Teena Marie's death sends twinge through Twitter
December 26th, 2010
10:16 PM ET

Teena Marie's death sends twinge through Twitter

The death of award-winning singer-songwriter Teena Marie hit the Twitterverse hard Sunday night.

The first tweet about the singer’s death hit the popular microblogging site around 8:30 p.m.

In an hour’s time, Marie's name was the top trending topic, with condolences being tweeted from around the world.

“I can't believe Teena Marie died. I'm super sad,” tweeted user HopeVann.

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Filed under: Celebrity • Showbiz • Twitter
Singer Teena Marie dead at 54
December 26th, 2010
08:43 PM ET

Singer Teena Marie dead at 54

Teena Marie, an award-winning singer-songwriter known for her R&B
performances, has died, her manager said Sunday. The performer was 54.

Marie was found dead by her daughter after apparently dying in her sleep,
manager Mike Gardner said.

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Filed under: Celebrity • Music • Showbiz
Winter storm warnings issued along East Coast
December 26th, 2010
08:05 PM ET

Winter storm warnings issued along East Coast

10:30 p.m. - Flights in and out of LaGuardia Airport in New York City have been suspended because of extreme weather conditions.

10:08 p.m. - Eight to 12 inches of snow expected in Philadelphia.

9:20 p.m. - Flights in and out of JFK International Airport in New York have been suspended, CNN has confirmed.

7:55 p.m. - A blizzard warning is in effect for Boston. Up to 11 inches of snow is expected Sunday night. All travel is discouraged.

A travel alert is in effect for the New York City area. Up to 20 inches is expected Sunday night.

Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey is closed.

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Filed under: Weather
Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days
December 26th, 2010
07:13 PM ET

Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days

With the Last Big Snow Storm of 2010 churning toward the Northeast, the wintry weather is expected to wreak havoc on homeward-bound holiday travelers.  Governors on Sunday declared a state of emergency in Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts in advance of the approaching storm. The mayors of Philadelphia and Boston also called snow emergencies. Will holiday travelers headed back to the East Coast be able to fly out? Here's a look at this and some of the other stories we plan to follow this week:

Cities dig out after post-holiday blizzard

The Northeast prepared for an advancing storm system as the countdown to the new year began. Blizzard warnings were scheduled to take effect for most of the East Coast north of Washington through Sunday and until Monday night. Because of inclement weather, the NFL rescheduled a game between the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles, originally slated for Sunday night, at 8:20 p.m. Tuesday.

In new land, Zimbabweans fight for new life

Zimbabweans fleeing their country’s repressive regime and disastrous economy have until Friday to legalize their stay in South Africa following an accord between the nations to suspend all deportations of illegal Zimbabwean immigrants.

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NFL postpones Eagles-Vikings game until Tuesday
December 26th, 2010
12:29 PM ET

NFL postpones Eagles-Vikings game until Tuesday

The NFL has postponed Sunday night's football game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Philadelphia Eagles due to the impending snowstorm barreling down on the northeastern United States.

The announcement came shortly after Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter declared a snow emergency as a blizzard moved its way up the east coast.

"Mother Nature is trying to wreak havoc on the NFL schedule - and it involves the Minnesota Vikings again," a post on NFL.com read.

The Vikings game against the New York Giants during week 14 was moved to Detroit after the Metrodome roof collapsed because of heavy snow. The weather in Minnesota also forced them to play their next game at the University of Minnesota's stadium.

The NFL had been contemplating all day whether to postpone the Eagles-Vikings game, prompting SI.com's Peter King to tweet "The prospect of postponing a game because of snow? That's what I call absurd."

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Filed under: Pennsylvania • Pro football • Sports • Weather
China again hikes interest rate in inflation fight
December 26th, 2010
11:44 AM ET

China again hikes interest rate in inflation fight

China's central bank has raised its interest rate for the second time in just over two months as the nation fights to keep inflation in check.

The People's Bank of China said on its website that it is raising the benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point beginning Sunday. The move increased the one-year lending rate to 5.81% and one-year deposit rate to 2.75%.

China last raised interest rates on Oct. 20 - the first increase in nearly three years, according to state run media.

Higher food prices continue to be the main driver of inflation in China, and rate hikes were expected as the country tries to reel in its red-hot economy.

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Report: Iran execution halted
December 26th, 2010
09:49 AM ET

Report: Iran execution halted

[Updated at 9:49 a.m.] The lawyer for a Kurdish-Iranian law student who was scheduled to be executed Sunday says the sentence has been halted, pending an investigation of what his legal team says are irregularities in the case, the semi-official Iran Students' News Agency reported.

Official state media was silent on the matter.

[Posted at 9:15 a.m.] Human rights organizations have appealed to Iranian authorities to call off Sunday's scheduled execution of a Kurdish-Iranian law student charged with security-related crimes.

"We are urgently appealing to the Iranian authorities to show clemency, halt the imminent execution of Habibollah Latifi, and commute his death sentence," Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International's director for the Middle East and North Africa, said Saturday.

Latifi is one of at least 16 Kurds facing execution on various national security-related charges, including moharebeh - which translates to "enmity against God" - according to published reports.

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Filed under: Crime • Iran • Justice • Religion
London train drivers go on strike over pay
December 26th, 2010
09:12 AM ET

London train drivers go on strike over pay

Drivers of London's underground train system went on strike Sunday in a dispute over holiday pay that is expected to affect the busy holiday shopping season.

ASLEF, a trade union for the drivers, had asked for triple pay and a day off for drivers working on December 26, a national holiday.

"Drivers felt they shouldn't have to work day after Christmas, and if they do, they should get the extra pay," said Chris Proctor, a spokesman for the trade union.

Transport officials turned down the request. Boxing Day falls on Sunday, which means the holiday will be on Monday and drivers can get extra pay then, the transport officials said. Striking drivers plan to return to work Monday.

"The completely unnecessary strike action is likely to cause significant disruption, but London Underground is working to ensure as many services as possible will operate," London Underground officials said in a statement. "London's 700 bus routes and some river services will be in operation."

Unions signed an agreement that gives them increased leave time and pay on condition they work some holidays, including Boxing Day, London Underground said.

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Playboy's Hugh Hefner engaged to 24-year-old former playmate
December 26th, 2010
08:48 AM ET

Playboy's Hugh Hefner engaged to 24-year-old former playmate

Who says May-Miss December romances don't work?

Hugh Hefner, the 84-year-old Viagra-popping founder of Playboy, is tying the knot for the third time.

This time the lucky gal is 24-year-old Crystal Harris, December 2009 playmate of the month.

“When I gave Crystal the ring, she burst into tears,” Hefner posted on his Twitter account. "This is the happiest Christmas weekend in memory."

“Yes, the ring I gave Crystal is an engagement ring," he clarified later for those asking if it was merely a Christmas present or a step forward for the couple.

Hefner posted that he and Harris spent the night before Christmas watching a movie, then exchanging gifts. Hefner had a few for his girlfriend, which Harris tweeted pictures of, including the legendary diamond Playboy watch.

His big gift was the engagement ring. It was a "memorable Christmas Eve together," Hefner tweeted.

Video: The world's ultimate playboy gets engaged

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8 American tourists killed in Egypt bus crash
December 26th, 2010
06:22 AM ET

8 American tourists killed in Egypt bus crash

Eight American tourists - six women and two men - were killed in a traffic accident Sunday while on a tour bus in Aswan, Egypt, the country's interior ministry said.

An additional 19 American tourists and two Egyptians - the bus driver and a tour guide - were injured.

A total of 116 American tourists were traveling in three tour buses. The interior ministry said the middle bus - carrying 37 of the tourists - crashed into a parked dump truck loaded with sand.

Aswan is one of Egypt's popular tourist sites and is about 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) away from Cairo.

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Filed under: Egypt • World