Authorities on alert after pipe bombs sent to high-profile U.S. targets

CNN's headquarters in New York City were evacuated.
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Authorities are on alert nationwide after a series of suspicious packages, including improvised explosive devices, were sent to high-profile targets over the past 24 hours.

CNN headquarters in New York City has been evacuated Wednesday morning after a suspicious device was found in the mailroom at Time Warner Center in Manhattan's Columbus Circle. 

Earlier, explosive devices addressed to the homes of Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama were intercepted, and earlier this week a pipe bomb was found near to the home of billionaire George Soros, who lives near the Clintons. 

According to ABC News, the explosive devices "are of similar pipe-bomb-style construction." 

Since the discovery at CNN, suspicious packages have also been reported as being sent to Rep. Maxine Waters, and to the offices of the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper.

There had been suggestions that a pipe bomb had been intercepted on its way to the White House, but Reuters is now reporting that isn't the case.

CNN was broadcasting live when the evacuation order was issued, forcing them to switch their feed to programming out of their offices in Washington, D.C. 

"The packages were immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such," the Secret Service said in a statement.

The Secret Service says the packages intended for Soros and Clinton were intercepted on Tuesday and the one addressed to former President Obama was found early Wednesday morning. 

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders released a statement saying the "terrorizing acts are despicable, and anyone responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law." 

In Minnesota, Republican Rep. Jason Lewis, who has made "violent political threats from the left" a major talking point in his re-election campaign, condemned the threats made towards prominent Democrats.

His opponent, DFLer Angie Craig, had this to say: "Public figures – like all Americans – should feel safe in their own homes, and a free and open press is a cornerstone of American democracy.

"Elected leaders should call for a return to civility in our politics and our public discourse. Journalists should continue to seek the truth and hold the powerful accountable in the face of these threats."

Meanwhile, Democratic 5th District candidate Ilhan Omar described Wednesday's events as showing it's a "scary time for our nation."

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