September 16th, 2010
09:49 PM ET

Mom charged with teaching 2-year-old to smoke pot

An Ohio mother has been accused of teaching her 2-year-old daughter to smoke marijuana after prosecutors said she e-mailed to friends a video of the child puffing on a joint.

Jessica Gamble is charged with child endangerment, evidence tampering and "corrupting another with drugs," according to an indictment returned by a grand jury in Cincinnati. The 21-year-old mother could face up to 11 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters told reporters that Gamble was indicted after someone to whom she sent the video reported it to authorities. The girl has been placed in the care of relatives "and is safe today," Julie Wilson, the chief assistant prosecutor for Hamilton County, told HLN's "Prime News" Thursday.

FULL STORY


Filed under: Crime • Drugs • Ohio
September 16th, 2010
09:47 PM ET

1 dead, thousands powerless as storm tears through NYC

A fast-moving storm ripped through New York City Thursday afternoon, with strong winds and torrential rain toppling trees and leaving more than 25,000 customers without power.

One person died reportedly when a tree fell on a car in Queens, the New York Fire Department said.

According to power company Con Edison's website, 24,391 customers in Queens and 4,919 customers in Staten Island were experiencing power outages about 7 p.m. Brooklyn had 545 customers without power.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: New York
September 16th, 2010
09:39 PM ET

'40-Year-Old Virgin' actor convicted of attempted murder

Shelley Malil testified that he stabbed his girlfriend by mistake in 2008.

An actor who appeared in "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" was found guilty Thursday of premeditated attempted murder in connection with the 2008 stabbing of his girlfriend in California. 

Shelley Malil, 45, sat virtually motionless next to his attorney as the verdict was read in a courtroom in Vista, California. 

Malil also was found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon, but he was found not guilty of burglary. 

Authorities said he stabbed Kendra Beebe 20 times at her home in San Diego County, California, while she was visiting with a male friend. Malil testified that he stabbed Beebe in the dark by mistake, thinking he instead was defending himself against her friend, who he thought was attacking him, according to People.com. 

Sentencing will take place at a later date. 

In "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," Malil played Haziz, a co-worker of the main character, who was played by Steve Carell.

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Filed under: California • Courts • Crime • Justice • Showbiz
September 16th, 2010
08:46 PM ET

People of Juarez celebrate Mexico's Bicentennial in exile

Snipers watch over the celebration of Mexico's Bicentennial in Ciudad Juarez.

Violence provoked by drug cartels in Ciudad Juarez, known as the homicide capital of Mexico, caused Mexico's Bicentennial festivities to be celebrated in silence there.

From the balcony of City Hall, Mayor José Reyes Ferriz led the ceremony Wednesday before an empty plaza under the close watch of Federal Police and the Mexican Army. A helicopter flew overhead as snipers stood on roofs and heavily armed agents guarded points of entry.

Fearing an attack, authorities decided to cancel the popular celebration. The official act was transmitted via radio and television to people who were asked to stay in their homes.

Authorities launched fireworks from six points throughout the city to prevent large gatherings.

Official reports indicated there were no attacks against authorities as has occurred on various occasions since the end of 2007, when drug-related violence escalated to levels never seen before.
 
With Juarez's cancelation of the popular celebration, thousands crossed the border to El Paso, Texas, to join those living in the United States so they would not miss the celebration.

At least 10,000 people, mostly Mexicans, enjoyed an atmosphere of stability that they have not had in their own country this year.

The event, organized by the Mexican Consulate, had all the necessary elements - flags, traditional music and snacks - which united the large amount of people in celebration.

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Filed under: Juarez • Mexico
September 16th, 2010
07:28 PM ET

Police: Washington woman admits acid attack was a hoax

Bethany Storro told police an African-American woman threw acid in her face.

A Washington woman who told police that a stranger threw acid in her face admitted Thursday that her injuries were self-inflicted, authorities said.

Bethany Storro, 28, told Vancouver Police that an African-American woman passed her on the street and threw a cup of caustic liquid in her face the evening of August 30. She was released from an Oregon hospital on September 5 after undergoing surgery for her injuries after the alleged attack.

But discrepancies emerged during the investigation, Vancouver Police Chief Clifford Cook said in a press conference Thursday.

"Ms. Storro admitted her injuries were self-inflicted and the attack itself had not occurred as she had previously reported," he said.

Storro had credited a pair of sunglasses that she bought shortly before the attack with saving her eyesight. But details such as those led police to question her version of the attack, said police Commander Marla Schuman.

"It was all the little things that didnt quite add up," Schuman said.

Storro is still being interviewed by detectives. Prosecutors will decide whether to charge her, Schuman said.

"She is extremely upset," Schuman said. "She is very remorseful. It got bigger than she expected."

FULL STORY

September 16th, 2010
06:19 PM ET

Cleveland commissioner, judges indicted for corruption

Cuyahoga County commissioner Jimmy Dimora has been indicted on corruption charges.

Numerous Cleveland public officials, including two judges, have been indicted on corruption charges. Among them is an influential Cuyahoga County commissioner who is accused of a pay-to-play scam that allegedly involved call girls, a trip to Las Vegas, discounts on a Rolex watch and improvements to his home, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Find more coverage of the corruption probe on WJW

Commissioner Jimmy Dimora pleaded not guilty to the charges in court and is out on bond. The FBI used wire tapping to build its case, detailed in Dimora's 26-count indictment

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Filed under: Ohio
September 16th, 2010
03:12 PM ET

Police say Johns Hopkins gunman killed self, mother

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[Updated at 3:12 p.m.] The gunman in Thursday's Johns Hopkins shooting - identified as Warren Davis, 50 - shot himself and his mother, who was being treated at the hospital, Baltimore's police commissioner said.

Davis was standing outside room 873 in the Nelson building, where he was being briefed by a doctor about the condition of his mother, Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld said.

"Mr. Davis was receiving some news about the care and condition of his mother just outside the doorway to that room when he became emotionally distraught," the commissioner said.

During the conversation, Davis pulled a small, semiautomatic gun from his waistband and shot the doctor once in the lower chest/upper abdomen, he said.

Within minutes, a tactical team later entered the hospital and found Davis dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His mother had also been killed, Bealefeld said.

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Filed under: Crime • Maryland
September 16th, 2010
02:59 PM ET

New FAA rules could give airline pilots more rest time

The House Aviation Subcommittee heard statements Thursday from pilot and air-industry representatives as part of a push to improve rules on flight time for pilots, including duty and rest requirements.

The Pilot Flight and Duty Time Rule currently under consideration would consolidate current rest requirements, which vary depending on whether the flight is domestic, international, or unscheduled (as with charter flights). The proposal would provide for a nine-hour minimum rest period prior to duty, a one-hour increase over current rules.

Cumulative fatigue would also be addressed. New limits would be established and downtime increased where current rules apply.

The proposal, according to Margaret Gilligan, the associate administrator for aviation safety with the Federal Aviation Administration, would provide "a single, scientifically based regulatory approach" to fatigue mitigation. She said she believes the new rules have "the potential to provide a cooperative and flexible means of monitoring and mitigating fatigue during operations."

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Air travel
September 16th, 2010
02:58 PM ET

Killer: Lennon's murder meant 'I would become somebody'

Mark David Chapman, left, and John Lennon.

The man who shot John Lennon told a parole board this week that he killed the star because he wanted "instant notoriety."

"I made a horrible decision to end another human being's life, for reasons of selfishness, and that was my decision at that time," Mark David Chapman said.

"I felt that by killing John Lennon I would become somebody, and instead of that I became a murderer and murderers are not somebodies."

Chapman said Lennon was at the top of his celebrity hit list which included Johnny Carson and Elizabeth Taylor. He's been in prison for 29 years. He was denied parole on Tuesday.

Read Chapman's own words about the slaying

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Filed under: John Lennon • New York
September 16th, 2010
02:40 PM ET

Scientists: Arctic ice nearing record low

This image shows the changing size of ice in the Arctic.

Sea ice covering the Arctic reached the third lowest level ever recorded this summer, scientists reported this week.

There was less sea ice in the Arctic only during the summers of 2007 and 2008, the National Ice and Snow Data Center at the University of Colorado reported.

Researchers think higher global temperatures attributable to human-produced greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are responsible for the low amount of ice, according to the NISDC report.

The sea ice reached its summer minimum on September 10 at 1.84 million square miles, NISDC researchers said. While that amount is 240,000 square miles above 2007’s record low, it is still 130,000 square miles less than was seen at the 2009 minimum, said Mark Serreze, a University of Colorado geography professor and director of the NISDC.

"We are still looking at summers with an ice-free Arctic Ocean in perhaps 20 to 30 years," Serreze said.

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Filed under: Uncategorized
September 16th, 2010
12:50 PM ET

Thursday's intriguing people

Elizabeth Warren

After months of speculation, Elizabeth Warren has been appointed to launch the U.S. Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. President Obama named the 61-year-old Harvard-based financial attorney Wednesday as a special presidential adviser until the Senate can confirm a director to the agency, various reports said.

The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog called Warren an outspoken populist hero. As head of oversight for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, she has not hesitated to criticize some of the bailouts, the blog said. Yet the new agency — which would regulate mortgages and credit cards to protect consumers — was her own idea, and that brought on controversy.

Warren, a native of Norman, Oklahoma, graduated from law school in 1976 with a new baby and no job prospects, according to a 2009 profile in The Boston Globe magazine. Following her divorce two years later, she became increasingly interested in teaching about the impact of foreclosures and bankruptcy on people and the law. She has since written books about Americans in debt and the plight of middle-class America, as well as a well-known book, written with her daughter, called “The Two-Income Trap.”

Last year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asked Warren to handle oversight of TARP. “I’ve really been talking about the same set of issues for a long time, but I was under the radar, and that was OK with me,” Warren told The Globe magazine. “I don’t know, but I think part of it was that the world changed. What was a boring and obscure issue [financial services] suddenly moved front and center.”

FULL POST

September 16th, 2010
11:46 AM ET

Not a new trend, but what's with all the NCAA violations?

A.J. Green and the Georgia Bulldogs are among a number of high-profile players and teams battling NCAA violation allegations.

After a preseason marred by players landing on the NCAA’s watch list, the fallout continues over improper relationships with agents. On Friday, Georgia star receiver A.J. Green will appeal his four-game suspension for selling an Independence Bowl jersey for $1000 to someone deemed to be an agent. Green is one in a long line of players to receive the ire of the NCAA for coming in too close of contact with professional athletes and agents.

All we can really ask is what is going on? It’s not to say that these issues hadn’t been a problem for years, even decades, but at every turn a new program is being probed and prodded for any sign of player-agent violations. With uncertainty over player status still an issue for a number of schools, including North Carolina and Georgia, the dynamics of college football have invariably changed this season.

Without the star power that some of these college rosters boasted, many teams that would have been top contenders, could slowly see their title and bowl hopes fade. In the end is the NCAA doing the right thing? Yes. Was Reggie Bush forfeiting his Heisman Trophy a step in the right direction? Yes -– though it may have been a little too late, according to SI.com’s Stewart Mandel. But with possible suspensions still looming and more investigations being conducted, no amount of appealing or arguing over whether players like Green should have a four-game or two-game suspension will divert the NCAA’s attention from routing out even more violations and handing down more severe punishments.

Tonight is a light night in college football, while the baseball season chugs along.

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Filed under: Sports
September 16th, 2010
11:38 AM ET

'Craigslist killer' case formally dropped after suspect's suicide

Prosecutors in Boston, Massachusetts, on Thursday filed paperwork in court that officially ended the murder case against "Craigslist killer" Philip Markoff, who committed suicide in jail last month.

The Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley said prosecutors had a "very, very strong case" against Markoff, but it was short-circuited when Markoff took his own life August 15.

"What he did was abhorrent, it was disgraceful, it was brutal and he would have been held accountable," said Conley, who told reporters that the case file would be available to review in a few weeks.

Markoff, 24, was a second-year student at Boston University's School of Medicine when arrested in April 2009 in the killing of Julissa Brisman, 25, at Boston's Copley Marriott Hotel. Police said that Brisman, a model, advertised as a masseuse on the online classifieds service Craigslist, and Markoff might have met her through the site.

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Filed under: Courts • Craigslist • Crime • Massachusetts • U.S.
September 16th, 2010
10:48 AM ET

Obama announces report to bolster exports

President Barack Obama kicked off a multi-faceted effort Thursday to bolster U.S. exports, a plan that would create millions of new jobs.

"This is one of my top priorities," Obama said. The plan calls for steps to reach Obama's goal of doubling American exports over the next five years, a vision he announced in his State of the Union address in January.

"The best way we know to compete and win in the global market place is by doing what we do best, harnessing the talents and ingenuity of our people to lead the world in new industries. And we're building an economy where America's businesses and American workers once again do what they do best. Which is build great products and sell them around the world," he said.

The National Export Initiative report to the president was developed by the Export Promotion Cabinet - made up of several Cabinet agencies.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Economy • Finance • Jobs • Politics
September 16th, 2010
10:41 AM ET

A family's first time at the poverty line

"Maria, " who was too embarrassed to give her true name, sits with one of her sons as she finds herself living below the poverty threshold.

The Census Bureau has released its annual poverty report showing more people are living at or below the poverty threshold. This means many are finding themselves there for the first time.

“Maria,” who was too embarrassed to give us her true name or allow us to photograph her face, says she and her husband have had to sell their most cherished possessions.

“We sold our wedding rings, our furniture, everything,” said Maria.

Trying to get help from government agencies is presenting problems too she said because their house, the mortgage for which is more than the its value, is considered an asset. She has two sons, the younger one suffers from Autism. During the interview she begins to break down and her older son, only 12-years-old, has to take on the very adult role as comforter.

CNN’s Jim Roope says it’s one of the hardest interviews he’s had to do. Filled with emotion and sometimes despair, but “Maria” does have hope.


How to help: CNN: Impact Your World

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Filed under: Economy
September 16th, 2010
10:03 AM ET

Australia warning tourists after drownings triple

The report cites tourists with limited English and knowledge of the beach and waves for the increase in drownings.

Drownings of international tourists and immigrants have tripled in Australia over the past four years, prompting officials to begin a new campaign to warn visitors before they even step off the plane.

Australia’s National Coastal Safety Report released Thursday showed 26 international visitors or migrants drowned off the country’s shores during the 2009-2010 survey period, compared with nine international drowning deaths four years earlier. By comparison, drowning deaths were down overall with 82 during 2009-10, six below the five-year average of 88.

“Our research indicates that this high risk group has limited English skills, a lack of knowledge about the beach, over-estimate their swimming ability, inadequate swimming skills and a general lack of surf safety awareness,” said Brett Williamson, chief executive officer of Surf Life Saving Australia, which released Thursday’s report.

Read the full report (PDF)

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Filed under: Australia
September 16th, 2010
09:55 AM ET

14 Navy commanders fired this year

The 14th Navy commanding officer to be fired this year was relieved of his post this week.

The U.S. Navy has fired 14 commanders so far this year for offenses including soliciting prostitution, having inappropriate relationships with other officers, and dereliction of duties that led to ship collisions, spokesman Lt. Justin Cole said.

Though 14 may seem a high number of commanders to be fired within a nine-month period, Cole said the Navy dismisses an average of 15 commanders each year. There are 1,500 commanding officers in the service, said Cole.

"All of the cases are different. Some years, we see more reasons involving ship collisions or some years that trend toward bad behavior," he said. "There's no way to say it's because of one thing or another, or that there's something unusual going on this year.

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Filed under: Military
September 16th, 2010
09:45 AM ET

On the Radar: Pope's UK visit, tropical weather, Jackson

Pope's UK visit – Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday the Roman Catholic Church has not been vigilant enough or fast enough in responding to the problem of sexual abuse by priests. Asked about the sexual abuse, the pope said it was inexplicable to him how a priest who has promised at his ordination to act in the person of Christ, as a good shepherd, could "fall into this perversion," CNS reported.

As the visit takes place, we'll be looking at several angles to the story including why the pope is making the visit to the UK; the stories of victims who urged Pope Benedict XVI to turn over information on abuse claims; a look at media reaction surrounding the visit; and the story of a woman who, by the end of the day, will have been blessed by two popes. We'll also be looking for your reactions and thoughts on the visits over at iReport. And you can check out our Belief Blog for even more coverage of the event.

FULL POST

September 16th, 2010
09:26 AM ET

Jobless claims down for second week in a row

The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits declined for a second straight week last week, a government report released Thursday showed.

There were 450,000 initial jobless claims filed in the week ended Sept.11, which included Labor Day.

That was the lowest level in two months and down 3,000 from an upwardly revised 453,000 in the previous week, according to the Labor Department.

FULL CNNMONEY.COM STORY

September 16th, 2010
09:21 AM ET

Pope addresses sex abuse scandal as he starts U.K. visit

Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday the Roman Catholic Church has not been vigilant enough or fast enough in responding to the problem of sexual abuse by priests.

"These revelations were for me a shock and a great sadness. It is difficult to understand how this perversion of the priestly ministry was possible," he told reporters aboard his plane to Scotland. "How a man who has done this and said this can fall into this perversion is difficult to understand."

He added, "It is also a great sadness that the authorities of the church were not sufficiently vigilant and insufficiently quick and decisive in taking the necessary measures."

A group representing priestly abuse victims promptly criticized the pope's remarks, saying he should have called for more.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Christian • Religion • United Kingdom • Vatican • World
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