriage bill in March 2012. The law was challenged, but voters approved marriage equality in a November 2012 referendum.Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, center, shakes hands with Senate President Thomas V. "Mike" Miller after signing a same-sex marriage bill in March 2012. The law was challenged, but voters approved marriage equality in a November 2012 referendum.
Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire celebrates after signing marriage-equality legislation into law on February 13, 2012. Voters there approved same-sex marriage in November 2012.Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire celebrates after signing marriage-equality legislation into law on February 13, 2012. Voters there approved same-sex marriage in November 2012.
Phyllis Siegel, right, kisses her wife, Connie Kopelov, after exchanging vows at the Manhattan City Clerk's office on July 24, 2011, the first day New York's Marriage Equality Act went into effect.Phyllis Siegel, right, kisses her wife, Connie Kopelov, after exchanging vows at the Manhattan City Clerk's office on July 24, 2011, the first day New York's Marriage Equality Act went into effect.
In 2010, television reporter Roby Chavez, right, shares a moment with gay rights activist Frank Kameny during Chavez and Chris Roe's wedding ceremony in the nation's capital. Same-sex marriage became legal in Washington in March 2010.In 2010, television reporter Roby Chavez, right, shares a moment with gay rights activist Frank Kameny during Chavez and Chris Roe's wedding ceremony in the nation's capital. Same-sex marriage became legal in Washington in March 2010.
Olin Burkhart, left, and Carl Burkhart kiss on the steps of the New Hampshire Capitol in January 2010 after the state's law allowing same-sex marriage went into effect.Olin Burkhart, left, and Carl Burkhart kiss on the steps of the New Hampshire Capitol in January 2010 after the state's law allowing same-sex marriage went into effect.
Maine state Sen. Dennis Damon, left, hands Gov. John Baldacci the bill that the state Senate passed in May 2009 to affirm the right of same-sex couples to marry.Maine state Sen. Dennis Damon, left, hands Gov. John Baldacci the bill that the state Senate passed in May 2009 to affirm the right of same-sex couples to marry.
Amy Klein-Matheny, left, and her wife, Jennifer, exchange vows in Iowa after same-sex couples were allowed to marry there with a court ruling in April 2009.Amy Klein-Matheny, left, and her wife, Jennifer, exchange vows in Iowa after same-sex couples were allowed to marry there with a court ruling in April 2009.
Michael Miller, left, and Ross Zachs marry on the West Hartford Town Hall steps after same-sex marriages became legal in Connecticut on November 12, 2008.Michael Miller, left, and Ross Zachs marry on the West Hartford Town Hall steps after same-sex marriages became legal in Connecticut on November 12, 2008.
Lara Ramsey, left, and her partner of eight years, Jane Lohmann, play with their 7-month-old son, Wyatt Ramsey-Lohmann. The two wed in 2004 after Massachusetts approved same-sex marriage. Massachusetts was the first state to do so.Lara Ramsey, left, and her partner of eight years, Jane Lohmann, play with their 7-month-old son, Wyatt Ramsey-Lohmann. The two wed in 2004 after Massachusetts approved same-sex marriage. Massachusetts was the first state to do so.
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  • Supreme Court declines to further delay judge's ruling that state's ban is unconstitutional
  • "This is a thrilling day for all Florida families," ACLU of Florida attorney says
  • Ban to be lifted January 5, but appeals court could rule later
  • Official expresses "confusion" over whether all counties will issue licenses

(CNN) -- Florida appears set to recognize same-sex marriages on January 6, after the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday declined to further delay a lower court's finding that the state's ban on the unions is unconstitutional.

The high court Friday night, without explanation, rejected the Florida attorney general's request to intervene. A U.S. District judge in Florida had ruled in August the state's ban was unconstitutional but stayed the ruling to allow for appeals.

The case hasn't been completely settled.

Neither the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals nor the Supreme Court have ruled on the merits, and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who has defended the ban, has expressed "confusion" over whether all 67 counties will issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples before appeals are settled.

But the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida said it expects the state to fully recognize same-sex marriages when U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle's stay expires at the end of January 5.

"This is a thrilling day for all Florida families. As we explained to the court, every day that the ban remains in place, couples are suffering real harms," ACLU of Florida attorney Daniel Tilley said. "We are grateful that the court recognized that, and that as a result, those days are finally coming to an end."

Florida would become the 36th state to recognize same-sex marriage, in addition to the District of Columbia.

In August, Hinkle ruled the Florida ban -- first put into law in 1977 and written into the state's constitution after a 2008 referendum -- violates the "due process" and "equal protection" provisions in the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment.

His ruling applied to whether same-sex couples can marry in Florida as well as to whether such marriages elsewhere should be recognized in the Sunshine State.

As part of the ruling, Hinkle ordered that Washington County, Florida, must issue a marriage license to two plaintiffs -- a same-sex couple -- who sued the state. He then stayed his own ruling, saying some time needed to pass to allow higher courts to reverse his decision.

Bondi filed an appeal with the 11th Circuit. That court has yet to hear, or schedule a hearing on, arguments on the merits.

Both Hinkle and the 11th Circuit declined this fall to extend the stay. On Monday, Bondi asked the high court to extend the delay until the state exhausted its appeals.

"The public is not served by on-again, off-again marriage laws," her office argued in this week's application.

After the Supreme Court declined to intervene, Bondi issued a statement acknowledging January 5 as the stay's final day. But, earlier this week, she said that there would be "confusion about the effect of (Hinkle's ruling), which is directed to only one of Florida's 67 clerks of court."

Bondi's statement didn't directly address her earlier county concerns. A Bondi spokeswoman did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment Saturday on whether all 67 counties must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples once Hinkle's stay expires.

Tilley, the ACLU of Florida attorney, indicated that he expects they will.

"We expect public officials in all of Florida's 67 counties to understand the significance of this development and look forward to full implementation of Judge Hinkle's decision across our state," Tilley said.

U.S. district and circuit courts overturned many states' same-sex marriage bans after the Supreme Court rejected parts of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in 2013.

One federal appeals court -- the Sixth Circuit -- upheld bans in Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky in November, a move that could force the Supreme Court to take up the issue.

CNN's Joe Sutton and Greg Botelho contributed to this report.

5 dead; caramel apples to blame?

Deadly listeria outbreak linked to caramel apples.
Deadly listeria outbreak linked to caramel apples.
  • At least 4 people have died after eating caramel apples possibly infected with Listeria monocytogenes, 28 people have become infected
  • Listeriosis is on the CDC notifiable diseases list
  • Older adults, pregnant women, adults with compromised immune systems, and infants are particularly vulnerable to infections like this

(CNN) -- A sweet treat has turned potentially deadly for dozens of people in multiple states.

At least four people have died -- in a fifth case tests are pending -- after eating caramel apples that may have been infected with Listeria monocytogenes.

Some 28 people have become infected with the deadly bacterium in 10 different states according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Listeria What you need to know

Of the people who have gotten sick, nine were pregnant. Pregnant women are 10 times more likely to get listeriosis after eating infected food.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 48 million people suffer from foodborne illnesses each year in the United States. Stay safe by following these steps outlined by the Food and Drug Administration:The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 48 million people suffer from foodborne illnesses each year in the United States. Stay safe by following these steps outlined by the Food and Drug Administration:
Clean properly: Wash all produce thoroughly with water and/or a vinegar solution before eating. Make sure also to wash your hands and everything else that comes into contact with food. This includes kitchen utensils, cutting boards, countertops, tableware and cookware. Wash your hands thoroughly with warm water for at least 20 seconds before touching food, after handling uncooked meat or produce, and after eating. Make sure you also wash your hands between preparing each type of food.Clean properly: Wash all produce thoroughly with water and/or a vinegar solution before eating. Make sure also to wash your hands and everything else that comes into contact with food. This includes kitchen utensils, cutting boards, countertops, tableware and cookware. Wash your hands thoroughly with warm water for at least 20 seconds before touching food, after handling uncooked meat or produce, and after eating. Make sure you also wash your hands between preparing each type of food.
Separate your food: Keep uncooked food from contaminating other food with dangerous bacteria. Separate raw meat, poultry, fish and produce from one another and other foods. Use separate cutting boards for meat and vegetables, or thoroughly clean the cutting board before using it to prepare a different food.Separate your food: Keep uncooked food from contaminating other food with dangerous bacteria. Separate raw meat, poultry, fish and produce from one another and other foods. Use separate cutting boards for meat and vegetables, or thoroughly clean the cutting board before using it to prepare a different food.
Separate your utensils: Be careful not to use the same utensils to prepare different foods without first cleaning the utensils. Finally, don't use the same utensils or dishware for both uncooked and cooked food without cleaning them first.Separate your utensils: Be careful not to use the same utensils to prepare different foods without first cleaning the utensils. Finally, don't use the same utensils or dishware for both uncooked and cooked food without cleaning them first.
Cook food properly: Keep food out of the danger zone by cooking it thoroughly. The danger zone is where germs thrive, between 40 degrees and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure you cook food to at least 140 degrees to kill harmful microorganisms.Cook food properly: Keep food out of the danger zone by cooking it thoroughly. The danger zone is where germs thrive, between 40 degrees and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure you cook food to at least 140 degrees to kill harmful microorganisms.
Check the temperature: Check your food's internal temperature with a food thermometer, but be careful not to contaminate food with a dirty thermometer. Make sure you clean the thermometer as you check each item. A food thermometer is the only way to know if your food is cooked enough. Simply cooking meat until it turns brown may not be an accurate indication of whether your food contains harmful bacteria. If you plan to keep food warm after cooking, make sure the internal temperature doesn't drop below 140 degrees Fahrenheit.Check the temperature: Check your food's internal temperature with a food thermometer, but be careful not to contaminate food with a dirty thermometer. Make sure you clean the thermometer as you check each item. A food thermometer is the only way to know if your food is cooked enough. Simply cooking meat until it turns brown may not be an accurate indication of whether your food contains harmful bacteria. If you plan to keep food warm after cooking, make sure the internal temperature doesn't drop below 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Chill: Keep foods cold and chill leftovers quickly. Check your refrigerator with a refrigerator/freezer thermometer to make sure the temperature is 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, and make sure your freezer is 0 degrees or below. If you have leftovers or perishable foods, refrigerate or freeze them within two hours (only one hour if the surrounding temperature is above 90 degrees F). If you thaw frozen food, don't leave the food out at room temperature. Thaw the food in the refrigerator. If you need to thaw food quickly, place the food under cold running water or in the microwave. Then cook the food immediately.Chill: Keep foods cold and chill leftovers quickly. Check your refrigerator with a refrigerator/freezer thermometer to make sure the temperature is 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, and make sure your freezer is 0 degrees or below. If you have leftovers or perishable foods, refrigerate or freeze them within two hours (only one hour if the surrounding temperature is above 90 degrees F). If you thaw frozen food, don't leave the food out at room temperature. Thaw the food in the refrigerator. If you need to thaw food quickly, place the food under cold running water or in the microwave. Then cook the food immediately.
Photos: How to keep your food safePhotos: How to keep your food safe
Each year one out of every six Americans is sickened by a foodborne illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Here are some of the biggest foodborne illness outbreaks since 2001. Click here for tips on how to keep your food safe.Each year one out of every six Americans is sickened by a foodborne illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Here are some of the biggest foodborne illness outbreaks since 2001. Click here for tips on how to keep your food safe.
In 2013, Foster Farms chicken infected 634 people in 29 states with a multidrug-resistant strain of Salmonella, according to the CDC. Of the 634 cases, 38% involved hospitalization.In 2013, Foster Farms chicken infected 634 people in 29 states with a multidrug-resistant strain of Salmonella, according to the CDC. Of the 634 cases, 38% involved hospitalization.
A salad mix and fresh cilantro from Mexico ended up infecting 631 people with the parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis in summer 2013. The parasite triggers watery diarrhea, nausea, bloating and cramping. A salad mix and fresh cilantro from Mexico ended up infecting 631 people with the parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis in summer 2013. The parasite triggers watery diarrhea, nausea, bloating and cramping.
A hepatitis A outbreak was attributed to Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen berries in September 2013. A total of 162 cases were reported, and 71 people were hospitalized, according to the CDC. Severe hepatitis cases can cause liver damage. The blend's pomegranate seeds came from a company in Turkey, which was the source of contamination.A hepatitis A outbreak was attributed to Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen berries in September 2013. A total of 162 cases were reported, and 71 people were hospitalized, according to the CDC. Severe hepatitis cases can cause liver damage. The blend's pomegranate seeds came from a company in Turkey, which was the source of contamination.
Cantaloupes tainted with salmonella infected more than 260 people across 24 states in October 2012. Three people in Kentucky died and 94 were hospitalized. Investigators determined Chamberlain Farms Produce Inc. of Owensville, Indiana, was the source of this outbreak. Cantaloupes tainted with salmonella infected more than 260 people across 24 states in October 2012. Three people in Kentucky died and 94 were hospitalized. Investigators determined Chamberlain Farms Produce Inc. of Owensville, Indiana, was the source of this outbreak.
Salmonella in a frozen raw yellowfin tuna product, known as Nakaochi Scrape, sickened 425 people and hospitalized 55 in the spring and summer of 2012. The product was used most often to make "spicy tuna" sushi, according to the CDC. Salmonella in a frozen raw yellowfin tuna product, known as Nakaochi Scrape, sickened 425 people and hospitalized 55 in the spring and summer of 2012. The product was used most often to make "spicy tuna" sushi, according to the CDC.
Twenty-two cases were reported of a Listeria monocytogenes infection from the Frescolina Marte brand of ricotta salata cheese in 2012, but 90% of those people were hospitalized, and four people died, according to the CDC.Twenty-two cases were reported of a Listeria monocytogenes infection from the Frescolina Marte brand of ricotta salata cheese in 2012, but 90% of those people were hospitalized, and four people died, according to the CDC.
In September 2011, listeria in cantaloupes left 30 people dead in what was the deadliest U.S. outbreak of a food borne illness since the CDC started keeping track of listeria cases in 1973, according to the agency. In September 2011, listeria in cantaloupes left 30 people dead in what was the deadliest U.S. outbreak of a food borne illness since the CDC started keeping track of listeria cases in 1973, according to the agency.
Between February and August 2011, the Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. recalled more than 36 million pounds of ground turkey after tests revealed a strain of salmonella. The outbreak killed one person and sickened more than 130. Between February and August 2011, the Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. recalled more than 36 million pounds of ground turkey after tests revealed a strain of salmonella. The outbreak killed one person and sickened more than 130.
In summer 2010, more than 1,900 people were reportedly sickened by salmonella found in eggs produced by Iowa's Hillandale Farms, which voluntarily recalled about a half-billion eggs nationwide.In summer 2010, more than 1,900 people were reportedly sickened by salmonella found in eggs produced by Iowa's Hillandale Farms, which voluntarily recalled about a half-billion eggs nationwide.
Authorities shut down a processing plant in Texas in October 2010 after four deaths were tied to listeria-infected celery produced at the site. The Texas Department of State Health Services ordered SanGar Fresh Cut Produce to recall all products shipped from its San Antonio plant. Authorities shut down a processing plant in Texas in October 2010 after four deaths were tied to listeria-infected celery produced at the site. The Texas Department of State Health Services ordered SanGar Fresh Cut Produce to recall all products shipped from its San Antonio plant.
Between April and August 2008, 1,442 people in 43 states were infected with salmonella from Mexico-grown jalapeño and serrano peppers. At least 300 people were hospitalized, and the infection may have contributed to two deaths, according to the CDC. Walmart stores in four states recalled jars of serrano peppers as a result. Between April and August 2008, 1,442 people in 43 states were infected with salmonella from Mexico-grown jalapeño and serrano peppers. At least 300 people were hospitalized, and the infection may have contributed to two deaths, according to the CDC. Walmart stores in four states recalled jars of serrano peppers as a result.
Nine people died from salmonella-infected peanut butter between September 2008 and April 2009. The Peanut Corp. of America had sold the tainted peanut butter in bulk to King Nut, which recalled its products. More than 700 people were infected and 166 hospitalized. Nine people died from salmonella-infected peanut butter between September 2008 and April 2009. The Peanut Corp. of America had sold the tainted peanut butter in bulk to King Nut, which recalled its products. More than 700 people were infected and 166 hospitalized.
In the summer of 2006, more than 200 people became infected with E. coli from spinach grown on a single California field. Investigators traced the prepackaged spinach back to Natural Selection Foods and baby spinach sold under the Dole brand name. Five deaths were linked to the outbreak. In the summer of 2006, more than 200 people became infected with E. coli from spinach grown on a single California field. Investigators traced the prepackaged spinach back to Natural Selection Foods and baby spinach sold under the Dole brand name. Five deaths were linked to the outbreak.
During 2005 and 2006, four large outbreaks of salmonella infections hit 21 states in the United States. Tainted tomatoes being served in restaurants were found to be the cause. Investigators linked the produce to fields in Florida, Ohio and Virginia.During 2005 and 2006, four large outbreaks of salmonella infections hit 21 states in the United States. Tainted tomatoes being served in restaurants were found to be the cause. Investigators linked the produce to fields in Florida, Ohio and Virginia.
Pre-sliced Roma tomatoes purchased at deli counters in Sheetz gas stations infected more than 400 people in the summer of 2004. Two other smaller outbreaks in the United States and Canada also occurred that summer and were linked back to a tomato-packing house in Florida. Pre-sliced Roma tomatoes purchased at deli counters in Sheetz gas stations infected more than 400 people in the summer of 2004. Two other smaller outbreaks in the United States and Canada also occurred that summer and were linked back to a tomato-packing house in Florida.
Listeria-infected sliced turkey killed eight and infected 46 others in 2002. Three pregnant women had fetal deaths. Two processing plants recalled 30 million pounds of meat following the outbreak. Listeria-infected sliced turkey killed eight and infected 46 others in 2002. Three pregnant women had fetal deaths. Two processing plants recalled 30 million pounds of meat following the outbreak.
In 2001, cantaloupe was again the culprit. Salmonella tainted the fruit that killed two, hospitalized nine and infected 50 in an outbreak that started in Mexico. In 2001, cantaloupe was again the culprit. Salmonella tainted the fruit that killed two, hospitalized nine and infected 50 in an outbreak that started in Mexico.
Worst foodborne illness outbreaks
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Photos: Worst food-borne illness outbreaksPhotos: Worst food-borne illness outbreaks

Of the rest of the cases, three were children who were otherwise healthy, the CDC said.

Symptoms of listeriosis infection include muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, fever, and convulsions. Typically, symptoms begin three to 70 days after eating the tainted food.

To date 15 of the 18 people who were interviewed about their illnesses remembered eating commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples before they got sick.

Most of the people who got sick with this outbreak saw the doctor in late October and November.

Investigators are still trying to determine which specific brands are involved. They are also trying to figure out the source of the infected apples.

In the meantime, the CDC is warning consumers who may have bought caramel apples with toppings like nuts, chocolate or sprinkles not to eat them, at least not until investigators figure out the source of the contamination.

There are about 1,600 cases of listeriosis reported in the United States every year. This kind of infection kills about 260 people annually, according to the CDC.

Eastern Air Lines is back

1914: On the morning of January 1, the first scheduled commercial airline flight took to the air. Taking off from St Petersburg, Florida, and flying to Tampa, the Benoist flying boat was piloted by Tony Jannus, with the former mayor of St Petersburg, Abram C Pheil, as the sole passenger.1914: On the morning of January 1, the first scheduled commercial airline flight took to the air. Taking off from St Petersburg, Florida, and flying to Tampa, the Benoist flying boat was piloted by Tony Jannus, with the former mayor of St Petersburg, Abram C Pheil, as the sole passenger.
1920: KLM operated its first flight, making it the oldest airline still in operation today. The following year it began scheduled flights between Amsterdam and London.1920: KLM operated its first flight, making it the oldest airline still in operation today. The following year it began scheduled flights between Amsterdam and London.
1935: The first trans-Pacific commercial flight left San Francisco bound for Manila. The Pan Am flight -- on a Martin M-130 China Clipper, like the one pictured -- took one week with numerous stops along the way.1935: The first trans-Pacific commercial flight left San Francisco bound for Manila. The Pan Am flight -- on a Martin M-130 China Clipper, like the one pictured -- took one week with numerous stops along the way.
1936: The Douglas DC-3 entered service with American Airlines with a flight from New York to Chicago. It became known as the "plane that changed the world" with its speed and range better than any other plane of the time. More than 10,000 were built. 1936: The Douglas DC-3 entered service with American Airlines with a flight from New York to Chicago. It became known as the "plane that changed the world" with its speed and range better than any other plane of the time. More than 10,000 were built.
1938: On August 11, a Lufthansa plane became the first non-stop land-based commercial aircraft to cross the Atlantic Ocean. It took off from Berlin and landed in Brooklyn, New York. 1938: On August 11, a Lufthansa plane became the first non-stop land-based commercial aircraft to cross the Atlantic Ocean. It took off from Berlin and landed in Brooklyn, New York.
1952: The "de Havilland Comet," designed by British aviation pioneer Captain Sir Geoffrey de Havilland, was the first commercial jet airliner to go into production and made its commercial debut in 1952.1952: The "de Havilland Comet," designed by British aviation pioneer Captain Sir Geoffrey de Havilland, was the first commercial jet airliner to go into production and made its commercial debut in 1952.
1959: The first jet bridge was used for passengers to board and disembark planes at San Francisco airport.1959: The first jet bridge was used for passengers to board and disembark planes at San Francisco airport.
1970: The world's first wide-body aircraft, the Boeing 747, entered service with Pan Am on its New York to London route. 1970: The world's first wide-body aircraft, the Boeing 747, entered service with Pan Am on its New York to London route.
1971: Flyers are used to low-cost carriers today, but Southwest Airlines was the first of its kind that made established legacy carriers improve their competitiveness. 1971: Flyers are used to low-cost carriers today, but Southwest Airlines was the first of its kind that made established legacy carriers improve their competitiveness.
1973: Frontier Airlines was the first airline with a female pilot flying a scheduled route on a modern jet airliner -- Emily Howell Warner. 1973: Frontier Airlines was the first airline with a female pilot flying a scheduled route on a modern jet airliner -- Emily Howell Warner.
1976: Making its commercial debut in 1976, Concorde, a joint effort between the British and French governments, ushered in an era of supersonic travel, ferrying deep-pocketed passengers from London and Paris to New York (among other destinations) in less than half the time of other commercial aircrafts. 1976: Making its commercial debut in 1976, Concorde, a joint effort between the British and French governments, ushered in an era of supersonic travel, ferrying deep-pocketed passengers from London and Paris to New York (among other destinations) in less than half the time of other commercial aircrafts.
1981: American Airlines is recognized as being the first airline to offer the industry's first frequent flyer program with AAdvantage. 1981: American Airlines is recognized as being the first airline to offer the industry's first frequent flyer program with AAdvantage.
1997: The first of the Big Three airline alliances was founded. Star Alliance began with five airlines: Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Thai Airways, Air Canada and United Airlines. Other alliances, Oneworld and SkyTeam, soon followed. 1997: The first of the Big Three airline alliances was founded. Star Alliance began with five airlines: Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Thai Airways, Air Canada and United Airlines. Other alliances, Oneworld and SkyTeam, soon followed.
1998: Commercial airlines were allowed to operate over the northern polar region. Cathay Pacific was the first to utilize the route flying from Hong Kong to New York non-stop in around 16 hours. 1998: Commercial airlines were allowed to operate over the northern polar region. Cathay Pacific was the first to utilize the route flying from Hong Kong to New York non-stop in around 16 hours.
2007: The Airbus A380 "superjumbo" took the place of the Boeing 747 as the world's largest passenger jet, first entering commercial service with Singapore Airlines. With two full decks it can carry 853 passengers, depending on the seating configuration.2007: The Airbus A380 "superjumbo" took the place of the Boeing 747 as the world's largest passenger jet, first entering commercial service with Singapore Airlines. With two full decks it can carry 853 passengers, depending on the seating configuration.
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  • Revived Eastern Air Lines will be based in Miami
  • It will start with charter flights and build to scheduled service
  • Airline went bankrupt in 1986, but new group bought rights to the name

Miami (CNN) -- "America's favorite way to fly" has returned.

Eastern Air Lines, which used that slogan in the 1980s, flew its first of 20 new planes into Miami International Airport on Friday afternoon. The event marks a relaunch of the once-bankrupt airline, which last flew in 1991.

According to an airline spokesperson, Eastern is now expected to take to the skies in March 2015 as a charter airline. That date is a few months delayed from the original hopes of CEO Ed Wegel, who said in January that the airline would start flights this month.

In recent months, Eastern has ordered a fleet of 737-800 Boeing aircrafts. It has also held hiring events for flight attendants, as well as started the application process for pilots. On its website, Eastern says it will initially hire 10 captains and then add 25 to 30 pilots.

Eastern Air Lines Group filed an application with the Department of Transportation earlier this year. It will be based in Miami, where Eastern was headquartered from 1927 to 1991, when it was the largest employer in what was then known as Dade County.

Wegel also said no decisions have been made on initial routes, but that the airline plans to restart as a provider of charter services initially and then build into scheduled service at a yet-to-be-determined date. He said the group bought the rights to the Eastern name and logo out of bankruptcy court in 2009, but it had to wait until now to find the investor support needed to restart the airline.

"When you look at history since '78, how many airlines started, how many didn't make it, it's not a business for the faint of heart," Wegel said in January. "But we believe there are opportunities that will present themselves for us once we show we are a good airline operator."

According to the group's website, Eastern was founded in 1927 and adopted its name in 1930. It was a major carrier along the East Coast, pioneering the shuttle service from New York to Boston and Washington.

Wegel said there were years in the 1980s when Eastern had the most passengers of any U.S. airline, because of the shuttle and its extensive Latin American route system. "We've done extensive surveys and polling on the name," he said. "It has 80% recognition in Miami, and overall it has very positive name recognition still."

The airline was sold in 1986 and filed for bankruptcy protection in 1989. Labor unrest and a drop-off in air traffic associated with the January 1991 Gulf War forced it out of business.

CNN Money contributed to this report.

Gruesome discovery in storage unit

  • A woman in Colfax, California, wins an abandoned storage locker with a $40 bid
  • When she and her son go through it, they find an ottoman sealed with tape
  • When they unseal the ottoman, a strong smell prompts them to call sheriff's deputies
  • Authorities find two small bodies; detectives interview a woman thought to be the mother

(CNN) -- When Regina Zimmer bid $40 on an abandoned storage unit in Colfax, California, near Sacramento, all she did before the purchase was look at the unit from the outside and hope to find something valuable.

But after going through the contents and coming upon a storage ottoman, tape-sealed and with a "fragile" sticker on top, she "had a feeling it wasn't something good."

Zimmer, who went through the unit with her son in November, told CNN affiliate KOVR that "as soon as we opened it and took the lid off, the smell was horrible."

Inside, she said, there were garbage bags and a stuffed animal. She told affiliate KTXL that she also came upon a red sleeping bag with more bags inside.

She called the Placer County Sheriff's Office. Deputies said that while "investigating the contents of a container," they "discovered the decomposing remains of a fetus or small infant."

"You could tell it was a skull and a little jaw bone and hair," Zimmer said.

Police say the container was taken to the county morgue, where authorities say they found "a second fetus or small infant" inside. Autopsies are being performed on both of the bodies.

Placer County Sheriff's Lt. John Poretti said the department was "trying to determine the age of the fetus, if it was a viable fetus. Or if it was a possible miscarriage."

Police say detectives are interviewing a woman believed to be the mother. Charges against her are pending.

When asked by KTXL if the mother has given an explanation to police, Poretti said "some, but not completely." He wouldn't comment when asked if she was remorseful.

Meanwhile, Zimmer, who says she's bid on storage lockers dozens of times, says "this is the worst thing I have ever found ... and the saddest thing I have ever, ever found."