Mideast live blog: Humanitarian crisis loomed before intervention, Obama says
Libyan rebels ride in their vehicles as they progress westward toward Moammar Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte.
March 28th, 2011
11:39 PM ET

Mideast live blog: Humanitarian crisis loomed before intervention, Obama says

An unemployed college graduate in Tunisia set himself ablaze after police confiscated his fruit cart, cutting off his source of income, late last year, sparking protests about high unemployment, corruption, rising prices and political repression in the North African country. In mid-January, autocratic Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled the country and an interim government took over. The success of the Tunisian protests in prompting regime change soon spurred similar protests across North Africa and the Middle East. Here is what's happening today:

[11:39 p.m. Monday ET, 5:39 a.m. Tuesday in Libya] Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS," reacts to U.S. President Barack Obama's televised address on Libya:

[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2011/03/28/exp.arena.zakaria.libya.speech.cnn"%5D

[11:36 p.m. Monday ET, 5:36 a.m. Tuesday in Libya] U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, reacts to U.S. President Barack Obama's televised address on Libya:

[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2011/03/28/exp.piers.morgan.lindsey.graham.cnn"%5D

[11:28 p.m. Monday ET, 5:28 a.m. Tuesday in Libya] Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's youngest son, who runs the country's elite special forces for his father's regime, was on an internship program in the United States when public unrest exploded in Libya last month, CNN's Pam Benson reports.

Khamis Gadhafi abruptly cut off his visit and returned to Libya, where he has led the 32nd Reinforced Brigade, known at the Khamis Brigade, in its  suppression of rebel forces.

ABC News was the first to report Khamis' recent stay in the U.S.

The brigade's headquarters was the target of six Tomahawk missiles overnight, according to Vice Adm. William Gortney of the Joint Staff.  Libya's state TV on Monday night broadcast live footage from Gadhafi's Tripoli compound of Khamis dressed in uniform and greeting people. Prior to the broadcast there had been unconfirmed reports that the younger Gadhafi had died from injuries he suffered when a plane flown by a disgruntled Libyan pilot crashed into a military compound while he was there.

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Filed under: Libya • World • Yemen
Montana Radio Shack offers free gun or pizza with satellite TV purchase
The owner of the Radio Shack in Hamilton, Montana, says only one customer has responded negatively to his promotion.
March 28th, 2011
02:44 PM ET

Montana Radio Shack offers free gun or pizza with satellite TV purchase

A Radio Shack owner in Montana has upped foot traffic at his Hamilton store by offering free guns for new satellite television subscribers, according to a local paper.

Fear not, those opposed to gun ownership and those who might fail background checks. You can have free pizza instead.

The sign says it all: “Protect yourself with Dish Network. Sign up now. Get free gun.” (The real marquee has no periods, so I took a little punctuative license.)
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Filed under: Business • Montana • U.S.
Si.com: Cinderella vs. Cinderella, women's Elite Eight, marathon baseball
Virginia Commonwealth coach Shaka Smart celebrates after his team knocked off the No. 1-seeded Kansas Jayhawks.
March 28th, 2011
12:52 PM ET

Si.com: Cinderella vs. Cinderella, women's Elite Eight, marathon baseball

With every No. 1 and No. 2 seed knocked out of this year’s NCAA college basketball tournament, it’ll be Cinderella battling Cinderella next weekend in the Final Four.

It’s safe to say that few, if any, saw this coming. This year’s season was marked by the fact that there was not the traditional powerhouse that all other teams were chasing. This year’s tournament was arguably one of the more wide open in recent memory.

But this wide open?

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Filed under: Baseball • Basketball • California • College basketball • Florida • Indiana • LeBron James • NBA • Sports • U.S. • Virginia
Monday's Most Intriguing People: A death row inmate, a writer and a boxing legend
Troy Davis has been on Georgia's death row for 19 years.
March 28th, 2011
12:32 PM ET

Monday's Most Intriguing People: A death row inmate, a writer and a boxing legend

TROY DAVIS

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a condemned Georgia inmate's request that his execution be delayed as he attempts to prove his "actual innocence." Without comment, the justice put aside two separate appeals from Troy Davis, probably setting the stage for the state to set another execution date. Davis, on death row for 19 years, has gained international support for his long-standing claim that he did not murder a Savannah police officer more than two decades ago. A number of key prosecution witnesses have either recanted or backed off their trial testimony. Other witnesses have come forward and said another man at the scene told them he was the actual killer. FULL STORY

MARK BOAL

The American journalist who won an Academy Award in 2010 for the screenplay of "The Hurt Locker" has written an extensive report in Rolling Stone this month about U.S. military atrocities in Afghanistan. "The Kill Team" details how rogue members of the Army's 3rd Platoon, 5th Stryker Brigade murdered at least four Afghan civilians and tried to cover up their deaths.

Last week, Cpl. Jeremy Morlock was sentenced to 24 years for his role in the killings. Others await military trial. Boal's war stories from his time as a military embed have twice become films. "The Man in the Bomb Suit" evolved into "The Hurt Locker." Another became the film "In the Valley of Elah." Now, Boal is reportedly set to produce, and possibly write, a film version of the Wikileaks story.

NICK CHARLES

The greatest boxing commentator since Howard Cosell returned to the ring on Saturday. Former CNN Sports Illustrated anchor Nick Charles called play-by-play on HBO's "Boxing After Dark." The 64-year-old was brought on by HBO after Executive Producer Rick Bernstein read a stirring Sports Illustrated profile detailing Charles' struggle with terminal bladder cancer. Charles was reinvigorated preparing for the featherweight match between Mikey Garcia and Matt Remillard. Though he's suffering from immense pain, the ex-anchor seemed to thrive on air. "Why am I doing this tonight?" he asked at the start of the bout. "To inspire others to do what they love."

3 types of plutonium detected at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant
Authorities hold a blue sheet over patients exposed to radiation at the Fukushima nuclear power plant last week.
March 28th, 2011
12:11 PM ET

3 types of plutonium detected at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant

Three types of plutonium have turned up amid the radioactive contamination on the grounds of the earthquake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, its owner reported Monday.

The plutonium is a byproduct of nuclear reactions that is also part of the fuel mix at the damaged No. 3 reactor.

It was found in soil at five different points inside the plant grounds, the Tokyo Electric Power Company said late Monday.

Plutonium can be a serious health hazard if inhaled or ingested, but external exposure poses little health risk, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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Filed under: 2011 tsunami • Energy • Environment • Japan • Nuclear • World
Gotta Watch: Formula One's need for speed
The 2011 Formula One season kicked off Sunday in Melbourne, Australia
March 28th, 2011
11:21 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Formula One's need for speed

It's not enough to call Formula One racing "fast driving." It's more like flying, just really low. The F1 season kicked off Sunday in Melbourne, Australia. Today, we're blowing your hair back with two of the fast and furious: Team Ferrari and Team Lotus. Don't worry, these guys aren't texting while driving, but CNN found out many of the top drivers have a huge following on Twitter.

Vroom! - The "Prancing Horse" rides again. Team Ferrari has 215 Grand Prix wins to celebrate. Will they grab 216? That depends largely on drivers Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso.

This year's model - Team Lotus' Mike Gascoyne shows us how even the slightest modification to one of these four-wheeled wonders can cost a driver a "make or break" one-hundredth of a second.

Tweets on the track - If you can't make it to the grandstand during a Formula One race, Twitter may offer the next best thing: tweets from the pit and jokes from the drivers.

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Filed under: Auto racing • Gotta Watch • Sports
India's wild tiger population jumps 14%
A tiger wearing a tracking collar is seen in an Indian national park in October.
March 28th, 2011
10:36 AM ET

India's wild tiger population jumps 14%

The wild tiger population in India, home to half of the wild tigers in the world, has increased almost 14% in the past three years, a new census shows.

There are now an estimated 1,706 wild tigers in India, according to the count from India’s National Tiger Conservation Authority, which cooperated with the World Wildlife Fund, among other partners, in doing the study.

“These numbers give us hope for the future of tigers in the wild, and that India continues to play an integral role in the tiger’s recovery,”  WWF International Director General Jim Leape said in a statement.

"Recovery requires strong protection of core tiger areas and areas that link them, as well as effective management in the surrounding areas,” added Mike Baltzer, head of WWF’s Tigers Alive Initiative. “With these two vital conservation ingredients, we can not only halt their decline, but ensure tigers make a strong and lasting comeback.”

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Filed under: Animals • India • Nature • Tigers • World
March 28th, 2011
10:33 AM ET

America's worst nuclear accident: 32nd anniversary of Three Mile Island

As Japan struggles with a nuclear crisis at a power plant damaged during the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, America is marking the 32nd anniversary of its worst nuclear disaster: Three Mile Island.

On March 28, 1979,  a partial nuclear meltdown occurred at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, near Harrisburg.

When a valve at the plant malfunctioned, dangerous amounts of radioactive gases and iodine-131 were released. At first, Metropolitan Edison, the owner of the plant, insisted that it was a minor incident. However, the scope of the crisis became clear as investigators tried to assess the damage. Members of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission called for an emergency evacuation of the area, but the NRC outraged the community after approving the direct release of 40,000 gallons of radioactive waste water into the Susquehanna River. No one was injured, but the fear that a nuclear meltdown with deadly consequences could happen in the U.S. became frighteningly real. CNN.com asks: "Is the fear realistic?"

CNN Radio spoke with  Tom Kauffman and Nat Goldhaber, who were key players in the Three Mile Island incident. Kauffman was a plant systems operator, and he showed up for work to hear an emergency alarm ringing and the control room a beehive of activity. Goldhaber, in charge of energy issues for the state, began his day about 7 a.m. with a call telling him that there had been a major accident at Three Mile Island and that radiation was heading toward the town of Goldsboro.

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Supreme Court rejects appeal from Georgia death row inmate
March 28th, 2011
10:19 AM ET

Supreme Court rejects appeal from Georgia death row inmate

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a condemned Georgia inmate's request that  his execution be delayed as he attempts to prove his "actual innocence." The  justices without comment on Monday turned aside separate appeals from Troy Davis, likely setting the stage for the state to set another execution  date.

The death row prisoner has gained international support for his  long-standing claim he did not murder a Savannah police officer more than two  decades ago.

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Filed under: Courts • Crime • Death Penalty • Justice
Fruit could make cars stronger, more fuel-efficient, scientists say
Bananas could be raw material for car parts, Brazilian scientists say.
March 28th, 2011
08:49 AM ET

Fruit could make cars stronger, more fuel-efficient, scientists say

Get ready for a bananamobile or a pineapple wagon.

Scientists in Brazil say they've developed a way to use fibers from the fruits to make strong, lightweight plastics that could be used to form car parts.

"The properties of these plastics are incredible," the leader of the project, Alcides Leão of Sao Paulo State University,  said in a press release. "They are light, but very strong — 30 per cent lighter and three to four times stronger. We believe that a lot of car parts, including dashboards, bumpers, side panels, will be made of nano-sized fruit fibers in the future. For one thing, they will help reduce the weight of cars and that will improve fuel economy."

The product is almost as strong as Kevlar, used in bulletproof vests, Leão said in presenting his team's work to the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society in Anaheim, California, over the weekend.

Among the plant products that could provide raw material for the fibers are pineapple leaves and stems, bananas, coconut shells, agave, and cattails, the scientists say.

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Filed under: Auto Industry • Brazil • Science • World
Monday's live video events
March 28th, 2011
07:26 AM ET

Monday's live video events

Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of the conflict in Libya and the nuclear crisis in Japan. 

Today's programming highlights...

10:00 am ET - Wartime contracting hearing - Federal contracting is the subject of a Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan hearing in Washington.  The commission will look at Pentagon efforts toward saving money on contracting.

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Filed under: 2011 tsunami • Afghanistan • Barack Obama • Democratic Party • District of Columbia • Earthquake • Iraq • Japan • Libya • Military • Natural Disasters • Nuclear • On CNN.com today • Politics • Security • Security contractors • Tsunami • U.S. • War • World
On the Radar: Lottery winners, Cuba visit, NCAA brackets
One winning ticket was sold for the $319 million jackpot.
March 28th, 2011
06:39 AM ET

On the Radar: Lottery winners, Cuba visit, NCAA brackets

$319 million lottery ticket: We may find out the identities of the nation's newest millionaires on Monday.

One winning ticket for Friday's $319 million MegaMillions jackpot was sold by Coulson's News Central in Albany, New York, but as of Sunday night the holder or holders of the winning ticket had not come forth.

According to Emanuel Biondi, public employees federation council leader for New York's Housing and Community Renewal Agency, the winning ticket was shared by seven IT workers there, but a New York Lottery spokesperson was unable to confirm that.

If the winners chose the cash option when buying the ticket, they will receive a one-time, lump-sum payment of $202.9 million. That amount reflects all the cash in the Mega Millions pool and is the sixth-largest jackpot in its history, according to Hapeman.

It's also the single largest sole jackpot-winning ticket ever for Mega Millions sold in New York, she said.

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Filed under: Basketball • College basketball • Cuba • On the Radar • Sports • World
March 28th, 2011
06:34 AM ET

40 killed, 90 hurt in Yemen blast

At least 40 people were killed and 90 wounded in an explosion at an ammunition factory in Yemen on Monday, medical and security officials said.

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Filed under: World • Yemen