Police: Man thought connected to Hollywood shooting death is dead
December 1st, 2010
11:24 PM ET

Police: Man thought connected to Hollywood shooting death is dead

A man believed to be connected to the shooting death of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen apparently shot and killed himself at a Hollywood apartment Wednesday evening.

Police shut down a section of Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills as they investigated.

Chasen, 64, died from gunshots fired into her Mercedes-Benz as she turned off Sunset Boulevard on her way home from a star-studded premiere celebration for the movie "Burlesque" in the early morning of November 16.

Read the full CNN.com story


Filed under: Crime
The day's most popular stories
December 1st, 2010
11:09 PM ET

The day's most popular stories

The five most popular stories on CNN.com in the past 24 hours, according to NewsPulse:

Report: Co-pilot moved seat, sent jetliner plummeting: The co-pilot of an Air India Express 737 sent the jetliner into a terrifying 7,000-foot plunge in May when he accidentally hit the control column while adjusting his seat, investigators report.

Senate GOP pledges to block all bills until tax dispute resolved: Senate Republicans promised Wednesday to block legislative action on every issue being considered by the lame-duck Congress until the dispute over extending the Bush-era tax cuts is resolved and an extension of current government funding is approved.

Televangelist says he cheated on wife: The Rev. Marcus Lamb admitted in front of a television audience that he cheated on his wife, an announcement he made to thwart people he said were trying to extort millions of dollars from him.

Storm system threatens eastern United States: A strong storm system Wednesday brought rain and winds that shut down the Statue of Liberty and delayed flights for more than four hours at airports in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

Will the U.S. prosecute Julian Assange?: U.S. authorities may be looking for just the right moment to try to detain WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is the subject of a wanted-persons alert sent to police agencies around the world, CNN's senior legal analyst said Wednesday.


Filed under: Most Popular
Clown set for Brazil's Congress after passing literacy test
December 1st, 2010
10:38 PM ET

Clown set for Brazil's Congress after passing literacy test

Tiririca the clown can take his seat in Brazil's Congress after all, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Francisco Oliveira, who performs as Tiririca, passed a literacy test after opponents alleged he couldn't read or write as law requires of congressmen, said Aloisio Sergio Rezende Silveira, a judge for a regional electoral court in Sao Paulo.

Oliveira was elected to the lower house of Congress in October after appearing in festive campaign ads in full costume. He claimed he didn’t know what federal lawmakers did, and he said voters wouldn't be worse off if he was elected.

“What does a federal representative do? I don't know, but vote for me and I'll tell you,” Oliveira said in one of the ads, according to a Portuguese-to-English translation.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Brazil
Former officer gets 8 years for New Orleans bridge shooting
December 1st, 2010
07:47 PM ET

Former officer gets 8 years for New Orleans bridge shooting

A former New Orleans police officer was sentenced to 8 years in prison Wednesday in connection with a police-involved shooting on the Danziger Bridge that left two civilians dead and four wounded shortly after Hurricane Katrina.

Michael Hunter pleaded guilty in April in federal court to charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice and concealing a known crime. He was sentenced Wednesday to eight years in prison and three years of supervised release.

Hunter and other officers drove to the Danziger Bridge on Sept. 4, 2005, in response to a radio call that said officers on the nearby I-10 bridge had come under fire, the Department of Justice said in a press release.

Hunter admitted that officers on the east side of the Danziger Bridge fired at people even though they did not appear to have any weapons, according to the DOJ. 

Hunter also admitted to firing repeatedly at people who were running away over the bridge even though they did not appear to have weapons or pose a threat to officers as they ran up the bridge.

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Filed under: Crime • Hurricane Katrina • Louisiana
Overheard on CNN.com: Reason for the season
December 1st, 2010
07:31 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Reason for the season

COMMENT OF THE DAY: "The only thing in this article that catches my attention is that it costs $18,500 to promote Christ and $20,000 to denounce him!" - BetweenTheLines
 
An atheist billboard that calls Christmas "a myth" has sparked a growing controversy. The billboard is near the Lincoln Tunnel, a 1.5-mile-long twin tube that connects New Jersey to New York. The full message, which appears with a nativity scene, reads: "You know it's a myth. This season, celebrate reason." A pro-Christmas billboard was erected in response.
  
Readers were largely incensed by the billboard, with commenting atheists debating the particulars of their views and joining the oppositional chorus over the sign's content and cost.

Read more on iReport

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Filed under: Christian • iReport • New York • Religion
Chuck Norris to become honorary Texas Ranger
December 1st, 2010
06:44 PM ET

Chuck Norris to become honorary Texas Ranger

He played one on TV, and now actor Chuck Norris is going to become an honorary Texas Ranger on Thursday.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry will present commemorative certificates to Norris and his brother, Aaron Norris, for their work on the series, "Walker, Texas Ranger," which aired from 1993 to 2001.

The famed actor and martial arts expert played the title role of Cordell Walker, a no-nonsense Texas Ranger with an unorthodox approach to law enforcement.

Norris and his brother, Aaron, were the executive producers of the show, which was filmed in Texas and used real Texas Rangers in an advisory role, Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Tela Mange said.

The Texas Public Safey Commission, which oversees DPS, voted in October to bestow the designation upon the Norris brothers, "to say thank you for bringing honor to the department," Mange said.

"The show reflected well on law enforcement in general, and on the DPS in particular," the commission said in a press release in October.

The Texas Rangers typically take the lead in major crime investigations, unsolved crimes, public corruption investigations, shootings involving officers and border security operations, according to the department's website. They were formed in the 1820s under Stephen F. Austin, the "Father of Texas," to protect settlers.

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Filed under: Showbiz
December 1st, 2010
06:41 PM ET

Wednesday’s WikiLeaks developments


Here are Wednesday's developments relating to WikiLeaks' release this week of U.S. diplomatic cables:

The status of the site and its founder

- WikiLeaks says it has been "ousted" from server space rented from the U.S.-based internet retailer Amazon.com. U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman said Amazon cut off WikiLeaks after inquiries from his aides, and his office called on any other company hosting WikiLeaks to follow suit. WikiLeaks.org wasn't accessible early Wednesday, but it appeared to be reactivated by Wednesday afternoon.

- While some U.S. politicians have called for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to face charges related to the leaks, U.S. authorities may be looking for just the right moment to try to detain him, and prosecutors may already have obtained a sealed arrest warrant for him, said Jeffrey Toobin, CNN's senior legal analyst. Assange is also wanted in Sweden on suspicion of rape and sexual molestation.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Julian Assange • WikiLeaks
Belarus agrees to eliminate stock of enriched uranium
December 1st, 2010
03:05 PM ET

Belarus agrees to eliminate stock of enriched uranium

Belarus has agreed to eliminate its stock of highly enriched uranium by 2012, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs announced Wednesday.

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Filed under: Uncategorized
Major storm system in Northeast mars air traffic
December 1st, 2010
02:00 PM ET

Major storm system in Northeast mars air traffic

A major storm system that spawned several tornadoes across the South on Tuesday and Wednesday is moving up the East Coast, bringing torrential rain widespread flooding the Northeast.

Ground stops were in effect for New York's JFK and LaGuardia airports due to low clouds and heavy rain. Flight delays of more than four hours were also reported at New Jersey's Newark airport Wednesday afternoon. Flight delays over one hour were also being reported at New York's Teterboro and Philadelphia International Airport on Wednesday afternoon.

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Filed under: New Jersey • New York • Pennsylvania • Weather
December 1st, 2010
01:38 PM ET

Soldier accused of misconduct in Afghanistan pleads guilty

The first of seven Army soldiers to face court-martial in connection with the deaths of Afghan citizens pleaded guilty Wednesday to four of five charges.

Attorneys for Staff Sgt. Robert Stevens entered guilty pleas on his behalf at his court-martial at Fort Lewis-McChord, Washington, on charges of serious misconduct in Afghanistan.

He pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about being fired on and having a grenade thrown at his Stryker vehicle. He also admitted to shooting "in the direction of" two Afghan males, throwing a grenade from his vehicle while there was no threat to him or other soldiers, and not disposing of the grenade properly.

He pleaded not guilty to conspiring to commit aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon on three Afghan males.

Before issuing a verdict, the investigating officer in the case will hear
testimony from Stevens and nine witnesses scheduled to testify.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Justice • War
NCAA clears Auburn star Cam Newton to play
December 1st, 2010
01:19 PM ET

NCAA clears Auburn star Cam Newton to play

The NCAA suspended Auburn University football star Cam Newton for one day during an investigation of recruiting violations, but the Heisman Trophy candidate's eligibility was reinstated Wednesday.

Newton's father, the Rev. Cecil Newton, and another person, who wasn't named, tried to market Newton "as a part of a pay-for-play scenario in return for Newton's commitment to attend college and play football," the NCAA said.

Auburn has limited Newton's father's access to the athletic program and Mississippi State - which tried to recruit Newton - has cut off relations with the other person.

Auburn's football team is undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the BCS poll, thanks largely to Newton's running and passing, but pay-to-play allegations have dogged the team all season.

The NCAA investigation concluded that although his father violated the rules, the player did nothing wrong and should be allowed to continue to play.

"The conduct of Cam Newton's father and the involved individual is unacceptable and has no place in the SEC or in intercollegiate athletics," said Mike Slive, Southeastern Conference commissioner. "The actions taken by Auburn University and Mississippi State University make it clear this behavior will not be tolerated in the SEC."

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Filed under: College football • Sports
Storm in Georgia was tornado, weather service confirms
December 1st, 2010
12:57 PM ET

Storm in Georgia was tornado, weather service confirms

The damage to 56 homes and one business in Buford, Georgia, was caused by an EF-2 tornado with winds of 130 mph, according to Steve Nelson, the science and operations officer for the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Peachtree City, Georgia.

Twelve homes were heavily damaged, but no one was hurt, authorities said.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Georgia • Tornadoes • Weather
SI.com: Yankees, Jeter closing in on contract
December 1st, 2010
12:24 PM ET

SI.com: Yankees, Jeter closing in on contract

It's plenty cold outside, but baseball's hot stove is beginning to heat up this winter.

And so are talks between the New York Yankees and shortstop Derek Jeter, which earlier this offseason were as cold and distant as a spring training game in Greenland.

SI.com's Jon Heyman reports that there is new optimism between the parties after conversations and meetings held over the past few days. The negotiations have made such an about-face, Heyman writes, that the two sides could even strike a deal in the coming days.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Baseball • Basketball • Sports
Gotta Watch: Butter creche, fired boss, hitman, hostage
December 1st, 2010
11:54 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Butter creche, fired boss, hitman, hostage

Spreading the joy of Christmas

People have reported seeing the face of Jesus on a piece of toast, so that may explain a Nativity scene carved entirely of butter. The artist says she wants people to feel something when they look at it. Maybe that something is hunger.

FULL POST

Did E.T. finally phone home?
December 1st, 2010
11:29 AM ET

Did E.T. finally phone home?

The truth is out there.

NASA is planning to hold a news conference Thursday "to discuss an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life."

The Web is abuzz with speculation about what that cryptic phrase might mean.

"Our guess is that this astrobiological discovery will have something to do with water, evolutionary biology, and aquatic bacteria," the Geek Tech bloggers at PCWorld say.

Gaming and fantasy site Kotaku thinks it could mean life-friendly conditions - or even living organisms - have been found on Saturn's moon Rhea.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Science • Space
Wednesday's intriguing people
December 1st, 2010
11:01 AM ET

Wednesday's intriguing people

Jake Glaser

More than 25 years ago, Jake Glaser's mother unknowingly infected him in utero with HIV. His older sister, Ariel, also had been accidentally infected.

Elizabeth Glaser, the wife of TV actor Paul Michael Glaser, became the nation's best-known AIDS activist, making a dramatic speech at the 1992 Democratic Convention.

Both she and Ariel died of the disease.

FULL POST

Wednesday's live video events
December 1st, 2010
08:52 AM ET

Wednesday's live video events

9:15 am ET - World AIDS Day - World AIDS Day is about raising awareness to tackle HIV prejudice and help stop the spread of HIV. CNN.com is live at Atlanta’s Centennial Park where volunteers will be laying out parts of the AIDS quilt and stitching panels on a quilt.

9:30 am ET - Mortgage servicing hearing - The Senate Banking Committee holds a hearing on problems in the mortgage servicing industry.

FULL POST


Filed under: On CNN.com today
American Airlines flight goes off end of runway in Montreal
December 1st, 2010
12:58 AM ET

American Airlines flight goes off end of runway in Montreal

An American Airlines jet with 111 passengers on board ran off the runway at Montreal's Trudeau International Airport Tuesday evening, an airport official said.

There were no injuries and the plane was not seriously damaged, according to airport spokeswoman Anne Marcotte. All of the passengers were evacuated to an airport terminal.

Flight 802, a Boeing 737 that originated in Dallas, Texas, went off the end of the runway around 8 p.m.

The cause of the incident is not known, or whether rain was a factor, Marcotte said. The Canadian Transportation Safety Board will handle the investigation.

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Filed under: Air travel • Canada