The five most popular stories on CNN.com in the past 24 hours, according to NewsPulse.
Passengers unaware of fire till ship docked: Passengers who disembarked from a Carnival Cruise Lines ship that was towed to port after losing power earlier this week gave mixed reviews on the experience.
Alleged captor crude, vulgar hypocrite, Smart says: They were the words Elizabeth Smart waited eight years to say, and when she spoke them from the witness stand Wednesday, they poured out with an intensity that kept jurors on the edge of their seats.
Speaking in his hometown of Seoul, South Korea, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on nations to not forget about the real reasons why they have gathered in the Korean capital.
With trade and currency imbalances expected to top the, the former South Korean foreign minister insists that rich, developed nations must "keep their promise" to the developing world.
"While I'm concerned that opinion is divided among some G-20 leaders, this is the moment for unity and co-ordination to come together and help the developing nations and poor people," he told CNN.
The 66-year-old U.N. boss is a strong advocate of the Millennium Development Goals aimed at reducing world poverty and hunger by 2015. Many have questioned how the goals focused on women and children and require a commitment of $40 billion can actually be achieved, especially in light of the global economic downturn.
Read the full story on CNN.com.
Stocks: No comeback after Cisco
Stocks sold off at the open and never looked back Thursday after a disappointing outlook from Cisco Systems dragged on the technology sector all day.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.7 percent to close at 11,283, after falling as much as 1 percent earlier in the trading session.
COMMENT OF THE DAY: "I really need to start printing T-shirts that say, 'My grandparents went on a Carnival Cruise and all I got was this T-shirt and a box of Pop Tarts.'" - MaryLandMom
Imagine being stuck at sea on a luxurious boat and eating Pop Tarts. Toilet problems and power outages notwithstanding, a few readers said the stranded cruise ship passengers aboard the Carnival Splendor couldn't really complain given all the suffering that goes on in the world. Others sympathized with the passengers' harrowing holiday, while still more imagined many of the passengers would have a great horror story to tell at cocktail parties.
The controversial e-book, "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure" has been pulled from Amazon.com, a spokesman for the online retailer confirmed Thursday.
The self-published title's appearance on Amazon.com led to a public uproar and calls for a boycott of the site. As of late Wednesday, more than 2,000 Amazon.com users had left comments on the listing, nearly all of them condemning the site for selling the title.
The e-book's author, Phillip R. Greaves II, said he published the controversial tome to address what he considers unfair portrayals of pedophiles in the media.
When asked about the controversy, Amazon.com spokesman Drew Herdener would not respond.
A fierce debate over currency manipulation may be unfolding behind closed doors at the G-20 Summit in South Korea. Leaders from the nations with the 20 largest economies around the world are meeting in Seoul to discuss how to stabilize and grow the world's economy.
The United States is pressuring China to revalue the yuan at a higher rate relative to the US dollar. The U.S. believes China takes steps to set the value of the yuan artificially low, giving Chinese exports a competitive advantage.
CNN's Steve Kastenbaum takes a look at how currency manipulation affects the U.S. economy and how a change in the yuan's value could help and hurt Americans.
Listen to the full story here:
Security officials at the Group of 20 summit in Seoul, South Korea, have deployed 50,000 police and soldiers, plus an elite water security unit: six goldfish.
Security officials placed six goldfish inside a tank supplying toilet water to the conference, the Mirror of London, England, reported. The officials will watch the fish for signs of illness or poisoning in an effort to protect the conferees, according to the Mirror.
An animal rights group is up in arms over the use of the finned defenders.
"There are a variety of modern scientific methods that would better protect world leaders and keep fish from enduring agonizing deaths from contaminated water," Tracy Reiman, executive vice president for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, wrote in a letter to conference organizers.
"After all, the fish cannot tell you specifically what might be wrong with the water," she added.
You might remember ex-gangsta rapper Shyne from his trial about a decade ago (see the 2001 picture). He was charged in a nightclub shooting involving his mentor, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, and Jennifer Lopez.
Released last year after serving nine years in prison and deported to his native Belize, Shyne easily could have kicked it in Central America. His dad, after all, is the Belizean prime minister.
Instead, he went to Israel in September to explore Judaism, something he’d been interested in since he was a teen when he started reading the stories of King David and Moses, he told The New York Times. His Ethiopian grandmother may have been Jewish, the paper reported.
“There’s nothing in the Chumash that says I can’t drive a Lamborghini,” he told the newspaper, “nothing in the Halacha about driving the cars I like, about the lifestyle I live.”
In March 2006, while incarcerated in the Clinton Correctional Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, Shyne legally changed his name from Jamal Michael Barrow to either Moses Levi, Moses Michael Leviy or Moshe Levy Ben-David, depending on the media outlet reporting the story. He told The Times that he became a practicing Jew under the tutelage of the rabbis in prison.
In a YouTube video, he explained his rationale: “You look at any other science, it all goes back to Judaism. They say Abraham is the father of all religions. So for me, I don’t want to talk to the middleman. I want to talk to HaShem. I want to go straight to the boss.”
So, the rapper who once boasted of “leavin’ piece of your brain on your car” now wants to share Jewish values with youth. He told The Jerusalem Post he will continue focusing his music on urban life, but is omitting the n-word and misogyny from his lyrics.
Def Jam Recordings plans to release his albums, the aptly named “Messiah” and “Gangland,” next year.
Passengers on board a crippled Carnival Cruise LInes ship, which was pulled to port in San Diego, California, after a fire knocked out power earlier this week, said they were not told of the fire until the ship docked.
They were only told there was "lots of smoke," passenger Ken King told CNN.
"The first part of it was OK," he said of the cruise. "The food was great, staff was great." But after the fire, he said, the food "actually got worse. The toilets didn't work for about 12 hours."
King is among some 3,300 passengers who left the ship after the three-day ordeal that began with a fire in the ship's engine room Monday. Engineers were unable to restore power to the ship after the fire was extinguished, leaving passengers without air conditioning, hot showers or decent meals. Instead, they had to settle for Spam and Pop-Tarts dropped off by the USS Ronald Reagan, which came to assist.
"They never told us what the issue was," King said.
[Update 12:30 p.m. ET] The family of Dino De Laurentiis has confirmed the film producer's death to CNN.
A statement from Raffaella De Laurentiis, family spokesperson and daughter of Dino De Laurentiis, said he died at 10 p.m. PT Wednesday at his Beverly Hills, California, home, surrounded by family.
His granddaughter, celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis, issued this statement separately:
"My grandfather was a true inspiration. He was my biggest champion in life and a constant source for wisdom and advice. I will miss him dearly."
Americans around the world paused Thursday to pay tribute to the country's military veterans and honor their ongoing sacrifices in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.
Vice President Joe Biden led remembrances at the Veterans Day National Ceremony in Virginia's Arlington National Cemetery, participating in a wreath-laying ceremony under clear blue skies at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
"I look out at all of you who have served our nation ... and I see the most tested among us, the most tested of all Americans," Biden said.
The more than 23 million surviving veterans today are "the heart and soul, the very spine of this nation," the vice president added.
Cam Newton is the biggest deal in college football right now for both good reasons and bad.
The good is that he's the star quarterback of the undefeated, No. 2-ranked Auburn Tigers. If they win the rest of their games, they'll likely play for the national championship.
He's the front-runner for the Heisman Trophy, awarded annually to college football's best player.
And he's expected to be a top NFL draft pick and make millions when he leaves college after either this season or next.
The bad comes not from the millions he might make but from the thousands he might have been paid already.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Thursday asserted his government's right to petition the United Nations Security Council to recognize a Palestinian state if Israel refuses to halt settlement construction in the occupied West Bank.
His comments were made to thousands gathered in the West Bank city of Ramallah to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the death of Palestinian
leader Yasser Arafat.
But he noted that the United States had cautioned that such an action would constitute a "unilateral move."
Veterans Day – America honors its veterans Thursday. Vice President Joe Biden and Defense Secretary Robert Gates will take part in a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery at 11 a.m. ET.
Be sure to visit CNN.com's Veterans in Focus section for stories, images, video and interactive graphics on:
- a World War II vet's memories of D-Day and how he's training a new generation of warriors;
- how military veterans, the Pentagon and mental health professionals are coming to grips with post-traumatic stress disorder;
- how special courts seek to keep veterans out of prison;
- what might happen next with "don't ask, don't tell"; and
- why a Medal of Honor recipient from the Afghanistan conflict feels angry about the award.
American and South Korean negotiators failed to reach agreement on a new trade pact during President Barack Obama's visit to Seoul, creating new delays and obstacles for an accord that the White House has said could translate to an additional $10 billion in U.S. exports and 70,000 American jobs.
A long-running dispute over U.S. access to Korea's auto and beef markets was largely responsible for the failure, according to the White House.
Obama tried to put a positive spin on the setback during a joint news conference with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.
"We have asked our teams to work tirelessly in the coming days and weeks to get this completed, and we are confident that we will do so," he said.
Reaching a deal "could be a win for the overall economic partnership between our two countries by bringing us closer together, allowing us to benefit from each other's innovations, and ensuring strong protections for workers' rights and the environment."
Read the full story on CNN.com
GE said Thursday it will buy 25,000 electric vehicles for its fleet through 2015 in the largest-ever purchase of electric cars.
GE will begin with an initial purchase of 12,000 vehicles from General Motor Co., starting with Chevy Volt in 2011. The conglomerate said it "will add other vehicles as manufacturers expand their electric vehicle profiles."
The first Chevrolet Volt is expected to roll off production lines later this month.
GM confirmed the announcement with CNNMoney.com.
Twin falls at Ground Zero - Some of the country's most poignant memorials feature the simplest of elements: water. Engineers are now in the process of testing twin waterfalls at Ground Zero as part of the "Reflecting Absence" memorial plaza which is slated to open on the 10-year anniversary of the fall of the twin towers.
9:00 am ET - Veterans in Focus – In honor of Veterans Day, CNN photojournalists turn their lenses to the men and women of the military for "Veterans in Focus." The special highlights stories of service, struggle and success of our nation’s veterans and the loved ones around them. Also airs at 12:00 pm, 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm.
9:20 am ET –Moment of silence on Wall Street – Wall Street commemorates Veterans Day with a moment of silence.