The five most popular stories on CNN.com, according to NewsPulse.
Why Cleveland women were invisible: When police found the bodies of 11 women on Anthony Sowell's property in October 2009 everyone wondered how 11 women in the same town could disappear over two years without public notice?
Clarence Thomas drank, watched porn, ex says: Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was a binge drinker who had a pornography habit or fetish in the 1980s, then changed radically when he stopped drinking, former girlfriend says.
An tornado touched down near Somers, Wisconsin, in Kenosha county at 7:47 a.m. on Tuesday morning, a National Weather Service damage assessment team has confirmed.
Two injuries were reported. The tornado lasted six minutes and traveled northeast from Somers in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, to Graceland Cemetery in the city of Racine, Wisconsin, the National Weather Service said. Numerous uprooted trees, snapped and downed power poles and roof damage to several buildings was reported. Several parked tractor-trailers were also tipped over, according to the National Weather Service.
The Air Force lost partial communications with 50 nuclear missiles this weekend for almost an hour, an Air Force spokesman said.
Stocks claw out small gains
Stocks ended in slightly positive territory Tuesday after seesawing throughout the session, as investors weighed readings on consumer confidence and housing against a slew of earnings reports.
The Dow Jones industrial average ticked up 5 points, the S&P 500 rose less than a point, and the Nasdaq gained 6 points.
Authorities in Wyoming are searching for a small plane that dropped off radar Monday afternoon after leaving Jackson Hole Airport, a police spokesman said.
Det. Sgt. Ryan Lee of the Fremont County Sheriff's Office said searchers are working in a very remote area of the county with elevations around 13,000 feet. Four people were on board the plane, he said.
A helicopter flew to the search area earlier Tuesday, and searchers expect to get another over the area later in the day. A four-person search crew is on the ground and will spend the night in the area before more ground searchers are deployed Wednesday, he said.
Snow storms, high winds and low visibility have hampered the search, he said. Lee said authorities would not release the identities of those on board pending notification of family members and also would not say whether there were children aboard.
But the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that the plane carried the president of a Twin Cities web development company and three children.
You can now add the United Nations to the list of stores, theaters and landmarks as locations where bedbugs have been detected in New York City.
"Over the weekend, dogs detected bedbugs in conference room chairs. Infected chairs have now been replaced," said a verbal announcement from the the U.N. spokesman's office.
The United Nations has long been known as a hotbed of spying activity, but these bugs appear to be the decidedly low-tech crawly type.
Robert Levy, the father of slain Washington intern Chandra Levy, testified that he told police all he could about a relationship he discovered she was having in 2001 with sitting Congresman Gary Condit.
"We were mad at Condit, trying to point him as the villian," he testified on cross-examination Tuesday in the murder trial of Ingmar Guandique, who is charged in her death.
Levy's disappearance nine years ago received widespread publicity because of her alleged relationship with the sitting California congressman. The revelation contributed to the political downfall of Condit, who will be called to testify during the trial. Police said Condit was never a suspect in the case, although he was questioned intensively as investigators tried to find Levy.
Guandique denies killing Levy.
Military officials in a number of European countries are testing “blast boxers,” armored underwear that protect the groin from shrapnel, according to the garments' manufacturer.
BCB International, a Cardiff, Wales-based manufacturer of military and survival products, says the shorts could help reduce “life-changing” injuries to the genitalia and colon - the type caused by roadside bombs in Afghanistan.
The “blast boxers” can stop a projectile moving at 230 meters per second (about the speed of a small handgun bullet), according to the company’s website. Besides protecting the genitals, the shorts also are designed to protect the femoral artery, which, if punctured, can cause rapid blood loss and a quick death.
A nonprofit that has distributed millions of boxes of steeply discounted food to the needy is offering people a chance to pass the blessing forward to a military family.
Angel Food Ministries of Monroe, Georgia, distributes food boxes through a network of 6,000 churches and social service agencies in 44 states. Recipients pay $30 for boxes of food worth $42 to $78. There are no income restrictions and no application forms.
The organization says it provides affordable food to 500,000 families a month.
In a new initiative, Angel Food is encouraging people to contribute $36 to buy holiday food boxes for the families of active-duty military personnel. FULL POST
In the wake of the September gas pipeline explosion that killed eight people and leveled part of a neighborhood in San Bruno, California, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. says it has found 38 leaks in California that require immediate attention.
And its pipeline survey is just getting started.
The company is using aerial laser detection technology as well as traditional ground patrols to search for leaks, starting in heavily populated areas. It expects to complete the survey in December.
Four of the 38 leaks have been repaired, the company said.
PG&E says it also is evaluating 300 locations where it might be able to swap out manual valves for automated or remotely controlled ones, making it possible to shut off gas more quickly and avoid disaster in case of a pipeline rupture.
[Updated at 12:05 p.m.] The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for lower Michigan, Lake Erie, Lake Huron and the Lake Michigan area.
The tornado watch area is approximately along and 100 statute miles east and west of a line from 25 miles west southwest of Jackson, Michigan to 30 miles east northeast of Houghton Lake, Michigan, the NWS reported.
[Updated at 11:49 a.m.] A brief tornado touchdown was reported in Louisville, Kentucky. As with all reports so far, this is unconfirmed until the Weather Service can survey the damage.
[Updated at 11:45 a.m.] Tens of thousands of people were without power in Illinois and Wisconsin, and homes and buildings were damaged by high winds and, possibly, tornadoes.
Officials in Iroquois County, Illinois, told CNN affiliate WLS-TV in Chicago that he had also heard unconfirmed reports of more tornadoes near the towns of Chebanse and Donovan. No reports of injuries were immediately available, but WLS reported that there were reports of an entrapment in a home in Peotone.
Some experts told WLS that the storms may be the most powerful to hit Illinois in more than 70 years.
Crews are working to restore power to about 59,000 custormers in northern Illinois, WLS quoted a spokesman for ComEd as saying. Of those, nearly 28,000 are in Chicago's western suburbs. In southeastern Wisconsin, about 6,000 We
Energies customers were without power Tuesday morning, a spokesman for that utility told JSOnline.
[Updated at 11:35 a.m.] The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center has issued an updated forecast of widespread "damaging winds" and a few possible tornadoes in Ohio, the Tennessee Valleys and the Great Lakes Tuesday as the storm system barrels through the Midwest.
[Updated at 11:17 a.m.] Wind tore the roof off a house south of Chicago, in Will County, Illinois, injuring two children slightly, a sheriff’s spokesman told CNN affiliate WGN.
The mother of a 20-year-old U.S. soldier who is charged with killing Afghan civilians for sport and staging the murders to look like legitimate casualties, is demanding answers from his commanding officers. In an exclusive CNN interview from her Idaho home, Holmes describes how her son came back from war a different person. Pvt. Andrew Holmes went into the Army a healthy 185-pound 18-year-old and came back 50 pounds lighter, unable to sleep and eat and acting paranoid, constantly asking his family where they were because he believed they would be harmed.
Holmes and four others face numerous charges, including drug use, premeditated murder, possessing body parts and possessing photos of corpses. Seven others in the platoon are charged with various other crimes, from assaulting a fellow soldier who blew the whistle on the group's hashish smoking to collecting body parts as war trophies and posing them in grisly photos.
"If they were smoking that much hashish, you can smell it," said Dana Holmes. "Where was the command? Did they just dump these boys off and say go forth and conquer?"
The United Nations General Assembly voted Tuesday in favor of a resolution calling for an end to the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States against Cuba. There were 187 member states in favor of the resolution, two against, and three abstentions.
The vote is non-binding.
It was the 19th consecutive year that the United Nations has voted to condemn the embargo.
The two opposing votes came from the United States and Israel.
The United States put the embargo in place in 1960. Despite it, the Cuban regime founded by Fidel Castro remains in place, currently led by his brother, Raul Castro.
Cuba attributes much of its economic woes to the embargo, which it calls "the blockade."
- CNN's Whitney Hurst contributed to this report
A legendary Nepalese sherpa who scaled Mount Everest 19 times was hit last week by an avalanche, reports say, and the days-long search for his body has been called off.
On Wednesday, Chhewang Nima was leading a British expedition up Mount Baruntse in eastern Nepal. The 43-year-old was working ropes near the summit when the avalanche hit, according to reports quoting Jeevan Ghimire, a spokesperson for Nima's hiking agency, Sherpa Shangrila Trek and Expedition. The Toronto Star and other outlets reported that another guide was also struck.
The avalanche missed the party other climbers. When all the snow cleared, the group began to furiously dig in the snow but couldn't find the men, reports say. A helicopter search was also unsuccessful, according to Outside magazine.
Nima was close to tying the record for the most Everest summits. Fellow Nepalese climber Appa Sherpa has climbed the mountain 20 times.
Editor's Note: Learn about the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2010 and vote for the CNN Hero of the Year at CNNHeroes.com.
An outbreak of cholera in Haiti has killed more than 250 people and sickened thousands.
The culprit: Contaminated drinking water.
Worldwide, the water crisis is huge. Nearly a billion people lack access to safe drinking water. That’s one in eight of us.
You’re probably not one of them. Be thankful, and for today’s "Be A Hero" challenge, do something today to protect the resource for yourself and others:
1. Get informed about the work being done to provide clean water to people around the world. Watch this piece about 2009 CNN Hero Doc Hendley's work to provide clean water to Haitians through his organization Wine to Water. And this video about actor Matt Damon's visit to a hand dug well to see the daily struggle to find water in Ethiopia. (Damon is co-founder of Water.org, a U.S.-based nonprofit providing safe drinking water and sanitation to people in developing countries.) '
2. Do one thing to conserve water today. Turn the water off when you brush your teeth tonight. Take a shorter shower, and while you’re doing that, place a bucket in the shower to catch excess water and use it to water the plants later.
Then tell us about it, either in the comments below, on iReport or on Twitter using the hashtag #BeAHero.
Basketball Hall of Famer Kevin McHale knows what it's like to walk on the court as part of an NBA dream trio. And he also knows what it's like to battle against one.
With the Boston Celtics, McHale paired up with Larry Bird and Robert Parish, who often squared off against the L.A. Lakers' Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy.
So he knows a little bit about that whole LeBron James-Dwayne Wade-Chris Bosh scenario. The Miami Heat superstars play their first regular-season game together tonight - against the Boston Celtics.
"You feel confident when you step on the floor," McHale told CNN, recalling how it was to play with such strength around and with him. "What happens when you have three really quality players, never do all three have a bad game. One may have a bad game, but if all three have a good game - you win. Two of the three is good enough to carry you. And one guy can carry you for 40 minutes and the other can catch fire at the end to score key hoops."
So when his former team hits the floor in tonight's NBA opener against the much talked-about, hyped, and sometimes loathed "new dream team," McHale can't wait to watch.
"Its going to be fun," he said. "It's going to be Boston's big three [Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett] which has won a championship together, versus the new big three, which haven't won an NBA game yet but the expectation level is so high."
A massive storm system roared into the Midwest Tuesday morning, with winds exceeding 70 mph and isolated strong rainstorms capable of "embedding" tornadoes, forecasters said. Damage from falling trees and high winds has been reported in Missouri.
There were unconfirmed reports of tornadoes touching down in Illinois, Wisconsin and Kentucky. The National Weather Service said it has sent a team to Racine, Wisconsin, to check on a possible touchdown there. Video footage from Racine showed downed signage outside a business.
The CNN Severe Weather Center reported the storm was moving quickly eastward at more than 50 mph. By 10:20 a.m. ET, the center of the widening ring of severe storms was strengthening and had moved to the east of Indianapolis, Indiana.
At least 103 people were killed and 150 others were missing after a 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck off Sumatra on Monday and triggered a tsunami, Indonesian officials said Tuesday.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the quake generated a "significant" tsunami.
Although communication with remote areas was difficult, witnesses in West Sumatra reported seeing a 6-meter (18-foot) high wave. One representative said at least one village with a population of about 200 people was swept away, with only 40 people recovered. Other reports described the tsunami as being about 3 meters (9 feet) high.
The Indonesian Ministry of Health previously had said more than 300 people were missing but later decreased that number.
The U.S. Navy has used a biofuel to operate a boat at full power for the first time, the Pentagon announced, and it plans to create an alternatively fueled carrier strike group within two years.
An experimental riverine command boat zipped through the water Friday at the Norfolk, Virginia, naval base, burning a 50/50 blend of algae-based fuel and a water-free diesel known as HR-D, the Navy said in a press release.
Earlier this year, the Navy flew an F-18 Hornet fighter jet – nicknamed the Green Hornet – on a blend of camelina-based fuel and gasoline, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said at an energy security forum at the Pentagon. Camelina is a plant that produces oily seeds similar to flax. FULL POST
Indonesia quake - At least 40 people were killed and 380 others were left missing after a 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck off Sumatra on Monday, Indonesian officials said Tuesday.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the quake generated a "significant" tsunami. Although communication with remote areas was difficult, witnesses in west Sumatra reported seeing a 6-meter (18-foot) wave. One representative said at least one village, with a population of about 200 people, was swept away, and only 40 people were recovered. The numbers were in flux because information was trickling in from remote parts of Indonesia, a country made up of thousands of islands.
Indonesia volcano - A day after the earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia, the Mount Merapi volcano in Indonesia erupted Tuesday, forcing thousands of nearby residents to flee, the Antara national news agency reported.
Images on Indonesian TV showed the volcano lighting the sky with a fiery glow and sending thick clouds of gray smoke high into the air.
Gay candidates and the election - In a year when Democrats are widely considered politically handicapped, House candidate David Cicilline has bucked the trend in his race to represent Rhode Island's 1st Congressional District.