Dollars & Sense: Apple after Steve; prepping for China's president
The iPad has been a winner for Apple.
January 17th, 2011
11:36 PM ET

Dollars & Sense: Apple after Steve; prepping for China's president

A roundup of today's CNNMoney news:

Apple is poised to shatter sales records: Wall Street analysts estimate Apple raked in sales of more than $24 billion during the last quarter, driven by strong iPad demand, and 2011 is full of bright spots. Steve Jobs may be stepping down, but he's leaving the company in great shape. Apple COO Tim Cook will take the reins and everyone is wondering if he can keep the Jobs momentum going.

Senators talk tough on China currency: A bill introduced by U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer and two other Democrats would impose penalties, including possible tariffs, on nations that manipulate their currencies. "China's currency is like a boot on the throat of America's economic recovery," Schumer said.

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Filed under: Business • Dollars & Sense • Economy
Brighten a Moscow inmate's day with the click of a mouse
January 17th, 2011
11:21 PM ET

Brighten a Moscow inmate's day with the click of a mouse

Giving gifts of imported cheeses, smoked meats and chocolates to inmates in Moscow probably has never been easier.

Relatives of inmates at Moscow's detention centers can use a new online shop to pay for gifts to be delivered to their cells, official Russian news agency Itar-Tass reported Sunday.

The gifts include fruit, vegetables, electric heaters, 21 brands of cigarettes, and "nine brands of cheese – from the cheap Druzhba processed cheese to imported cheeses," the report said.

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Winfrey: Losing baby as a teen was 'my second chance'
January 17th, 2011
09:18 PM ET

Winfrey: Losing baby as a teen was 'my second chance'

In the inaugural interview on "Piers Morgan Tonight," talk show queen Oprah Winfrey recalled contemplating suicide at 14 because she was pregnant, and how she feels she was given a second chance when she lost the baby.

"I thought, 'Before the baby was born, I’m going to have to kill myself,' " she told Piers Morgan during the interview, which aired on CNN Monday night, citing the stigma of being an unwed mother at the time, and her father's view of unwed mothers.

Her mother in Milwaukee sent her to live with her father in Nashville, and he didn't know she was pregnant.

"My father ... said to me as I'm standing in the kitchen listening to him, 'These are the rules of the house, you're going to obey the rules, you have a 10 o'clock curfew, and I would rather see a daughter of mine floating down the Cumberland River … than to bring shame on this family and the indecency of an illegitimate child.' "

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Nancy Grace’s goal: Find 50 people in 50 days
January 17th, 2011
08:46 PM ET

Nancy Grace’s goal: Find 50 people in 50 days

Nancy Grace's new show, "Nancy Grace: America's Missing," debuts tonight on HLN.

Nancy is dedicated to finding missing persons in the United States.  The program, which relies heavily upon audience participation, urges viewers to find people as well as bring attention to victims whose stories never made it to the airwaves.

Nancy and her team are utilizing social media, CNN iReport, phone lines and their show to achieve the goal of finding 50 people in 50 days.

Tonight’s debut program will feature the case of  Lindsey Baum, a 10-year-old girl from Washington state who went missing in 2009 as she walked home from a friend’s house.

CNN spoke to Nancy just prior to the show’s live premiere.

CNN: What inspired you to focus your show solely on missing persons?

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Suspect in Philadelphia stranglings arrested
January 17th, 2011
07:11 PM ET

Suspect in Philadelphia stranglings arrested

Police in Pennsylvania say they have arrested a man suspected of being a serial strangler.

Antonio Rodriguez was arrested after DNA testing linked him to the sexual assaults and murders of at least three women in a central Philadelphia neighborhood, Detective Justin Frank said.

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After Brazil flooding, loyalty to the dead
January 17th, 2011
06:10 PM ET

After Brazil flooding, loyalty to the dead

As the death toll from devastating flooding in Brazil continues to rise, a single picture drives home the sense of loss.

Leao, a medium-sized brown mutt,  lies next to the grave of her owner, Cristina Maria Cesario Santana, who died in the catastrophic landslides caused by heavy rain.  This AFP/Getty picture was taken on Saturday, the second consecutive day that the dog refused to leave the woman's grave at the cemetery in Teresopolis, near Rio de Janiero.

Brazilians are bracing for more rain, fearing more landslides after waves of muddy water swallowed towns in the country's worst flood disaster on record.

At least 655 deaths were reported in a mountainous region of Rio de Janeiro state, northeast of the city of Rio.

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Arizona shooting survivor sorry for outburst, companion says
James Eric Fuller, 63, was involuntarily committed after he made threats against a Tea Party member.
January 17th, 2011
04:19 PM ET

Arizona shooting survivor sorry for outburst, companion says

A man who was wounded in the January 8 Arizona shootings "is apologetic and very sad" about his outburst at a recent town hall meeting in which he told a Tea Party leader "you're dead," a companion of the shooting victim said Monday.

The shooting victim, James Eric Fuller, gave Dorothy DeRuyter liberty to speak on his behalf, she told CNN.

"He wishes he could go back and do things differently," DeRuyter said.

Fuller, 63, was arrested and sent for a psychiatric evaluation after the town hall event in Tucson on Saturday. His comment came when the town hall discussion turned toward the issue of gun control, Pima County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jason Ogan said.

ABC News reported that Fuller became agitated and mumbled something that prompted him to be detained by police. Footage showed most of the audience filtering out, seemingly unaware, during the confrontation.

Fuller was one of 19 people, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who were shot at a political event at a Tucson supermarket on January 8. Six people died; Giffords, who was shot in the head, was upgraded to serious condition at a hospital on Sunday.

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'America's Missing': After leaving friend's house, Lindsey Baum disappears
Lindsey Baum was last seen on June 26, 2009.
January 17th, 2011
03:36 PM ET

'America's Missing': After leaving friend's house, Lindsey Baum disappears

Editor's note: HLN is airing a special "Nancy Grace: America’s Missing" with the goal of trying to find 50 people over the next 50 days. Nancy Grace will take a look at several cases across the country in hopes of  helping to solve them. This is the first case.

Ten-year-old Lindsey Baum was at her friend's home six blocks in away in McCleary, Washington, on June 26, 2009, when her friend's mom thought she should begin the walk home before it got too dark.

She was last seen at 9:15 p.m. in the neighborhood and never made it home.

Baum’s story will be the first installment featured Monday night on "Nancy Grace: America’s Missing" live at 9 p.m. ET only on HLN.

For more information on Baum, her description, and information to contact authorities, visit Nancy Grace's blog.

iReport: Your stories of missing loved ones

Other resources:
FindLindseyBaum.com

CUE Missing Persons: The hunt for Lindsey Baum

CNN affiliate KATU's coverage of Lindsey Baum case:

Police focusing on person of interest in missing girl case
More surveillance video released in search for Lindsey Baum

Search still active for Lindsey Baum

Lindsey Baum's disappearance still a mystery

Mother's heartfelt plea to get 'her baby back'
North Carolina honors student Phylicia Barnes, 17, disappeared three days after Christmas.
January 17th, 2011
02:34 PM ET

Mother's heartfelt plea to get 'her baby back'

Editor's note: CNN anchor Don Lemon talks about how the mother of missing 17-year-old Phylicia Barnes made an emotional plea for her daughter's safe return.

I first heard about Phylicia Barnes on Twitter and Facebook over the holidays.  The North Carolina high school honor student had gone to visit her half sister in Baltimore and disappeared three days after Christmas.

Viewers were asking why they hadn't seen her story on CNN. I didn't have an answer for them. Unfortunately, I was on vacation and spending time with my family. But I immediately began to research her story. I found a few articles in the Baltimore papers but not much else.

In those reports, police speculated that the lack of national media response was because the 17-year-old is African-American. They were calling it Baltimore's version of  Natalee Holloway, the Alabama teenager who disappeared in Aruba. But still not much national attention was given.

Case of missing N.C. honor student still a mystery

So, when I returned to work, I asked my producers to reach out to Barnes' family and police in Baltimore. Both agreed to appear on CNN to answer questions.

I met Barnes' mother, Janice Sallis, shortly before we went on air. She gave me a long hug and thanked me for covering her daughter's disappearance on CNN. Her grief was palpable. I couldn't imagine how she was even able to get out of bed and travel to CNN and appear on national television. She said it was only through the grace of God that she was able to make it through the past few weeks, not knowing where her child was and whether she was even alive.

Sallis told me and anyone listening that she believes her daughter is still "with us." Sallis said she believes her daughter is alive but fears she is being tortured somewhere.

And in a surprising moment, Sallis turned to the camera and made a direct and emotional plea to anyone with information on her daughter's disappearance. It was stunning and sad to watch. But I'm glad she did it.

Although police suspect the teenager would have received more coverage if she were white, her mother didn't want to dwell on that aspect. She said at this point race and social issues weren't important to her. She just "wants her baby back."

Let's hope that happens.

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'Baby Doc' Duvalier huddles in Haitian hotel; press conference canceled
January 17th, 2011
02:12 PM ET

'Baby Doc' Duvalier huddles in Haitian hotel; press conference canceled

Former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier remained huddled inside his hotel Monday, as the reasons behind his unexpected return to Haiti and what he hoped to accomplish remained unclear.

Duvalier returned to his homeland Sunday after some 25 years in exile, adding uncertainty into an already turbulent situation.

A scheduled press conference at his hotel Monday was canceled at the last minute because the hotel was not equipped to handle the crowd, and no other location could be found, Henry Robert Sterlin, a Duvalier associate, told reporters.

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Giffords undergoes successful operation to repair eye socket
U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords had a successful surgery Monday.
January 17th, 2011
01:43 PM ET

Giffords undergoes successful operation to repair eye socket

The congresswoman wounded in the January 8 mass shooting in Arizona underwent a successful procedure Saturday to repair a fracture in the roof of her right eye socket, doctors said Monday.

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords tolerated the two-hour, minor operation well, and is "back at that same baseline where she was before surgery," said Dr. Michael Lemole, chief of neurosurgery at University Medical Center.

The operation was necessary, he said, because bone fragments were pushing down on Giffords' eye. When she arrived at the hospital shortly after the shooting, doctors "did not want to do the full repair" because she was in critical condition.

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Former president's fingerprints trip up Nigerian voter registration machines
Nigeria's voter registration machines reportedly wouldn't recognize ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo's fingerprints.
January 17th, 2011
01:37 PM ET

Former president's fingerprints trip up Nigerian voter registration machines

Voter registration kicked off in Nigeria this weekend, and observers are hoping it's not a harbinger of things to come in April.

According to newspaper reports, former President Olusegun Obasanjo experienced the concerns of many Nigerians when “direct data-capturing machines” rejected his fingerprints.

The Nigerian Compass reported that after the first machine failed to register the ex-president, officials with the Independent National Electoral Commission tried two other scanners, which also malfunctioned.

Worried that Obasanjo’s inability to register could send an ugly message to an already frustrated nation, commission officials pleaded for more time and found an expert who figured out how to register Obasanjo, the Punch, another newspaper, reported.

Obasanjo described the hitches as a “hiccup in the process” and asked Nigerians not to castigate the election commission or electoral process because problems should be expected with any new program.

Senate President David Mark had harsher words after he and his wife, Helen, could not be registered. The newspaper Next reported that he spent three hours trying to register, left, returned hours later and found that the machines were still malfunctioning.

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NFL: Brett Favre officially files retirement papers
Brett Favre holds the record for regular season game consecutive starts.
January 17th, 2011
01:06 PM ET

NFL: Brett Favre officially files retirement papers

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre “officially filed his retirement papers with the NFL," the league confirmed on Monday.

Favre is known for his on-again-off-again relationship - with the NFL.

In 2008 he retired from the game after his longtime status as the go-to man in Green Bay. He made his second retirement announcement again in 2009 after playing with the Jets. But he returned again with the Vikings.

If he really does retire this time, he will go with a record 297 regular season game consecutive starts and an unbelievable career.

"I know it's time, and that's OK. It is," Favre said after his final game. "Again, I hold no regrets, and I can't think of too many players offhand that can walk away and say that. Individually and from a team standpoint, it was way more than I ever dreamed of."

Where is Brett Favre's place in sports history?

Monday's intriguing people
The Martins, known as the "Billboard Family," list their attributes as well as a calendar of their scheduled ads on their website.
January 17th, 2011
12:39 PM ET

Monday's intriguing people

Alex Martin

If she’s branded, they might come. The Martins, known as the “Billboard Family," advertised for the company that paid to sponsor Alex’s birth this month by noting details on social-network sites, their website, YouTube and even on the small onesie the newborn wore minutes after her birth.

This is all part of a business venture Amy and Carl Martin (Alex’s parents) launched which promises that all five family members will wear a company’s T-shirt for an entire day, documenting their experiences online, in exchange for a small ad fee. The couple hopes to net $240,000 on the venture and to franchise the business in 35 states, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Aisha Sultan writes that “the Martins are either the logical conclusion of what happens when privacy ceases to exist or they are the bellwethers of the new age of parenting.”

For those criticizing them, Carl Martin told Time.com that they see what they are doing as capitalizing on something that's already prevalent.

"Our position is that we are simply living our normal lives (we take photos and videos in T-shirts anyway). The only difference is we are wearing T-shirts with rented space on them, that is all," Martin told Time.com. "In rebuttal to those who say this is exploitation we like to ask, 'Do your children wear branded T-shorts?' The answer is obviously yes. Almost all clothing is branded. We are just getting paid to wear the logos, instead of paying to wear them. Are sponsored little league sports teams exploitative? I think most would say no."

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SI.com: Gang Green backs up trash talking with win over Patriots
New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez celebrates winning the AFC divisional playoff game with his mother on Sunday.
January 17th, 2011
12:27 PM ET

SI.com: Gang Green backs up trash talking with win over Patriots

After season of trash talk and seemingly outlandish Super Bowl promises, the Jets served up one of the most stunning performances this playoff season with a surprising 28-21 victory against top-seeded New England. The Gang Green gave their brash, often rowdy, demeanor newfound credibility during a game that saw sophomore quarterback Mark Sanchez throw three touchdown passes and star Patriots QB Tom Brady get sacked five times. After a humiliating 45-3 loss against the Patriots less than two months ago, the Jets roared back, making their way into their second-straight AFC Championship matchup, this time against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Gang Green may have racked up their fair share of enemies, as verbal jabs flew between the Pats and Jets, but they backed up their words with actions that took the Patriots completely by surprise. SI.com’s Don Banks explains that on Sunday, Rex Ryan and the Jets were on a mission to prove that they weren’t in the business of making empty promises.

"We talk because we believe in ourselves," said Ryan. “That's where the talk came from. There is a huge amount of respect that our team has for New England. But we aren't afraid of anybody. We're not in fear of anybody. We came here on a mission. We're trying to win a Super Bowl."

But more than the confidence that the team reaped from Ryan, the Jets were also given a defensive strategy, befitting the big game they were verbally serving up. Ryan’s defensive plan simply proved too much for Brady and the Patriots to handle, as Banks explains: “Mixing their coverages and getting good solid pressure mostly without blitzing, the Jets had Brady looking uncomfortable and hesitant on most pass plays, with none of the crisp offensive rhythm that New England had during its awe-inspiring eight-game winning streak.”

While the Jets may still be basking in the glory of their unbelievable win, will they have what it takes to outmatch the Steelers? If Ryan can keep up the trash talk and his players can live up to it, they may actually have a shot.

A weekend of NFL playoff action has wrapped. Tonight, the NBA and college basketball take center stage:

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Gotta Watch: Anderson gets jumped; Pee-wee dances for 360; celebs wear what?
CNN's Anderson Cooper makes an appearance on "Saturday Night Live."
January 17th, 2011
11:35 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Anderson gets jumped; Pee-wee dances for 360; celebs wear what?

Anderson gets jumped by Pee-wee - In this "Saturday Night Live" digital short, Pee-wee Herman and Andy Samberg have one too many shots. The guys run into our very own Anderson Cooper and proceed to razz him and deck him with a chair. Cooper takes it all in stride, but only after warning the guys that he could have lost an eye which is, according to Cooper, "a national treasure." You can watch the full clip here.

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Scientists trying to clone, resurrect extinct mammoth
A woolly mammoth skeleton is seen on display at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas in September 2009.
January 17th, 2011
11:31 AM ET

Scientists trying to clone, resurrect extinct mammoth

Instead of Jurassic Park, try Pleistocene Park.

A team of scientists from Japan, Russia and the United States hopes to clone a mammoth, a symbol of Earth’s ice age that ended 12,000 years ago, according to a report in Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun. The researchers say they hope to produce a baby mammoth within six years.

The scientists say they will extract DNA from a mammoth carcass that has been preserved in a Russian laboratory and insert it into the egg cells of an African elephant in hopes of producing a mammoth embryo.

The team is being led by Akira Iritani, a professor emeritus at Kyoto University in Japan. He has built upon research from Teruhiko Wakayama of Kobe's Riken Center for Developmental Biology, who successfully cloned a mouse from cells that had been frozen for 16 years, to devise a technique to extract egg nuclei without damaging them, according to the Yomiuri report.

The U.S. researchers are in vitro fertilization experts. They, along with Kinki University professor Minoru Miyashita, will be responsible for implanting the mammoth embryo into an African elephant, the report said.

"If a cloned embryo can be created, we need to discuss, before transplanting it into the womb, how to breed [the mammoth] and whether to display it to the public," Iritani told Yomiuri. "After the mammoth is born, we'll examine its ecology and genes to study why the species became extinct and other factors."

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Who is Rudolf Elmer, WikiLeaks' newest leaker?
Former Swiss bank executive Rudolf Elmer with WikiLeaks' Julian Assange.
January 17th, 2011
11:19 AM ET

Who is Rudolf Elmer, WikiLeaks' newest leaker?

On Monday in London, a former Swiss bank executive gave WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange two discs with the names of prominent individuals and companies the executive says are involved in tax evasion and other crimes.

Rudolf Elmer would not say where he obtained the information or which banks were involved. The discs outline wrongdoing by several dozen politicians and "pillars of society," he said. His motivation? He wants to "educate our society," he said. "I know how the system works. ... It's damaging."

Elmer was fired in 2002 from the Julius Baer Group. He ran the bank's Cayman Islands office for eight years. On Wednesday, he will go to trial in Switzerland on charges that he stole bank information. Elmer was reportedly held for a month in 2005, accused of falsifying documents and threatening people at the bank, among other allegations.

Julius Baer released this statement about Elmer: "After his demands (including financial compensation) in connection with the dismissal could not be satisfied, Mr Elmer embarked in 2004 on a personal intimidation campaign and vendetta against Julius Baer. The aim of his activities was and is to discredit Julius Baer as well as clients in the eyes of the public."

In 2008, WikiLeaks published hundreds of pages of secret Julius Baer banking records.

In addition to Elmer, Assange is also facing charges. Assange's sex crime investigation continues to play out in Sweden as he remains out of jail on bail. Assange is due in court in London in early February.

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On the Radar: Golden Globes, Tunisia revolution, Arizona shooting and Wiki
The cast of "Glee" poses after winning the Golden Globe for best television series (comedy or musical.)
January 17th, 2011
10:17 AM ET

On the Radar: Golden Globes, Tunisia revolution, Arizona shooting and Wiki

Golden Globes – The Golden Globes show launched the Hollywood awards season with 26 trophies handed out by an array of stars. For "Social Network"  and "Glee" it was a good night.

Take a look at who took home the awards, watch the winners' reactions, get a glance at the fashion and flair from the red carpet, and take a peek at our full gallery of stars on the big night. We'll also be looking at the reaction to one man of the hour the host, Ricky Gervais and whether his expected but over-the-top routine was hit or miss for the stars and critics.

Tunisia in crisis – A new Tunisian government could be announced Monday, one day after the country's army clashed with armed gangs and remnants of ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's personal guard.

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Filed under: Celebrity • Facebook • Gabrielle Giffords • Julian Assange • Movies • On the Radar • Showbiz • TV • WikiLeaks
Apple's Steve Jobs takes medical leave of absence
Steve Jobs said he would still be involved in Apple's "major strategic decisions."
January 17th, 2011
09:21 AM ET

Apple's Steve Jobs takes medical leave of absence

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is taking leave of absence from the company because of a medical condition, according to a letter Jobs sent to Apple employees.

"At my request, the board of directors has granted me a medical leave of absence so I can focus on my health. I will continue as CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company," Jobs says in the letter.

Tim Cook, Apple's chief operating officer, will take over the company's day-to-day operations in Jobs' stead, as he did during Jobs' last leave of absence.

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