The day's most popular stories
February 7th, 2011
11:36 PM ET

The day's most popular stories

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

Aguilera flubs national anthem at Super Bowl: Christina Aguilera helped kick off Sunday's Super Bowl with a singer's nightmare, flubbing the words of "The Star-Spangled Banner" about 40 seconds into the song as tens of millions prepared to watch the game between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Monday quarterbacking: Super Bowl's hits and fumbles: The Packers might have been the official winners of Super Bowl XLV, but if we're counting Web buzz, there were plenty of other victors Sunday night.

Cops: Party ejection led to frat shooting: Students and staff somberly returned to class Monday at Youngstown State University, where a prayer service was held for the people shot at an off-campus party over the weekend.

Jury finds TV executive guilty of beheading: An upstate New York jury on Monday found Muzzammil "Mo" Hassan guilty of second-degree murder for beheading his wife.

Channing Tatum: Yes, I was a stripper: He may wear some seriously skimpy skirts in the upcoming gladiator epic "The Eagle," but that's nothing compared to the uniform Channing Tatum wore in his pre-acting career — as a stripper.


Filed under: Most Popular
Astronaut Kelly: 'Back at work'
Mark Kelly, right, posted an upside-down image of his shuttle training to his Twitter account.
February 7th, 2011
11:30 PM ET

Astronaut Kelly: 'Back at work'

Astronaut Mark Kelly on Monday resumed training as commander of space shuttle Endeavour's upcoming mission, 30 days after his wife was shot in the head at a political event in Arizona.

Kelly, husband of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, posted an inverted picture of his training Monday on his Twitter account.

"Back at work," Kelly said in the Twitter post.

Kelly announced Friday that he would return to his crew and resume training, saying Giffords - among 13 wounded survivors in a January 8 Tucson, Arizona, shooting that killed six people - is making progress in speech, occupational and physical therapy.

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Filed under: Gabrielle Giffords • Shuttle • Space
50 people in 50 days: Mother of 3 vanished day after argument
February 7th, 2011
09:16 PM ET

50 people in 50 days: Mother of 3 vanished day after argument

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 16th case, and it aired Monday night on HLN.

Friends and relatives of Margaret Haddican-McEnroe thought she might have just been blowing off steam when she vanished from her Warren Township, New Jersey, home a day after an argument with her husband in October 2006. She actually had left her home on the day of the argument - October 9, 2006 - to cool off at her parents' house before returning that night.

Her husband says that his wife - then a 29-year-old volunteer firefighter, Army veteran and mother of three – was at home when he left for an errand on October 10, and she was gone when he returned. He said she left behind her cell phone, SUV and their 5-month-old daughter, who was alone in a crib. About $11,000 was missing from the home, he said.

The husband didn't call police until two days later. When asked why, he said that they'd had an argument and that she had a history of walking out, disappearing for a few days, and then returning when she'd calmed down, CNN's Rupa Mikkilineni reported in 2008.


Filed under: 50 People in 50 Days • Crime • TV-Nancy Grace
Who profits from foreclosures?
Hundreds were at Manhattan's Sheraton New York Hotel on January 29 for an auction of bank-owned foreclosed properties.
February 7th, 2011
06:41 PM ET

Who profits from foreclosures?

By all accounts, the nation is still in the midst of a foreclosure crisis. In 2010, foreclosure activity increased in 149 of the nation's 206 metropolitan areas with a population of 200,000 or more, according the foreclosure tracking company RealtyTrac. Last year, more than 2.8 million homes in the U.S. had foreclosure filings.

But one man's loss is another's gain. Foreclosed homes are often up for sale at bargain prices. Some businesses and property owners have used that to their advantage and are finding ways to turn a profit on properties that have depreciated in value and have been repossessed by banks.

Auction.com held more than 600 auctions of foreclosed properties last year. "It's truly what we call the perfect storm of opportunity," said Trent Ferris, the company's vice president of auctions.

On the last Sunday in January, a few hundred people filled a ballroom at a hotel in Midtown Manhattan to bid on more than 140 foreclosed homes in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. As an auctioneer called out for bids at a blistering pace, the homes sold for a fraction of their fair market value. Each auction took about one minute, and Auction.com received a fee of 5 percent of the sale price on each house.

"At this particular point in time, nothing good comes from the empty house that's sitting there," Ferris said. "So by giving people the opportunity to buy at auction price to turn that empty house back into a home is absolutely phenomenal."

Click the audio player to hear the full story:

You can also listen to the CNN Radio Reports podcast on itunes or subscribe to the podcast here.

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Filed under: Auctions • Economy
Analyst: NFL players stand to lose plenty if lockout happens
Some folks are wondering whether the Super Bowl will be the last NFL game in 2011.
February 7th, 2011
05:48 PM ET

Analyst: NFL players stand to lose plenty if lockout happens

The contract between NFL owners and the players' union is set to expire March 3. Many people are asking whether Sunday's Super Bowl will be the last NFL game played in 2011. What is at stake for the players, the owners and the fans?

Rick Horrow, a sports business analyst, attorney and professor, says the NFL has never been stronger.

"If you don’t believe me," Horrow said, "take a look at the Super Bowl. Astronomical ratings."

If a lockout or walkout happens on March 4, the players stand to lose not only salary and health benefits, but also a good chunk of their playing careers, according to Horrow. The average NFL player's career is between three and four years.

"You can’t get that back," Horrow said.

For the owners, things are not that tough.

"The owners ... get one year of television payments, which they negotiated in good faith," Horrow said. "That, by the way, is $4 billion."

The fan should know that if a lockout does happen March 4, the 2011 season still could be saved. Owners and the players' union still will have the spring and summer to get a deal done, Horrow said.

Click the audio player to hear the full story from CNN Radio's Jim Roope:

You can also listen to the CNN Radio Reports podcast on itunes or subscribe to the podcast here.

SI.com's Dan Shaughnessy: NFL stoppage would be disastrous

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Filed under: Pro football
New York man found guilty of murder in wife's beheading
Muzzammil Hassan was convicted Monday in the 2009 beheading death of his wife, Aasiya Hassan.
February 7th, 2011
05:06 PM ET

New York man found guilty of murder in wife's beheading

A New York jury on Monday found Muzzammil "Mo" Hassan guilty of second-degree murder for the 2009 beheading of his wife.

His legal adviser, Jeremy Schwartz, said that Hassan, who made closing arguments on his own behalf, may appeal the verdict.

Hassan, who founded a TV network aimed at countering Muslim stereotypes, went to a police station in February 2009 in the Buffalo, New York, suburb of Orchard Park and told officers his wife was dead, police have said. Aasiya Hassan had been decapitated.

The jury deliberated for an hour before delivering the verdict.

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Filed under: Courts • Crime • Justice • New York
Newark airport flights resuming after power outage
February 7th, 2011
03:53 PM ET

Newark airport flights resuming after power outage

[Updated at 4:34 p.m. ET] Power has been restored to Newark International Airport after a
switching problem knocked out power to all three terminals and caused flight restrictions at the airport Monday afternoon, according to a Port Authority spokesperson. Flights are resuming with residual delays.

[Initial post] A power outage at three Newark International Airport terminals prompted airport authorities to restrict incoming and outgoing flights Monday, according to the Federal Aviation Administration website.

Several people were removed from stalled elevators, while others remain stranded in the airport's monorail trains, according to a spokesman for the Port Authority for New York and New Jersey.

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Filed under: Air travel • New Jersey • Travel
Southern Sudan votes to split from the north
February 7th, 2011
01:04 PM ET

Southern Sudan votes to split from the north

Final results of last month's referendum show that an overwhelming majority of southern Sudanese voted to split from the north, a result that will lead to the creation of the world's newest nation, the referendum commission said Monday.

The chairman of the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission, which organized the vote, said 98.83% voted for separation, while 1.17% voted for unity.

"It was a peaceful process," said chairman Muhammad Ibrahim Khali, in a ceremony in Khartoum attended by Sudanese politicians, international diplomats, U.N. staff, academics and others. "It was a transparent process."

He said "not a single person showed up to appeal the results."

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Filed under: Sudan
Egypt crisis, Day 14: Google executive released
Demostrators gather Monday in Cairo's Tahrir Square, which has been the center of protests against President Hosni Mubarak.
February 7th, 2011
12:23 PM ET

Egypt crisis, Day 14: Google executive released

Read full coverage and examine a timeline of the unrest in Egypt updated continually by CNN reporters worldwide. Send your photos and video to iReport and see CNN in Arabic here. See also this roundup of timely, insightful views on the wave of upheaval in the Arab world.

[Update 8:53 p.m. Cairo, 1:53 p.m. ET] Google executive Wael Ghonim has been released in Egypt, the company announced. "Huge relief - Wael Ghonim has been released. Our love to him and his family," the company tweeted shortly after 8 p.m. in Cairo (1 p.m. ET). Ghonim's Twitter account, which had not had a posting since he went missing January 28, carried a tweet around the same time. "Freedom is a bless (sic) that deserves fighting for it," the tweet said, ending with the hashtag ".Jan25," a reference to the Egypt protests.

[Update 7:20 p.m. Cairo, 12:20 p.m. ET] Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood needs to be treated with caution, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair warned Monday. "It's not an extremist group in a way that we have seen in other countries; on the other hand we shouldn't be complacent about it either," he said.

– CNN's Ivan Watson talks with men at the barricades in Tahrir Square.

[Update 6:13 p.m. Cairo, 11:14 a.m. ET] The country's new Cabinet planned to have its first meeting, according to state-run TV.

– Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the anti-Mubarak protest, remains peaceful and festive. Morale "is very high," CNN's Frederik Pleitgen said. He reports that workers who rent camels to tourists are suffering financially as protests continue.

[Update 1:34 p.m. in Cairo, 6:34 am. ET] A group of protesters maintained a human chain at  Cairo's Tahrir Square on Monday morning.

The Egyptian finance minister says the country will auction as much as 15 billion Egyptian pounds (about $2.5 billion) in treasury bills.

Sunday February 6, 2011

[Update 1:48 a.m. Cairo, 6:48 p.m. ET] President Barack Obama downplays the prospect of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has voiced opposition to the United States, ascending to power in Egypt once President Hosni Mubarak leaves office.  "They don't have majority support in Egypt, but they are well-organized," Obama tells Fox News' Bill O'Reilly on Sunday.

[Update 1:25 a.m. Cairo, 6:25 p.m. ET] Former ABC News journalist Sam Donaldson on Sunday stood by recent compliments he gave to Al-Jazeera regarding its coverage of the Egypt protests, telling CNN's Howard Kurtz that the network did "a service in fanning the flames in Egypt."

[Update 12:37 a.m. Cairo, 5:35 p.m. ET] The U.S. State Department  issues an updated travel warning for Egypt, continuing to recommend U.S. citizens make every effort to leave the North African country. It also adds the U.S. government is not planning additional charter trips. Read the full advisory here.

[Update 12:20 a.m. Cairo, 5:20 p.m. ET] A U.S. State Department release Sunday says Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke Saturday night with Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq. During that meeting, Clinton stressed that a "broad cross-section of political actors and civil society" should be part of the government's transformation process.

[Update 12:14 a.m. Cairo, 5:14 p.m. ET] State-run Nile TV reports Shafiq called the network to announce that Google executive Wael Ghonim, missing for more than a week, will be released Monday.

[Update 8 p.m. Cairo, 1 p.m. ET] Multiple bursts of automatic gunfire apparently warning shots could be heard in Tahrir Square near the Egyptian Museum. The incident marked an escalation of tempers between the military and protesters. After the army fired the warning shots, hundreds of protesters surrounded the military positions in the square, CNN's Ivan Watson reported.

[Update 6:58 p.m. Cairo, 11:58 a.m. ET] Shafiq, the prime minister, said authorities have been told "not to bother" human rights activists and journalists working at anti-government protests. If there have been such problems, they are "not intended," Shafiq told CNN's Candy Crowley on Sunday. Arrests of journalists and human rights activists "are not allowed at all," he said.

[Update 5:40 p.m. Cairo, 10:37 a.m. ET] Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said the United States cannot "micromanage the process" in Egypt, but that the Obama administration needs to make its goals clear. "Arriving at a democratic solution is important, which is in fact inclusive, democratic, peaceful and rapid," Albright said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."

[Update 5:10 p.m. Cairo, 10:07 a.m. ET] Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei said that the situation in Egypt remains in a standoff as long as Mubarak refuses to leave. "I hope somebody will send a message, I don't know in which way, to President Mubarak that for the sake of the country, for his own dignity, to defuse this crisis, he better step down," ElBaradei told CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS." Watch Zakaria's take on whether Egypt is a revolution or a revolt.

"Everybody is ready to give him the dignified out he is entitled to as a former president of Egypt," ElBaradei told Zakaria.

During his CNN interview Sunday, ElBaradei also said he would refuse to meet with the Egyptan government unless Mubarak steps down. Other oppositions groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, have meet with the government. ElBaradei said the Egyptian people are getting confusing messages about whether Mubarak should leave office, referring to a U.S. envoy's comments that Mubarak must stay in place during a transition of power and the Obama administration saying he should leave soon.

[Update 3:09 p.m. Cairo, 8:09 a.m. ET] The mood in Tahrir Square, the site of pro-Mubarak and anti-Mubarak clashes last week, was festive and peaceful as Christians and Muslims held hands and sang. The gathering appears to be strong as people continue to push for Mubarak to leave office.

[Update 11:46 a.m. Cairo, 4:46 a.m. ET] It is a "huge mistake" for Egypt to shut down the internet or use violence against protesters, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Sunday.

Some banks in Egypt were open Sunday, according to the country's minister of finance. Some banks opened as early as 8:30 a.m. local time.  Banks have been closed in recent days amid anti-government protests.

[Update 10 a.m. in Cairo, 3 a.m. ET] Egyptian Coptic Christians are expected to gather at Tahrir Square to pray for those who have lost their lives since the protests started. Muslim protesters said they will form a ring around the Christians to protect them during the service.

The Muslim Brotherhood said it will meet with the country's vice president, days after the group said it would not negotiate until Mubarak leaves office.

Opposition activists formed a human chain outside one of the entrances to Tahrir Square on Saturday to prevent two Egyptian military tanks from crossing through barricades into what has effectively become an anti-Mubarak enclave.

The death toll from the violent clashes in Tahrir Square has reached 11, Egypt's Health Ministry has said. Nearly 1,000 people have been injured in clashes in the Cairo square.

The U.S. Embassy in Egypt issued a statement indicating several embassy vehicles were stolen in Cairo on January 28. The statement was in response to an online video that showed a white diplomatic van running into anti-government protesters near Tahrir Square.

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Filed under: Egypt • Protest
Monday's intriguing people
Writer-director Paul Haggis is dishing the goods on Scientology in The New Yorker magazine.
February 7th, 2011
11:45 AM ET

Monday's intriguing people

Paul Haggis

The award-winning writer-director of “Crash” has given The New Yorker an interview detailing the inner workings of Scientology. A member for 35 years, Haggis broke with the church in 2009 after it refused to condemn Proposition 8, which made marriage an institution between only man and woman in California.

In his letter of resignation to spokesman Tommy Davis, Haggis wrote that he could not align himself with an organization that would back "that hate-filled legislation." He concluded, “Silence is consent, Tommy. I refuse to consent.”

FULL POST

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Filed under: California • Egypt • Gay and lesbian • Google • Human rights • Most Intriguing People • Movies • Pro football • Proposition 8 • Religion • Scientology • Showbiz • Sports • Super Bowl • Technology • Texas
Assange lawyers raise specter of Guantanamo Bay
February 7th, 2011
11:21 AM ET

Assange lawyers raise specter of Guantanamo Bay

A two-day extradition hearing for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange opened Monday in a London court, where celebrities watched as Assange's lawyers argued against his transfer to Sweden.

Assange has not been charged with a crime, but Swedish prosecutors want to question him in connection with sexual misconduct allegations related to separate incidents last August.

His lawyers argue Assange could ultimately end up at Guantanamo Bay or be executed if he is extradited to Sweden, according to papers they released Monday.

While the sexual misconduct allegations are apparently unrelated to Assange's role as head of the WikiLeaks site, his lawyers say Sweden could send him to the United States to face espionage charges related to the site's disclosure of thousands of secret U.S. military and diplomatic documents.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Crime • Julian Assange • Sweden • U.S. • United Kingdom • WikiLeaks
Party ejection led to Ohio frat house shooting, police say
February 7th, 2011
11:18 AM ET

Party ejection led to Ohio frat house shooting, police say

The two men accused of shooting into a Youngstown State University fraternity house, killing one and wounding 11, were apparently angry because they were being thrown out of a party there, police said Monday.

Police identified the suspects in the Sunday shooting as Columbus E. Jones, 22, and Braylon L. Rogers, 19, both Youngstown residents.

Jamail Johnson, 25, of Girard, Ohio, died in the shooting. He was shot once in the back of the head and several times in the lower body, Dr. Joseph Ohr, a forensic pathologist at the Mahoning County Coroner's Office, told CNN.

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Filed under: Crime • Ohio
Monday quarterbacking: Super Bowl's hits and fumbles
Groupon's ad generated much controversy.
February 7th, 2011
11:06 AM ET

Monday quarterbacking: Super Bowl's hits and fumbles

The Packers might have been the official winners of Super Bowl XLV, but if we're counting Web buzz, there were plenty of other victors Sunday night.

(And some losers, but we'll get to them later.)

"Chrysler 200" scored as the top search in Google on Monday morning due largely to a gritty commercial featuring Eminem and his hit "Lose Yourself."

Against the hard-driving beat of the song, a glistening new Chrysler 200 is seen. The vehicle is meant to replace the Chrysler Sebring midsize car, which was lambasted by critics.

"What does a town that's been to hell and back know about the finer things in life?" a gritty voice asks about Detroit. "Well I'll tell ya, more than most. You see, it's the hottest fires that make the hardest steel. Add hard work and conviction and the know-how that runs generations deep in every last one of us.

"That's who we are," the voice says. "That's our story." Cue Em, who himself has been in rehab. In the video, he walks into a theater where gospel singers are giving it a ton of heart. Message: The Motor City's woes are behind it.

Another clever ad, for the Volkswagen Passat, has us fawning over "The Darth Vader Kid," 6-year-old Max Page, who was busy Monday doing the rounds on morning shows. Max has a congenital heart defect, and has a pacemaker, but his physicians say he's able to live a relatively normal life. He said he was "thrilled" to show off his "special move" in the ad.

Speaking of special moves, fans appear to be torn over whether the Black Eyed Peas halftime show was banging or blah. The Peas, joined by Slash and Usher, sang their usual family-friendly hits, but Will.i.am tossed it up a bit and changed the lyrics to "Where Is the Love?" He rapped: "In America we need to get things straight/Obama let's get these kids educated/Create jobs so the country stays stimulated/This is dedicated to all the innovators."

There is far less debate over whether Groupon offended with its ad about getting discounts on products and services. During the ad, actor Timothy Hutton appears to be served a meal at Himalayan Restaurant in Chicago. "The people of Tibet are in trouble. Their very culture is in jeopardy," he says, adding, "But they still whip up an amazing fish curry!"

More viewers were probably munching on simpler dishes during the game ... like ... popcorn? Cameron Diaz was caught on camera feeding Yankees star Alex Rodriguez popcorn while they cozied up in a luxury box at Cowboys Stadium. Some people were disturbed, some enough to boo.

Speaking of booing, you all know by now that Christina Aguilera messed up the national anthem. The pop diva has apologized, and here's proof she does know the words. Perhaps forgiveness will come easier after watching these wretched renditions from the past.

Say what you will about Christina, at least she probably had a good seat. That's more than about 400 Super Bowl fans got. They were told they could not take the seats they'd paid for because their section of Cowboys Stadium was still under construction. No doubt those fans upon hearing that news had to dig deep, a theme that resonated during the games faithier moments. Even before kick off there was controversy over rejected ads from JesusHatesObama.com, a political novelty t-shirt company that had dueling bobble heads of Jesus and Obama, and the Fixed Point Foundation, a group that promotes Christianity in the public square. As Usher would sing "Oh my God..." or "Oh my gosh..."

Grading every ad: Best and worst of Super Bowl commercials 2011

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Filed under: Football • Pro football • Sports • Super Bowl
Gotta Watch: Baby Darth unmasked; Beijing underground; robber says please
Volkswagen's new ad icon Max Page also stars in ABC's "The Young and the Restless"
February 7th, 2011
10:23 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Baby Darth unmasked; Beijing underground; robber says please

The force of advertising be with you – The pint-sized Darth Vadar who appears in a Volkswagen commercial is now a big star after his Super Bowl debut. And just when you thought the little guy can't get any cuter, he takes his mask off and reveals he is overcoming a congenital heart condition. I think I just heard the country sigh a collective "Awwww."

FULL POST

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Filed under: China • Football • Gotta Watch • Pro football • Sports • TV • Uncategorized • Washington state
Monday's live video events
February 7th, 2011
07:48 AM ET

Monday's live video events

Watch continuing live coverage of the events unfolding in Egypt on CNN.com Live.

Today's programming highlights...

Ongoing coverage - Crisis in Egypt

11:30 am ET - Obama talks to U.S. Chamber of Commerce - President Obama and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have not always had the best relationship during Obama's time at the White House.  That could change today when Obama speaks with business leaders.

FULL POST


Filed under: On CNN.com today