The five most popular CNN.com stories during the last 24 hours, according to Newspulse.
Van der Sloot attorney quits: Joran van der Sloot's Peruvian attorney has resigned from defending the murder suspect, the attorney told Peru's Foreign Press Association on Monday.
Huckaby gets life in child's slaying: Former Sunday School teacher Melissa Huckaby apologized Monday in a California courtroom after being sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing her daughter's 8-year-old playmate.
Oklahoma flooding leaves 136 injured: Severe thunderstorms ripped through central Oklahoma Monday triggering vicious flash floods that left 136 people injured, roads and cars submerged, and thousands without power, authorities said.
Case of missing boy shifts to criminal probe: After 10 days of extensive searching and following up on hundreds of tips, the case of a missing Oregon boy has been classified as a possible crime, authorities announced Sunday.
Country music legend Jimmy Dean dies: Country music artist and sausage entrepreneur Jimmy Dean died at his home in Varina, Virginia, Sunday evening, police said. He was 81.
Two people are in custody in Florida after trying to get into MacDill
Air Force Base, the home of U.S. Central Command, illegally, an Air Force
spokeswoman said Monday.
The two were being questioned Monday evening, Air Force spokeswoman
Elizabeth Gosselin told CNN. Authorities have cordoned off their sport-utility
vehicle and were probing its interior with a robot, according to video from CNN
A look at highlights from the day's business news:
Stocks erase gains on Greece news
Stocks gave up gains by the close Monday after Moody's downgraded Greece's debt rating, reminding investors that Europe's economic woes aren't going away anytime soon.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 20 points, or 0.2 percent, the S&P 500 index lost 2 points, or 0.2 percent, and the Nasdaq composite ended little changed.
U.S. military officials and geologists have discovered mineral deposits in Afghanistan potentially worth over $908 billion, the Pentagon confirmed Monday.
Vast supplies of minerals such as iron, copper and gold, all with worldwide technological applications,
But officials caution that it won't be easy to extricate, and it will take years to turn this newfound mineral wealth into actual revenue.
[Updated at 10:34 p.m.] Here are the latest developments on the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, which unfolded after the oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20:
- BP reported that a cap over the subsea gusher collected 7,620 barrels of oil (320,000 gallons) from midnight to noon Monday. Federal researchers estimate the well has spewed between 20,000 and 40,000 barrels (840,000 to 1.7 milllion gallons) of crude into the Gulf every day for weeks.
- BP expects to be able to contain 50,000 barrels (2.1 million gallons) of the now-gushing oil per day by the end of June - two weeks earlier than previously thought, according to White House spokesman Bill Burton.
In a single deadly moment last December, the lives of five CIA officers and two CIA contractors were gone. ¬†The flash of a suicide bomber had singlehandedly delivered the largest loss of life the agency had experienced since the 1983 Beirut Embassy bombing. ¬†It took time for the world to discover the identities of those killed on the remote base known as Khost in Afghanistan, mainly because of the clandestine nature of their work. ¬†So you might think its odd that a former high-ranking agency official would put a public face on their deaths. ¬†And you'd be right.
Having known and even trained some of the victims of that attack, former Associate Deputy Director for Operations Rob Richer decided he couldn't just sit back and grieve alone. FULL POST
Joran van der Sloot's Peruvian attorney has resigned from defending the murder suspect, the attorney told Peru's Foreign Press Association Monday.
Earlier, Maximo Altez Navarro told CNN that he didn't want to be van der Sloot's attorney anymore.
A London-based foundation has decided for the second year in a row not to award its $5 million prize for excellence in African leadership.
The Ibrahim Prize, which was scheduled to be handed out Monday, goes to candidates based on their ‚Äúexercise of leadership and the performance of their country during their time in office,‚ÄĚ according to the Mo Ibrahim Foundation website.
The award went to Mozambique ex-President Joaquim Chissano in 2007 and Botswana ex-President Festus Mogae in 2008. Chissano was credited with helping end his nation‚Äôs civil war, while Mogae was honored for his work to improve Botswana‚Äôs economy.
In a statement, the foundation said its prize committee considered viable candidates last year but couldn‚Äôt make a selection. The committee decided ‚Äúthere had been no new candidates or new developments‚ÄĚ this year.
Ibrahim, a Sudanese billionaire and communications mogul, said African countries were improving their economies and their governance, but not enough.
‚ÄúThe foundation is anything but complacent,‚ÄĚ Ibrahim said, according to a statement. ‚ÄúIts mission is to improve governance and nurture leadership in Africa. It is clear that much more needs to be done. It is for that reason that the Foundation has decided to promote complementary initiatives.‚ÄĚ
Among the initiatives are leadership fellowships, which will provide mentoring to professionals composing ‚Äúthe next generation of outstanding African leaders.‚ÄĚ FULL POST
[Updated at 12:50 p.m.] Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett said Monday that neighborhoods are being evacuated because of high waters.
[Posted at 11:39 a.m.] The Oklahoma City area was dealing with vicious flash-flooding and scattered power outages Monday after what CNN meteorologist Jacqui Jeras called "backbuilding thunderstorms," a series of heavy rain cores without intermittent periods of let-up.
Melissa Huckaby, convicted of killing an 8-year-old girl last year, was sentenced to life in prison without parole on Monday in a California court.
Huckaby, who last month pleaded guilty to the slaying, told the court that Cantu did not suffer and insisted that she did not sexually molest the girl, according to CNN affiliate KCRA.
KCRA also reported that Huckaby apologized to members of Cantu's family, Huckaby's own relatives (including her daughter) and told Cantu's mother she couldn't give a reason for why she killed the girl.
The defending World Cup champions face Paraguay today in a fascinating meeting between an aging and talented European power (Italy, in case you forgot) and a young and rising South American squad. Paraguay won 10 games in qualifying, more than Argentina and Brazil. SI.com‚Äôs Georgina Turner calls it a ‚Äúchess game‚Äú that will likely result in another low-scoring contest. Closer to home, the biggest question facing the U.S. team (the Americans play Slovenia on Friday) is the health of goaltender Tim Howard, as SI.com‚Äôs Peter King examines. The sports schedule (all times Eastern) features World Cup play and a light night in baseball:
-Italy vs. Paraguay (2:30, ESPN)
The Italians will be without standout playmaker Andrea Pirlo until the final game of Group play but remain strong in the back with goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini, the two-time reigning Defender of the Year in Serie A. Manchester City's Roque Santa Cruz is Paraguay's most dangerous striker. Keep one stat in mind: Paraguay‚Äôs World Cup record in opening games is 1-6.
A 20th body was found Monday from last week's flash flood at an Arkansas campground, and a search for more possible victims was continuing, officials said.
The body, which was found in a river, had not been identified, said Michael Fletcher of the Arkansas State Police.
"We're still in the process of making a recovery and getting it out of there," he said.
Authorities have increased to 12 the number of canine units that were searching piles of debris for more bodies, said Mike Quesinberry, the head of the rescue effort for the U.S. Forest Service. "Hopefully, there's no one else left," he said.
Geologists working with the Pentagon have found vast reserves of¬†untapped minerals in Afghanistan that¬†could be worth $1 trillion, the New York Times reports.
U.S. government officials told the Times the discovery could be enough to drastically alter the economy in the war-torn country and perhaps the actual war itself.¬† The Times cites an internal Pentagon memo, which says the country could become the "Saudi Arabia of lithium."
The discovery was heralded by military and government officials in the U.S. and Afghanistan alike.
‚ÄúThere is stunning potential here,‚ÄĚ Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of the United States Central Command, told the Times. ‚ÄúThere are a lot of ifs, of course, but I think potentially it is hugely significant.‚ÄĚ
[Updated at 10:51 a.m.] Refugees who fled violence in Kyrgyzstan are desperate for food, a top European official said Monday.
"People are screaming, 'We need food, we need food,' to those who are passing by," EU Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva.
[Posted at 9:41 a.m.] Smoke rose over the streets of Osh and sporadic gunfire could be heard Monday as ethnic groups continued to battle in the strategically important Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan.
The Supreme Court has turned away a lawsuit filed against U.S. officials by a Canadian man who was seized in New York, accused of having terrorism connections and sent to Syria, where he claims he was tortured.
At issue was whether Maher Arar could continue to press his claim for damages in federal court, and whether top U.S. law enforcement officials had immunity. Despite being a foreign national, he said he had a constitutional "due process" right to press his claims in federal court.
The justices Monday did not explain whey they rejected the case.
Gulf oil - President Obama will visit the Gulf states affected by the oil spill Monday and Tuesday. On his fourth visit to the Gulf region since the disaster began April 20, Obama will make stops in Theodore, Alabama; Gulfport, Mississippi; and Pensacola, Florida, according to senior administration officials. After returning from the two-day trip, Obama will make a televised statement from the Oval Office on the night before he is scheduled to meet with top BP officials.
In response to the government's order for BP to step up efforts to collect more¬†oil from the runaway well, BP said it has a plan to contain more than 50,000 barrels of oil per day¬†by the end of this month, according to a letter obtained by CNN. With estimates changing over the past few days about how much oil actually is spewing each day, BP began deploying pressure sensors on its ruptured undersea well in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday in an effort to fine-tune estimates.
Ongoing coverage - BP webcam of Gulf Coast oil disaster
10:30 am ET - Clinton discusses human trafficking -¬†Secretary of State Hillary Clinton briefs reporters on the State Department‚Äôs just-released report on human trafficking.
11:35 am ET - Obama returns to Gulf Coast -¬†President Obama lands in Gulfport, Mississippi, to begin his fourth trip to the Gulf Coast to assess efforts to counter the oil disaster.
12:00 pm ET - Arkansas flooding briefing -¬†Officials are expected to brief reporters on the fatal flash flooding that devastated an Arkansas campground.
12:30 pm ET - State Department briefing on human trafficking -¬†Ambassador Luis CdeBaca will brief reporters on the State Department‚Äôs just-released annual report on human trafficking.
4:40 pm ET - Obama on Gulf Coast oil disaster -¬†President Obama makes remarks after touring an oil boom staging facility in Theodore, Alabama.
CNN.com Live is your home for breaking news as it happens.
The Arizona state senator who pushed SB 1070 - the controversial immigration law that allows law enforcement officers to question the immigration status of the people they stop - has a new idea.
TIME magazine reports that Pearce and other Arizona Republicans are considering a bill that would deny birth certificates to children born in Arizona of parents who are not legal U.S. citizens. But the 14th Amendment to the Constitution states that "All persons, born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States."
According to TIME, Pearce says the 14th Amendment has been "hijacked" by illegal immigrants.
"They use it as a wedge," Pearce says. "This is an orchestrated effort by them to come here and have children to gain access to the great welfare state we've created." FULL POST
An update from London on some of the international stories we expect to develop on Monday:
Kyrgyzstan violence¬†- Smoke was rising in the city of Osh and sporadic gunfire could be heard Monday as ethnic violence in southern Kyrgyzstan continued. Tens of thousands of Uzbeks have fled the ongoing clashes, causing one aid official to describe the situation as a "humanitarian catastrophe," according to the International Committee of the Red Cross. Read the full story
Flotilla investigation - Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has canceled a trip to Paris to meet with French leaders as he awaits the formal announcement of an investigation commission into an Israeli raid on a flotilla bringing humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza, the Defense Ministry says.¬† Israel has announced that an independent commission led by a retired Israeli judge will investigate the incident.