November 24th, 2010
11:08 PM ET

Humane Society accuses top U.S. turkey hatchery of cruelty

Undercover video shot at one of the nation's largest turkey producers shows what an animal rights group calls cruel and inhumane treatment of birds.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Animals
November 24th, 2010
11:05 PM ET

The day's most popular stories

The five most popular stories on CNN.com, according to NewsPulse.

Facebook pics that make you look like a tool: If a Facebook picture is worth a thousand words, we're pretty sure there's one word in the lexicon you'd be loath to have associated with you: tool.

And the winner of 'Dancing with the Stars?' "Dirty Dancing" star Jennifer Grey! Here's a recap of how tonight's show went down.

U.S. warships set for Yellow Sea war games: The aircraft carrier USS George Washington sailed toward volatile waters off the Korean peninsula Wednesday for planned military exercises with South Korea in a show of force designed to deter a further escalation of hostilities with North Korea.

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Filed under: Crime • Facebook • Most Popular • North Korea • Showbiz • South Korea • Technology
November 24th, 2010
10:54 PM ET

North Korea warns of more attacks

North Korea will launch additional attacks on South Korea if it continues "reckless military provocation," North Korean state media said Thursday.

The Korean People's Army "will deal without hesitation the second and third strong physical retaliatory blow," if South Korea provokes the country by, for example, firing shells into the north's side of the West Sea.

The statement also addressed the U.S.'s role in the conflict, saying "the U.S. would be well advised to drop its inveterate bad habit of pulling up others, falsifying the truth about the situation."

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Filed under: North Korea • South Korea
November 24th, 2010
09:53 PM ET

S. Korea vows to strengthen rules of engagement

South Korea said Thursday that it will strengthen its rules of engagement in the Yellow Sea, following Tuesday's shelling by North Korea.

Marine forces based in five islands in the West Sea, near the North Korea maritime border, also will be reinforced, a government representative said following a meeting between President Lee Myung-bak and his economic and security ministers Thursday morning in Seoul.

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Filed under: North Korea • South Korea
November 24th, 2010
07:45 PM ET

Snow, mixed precipitation challenge travelers

The weather might not cooperate with travelers in the northern Midwest throughout the Thanksgiving holiday. Links in this story should provide continuously updated information about road conditions in your state.

A snowstorm was expected to complicate travel in parts of North Dakota and northern Minnesota on Wednesday night, with accumulations getting as high as 10 inches by Thursday in northeastern Minnesota's Lake Superior region, the National Weather Service said.

A large stretch of the northern United States was under winter weather advisories, stretching from eastern Montana to northern Michigan. Dangerous wind chills and blowing snow were the concern in Montana and southern North Dakota, while mixed and freezing precipitation were possible in parts of South Dakota, Minnesota, northern Iowa, and northern parts of Wisconsin and Michigan Wednesday night into Thursday, the weather service said.

Mixtures of snow, sleet and freezing rain were possible in parts of Pennsylvania and southern New York late Wednesday and early Thursday, while western Maryland and eastern portions of West Virginia were being warned of freezing rain and sleet.

iReport: Show us your winter weather

A storm system was moving across Missouri Wednesday evening, with tornado watches issued in southeastern counties Wednesday night.

Utah on Wednesday afternoon was digging its way out of a Tuesday-night snowstorm. The storm blew from the north to the south, and some areas got up to 6 inches of snow with windy conditions, according to CNN affiliate KSL. The Utah Highway Patrol said it responded to seven injury accidents.

In Seattle, Washington, the temperature dropped to 14 degrees at Sea-Tac Airport, breaking the record set in 1985 when the mercury hit 16 degrees, KOMO reports.

Check the latest conditions  at some of the nation's busiest airports

Everyone should be jealous of Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina, which are predicted to have perfect Turkey Day weather. Go ahead and fall asleep on your porch in those Southern states. It's unlikely you'll get rained on.

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Filed under: Tornadoes • Travel • Weather
November 24th, 2010
07:12 PM ET

Keeping safe in the kitchen: From smoke alarms to goggles

The leading cause of Thanksgiving fires is residential cooking, FEMA says.

Amid all the shopping and chopping and cooking and baking tonight and tomorrow, followed by more preparation for Black Friday, fire prevention probably isn't at the forefront of most people's minds going into the holiday weekend.

But it should be, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, who says the leading cause of all Thanksgiving fires is cooking in the home.

An estimated 2,000 fires occur each on Thanksgiving in the United States, resulting in an average of five deaths, 25 injuries and $21 million in property loss each year, said the agency, an entity of the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Fires occur most frequently from noon to 4 p.m., prime time for roasting turkeys/tofurkeys, boiling potatoes and vegetables and baking pies. Smoke alarms were not present in 20 percent of Thanksgiving Day fires that occurred in occupied residential buildings, the agency said.

So, what to do? Make sure your smoke alarms work, which I'm sure you already do, as a practical matter of everyday life. And here are a few more tips that may seem like common sense, but are always good to be reminded of:

Keep a close watch on your cooking. You should never leave cooking food unattended.

Keep oven food packaging and other combustibles away from burners and heat sources.

 Heat cooking oil slowly and watch it closely; it can ignite quickly.

Don't wear loose sleeves while working over hot stove burners. They can melt, ignite or catch on handles of pots and pans.

Have a "kid-free zone" of at least three-feet around the stove and areas where hot foods or drinks are prepared or carried.

Keep a lid nearby to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cool.

And, if you must deep fry a turkey, which is basically not recommended in good faith by any fire safety or prevention agency, remember to wear your goggles, keep children and pets far, far away, and this stuff, too:

Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors a safe distance from buildings and any other flammable materials.

Never use turkey fryers in a garage or on a wooden deck.

Make sure the fryers are used on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping.

Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls. If you do not watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.

Never let children or pets near the fryer even if it is not in use. The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot hours after use.

To avoid oil spillover, do not overfill the fryer.

 Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles. If possible, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.

Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and be careful with marinades.

Oil and water do not mix, and water causes oil to spill over causing a fire or even an explosion hazard.

The National Turkey Federation (NTF) recommends thawing the turkey in the refrigerator approximately 24 hours for every five pounds in weight.

Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. If the fire is manageable, use your all-purpose fire extinguisher. If the fire increases, immediately call the fire department for help.

Source: United States Fire Administration

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Filed under: Child safety • Food • Holidays • Thanksgiving • U.S.
November 24th, 2010
06:16 PM ET

Tom DeLay convicted in money-laundering trial

A Texas jury on Wednesday convicted former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay on charges of illegally funneling corporate money to help elect GOP candidates to the Texas legislature.

DeLay was found guilty on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering, said jury bailiff Gilbert Soto.

DeLay was charged with illegally funneling $190,000 in corporate money to help elect Republicans to the state House and Senate in 2002. At the outset of the trial, he predicted the jury would clear him.

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Filed under: Justice • Politics
November 24th, 2010
02:18 PM ET

Opt-outs largely no-shows at airports

The controversy over new security measures at airport checkpoints - which some feared would boil over on Wednesday, one of the year's busiest travel days - instead didn't even reach a simmer.

Critics had declared the day before Thanksgiving "National Opt-Out Day" and urged travelers who are selected to undergo full body scans to refuse to subject themselves to the advanced imaging technology.

Anyone who refuses a scan is checked instead by the more time-consuming "enhanced" pat-down procedure. Security lines at busy airports nationwide could be snarled if a large number of people opted for the pat downs, and the Transportation Security Administration said it was as prepared as possible to deal with any resulting delays.

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Filed under: Air travel
November 24th, 2010
12:46 PM ET

Virginia jury convicts Somali men of piracy

A federal jury in Virginia has found five Somali men guilty of piracy and several other charges in the March attack on a U.S. warship in the Indian Ocean, prosecutors announced Wednesday.

All five were convicted of taking part in the attack on the guided-missile frigate USS Nicholas when it was off the African coast between Somalia and the Seychelles on March 31, said Peter Carr, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Norfolk, Virginia. The verdict came on the second day of deliberations in Norfolk, the frigate's home port.

The Nicholas returned fire when attacked, sinking the skiff that carried three of the pirates and capturing two more, along with the mother ship that launched the attack.

The verdict marked the first jury conviction for piracy in the United States since 1820, Carr said.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Pirates • Somalia
November 24th, 2010
12:41 PM ET

Gotta Watch: Dance winning turkeys get 'new lease on life'

The stakes may have been high for "Dancing with the Stars," but they were even higher for the two turkeys President Obama pardoned at the White House today.

Obama offered the gobbling duo Apple and Cider a "new lease on life" after they won a dance competition against 20,000 other feathered friends.

Instead of receiving a mirror ball trophy like in 'DWTS', they got something even better: the gift of life. But that's not all. Watch the video to find out where they've been staying in Washington and what's next for them.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Gotta Watch
November 24th, 2010
12:39 PM ET

Gotta Watch: Cookie like SNL, baby bandit, fake Dylan roadie

'S' is for Saturday - Which celeb doesn't belong? Betty White, Lady Gaga and Cookie Monster. If you guessed Cookie Monster, you're right. The others have made appearances on "Saturday Night Live," and Cookie Monster wants to join their ranks, even kicking off a Facebook page to further his cause. The insatiable blue puppet also has an audition tape, which he has shared with his Sesame Street faithful.

FULL POST

November 24th, 2010
12:11 PM ET

Wednesday's intriguing people

Amr Khaled

He despises radical Islam as much as anybody, and he has the power to do something about it.

Khaled landed in Sana’a, Yemen, on Tuesday to kick off his training course on moderation for preachers and other leaders. The project will target 70 preachers from across the country.

“The projects will focus on spreading Islamic thought and moderation as well as fighting extremism and violence,” Yemen’s state-run news agency, Saba, reported. “One of them, Balda Tayeba, targets Yemeni young leaders to train them to spread moderation thoughts and projects directing the youth to do good and reform and root out extremism through charitable projects.”

The news agency further reported President Ali Abdullah Saleh met with Khaled and praised the initiative.

Middle East Online said Khaled and the selected preachers will confront extremism and al Qaeda-like ideologies via television interviews, meetings with army leaders and "interviews with some penitent extremists."

Khaled heads Right Start Foundation International, a group whose aims include empowering women, anti-drug and -smoking campaigns and building bridges with non-Muslims.

“[Osama] bin Laden is saying he is talking on behalf of Muslims,” he was once quoted as saying. “Who asked him to talk on behalf of us? Nobody.”

He has spoken extensively on how Muslims can tap their faith and activism to integrate into Western societies, yet he still holds some traditional Muslim views (women should wear headscarves, for example).

Time magazine in 2007 compared the 43-year-old Egyptian layman to Dr. Phil and Rick Warren and said he was among 100 people whose power, talent or moral examples were transforming the world.

FULL POST

November 24th, 2010
11:33 AM ET

SI.com: Bill Clinton hits campaign trail ... for World Cup

Bill Clinton is hitting the campaign trail once again. And it has nothing to do with 2012.

Instead, the former U.S. President is campaigning for 2022. That’s the year Clinton hopes to bring soccer’s greatest spectacle, the World Cup, back to America.

Clinton, the Honorary Chairman of the USA Bid Committee, wrote an essay in Sports Illustrated this week explaining why 2022 is the perfect time for the World Cup to return to the United States for the first time since 1994.

Back then, Clinton was in the oval office and recalled in his essay the thrill of watching “67,000 enthusiastic fans” cheer on the Cup’s opening game at Soldier Field. This past summer, Clinton experienced a similar feeling while in South Africa watching the U.S.’s dramatic run to the round of 16.

Now, Clinton is trying to do more than just be one of the masses who would love to see the U.S. host the Cup once again. Clinton will travel to Zurich next month with the U.S.’s bid committee to help the group make its formal proposal for the 2022 games on Dec. 1.

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Filed under: Sports
November 24th, 2010
11:14 AM ET

New home sales: Down 80 percent from the boom

Don't look to the new home market for glad economic tidings: Home builders had another dismal sales month in October, falling to just one-fifth of the sales rate during the boom five years ago.

New home sales dropped to an annual pace of just 283,000, according to the Commerce Department. That was down 8.1% from a slow September and 28.5% from 12 months ago when the annualized sales rate was at 430,000.

The sales rate is off nearly 80% from the housing boom peak of 1.4 million, set in July 2005. Sales have remained near historic lows this year despite very attractive mortgage interest rates that slash the monthly costs of homeownership.

Helping to depress home sales are stubbornly high unemployment rates, which result in fewer households being formed. Usually, household formation rises 1% a year or more as people get married, come to the states from overseas, and start careers. But the poor economy has meant that many grads can't find jobs, and so they move in with parents instead or double up with peers. Fewer immigrants arrive and couples delay marriage. All of those things diminish home sales.

Read full CNNMoney.com story

 

November 24th, 2010
10:48 AM ET

Pentagon warns news WikiLeaks release could do damage

The Pentagon is warning members of Congress that U.S. relations with its allies could be damaged if the whistleblower group WikiLeaks carries out its plan to publish more classified records on the Internet.

A Defense Department official said the records are U.S. State Department documents containing information on military matters. WikiLeaks indicated Monday it is preparing to release the classified documents soon.

In October, WikiLeaks released nearly 400,000 U.S. military reports about operations in Iraq. In July, it released more than 70,000 reports about the war in Afghanistan. American soldier Bradley Manning is being held in a military jail in Quantico, Virginia, in relation to information which has appeared on WikiLeaks site.

The latest leak was revealed on the group's Twitter page.

"Next release is 7x the size of the Iraq War Logs. Intense pressure over it for months. Keep us strong." FULL STORY

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Filed under: WikiLeaks
November 24th, 2010
10:31 AM ET

Spirit Airlines computer crash causes holiday travel snarl

The Spirit Airlines website as it appears at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

[Updated at 10:31 a.m.] Spirit Airlines is working with the with the company that oversees its computer systems to fix problems with their reservations system, Misty Pinson, Director of Corporate Communications for Spirit Airlines told CNN.

“All flights are operating and we have not had any cancellations. We are very proud of our employees for stepping up and ensuring that our customers are checked in without an automated system.”

Scott Wintner, a spokesperson for the Detroit Metro Airport told CNN, Spirit Airlines have been going back to old pencil and paper system - checking people in manually. Instead of checking people in on a first come, first serve basis, agents have been taking people into groups and checking them in based on their departing times. That has led to agents being unable to give passengers approximate wait times.

And if you're flying Spirit you probably won't be able to get any help online either. As of the time of this posting it seems the computer crash has also led to the website being down.

At 4:30 this morning the line was through the entire terminal earlier this morning, Wintner said, adding he had never seen a line like that at the Detroit airport.

[Posted at 10:03 a.m.] As if there weren't enough concerns about trouble at the airports today - Spirit Airlines computers have crashed on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

FULL POST

November 24th, 2010
10:22 AM ET

DEA outlaws chemicals used to make synthetic marijuana

The DEA has taken emergency action to outlaw chemicals used to make synthetic marijuana, meaning it will be illegal to possess or sell them in the U.S. for at least one year, until further action is taken.

The chemicals used to make "fake pot" products, also known as K2, will be studied by the Department of Health and Human Services to determine whether the chemicals and the products should be permanently controlled, the DEA said.

"Over the past year, smokable herbal blends marketed as being 'legal' and providing a marijuana-like high, have become increasingly popular, particularly among teens and young adults," the DEA said in a statement."These products consist of plant material that has been coated with research chemicals that mimic THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, and are sold at a variety of retail outlets, in head shops and over the Internet.  These chemicals, however, have not been approved by the FDA for human consumption, and there is no oversight of the manufacturing process."

November 24th, 2010
10:08 AM ET

U.S. warships head to Yellow Sea for war games

The USS George Washington sailed toward volatile waters off the Korean peninsula Wednesday for planned military exercises with South Korea in a show of force designed to deter a further escalation of hostilities with North Korea.

The exercises, defensive in nature and a more measured response than the retaliation initially urged by South Korea, could prove provocative after North Korea's shelling of a South Korean island Tuesday, the most serious act of hostility since the end of the Korean war.

The shelling of Yeonpyeong Island killed four people - including two civilians - and left an entire region fearful of an all-out war.

FULL STORY


Filed under: South Korea
November 24th, 2010
10:03 AM ET

Ireland unveils austerity plan

The Irish government Wednesday unveiled its four-year plan to cut public spending and increase taxes - part of the painful measures the country must take to reduce its national debt.

The plan achieves savings through welfare cuts worth 10 billion euros ($13.4 billion) and higher taxes, expected to bring in 5 billion ($6.7 billion), according to the 138-page green booklet titled "National Recovery
Plan 2011-2014."

The minimum wage will be reduced by 1 euro ($1.34) to 7.65 ($10.25) an hour and public sector pay will be reduced by a total of 1.2 billion euros ($1.6 billion) over the four years.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Ireland
November 24th, 2010
09:38 AM ET

On the Radar: 'Brink of war' for Koreas, 'Opt Out' and the TSA

North and South Korea conflict – North Korea is blaming South Korea for driving the two "to the brink of war," a day after the North shelled a South Korean island and killed four people.  North Korea said the South provoked the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island by holding a military drill off their shared coast in the Yellow Sea. One Korea historian called the situation a manufactured crisis on the part of North Korea.

Now we're hearing from survivors of the attack, who said they were dazed and shocked. We also take a look at Seoul, a metropolis that lives in the gun sights of North Korea, one of the most dangerous states on the planet. The border is just 40 miles (64 kilometers) north of downtown Seoul, and although no strangers to North Korean hostility, Seoul residents see this attack as different. And as the story continues to develop, all eyes are on China, after its neighbor North Korea provoked threats of "enormous retaliation."

'Opt Out' day and the TSA – The controversy over Transportation Security Administration measures may peak Wednesday, one of the nation's busiest travel days every year, as a group is urging air travelers to protest at airports nationwide.

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