The day's most popular stories
White marchers gather at a Glenn Beck rally this summer. Were they driven by racial fears or patriotic sentiment?
March 4th, 2011
11:04 PM ET

The day's most popular stories

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

Teen basketball star dies after winning shot: As news of Wes Leonard's death spread, a small community on the banks of Lake Michigan convulsed in shock. A moment of enormous school pride was reduced to irrelevance, a moment of joy turned into the opposite.

Walker sends layoff warning to unions: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's administration on Friday issued notices to unions, warning them of possible layoffs in early April if the budget impasse continues.

Are whites racially oppressed? They marched on Washington to reclaim civil rights. They complained of voter intimidation at the polls. They called for ethnic studies programs to promote racial pride. They are, some say, the new face of racial oppression in this nation - and their faces are white.

10-year-old girl upstages Lady Gaga: The 10-year-old girl whose rendition of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" made her a YouTube sensation joined her idol onstage Thursday night - and stole the show.

Protesters mowed down in Libya, witness says: "Indescribable" violence rippled through the Libyan city of Zawiya on Friday, according to a witness who said pro-government forces gunned down peaceful protesters there.

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Filed under: Labor • Lady Gaga • Libya • Most Popular • Politics • Protest • Showbiz
N. Africa, Mideast protests: Egypt's new prime minister says he is 'of the people'
Anti-government protesters pray Friday in Benghazi, Libya, during a call to arms to join the fight against the government forces of President Muammar Gaddafi.
March 4th, 2011
10:51 PM ET

N. Africa, Mideast protests: Egypt's new prime minister says he is 'of the people'

Across the Middle East and North Africa, CNN's reporters and iReporters are covering protests, many of them inspired by revolts in Tunisia and Egypt that toppled those countries' longtime rulers. Check out our interactive map explaining the roots of the unrest in each country and full coverage of the situation in Libya. Have a story to tell from the scene? Click here to send an iReport. CNN's Fareed Zakaria breaks down what the movements toward democracy mean.

Developments on unrest in the Middle East and North Africa:

[LIBYA 9:06 p.m. ET, 4:06 a.m. local] Egypt's new prime minister, Essam Sharaf, appeared before thousands of protesters at Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday, telling them he is "of the people" and would resign if he failed to meet their demands. Sharaf, Egypt's former transportation minister, was sworn in Friday after the resignation of Ahmed Shafik, the last prime minister appointed by Hosni Mubarak.

[LIBYA 6:00 p.m. ET, 1:00 a.m. local] The United Nations said Friday it is studying Libya's request to install a more loyal diplomat as its ambassador. A letter from Libya's government asked that former Foreign Minister Ali Abdussalam Treki be approved as its envoy. Treki, who recently served as the president of the U.N. General Assembly, would replace Mohamed Shalgham as ambassador in New York.

[LIBYA 2:16 p.m. ET, 9:16 p.m. local] Libyan government spokesman Majid al-Dursi told CNN that "Zawiya has been captured, Zawiya has been liberated."

Battalions of forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi attacked protesters with mortars and machine guns as they were demonstrating in the city's Martyrs Square, eyewitnesses said. The troops also assaulted an ambulance and killed people who fell wounded.

"Civilians were killed but we can not say how many. We buried nine people so far," the witness said. "The attack was indescribable. Direct gunfire was opened on people."

[SAUDI ARABIA, 12:04 p.m. ET, 8:04 p.m. local] A second protest unfolded in Riyadh after Friday prayer, according to two Saudi activists who requested they not be identified because of concerns for their safety.

As many as 40 anti-government demonstrators gathered outside Al-Rajhi Mosque for a short protest. At least one man involved in organizing the protest was arrested, the activists said.

The activists said the protesters attracted a crowd of worshipers leaving the mosque. Some of the protesters carried signs showing a map of Saudi Arabia that did not contain the words "Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," an affront to the Saudi royal family.

[LIBYA, 11:56 a.m. ET, 6:56 p.m. local] A witness said the Friday attack in Zawiya was an "indescribable" and deadly assault. The witness said forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi attacked peaceful protesters in Zawiya with mortars and machine guns.

[LIBYA, 11:32 a.m. ET, 6:32 p.m. local] A C-130 cargo plane labeled with a U.S. flag landed in Tunisia, Libya, on Friday, CNN has learned.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated Friday that two C-130 planes were en route to Tunisia to help with the humanitarian crisis in Libya.

[LIBYA, 11:02 a.m. ET, 6:02 p.m. local] At least 15 people have been killed and 200 wounded in the Libyan city of Zawiya, according to a doctor, who said "there is a river of blood" at the hospital where the injured are being treated.

Earlier, a report from Libyan State TV said that people in Zawiya, west of Tripoli, and "their public leadership have secured and took control over the city from the 'armed terrorist elements.'"

The doctor said wounded people started arriving at the hospital Friday morning, and most of the injuries are from gunshots.

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Filed under: Africa • Bahrain • Egypt • Libya • Tunisia • World • Yemen
50 people in 50 days: Mom walks to mailbox in pajamas, never seen again
March 4th, 2011
10:35 PM ET

50 people in 50 days: Mom walks to mailbox in pajamas, never seen again

"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 35th case, and it was shown Friday night on HLN.

Venus Stewart walked out to her mailbox in her pajamas to mail a letter the morning of April 26, 2010, and was never seen again.

Police believe the young mother of two little girls is dead, but a body has not been found. Drag marks in the yard pointed to signs of a struggle. Search warrants later revealed blood believed to belong to the 32-year-old mother in her estranged husband’s truck, along with a receipt for a shovel, tarp and gloves.

The estranged husband, Doug Stewart, is on trial for Stewart’s murder. While Venus’ family finds solace with the justice system, they want to find their daughter to give her a proper burial.

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Filed under: 50 People in 50 Days • Crime • TV-Nancy Grace
Ebert closes TED conference with emotional talk - and a laugh
Film critic Roger Ebert gave the final talk at this week's TED conference.
March 4th, 2011
10:04 PM ET

Ebert closes TED conference with emotional talk - and a laugh

In the end, Roger Ebert’s computer voice passed what he called the ultimate test. It got a laugh, which was no easy thing given the emotionally wrenching talk Ebert, his wife and two friends gave to close the TED conference Friday.

Ebert, the film and culture critic, lost the ability to speak and much of his lower jaw after operations for cancer four years ago.

Taking the stage at the conference in Long Beach, California, he wore a newly designed facial prosthesis. Ebert spoke through "Alex," a computer voice from his MacBook, and was accompanied by his wife, Chaz, and friends John Hunter and Dean Ornish. The four took turns giving the talk, as Ebert told the story of his illness, which turned a self-described "motor mouth" into a man who can't have a conventional conversation.

TED, which originally stood for the subjects of technology, entertainment and design, is a high-profile conference run by a nonprofit dedicated to "Ideas Worth Spreading." Its conference this year was titled, "The Rediscovery of Wonder."

"When you see me today, I look like the Phantom of the Opera," Ebert said, as Chaz immediately broke in to say, "No, you don’t!" She had to pause in the midst of the speech to regain composure.

"It is human nature to look away from illness," Ebert added, explaining that making friends for him is now much easier online, where his blog and Twitter feed draw wide readership. "I become uncomfortable when separated from my laptop."

Ebert began by playing a clip from the film "2001: A Space Odyssey," in which the eerie voice of the computer HAL 9000 says repeatedly, "My mind is going." The critic likened some of his computer voices to HAL, but pointed out there has been immense progress in technology used to simulate voices. A company in Scotland was able to create a computer voice that sounds like Ebert before he lost his ability to speak. The voice was generated through processing many hours of tapes of Ebert talking.

Still, the voice he put to the test was the impersonal "Alex."

"The ultimate test of a computer voice is whether it can tell a joke like Henny Youngman," Ebert said.

He told the audience, some in a somber state, a story that changed their mood:

"A guy goes to a psychiatrist, who tells him, 'You’re crazy.'

"He says, 'I want a second opinion.'

" 'You’re ugly.' "

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Filed under: Health • Technology
Photo of Giffords on day of shooting released
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona speaks with Jim and Doris Tucker in Tucson on the morning of January 8.
March 4th, 2011
09:02 PM ET

Photo of Giffords on day of shooting released

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' office Friday released a picture of her taken the morning of the shooting.

The congresswoman is seen standing in front of the grocery store, talking to constituents identified by her office as Jim and Doris Tucker.

Jim Tucker was shot twice, once in his calf and once in his collarbone, according to CNN affiliate KOLD. His wife escaped unharmed.

"I've wondered since the very beginning why wasn't I shot? But I just take it as a miracle from God that I wasn't, for some purpose," Doris Tucker has told the network.

The shooting outside the Tucson, Arizona, store on January 8 left six people dead and critically wounded Giffords.

She is undergoing rehabilitation at a medical facility in Houston.

The accused gunman, Jared Lee Loughner, was indicted Friday on 49 counts including murder and attempted murder.

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Filed under: Gabrielle Giffords
March 4th, 2011
08:07 PM ET

Rescuers call off Nevada mine rescue because of 'dangerous conditions'

A 28-year-old man who fell into an abandoned mine in Nevada may have to stay there until conditions at the mine allow for his rescue, officials said.

The man fell Wednesday at the Murphy Mine Complex, which dates back to 1895 and is located about 60 miles south of Winnemucca in Pershing County, said spokeswoman JoLynn Worley of the state Bureau of Land Management.

Rescuers went down the shaft but could not find him. They did, however, find him upon sending a camera down the shaft, and at 8 p.m. PT Thursday, he was alive and moving his hands.

“It appears that due to the hazardous and dangerous conditions of that shaft, the rescue efforts were stopped,” Worley said.

As of 3 a.m. Friday, the camera was still recording him. He was breathing, but there was no movement, she said.

A U.S. Navy Search and Rescue team is assisting regional authorities and the Newmont Mining Corp. in the rescue.

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Filed under: Mine accidents • Nevada • U.S.
Lady Gaga threatens to sue over 'Baby Gaga' human breast milk ice cream
Lady Gaga wants the makers of "Baby Gaga" ice cream to stop using her name.
March 4th, 2011
08:00 PM ET

Lady Gaga threatens to sue over 'Baby Gaga' human breast milk ice cream

Lady Gaga has threatened to sue the makers of an ice cream made from human breast milk if they don't stop selling the product under the name "Baby Gaga."

News of the flavor's sale in a London sweets shop by a waitress dressed like Lady Gaga raised eyebrows worldwide and led to its confiscation after the Westminister City Council deemed it unfit for human consumption.

That hasn't stopped the meat-wearing entertainer from accusing Covent Garden's Icecreamists of riding her "coattails" to promote a "deliberately provocative" product that many consider "nausea-inducing," according to legal documents filed on her behalf.

In using her name and her image, Gaga - whose real name is Stefani Germanotta - accuses the shop of misleading the public into believing she endorses the concoction of breast milk, vanilla pods and lemon zest.

"The references you are making to Lady Gaga are thus clearly deliberate and intended to take advantage of her reputation and good will," the document states.

Furthermore, "associating the Lady Gaga mark with a food product which may be unsafe for human consumption (owing to the risk of it carrying such viruses as hepatitis) is also highly detrimental" to her brand, according to the document.

Gaga demands that Icecreamists change the name of the ice cream to something that is not "aurally, visually or conceptually similar" to Lady Gaga and to remove all references to Baby Gaga from their website and marketing materials or face an injunction and further legal proceedings.

The owner of Icecreamists, Matt O'Connor, said he intends to fight the allegations, which he calls "preposterous and outrageous."

He also said he plans to continue selling the breast milk ice cream under the name Baby Gaga if he gets the ice cream back from the council.

"We think this is very unnecessary, the whole thing will be over by next week, but we are prepared to fight this in court," he said.

Wisconsin governor issues union layoff notices
Layoff notices issued by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker could take effect as early as April 1.
March 4th, 2011
06:16 PM ET

Wisconsin governor issues union layoff notices

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has issued union layoff notices that could take effect as early as April 1, a governor spokesman said Friday.

The measure "may be able to be rescinded and layoffs avoided" if 14 Senate Democrats return to the state capitol.

"Without Senate action within 15 days, individual employees may begin to receive potential termination notifications," said spokesman Cullen Werwie.

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Filed under: Politics • Protest • Wisconsin
Mexican authorities deny reports that border state's female police chief fled
Marisol Valles Garcia made headlines last year when she became police chief of one of Mexico's most violent municipalities.
March 4th, 2011
04:36 PM ET

Mexican authorities deny reports that border state's female police chief fled

[Updated at 4:03 p.m. ET] A spokesman for the attorney general of Chihuahua State denied reports Friday that Marisol Valles Garcia - the 20-year-old woman who made headlines when she became the police chief of Praxedis, Mexico - has left the country for the United States.

Spokesman Arturo Sandoval was referring to comments in El Diario newspaper attributed to Jorge Gonzalez Nicolas, the attorney general for the northern district of Chihuahua.

"He did not give a press conference," Sandoval told CNN. "We negate reports that Nicolas said she fled to the United States."

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Filed under: Drug violence • Mexico
Mark your calendar: 'Charlie Sheen Night' at hockey game
Charlie Sheen is the focus of a minor-league hockey team's theme night next weekend.
March 4th, 2011
02:47 PM ET

Mark your calendar: 'Charlie Sheen Night' at hockey game

A minor-league hockey team is sponsoring a "Charlie Sheen Night," featuring a collection of quirky promotions befitting the mercurial comic actor.

The Bakersfield, California, Condors of the East Coast Hockey League (East Coast?!) are offering these specials for their March 12 game against the Idaho Steelheads, straight from their website:

- Wear a fedora, or dress like any Charlie Sheen movie character and receive admission for two and a half bucks ($2.50).

- Bring a clean drug test and receive free admission.

- 2-for-1 Tiger Blood Icees and snow cones for the kids.

- The first 1,000 males will receive a Charlie Sheen face on a stick mask.

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Filed under: Celebrity • Charlie Sheen • Showbiz • TV
Giffords' alleged shooter indicted on 49 counts
Jared Lee Loughner has been indicted on 49 counts in connection with the shootings that injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
March 4th, 2011
02:46 PM ET

Giffords' alleged shooter indicted on 49 counts

A federal grand jury has indicted Jared Lee Loughner on 49 counts in an indictment authorities unveiled Friday, prosecutors said.

The charges relate to a shooting in Tucson, Arizona, that killed several people and critically wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona.

A grand jury indicted Loughner in January on three counts of attempted murder, including one alleging that he tried to kill Giffords. The new indictment includes those charges and adds several others.

It charges him with murder in the death of John Roll, a federal judge, and Gabriel Zimmermann, a staff member for Giffords.

It also charges him with causing the deaths of Dorothy J. Morris, Phyllis C. Schneck, Dorwan C. Stoddard and a child at a federally provided activity, federal prosecutors said in a statement.

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Filed under: Arizona • Crime • Gabrielle Giffords • Politics • U.S.
March 4th, 2011
01:03 PM ET

'Archie' comic book brings record bid

Archie Comics #1 originally sold for 10 cents in 1942.

Comic book character Archie has always been a sort of awkward, goofy dude, but to at least one collector, he's a superhero.

A copy of Archie Comics No. 1 sold at auction last week for $167,300, the highest amount ever paid for a non-superhero comic book, according to Heritage Auction Galleries of Dallas.

"Archie may have a ways to go to catch the likes of Superman and Batman, his Golden Age counterparts, but you can bet that collectors sat up and took notice when this comic brought that price," said Lon Allen, managing director of comics at Heritage Auction Galleries. "This amount exceeds the priciest of Spidey and Hulk comic books we've sold, which brought in excess of $125,000 each."

Archie Comics No. 1 was published in 1942, according to Comic Book Resources, and the brand continues today.

The winning bidder, who chose to remain anonymous, had been hunting a long time for a copy in great condition, according to the auction house.

"It's not going to leave my possession until I die," he reportedly told the auction house.

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Filed under: Art • Auctions • Literature • Texas
Friday's intriguing people
Actress Denise Richards was married to Charlie Sheen from 2002 to 2006. They have two daughters.
March 4th, 2011
12:44 PM ET

Friday's intriguing people

Denise Richards

As if Charlie Sheen didn’t have enough problems, like having his show canceled and sons taken, now his ex-wife is saying he poses a risk to their daughters, TMZ reported. Richards said she is “disgusted” with Sheen and called him unstable, saying she didn’t want him or his “goddesses” – girlfriends Bree Olsen and Natalie Kenly – around daughters Sam, 6, and Lola, 5, according to the website.
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Filed under: California • Celebrity • Charlie Sheen • Christian • Health • Kanye West • Most Intriguing People • Movies • Music • Protest • Religion • Science • Showbiz • Technology • TV • U.S.
Help on way for air traffic jams
Captains Jeff Martin, left, and Kevin Fergerson work with GPS-based traffic displays in a Southwest Airlines cockpit.
March 4th, 2011
12:32 PM ET

Help on way for air traffic jams

Tom Stuker jokes that his home is "in Row One in a nice, big plane."

The 57-year-old car dealership consultant is a mega-frequent flier who has racked up 9.7 million miles during 5,000 flights over the past three decades - and he's got the stories to prove it.

"I've experienced aborted takeoffs, aborted landings, near misses and passenger deaths on three different flights."

Sure, his status as frequent-flier king earns him royal treatment. But the U.S. commercial airline system often leaves him stranded like millions of other travelers.

To deal with potential gridlock from the 1 billion U.S. air passengers expected to crowd the skies by 2021, the FAA is overhauling its traffic system, which has remained largely unchanged for 30 years.

The overhaul is called NextGen and components of the air traffic program are in use or being tested at airports in several U.S. cities including Philadelphia, Houston, Seattle and Louisville, Kentucky.

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Filed under: Air travel • Travel
On the radar: Player dies, Libyans fight, NFL negotiates, states wrestle budgets
Libyan rebels fire into the air Friday on their way to fight loyalist forces in the city of Ras Lanuf.
March 4th, 2011
12:12 PM ET

On the radar: Player dies, Libyans fight, NFL negotiates, states wrestle budgets

Player makes winning shot, dies

A high school basketball player in Michigan collapsed and died Thursday night after making the winning shot in overtime to cap his team's 20-0 regular season.

An autopsy will be conducted to determine a cause of death for Fennville High School player Wes Leonard, 16, CNN affiliate WOOD-TV reported.

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Filed under: Basketball • Libya • Michigan • On the Radar • Politics • Pro football • Race • Sports • U.S. • Wisconsin
'River of blood' at hospital after shootings in Zawiya, Libya, witness says
Libyan anti-government protesters chant slogans during a protest against Gadhafi in Zawiya on February 27.
March 4th, 2011
11:49 AM ET

'River of blood' at hospital after shootings in Zawiya, Libya, witness says

[Updated at 11:49 a.m. ET, 6:49 p.m. local time] Forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi attacked peaceful protesters in Zawiya with mortars and machine guns on Friday, in what a witness called an "indescribable" and deadly assault.

[Updated at 11:20 a.m. ET, 6:20 p.m. local time] Before reports of the killings emerged, a report on Libyan state TV said people in Zawiya, west of Tripoli, and "their public leadership have secured and took control over the city from the armed terrorist elements."

Zawiya was the site of at least 17 killings in one day last month when government forces attacked the city, doctors told CNN.

[Posted at 11:06 a.m. ET, 6:06 p.m. local time] At least 15 people have been killed and 200 more wounded in the Libyan city of Zawiya, an eyewitness told CNN.

Wounded people started arriving at the hospital Friday morning. Most of the injuries resulted from gunshots, and many of the injuries were to the head and chest.

The eyewitness said the hospital is running out of medical supplies.

"There is a river of blood here in the hospital. The situation is very bad," he said.

Read CNN's full coverage of the uprising in Libya
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Filed under: Human rights • Libya • Protest • World
Girl, 10, upstages Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga may be one of the world's biggest stars right now, but a little girl stole her thunder, and her heart, Thursday night.
March 4th, 2011
11:37 AM ET

Girl, 10, upstages Lady Gaga

A 10-year-old girl who became a YouTube sensation by singing a Lady Gaga song joined her idol onstage Thursday night - and stole the show.

Maria Aragon of Winnipeg, Canada, walked onstage to wild cheers from the concert audience at Toronto's Air Canada Centre. Gaga picked her up in a hug and spun her around in the air.

Maria, wearing shiny black tights, a pink top and a tiny leather jacket, then sat on Gaga's lap on the piano bench and poised her fingers over the keyboard.

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Filed under: Canada • Celebrity • Lady Gaga • Music • Showbiz
Orcas exposed to exhaust that's at 5 times L.A. freeway levels, study finds
Killer whales do not have the respiratory filters that humans have.
March 4th, 2011
11:16 AM ET

Orcas exposed to exhaust that's at 5 times L.A. freeway levels, study finds

Whale-watching tours off Victoria, British Columbia, may be exposing the area's killer whales to carbon monoxide emissions five times higher than those found on Los Angeles freeways, a local zoologist says.

Cara Lachmuth told the Victoria Times-Colonist that her two-year study of the effects of vehicle traffic patterns and atmospheric conditions on the local population of 87 orcas found the exhaust could harm the health of the whales.

"We're right at the threshold of where you would expect to see health effects," Lachmuth told the newspaper.

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Filed under: Animals • Canada • Whales • World
Teen hits game-winning shot, dies
Wes Leonard hit a game-winning shot before collapsing and dying Thursday night.
March 4th, 2011
11:05 AM ET

Teen hits game-winning shot, dies

A 16-year-old Michigan basketball player hit a game-winning shot in overtime Thursday night to give his team a perfect 20-0 season record, then collapsed and died on the court, CNN affiliate WOOD in Grand Rapids reports.

Wes Leonard, a junior at Fennville High School, collapsed on the court just after Fennville's 57-55 overtime win over Bridgman High, according to the WOOD report. A parent EMT immediately began CPR, but the teen later died at Holland Hospital, the report said.

The cause of death was unknown, local media reported.

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Filed under: Basketball • Michigan • Sports • U.S.
Gotta Watch: Booze smasher; ice music; from the vault
Surveillance video shows a woman smashing bottles through a liquor store.
March 4th, 2011
11:01 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Booze smasher; ice music; from the vault

Liquor store meltdown – Smashing stuff isn't just for rock stars and two-year-olds. An angry woman acts on her impulse to smash through liquor bottles after a heated conversation with the store clerk. According to the store owners, she was told she couldn't use the store's restroom.

[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2011/03/04/ny.liquor.smash.cnn"%5D

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Filed under: Crime • Cuba • Gotta Watch
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