October 20th, 2010
10:46 PM ET

Penthouse founder Bob Guccione dies

Penthouse magazine founder Bob Guccione has died of cancer at a Plano,
Texas, hospital at age 79, his family said in a statement Wednesday night.

Guccione launched Penthouse magazine, one of several magazine ventures,
in 1965.

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Filed under: Bob Guccione
October 20th, 2010
09:35 PM ET

2 remaining miners in Ecuador found dead

The two remaining miners trapped underground in Ecuador since part of a
mine collapsed last week have been found dead, the president of the mine said
Wednesday.

Angel Vera and Pedro Mendos  had been trapped since last Friday, mine president Juan Cando Pacheco said.

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Filed under: Ecuador • Mine accidents
October 20th, 2010
08:57 PM ET

Missing American's wife moves back to Colorado

Tiffany Hartley, who reported that her husband was shot by gunmen in Mexico last month, is moving from Texas to Colorado with a trace of his body yet to be found.

"This is a very difficult day for her. This is her home," Hartley's mother, Cynthia Young, said as a moving van was being packed at the couple's Rio Grande Valley home.

The Hartleys had been planning to move back to their native Colorado before David Hartley went missing on Falcon Lake, which straddles the U.S.-Mexico border.

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Filed under: Crime • Mexico • Texas
October 20th, 2010
08:52 PM ET

Guilty plea for threat against 'South Park' creators

An American-born man accused of posting an online attack against the creators of the animated TV series "South Park" due to a depiction of the Prophet Mohammed agreed to plead guilty Wednesday to providing material support to terrorists and other charges.

Under the agreement announced in federal court, Zachary Chesser, 20, also pleaded guilty to charges of communicating threats and soliciting crimes of violence.

The three charges carry a total maximum prison sentence of 30 years, and U.S. District Judge Liam O'Grady told Wednesday's court hearing that Chesser's defense agreed to a sentence of at least 20 years for acts "intended to promote a federal crime of terrorism."

O'Grady accepted the plea agreement and declared Chesser guilty as charged, setting the sentencing for February 25, 2011.

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Filed under: Crime • Terrorism
October 20th, 2010
08:26 PM ET

Yankees avoid elimination in AL Championship Series

The defending World Series champion New York Yankees live to fight another day.

Facing elimination in their American League Championship Series today, they beat the Texas Rangers 7-2 at Yankee Stadium and now trail in the best-of-seven series three games to two.

The Yankees got home runs from Nick Swisher, Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson, and their ace CC Sabathia picked up the victory despite allowing 11 hits over six innings.

The series returns to Texas for game 6 on Friday night and game 7, if necessary, on Saturday night. Both games will be televised on TBS.

The Rangers need one more win to get to the first World Series in the team's 38-year history in Texas, and history is on their side.

Only 10 teams have lost a best-of-seven series after winning three of the first four games.

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Filed under: Baseball • New York • Sports • Texas
October 20th, 2010
07:40 PM ET

Taking a stand for gay teens in the #BeAHero challenge

We’ve never seen quite so much purple.

For today’s “Be A Hero” challenge, we invited you to take a stand against anti-gay harassment around the world.

Hundreds of you joined the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)’s Spirit Day by wearing purple, changing your Twitter profile or recording a message for the “It Gets Better” project.

The responses are still coming in through Twitter and iReport, but here are some of our favorites:

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October 20th, 2010
06:23 PM ET

LeBron James reveals racially charged tweet

Weeks after he said he thinks race plays a role in some of the criticism he faces, NBA star LeBron James retweeted a racially charged Twitter message that someone sent him.

The message was one of three critical tweets that the Miami Heat player retweeted Tuesday for the public to see.

"U r a big nosed big lipped bug eyed n*****. ur greedy, u try to hide ur ghettoness," the message read. The apparent sender’s Twitter account no longer exists.

ESPN.com reported that after the Heat's practice Wednesday in Miami, James said he just wanted people "to see what type of words that are said toward me and towards us as professional athletes."

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Filed under: LeBron James • Sports
October 20th, 2010
06:08 PM ET

Stocks keep rising ahead of Fed's next big move

A look at the day's headlines in business news:

Dow holds triple-digit gains

Stocks rebounded to end sharply higher Wednesday, following the worst session in more than two months.

Investors digested a mixed batch of financial results and shrugged off a tepid report on regional economic conditions.

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Filed under: Economy
October 20th, 2010
06:04 PM ET

Stargazing: A visible comet, the most distant galaxy

The NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope took this false color picture of Hartley 2 in September.

The Hartley 2 comet should be visible to the naked eye as it makes its closest pass to Earth this week.

The mountain-sized ball of ice and dust has been too faint to be seen without a professional telescope since its discovery in 1986 by Australian astronomer Malcolm Hartley.

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Filed under: Space
October 20th, 2010
05:43 PM ET

Witness thought there was more than one shooter

An Army officer said he thought the rapid rate of gunfire meant there was more than one shooter in last November's Fort Hood massacre.

But when the shooting ceased after police brought down Nidal Hasan, it became clear he had acted alone, Major Stephen Richter said.

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October 20th, 2010
02:51 PM ET

Scientist: 'Human-induced global warming' killing corals

Reefs on Sumatra, Indonesia, on May 31, 2010 show the effects of bleaching.

Coral reefs are dying around the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia at rates that may be the worst ever recorded, scientists said this week.

Death rates as high as 80 percent have been recorded for some species, according to the study performed by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University.

“It is certainly the worst coral die-off we have seen since 1998. It may prove to be the worst such event known to science,” said Andrew Baird, a principal research fellow for James Cook University in Australia.

The coral bleaching extends from the Seychelles in the middle of the Indian Ocean to the Philippines in Southeast Asia and encompasses much of the Coral Triangle, an area scientists refer to as the “Amazon rainforest of the seas” or the most diverse marine ecosystem on Earth.

A mass of abnormally hot water which moved into the Indian Ocean several months ago is behind the bleaching, according to the ARC report. The hot water caused the corals to shed microscopic algae which help nourish them. The algae also give color to the corals, so when the algae are gone, the corals starve and appear white or bleached.

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Filed under: World
October 20th, 2010
02:45 PM ET

Coach, player: Poor skills lead to violent tackles

Three Chicago Bears defenders gang-tackle the Seattle Seahawks' Justin Forsette on Sunday.

One reason football is seeing more head-to-head contact on tackles is that football fundamentals have changed over the years, players and coaches say.

Jamal Anderson, a former All-Pro running back with the Atlanta Falcons, said NFL players have changed even since he entered the league in 1994.

"These guys are bigger, they're much stronger and much faster," he said Wednesday during an interview on CNN International.

And those big, fast players don't tackle with their arms they way players used to, he said.

"Fundamentally, this is one thing that's missed out with all the big hits and the clips that you see, is fundamental blocking and tackling in football," Anderson said. "It's just nonexistent."

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Filed under: Football • Sports • U.S.
October 20th, 2010
02:41 PM ET

Psychiatrist: Petit killer has attempted suicide several times

A man convicted of capital murder in a deadly 2007 Connecticut home invasion has attempted suicide several times since his arrest, and wants to receive the death penalty, a forensic psychiatrist testified Wednesday.

In March, Steven Hayes told a psychologist that he no longer wanted to commit suicide, "but intended to let the state do it," said Paul Amble, an assistant clinical professor at the Yale University School of Medicine. Amble was asked by Judge Jon Blue to evaluate Hayes to determine if he was competent to stand trial.

Hayes, 47, was convicted earlier this month of 16 of the 17 charges against him - including nine counts of murder and capital murder and four counts of kidnapping - in the deaths of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters, 17-year-old Hayley Petit and 11-year-old Michaela Petit.

Prosecutors allege Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky invaded the Petit home, beat Jennifer Hawke-Petit's husband bloody, strangled Hawke-Petit, set the house afire and tried to flee. The crime shocked the well-to-do New Haven suburb of Cheshire and drew national attention.


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Filed under: Justice
October 20th, 2010
02:37 PM ET

Officer: Fort Hood shooter had 177 of rounds left

Army investigators said Wednesday that Major Nidal Hasan had 177 rounds left when he was finally shot down by police last November.

Hasan is charged with killing 13 people and wounding dozens of others after a rampage last November at Fort Hood.  A police officer, Major Mark Todd, told the military hearing on Wednesday that he found extra magazines and a second handgun, a revolver, after Hasan finally was subdued, wounded four times.

Todd and his fellow civilian police officer, Sgt. Kim Munley described the gunfight outside the building where the final stand-off occured.

"I challenged him, 'Halt, military police, drop your weapon,'" Todd said during his testimony Wednesday morning. "He raised his weapon and fired."

Munley, who was widely praised for her role in ending the shooting admitted in testimony that she did not know how many times she had hit Hasan.

FULL POST

October 20th, 2010
01:56 PM ET

Authorities searching landfill in case of missing N.C. girl

Police were searching a North Carolina landfill Wednesday for "a piece of evidence" in the case of a missing 10-year-old girl, Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins said.

A team from Hickory police and agents from the North Carolina Bureau of Investigation and the FBI were participating in the search at the Foothills Environmental Landfill in Lenoir, North Carolina, Hickory police said in an earlier statement.

Zahra Clare Baker was reported missing October 9. However, no one other than a family member has reported seeing her since September 25, when a woman reported seeing her at a furniture store, police said. Authorities have said her disappearance is being investigated as a homicide.

The landfill search could take up to five days, Adkins told reporters at a news conference Wednesday. He was tight-lipped about what investigators are searching for, saying only that interviews had led authorities to "this piece of evidence that we believe is in the landfill ... we hope that if we find this evidence, that it will provide a good, solid timeline that will assist us in working this case."

"We are not looking for [Zahra's] body in the landfill at this time, no," he said.

Adkins asked that anyone outside Zahra's family who had seen her in the past month contact authorities.

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Filed under: Crime • Missing Children
October 20th, 2010
12:11 PM ET

Solid pitching dominates MLB, Stoudemire scores big

The Phillies have decided to stay with starting pitcher Joe Blanton in hopes of getting back in the series against the Giants.

A Giants-Rangers World Series … just what everyone was hoping for.

That ratings-killer of a match-up moved one quiet step closer to reality Tuesday night. Behind solid pitching and postseason hero Cody Ross, the Giants shut out the Phillies 3-0 to take a 2-1 lead in the NLCS. Meanwhile, the Rangers continued to stymie the Yankees in the Bronx, cruising to a 10-3 victory and overcoming a controversial home run that left fans flashing back to 12-year-old Jeffrey Maier to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the ALCS.

With the next two games to be played in San Francisco, and lights-out ace Tim Lincecum due on the mound Thursday, the Giants hold an imposing lead over the Phillies, who have lost their pop at the plate since downing the Reds in the NLDS.

The Rangers hold an even more desirable position. Although they play in New York today, the final two games of the series (if necessary) will be back in Texas. On top of that, the team holds the trump card of having Cliff Lee return to the mound if the series goes the distance.

While a Giants-Rangers showdown isn’t exactly what baseball fans have been clamoring for all season, it would pit two of the MLB’s best pitching staffs – and hottest bats – against one another. It would also prove, once again, that money can’t buy you everything, as the Giants (10th largest payroll) and Rangers (27th) are small potatoes compared to the Yankees (1st) and Phillies (4th).

But nothing is set in stone yet. As the Boston Red Sox taught us in the 2004 ALCS, anything is possible in October.

Here’s the action around the diamond going on today (all times Eastern):

FULL POST

October 20th, 2010
11:55 AM ET

Sri Lanka claims about 4,700 Tamil militants 'rehabilitated'

Sri Lankans celebrate last year after the government declared an end to a 26-year civil war.

Sixteen months after a quarter-century-long conflict ended, Sri Lanka's embassy says it has rehabilitated thousands of Tamil Tiger militants.

The plan is to reintegrate them into society, said Brig. Sudantha Ranasinghe, the island nation’s commissioner general of rehabilitation.

“We have handed over 4,685 ex-combatants to their parents after rehabilitation. Six thousand more are to be rehabilitated,” Ranasinghe said in a press release from the Embassy in Washington.

The majority of the militants surrendered or were captured last year in the final days of a 26-year civil war. The Sri Lankan government declared the conflict over in May 2009 after claiming it had killed the Tigers’ leader, Vellupillai Prabhakaran.

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Filed under: Ethnic studies • Militia • Sri Lanka • Terrorism • War
October 20th, 2010
11:54 AM ET

Obama administration seeks stay of DADT injunction

The Obama administration has filed a request with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to stay a lower court injunction stopping the military policy regarding openly gay troops serving.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Gay and lesbian • Military
October 20th, 2010
11:51 AM ET

Wednesday's intriguing people

Christine O'Donnell

The Delaware Senate Candidate has proclaimed herself an expert on the U.S. Constitution. She attributes this knowledge to her time in 2002 as a Lincoln Fellow at the Claremont Institute.

The weeklong fellowship includes various topics on constitutional law. Talking Points Memo, which received a Polk award in 2007 for reporting, obtained a copy of the 2002 syllabus earlier this week.

Nine fellows joined O’Donnell that week. The group includes a woman who went on to become the lead attorney for the Republicans on the House Oversight Committee and a man who was legislative director to former Indiana Congressman John Hostettler.

Most notable of the class is Scott Bloch, who went on to run the White House Office of Special Counsel overseeing whistleblower protection. Earlier this year, he pleaded guilty to contempt of Congress charges regarding the scrubbing data from White House computers.

FULL POST

October 20th, 2010
11:02 AM ET

Anita Hill scandal almost sank Clarence Thomas

Anita Hill testified in 1991 about about claims of sexual advances from then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas.

Who is Anita Hill and what does Justice Clarence Thomas' wife want her to apologize for?

Before Thomas became a federal judge, he worked in the Department of Education and later was chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from 1982 to 1990.

After President George H.W. Bush nominated Thomas to replace Justice Thurgood Marshall on the Supreme Court, Thomas underwent nomination hearings in the U.S. Senate and a vote was scheduled.

Two days before the scheduled vote, Hill, a law professor at the University of Oklahoma, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that Thomas had sexually harassed her when he was her boss at the Education Department and the EEOC.

Time magazine described what followed as an "ugly circus" in which both Thomas and Hill were "eviscerated."

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Filed under: Anita Hill • Politics • Supreme Court • U.S.
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