August 24th, 2010
11:13 PM ET

Danielle regains hurricane status in Atlantic

Once a sputtering tropical storm in the Atlantic Ocean, the weather system known as Danielle is back with a vengeance.

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Filed under: Weather
August 24th, 2010
10:14 PM ET

Recaptured escapee found in jail with self-inflicted cuts

Jailed former prison escapee John McCluskey was discovered Tuesday with self-inflicted cuts on his neck and forearms, a source close to the investigation said.

McCluskey, 45, was taken from the Mohave County Jail in Kingman, Arizona, to a hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries. The cuts apparently were made with a disposable razor.

McCluskey was serving a 15-year sentence for attempted second-degree murder and other charges when he and fellow convicts Tracy Province and Daniel Renwick broke out of the prison July 30, allegedly with help from Casslyn Mae Welch.

The other two inmates were recaptured shortly after the escape, but McCluskey and Welch eluded law enforcement for three weeks before an alert park ranger spotted them and called police.

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Filed under: Arizona • Crime
August 24th, 2010
09:38 PM ET

Armed militia to protect church during Quran-burning event

An armed Christian organization, Right Wing Extreme, will protect a church that is planning to host an "International Burn a Quran Day" on the ninth anniversary of September 11, the church's pastor said on Tuesday.

The Dove World Outreach Center, in Gainesville, Florida, says it is hosting the event to remember 9/11 victims and to take a stand against Islam. With promotions on its website and Facebook page, the nondenominational church invites Christians to burn the Muslim holy book.

Dove's Facebook page, set up for the September event, has nearly 6,000 fans. The initiative has also drawn critics.

Dove World Outreach Center Pastor Terry Jones has accepted the support of Right Wing Extreme, which he said offered to come to the church with between 500 and 2,000 men on September 11. He described the organization as an armed civilian militia group.

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Filed under: Christian • Florida • Islam • Militia
August 24th, 2010
09:32 PM ET

3 Colombian teens on Facebook list killed in 10 days

Three teens who were on a 69-name hit list posted on Facebook have been killed in the past 10 days in a southwestern Colombian town, officials say.

Police say they do not know who posted the list or why the names are on it.

"It is still not clear," Colombian national police spokesman Wilson Baquero told CNN. "This is part of the investigation."

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Colombia • Crime • Facebook
August 24th, 2010
09:28 PM ET

Government will appeal stem cell funding ruling

The Obama administration will appeal a federal judge's decision to temporarily block federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, Justice Department spokesman Matthew Miller confirmed Tuesday.
An appeal is expected to be filed later this week asking the court to lift the injunction ordered Monday, according to Miller.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth was a blow to the Obama administration, which last year issued guidelines to allow federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

On Tuesday, the director of the National Institutes of Health said he was stunned by Lamberth's decision to order a temporary injunction.

"This will mean very promising research will not get done, screening for new drugs will stop, and researchers who have been energized will likely grow discouraged and move to other countries or on to other research," Dr. Francis Collins told reporters.

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Filed under: Courts • Stem cell research
August 24th, 2010
08:21 PM ET

California Senate OKs tougher sentencing for sex offenders

A bill that seeks to increase prison sentences and extend parole terms in California for certain sex crimes against minors was passed in a unanimous vote by the state Senate on Tuesday.

Chelsea’s Law” - named after 17-year-old Chelsea King, who was raped and murdered by a convicted sex offender this year -  will go to the State Assembly next week for a vote. If it passes, it will go to the desk of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has already lent support to the legislation formally know as AB 1844.

King disappeared February 25 during a jog in a suburban San Diego park, sparking a massive search that ended a few days later with the discovery of her body. Registered sex offender John Gardner pleaded guilty in April to killing her and another San Diego-area teen, Amber Dubois, in a deal that spared him the death penalty.

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Filed under: California • Crime
August 24th, 2010
03:17 PM ET

Conway says U.S. troops could be in Afghanistan for years

Gen. James Conway, the commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps said Tuesday that it will be a "few years" before the U.S. could turn over the fight to Afghan Security Forces.

President Barack Obama has ordered a withdrawal to begin in less than a year, although he has not said how many U.S. troops should withdraw or how fast when that July 2011 deadline arrives.

"I think it will be a few years before conditions on the ground are such that we would expect to be able to turn it over to the Afghan forces. And I think there's a mindset that needs to accompany that on the part of our Marines, that it may be a while," Conway told reporters at the Pentagon in what may be his last briefing here before his expected retirement this fall.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Military • Security Brief
August 24th, 2010
02:15 PM ET

With Miss Universe win, Miss Mexico becomes national icon

Miss Mexico Jimena Navarette was crowned Miss Universe Monday to the delight of her entire nation.

Jimena Navarette, Miss Mexico, was crowned the winner at the Miss Universe pageant Monday night - an achievement the 22-year-old, the president of the country and her fellow country members hoped would boost the image of Mexico.

"I want the whole world to know about my country and my people," Navarette, who is from Guadalajara, Mexico said after winning the crown in Las Vegas to wide applause from a delegation there to support her.

Support and cheers from Mexicans flooded the internet quickly - with President Felipe Calderon being among the first to congratulate Navarette via Twitter on her "deserved victory," saying that it would help the country's image.

"Her triumph is a source of pride and satisfaction for all Mexicans, who see in her the fruits of perseverance," Calderon also said in a statement.

With the win, Navarette became the second Miss Mexico to capture the crown. Lupita Jones won the title in 1991.

"We won, long live Mexico!" Navarrete said on her Facebook fan page, which has grown into a page of tributes and cheers to Navarette and her country.

Navratte's Facebook page | Twitter page (in Spanish)

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August 24th, 2010
01:19 PM ET

DEA wants to hire Ebonics translators

Wanted by the Drug Enforcement Administration: Ebonics translators.

It might sound like a punch line, as "Ebonics" - the common name for what linguists call African-American English - has long been the butt of jokes, as well as the subject of controversy.

But the agency is serious about needing nine people to translate conversations picked up on wiretaps during investigations, Special Agent
Michael Sanders said Tuesday. A solicitation was sent to contractors as part of a request to companies to provide hundreds of translators in 114 languages.

FULL STORY

August 24th, 2010
12:13 PM ET

Passenger plane crashes in China

A plane carrying 96 passengers crashed in northeast China Tuesday night, government and airline company officials told state-run media.

The Henan Airlines flight crashed about 10 p.m. Tuesday in Yichun City, officials told the Xinhua News Agency.

Rescuers were rushing to the scene, Xinhua said.

Read full story.

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Filed under: Air travel • China • World
August 24th, 2010
12:02 PM ET

Tuesday's intriguing people

Aijalon Mahli Gomes

Former President Jimmy Carter is heading to North Korea hoping to secure Gomes' release from a North Korean prison. The 31-year-old from Massachusetts was sentenced to eight years of hard labor in April after illegally crossing the border from China into North Korea.

"I don't know why exactly he did it [entered North Korea] but he just, I'm sure he felt, that God was saying to him: 'Good can come out of this,' " a teacher and friend of Gomes told NPR in a report today.

Gomes tried to commit suicide last month, according to North Korea. Foreign Policy magazine reports that the State Department secretly sent a team to visit Gomes earlier this month but was not able to get him released.

Last year, former President Bill Clinton intervened in the case of two American journalists - Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who had allegedly crossed the border into North Korea - and they were released.

Foriegn Policy: Exclusive: Jimmy Carter headed to North Korea on rescue mission

NPR: Why Did Aijalon Gomes Cross Into North Korea?

CNN Political Ticker: Former President Carter to travel to North Korea to free American

FULL POST

August 24th, 2010
11:56 AM ET

S. Korea promises immediate response to N. Korea artillery

The South Korean dock landing ship Dokdo participates in anti-submarine drills in early August.

Any further North Korean artillery strikes south of the maritime boundary between North and South Korea will be met with shelling from the South, the South’s defense minister said Tuesday.

On August 9, North Korea fired more than 100 artillery rounds toward the Northern Limit Line, the sea border between the two Koreas set after the Korean War. Ten of those rounds fell south of the line, according to news reports from South Korea. At that time, the South did not return fire but sent warning messages through military channels to the North.

“Under the previous rules of engagement (near the NLL), we’re supposed to send warnings through hotlines and not return fire unless the North fires additional shots,” Defense Minister Kim Tae-young told a parliamentary committee on Tuesday, according to a report from The Korea Times.

New rules call for an immediate military response, but still require the North to be warned that the South Korean shelling is coming.

"If North Korea fires artillery rounds south of the NLL, we will respond by firing toward north of the NLL," the Yonhap news agency quoted Kim as saying.

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Filed under: North Korea • South Korea
August 24th, 2010
11:43 AM ET

Judge denies Georgia death row inmate's innocence claim

People hold photos of Troy Davis during a 2008 death penalty protest.

A death row prisoner in Georgia has not proved his innocence, a federal court ruled, according to papers released Tuesday.

Troy Davis, 39, was convicted in 1991 of killing Officer Mark MacPhail as MacPhail responded to an altercation in a Burger King parking lot. Seven of the nine witnesses who initially testified that Davis was the killer have recanted. There was no physical evidence presented at his trial, and no weapon was found.
But Davis' petitions for a new trial have been denied.

The Supreme Court granted a stay of execution for him last year, and another federal court later granted him another one, as he fights to overturn his conviction.

Many have asked Georgia to grant Davis a new trial: celebrities like Susan Sarandon, Harry Belafonte and the Indigo Girls; world leaders such as former President Carter, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Pope Benedict XVI; and former and current U.S. lawmakers like Bob Barr, Carolyn Moseley Braun and John Lewis.

Amnesty International had issued a 39-page report questioning his conviction.

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Filed under: Georgia • Justice
August 24th, 2010
10:33 AM ET

L.A. jail tests 'intolerable heat' beam on brawling inmates

An L.A. county jail will be testing the Assault Intervention Device.

Officials at a Los Angeles County jail plan to test out an invisible heat-beam weapon originally developed by the military as a way to subdue brawling inmates by making them feel "intolerable heat."

The technology, called an Assault Intervention Device, is a non lethal-weapon developed by Raytheon Company. It originally was scaled down for use at the jail.

The device "emits a focused beam of wave energy that travels at the speed of light and produces an intolerable heating sensation that causes targeted individuals to flee. The sensation immediately ceases when the targeted individual moves away from the beam," according to Raytheon's website.

Deputies have tested the device, which is controlled by a jail officer using a joystick.

"We believe that technology can help solve problems facing the corrections community, including addressing issues of inmate violence," Sheriff Lee Baca said during a news conference. "The Assault Intervention Device appears uniquely suited to address some of the more difficult inmate violence issues without the drawbacks of tools currently available to us."

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August 24th, 2010
10:25 AM ET

Sherrod turns down job offer from Agriculture Department

Shirley Sherrod, who received an apology after being forced to resign from the Agriculture Department, declined an offer Tuesday to serve as the agency's deputy director of the Office of Advocacy and Outreach.

The position includes administration and outreach to improve the
Agriculture Department's civil rights efforts and image nationwide.

Sherrod met Tuesday morning with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to
discuss the job offer.

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Filed under: Politics • Shirley Sherrod
August 24th, 2010
09:45 AM ET

On the Radar: Hostage rescue, Sherrod, midterm primaries

Philippines hostage rescue botched? - Authorities botched rescue efforts during a deadly hostage situation on a tourist bus, the Philippine National Police said in a statement Tuesday.

Manila police said former police officer Rolando Mendoza, upset at having lost his job, held hostage a busload of tourists from Hong Kong on Monday and killed eight of them before being shot dead. A statement from the national police said officials have already noted "some observations and defects during their close monitoring of the unfolding events."

Sherrod's job interview –– Shirley Sherrod, who received an apology after being forced to resign from the Agriculture Department, will meet Tuesday morning with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to discuss a job offer.

It will be the first face-to-face meeting between the two since a controversial sequence of events last month culminated in her stepping down.

FULL POST

August 24th, 2010
08:05 AM ET

World update: S. Africa strike blamed for hospital deaths

An update from the CNN newsdesk in London on some of the stories we're watching on Tuesday:

South Africa strike - While more than a million public sectors continue to strike in South Africa, the lack of healthcare professionals on the job being is blamed for the deaths of some patients in hospitals. Some reports have even indicated that military personnel have been drafted into some hospitals to carry out the roles of healthcare workers.

Somalia gunfight - Two men dressed in military uniforms stormed a hotel in Mogadishu Tuesday and killed at least 15 people before detonating explosives and killing themselves, officials said. Among the dead were several lawmakers.

FULL POST

August 24th, 2010
07:15 AM ET

Tuesday's live video events

Ongoing coverage - BP webcam of Gulf oil disaster

9:00 am ET - Gulf oil disaster hearing - Hearings continue in Houston on the circumstances surrounding the causes of the Gulf oil disaster.

9:00 am ET - Afghanistan briefing - The Marine Corps commandant briefs reporters at the Pentagon on his recent visit to Afghanistan.

10:00 am ET - Gulf oil disaster anti-fraud briefing - Federal prosecutors discuss the Justice Department’s anti-fraud efforts related to the Gulf oil disaster.

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Filed under: On CNN.com today
August 24th, 2010
04:50 AM ET

Gunmen storm Mogadishu hotel; several lawmakers killed

Two men dressed in military uniforms stormed a hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia, on Tuesday and killed at least 15 people before detonating explosives and killing themselves, officials said.

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Filed under: Somalia
August 24th, 2010
04:31 AM ET

Fewer than 50,000 U.S. troops now in Iraq, lowest since 2003

The number of U.S. troops in Iraq has fallen below 50,000, the military said Wednesday.

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Filed under: Iraq • Military
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