Computer finishes off human opponents on 'Jeopardy!'
"Jeopardy!" champs Ken Jennings, left, and Brad Rutter match wits with IBM's computer Watson.
February 16th, 2011
10:27 PM ET

Computer finishes off human opponents on 'Jeopardy!'

Start the "computers are conquering the world" jokes now. "Jeopardy!" master Ken Jennings already has.

The IBM supercomputer Watson won its second "Jeopardy!" game in Wednesday's edition of the TV show, completing a sweep of its two human opponents, including Jennings, who acknowledged mankind's trivia inferiority before the match was even over.

"I for one welcome our new computer overlords," Jennings wrote under his correct Final Jeopardy! solution, prompting laughter from the studio audience.

Watson - despite being far from perfect - was too far ahead in the two-game match to be caught. It beat Jennings and fellow "Jeopardy!" champion Brad Rutter, earning $41,413 for the day and $77,147 for the two-game total.

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Filed under: Showbiz • Technology
50 people in 50 days: First milk carton case still unsolved
Etan Patz was last seen walking to a New York bus stop on May 25, 1979.
February 16th, 2011
06:41 PM ET

50 people in 50 days: First milk carton case still unsolved

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 23rd case, and it will be shown at 9 p.m. ET Wednesday on HLN.

More than 30 years after Etan Patz's face became the first of a missing child to appear on a milk carton, authorities still aren't sure what happened to him.

Etan was 6 when his parents finally gave him permission to walk to a school bus stop alone in New York City on May 25, 1979. The stop was just two blocks from his parents’ apartment.

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Teacher Natalie Munroe defends blog comments about 'whiny' students
Teacher Natalie Munroe says her blog posts griping about students were not meant for public consumption.
February 16th, 2011
05:07 PM ET

Teacher Natalie Munroe defends blog comments about 'whiny' students

A Pennsylvania English teacher who called her high school students "rude, lazy, disengaged whiners" on her personal blog is standing by her comments after being suspended from her position over the controversy.

"I'm sorry it was taken out of context but I stand by what I said," Natalie Munroe told ABC's "Good Morning America" Wednesday.

The 30-year-old expecting mother said she wrote the posts on natalieshandbasket under the name Natalie M. with the intention that only friends would read the blog. The posts are no longer available on the blog but searchable in a cached version of the site.

"I was writing it not about anyone specific. They were caricatures of students that I've had over the years, things that I would say if we weren't limited in the canned comments that we're allowed to write. And again, it was partially meant tongue in cheek for me and my friends."

In several posts between August 2009 and November 2010, Munroe vented her frustrations - and shared a few positive experiences - with students she found to be "out of control" and lacking "honor and good moral character."

She has been suspended with pay, and her lawyer said she is waiting to see how the school will proceed before deciding whether to take legal action.

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Filed under: Education • Pennsylvania • Technology
Dollars & Sense: $1M sports car eyes U.S.; Madoff's rebuttal
Zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds -- yours for the low, low price of $1.1 million.
February 16th, 2011
04:32 PM ET

Dollars & Sense: $1M sports car eyes U.S.; Madoff's rebuttal

A roundup of today's CNNMoney news:

$1 million Italian supercar headed to the United States: The 700-horsepower Pagani Huayra is named after the ancient Andean wind god Aymara Huayra Tata. It is powered by a 6-liter twin-turbocharged 12-cylinder engine produced by the AMG division of Mercedes-Benz.

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Filed under: Dollars & Sense
House votes to cut funding for new F-35 fighter jet engine
February 16th, 2011
02:48 PM ET

House votes to cut funding for new F-35 fighter jet engine

The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to strip $450 million from funds slated for a controversial program to build a new engine for the F-35 fighter jet. The amendment passed 233-198 with bipartisan support.

President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates have urged Congress to eliminate funding for the program.

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Filed under: Military • Politics
Egypt's harassed women need own revolution
Women paint a bridge to Cairo's Tahrir Square as cleanup from this month's protests continues.
February 16th, 2011
01:44 PM ET

Egypt's harassed women need own revolution

Several months before Egypt's revolution, CNN producer and camerawoman Mary Rogers wrote a piece for CNN.com on the sexual harassment of women in Cairo.

News of the attack on CBS reporter Lara Logan, as well as other sexual assaults against women during Egypt's uprising, show that attacks against women have not gone away.

Read Rogers' updated account of sexual harassment in Egypt, including what she and other colleagues faced during the past few weeks.


Filed under: Egypt • World
SI.com: Pujols' uncertain future with Cardinals
The 2011 season may be Albert Pujols' last one in a Cardinals' uniform.
February 16th, 2011
01:42 PM ET

SI.com: Pujols' uncertain future with Cardinals

Albert Pujols will be a St. Louis Cardinal in 2011. After that is anybody’s guess.

Yet another deadline passed Wednesday when Pujols and the Cardinals failed to reach a contract extension before their mutually agreed-upon noon Eastern deadline. The two sides had extended negotiations, hoping to reach a last-minute deal, but failed to settle on terms.

Now, contract talks between the three-time MVP and the Cards will be broken off until the fall as the slugger has repeatedly said he does not want his deal to be a distraction during the season.

Discussions between St. Louis and Pujols’ agent, Dan Lozano, had been heating up in recent weeks. SI.com’s Jon Heyman reported Tuesday that the Cards offered Pujols an eight-year deal in excess of $200 million.

According to Heyman’s sources, Pujols, 31, is seeking a greater deal than Alex Rodriguez’s record 10-year, $275 million contract signed in 2008. It’s not clear whether the length of the deal or the money is holding up the Pujols deal.

Pujols has a no-trade clause and is unlikely to go anywhere during the upcoming season but could presumptively go anywhere once it's over. The consensus best player in baseball will be a free agent and probably will have every team in baseball expressing some degree of interest in landing his talents.

Despite not reaching a deal, the nine-time All-Star will still report to Jupiter, Florida, on Thursday and join his teammates for the first day of spring training. The Cardinals are hoping to be a contender with Pujols in 2011, but without a deal, a cloud of uncertainty could disrupt their season.

Here’s what to watch tonight (all times Eastern):

Denver Nuggets at Milwaukee Bucks (9 p.m., ESPN): Carmelo Anthony and the Nuggets, who have dropped four of five, play their final game before the All-Star break when they take on the Bucks. Denver has until February 24 to deal 'Melo or stick with him the rest of the year.

No. 10 Wisconsin at No. 11 Purdue  (6:30 p.m., Big Ten Network): After knocking off No. 1 Ohio State, the Badgers face the Boilermakers in West Lafayette, Indiana, where they have won only twice in 40 years.

By the numbers

31: Points scored during the first half by Dwyane Wade in the Miami Heat’s 110-103 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday, tying a franchise record. Wade finished with 41.

39: Age of seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, who retired from professional cycling for the second time Wednesday.

$23 million: Colts quarterback Peyton Manning’s potential 2011 salary after Indianapolis placed the franchise tag on the four-time MVP. The Colts placed the franchise tag on Manning in 2004 before reaching a record seven-year, $98 million deal.

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Filed under: Baseball • College basketball • Cycling • Football • NBA • Sports
February 16th, 2011
01:35 PM ET

3 U.S. marshals shot serving warrant; 1 dead

[Update 1:35 p.m. ET] One of the three deputy U.S. marshals shot Wednesday has died, according to U.S. Marshals Service spokesman Jeffrey Carter.

The officer died from a shotgun blast while serving an arrest warrant in Elkins, West Virginia, Carter said.

One deputy "continues to recover from his injuries," and the third has been treated and released, the spokesman said.

[Posted 11:04 a.m. ET] Three deputy U.S. marshals were shot while serving an arrest warrant at a home in Elkins, West Virginia, at about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, a spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service said.

Their condition was not immediately known, he said.

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Filed under: Crime • West Virginia
Kristof: Bahrain regime has 'backed off'
Anti-government protesters in Bahrain gather in the capital city of Manama on Wednesday afetr the deaths of two protesters in clashes with police.
February 16th, 2011
01:19 PM ET

Kristof: Bahrain regime has 'backed off'

Thousands of people had gathered Wednesday for a peaceful funeral procession for a Bahraini man killed when clashes erupted during another protester's funeral procession, the president of a human rights group said. Bahrain's Interior Ministry said those involved in the deaths of two people during recent protests are in custody.

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof told "American Morning" that the protesters' demands are changing.

Initially, protesters in Bahrain talked about wanting more democracy and to have political prisoners released, Kristof told T.J. Homes. Increasingly, protesters are calling for the overthrow of the ruling family and the conversion of Bahrain into a constitutional monarchy in which the king would reign, but not rule, Kristof said.

“They were really outraged at the government's brutality toward the peaceful protests earlier in the week. And at those two deaths,” he says.

There is some uncertainty about where protests will go later today, Kristof said.

“Now that the regime has backed off, it's a little hard to say where things will go,” he said. "It is possible that similar concessions will win the day. And that there will be some kind of a truce and agreement to have more democracy, some more concessions. And then people will go home. It's just very hard to predict.”


Filed under: Protest • TV-American Morning
RoboCop to return to Detroit
A man in the Philippines wears a costume in 2009 inspired by the 1987 movie "RoboCop."
February 16th, 2011
01:15 PM ET

RoboCop to return to Detroit

Thanks to "crowd funding," it looks as if Detroit will get its RoboCop statue after all.

A week after Mayor Dave Bing took to Twitter to dismiss the idea, an independent online campaign has raised more than $50,000 to build a monument to the 1987 sci-fi movie hero, the Detroit Free Press reports.

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Filed under: Art • Crime • Michigan • Movies • U.S.
February 16th, 2011
12:42 PM ET

Dozens arrested in health care fraud bust, sources say

Federal authorities Wednesday arrested dozens of mostly Armenian members of Eastern European organized crime groups suspected of a range of health care and other fraudulent activities, according to federal law enforcement sources.

Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer flew to Los Angeles to lead a news conference to announce the takedown and racketeering indictments later Wednesday.

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Filed under: Crime • Health Care
Is Coca-Cola's secret out of the bottle?
Coca-Cola's brand is more valuable than its formula, marketing experts say.
February 16th, 2011
12:39 PM ET

Is Coca-Cola's secret out of the bottle?

It's something, but it's not the real thing, Coca-Cola says.

Rumors have been buzzing that the super-secret recipe for the iconic soft drink had finally been divulged through a 1979 newspaper clipping and a story on public radio's "This American Life."

"Rest assured that while many third parties have tried over time to crack the secret formula of Coca-Cola ... there truly is only one 'real thing,' " Ted Ryan, Coca-Cola's manager of archives and exhibits, wrote Wednesday on a company blog.

The company insists the formula is locked in a bank vault in Atlanta, Georgia, and only a handful of employees know it or have access to it.

The 19th-century handwritten list of ingredients that "This American Life" host Ira Glass found pictured in a 1979 column in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution may have been an attempt at a knockoff, Coca-Cola's official archivist, Phil Mooney, told CNN.

Interest in the secret recipe is so high that heavy traffic reportedly brought down the radio show's Web server after the segment aired.

While the formula Glass found might have some relation to the original product of the 1800s, it clearly is not today's recipe: The list of ingredients includes coca and alcohol, a Tuesday story in the Journal-Constitution notes.

All the secrecy is nothing more than marketing anyway, experts insist.

"Today, anybody with access to a sophisticated chemistry laboratory could analyze the formula of Coke, but no one can call a product called Coke other than the Coca-Cola Company," John Sicher, editor and publisher of "Beverage Digest," told the paper. "The so-called 'secret formula' is a wonderful story of lore and mystery, but in reality, the value today is the brand, not the formula."

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Filed under: Food • Georgia • U.S.
On the Radar: Middle East protests, United grounds planes, Florida burn case
Anti-government protesters in Yemen holding a sign that says, "Leave."
February 16th, 2011
12:34 PM ET

On the Radar: Middle East protests, United grounds planes, Florida burn case

Middle East protests Demonstrations against governments in the Middle East continue to rage, inspired by the weeks-long, anti-government protests in Egypt that forced President Hosni Mubarak to step down. In Bahrain, anti-government protesters rallied peacefully at the funeral of a man killed while protesting on Monday. Protests were far more violent in Iraq where demonstrators gathered outside the governor's office in Kut, about 60 miles south of Baghdad. One person was shot and killed when private security guards and Iraqi security forces opened fire. Twenty-eight people were wounded.

Wednesday marks the sixth day of anti-government protests in Yemen. Sanaa University students took to the street initially demanding improved curriculum, but their rally became an anti-government protest. Pro-government demonstrators showed up and began throwing rocks, two witnesses told CNN. There were no reports of injuries at the rally.

Planes grounded – United Airlines grounded its entire fleet of 757s for "unscheduled maintenance." There was a computer problem. Some flights are delayed or canceled. United said it hopes to resume normal scheduling later Wednesday.

Florida teens in court – Three Florida teenagers accused of setting another boy on fire in late 2009 are scheduled to be in court Wednesday. It could be the first time the suspects' side of the story is heard. The three teens - Denver Jarvis and Mathew Bent, both now 16, and Jesus Mendez, now 17 - have been charged as adults with second-degree attempted murder. The teens are accused of pouring alcohol on the victim, who is now 16, and setting him on fire after a dispute about buying a video game.

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Filed under: Air travel • Courts • Crime • Egypt • Florida • Iraq • Justice • On the Radar • Protest • Yemen
February 16th, 2011
11:56 AM ET

Somali pirate sentenced to almost 34 years in prison

A federal court on Wednesday sentenced a Somali man to nearly 34 years
in prison for acts related to high-seas piracy.

Prosecutors say Abduwali Muse acted as the ringleader when he and three other men seized the U.S-flagged Maersk Alabama by force about 350 miles off the coast of Somalia on April 8, 2009.

Once on board, the armed men demanded the ship be stopped, then took a lifeboat and held the captain of the ship, Richard Phillips, hostage on it.

Muse, who entered a guilty plea last May, apologized in the New York courtroom on Wednesday.

"I'm sorry very much for what happened to victims on ship. I am very sorry about what I caused," he said. "I was recruited by people more powerful than me. I got my hands into something more powerful than me and I am sorry.

"I ask forgiveness for all the people I harmed and the U.S. government."

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Filed under: Crime • Pirates • Somalia
Gotta Watch: Deck collapse; dogs sniff out bugs; Ali the artist; Conan redux
A parking deck collapses and is caught on a surveillance camera.
February 16th, 2011
11:51 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Deck collapse; dogs sniff out bugs; Ali the artist; Conan redux

Parking deck caves in on camera - Surveillance cameras catch a massive parking deck in San Antonio, Texas, collapsing to the ground. Although over 100 construction workers were on the project, only 2 injuries were reported.

FULL POST

February 16th, 2011
11:46 AM ET

1 killed in Yemen anti-government protests

At least one person has been killed during anti-government protests in
the Yemeni city of Aden, eyewitnesses reported.

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Filed under: World • Yemen
Wednesday's intriguing people
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour says a license plate honoring Klansman Nathan Bedford Forrest won't actually pass.
February 16th, 2011
10:30 AM ET

Wednesday's intriguing people

Haley Barbour

The Mississippi governor, who is reportedly considering a 2012 presidential bid, refused to denounce an effort to put a Confederate-era member of the Ku Klux Klan on state license plates, saying, "I don't go around denouncing people." Barbour also said of the ex-Klansman, "He's a historical figure."

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Budget • District of Columbia • Economy • Education • Football • Health • History • Mississippi • Missouri • Most Intriguing People • Pennsylvania • Politics • Race
Students demand more sex ed, condoms
Boston has 36 public high schools, but condoms are available only at nine with community health clinics, according to the Boston Globe.
February 16th, 2011
10:18 AM ET

Students demand more sex ed, condoms

Hundreds of students crowded into a Boston City Council hearing Tuesday to demand more and better sex education and access to condoms, the Boston Globe reported.

Students can obtain condoms at nine of Boston's 36 public high schools, the Globe reported.

"Sex education is important to me because sexual identity is part of our lives," said high school sophomore Kimpsha Grant. "And when we don't talk about it, people learn the wrong things about it or nothing at all."

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Filed under: Education • Health • Massachusetts • U.S.
Lance Armstrong retiring from cycling
Lance Armstrong rides during the 2011 Tour Down Under in Australia in January.
February 16th, 2011
10:14 AM ET

Lance Armstrong retiring from cycling

Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong on Wednesday announced his retirement from professional cycling, saying he would devote his time to his family and his LIVESTRONG campaign to fight cancer.

"My focus now is raising my five children, promoting the mission of LIVESTRONG and growing entrepreneurial ventures with our great corporate partners in the fight against cancer," Armstrong said in a statement.

Armstrong overcame testicular cancer before his seven consecutive victories in professional cycling's premier event.

Read CNN's full coverage of Armstrong's retirement
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Filed under: Cycling • Sports
Florida governor won't take federal funds for high-speed rail
February 16th, 2011
09:51 AM ET

Florida governor won't take federal funds for high-speed rail

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declined federal money to build high-speed rail projects in the state.


Filed under: Florida • Politics • Railroads • Travel
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