Mexican town's last police agent kidnapped
December 29th, 2010
04:49 PM ET

Mexican town's last police agent kidnapped

The last remaining police agent in Guadalupe, Mexico, was kidnapped last week, a spokesman for the Chihuahua state attorney general's office said.

Authorities are trying to find Ericka Gandara, who was kidnapped from her home in Guadalupe around 6 a.m. on Thursday, Chihuahua attorney general’s office spokesman Arturo Sandoval said.

Her family did not file a missing-person report, but authorities learned of her disappearance from friends.

The town of Guadalupe is on the outskirts of Juarez, a city in and around which two cartels have been engaged in a violent turf war since 2008.

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Filed under: Juarez • Mexico
The Most Intriguing Person of 2010 is ...
December 29th, 2010
02:23 PM ET

The Most Intriguing Person of 2010 is ...

Sorry! You'll have to wait until Thursday to find out who CNN.com's audience voted to be the most interesting figure of the year. Online ballots were cast beginning Friday until the wee hours of Wednesday morning. And oh boy, did you guys tell us who kept you guessing. Who stirred the most controversy? This is a person who kept you Googling for more, the person who got your attention for doing something good or bad or something in between. To see who we picked throughout the year, check out our This Just In Most Intriguing posts.

Who will be standing behind the curtain? The hours are counting down ...

NFL fines Brett Favre $50,000
December 29th, 2010
01:33 PM ET

NFL fines Brett Favre $50,000

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre was fined $50,000 by the National Football League for failing to cooperate with an investigation into whether he sent sexually explicit messages to women, the league said Wednesday.

However, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, based on the evidence available, "could not conclude that Favre violated league policies relating to workplace conduct," the league said.

Favre was alleged to have sent inappropriate messages to Jenn Sterger, a female employee of the New York Jets while he was on the Jets roster in 2008.

"The forensic analysis could not establish that Favre sent the objectionable photographs to Sterger," the league's statement said.

It also said Sterger had not engaged in any inappropriate activity.

See CNN's full coverage of the NFL's decision
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Filed under: Brett Favre • Pro football • Sports
Suspended Ohio State players apologize
December 29th, 2010
12:42 PM ET

Suspended Ohio State players apologize

The five Ohio State football players who were suspended last week for the first five games of the 2011 season publicly apologized Tuesday, CNN affiliate WBNS reported.

Quarterback Terrelle Pryor, wide receiver DeVier Posey, tailback Daniel "Boom" Herron (pictured above), offensive lineman Mike Adams and defensive tackle Solomon Thomas took turns speaking at the university's Woody Hayes Athletic Center, most of them without notes.

"I was very young and immature," Pryor said. "I am deeply sorry."

The players were suspended because they received improper benefits for selling awards, gifts and university apparel.

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Filed under: College football • Ohio • Sports • U.S.
Burst water pipes leave Northern Ireland parched
December 29th, 2010
11:48 AM ET

Burst water pipes leave Northern Ireland parched

An estimated 40,000 people in Northern Ireland have been left without running water for as long as 10 days because of pipes that burst in the cold weather, officials said Wednesday.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service and charities including the Red Cross have been drafted to help distribute emergency supplies after what the Belfast government called "an unprecedented number of burst pipes."

Almost 80 towns and villages across Northern Ireland have been affected, and government company Northern Ireland Water has warned the disruption could continue for several more days.

FULL STORY
Wednesday's intriguing people
December 29th, 2010
11:32 AM ET

Wednesday's intriguing people

Laurent Gbagbo

The president of Ivory Coast is refusing to give up the office despite a ruling by his own country's Independent Electoral Commission that he lost his bid for re-election November 28.

The international community, including the United States, the United Nations and the African Union, has recognized challenger Alassane Ouattara as the winner and urged Gbagbo, pictured above, to cede power.

Ouattara has started making appointments to the Cabinet and to diplomatic positions, but Gbagbo has threatened to expel the ambassadors of countries that recognize them.

Gbagbo said last week he would expel U.N. peacekeepers, but U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the troops would stay, and they have.

The presidents of three neighboring countries met Tuesday with each candidate, but no details emerged. They said Wednesday they would return Monday to continue working on the crisis.

Gbagbo was first elected in October 2000, after Ouattara was banned from running for the office. Ouattara, a former prime minister, refused to recognize Gbagbo's government.

A failed 2002 coup attempt led to a civil war that left the country divided into the south, ruled by the government, and the north, controlled by rebels, until a 2007 accord resolved the conflict.

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Injuries reported in explosion in Michigan
December 29th, 2010
10:56 AM ET

Injuries reported in explosion in Michigan

Police are investigating an explosion in a building in Wayne, Michigan, a western suburb of Detroit, authorities said.

A city official said a gas explosion had occurred at a downtown furniture store, resulting in injuries and damage.

CNN affiliate WDIV reported that several people remained trapped inside the store.

Another CNN affiliate, WXYZ, reported the explosion at the William C. Franks Furniture store could be heard two miles away.

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Filed under: Michigan • U.S.
Gotta watch: Year in deer; London lights up for 2012
December 29th, 2010
10:29 AM ET

Gotta watch: Year in deer; London lights up for 2012

Deer run amok in 2010 – Pesky cloven hooves keep deer from participating in most human activities, but that doesn't mean they won't try their darnedest to make a purchase at a local sundry, pony up to the bar for a brew or make a cash deposit at a neighborhood bank. CNN has covered some of the most important events in world history, but gathering dust in the back of the library is a wealth of curious gems featuring deer in their apparent most natural state – breaking and entering into our hearts. This video is a compilation of this year's best.

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Strong earthquake hits Vanuatu in Pacific
December 29th, 2010
10:22 AM ET

Strong earthquake hits Vanuatu in Pacific

A strong earthquake rattled Vanuatu in the southern Pacific on Wednesday, the U.S. Geological Survey reports.

The epicenter for the magnitude 6.6 quake was about 72 miles west of Isangel at a depth of 31 kilometers (19 miles).

There were no immediate reports of damage. No tsunami warning was issued.

A stronger earthquake struck the island Sunday.

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Filed under: Earthquake • Tsunami • Vanuatu • World
On the Radar: Billy the Kid, snowy East Coast, Australian floods
December 29th, 2010
09:15 AM ET

On the Radar: Billy the Kid, snowy East Coast, Australian floods

Billy the Kid pardon? New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has promised to make a decision by Friday on whether to grant a posthumous pardon to notorious Old West gunslinger Billy the Kid.

Richardson will be deciding only the matter of a promise to the outlaw made by territorial Gov. Lew Wallace, Richardson spokesman Eric Witt said. "We're not offering a blanket pardon for everything he did."

Wallace had promised to grant the Kid (who also went by the name William Bonney) amnesty for the fatal shooting of Lincoln County Sheriff William Brady and other "misdeeds" if he agreed to testify before a grand jury investigating another murder. Bonney cooperated, but the pardon didn't happen.

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Filed under: Australia • Billy the Kid • Crime • History • New Mexico • U.S. • Winter weather
Police: Man attacks teen over cell phone on plane
December 29th, 2010
03:02 AM ET

Police: Man attacks teen over cell phone on plane

A 68-year-old Idaho man has been charged with misdemeanor battery after police say he struck a teen who would not turn off his phone while the plane they were in was taxiing for takeoff.

The incident took place Tuesday evening on a Southwest Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Boise, Idaho, said Lt. Kent Lipple of the Boise police.

The man, Russell Miller, was arrested after the plane landed, Lipple said.

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Filed under: Air travel
Texas police officer among 3 killed in apartment shooting
December 29th, 2010
01:42 AM ET

Texas police officer among 3 killed in apartment shooting

An Arlington, Texas, police officer was among three people killed following a shooting at an apartment complex Tuesday night, officials said.

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Filed under: Crime • Texas
The day's most popular stories
December 28th, 2010
10:41 PM ET

The day's most popular stories

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

Man says wife's death was sex fantasy accident: Arthur Sedille was up-front with police: He would often put a gun to his wife's head during fantasy sex play at their Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, home. But Sedille said he didn't know the gun was loaded when he aimed it at his wife's head and pulled the handgun's slide back during sex December 21. Sedille, 23, is now facing the possibility of a murder charge.

Where are the top destinations for 2011? The time to plan your journey is now. To set your itinerary in motion, we sought out recommendations from three travel experts: Robert Reid, U.S. travel editor for Lonely Planet; Pauline Frommer, creator of Pauline Frommer's guidebooks; and Martin Rapp, senior vice president of leisure sales at Altour.

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Filed under: Child safety • Courts • Crime • Justice • Most Popular
Numbers snowball because of snowfall
December 28th, 2010
10:26 PM ET

Numbers snowball because of snowfall

The epic snowstorm that whacked the Northeast after the Christmas holiday has involved a staggering number of resources.  Tens of thousands of air travelers have been stranded in airports. Tens of thousands of homes along the East Coast were without power.

A look at the numbers:

50,000: Number of people that the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency estimated were without power as of Monday night.

9,726: Estimated number of flights canceled among AirTran, American, Continental, Delta, JetBlue, United, US Airways, Spirit and Southwest.

8,000: Tons of salt on hand in Portland, Maine, to clear 566 miles of road and 82 miles of sidewalk.

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Filed under: New Jersey • New York • Weather
U.S. college baseball star charged with rape in Bahamas
December 28th, 2010
08:54 PM ET

U.S. college baseball star charged with rape in Bahamas

A 20-year-old Florida International University baseball star and four of his friends were charged last week with the rape of two females in Nassau, Bahamas, police said Monday.

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Filed under: Crime • World
Salmonella outbreak linked to sprouts has sickened nearly 100 people
December 28th, 2010
08:47 PM ET

Salmonella outbreak linked to sprouts has sickened nearly 100 people

A salmonella outbreak linked to alfalfa sprouts has sickened some 94 people in 16 states and the District of Colombia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday.

Health officials said those first cases became known November 1, with many getting ill after eating alfalfa sprouts in products from Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches outlets. The Food and Drug Administration said Monday that those vegetables came from Tiny Greens Organic Farm.

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Filed under: Food • Uncategorized
Airline passengers unloaded after 11 hours waiting on JFK tarmac
December 28th, 2010
08:28 PM ET

Airline passengers unloaded after 11 hours waiting on JFK tarmac

Airline passengers who spent 11 hours stuck on the tarmac at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York were unloaded Tuesday afternoon in the latest example of the frustrating effects of a massive blizzard that delayed thousands of would-be holiday travelers.

"There were a lot of people on the plane crying," said passenger Christina Edgar. "It was really a tough situation."

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Air travel • Travel
Economic reports make stocks a mixed bag
December 28th, 2010
08:05 PM ET

Economic reports make stocks a mixed bag

A look at highlights from the day's business news headlines:

Stocks end the day mixed

U.S. stocks ended the day mixed Tuesday as investors mulled a disappointing report on consumer confidence and ongoing weakness in the housing market.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended the day up 20 points, or 0.18%, with about two-thirds of the blue chip index's 30 components advancing. Chevron and Hewlett Packard posted the biggest gains, while American Express, Home Depot and Caterpillar led the declines.

The S&P 500 rose nearly one point, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq drifted down 4 points, or 0.16%.

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Filed under: Economy
Michigan man could serve 5 years for reading wife's email
December 28th, 2010
07:42 PM ET

Michigan man could serve 5 years for reading wife's email

For a Michigan man, reading his then-wife's email account was not only eye-opening, it may be criminal, according to prosecutors in Oakland County, Michigan.

Leon Walker, 33, is charged with a felony after accessing his spouse's Gmail account, according to the Detroit Free Press.

While the case may seem like a legal gray area, prosecutors are going after Walker based on a Michigan statute usually used in identify theft cases, the Free Press reported.

"This is one of those cases where it seems the facts aren't in dispute," John R. Levine, an expert on cybersecurity and co-author of  "Internet Security for Dummies," told CNN Tuesday.

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Filed under: Google • Michigan • Security breaches
Tweet or meet: Local officials handling snow PR in totally different ways
December 28th, 2010
06:16 PM ET

Tweet or meet: Local officials handling snow PR in totally different ways

It’s a tale of two cities and one heck of a storm that has dumped more than a foot of snow on New York City and Newark, New Jersey. Both cities are struggling to respond to the needs of their residents.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg took the traditional path, holding news conferences assuring the residents that life and business goes on despite some minor inconveniences.

Meanwhile, Newark Mayor Cory Booker has added social media to his arsenal of snowplows.

Booker is using Twitter to communicate directly with residents to help get roads cleared and people who are stuck in the snow some assistance.

Here’s an example of a Twitter exchange between the mayor and a Newark resident.

After one motorist asked on Twitter for a street to be cleared,  Booker tweeted: "f ur stuck DM me ur #," before sending a crew to dig the motorist out.

Booker also promised to send a road crew to clear streets around a hospital, after someone tweeted that it had not been adequately cleared.

"Sending team immediately back there 2 ensure hospital is clear," Booker tweeted.

A resident even twitpic'd a photo of a city crew clearing a roadway, and thanked the mayor.

"You are so welcome!" tweeted Booker.

Two mayors, one problem. Cleaning up the snow one news conference and one tweet at a time.

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Filed under: New Jersey • New York • Weather
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