June 17th, 2010
07:11 PM ET

One killed in shooting at Army Reserve center near Atlanta

One person was fatally shot Thursday at an Army Reserve center south of Atlanta, Georgia, an Army spokesman said.

A suspect in the shooting surrendered to police in nearby Lake City, Georgia, according to another spokesman.

The reserve center is adjacent to Fort Gillem in Forest Park, Georgia.

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Filed under: Uncategorized
June 17th, 2010
06:42 PM ET

Kevin Costner's creation could aid oil cleanup

[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/us/2010/06/17/bts.Costner.hearing.cnn"]

Actor and director Kevin Costner told a Senate subcommittee on Thursday that he feels somewhat vindicated now that BP has purchased a machine he helped develop years ago that separates oil from seawater.

The Senate Small Business Committee is evaluating proposals to clean up the Gulf Coast oil disaster.

Costner told committee members that the burden of cleaning up the oil in the Gulf of Mexico rests solely with the oil industry.

"For them to get over the bar of safety and pay the price is not too much to ask," he said. "It is not too much to ask for them to have to put in place the safeguards, the redundancies and muster the sheer will to throw an overwhelming response to the problem now."

Earlier this month, he told CNN's Anderson Cooper that BP ordered 32 machines from Costner's company. The devices use a centrifuge mechanism to separate oil from water and recycle the crude at the same time.

Watch Cooper's interview with Costner

June 17th, 2010
05:41 PM ET

Times Square suspect indicted

A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted Faisal Shahzad, suspected of trying to set off a bomb in New York's Times Square on May 1, on 10 counts relating to the case.

Some of the charges carry a mandatory life sentence.

Read the full CNN.com story.

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Filed under: Justice
June 17th, 2010
02:42 PM ET

Lawmaker to BP CEO: 'I think you're copping out'

Read the full CNNMoney.com story

[Updated at 5:52 p.m.] Rep. Bart Stupak closed the hearing by telling BP CEO Tony Hayward: "I think the evasiveness of your answers only served to increase the frustration, not decrease the frustration, not just of members of Congress, but that of the American people."

[Updated at 2:42 p.m.] BP CEO Tony Hayward told Rep. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, he talks at least once a day with Adm. Thad Allen, the head of the federal government's Gulf oil spill response.

[Updated at 2:37 p.m.] BP CEO Tony Hayward told Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, "We would like to resolve this issue as well as everyone else."

[Updated at 2:32 p.m.] "There are no suggestions I have seen so far that anyone put cost ahead of safety," said BP CEO Tony Hayward, in response to grilling from Republican Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia, who responded, "With all due respect, Mr. Hayward, I think you're copping out."

[Updated at 2:26 p.m.] After BP CEO Tony Hayward testified that some oil samples in the Gulf were related to the Deepwater Horizon leak while others were not, and he avoided directly answering a question about whether there were plumes in the water, Democratic Congressman Ed Markey of Massachusetts charged, "Your testimony continues to be at odds to all independent scientists."

FULL POST

June 17th, 2010
02:16 PM ET

Bin Laden hunter's mission praised, vilified on internet

Gary Faulkner, seen in this 2006 mugshot, traveled to Pakistan several times to find Osama bin Laden.

Intrigue over Gary Faulkner’s one-man hunt for Osama bin Laden has sparked both outrage and praise on the internet and blogosphere.

Pakistani authorities announced this week that they had picked up the 50-year-old Colorado man near the border with Afghanistan. Armed with a pistol, sword, night-vision equipment and Christian literature, Faulkner told police that he had been hunting bin Laden since the September, 11, 2001 attacks.

Some have dismissed him as mentally unstable, which his brother, a physician, has denied.

But others have lauded his attempt to do what the U.S. government has failed to do for nearly a decade: find the head of al Qaeda, which carried out the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

FULL POST

June 17th, 2010
01:40 PM ET

Court rules Bobby Fischer's body can be exhumed

American chess guru Bobby Fischer shakes hands with chess master Boris Spassky before their match in 1992.

Iceland's supreme court Thursday ruled in favor of a request by Jinky Young, the alleged daughter of Bobby Fischer, to exhume the chess master's remains, Young's lawyer told CNN.

This story is developing. We'll bring you the latest information as we get it.

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Filed under: Iceland
June 17th, 2010
01:12 PM ET

Plane crashes in New Mexico killing at least five

A private plane with seven people on board crashed in Sierra Blaca, New Mexico, killing at least five people, an FAA spokesperson told CNN.

The Cessna 310, a private aircraft, crashed around 12:00 p.m. E.T., Lynn Lunsford, a spokesperson for the FAA's Southwest Regional Operations said.

Lunsford said at this point officials are unsure of the plane's origin or destination and they are not releasing the tail number of the plane yet. Firefighters are at the scene, Lunsford said.

- CNN's Sara Pratley contributed to this report

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Filed under: Air travel • U.S.
June 17th, 2010
12:56 PM ET

Holloway, Flores families in touch over possible case links

The family of Natalee Holloway, left, has been in touch with the family of Stefany Flores, right, whose cases may be linked by suspect Joran van der Sloot

Missing Alabama teen Natalee Holloway's mother talked to the family of a murdered Peruvian woman whose case may be linked to her daughter's, the Peruvian family told CNN sister network In Session.

Beth Holloway gave the Flores family her "sincere, sincere condolences" when they spoke for the first time Wednesday, Enrique Flores told In Session's Jean Casarez.

Flores's sister Stefany was killed May 30. Joran van der Sloot, who is being held in connection with the killing, was twice arrested but never charged in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway in 2005.

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Filed under: Aruba • Joran van der Sloot • Justice • Peru
June 17th, 2010
12:46 PM ET

High court denies stay for inmate facing firing squad

[Updated at 9:32 p.m. ET] The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a stay of execution for Utah inmate Ronnie Lee Gardner, who is scheduled to be executed by firing squad at 2 a.m. ET.

Read the full CNN.com story

[Updated at 5:56 p.m. ET] Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert has declined inmate Ronnie Lee Gardner's request to temporarily stay Gardner's anticipated execution by firing squad. The execution is scheduled for 2 a.m. ET.

[Updated at 4:01 p.m. ET] The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Colorado, has denied the motion to delay the firing squad execution of convicted killer Ronnie Lee Gardner, which is scheduled for 2 a.m. Friday in Utah.

[Posted at 12:46 p.m. ET] Hours away from his scheduled execution by firing squad, Utah death-row inmate Ronnie Lee Gardner has asked Gov. Gary Herbert for a temporary stay, according to the state Department of Corrections.

The three-page letter was delivered to Herbert shortly before 10 a.m., the department said in a statement on its website. It was signed by Gardner's attorneys and asks the governor to "issue a respite or reprieve pursuant to your executive power under the Utah Constitution."

The request is currently under review, according to the statement.

In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule Thursday on Gardner's appeal for a last-minute stay of execution.

FULL POST

June 17th, 2010
12:25 PM ET

Senator says BP violating law on blowout preventers

BP claims it was not government regulators' practice to follow regulations on blowout preventers, according to a letter from Sen. Charles Grassley obtained by CNN.

The letter, dated June 16, was written to BP Chairman Lamar McKay. Grassley had questioned whether BP has complied with regulations from the Mineral Management Agency for oil rigs leased and operated by BP in the Gulf of Mexico.

FULL POST

June 17th, 2010
12:12 PM ET

Backlash over Angelina Jolie as Cleopatra

The author of the biography "Cleopatra: A Life" may be hailing Angelina Jolie as the perfect choice to play the queen, but some folks aren't so sure.

On African American blogs and message boards, people are speaking out against the casting of Jolie in a role they believe should go to an actress of color.

Essence.com recently featured a commentary titled, "Another White Actress to Play Cleopatra?" where the writer opined, "Honestly, I don't care how full Angelina Jolie's lips are, how many African children she adopts, or how bronzed her skin will become for the film, I firmly believe this role should have gone to a Black woman."

Read full Marquee blog post

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Filed under: Showbiz
June 17th, 2010
12:02 PM ET

Day 59: Gulf oil disaster developments

[Updated at 10:49 p.m.] Here are the latest developments on the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, which unfolded after an April 20 explosion aboard the drilling rig Deepwater Horizon:

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS

- Rep. Bart Stupak closed a hearing on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico - held by the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations - by telling BP CEO Tony Hayward, "I think the evasiveness of your answers only served to increase the frustration, not decrease the frustration, not just of members of Congress, but that of the American people."

- During the hearing Hayward said, "There are no suggestions I have seen so far that anyone put cost ahead of safety." Republican Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia fired back: "With all due respect, Mr. Hayward, I think you're copping
out."

- After Hayward testified that some oil samples in the Gulf were related to the Deepwater Horizon leak while others were not, and he avoided directly answering a question about whether there were plumes in the water, Democratic Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts said: "Your testimony continues to be at
odds to all independent scientists."

- Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa is demanding to know if BP knew the Deepwater Horizon well could be gushing as much as 60,000 barrels of
oil a day, and failed to inform the public. A team of government and independent scientists announced Tuesday that the flow rate might be as high as 60,000 barrels a day, but Grassley believes BP may have known sooner. A BP document provided to the senator says "an absolute worst case flow rate of 60,000 barrels a day was calculated." The document does not have a date.

- BP claimed it was not government regulators' practice to follow regulations on blowout preventers, according to a June 16 letter from Sen. Charles Grassley obtained by CNN.

- Police arrested Diane Wilson of the activist group Code Pink, accusing her of disrupting the congressional hearing Thursday just as Hayward was beginning his testimony. "You need to go to jail," she shouted. She has been charged with unlawful conduct for disrupting Congress.

- Six in 10 Americans disapprove of how Obama's handling the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a jump from last month, according to a new national poll. A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey also indicated that a vast majority of the public disapproves of how BP has handled the environmental disaster and two-thirds say making a profit rather than cleaning up the spill is oil giant's top priority.

- The latest wildlife report said 629 oiled birds have been recovered alive while 829 were found dead and 103 sea turtles were recovered alive while 358 were found dead.

FULL POST

June 17th, 2010
12:02 PM ET

White House slams lawmaker for 'shakedown' comment

The White House slammed Texas GOP Rep. Joe Barton on Thursday for apologizing to BP CEO Tony Hayward after characterizing the company's agreement to establish a $20 billion escrow fund for victims of the Gulf oil disaster as an administration "shakedown" and a "tragedy."

"What is shameful is that Joe Barton seems to have more concern for big corporations that caused this disaster than the fishermen, small business owners and communities whose lives have been devastated by the destruction," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement.

"Congressman Barton may think that a fund to compensate these Americans is a 'tragedy,' but most Americans know that the real tragedy is what the men and women of the Gulf Coast are going through right now. Members from both parties should repudiate his comments."

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Filed under: Barack Obama • BP • Gulf Coast Oil Spill politics
June 17th, 2010
10:35 AM ET

Velshi: Remarkable smoke, flames during Gulf oil burns

We arrived at the docks in Venice, Louisiana, after a 90-minute drive from the closest hotel we could find. When we arrived, we were met by the U.S. Coast Guard, which has federal oversight over the oil burning effort. The work itself is being coordinated and paid for by BP, using local contractors.

The entire operation is run by a company called O’Brien out of Houston, Texas. This “in situ” or on location burning of surface oil has only been used in U.S. waters during the Exxon Valdez disaster. That’s largely because of environmental concerns; although those concerns are now outweighed by fears that crude oil itself will do more damage than the particle contaminants released by burning them.

At about 12:30 p.m., five of us from CNN go into briefings with the Coast Guard. At about 1 p.m. our Coast Guard escorts load our gear onto the crew vessel Gulf Storm, which is normally used to transport oil workers to and from rigs and platforms in the gulf, and to supply those oil vessels.

After about 45 minutes, we enter the Gulf of Mexico and head to the site of the burning. The trip from the port to the burn site takes about three hours. During that time we discuss the process at length with Coast Guard Senior Chief Andrew (Drew) Jaeger, a paramedic/firefighter from Wisconsin and a member of the Coast Guard Reserve who is our chief escort.

The burn site scene was remarkable. An earlier thunderstorm had cleared and skies were bright and partly cloudy. But in the distance, seven separate funnels of dark cloud churning upward into the sky created a great, billowing angry cloud up ahead. Through the cloud of burnt oil particles, a single King aircraft flew – a spotter plane which would guide the burn teams to the locations where, using fishing terminology, they would get their “best catch.”

We disembarked onto a larger, similar supply boat, the Premier Explorer. It’s “mission control” for these burns. From there, it was onto a jetty used as an ignition vessel to light the fires.

FULL POST

June 17th, 2010
10:34 AM ET

U.S. Open: All eyes on Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods

U.S. Open watchers are going to be looking for which version of Tiger Woods will show up at the tournament.

There are several intriguing questions as the year's second major starts Pebble Beach on Thursday, but no questions are more central to this championship than the ones hanging over the game's top two players.

Phil Mickelson has never won a U.S. Open but has finished second five times. Is he fated to end his career without the trophy, as Sam Snead did? Does Mickelson lack some secret combination of fortitude and self-restraint? And will he ever take over Tiger's No. 1 ranking?

Golf.com: Live blogging the U.S. open

More vexing still: Where is the Tiger Woods who dominated the game like none other in 2000? Every so often, as he did with a stinger 2-iron during Wednesday’s practice round, he resurfaces, reminding us of that magical year when he won the U.S. Open at Pebble by 15 shots, but what a difference a decade makes.

FULL POST

June 17th, 2010
09:53 AM ET

Kosovar man arrested as part of alleged N.C. terror plot

A Kosovar man was arrested and faces charges of participation in a terror plot involving several suspects from North Carolina, federal authorities said Thursday.

Bajram Asllani, 29, a resident of Mitrovica, Kosovo, is charged with providing material support to terrorists and conspiring to murder, kidnap, maim and injure people abroad, the Department of Justice said in a statement. He was arrested early Thursday in Kosovo on a provisional U.S. arrest warrant from the Eastern District of North Carolina. The United States will seek his extradition, authorities said. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 40 years in prison.

Eight people were indicted last year in North Carolina on terror-related charges. According to a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday, Asllani was a member of the same conspiracy.

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Filed under: Terrorism
June 17th, 2010
09:50 AM ET

Official: Colombia mine explosions traps 72, kills 8

[Updated at 9:50 a.m.] A coal mine explosion early Thursday in northwest Colombia has trapped 72 miners and killed at least eight workers, President Alvaro Uribe said.

Eight bodies had been retrieved by Thursday morning, Uribe said.

"This is very sad news," Uribe said on the president's website. "The information I have from the minister (of mines) is that they have retrieved
eight bodies. This is very grave. And I give this news to Colombians with much pain."

FULL POST

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Filed under: Colombia
June 17th, 2010
09:49 AM ET

On the Radar: Gulf oil disaster, firing squad appeal, E3

Gulf oil disaster - Thursday is the showdown most people have been waiting for as Congress gets ready to grill BP CEO Tony Hayward. The executive plans to testify that eight weeks after an explosion uncorked the massive oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico, BP does not know whether its efforts to staunch the flow will succeed soon.

It may not be pretty at times - one lawmaker has said his colleagues are going to take Hayward's "hide off."

FULL POST

June 17th, 2010
08:13 AM ET

Thursday's live video events

Ongoing coverage - BP webcam of Gulf Coast oil disaster

9:30 am ET - START treaty hearing - The Senate Foreign Relations Committee holds a hearing on the new START treaty between the U.S. and Russia.

10:00 am ET - BP CEO on the hot seat - BP CEO Tony Hayward testifies before a House energy subcommittee on the Gulf oil disaster.

FULL POST


Filed under: On CNN.com today
June 17th, 2010
08:00 AM ET

Thursday's intriguing people

Kenneth Feinberg

BP has reached an agreement with the federal government to place $20 billion in an escrow fund to pay for claims in the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, President Obama announced Wednesday at the White House. The fund will be administered by an independent, third party, Obama said.

Feinberg, the attorney who oversaw the $7 billion compensation fund for victims of the September 11, 2001, attacks, will oversee the claims process. The Washington Post's WhoRunsGov website reports that Feinberg also was the "special pay master" who set the salaries of the top 100 executives at companies rescued by the federal government in 2008-2009.

According to the website, Feinberg, a former chief of staff for Sen. Edward Kennedy, started a mediation firm in 1992. One of its cases was to determine the fair market value of the film taken by Abraham Zapruder as John F. Kennedy's motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963.

FULL POST

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