The five most popular stories on CNN.com in the past 24 hours, according to NewsPulse:
Camera rolls as Cooper, crew attacked: CNN's Anderson Cooper and crew are attacked by protesters in Egypt on Wednesday.
Could the U.S. shut down the internet?: It seemed so easy for Egypt. Just order a shutdown of the country's internet connections and - bam - it happens. But is such an authoritarian action transferable? Could the U.S. government shut down American internet connections? And is it possible for the global internet to be toppled?
Mass protests planned for Friday as Mubarak holds on:Â Egyptian President Hosni MubarakÂ told ABC News onÂ Thursday thatÂ he would like to step down right away, but cannot because he does not want to risk plunging his nation into chaos.
Whoopi: I was a high-functioning drug addict: While her co-hosts may have criticized Charlie Sheen over a recent report that he's skipping rehab to go back to work, Whoopi Goldberg says she understands the decision. "The View" host revealed Wednesday that she was once a high-functioning drug addict.
Bitter cold, outages follow in wake of storm: A swirl of sleet and freezing rain barreled into the Gulf States Thursday, yet another winter storm carrying frigid weather to a region unaccustomed to the cold.
Some highlights from the day's business news:Â
Stocks end higher ahead of jobs report
U.S. stocks ended higher Thursday as investors digested comments about the economy from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, who said a weak job market continues to weigh on the recovery.
Stocks have been wavering over the past couple of sessions as investors remain nervous about Friday's big employment report from the government. This week's labor reports painted a mixed picture.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 20 points, or 0.2%, led by Cisco and Bank of America. Earlier, the blue-chip index shed 60 points, but it erased most of those losses ahead of Bernanke's speech.
Editor's note: Nancy Grace's new show on HLN, "Nancy Grace: America's Missing," is dedicated to finding 50 people in 50 days. As part of the effort, which relies heavily on audience participation, CNN.com's news blog This Just In will feature the stories of the missing.
This is the 14th case, and it aired Thursday night on HLN.
Michaela Garecht was abducted in November 1988, when she was 9, in Hayward, California, according to a friend who was with her.
Michaela and her 9-year-old friend rode their scooters to a market on a Saturday morning to purchase candy and soda, Michaela's mother, Sharon Murch, has said.
When the girls left the store, they began to walk home, forgetting they had rode their scooters. They realized their mistake and went back to the store, but Michaela's scooter was missing.
She soon found it.
"Michaela spotted it in a parking lot next to a car and went to get it, and when she bent over to pick up the scooter, a man jumped out of the car, grabbed her from behind, threw her into the car and took off with her," Murch said in 2009.
A swirl of sleet and freezing rain barreled into the Gulf States Thursday, yet another winter storm carrying frigid weather to a region unaccustomed to the cold.
The storm system extended from Corpus Christi, Texas, through Louisiana, Mississippi and most of central Alabama, as forecasters predicted up to 5 inches of snow in scattered areas across the Deep South and along the U.S.-Mexico border.
A wintry mix of snow and sleet is expected to coat downtown Houston with about an inch of accumulation, forecasters said.FULL STORY
A California man accused of kidnapping then-11-year-old Jaycee Dugard and holding her captive for nearly two decades is competent to stand trial, a judge ruled Thursday.
Phillip Garrido faces charges including kidnapping, rape and false imprisonment.
Dugard was snatched in 1991 from the street in front of her home in South Lake Tahoe, California. AuthoritiesÂ accuse Garrido and his wife, Nancy,Â of holdingÂ Dugard in a hidden compound behind their home for 18 years.
DugardÂ was 29 when she was found in August 2009 at the Garridos' home in Antioch, about 120 miles from her house.
Nancy Garrido pleaded not guilty late last year to charges in connection with the case, and proceedings against her husbandÂ wereÂ suspended last year untilÂ aÂ determination about his competencyÂ could be made.FULL STORY
Verizon to slow data speeds for 1 million customers: On the day the iPhone went on sale for Verizon Wireless customers, the carrier delivered a warning to its heaviest data users: Verizon reserves the right to slow down your access speed. But how much will it cost to switch your iPhone to Verizon?
$3 million gone in 30 seconds: It may sound like a lot to shell out for a commercial spot during the Super Bowl, but some companies clearly think it's worth the cost. Last year's game drew about four times the audience of the first Super Bowl, in 1967, when 27 million viewers saw the Green Bay Packers crush the Kansas City Chiefs. And Sunday night football draws an average of 20.8 million viewers. Check out a sneak peek of the Super Bowl ads.
Cowboys cheerleaders cash in (video): For more than 30 years, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders have made money for the Cowboys NFL Franchise through branding merchandise, Barbie dolls, calendars and a reality TV series.
The economy is on the mend? So says Fed chairman Ben Bernanke. Speaking to a room full of reporters at the National Press Club, Bernanke said there are signs of stronger consumer and business spending. But the recovery is still not at a point that will significantly reduce the unemployment rate, which sits at 9.4%.
GM, Ford and Chrysler driving up auto sales: AutoNation, the country's largest network of auto dealers, said sales rose the most sharply at dealerships selling Ford, General Motors and Chrysler products. New car sales surged 24% at dealers selling Detroit brands, compared with 15% overall.
Five-time World Series winner Andy Pettitte, one of baseball's most accomplished pitchers and a man whose reputation took a hit when he admitted taking a performance-enhancing drug, is about to call it a career.
Pettitte, 38, will announce his retirement Friday, according to the New York Yankees, with whom he won all his World Series titles and played 13 of his 16 Major League seasons.
The left-handed Louisiana native and Texas resident will finish his career with a 240-138 record and 3.88 ERA in 479 starts with the Yankees (1995-2003 and 2007-10) and the Houston Astros (2004-2006).
The fashion designer issued a quick apology Thursday after Twitter followers were not amused by his attempt at an Egypt-related joke.
That went over like an orange-and-yellow-plaid evening jacket.
It wasn't long before Cole tweeted his regrets:
"Re Egypt tweet: we weren't intending to make light of a serious situation. We understand the sensitivity of this historic moment."
It also wasn't long before a fake Kenneth Cole PR account was created to make fun of him. A couple of its latest tweets:
"Check out our new colab with @BP_America - slick looks for spring!"
"People of Haiti, fall into our store for earth-shattering savings!"
"Iran is enriching uranium. Our shoes will enrich your suits."
The 26-year-old member of Norway's parliament said he nominated WikiLeaks for a Nobel Peace Prize because it has helped "redraw the map of information freedom."
"Publishing material that is deemed classified by the government is an obvious right that newspapers and media have practiced for many, many decades," Valen wrote on his blog. "This way, the public has become aware of abuses of power that governments should be held accountable for.
"The internet doesn't change this - it merely makes information more accessible, easier to distribute, and more democratic in the sense that virtually anyone with an internet connection can contribute."
Coblentz, a longtime aide to Mohamed ElBaradei, says the Egyptian opposition figure previously had no ambitions for office in Egypt, according to a Wall Street Journal article.
"When people were first approaching him saying, 'Will you run for president of Egypt in 2011?' he was very dismissive of it," Coblentz told The Journal.
Coblentz helped ElBaradei write a memoir that is due out in April, The Journal reported.
After ElBaradei learned how to use social networking on the internet, he learned he was more popular than he had realized, Coblentz told The Journal.
"It was really this last 14 months, where someone I knew as not being particularly computer savvy, taught himself to use Facebook and Twitter and YouTube and started to do in virtual space which was forbidden to do by the Mubarak regime, the freedom of assembly by large groups," Coblentz said, according to The Journal.
Michael B. Colbert
Colbert is the first minority appointed to new Ohio Gov. John Kasich's Cabinet.
Kasich has been criticized for his string of white appointees, but Colbert, who is black, broke the string when Kasich named him to lead the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
Colbert had been interim director of the department, The Columbus Dispatch newspaper reported.
"I am comfortable with who I am," Colbert said at the announcement of his appointment, according to the Dispatch. "I understand my heritage. I'm very proud of that heritage. I'm very proud of those that paved the way for me to get this position. Additionally, I know the job that I'm doing. I've been doing this for the last three years on the financial side, and I understand what we need to do to get services to Ohioans."
Ohio hadn't had an all-white Cabinet since 1962, when Democrat Michael DiSalle was governor, according to The Dispatch.
FBI and Army officials repeatedly ignored multiple warning signs that could have prevented the November 2009 massacre at Fort Hood, Texas, according to a long-awaited report released Thursday by two U.S. senators.
The inability to act was a result of both bureaucratic inefficiency and an unwillingness to identify and confront homegrown Islamic extremism, the report concludes.
Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan is accused in the shootings, which left 13 people dead and 32 wounded. He faces a likely court-martial and potential death penalty.FULL STORY
The No. 1 bestselling book â€śThe Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machineâ€ť that details the 2008 financial crisis is now out on paperback with a new afterword. Today on American Morning, "Big Short" author Michael Lewis talks about the roller-coaster ride of the economy last year and the reactions to the book by some of its subjects, including members of Congress.
Lewis also gives his insight on the protests in Egypt and the economic toll they may have on the financial markets in the United States. Watch to see why he says Wall Street is always looking for something to blame.
Miller High Life markets itself as the beer for the everyman. And now the company is launching an ad campaign for the everyman too.
Miller High Life will air new commercials that revolve around the customer. Consumers will be able to sign up with Miller High Life to be "sponsored" and will then have the choice of receiving a $1 check, a $1 coupon for Miller High Life or donating $1 to U.S. veterans.
Windell Middlebrooks, the man starring in the ads, talks to T.J. Holmes about the philosophy behind the Miller High Life campaign and gives American Morning a preview of a new commercial.
Who are the pro-democracy protesters leading the demonstrations on the streets of Egypt? While protesters of all ages have all been spotted participating, the young generationâ€”bound together by the internetâ€” is significantly influencing the rising movement in the country.
TIMEâ€™s cover story takes a closer look into the pro-democracy protesters. The organizers are young, but maybe not as young as you think. Check out American Morningâ€™s preview of the piece with its author Bobby Ghosh, deputy international editor of TIME.
What other countries in the Middle East and North Africa have rising youth movements? Find out here.
Bitter cold, with some more snow and ice mixed in, will follow the monster storm that dominated much of the country earlier in the week. Wisconsin can expect wind-chill values between 20 and 25 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, and parts of Maine and New Hampshire can expect several inches of new snow, the National Weather Service said. Sleet and freezing rain are expected along the Gulf Coast. All of this is coming as vast areas try to clear streets and restore electricity after the massive storm that brought as much as 2 feet of snow to some locales.
Australians are still feeling the effects of Cyclone Yasi, whose torrential rain and high winds have knocked out power to large portions of the country's northeast.
Middle East protests
Demonstrations continue in Cairo, Egypt, after anti-government protesters held their ground overnight in the capital city's Tahrir Square. Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq said Wednesday's attacks on demonstrators would be investigated.
Meanwhile, in Jordan, the main IslamistÂ group says it plans further street demonstrations Friday in the capital to protest the appointment of a new prime minister by King Abdullah II. The Islamic Action Front, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, has rejected talks with new Prime Minister Marouf al Bakhit, who is forming a new government. But several of its representatives will be meeting the king later Thursday.
And in Yemen, thousands of anti-government protesters gathered near Sanaa University, indicating many in the country were not satisfied with President Ali Abdullah Saleh's recent announcement that he would not seek re-election. About a kilometer away, a large crowd of government supporters gathered for a demonstration.
Fort Hood report
Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman and Ranking Member Susan Collins will hold a news conference at noon to release their bipartisan report on the failures of the U.S. government to prevent the November 5, 2009, shooting at Fort Hood Army Post that killed 13 people and wounded 32 others.
Chinese New Year
Today marks the beginning of year 4709 on the Chinese calendar, the Year of the Rabbit. Celebrations were taking place across Asia.
Egyptologists and archaeologists have been uneasy since late last week when the unrest in Egypt led to damage to some of the nation's priceless treasures. On Friday, looters at the Cairo Museum damaged two statues of King Tutankhamun, broke 13 glass showcases and damaged 70 other antiquities. There have also been reports of looting at dig sites around the country.
This morning, Dr. Bob Brier, Egyptologist, tells American Morningâ€™s Kiran Chetry and TJ Holmes what damage has been done, how it can be repaired, and how some Egyptians are banding together to protect the museums.
Brier says the entire country of Egypt is a "vast outdoor museum," and that the monuments are certainly not safe.
Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of the crisis in Egypt.
Today's programming highlights...
Ongoing coverage - Protests in Egypt
8:00 am ET - National Prayer Breakfast - President Obama and Mark Kelly, husband of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, speak at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington.
9:30 am ET - Senate hearing on Iraq - The Senate Armed Services Committee holds a hearing on the current situation in Iraq.
10:30 am ET - Pentagon briefing on Afghanistan - U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Mark Martins briefs reporters to provide an update on the rule of law in Afghanistan.
1:00 pm ET - Obama talks clean energy - President Obama promotes clean energy innovation in remarks in State College, Pennsylvania.
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