October 8th, 2010
10:24 PM ET

5.9-magnitude earthquake strikes Costa Rica

A 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck 26 miles from San Jose, Costa Rica, on Friday night according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Journalist Djenane Villanueva in San Jose felt the earthquake and said it was very long but that she has not received any reports of damage or injuries as yet.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Earthquake
October 8th, 2010
10:24 PM ET

The day's most popular stories

The five most popular stories on CNN.com in the past 24 hours, according to NewsPulse.

Hammer Time? White House National Security Adviser Jim Jones was so upset by his portrayal in Bob Woodward's new book "Obama's Wars" that the retired four-star general told friends later that he promptly took the book and mailed it back to the award-winning investigative journalist and author. When CNN Senior White House Correspondent Ed Henry asked one senior administration official for comment on the furor, illustrating the sensitivity of the topic, his reply was: "What's that song: 'Can't Touch This'?"

"CHiPS" are down: Larry Wilcox, who played motorcycle officer Jon Baker on the hit TV show  "CHiPS," was one of 12 people charged in a stock fraud scheme, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday. "The schemes generally involved the payment of kickbacks to purportedly corrupt pension fund managers or stockbrokers, who would use their clients' accounts to purchase the publicly traded stock," the SEC said in a statement.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • California • Crime • National security • Politics
October 8th, 2010
07:31 PM ET

Jobs report woeful; Dow soars

A look at the day's business news headlines:

Jobs stink, Dow surges. What's up?

Stocks rallied Friday, with the Dow crossing 11,000 and closing above the key level for the first time in five months.

The buying frenzy came after a sharp drop in the overall jobs figures in
September boosted the chances of the Fed stepping in to stimulate the economy.

"The jobs number was terrible, but it clinches the deal for another round of stimulus from the Fed on Nov. 3, and that's why the markets are screaming today," said Phil Orlando, chief equity market strategist at Federated Investors.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose as much as 84 points, or 0.5%, to a fresh-five month intraday high of 11,032. It eased from that level in the afternoon, but still finished with a 58-point gain, led by Alcoa and
Caterpillar.

The Dow closed at 11,006, its highest level since May 3.
The last time the blue chip index traded above that level was just days
before the"flash crash" that sent the Dow tumbling nearly 1,000 points in one day.

Corporate bond market contrasts with declining yields of Treasurys

Corporate bonds have been on a tear since the market collapse of 2008, as investors sought refuge from a tumultuous stock market.

The corporate bond market occupies that nice comfortable middle ground between the still volatile stock market and government debt offerings that offer ultra-low yields.

In recent years, investors have withdrawn billions of dollars from
equities markets in search of a safe haven, only to find themselves stuck with the declining yields offered by Treasurys. Prices and yields move in opposite direction.

U.S. Treasurys currently have yields ranging from less than half a
percent for two-year notes to just over 3% for 30-year longbonds. Compare that with corporate bonds, which offer yields average around 4% for investment grade debt, and 8% for riskier high yield bonds.

"With the improved environment we've seen issuances almost explode," said Kim Rupert, the managing director if fixed income at Action Economics. "Both supply and demand [for corporate bonds] have picked up over the last year."

– CNNMoney.com reporters Hibah Yousuf and Charles Riley contributed to this report.

 

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Filed under: Economy
October 8th, 2010
06:13 PM ET

Woman in missing girl's case gets 25 years on drug charges

Misty Croslin was also ordered to pay a $500,000 fine.

Misty Croslin, the last person known to see a 5-year-old Florida girl before she was reported missing in February 2009, was sentenced Friday to 25 years in prison on unrelated drug charges.

Croslin and her former husband, Ronald Cummings, were both arrested in January along with three others after selling about $3,900 worth of drugs to undercover officers, authorities said.

Cummings was sentenced in September to 15 years in prison and was fined $250,000 for selling prescription drugs.

Cummings is the father of Haleigh Cummings, who vanished after she was tucked into bed about 8 p.m. February 8, 2009, Croslin told police.

The Croslin and Ronald Cummings divorced after Haleigh's disappearance.

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Filed under: Child safety • Courts • Crime • Drugs • Haleigh Cummings • Justice
October 8th, 2010
03:19 PM ET

Killer on Texas death row gets temporary stay of execution

The Supreme Court has issued a temporary stay of execution for a man convicted of the 1988 murder of a Dallas, Texas, convenience store security guard.

Gayland Bradford is scheduled to be executed Thursday.

His lawyers say Bradford is mentally disabled with an IQ of about 68. The Supreme Court has banned executions of the mentally disbaled but has established no clear standard of determining who meets that category.

The stay Friday afternoon by Justice Antonin Scalia gives Bradford's lawyers more time to file a full appeal on the constitutional issues surrounding his conviction and sentence.

FULL STORY

– From CNN's Bill Mears


Filed under: Crime • Death Penalty • Texas
October 8th, 2010
02:20 PM ET

Oil spill closes Lake Huron beach in Michigan

An oil spill has prompted the state of Michigan to close a beach in a state park on Lake Huron.

The day use beach at Cheboygan State Park is closed until further notice because of oil on a 250-yard stretch of the beach, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment announced.
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Filed under: Environment • Michigan • U.S.
October 8th, 2010
02:16 PM ET

Sports Update: Tim Lincecum, Kobe Bryant, Barry Zito

One day after Roy Halladay tossed just the second no-hitter in postseason history, Tim Lincecum took the mound and delivered a dominant debut of his own.

The San Francisco Giants’ ace – known as ‘The Freak’ because of his “high velocity, slight frame and unusual mechanics,” as SI.com’s Joe Lemire puts it – pitched a two-hitter and struck out 14 batters in his team’s 1-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves in Game 1 of the NLDS.

Pitching on seven days rest, the two-time Cy Young winner outdueled Atlanta’s Derek Lowe and allowed just three men to reach base all game. His most impressive performance of all came in the second inning where he threw nine pitches, all of which Braves batters swung at, and struck out the side.

With the Braves hobbled by injuries and the Giants trotting out another ace tonight in Matt Cain, San Francisco could prove to be too much for Atlanta in this series.

One thing’s for sure, the Year of the Pitcher is still going strong.

Here is the diamond action going on today (all times Eastern):

Cincinnati Reds at Philadelphia Phillies (6:07 p.m., TBS)
The Reds look to redeem their hit-less effort from Game 1 and tie the series with the Phillies tonight. While Phils starter Roy Oswalt has been dominant this season, he’s collected a 6.65 ERA over his last four starts against Cincinnati.

FULL POST

October 8th, 2010
02:14 PM ET

Death row inmate asks for chance to prove innocence

Twila Busby and her two sons died horribly in their little cream-colored house. No one who has examined this case in the nearly 17 years since the triple murders will doubt that. But lingering questions of guilt and innocence, of changing alibis, and the fairness of a criminal trial have now captured the attention of the Supreme Court.

The justices will decide this week whether a convicted killer on Texas death row deserves another chance to prove he did not commit the crime.

"All the district attorney has got to do is turn over the evidence and test it, and let the chips fall where they may," Henry "Hank" Skinner told CNN in an exclusive death row interview. "If I'm innocent I go home. If I'm guilty I die. What's so hard about that?"

Members of the victims' family respond that their pain has only grown as this inmate, in their minds, continues to delay justice through endless appeals.

FULL STORY

October 8th, 2010
01:48 PM ET

David Wells: Umpires, bad calls 'getting worse and worse'

Former pitcher David Wells has no problem saying it - he's not a fan of the umpires in Major League Baseball.

He wasn't when he had his bad days, or when he got into fights with them on the mound, or thrown out of a game for hitting a batter. He didn't like them either when he was at his peak and pitching a perfect game, and he still isn't - a day after an umpire made a call that may change the outcome of a playoff series.

The decision from Thursday's Braves-Giants game that mystifies Wells is also fueling the cavalcade of demands for instant replay in America's past time.

"You watch all these sports shows, these talk shows and all these so-called experts on sports are ranting and raving about how there should be instant replay," Wells, now a baseball analyst for TBS, said. "But it's the umpire's discretion. And I've never been fond of the umpires because they've changed their strike zones throughout the course of the game. But when [umpires are] out of position and can't make a call - they still have to make it. So everyone's going to push for the replay."

But for Wells - instant replay is only a bandage for the real problem in the sport - consistent umping.

"I think it can help, but then again it can hurt the game of baseball," he said.

Wells acknowledges how instant replay has helped other sports and the current baseball use when it comes to replays for home runs - but he said if umpires were doing their jobs there wouldn't be a need for the technology which could slow down the sport.

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Filed under: Baseball • Sports
October 8th, 2010
01:42 PM ET

Friday's intriguing people

Ron Turcotte

The Hall of Fame race horse jockey best known for winning the U.S. Triple Crown in 1973 is enjoying a resurgence with the release of the Disney film “Secretariat.” He returned to Lexington, Kentucky, October 1 for a special screening of the film, reported the Telegraph-Journal, a Canadian newspaper.

Paralyzed in 1978 during a race at Belmont Park, Turcotte was pushed through the crowd of adoring fans in his wheelchair by an old friend named Charlie Davis. Davis is considered an unsung hero as he was the exercise rider of Secretariat, the paper said.

While Secretariat’s life and story are a marvel, Turcotte’s is equally fantastic. He was raised in New Brunwick in Canada, one of 12 children of a lumberjack. In his youth, he struggled as a stable hand, until he found his path as a jockey in Toronto.

While four of his brothers also became jockeys, Turcotte was exceptional. His career spanned 17 years with more than 3000 wins.

Turcotte is like the Muhammad Ali of his sport, the Telegraph-Journal said. Yet the rider always turns the focus back to Secretariat. “He was so easy to ride and wasn’t afraid of nothing,” he told the paper.

“You had to fall in love with that kind of a horse.”

FULL POST

October 8th, 2010
01:34 PM ET

Police: Gays targeted in kidnappings, hate crimes

Seven people have been arrested and two more are sought in a series of  brutal, anti-gay hate crimes in the Bronx, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Friday.

Three victims were kidnapped, held against their will and tortured. A fourth was beaten and robbed.

The string of attacks, which began over the weekend, allegedly was sparked when members of a street gang learned that an aspiring member was gay.

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Filed under: Crime • Gay and lesbian • Hostages • Justice • New York
October 8th, 2010
01:10 PM ET

CNN Poll: Was Bush better president than Obama?

Americans are divided over whether President Barack Obama or his predecessor has performed better in the White House, according to a new national poll.

And a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday also indicates in the battle for Congress, Republicans hold large advantages over the Democrats among independents, men and blue-collar whites. The poll also indicates that Republicans are much more enthusiastic than Democrats to vote.

By 47 to 45 percent, Americans say Obama is a better president than George W. Bush. But that two point margin is down from a 23 point advantage one year ago.

"Democrats may want to think twice about bringing up former President George W. Bush's name while campaigning this year," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

"But that doesn't mean that Americans regret their decision to put Obama in the White House in 2008. By a 50 to 42 percent margin, the public says that Obama has done a better job than Sen. John McCain would have done if he had won. And by a 10-point margin, Americans also say that Joe Biden has done a better job than Sarah Palin would have done as vice president," adds Holland.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Politics
October 8th, 2010
12:19 PM ET

Obama notes private sector job growth, rips GOP

President Obama put a positive spin on the Labor Department's new jobs report Friday, noting the country has now had nine straight months of private sector job growth.

The economy lost 95,000 jobs in September, though the private sector added 64,000 jobs. The nation's unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.6 percent.

Obama blamed the net job loss on layoffs at both the U.S. Census and state and local governments. He slammed the GOP for opposing additional state assistance.

FULL STORY


Filed under: Barack Obama • Economy • Politics
October 8th, 2010
11:38 AM ET

Historic lighthouse closing to public, for now

Monday, Columbus Day, will be the last day tourists can climb the historic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse this year, the National Park Service announced.

The lighthouse, a prime destination on North Carolina's Outer Banks, has welcomed about 130,000 visitors since the season began in April, the service said. It will reopen next April.

The spiral-striped spire was built in 1870 to warn ships of a particularly dangerous spot along the Atlantic Coast. Hundreds of ships have met their doom on the cape's Diamond Shoals, a 12-mile-long sandbar where a branch of the Labrador Current from Canada collides with the Gulf Stream.

The lighthouse avoided doom itself when it was moved 2,900 feet to its current location in 1999. The National Park Service maintains the building and grounds, while the U.S. Coast Guard maintains the automated light.

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Filed under: North Carolina • Travel • U.S.
October 8th, 2010
11:29 AM ET

Tests reveal toxic sludge may not harm Danube

A Hungarian enviromental official tests a sample water from the Danube River.

Toxic sludge from an industrial accident that has left six dead may not harm the Danube River, according to water test results released Friday.

The latest readings taken by investigators indicate the pH level is 8.5 - lower than the original reading of 13, but still slightly above normal, said Gyorgyi Tottos, a spokeswoman for Hungary's emergency services department.

Tottos said Friday the 8.5 pH is not dangerous and can sustain life; pH readings range from 0 to 14. Levels lower than 7 characterize acids and levels higher than 7 denote bases. Highly acidic or highly basic water can harm living things.

Investigators found some dead fish in the water, but Tottos said the fish may have died upstream, before they reached the Danube.

The 8.5 pH level and fast-moving currents make officials optimistic that a natural disaster can be avoided, she said.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Hungary
October 8th, 2010
10:31 AM ET

Stolen base, stolen chance: Why instant replay is a must

 

Buster Posey slides into home to give the Giants a 1-0 lead -- which might not have happened if baseball had instant replay.

 

The San Francisco Giants Buster Posey steals second base in the fourth inning of Thursday night’s National League Division Series playoff against the Atlanta Braves.

Two batters later, Posey slides safely into home on a single by Cody Ross, providing the deciding run in the Giants 1-0 win.

Glory to Posey, right? The rookie’s first-career stolen base puts him in position to score the winning in Game 1 of the playoffs.

Wrong! Posey was out at second. Television replays showed that second base umpire Paul Emmel missed the call.

MLB.com: Watch the questionable stolen base call

Even Posey knew it. "I guess it's a good thing we don't have instant replay right now,” he said after the game.

Emmel’s blown call is just the latest in a litany of game-changing officiating errors in pro sports in 2010 – errors that could be corrected if the powers that be realize what century we’re in and use instant replay.

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Filed under: Sports
October 8th, 2010
10:16 AM ET

Officials: National Security Adviser to step down

The White House will announce Friday that National Security Adviser James Jones is stepping down, according to two senior administration officials.

Jones will be replaced by Deputy National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, the advisers said.

 

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Filed under: Politics
October 8th, 2010
09:28 AM ET

Breaking down the jobs report

The struggling job market  hasn't gotten any better.

A total of 95,000 jobs were lost in September, according to a Labor Department report. The numbers were far worse than expected as companies didn't hire as many workers and government agencies continued to cut them.

Overall, the economy lost a total of 95,000 jobs in September, the Labor Department reported Friday, far worse than expected and down from the previous month, when employers shed 57,000 jobs. But while government cuts, especially related to the end of the 2010 census, have dragged down the overall number for several months, businesses have added jobs for nine months in a row.

Here's a look at how the numbers break down by demographics:

Adult Men: 9.8 percent, unchanged from previous month

Adult Women: 8 percent, unchanged from previous month

Teenagers: 26 percent, down from 26.3 percent

Whites: 8.7%, unchanged from previous month

African Americans: 16.1 percent, down from 16.3 percent

Hispanics: 12.4 percent, up from 12 percent

Asians: 6.4 percent, down from 7.2 percent (not seasonally adjusted)

For more on the jobs report see the full CNNMoney.com story

October 8th, 2010
07:48 AM ET

Bank breaks into home - over mortgage payments

Nancy Jacobini was home alone in Florida when she heard what she thought was an intruder at the front door. There was no knock. She wasn't expecting anyone, so she grabbed her cell phone and called 911.

As it turns out, the man who broke the lock on her front door was actually a contractor hired by her bank. It is a procedure typically used to secure a foreclosed home. However, Jacobini's home wasn't foreclosed. She tells American Morning's Kiran Chetry how terrifying the experience was for her.

Nancy Jacobini: When the police arrived, of course, they had to search the house to make certain that nobody else was in it. And then one thing led to another, and then we basically found out that the gentleman was there to change the locks on my home.

Kiran Chetry: And who was he sent by?

Jacobini: He was sent by the bank, Chase Bank, to change the locks without my permission.

Chetry: You say that you were about three to four months behind on your mortgage payments but you'd been working diligently with the bank to get a mortgage modification.

Jacobini: Absolutely.

Chetry: And you didn't receive any notification about any impending foreclosure.

Jacobini: I did not. I did not receive any information at all in reference to a foreclosure.

Chetry: Basically you're sitting there and you have no idea if someone's breaking into your home to attack you at this point.

Jacobini:
Exactly. I knew the aggressiveness was getting very severe. I was very much afraid, and it was a rainy day at the time. Skip thought the person was taking advantage of the weather. There were going to be no witnesses. This person had a gun, a knife, I had no idea what was going to happen. I didn't know if there was one person, I didn't know if there was two people. All I knew was my life was in danger.

FULL POST

October 8th, 2010
07:41 AM ET

Friday's live video events

11:00 am ET - Pentagon briefing – Defense Secretary Robert Gates and his South Korean counterpart brief reporters at the Pentagon.

11:45 am ET - Obama tours factory – President Obama tours and makes remarks at the Ernest Maier Block Factory in Bladensburg, Maryland.

FULL POST


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