Washington (CNN) - U.S. contractor Alan Gross, held by theCuban government since 2009, was freed Wednesday as part of alandmark deal with Cuba that paves the way for a major overhaul in U.S. policy toward the island, senior administration officials tell CNN.
President Barack Obama spoke with Cuban President Raul Castro Tuesday in a phone call that lasted about an hour and reflected the first communication at the presidential level with Cuba since the Cuban revolution, according to White House officials. Obama announced Gross' release and the new diplomatic stance at noon in Washington. At around the same time, Cuban president Raul Castro was set to speak in Havana.
President Obama announced a major loosening of travel and economic restrictions on the country. And the two nations are set to re-open embassies, with preliminary discussions on that next step in normalizing diplomatic relations beginning in the coming weeks, a senior administration official tells CNN.
(CNN) - On a fall night two years ago, Jackie, the alleged victim of a brutal gang rape, recounted her story in vivid detail to two friends. She recalled the assault for Ryan Duffin and Alex Stock on picnic tables at the quaint University of Virginia campus.
"Her lips were quivering and (she) looked like somebody who had just been through some really traumatic experience," said Duffin, who met Jackie through a mutual friend at orientation. "I've never seen anyone look like that before. I really hope I never have to see anyone look like that again."
They sat outside a freshman dorm as she told of the shocking sexual assault, according to the friends. This was long before her account of the attack appeared in a now infamous Rolling Stone article published on November 19.
That harrowing account described how Jackie was lured to a fraternity house and allegedly raped by seven men at a Phi Kappa Psi party. The article sparked international outrage and portrayed the University of Virginia's response as cold and even tolerant of such horrific behavior.
Several weeks later, the magazine published an apology that raised questions about the authenticity of the story.
Duffin and Stock told CNN they remember a starkly different account than what appeared in Rolling Stone. Their version cast doubt over whether the man who allegedly orchestrated the attack even existed.
"I mean there are definitely some major holes in the story," said Stock, who also met Jackie through a mutual friend at summer orientation. "I think that that was pretty clear in the Rolling Stone piece... It was almost too perfect of a story."
The family of twenty-two year old John Crawford III is filing a wrongful death lawsuit against Walmart and police. Crawford was holding an air rifle he had picked up off a store shelf when police, who thought it was an active shooting situation, entered the store and shot him. The police officer was not indicted by a grand jury.
Adding to the family's outrage: new video shows police interrogating Crawford's girlfriend just after he was shot, accusing her of lying and threatening her with jail time.
CNN's Erin Burnett has more.
Bill Cosby will not face charges after a woman claimed the comedian molested her when she was 15-years-old at the Playboy Mansion. Prosecutors say the 40-year-old case does not fall within the statute of limitations. This new development comes just as Bill Cosby's daughter released a statement supporting her father.
CNN's Jean Casarez is OutFront with more on what Evin Cosby is now saying.