August 30th, 2010
10:29 PM ET

The day's most popular stories

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

Hurricane Earl grows to Category 4; Tropical Storm Fiona forms: With Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and soon the East Coast in its reach, Hurricane Earl prompted warnings for those areas from the Federal Emergency Management Agency Monday.

Passengers removed from flight after comment: Nine passengers aboard a plane at Dulles International Airport were removed before takeoff due to a comment made to a crew member Sunday night, a United Airlines spokeswoman said.

More than 3,000 Mexican federal police fired, commissioner says: About 3,200 Mexican federal police have been fired since May for failing to do their work or being linked to corruption, Federal Police Commissioner Facundo Rosas said Monday.

Antifreeze killer dies in prison: Julia Lynn Womack Turner, who was convicted in 2007 of murder for the deaths by antifreeze poisoning of her boyfriend and husband, died Monday in prison in Georgia, prison officials said.

Growing up bipolar: 'Nobody was on my side': Jennifer Konjoian was 10 years old when she put a plastic bag over her head. She remembers doing it impulsively, for no other reason than to get attention


Filed under: Most Popular
August 30th, 2010
10:16 PM ET

Stocks drop as fear returns

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

Stocks drop as fear returns

Stocks fell sharply late Monday, ending a lackluster session more than 1 percent lower, as the tone on Wall Street turned bearish ahead of big economic reports due later this week.

The Dow Jones industrial average slumped 141 points, or about 1.4 percent. The S&P 500 slid 15 points, or 1.5 percent, and the Nasdaq composite shed 33 points, or 1.5 percent.

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Filed under: Business • Economy
August 30th, 2010
08:58 PM ET

Mexican authorities: Notorious drug trafficker captured

A man purported to be one of Mexico's most ruthless drug traffickers, American-born Edgar Valdez-Villarreal, was captured Monday following a shootout, Mexican authorities said.

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Filed under: Mexico
August 30th, 2010
06:14 PM ET

Dutch arrest two men after flight from U.S.

[Updated at 9:10 p.m.] Luggage with suspicious items that led to the arrests of two passengers of a Chicago-to-Amsterdam flight Monday was checked onto a different flight - one that went from Chicago to Washington's Dulles Airport and was scheduled to go on to Dubai, a law enforcement official confirms.

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[Updated at 7:49 p.m.] The two men - passengers on United Flight 908 from Chicago O'Hare to Amsterdam on Sunday night - were arrested Monday at Amsterdam's Schiphol International Airport after "suspicious items" were found in checked baggage, U.S. and Dutch authorities said.

Suspicious items found in luggage associated with the pair "were not deemed to be dangerous in and of themselves, and as we share information with our international partners, Dutch authorities were notified of the suspicious items," the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said. "This matter continues to be under investigation."

One of the men had travelled to Chicago from Birmingham, Alabama, and the other had flown to Chicago from Memphis, Tennessee, a law enforcement official told CNN.

An X-Ray of the checked luggage of the man who had flown from Birmingham showed several cell phones strapped to bottles of medicinal liquid, a law enforcement official said.

The men did not have prohibited items on themselves or in carry-on luggage, a law-enforcement official said. Federal air marshals were on the Chicago-to-Amsterdam flight, that official said.

[Original post] Two men were arrested Monday at Amsterdam's Schiphol International Airport after a flight from the United States, a spokesman for the Dutch Justice Ministry said.

The men were being held at the airport after arriving in the Dutch capital from Chicago, Illinois, Justice Ministry spokesman Martiun Boalhouwer told CNN. Boalhouwer would release no further details of the arrests, saying an investigation was under way.

ABC News, citing U.S. law enforcement officials, reported that the men have been charged in the Netherlands with "preparation of a terrorist attack," and that they had just flown from Chicago, Illinois, to Amsterdam on a United Airlines flight.

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Filed under: Air travel • Illinois • The Netherlands
August 30th, 2010
04:43 PM ET

This week's plans for Chilean mine rescue effort

Officials overseeing the rescue of 33 miners who've been trapped in a Chilean mine for more than three weeks plan to start a four-month drilling effort to reach the men.

The drilling operation at the San Jose mine was delayed Monday morning as rescuers waited for a power unit to arrive from Germany. The drilling of the rescue shaft is now expected to start in Monday afternoon or evening.

The miners have been stuck in the mine since an August 5 cave-in and are surviving in a shelter on food, water and other supplies funneled to them through three bore holes, each about 4 inches in diameter. Here’s what is scheduled for the rest of this week.

TUESDAY ‚Äď The miners are due to send a new video greeting to families. The video is expected to show the 33 in better health and improved conditions.

TUESDAY ‚Äď A four-person team from NASA is due to arrive in the Chilean capital, Santiago. A doctor, a psychologist, a nutritionist and a logistics engineer are making the trip.

WEDNESDAY MORNING ‚Äď The miners are expected to get sandwiches, hummus and hot food. This will be the first time they will get solid food sent to them since the mine cave-in. Until now, the rescue workers have been sending the miners liquid nutrition.

WEDNESDAY ‚Äď The NASA team is due to arrive at San Jose mine in northern Chile. The team is expected to apply its techniques for keeping astronauts healthy in outer space to the 33 miners, who are in a shelter 2,300 feet (700 meters) underground.

WEDNESDAY ‚Äď Chilean Health Minister Jaime Manalich is due to return to the San Jose mine after a trip to Santiago to inform President Sebastian Pinera of the rescue operation‚Äôs progress.

FRIDAY ‚Äď The NASA team is due to go back to Houston, Texas.

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Filed under: Chile
August 30th, 2010
04:25 PM ET

What the trapped Chilean miners have in their shelter

Rescue officials are giving more than just food and water to the miners who have been trapped in Chile’s San Jose mine for more than three weeks.

Through three bore holes that are about 4 inches in diameter, officials are sending down items to help them be more comfortable and be as physically and mentally fit as possible.

The miners, trapped in a cavernous shelter more than 2,300 feet below the surface, have phone communication with rescuers between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. daily, and also opportunities for sporadic, brief phone communication with family members.

Here are some of the items that rescue workers have sent through the tubes to the miners.

- Liquid proteins and vitamins

- Water, at least five liters each per day

- Vaccinations, to fight tetanus, influenza and respiratory infections

- Antiseptic cream for eye irritation and fungal skin infections

- High-tech T-shirts and shorts, designed to wick away sweat

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Filed under: Chile
August 30th, 2010
03:57 PM ET

Chimp escapes zoo exhibit in Oklahoma

A chimpanzee in an Oklahoma zoo escaped from his exhibit on Monday, but was coaxed back to safety with no reported injuries, said a zoo spokeswoman.

The male chimp was found in a dry moat, meant to separate the animals from the zoo's visitors. It was not immediately clear how he broke out of his habitat.

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Filed under: Animals • Oklahoma
August 30th, 2010
03:47 PM ET

WebPulse: Praising Temple, pushing pot and pea soup

Temple Grandin with the actress who played her, Claire Danes.

Temple Grandin is adorable. The woman who inspired the namesake movie which swept the Emmys Sunday night was so caught up in the jubilation of the evening that she asked her mother to stand up in the audience. Who gets to do that? Answer: The amazing Temple Grandin. Actress Claire Danes got her first Emmy for playing the animal science professor who has gained worldwide renown for educating people about what it's like to be autistic.

Social networking sites were buzzing about the awards show, from January Jones' dress to a vampire in gladiator gear. Nobody picked on those Glee kids, but sometimes it's entertaining for evil to trump good, so here's to you Jane Lynch. In more shocking Emmy news, Mad Men won again.

Speaking of a convincing pitch, a television station in Sacramento, California, has aired the first advertisement for legal marijuana. An ad for pot was reportedly rejected by other stations.

My goodness, isn't this blog just going to hell. But why not go all the way there if people are talking about it? There's a new "scary" movie out with a revamped twist of pea-soup-head-spinning called "The Last Exorcism." Like all demon house-cleanings, this film has a surprise ending and it's upsetting a lot of people. Glenn Beck appears and tells the possessed child to "return to God." We are kidding - of course. Here's the big reveal, if you don't plan on seeing the flick. Or better idea, go see the movie and hide a small container of pea soup in your purse and at just the right time, when none of your friends are looking, slurp some, make gurgly sounds and spit it out in your popcorn! That's how we turn bad movie experiences around.

Oh, you wanna go lower, eh? Fine. We'll take your double-dog dare. TMZ has published what it says is the police report of Paris Hilton's arrest for possession of controlled substances.

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Filed under: Crime • Paris Hilton • Showbiz • Web Pulse
August 30th, 2010
02:48 PM ET

Amanda Knox book in the works, Italian official says

Amanda Knox as her trial drew to a close in 2009.

Convicted murderer Amanda Knox has been meeting with Italian elected official Rocco Girlanda, who now says he's writing a book about her, a representative for Knox's parents said.

Among the book's reported revelations: Knox, 23, dreams of adopting children someday.

"We knew that Girlanda had been meeting with her in prison, but he's never spoken with Amanda's family or her lawyers, that we are aware of, specifically about a book," said David Marriott, a Seattle public relations specialist the Knox family hired. "The family has no idea what this book is going to say."

Knox was convicted in December of last year of killing her British roommate, Meredith Kercher, whose throat was slashed. Knox was a University of Washington student who went to Italy to study but ended up being the focus of one of Europe's most salacious trials. She was sentenced to 26 years. Her former Italian boyfriend was also convicted and is serving time.

Marriott said that it's unclear if Girlanda took written notes during his prison visits with Knox or if the interviews were recorded.  "We're assuming it's going to be an accurate reflection of conversations she's had with him," he said.

According to The Guardian newspaper: "Everything grew from a desire to get to know an American girl, the same age as one of my daughters, who has found herself to be living in the most dramatic experience of her life," Girlanda writes.

Knox's father is in Italy now and visited his daughter last Wednesday, Marriott said. "I assume he's going to ask her what she told Girlanda," he said.

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Filed under: Italy
August 30th, 2010
01:39 PM ET

Standoff follows slaying of 2 Alaska police officers

A standoff continued Monday between police and a 45-year-old man who barricaded himself in his home after allegedly shooting two rural Alaska police officers to death, authorities said.

The Hoonah, Alaska, Police Department contacted the Alaska State Troopers on Saturday night, asking for assistance after Hoonah officers Matthew Tokuoka, 39, and Sgt. Anthony Wallace, 32, were shot in what troopers described as an ambush. Both officers later died from their injuries.

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of John Marvin Jr., police said.

After the shooting, Marvin barricaded himself inside his home, according to Alaska television station KTUU.

FULL STORY


Filed under: Alaska • Crime • Justice • U.S. • Uncategorized
August 30th, 2010
12:36 PM ET

Glenn Beck's weekend in Washington

People listen to the national anthem at the "Restoring Honor" rally in D.C. this past weekend.

You might have washed your car or gone for a run or played with your kids this weekend. If you noticed the news at all, you probably heard something about a controversial gathering in Washington at the Lincoln Memorial  spearheaded by Fox News personality Glenn Beck. There was a lot of coverage and a lot of chatter about the rally that drew thousands of people who filled six blocks. So here's a quick round-up of what went down in D.C.

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Filed under: Politics
August 30th, 2010
12:25 PM ET

Ballots uncounted in Alaska GOP Senate race

Unofficial primary results show Sen. Lisa Murkowski trailing.

One day before vote counting resumes in Alaska's Republican Senate primary, election officials say more than 25,000 ballots remain
uncounted.

According to unofficial results from last Tuesday's primary, Sen. Lisa Murkowski trails attorney Joe Miller by 1,668 votes, in what could turn out to be the biggest upset so far this cycle. Absentee ballots had 10 days domestically and 15 days internationally to arrive through the mail as long as they were postmarked August 24, the day of the primary.

Officials at the Alaska Division of Elections tell CNN that as of Sunday 15,720 absentee ballots have been returned. Absentee ballots continue to arrive by mail.

Also waiting to be counted are 663 early votes, ballots which were cast in pre-primary day voting. Add to that 9,117 "questioned" ballots, which may or may not be counted. Some may be disqualified by a panel of election officials for irregularities. Most of these votes are expected to be cast in the Republican primary, but some may be intended for the Democratic contest.

August 30th, 2010
11:53 AM ET

Cousteau: Slow and steady will win in Gulf

Philippe Cousteau on a beach in the Gulf of Mexico, surrounded by oil.

It has been an interesting week to say the least regarding the Gulf oil disaster. I watched the headlines respond to the decidedly rosy perspective of the feds and BP that only last week claimed that the worst was behind us and that most of the oil has been cleaned up or naturally dissipated.

As many of us warned, those predictions were premature at best, and this week, new science is emerging that suggests this is only the end of the beginning. The whole debacle reminds me of the Aesop's Fable of the tortoise and the hare. You know, the one where the arrogant hare who can easily outrun the tortoise ends up losing the race because, confident he will outrun the tortoise, he takes a nap, oversleeps and loses.

Attributed to a Greek slave who lived in the mid-sixth century BC in ancient Greece, this fable is one of hundreds that have stood the test of time. They have been translated throughout the millennia into countless languages and still hold true today.

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August 30th, 2010
11:18 AM ET

Monday's intriguing people

Francis Collins

The director of the National Institutes of Health - an evangelical Christian - told The New Yorker he was stunned by a federal judge's decision last week to halt federal funding for research on embryonic stem cells.

In a profile released Monday, author Peter Boyer writes that Collins has been able to balance science and faith.

His appointment to the job by President Obama had worried some scientists, already concerned by what one called the "theocracy" of the George W. Bush presidency.

"A year later, Obama's appointment of Collins seemed an inspired choice," Boyer writes. "The President had found not only a man who reflected his own view of the harmony between science and faith but an evangelical Christian who hoped that the government’s expansion of embryonic-stem-cell research might bring the culture war over science to a quiet end."
 
The court order last week changed that. Collins, who also helped map the human genome, spent part of last week calling researchers around the country, telling some of them their projects would have to shut down, Boyer reports.

The order goes beyond politics, Collins told Boyer.

"Patients and their families are counting on us to do everything in our power, ethically and responsibly, to learn how to transform these cells into entirely new therapies," he explained. "It's time to accelerate human-embryonic-stem-cell research, not throw on the brakes."

FULL POST

August 30th, 2010
11:05 AM ET

Ex-baseball star Clemens in court on perjury charge

Baseball legend Roger Clemens arrives in court Monday.

Retired baseball star Roger Clemens arrived at U.S. District Court in Washington on Monday for an arraignment on charges related to his testimony that he did not use performance-enhancing drugs, according to two court officials.

Clemens, whose arraignment is scheduled for 2 p.m., faces six felony charges, including perjury, obstruction of Congress and making false statements after he told a House of Representatives committee that he never used human growth hormone or steroids.

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Filed under: Baseball • Courts • Roger Clemens • Sports
August 30th, 2010
10:45 AM ET

Union: More than $30K pours in for stabbed cabbie

More than $30,000 was donated overnight to help a Muslim cab driver stabbed by a passenger last week, a taxi union rep said.

Since Sunday evening, more than $30,000 in donations poured in from people across the world for the New York cab driver who was stabbed by a passenger last week, according to a representative of a New York taxi drivers' union. See how to give here.

Last Tuesday, Sharif's passenger 21-year-old Michael Enright allegedly asked Sharif if he was a Muslim, officials have said. Enright then reached through the cab's partition and slashed Sharif's neck and forearms, police said. Sharif struggled from his car and flagged down a police officer who arrested Enright, the union spokesperson said.

Enright is facing attempted murder and hate crime charges, police said. He has been transferred from Rikers Island jail to a lock-down psychiatric unit, a New York corrections official told CNN.

The taxi drivers' union publicly implored people last Friday to donate money to the driver who is expected to be out of work for four months. His family's sole breadwinner with an annual salary of about $30,000, Sharif has four children, a 10-month-old, 5, 9 and 11-year-old. His wife stays at home to care for their infant and cannot work, said union spokesperson Bhairavi Desai.  

Sharif is receiving 2/3 of his salary in workers' compensation. Union members do not get health insurance or disability payments, Desai said.

"This outpouring is the most joyous thing his family could ever hope for," she said. "This will help them survive."

FULL STORY

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Filed under: New York
August 30th, 2010
10:21 AM ET

On the Radar: Earl, Emmys and drilling for trapped miners

Hurricane Earl is churning toward the island of St. Martin on Monday.

Hurricane Earl - All eyes are on Hurricane Earl, which has become a Category 3 storm and could strengthen as it approaches the U.S. coast over Labor Day weekend. Earl's center is about 25 miles northeast of the island of St. Martin. As of 11 a.m. ET, Earl's maximum sustained winds were at 120 mph (193 kph) with higher gusts. Are you in the storm's path? Tell CNN iReport about it. iReport already has received video of rough waves and palm trees whipping near St. Martin.

Trapped miners - Chilean officials plan to start drilling a rescue shaft Monday into a mine where 33 men are trapped. The miners have been trapped since an August 5 cave-in, and it could be four months until they are reached. They have been living off supplies sent down through a tube about 4 inches in diameter. There's been much concern and debate about how to keep the men mentally healthy. On Sunday, the miners were able to speak to their families for the first time through a line that gave each a brief time to connect with those they love and miss. One miner told his wife that when he got out, she could buy a fancy dress and they would renew their wedding vows in the Catholic wedding they had always dreamed about. So what does it feel like to be trapped in a mine? CNN.com talked to people who know. Two miners recall singing a Kenny Rogers song to maintain their sanity.

Emmys - The sitcom "Modern Family" swept the Emmys on Sunday night. The show won six Emmys out of 14 nominations - beating out the heavily favored "Glee" - while "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad" continued their winning streak in the drama category. "The Pacific," which won seven Creative Arts Emmys last weekend and outstanding miniseries during the prime-time show, was the overall champ. But the night's big winner was the HBO TV movie "Temple Grandin," which won five Emmys on Sunday night and seven overall, including actress Claire Danes who picked up her first Emmy. CNN took a look at the real Grandin, an autistic professor of animal science in Colorado. Watch her talk to CNN after speaking at TED. And see the evening's top dresses here.

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Filed under: iReport • Showbiz • Weather
August 30th, 2010
10:07 AM ET

Sports Update: World's hardest tennis tourney starts

Tennis legend Rafael Nadal will play in a New York City tournament starting today.

The world's toughest tennis tournament begins today in New York City. While the men's side features bellwethers Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, the women's draw is wide open with Serena Williams and Justine Henin out with injuries. Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki is the tournament's top seed, despite never have won a major. S.I.com's Jon Wertheim breaks down the men's and women's seeds. Follow the action at the Open, all day viewing on a Monday that also features international basketball:

-U.S. Open (11 a.m. - 7 p.m., Tennis Channel and 1 p.m.- 11 p.m., ESPN2)

Among those scheduled to play at Flushing Meadow today: Kim Clijsters, Andy Roddick, Sam Stosur, and Robin Soderling. Venus Williams meets Italian Roberta Vinci in the opening night match followed by Roger Federer against Brian Dabul of Argentina.

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Filed under: Sports
August 30th, 2010
09:20 AM ET

3,200 Mexican federal police fired

Thousands of Mexican police have been fired.

About 3,200 Mexican federal police have been fired for failing to do their work or being linked to corruption, federal police commissioner Facundo Rosas said Monday.

Of those, 465 have been charged with crimes and 1,020 face disciplinary proceedings, Rosas said at a news conference.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Mexico • World
August 30th, 2010
07:29 AM ET

Monday's live video events

11:30 am ET - Hurricane Katrina anniversary ceremony - Members of the New Orleans city council and others dedicate a historical marker designating the failure of a floodwall during Hurricane Katrina.

1:30 pm ET - Casey Anthony hearing - A status hearing takes place in Orlando, Florida, in the case of Casey Anthony, the mother accused of killing her young daughter.

1:30 pm ET - White House briefing - The White House holds its daily briefing with reporters.

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


Filed under: On CNN.com today
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