September 7th, 2010
09:46 PM ET

The day's most popular stories

The five most popular stories on CNN.com, according to NewsPulse.

Van der Sloot says he 'misused' Holloway case: In a jailhouse interview with a Dutch television station, Joran van der Sloot said he is remorseful for telling so many stories regarding the 2005 disappearance of Natalee Holloway.

Kidnapped girl reveals new details of life: Natascha Kampusch, the Austrian woman who was held prisoner for eight years in a basement, has revealed new details of her ordeal in an autobiography.

Quran-burning could endanger troops, Petraeus says: A Florida pastor whose congregation planned to burn Qurans to protest the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, says he is taking seriously warnings that the act could cause problems for American troops.

Comedian Robert Schimmel dies at 60: Comedian Robert Schimmel died Friday from injuries he suffered in a car accident a week prior.

Mummified babies found in L.A.: Detectives are investigating the discovery of two "mummified" babies found wrapped in 1930s newspaper in the basement of a Los Angeles apartment building.

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Filed under: Crime • Most Popular • National security • Showbiz • Terrorism
September 7th, 2010
09:28 PM ET

Two asteroids to pass close to Earth on Wednesday

Two small asteroids in unrelated orbits will pass within the moon's distance of the Earth on Wednesday, according to NASA.

It's an unusual event that shows the need for closer monitoring of near space for Earth-threatening encounters, a scientist with the program said.

The objects don't pose a threat to Earth, and they will not be visible to the naked eye, said Donald Yeomans, manager of NASA’s Near Earth Program, which tracks potentially hazardous asteroids and comets within 28 million miles of Earth.

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Filed under: Earth • Space
September 7th, 2010
09:17 PM ET

Stocks fall, bonds rise as European bank woes simmer

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

Stocks fall on European bank woes 

U.S. stocks fell Tuesday as renewed worries about European banks weighed on financial stocks and investors flocked to such safe-haven assets as the dollar, Treasurys and gold.

All three indexes fell about 1 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average fell
107 points to 10,341, the S&P 500 slipped 13 points to close at 1,092 and the Nasdaq lost 25 points to 2,209, according to early tallies.

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Filed under: Economy
September 7th, 2010
07:29 PM ET

Pastor weighing plans to burn Qurans amid U.S. warnings

A Florida pastor told CNN on Tuesday that while his congregation still plans to burn Qurans to protest the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the church is "weighing" its intentions.

Terry Jones, pastor of Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida, who was interviewed on CNN's "American Morning," said the congregation is taking seriously the warning from the U.S. military that the act could cause problems for American troops.

"We have firmly made up our mind, but at the same time, we are definitely praying about it," Jones said.

"We are definitely weighing the situation. We are weighing the thing that we're about to do. What it possibly could cause. What is our actual message. What are we trying to get across."

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Christian • Florida • Islam
September 7th, 2010
07:24 PM ET

Runaway Christian convert granted U.S. residency

A runaway who said her father threatened to kill her for converting to Christianity from Islam has been granted permanent residency in the United States, her lawyer told CNN on Tuesday.

Rifqa Bary, 18, who was an undocumented immigrant until recently, left her family in Columbus, Ohio, in July 2009 and took refuge in the home of a minister in Orlando, Florida. The girl was later moved into foster care after she said in an affidavit that her Muslim father had threatened her after finding out about her conversion. Her father denies the allegation.

Bary had said in court that she could not reunite with her parents and needed permission to live in the United States.

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Filed under: Immigration • Ohio
September 7th, 2010
07:20 PM ET

Judge: No delay in ruling blocking stem-cell research funding

A federal judge Tuesday rejected the Obama administration's request to stay his recently imposed injunction against use of public funds in embryonic stem-cell research.

District Court Judge Royce Lamberth said he could not agree to delay his injunction while the case is appealed.

"Defendants (the government) are incorrect about much of their 'parade of horribles' that will supposedly result from this Court's preliminary injunction," Lamberth wrote in his court order.

The "horribles" he referred to are an extensive list of research projects outlined by the National Institutes of Health that will have to be shelved if a stay is not granted. Lamberth issued his injunction largely on the basis of agruments from scientists who said their projects would be damaged if public funds were used for embryonic stem cell research.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Stem cell research
September 7th, 2010
02:01 PM ET

Lennon's killer denied parole for sixth time

Mark David Chapman is serving 20 years to life in prison for the December 8, 1980 murder of John Lennon.

Mark David Chapman, John Lennon's killer, was denied parole for the sixth time Tuesday, according to the New York State Division of Parole.

A three-member panel of the New York State Parole Board Commissioners conducted a video conference interview with Chapman from their offices in Rochester. Chapman's latest quest for freedom comes just months short of the 30th anniversary of the death of the former member of the Beatles.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Uncategorized
September 7th, 2010
01:52 PM ET

Boise State aims for BCS title, Clijsters hits the court

Defending U.S. open women's champion Kim Clijsters is hoping to knock off Samantha Stosur tonight in the quarterfinals.

It’s only one game, but the conversation is sure to begin. No. 3 Boise State has its sights on becoming the first team from outside the power conferences to play for college football’s national championship in the BCS era.

The Broncos opened their potentially historic quest in typical Boise State fashion, writes SI.com’s Stewart Mandel, stringing together a game-winning drive in the final minutes as they beat No. 10 Virginia Tech 33-30 in Landover, Md.

With college football’s opening week in the books, all eyes will be on the U.S. Open, baseball’s pennant races and soccer. Here are a few highlights, all times Eastern.

Samantha Stosur vs. Kim Clijsters, U.S. Open quarterfinals (7 p.m., ESPN). Clijsters, the defending champion, is seeking a breakthrough. She has made it to the final weekend of two Grand Slam events this year, but has yet to win. Belgium's star will look to make the semifinals as she faces Stosur, the fifth seed, who Clijsters is 3-0 against all-time.

FULL POST

September 7th, 2010
01:25 PM ET

NOAA says no signs of 'dead zone' in Gulf

Scientists have found a decline in oxygen levels in the Gulf of Mexico following the BP oil spill but have found no "dead zones" as a result, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration reported Tuesday.

Levels of dissolved oxygen in deep water have dropped about 20 percent below their long-term average, according to data collected from up to 60 miles from the well at the center of the massive oil spill. But much of that dip appears to be the result of microbes using oxygen to dissolve oil underwater, and the decline is not enough to be fatal to marine life, said Steve Murawski, the head of a NOAA-led group examining the spill's impact.

"Even the lowest observations in all of these was substantially above the threshold," Murawski said.

September 7th, 2010
01:21 PM ET

Netanyahu hopes for Mideast peace deal in 12 months

There is no guarantee that talks between Israel and the Palestinians will succeed, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a Jewish New Year greeting released Tuesday, but he promised to strive for a peace agreement by next September.

"This year, after many efforts, direct talks with the Palestinians have begun," Netanyahu said in the video, released ahead of Rosh Hashanah, which begins at sundown on Wednesday. "This is an important step in our attempt to advance a peace agreement between us and them."

"I say this is an attempt because it is not certain that it will succeed," he said. "Certainly there are many obstacles, many skeptics and many reasons to doubt, but we must try to reach peace."

He said Israel is trying "in good faith, but not naivety" to reach an agreement. And any such agreement would be based on security and recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, he said.

"If we are asked to recognize a Palestinian state, it is both natural and appropriate that the Palestinians recognize the state of the Israeli people as a Jewish state," Netanyahu said.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Middle East
September 7th, 2010
12:30 PM ET

President Obama to mark 9/11 anniversary at Pentagon

President Barack Obama will mark this weekend's anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks at a memorial service to be held at the Pentagon, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday.

Vice President Joe Biden will mark the anniversary in New York, Gibbs added.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Terrorism
September 7th, 2010
11:44 AM ET

Heisman official disputes report on Reggie Bush

Former USC star Reggie Bush poses with the Heisman Award after winning the prestigious title in 2005.

[Update, 5:29 p.m.] An official with the Heisman Trophy Trust has taken issue with a Yahoo Sports report that former University of Southern California star running back Reggie Bush is expected to be stripped of the Heisman Trophy by the end of the month, according to the "Dan Patrick Show" blog on SI.com.

"Yahoo! Sports claiming Heisman Trust has reached a decision is completely false," Rob Whalen, executive director of the Heisman Trophy Trust, told Dan Patrick Show Producer Paul Pabst, according to the blog. "The Heisman Trophy Trust has made no decision regarding the Reggie Bush matter."

The trust then released the following statement: "The status of the USC / Bush matter remains unchanged. Any reports to the contrary are inaccurate."

The Yahoo Sports report, however, did not say that the trust had reached a decision. It said that two sources close to the trust claimed the trust eventually will rule it agrees with the NCAA's assessment that  Bush would have been ineligible to play during 2005 - and therefore ineligible for the Heisman Trophy he received for that year.

[Original post, 11:44 a.m.] Former University of Southern California star running back Reggie Bush is expected to be stripped of the Heisman Trophy by the end of the month, Yahoo Sports is reporting.

Yahoo Sports cited two sources close to the Heisman trust, which oversees the award given to college football's top player, as saying the group is finishing its investigation into allegations of wrongdoing at USC during the 2005 season. The sources told Yahoo the Heisman trust will eventually rule it agrees with the NCAA's assessment that Reggie Bush would have been ineligible to play during 2005 - and therefore ineligible for the award.

The decision would make Bush the first player in the 75 years of the Heisman to be stripped of the title.

Sources told Yahoo the Heisman trust would strip Bush of the award and leave it vacant - instead of awarding it to another honoree like Texas quarterback Vince Young who finished second in the voting, but by a wide margin.

But on Tuesday, after the news began to spread online, ESPN's Chris Fowler said on SportsCenter that a decision had not yet been made, stoking even more speculation.

SI.com: Do you think Trust should take back Bush's Heisman?

FULL POST

September 7th, 2010
10:17 AM ET

Tylenol-loaded mice dropped from air to control snakes

The USDA says brown tree snakes have wiped out Guam’s native populations of forest birds.

Dead mice packed with acetaminophen, strapped to pieces of cardboard and dropped from helicopters may help control one of the big headaches for the Pacific island of Guam – the brown tree snake.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture last week began dropping the expired rodents packed with 80 mg of the generic equivalent of Tylenol on the forests of Naval Base Guam.

Since scientists discovered that the household pain reliever was deadly to the brown tree snakes, they’ve been trying to figure out how to get it to where many of the serpents live in the canopies of the island’s forests, according to a report in Stars & Stripes. The Tylenol-loaded mice are attached to two pieces of cardboard joined by paper streamers that snake exterminators hope will catch on tree branches, providing deadly snacks for snakes at those heights, according to the Stripes report.

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Filed under: Animals • Guam
September 7th, 2010
09:49 AM ET

NASA to share tips to maintain trapped miners' mental and physical health

NASA teams usually use their knowledge to help astronauts many miles above the earth's surface. But on Tuesday, a group of experts from the U.S. space agency will share their advice for the 33 miners who have been trapped 2,300 feet underground in Chile since August 5.

Interactive: Explore the mine collapse in Chile

"It's an opportunity for us to bring the space flight experience back down to the ground," Dr. Michael Duncan, the deputy chief medical officer at Johnson Space Center, said before NASA's four-person team left for Chile last month.

The team includes two medical doctors, a psychologist and an engineer.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Chile miners trapped
September 7th, 2010
09:48 AM ET

Tuesday's intriguing people

George Soros

The philanthropist and financier announced a $100 million grant to Human Rights Watch, the largest grant he has made to a nongovernmental organization.  According to a statement released this morning, the grant will be used to further the organization’s goals and outreach around the world.

“Human Rights Watch must be present in capitals around the globe, addressing local issues, allied with local rights groups and engaging with local government officials,” Soros said in the statement.

In an interview with the New York Times, Soros, 80, said age was a factor in his decision to grant such a large sum of money.  “Originally I wanted to distribute all of the money during my lifetime, but I have abandoned that plan. My foundation should continue, but I still would like to do a lot of giving during my lifetime, and doing it this way, with such size, is a step in that direction,” he said.

Soros was born in Budapest, Hungary, and survived the Nazi occupation. He fled Hungary for England, eventually settling the United States where he built a large fortune through his investment advisory fund. Known as the “man who broke the Bank of England,” Soros reportedly made $1 billion when the bank withdrew currency from the European exchange rate mechanism, thereby devaluing the British pound.

Forbes placed Soros No. 35 on its World’s Billionaires list this year and estimates his net worth to be about $14 billion. In January, he gave $4 million to Haiti, and the Human Rights Watch grant brings Soros’ total contributions this year to about $700 million.

New York Times: Soros to donate $100 million to rights group

Forbes magazine: George Soros

FULL POST

September 7th, 2010
09:43 AM ET

Wildfires burn in Colorado as Oklahoma gains ground

Evacuations were ordered and classes canceled as crews battled a fast-moving wildfire near Boulder, Colorado, early Tuesday, authorities said.

"Approximately 3,000 residents are in the evacuation areas," Boulder's emergency management office said. "The Four Mile Canyon Fire is a wind-driven fire burning in steep, rocky, and hard to access terrain west and north of the City of Boulder."

No injuries were reported as 3,500 acres have burned in the blaze, being fought by 100 firefighters from 35 different agencies.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Uncategorized
September 7th, 2010
09:31 AM ET

Pastor weighing plans to burn Qurans amid U.S. warnings

The pastor of a Florida church planning to burn Qurans told CNN Tuesday while the congregation plans to go through with the action to protest the September 11, 2001 attack on the United States by al Qaeda, the church is "weighing" its intentions.

Terry Jones, pastor of Dove World Outreach Church in Gainesville, Florida, who was interviewed on CNN's "American Morning, said the congregation is taking seriously the warning from the U.S. military that the act could cause problems for American troops.

"We have firmly made up our mind, but at the same time, we are definitely praying about it," said Jones said.

"We are definitely weighing the situation. We are weighing the thing that we're about to do. What it possibly could cause. What is our actual message. What are we trying to get across."

The planned action has drawn sharp criticism from Muslims around the world and U.S. officials.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Christian • Islam • Religion
September 7th, 2010
09:17 AM ET

On the Radar: Lennon killer up for parole, trapped miners

Mark David Chapman, left, faces a parole hearing in the 1980 murder of John Lennon.

Chapman up for parole for sixth time Mark David Chapman, convicted killer of music icon John Lennon, is up for parole for the sixth time and may be questioned this week.

A parole hearing for Chapman originally scheduled for August was postponed until this month when the New York parole board begins its meeting Tuesday. Chapman's latest quest for freedom comes months short of the 30th anniversary of the death of the former member of the Beatles.

FULL POST

September 7th, 2010
07:43 AM ET

Tuesday's live video events

11:00 am ET - Colorado wildfire briefing - Officials in Colorado update the public on efforts to contain a fast-moving wildfire that has consumed thousands of acres.

12:00 pm ET - WTC rebuilding briefing - Political and civic leaders brief reporters on efforts to rebuild on the site of New York’s World Trade Center.

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Filed under: On CNN.com today