The five most popular stories on CNN.com in the past 24 hours, according to NewsPulse.
FDA pulls common pain med off the market: The pharmaceutical company that makes the prescription pain medications Darvon and Darvocet has agreed to withdraw the drugs from the U.S. market at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the FDA said Friday.
Missing Ohio women, boy confirmed dead: A kidnapping suspect provided information that led to the discovery of the bodies of a missing Ohio woman, her 10-year-old son and a family friend, authorities said.
It appears that Sarah Palin does not have much of a fan in Barbara Bush.
In an interview on CNN's Larry King Live, the former first lady said she once sat next to Alaska's one-time governor.
"Thought she was beautiful. And she's very happy in Alaska," Bush said, chuckling. "I hope she'll stay there."
She made the remarks in an interview with CNN's Larry King scheduled to air Monday at 9 p.m. ET. Tune in to catch Bush and husband, former President George H.W. Bush, talk politics, Junior's book, and the Tea Party.
Stocks end wild ride with a whimper
U.S. stocks closed out a wild week with a lackluster finish. In the final stretch, stocks ended Friday's trading session just above the break even point.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 22 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 11,203.6. The S&P 500 rose 3 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,199.7. The tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 4 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,518.1.
While the United Nations warned that protests were hampering efforts to save lives in the Haiti cholera outbreak, a leading non-profit group lashed out at organizations for what it called an "inadequate" response.
Medecins Sans Frontieres (in English, Doctors Without Borders) issued a blistering critique Friday that said shortfalls in resources have hampered efforts to stem the tide of disease, which has claimed at least 1,100 lives and infected another 20,000 people.
"More actors are needed to treat the sick and implement preventative actions, especially as cases increase dramatically across the country," Stefano Zannini, the charitable medical group's head of mission in Haiti, said in a statement Friday.
"There is no time left for meetings and debate - the time for action is now."
"American Idol" is moving to Wednesdays and Thursdays for its 10th season.
The hit reality show's move comes in a major shake-up of Fox's primetime lineup. "Idol" has been broadcast on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for most of the last decade.
The season will kick off with a two-night premiere on Wednesday, January 19, at 8 p.m. ET, according to RyanSeacrest.com, the official website of the show's ubiquitous host.
The show's fresh judging panel will also make its debut, with singer-actor Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler joining veteran judge Randy Jackson.
An Arizona animal shelter employee was fired Friday after an investigation into the accidental euthanization this week of a hero dog from Afghanistan, the Pinal County Animal Control and Care said.
The dog, Target, was brought to the United States from Afghanistan after she alerted soldiers to a suicide bomber in February, saving dozens of lives. She went missing last Friday from the home of Army Sgt. Terry Young, who was among those saved from the bomb.
Animal Care and Control received a call about a stray female shepherd-mix dog in the San Tan Valley area on Friday. An animal control officer picked up the dog and brought her to the shelter where the dog stayed over the weekend. The dog was not microchipped or licensed with the county, shelter officials said.
On Monday morning, the employee mistakenly took the dog out of its pen and euthanized it. The dog was not scheduled for euthanasia.
The employee was placed on administrative leave on Monday, accused of not following proper procedure in the euthanasia process. An investigation began that led to the employee's dismissal today, the shelter said.
“We are continuing to look into management practices and procedures at Animal Care & Control to ensure that something like this cannot happen again,” said Lisa Garcia, Assistant County Manager for Health & Human Services.
A press release from Pinal County noted that it would not name the employee "due to threats made against the employee in online article comments and in telephone calls to the county."
Target was pregnant when she helped thwart the suicide bomber by attacking him. She had her litter of puppies in Afghanistan. Target's puppies have since been brought to the United States, and she was featured by CNN for heroism.
"She got her name because the Afghans we lived with were constantly trying to off her. She's been shot in the leg. ... The Afghans actually ran over her," Sgt. Christopher Duke said, who helped care for Target in Afghanistan and has adopted her packmate Rufus.
"There's no killing this dog for sure. She's pretty much been through it all, " he said upon their reunion in July in Georgia.
COMMENT OF THE DAY: "I think we should circumcise San Francisco from the union. Just cut the whole city off and dump it in the ocean. Bet we wouldn't even feel it." - stonecrow
A man named Lloyd Schofield wants to add a new law to the books in San Francisco: A ban on all male circumcisions. Those who violate the ban could be jailed (not more than one year) or fined (not more than $1,000), under his proposal. Circumcisions even for religious reasons would not be allowed. Schofield and like-minded advocates who call themselves "intactivists" seek to make it "unlawful to circumcise, excise, cut, or mutilate the whole or any part of the foreskin, testicles, or penis" of anyone 17 or younger in San Francisco.
Discussion was, as you might expect, passionate.
An open-water swimmer who died in a race last month is among 10 honorees to be inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame next year.
Francis Crippen, a top-ranked athlete in his sport and a 2012 Olympic hopeful, drowned 400 meters from the finish line of a 10-kilometer race in the United Arab Emirates on October 23.
"During his quick rise to the top echelon of professional marathon swimming, 26-year-old Fran Crippen also became the emotional and inspirational leader of the USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Team and a dynamic personality on the professional marathon swimming circuit," the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame said.
"He was a personable ambassador of the sport. His love of the sport of marathon swimming was shared with fans, the media, his teammates and rivals."
Among the other honorees, who will be recognized in a ceremony in 2011, are Drury Gallagher, creator of the Manhattan Island Marathon swim; Anne Cleveland, the oldest person, at 48, to make a two-way crossing of the English Channel; and Australia's Rottnest Channel Swim Association.
A former Georgia sheriff's deputy convicted of murdering his wife and a day laborer in 2008 was sentenced Friday to two consecutive life sentences plus five years in prison.
That means that Derrick Yancey, 51, will have to serve at least 60 years before he is eligible for parole.
Yancey showed no emotion as a Superior Court judge imposed the sentence for the murders of Linda Yancey, 44, who was also a sheriff's deputy, and Marcial Cax-Puluc, 23, a day laborer from Guatemala.
The defendant told police that he shot Cax-Puluc in self-defense after
the day laborer had shot his wife. Prosecutors argued that Yancey was the lone gunman and that he hired Cax-Puluc as part of an elaborate plan to kill his wife.
When I was a kid, we would play pick-up football games anywhere we could find a patch of grass large enough to accommodate four wide receivers and an all-time quarterback.
The field was never the requisite 120 yards, and we didn’t care. We would’ve played on a field a quarter of that size.
As often as I tried to emulate (and on occasion, claimed to be) Drew Pearson or Tony Hill, none of us was a pro. Hell, we weren’t even in high school, let alone a Division I NCAA football program.
So, like most college football fans, I was perplexed by the news that the Northwestern Wildcats and Illinois Fighting Illini will play a game this weekend on a field that has been deemed too short.
Both teams’ offenses will have to head to the west end zone every time they get the ball because the stands at Chicago’s Wrigley Field back up to within a foot of the east end zone.
The rules say you need 12 feet behind the end zones. But at Wrigley, the goal post in the east end zone is mounted to the stands.
In Wrigley’s defense, it is a landmark baseball stadium so steeped in tradition that the first night game wasn’t played there until 1988 after the Chicago Cubs installed lights.
It hasn’t hosted a football game since 1970, when the Chicago Bears relocated to Soldier Field. Colleges haven’t played there since DePaul University called the Friendly Confines home in 1938.
Fearing that Saturday’s Illinois-Northwestern conference showdown might resemble an Arena Football League match – where players are routinely hammered into the walls forming the field’s sidelines – the Big Ten took action.
The Transportation Security Administration is taking "additional steps to streamline security screening for U.S. air carrier pilots," TSA Administrator John Pistole announced Friday.
NATO has agreed to create a missile-defense system to protect all of Europe, U.S. President Barack Obama announced Friday in Lisbon, Portugal.
Almost one year since his infamous Thanksgiving night accident and 14 years since his iconic first Nike ad, Tiger Woods is saying "hello" to the world again.
Following the downfall of his marriage, No. 1 world ranking and public image in a 12-month whirlwind, Woods is beginning to emerge from his self-induced exile and attempting to reconnect with his fans.
Although Woods has played in golf tournaments and held some awkward press conferences over the past few months, he has yet to appear comfortable being himself with the cameras watching.
But with his personal life self-reportedly in order, Woods says he wants to reconnect with fans and thank them for sticking with him through tough times.
In the past week, Woods has made several moves to show he's ready to return. He wrote an op-ed piece in Newsweek titled "How I've Redefined Victory" and explained his rededication to his family.
He went on ESPN's "Mike & Mike in the Morning" and proclaimed his life was more "blessed and balanced" than before. And he even opened a Twitter account to hear from his fans and attempt a few swings at humor.
It's yet to be seen if Woods can be the golfer and public figure he once was, but if there's one consistent message in his recent public outputs, it's that he's determined to be a better dad.
"I can never truly repair the damage I've done, especially to my family," Woods wrote in his Newsweek essay. "But I can keep trying. ... I'm not the same man I was a year ago. And that's a good thing."
Here's the action to watch tonight (all times Eastern):
Oklahoma City Thunder at Boston Celtics (7 p.m., ESPN)
The Thunder look to avenge their November 7 loss to the Celtics when they travel to Boston to take on the rested Celtics, who are 5-0 at home this season.
A settlement in New York City will pay out hundreds of millions of dollars to ground zero workers exposed to toxic debris after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, lawyers said Friday.
Plaintiffs narrowly approved the deal after facing a Tuesday night deadline that required 95 percent of some 10,000 people who worked at ground zero to approve the measure, according to Marc Berns, an attorney for the plaintiffs.
The agreement concludes a seven-year fight between the city and first responders, who have said they were not properly outfitted for rescue and cleanup efforts after the 9/11 attacks, leaving them exposed to toxic dust that later prompted respiratory health issues.
Every time you tweet, Facebook chat or Skype, you're essentially taking part in a social media experiment - but Cristin Norine is taking the idea to a new level.
She is putting herself behind glass walls for 30 days as part of the Public Isolation Project that shows how technology cuts people off from each other - even if it seems like it is connecting them.
"I'm seeing how it's affecting my relationships," she said.
It's also left her completely open to public view and scrutiny, but for the most part, Norine said she's been encouraged by others.
Norine said many people have stopped by and left her messages. She told CNN she was getting tired of seeing people texting while she was with them all the time - or having conversations with her friends only via technology.
Not that Norine is the first person to try and make a point by living in a glass house and throwing metaphorical stones.
A similar glass house project in Santiago, Chile, sought to showcase the basics of day-to-day life, by having a woman living behind glass walls. That project, however, caught a bit more attention, when the woman began to take a shower in public view.
Norine, however, doesn't have that issue - the small bathroom is the only area where she's off public display.
"Today, you can talk about POOP out in the open," the One Campaign trumpeted on Twitter.
Friday is World Toilet Day, an observance guaranteed to elicit giggles.
But the day has a serious purpose: Organizers call it "a day to celebrate the importance of sanitation and raise awareness for the 2.6 billion people (nearly half of the world's population) who don't have access to toilets and proper sanitation." FULL POST
The U.S. and NATO allies are looking to turn two or three Afghanistan provinces over to Afghan control by June of next year, with "several more" in the in the summer or fall, according to a senior NATO official.
While the plan is still a rough estimate of transition, the picture of how Afghans will begin to take over security by as early as March 2011 in some areas is beginning to emerge as NATO leaders and Afghan President Hamid Karzai meet in Lisbon for meetings on the war.
Officials say there is no set goal to define "success," but the expectation is that some provinces would be handed over even before the U.S. deadline to begin removing some troops from Afghanistan.
Some those targeted for first transition include the relatively calm provinces of Parwan, Bamiyan, Panjshir, CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr reported earlier this week.
With the Cold War behind them, NATO members gathering here in Lisbon for a summit on Friday will seek to assert their continued relevance.
The future of the Afghan war effort will be a key part of the meeting's agenda, and the nations will also deal with missile defense of NATO territory. The alliance will also adopt a new mission statement, or "strategic concept."
The strategic concept will aim to reinvigorate the NATO alliance 20 years after the end of the Cold War. Calling Lisbon, "one of the most important summits in the history of our alliance," NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen hopes the new global outlook will prove the organization is still relevant.
"No other organization can marshal, deploy and sustain NATO's military power," Rasmussen said last month. "There will be other missions in the future for which only NATO can fit the bill. We will have to be ready."
At least 27 miners remained missing after an underground explosion on New Zealand's west coast, company officials said Friday.
Two miners emerged from the the Pike River coal mine in Atarau, located about 90 miles northwest of Christchurch, with moderate injuries, authorities said.
No fatalities have yet been reported, but concerns over ventilation at the mine has delayed a rescue effort. A power outage might have compromised ventilation inside the mine.
"They're itching to get in there and start looking for other people and a bit frustrated at having to stand and wait," police spokeswoman Barbara Dunn said.