July 19th, 2010
11:58 PM ET

The day's most popular stories

The five most popular CNN.com stories during the last 24 hours, according to Newspulse.

Police: Body is that of missing mother: A body found Sunday in a vacant lot in Camden, New Jersey, is that of a 23-year-old Pennsylvania woman, police say.

Gulf well tests held over another day: Tests on the ruptured BP well in the Gulf of Mexico will go on for another 24 hours as federal and company officials try to explain "anomalous" pressure readings and possible leaks, the federal government's point man on the spill said Monday.

Spencer Pratt: I chose fame over Heidi: Spencer Pratt always has some strange new ploy for attention up his sleeve - but not his split from wife Heidi Montag. That, he says, despite the fact that nobody has seen divorce papers and family and "Hills" castmates are skeptical, is the real deal.

Nexus One quietly discontinued by Google: With the eyes of the technology world squarely on Apple's iPhone 4, Google quietly announced it will stop selling the Nexus One, its first and possibly only foray into the smartphone world.

Born-again rebel Don Miller opens up: "I could have easily ended up in prison," Donald Miller would write about the man whose faith in his writing turned his life around. He says his mentor's life was a sermon.


Filed under: Most Popular
July 19th, 2010
11:38 PM ET

Stocks rise as investors anticipate profit reports

A look at highlights from the day's business news:

Wall Street: Bring on the profit reports

Stocks closed higher Monday, recovering from earlier weakness, as optimism about corporate results due this week outweighed ongoing concerns about the economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 56 points, or 0.5 percent. The S&P 500 index gained 6 points and the Nasdaq composite rose 19 points.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Economy
July 19th, 2010
09:50 PM ET

West Virginia schedules special election for Byrd's seat

The West Virginia state legislature on Monday approved a plan to hold a special election in November to fill the seat of the late U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd.

Gov. Joe Manchin, a Democrat considered a likely candidate for the Senate race, signed the measure after a compromise worked out by state lawmakers won
final approval.

The primary election will be August 28 and the vote for Byrd's successor will take place as part of the congressional mid-term election November 2, Manchin said.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Uncategorized
July 19th, 2010
02:13 PM ET

U.S. sends carrier to South Korea

The aircraft carrier USS George Washington

The United States is sending the aircraft carrier USS George Washington to South Korea this week in a display of "the strength of our alliance and our constant readiness to defend the Republic of Korea," the ship's commander said Monday.

The visit comes after months of heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula after the sinking of a South Korean warship in a torpedo attack in March. A multinational inquiry found North Korea responsible for the attack on the corvette Cheonan, in which 46 South Korean sailors were killed. North Korea has denied any connection with the attack and said it is the victim of an international conspiracy.

Earlier this month, the United Nations formally denounced the sinking of the Cheonan, but did not specifically mention North Korea.

In anticipation of the U.S. announcement, Pyongyang at the weekend said the presence of the carrier would be a "reckless provocation," according to the state-run Korean Central News Agency. It said the U.S. and South Korea were trying to save face after suffering a "diplomatic defeat" in the United Nations.

Two U.S. destroyers will also join the George Washington for its call in the port of Busan. A third destroyer will visit Chinhae, U.S. Forces Korea said. The four-day port call begins Wednesday.

"The U.S. Navy maintains a robust forward presence in the Asia-Pacific region and the people of the Republic of Korea are our good friends and allies," George Washington commanding officer Capt. David Lausman said in a statement Monday.

The 97,000-ton George Washington, based in Yokosuka, Japan, is the only U.S. carrier whose home port is outside the United States.

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Filed under: Military • South Korea
July 19th, 2010
02:11 PM ET

Web Pulse: A story, a seep, and Spencer

[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics/2010/07/19/starr.pentagon.wash.post.cnn"]

"Hidden world" - A controversial investigative story about America's intelligence community has been generating major buzz since it went live on the Washington Post's site. The story, the culmination of two years of reporting, says that in the years after the 9/11 attacks, intelligence gathering has become unmanageable and inefficient. Critics say that the Post article discloses sensitive information.

The seep - Everyone is searching the Web to find the exact definition of the word "seep" after news this past weekend that there is a leak from the oil  containment cap in the Gulf of Mexico.

The question now is whether the seep is significant enough to require opening valves to relieve pressure and in turn release more oil into the Gulf. Is this the end of the months-long Deepwater Horizon oil leak?

The federal on-scene coordinator warned Monday that it's too soon to make that call. "With an operation like this, your biggest enemy is complacency," said Coast Guard Rear Adm. Paul Zukunft.

Spencer Pratt - Alleged problems with America's intelligence community, the oil spill and ... that guy who everyone hates from MTV's show "The Hills." Last week, the long-running drama about rich 20-somethings in Los Angeles ended with a shocker - the reality show was not really reality but scripted. What? No! This week, (can we call him an actor?) Spencer Pratt tried to keep his name in the news by admitting that he's a "famewhore." His words, not ours. But he's getting clicks. Lots of 'em.

July 19th, 2010
12:22 PM ET

U.S. to send 1,200 National Guard to border

The United States will deploy 1,200 National Guard troops to assist with southwest border protection starting August 1, the Obama administration announced Monday.

In addition, approximately 300 additional Customs and Border Protection agents will be added and will be complemented by an increase in technology and six aircraft, Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin said Monday at a joint press conference with the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security.

Officials had previously announced the troop deployment, but a date for it had not been given.

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Filed under: Arizona
July 19th, 2010
11:41 AM ET

Obama rips GOP for blocking jobless benefits extension

President Barack Obama tore into congressional Republicans on Monday for blocking an extension of unemployment benefits, arguing that a "partisan minority" had allowed short-term political calculations to trump genuine economic need.

The Senate is set to consider a bill Tuesday that would extend the deadline to file for unemployment benefits through the end of November. The bill would cost $33 billion in additional deficit spending, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Senate GOP leaders have blocked a vote several times, highlighting deficit concerns by arguing that any benefits extension should be offset by spending cuts. Democrats are counting on the seating Tuesday of the replacement for Sen. Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia to break the logjam.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Economy
July 19th, 2010
11:37 AM ET

Sports Update: 27-year-old wins British Open

South African Louis Oosthuizen won the British Open.

The biggest sports surprise of the past week came from a 27-year-old South African who grew up on a dairy farm. Louis Oosthuizen entered the 139th British Open ranked No. 54 in the world, but he managed to blow away the competition at St. Andrews with a four-day total of 16-under-par 272. 

In one of the most impressive, Tiger-Woods-like routs on the course, Oosthuizen captured the claret jug by seven shots over England's Lee Westwood. But as Golf.com's Damon Hack explains, Oosthuizen wasn't always that smooth on the golf course. His hot temper and history of mistakes kept him from fulfilling the potential that fellow star golfers knew he had.

But in this year's Open, he quashed all doubts, leaving Woods to struggle for a 3-under, 23rd-place finish and Phil Mickelson to end up 48th.  

Oosthuizen's victory Sunday night was just a warmup for what's ahead this week. 

Philadelphia Phillies vs. St. Louis Cardinals (7 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Matt Holliday's RBI single with two outs in the ninth inning Sunday propelled the Cardinals to a 5-4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. With the win, the Cards completed their first four-game sweep of the Dodgers since July 1987.  It put them a half-game ahead of the Reds in the NL Central - and that was without Albert Pujols, who took the day off.

And while the Cards are riding a four-game win streak, the Phillies will be just hours removed from their losing their third straight road series.  Philly fell to the Chicago Cubs 11-6 Sunday night as ace Roy Halladay beaned All-Star Marion Byrd twice and gave up two homers, to Alfonso Soriano and Geovany Soto.

St. Louis right-hander Blake Hawksworth (3-5, 4.73 ERA) will face off against Kyle Kendrick (5-3, 4.44) and look to snap the Cards' four-game home losing streak to Philadelphia and claim six straight for the first time since September 2008. 

Tour de France, Stage 15 (Versus)

A flat tire and multiple crashes kept 38-year-old Lance Armstrong from contending for his eighth Tour de France victory, but according to Radio Shack team manager John Bruyneel, the seven-time champ has changed his goals anyway. Instead of another Tour title, said Bruyneel, Armstrong - who sits 36th overall after Stage 14 - is simply seeking a stage victory, which could come today. Tour leader Andy Schleck holds a 31-second advantage over defending champ Alberto Contador heading into a 187.5-kilometer mountain trail. 

BY THE NUMBERS 

1: Cut in eight majors that Louis Oosthmuizen made before winning the 139th British Open. 

8th: Inside-the-park home run at Progressive Field since 1994, which was hit by Jhonny Peralta in the Cleveland Indians' 7-2 win over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday. 

$45 million to $50 million: The guaranteed money that top draft pick Sam Bradford is expected to get from the St. Louis Rams in the most lucrative contract in NFL history.


Filed under: Sports • Tiger Woods
July 19th, 2010
10:08 AM ET

Security alert issued for Americans traveling in Uganda

The U.S. State Department has issued a warning to American citizens traveling or residing in Uganda to maintain a high level of vigilance as a major African Union summit gets underway Monday.

The security warning comes a week after a trio of bombings killed 74 people in Uganda's capital, Kampala, during the World Cup final. Many of those killed and injured had gathered to watch the match. A Somali Islamist militant movement claimed responsibility for the July 11 bombings at two venues.

"All U.S. citizens should consider the possibility of similar terrorist attacks occurring in conjunction with the African Union Summit," officials said in a statement released Friday.

The summit, which will focus heavily on maternal and child health, meets in Kampala between July 25 and 27, according to the African Union website. Officials are encouraging Americans to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness in large public gatherings, which they say can be vulnerable targets for extremist or terrorist groups.

The travel alert expires August 15.

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Filed under: Security Brief
July 19th, 2010
09:51 AM ET

Security brief: Afghanistan- "Not worth it"

One of the most respected voices among US foreign policy experts says the Obama Administration’s Afghan policy is not working.

Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations and a veteran of several US administrations, writes in the latest edition of Newsweek: ‚ÄúContinued or increased U.S. involvement in Afghanistan isn‚Äôt likely to yield lasting improvements that would be commensurate in any way with the investment of American blood and treasure. It is time to scale down our ambitions there and both reduce and redirect what we do.‚ÄĚ

Speaking on CNN‚Äôs American Morning Monday, Haass said Afghanistan was now ‚Äúa sponge for American resources and it is a distraction. We out to be thinking militarily about what we might have to do in North Korea or Iran where we really do have vital national interests.‚ÄĚ FULL POST

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Filed under: Security Brief
July 19th, 2010
09:51 AM ET

On the Radar: An oil seep in Gulf, a "Top Secret America"

Oil seep - Testing on a capped oil well in the Gulf of Mexico will continue for another day as the federal government says BP has addressed questions about a seep near the well. Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the federal government's reponse manager to the oil spill, said that a federal science team and BP representatives discussed the seep during a Sunday night conference call, including the "possible observation of methane over the well." Allen will give an update at 11 a.m. ET Monday. CNN's full coverage page takes you from the beginning of the April 20 disaster to the latest updates.

The Washington Post: "Top Secret America" - The 9/11 attacks have created an intelligence community so large and unwieldy that it's unmanageable and inefficient - and no one knows how much it costs, according to a two-year-long Washington Post investigation.

Many in the intelligence community reportedly worried that the Post articles would disclose too much information about contractors and the classified tasks they handle. The Post said its report uncovered "a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in thorough oversight. After nine years of unprecedented spending and growth, the result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine."

Aid for Pakistan - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced a major new aid package for Pakistan with hundreds of millions of dollars for projects to address water and energy shortages in the country. She made the announcement at the beginning of a daylong "strategic dialogue" in Islamabad between American and Pakistani officials.

India train crash - At least 60 people died and 92 were injured when a moving train rammed into a stationary train in eastern India. The collision at the Sainthia station hurtled the roof of one of the wrecked compartments onto an overpass, according to TV footage.

July 19th, 2010
09:43 AM ET

Utah AG: Leaked list of immigrants 'like a hit list'

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff said Monday that he expects to launch a formal investigation into a list containing leaked personal information of 1,300 alleged illegal immigrants.

Shurtleff said he is awaiting the names of at least two suspects from the state's executive branch and could receive them as early as Monday.

"It's important we get to the bottom of it immediately," he told CNN's "American Morning." "We have condemned this list - the dissemination, the use, the purpose of the list - in the strongest possible terms and we do believe that action needs to be swift."

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Immigration
July 19th, 2010
09:12 AM ET

Monday's intriguing people

Mark Williams

The Tea Party activist says he's done discussing the controversy stirred up by his attack on the NAACP. The National Tea Party Federation, an organization that seeks to represent the Tea Party political movement around the country, has expelled Williams and his Tea Party Express organization because of an inflammatory blog post Williams wrote last week, federation spokesman David Webb said Sunday.

In response, Williams announced in another statement on his blog that "I am refusing all media requests on this" and canceled a scheduled interview on CNN to discuss the controversy Sunday evening, citing a last-minute change in travel plans.

Williams wrote the incendiary blog post that satirized a fictional letter from what he called "Colored People" to President Abraham Lincoln in response to an NAACP resolution that called on Tea Party leaders to crack down on racist elements in the movement.

"Dear Mr. Lincoln," began the letter posted by Williams. "We Coloreds have taken a vote and decided that we don't cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop!"

Williams, a conservative talk radio host, said the post was intended as satire.

CNN: Tea Party leader says he's done talking about race controversy

FULL POST

July 19th, 2010
07:50 AM ET

Report: U.S. intelligence community inefficient, unmanageable

The September 11, 2001, attacks have created an intelligence community so large and unwieldy that it's unmanageable and inefficient - and no one knows how much it costs, according to a two-year-long
investigation by the Washington Post.

Ahead of the publication, many in the intelligence community worried that the stories would disclose too much information about contractors and the classified tasks they handle.

The Post article that appeared in Monday's edition says its investigation uncovered "a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in thorough oversight. After nine years of unprecedented spending and growth, the result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine."

FULL STORY

Update: Acting Director of¬† National Intelligence, David C. Gompert issued the following response –

This morning, the Washington Post began a series of articles on the growth of the Intelligence Community following the terrorist attacks on 9/11.   The reporting does not reflect the Intelligence Community we know.

We accept that we operate in an environment that limits the amount of information we can share.  However, the fact is, the men and women of the Intelligence Community have improved our operations, thwarted attacks, and are achieving untold successes every day.

In recent years, we have reformed the IC in ways that have improved the quality, quantity, regularity, and speed of our support to policymakers, warfighters, and homeland defenders, and we will continue our reform efforts.  We provide oversight, while also encouraging initiative.  We work constantly to reduce inefficiencies and redundancies, while preserving a degree of intentional overlap among agencies to strengthen analysis, challenge conventional thinking, and eliminate single points of failure.  We are mindful of the size of our contractor ranks, but greatly value the critical flexibility and specialized skills they contribute to our mission.

The challenges that lie ahead are difficult and complex.  We will continue to scrutinize our own operations, seek ways to improve and adapt, and work with Congress on its crucial oversight and reform efforts.  We can always do better, and we will.  And the importance of our mission and our commitment to keeping America safe will remain steadfast, whether they are reflected in the day’s news or not.

David C. Gompert

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Filed under: National security
July 19th, 2010
07:45 AM ET

Well testing continues; government gets BP answers on seep

Testing on a capped oil well in the Gulf of Mexico will continue for another day, officials said Monday, as the federal government says it has received satisfactory answers from BP regarding a seep near the well.

Thad Allen, the federal government's oil spill response director, said Monday that a federal science team and BP representatives had discussed several issues during a Sunday night conference call, including the "possible observation of methane over the well."

"During the conversation, the federal science team got the answers they were seeking and the commitment from BP to meet their monitoring and notification obligations," Allen said in a statement.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Gulf Coast Oil Spill
July 19th, 2010
07:09 AM ET

Monday's live video events

Ongoing coverage - BP webcam of Gulf oil disaster

9:00 am ET - Gulf oil disaster hearing - The U.S. Coast Guard and Minerals Management Service hold a public session on what caused the Gulf oil disaster.

10:30 am ET - Obama on the economy - President Obama delivers a statement from the White House Rose Garden about the economy.

11:00 am ET - Gulf oil disaster skimmer briefing - Rear Adm. Paul Zukunft briefs reporters on efforts to clean up the Gulf oil disaster.

1:30 pm ET - Obama greets the WNBA champs - President Obama welcomes the 2009 WNBA champions, the Phoenix Mercury, to the White House.

7:00 pm ET - Salute to Broadway - President Obama and the first lady host a salute to Broadway as part of the White House Music Series.

CNN.com Live is your home for breaking news as it happens.


Filed under: On CNN.com today
July 19th, 2010
05:55 AM ET

World Update: Dozens die in train wreck

An update from London on some of the international stories we expect to develop on Monday:

Trains collide: A moving passenger train ploughs into a stationary train in eastern India, killing more than 50 people and injuring 100 others, police in West Bengal state say. Read more

Aid for Pakistan: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced a major aid package for Pakistan on Monday - with hundreds of millions of dollars pledged on projects to address the country's water and power shortage, and its floundering economy. Read more

FULL POST