Hotel guest breaks toddler's 4-story fall
A girl fell from a fourth-floor balcony of this Econo Lodge in Orlando on Wednesday night, authorities said.
April 21st, 2011
10:23 PM ET

Hotel guest breaks toddler's 4-story fall

A British woman who came to Florida as a tourist will leave as something of a hero.

Helen Beard was at an Orlando hotel's pool when she saw a 2-year-old girl hanging from one of the building's fourth-floor balcony railings on Wednesday night, the Orange County sheriff's office said, according to CNN affiliate WKMG.

Beard - on vacation from England - ran underneath the railing, and Jah-Nea Myles fell, striking the third-floor railing on the way down, sheriff's Cpl. Susan Soto told CNN, citing an officer's report. Beard caught Jah-Nea, but the child slipped from her arms and struck the ground, and witnesses called 911, Soto said.

Despite the fall, the girl - who was taken to a hospital - suffered no injuries, bruising or scratches and was in good health, medical personnel told a sheriff's officer. The officer also said the girl was playful and did not appear to be in pain, Soto said.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Florida
Easter reminder: Kinder Eggs banned in the United States
April 21st, 2011
08:01 PM ET

Easter reminder: Kinder Eggs banned in the United States

Not all eggs are created equal in the eyes of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Kinder Eggs, a popular European chocolate egg that contains a toy inside, is banned from importation into the United States because it contains a "non-nutritive object embedded in it."

With the Easter holiday around the corner, the agency issued the reminder this week, warning that the candy is considered unsafe for children under 3. Last year, Customs and Border Protection seized 25,000 of them in 1,700 incidents.

The hollow egg, which is sold by the Italian confectioner Ferrero, is available in Europe, Canada, Australia and parts of Latin America under various names including Kinder Surprise and Kinder Sorpresa. It has taken on a cult status among adults who collect the toys, which vary from rings to animals and cartoon characters.

Kinder Eggs' scarcity in the United States has made them an object of desire: Various websites and online forums are dedicated to acquiring them.

Some are apparently hiding in plain sight. Earlier this week, DNAinfo.com, a New York City neighborhood guide, posted a story and slideshow showing stores where the coveted treats can be found.

"While there are some commercial-sized seizures that occur, most Kinder Eggs are seized in personal baggage or at mail and express consignment facilities," Customs and Border Protection said.

A Canadian woman reportedly learned her lesson the hard way.

The woman was selected for a random search at a border checkpoint in Minnesota when officials discovered she was carrying a Kinder Egg and took it from her, The Toronto Star reported.

A few weeks later, she received a 7-page letter asking if she wanted the egg back or if she was going to abandon rights to it, the Star reported.

"I was in disbelief," she told the newspaper. "It's a $2 egg."

Post by:
Filed under: Food • Holidays • U.S.
Sen. Ensign says he's resigning next month
April 21st, 2011
07:00 PM ET

Sen. Ensign says he's resigning next month

U.S. Sen. John Ensign, a Nevada Republican who is under an ethics investigation by the Senate, announced Thursday that he will resign his seat on May 3.

Ensign (pictured) had previously said he would not run for re-election in 2012 following revelations that he had an affair with a female aide who was the wife of another top aide, and that his parents subsequently gave money to the aides' family.

"While I stand behind my firm belief that I have not violated any law, rule, or standard of conduct of the Senate, and I have fought to prove this publicly, I will not continue to subject my family, my constituents, or the Senate to any further rounds of investigation, depositions, drawn out proceedings, or especially public hearings," Ensign said in a statement. "For my family and me, this continued personal cost is simply too great."

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: John Ensign • Nevada • Politics
At least 27 killed in sinking of Bangladeshi ferry
April 21st, 2011
05:56 PM ET

At least 27 killed in sinking of Bangladeshi ferry

At least 27 people died Thursday when a ferry carrying about 100 people sank in a Bangladeshi river after striking a sunken cargo boat, police and officials said.

The incident occurred in Bangladesh's southeast Brahmanbaria district, in the Meghna River.

Divers have recovered 27 bodies, including 15 women, but "dozens of people are still missing" in the river, the district's administrative chief, Mohammed Abdul Mannan, told CNN.

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: Bangladesh
Overheard on CNN.com: This is your life on (iPhone) track
An application called iPhone Tracker maps a person's location with data collected from an iPhone.
April 21st, 2011
05:31 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: This is your life on (iPhone) track

Comment of the Day
"What are you all, secret agents or something? Why are you so concerned about anyone knowing where you are or when? If you're uncomfortable with people knowing where you go, maybe you shouldn't be out at that strip club, or that brothel, or the farm where you sodomize livestock at 3 am."– toomanynames

Report: iPhones secretly track their users’ locations

Where have you been since June? If you were carrying an iPhone or an iPad, a hidden - and unauthorized - tracking file may be able to remind you, according to researchers Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden. They have posted a program that will allow iPhone users to see a map of their movements.

What’s the big deal, some CNN.com readers wondered?

ef84w said, "I found it particularly amusing that the gentleman in New York was so horrified that his travels were being recorded but doesn't seem to be aware that he's probably being captured on a myriad of cameras at almost any minute as he walks or rides through the metropolis."

OriWorkhorse said, "Now AT&T will know exactly where I was when they dropped my call." Eideard said, "Yup, it's a robot plot from Planet Nine. Only the most paranoid will survive the attack."

BrianB1972 said, ‚ÄúMany of the apps, tools, and devices on these products simply could not work if they could not tell your location. You want a GPS? Well, it can tell where you are. There‚Äôs your trade off.‚ÄĚ

FULL POST

Body of honor student missing since December found, father says
April 21st, 2011
04:56 PM ET

Body of honor student missing since December found, father says

The body of a 17-year-old honor student from North Carolina - missing since December - has been found in a Maryland river, her father said Thursday.

Russel Barnes said that a female body found Wednesday in the Susquehanna River in Maryland is that of his daughter, Phylicia Barnes (pictured). The father said he'd learned as much after talking with authorities.

The teenage girl said she was going out to get something to eat and maybe a haircut when she left a residence in Baltimore where she'd been staying with her half-sister, according to that city's police.

Later, authorities said they feared that Barnes - who is from Charlotte - had been abducted or otherwise harmed. She'd left her debit card where she was staying, and hadn't answered her cell phone since her disappearance, her mother, Janice Sallis, told HLN's "Nancy Grace."

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: Crime • Maryland • Missing Children • North Carolina • TV-Nancy Grace
Obama has OK'd use of drones in Libya, Gates says
April 21st, 2011
03:41 PM ET

Obama has OK'd use of drones in Libya, Gates says

U.S. President Barack Obama has approved the use of armed Predator drones in Libya, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday.

Gates told CNN the unmanned Predators would allow for "some precision capability" against the forces of longtime Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, and will offer a "modest contribution" to NATO efforts to support Libyan rebels.

NATO, meanwhile, has signaled it may ramp up air strikes on Gadhafi's regime. NATO issued a new warning to Libyan civilians to stay away from military areas - foreshadowing plans for attacks on targets seen as strategically significant in stopping the government's attacks against civilians, according to a NATO military official.

Libyan rebels had recently complained that NATO was not being aggressive enough to protect civilians from Gadhafi's forces.

Planes and missiles from a coalition including the United States, the United Kingdom and France began attacking Libyan air-defense targets March 19 in part to establish a no-fly zone. It was authorized by a U.N. Security Council resolution, which approved military action –short of occupation - to prevent Gadhafi's forces from attacking civilians and cities.

The intervention came after a Libyan uprising, which began in mid-February after clashes between government forces and protesters. Opposition forces are seeking the ouster of Gadhafi, who has ruled for nearly 42 years.

FULL STORY
Post by: ,
Filed under: Libya
SI.com: Sixth Man Odom comes up big for Lakers
The Lakers' Lamar Odom showed on Wednesday night why he won the NBA's Sixth Man Award.
April 21st, 2011
12:54 PM ET

SI.com: Sixth Man Odom comes up big for Lakers

A crucial Game 2 victory for the Lakers came courtesy of the team's Sixth Man Award winner, Lamar Odom. With 16 points against the New Orleans Hornets, Odom proved exactly why he deserved the accolade. As SI.com's Lee Jenkins explains, while Odom has been widely criticized for his inconsistency and off-court distractions, he displayed incredible skill when it mattered most - particularly on a quiet night for stars Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.

"The reality show, the cologne, the billboards featuring Odom and [Khloe] Kardashian make him an easy target, both inside the locker room and out," writes Jenkins. "But Odom remains the most popular Laker, beloved by teammates for his genial nature and generous spirit, which made it impossible for him to stew over his demotion two years ago. Because Odom was willing to come off the bench, the Lakers could start Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, keeping all three pillars of their dominant frontcourt. Although Gasol was as ineffective in Game 2 as he was in Game 1 - he is now 4-for-19 in the series - Bynum and Odom combined for 33 points and 18 rebounds. The Lakers, who were improbably outscored in the paint in Game 1, finally exploited their stark size advantage."

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Auto racing • Baseball • Basketball • NBA • Sports
Gotta Watch: Donald Trump
Several polls have Donald Trump as a top condender for the GOP race to the White House.
April 21st, 2011
12:13 PM ET

Gotta Watch: Donald Trump

As MSNBC has said, Donald Trump is to politics what Charlie Sheen is to entertainment. You want to watch him just to see what he says next. He keeps questioning President Obama's birthplace, but he gets annoyed when anyone presses him on his "birther" theory. Trump has been a media magnet for years, and now he's dangling the prospect of a potential presidential run. In today's Gotta Watch, we take a look at some of Trump's greatest hits.

'Birther' controversy - Trump says his strengths as a potential candidate like in his stance on "jobs, the economy, and protecting our nation from OPEC, China and all these other countries that are ripping us off." And yet, he complains that, every time he's on TV, he's asked about the theory that President Obama wasn't born in the U.S. Check out this feisty exchange between Trump and CNN's Ali Velshi and Kyran Chetry.

[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2011/04/21/am.trump.birther.cnn"%5D

What's in a Trump name? - From "stupid" to "blatherside," so many in the media have their own way to describe Donald Trump. CNN's Jeanne Moos takes a look.

[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/offbeat/2011/04/20/moos.trumpathon.cnn"%5D

Donald Trump said what?? - Sometimes it seems as though Trump says anything that comes to his mind. And it's not always nice. As he eyes a possible presidential run, CNN.com dug up some of the more zany things the mogul has said over the years.

[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics/2011/04/14/vault.bts.donald.trump.sayings.cnn"%5D

Gloria Borger: Is Donald Trump bankrupting the GOP?

Thursday's intriguing people
Journalist Tim Hetherington, killed in Libya, is remembered as a consummate war photographer, artist and gentleman.
April 21st, 2011
10:55 AM ET

Thursday's intriguing people

Tim Hetherington

The veteran war photographer, admired internationally for years covering conflicts, particularly the Afghanistan war, was killed in Libya by a rocket-propelled grenade this week. He was reporting in Misrata, the epicenter of the country's civil war. Journalist Chris Hondros was also killed. Listen to Hetherington describe what covering the Afghan war was like, and view his photographs, here. CNN's Peter Bergen wrote a personal remembrance of the journalist Thursday, describing him as humble and modest, an artist without airs. While he and Bergen were embedded with a group of Marines in Afghanistan, he said, Hetherington never mentioned that he had studied literature at Oxford University. Hetherington's film "Restrepo," about what it feels like to be a soldier, was nominated for an Oscar this year. "He felt a great affinity for these soldiers," Bergen told CNN. "He was a wonderful human being, and a very thoughtful one."

Kelly James

The Rock Hill, South Carolina, sociology professor received hate mail after urging her gay students to "act straight" after a mob attack on a local gay teen. In a WBTV interview, James was first quoted as saying: "I've got to let my students know [about the attack], so that when they're out and about in Rock Hill, that they, you know, act straight." These comments, which James insisted were out of context, sparked outrage. WBTV officials have agreed. This week, the network clarified the story and published James' entire comments. "My first thought was, you know, 'I've got to let my students know,' so that when they're out and about in Rock Hill, that they, you know, act straight," she said. "And that's a sad lesson in 2011 to be teaching young people. I mean, [homosexuality has] been off the books as a mental illness since 1973."

Frank McCourt

He has owned the Los Angeles Dodgers since 2004 and now stands to have it sold out from underneath him. On Wednesday, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announced that the league will take over the Dodgers and name a trustee to oversee it amid the team's financial struggles. It is the third setback for McCourt in the past year. His high-profile divorce from co-owner Jamie McCourt centered on the team's ownership. Also, last month, Dodgers security was called into question when a San Francisco Giants fan ‚ÄĒ and father of two ‚ÄĒ was severely beaten by men in Dodgers attire in the Dodgers Stadium parking lot.

Thursday's live video events
April 21st, 2011
07:40 AM ET

Thursday's live video events

Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage on the battle over federal spending.

Today's programming highlights...

10:30 am ET - Pentagon briefing on Afghanistan - U.S. and German military officials will talk with reporters on current military operations in Afghanistan.

3:00 pm ET - Obama's Nevada town hall - President Obama pays a visit to the "Biggest Little City in the World" today, but it's all about business.  He's in Reno, Nevada, for a town hall-style meeting to discuss relations between the government and the American public.

CNN.com Live is your home for breaking news as it happens.


Filed under: Afghanistan • Barack Obama • Budget • Dollars & Sense • Economy • Germany • Nevada • On CNN.com today • Politics • U.S. • War • World
On the Radar: Funerals in Hudson drownings, Japan restrictions, car award
A memorial is left at the site where a mother and her three children drowned in a minivan in the Hudson River.
April 21st, 2011
06:42 AM ET

On the Radar: Funerals in Hudson drownings, Japan restrictions, car award

Hudson drownings burials: Lashanda Armstrong, who killed herself and her three young children by driving her minivan into the Hudson River last week, will be buried in Spring Valley, New York, on Thursday, but relatives' plans to bury her children alongside her will not be carried out, according to media reports.

The father of the three children, Jean Pierre, announced Wednesday the funeral and burial of the children would be separate from that of their mother.

“After consulting with the Armstrong family, I have decided that the funeral arrangements for Landen, Lance and Laianna should be separate from that of Lashanda’s. My deepest sympathy goes out to La’Shaun and the Armstrong family," Pierre said in a statement released by his lawyer, according to a report in the Poughkeepsie Journal. "I ask that I be given the opportunity to grieve the loss of my three children privately," he said.

That angered Armstrong's aunt, Angela Gilliam, according to a report in the New York Daily News.

"She should be buried with her children, regardless of what she did," the Daily News quoted Gilliam as saying.

The children, an 11-month-old girl, a 2-year-old boy and a 5-year-old boy, will be buried Monday.

Another child, 10-year-old Lashaun Armstrong, escaped the vehicle as it was sinking in the Hudson.

Nuclear zone restrictions: On Friday, Japan will begin enforcing an evacuation order on a 20-kilometer zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, a top government official said.

The restriction –in place since the early days of the nuclear disaster - has often been ignored.

Many of the about 78,000 people who have homes in the evacuation zone have gone back in recent weeks to retrieve belongings, and check on farms and businesses.

No one will be allowed within 3 kilometers of the crippled nuclear facility and entry within 20 kilometers of the plant will be highly regulated, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters Thursday.

People who temporarily return to their homes, businesses and farms must wear a protective suit and ride into the restricted zone on a designated bus.

Car of the Year: The winner of the World Car of the Year will be announced at the New York International Auto Show on Thursday.

Finalists are the Audi A8, the BMW 5 Series and the Nissan LEAF, whittled down from an original list of 39 entries.

A panel of 66 automotive journalists from 24 countries votes for the winner.

Post by: ,
Filed under: 2011 tsunami • Auto Industry • Japan • New York