Pew: U.S. image largely unimproved in Middle East after 'Arab Spring'
President Barack Obama is scheduled to make a major address Thursday on U.S. policy toward the "Arab Spring" uprisings.
May 17th, 2011
09:37 PM ET

Pew: U.S. image largely unimproved in Middle East after 'Arab Spring'

The United States' image in four Middle Eastern nations and the Palestinian territories largely doesn't appear to have improved during anti-government uprisings that have shaken regimes in the region, a survey from the Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project found.

Fewer people in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon view the United States favorably now than in 2010, while small gains were seen in Egypt - where an uprising toppled longtime leader Hosni Mubarak earlier this year - and the Palestinian territories, according to the survey.

Pew said America's image also dipped in the two other predominantly Muslim nations that were surveyed: Pakistan and Indonesia.

The results of the survey, which was taken between March 21 and April 26, come as U.S. President Barack Obama prepares to deliver on Thursday a highly anticipated address on U.S. policy toward the "Arab Spring" uprisings that have shaken autocratic regimes across North Africa and the Middle East.

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Filed under: Egypt • Indonesia • Jordan • Lebanon • Pakistan • Palestinians • Politics • Turkey
May 17th, 2011
09:15 PM ET

Cavaliers get first pick in NBA draft

One season after losing LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers will have the first and fourth picks in the NBA draft on June 23.

The Minnesota Timberwolves will pick second and the Utah Jazz third. The draft order was determined Tuesday by lottery among the 14 teams with the most losses this past season. The draw was weighted to favor the teams with the worst records.

Cleveland and Utah got two places in the lottery through trades. The last time the Cavaliers had the first pick, in 2003, they used it to select James from nearby Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary High School.

SI: No. 1 picks in the lottery era

The complete 2011 first-round draft order:

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Filed under: Basketball • Sports • Uncategorized
May 17th, 2011
07:19 PM ET

Louisiana issues snake warning to residents of flood-impacted areas

Louisiana has issued a snake warning to residents of areas affected by floods.

There are 22 species of snakes that within the spillway, three of which are venomous species, spokeswoman Christina Stephens of Louisiana's Office of Homeland Security said.

"When you come back to your home, check for snakes," Stephens said.

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Filed under: Louisiana • Weather
Caylee Anthony's grandparents apply to trademark her name
George and Cindy Anthony have applied for a trademark on granddaughter Caylee Anthony's name.
May 17th, 2011
07:06 PM ET

Caylee Anthony's grandparents apply to trademark her name

Caylee Anthony's grandparents have applied for trademarks on her name as well as the phrase "Justice for Caylee" to prevent others from using or profiting from the slain Florida toddler's likeness, the couple's lawyer said Tuesday.

George and Cindy Anthony's lawyer also sent a letter this week to Internet marketing company Cafepress.com, demanding that it stop selling a slew of merchandise labeled "Justice for Caylee." The items included T-shirts, boxer shorts, thongs, aprons, Christmas stockings and pet food bowls.

"This website is an affront to the memory of Caylee Anthony and the family will not tolerate the malicious production of her name in any format," stated a May 17 letter from Orlando attorney Mark Lippman  to Cafepress' legal department.

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Stocks bounce off lows
The Dow Jones industrial average was dragged lower Tuesday in part by a 7% drop in shares of Hewlett-Packard.
May 17th, 2011
06:55 PM ET

Stocks bounce off lows

Some highlights from the day's business news:

Stocks closed mixed on Tuesday as investors digested a weak outlook from Hewlett-Packard, a grim read on the housing market and an unexpected drop in April industrial production.

Despite those negative factors, stocks ended the session well off the lows set earlier in the day.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 69 points, or 0.6%, to close at 12,780. The Dow was down more than 150 points earlier in the day.

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Overheard on CNN.com: Reactions to Schwarzenegger affair
Arnold Schwarzenegger and his estranged wife, Maria Shriver.
May 17th, 2011
05:26 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Reactions to Schwarzenegger affair

Comment of the day:

"Maria just terminated the terminator and for good reason!" –runner15

Just another political philanderer?

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has admitted having an affair and fathering a son with a member of his household staff more than 10 years ago. He and his wife of 25 years, Maria Shriver, announced last week that they were separating.

Schwarzenegger’s affair had CNN.com readers buzzing, mainly about politicians and infidelity.

eddantes said, "Another member of the Republican party of family values caught with his pants down. Hypocrites." Scottro72 responded, "Some John Edwards irony staring back at ya. And, may I remind you, Shriver is a Kennedy, of the Democrat clan, you think she'd be used to male infidelity in her family and inner circle." miamigrrrl said, "As usual, CNN comments miss the rather obvious mark. eddantes is not saying that Democrats don't cheat on their wives - he is pointing out the very simple fact that it is the Republican party that uses their fake religious morality like a hammer on everyone's head, while doing whatever they want in their own lives. The hypocrisy is stunning, but not surprising." But TVinOK said, "Infidelity is not a Democratic or Republican behavior, it is a human behavior. Those who try to make it partisan are misguided. And I'm a very liberal Democrat–but I don't blame Arnold's behavior on his political affiliation nor do I think that political affiliation has anything to do with infidelity."

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Zurich rejects ban on assisted suicide, 'suicide tourism'
Zurich's voters have shot down bans on assisted suicide and on "suicide tourism."
May 17th, 2011
02:34 PM ET

Zurich rejects ban on assisted suicide, 'suicide tourism'

Zurich overwhelmingly supports a person's right to commit suicide, even if the person is a foreigner who travels to the Land of the Alps' largest city to get help dying.

So say the results of a recent ballot in which the Swiss were asked whether they approved of a ban on assisted suicide and on so-called suicide tourism, according to media reports.

Switzerland has allowed assisted suicide - so long as it's performed by a non-physician with no vested interest in the death - since 1941, but two recent phenomena have sparked debate over the issue, Reuters reported: There has been a spike in the number of foreigners committing suicide, and a recent study showed many people seeking assisted suicides are not terminally ill.

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May 17th, 2011
12:57 PM ET

Schwarzenegger acknowledges having child with staffer

Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a child more than 10 years ago outside of his marriage to Maria Shriver, a source close to the former California governor confirmed to CNN on Tuesday.

Shriver, who described her husband as an "A-plus human being" when he was accused of sexual misconduct in 2003, called it "a painful and heartbreaking time" in a written statement to CNN on Tuesday.

"As a mother, my concern is for the children," Shriver said. "I ask for compassion, respect and privacy as my children and I try to rebuild our lives and heal. I will have no further comment."

The revelation, published first by the Los Angeles Times, came about a week after Schwarzenegger and his wife of 25 years announced that they were "amicably separating."

"After leaving the governor's office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago," Schwarzenegger said in a statement obtained by CNN. "I understand and deserve the feelings of anger and disappointment among my friends and family. There are no excuses and I take full responsibility for the hurt I have caused. I have apologized to Maria, my children and my family. I am truly sorry."

Schwarzenegger fathered the child with a household staffer, the Times article said. He has provided support for the child since birth, the source told CNN.

The staffer told the newspaper that the child was fathered by her then-husband. She declined to comment after learning of Schwarzenegger's statement, the newspaper reported.

The newspaper quoted her as saying she recently retired "on good terms" with the couple after working for them for 20 years.

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Filed under: California • Politics
Gotta Watch: When lust and politics collide
Former Gov. Mark Sanford issues a public apology for having an affair in 2007.
May 17th, 2011
12:05 PM ET

Gotta Watch: When lust and politics collide

The admission, the apology, and subsequent request for forgiveness–we've heard them all before from politicians who've been caught with their pants down, the latest from Ex-California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Here at Gotta Watch, we thought we'd bring back some of the most memorable public political sex scandals.

Hiking the love trail – Someone must have forgotten to tell South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford that you can't get to Argentina from the Appalachian Trail. This so-called hike was Sanford's alibi for the trip he was actually taking to see his mistress in Argentina.

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'Historic' flood scene: Anxiety mixed with fanfare, memorabilia on the ground
Heidi Fangue is selling commemorative shirts along the highway leading to the Morganza Spillway.
May 17th, 2011
11:53 AM ET

'Historic' flood scene: Anxiety mixed with fanfare, memorabilia on the ground

Since Louisiana’s Morganza Spillway gates were opened by the Army Corps of Engineers and began spewing massive amounts of water into the Atchafalaya River basin below, the massive concrete structure has become something of a local tourist attraction.

As the gates were first being opened to help relieve flooding pressure, I looked to my right to witness virtually every law enforcement official, Corps employee, construction worker and local resident present each with a cell phone camera or iPhone in hand. That’s in addition to several dozen media outlets, like CNN, on hand for the big day. Every recording device was intently trained on the floodgates and the grand, awe-inspiring deluge now inundating a previously dry basin. I can’t tell you how many times I heard the phrase, “This is historic” flowing from the tongues of bystanders along the Morganza Spillway banks on Saturday.

The scene is like nothing seen here since 1973, when the floodgates were last opened to control the mighty Mississippi River’s rage.

The grand event was highly “produced” by the Army Corps, which controls the Morganza Spillway structure, complete with a dramatic live video feed beamed around the world, provided by the Department of Defense. Several local TV helicopters circled overhead as the gates were opened promptly at "1500 hours" as advertised. Louisiana state troopers officially closed the road for hours.

The event went off without a hitch. The excitement was palpable. The explosion of water out of the first opened bay did not disappoint. Fish were jumping, rabbits darting to safety, a gator swam through the open bay. Everyone was even allowed to walk onto the spillway to see the sights from above, once the Corps had deemed it safe for passage.

So, what’s left after all the hoopla? Certainly a ton of great video, pictures and memories for everyone who had a chance to see the 2011 opening of the Morganza Spillway floodgates. Go ahead, it’s okay to ask… what’s an event like this if there’s not a commemorative T-shirt?

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Filed under: Louisiana • Weather
Bird of prey snatches, 'rescues' stray poodle
May the poodle was found on the grounds of a Canadian nursing home, apparently dropped by a bird of prey.
May 17th, 2011
11:23 AM ET

Bird of prey snatches, 'rescues' stray poodle

If you're a small dog, you'd probably think that being snatched by a bird of prey and whisked into the sky wouldn't be the best thing that ever happened to you.

So you've gotta hear the story of May the toy poodle.

May plopped onto the grounds of a British Columbia nursing home May 2. The nurses at Shorncliffe Nursing Home in Sechelt found the creature in very poor condition, with deep gouges on her back and multiple broken ribs, according to the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The deep gouges told rescuers how she got there: clutched in the talons of a bird of prey. The dog had no identification and other maladies that led rescuers to believe she was a stray.

“In addition to the claw marks on her back and the broken ribs she sustained from the fall, all of her nails were so long they had grown into her paw pads and her teeth were badly decayed. We don’t know how long she had been wandering without care, but she was obviously very neglected. It’s ironic, but this bird may have saved her life,” Shannon Broderick, branch manager of the Sunshine Coast branch of the BCSPCA, said on the organization's website.

Shelter workers named the poodle May because of the day she was found.

“It’s an absolute miracle that she survived, and we want to do everything we can to help her,” Broderick said.

A local veterinary hospital took care of May's broken ribs and torn paw pads, but the SPCA is seeking donations to cover approximately $3,500 (U.S. $3,580) in dental work.

Check the SPCA's website here for information on how you can help.

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Filed under: Animals • Canada • Dogs
Dominique Strauss-Kahn: What's next for the jailed French presidential hopeful?
International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn in federal court Monday.
May 17th, 2011
11:21 AM ET

Dominique Strauss-Kahn: What's next for the jailed French presidential hopeful?

For the head of the powerful International Monetary Fund, and presumptive front-runner for the presidency of France, the next few days and weeks likely will bring dramatic change and impact his life both professionally and personally.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who had been scheduled to have talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and was preparing to be a leading figure in sessions addressing economic crises in Greece, Portugal and Ireland before his arrest, will now be somewhere very different: in an 11-by-13-foot cell at New York's Rikers Island jail complex.

He's a man known for his economic prowess, but also as "a great seducer" - a politician whose relationships with women have landed him in trouble.

And as he sits in jail, instead of preparing to lead France's Socialist Party against Nicolas Sarkozy next year, he will be defending himself against charges of attempted rape, unlawful imprisonment, forcible touching and sexual abuse.

The man known for helping bail out desperate countries in need of cash allegedly spent $3,000 a night for a luxury suite where he is accused of chasing a housekeeping employee down a hallway and sexually assaulting her. Read the criminal complaint (contains graphic language) (PDF)

With court appearances on the horizon, CNN is taking a look at what's next for Strauss-Kahn and what the political, financial and legal ramifications will be.

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Filed under: Crime • Economy • Finance • France
Toobin: Evidence against Strauss-Kahn 'looks awful,' but case has long way to go
CNN's Jeffrey Toobin: "It's important to remember the Duke lacrosse case, because that sounded bad initially, too."
May 17th, 2011
10:27 AM ET

Toobin: Evidence against Strauss-Kahn 'looks awful,' but case has long way to go

CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, speaking Monday on CNN's "AC360°," said International Monetary Fund chief Dominque Strauss-Kahn has retained one of New York's most famous  lawyers, Ben Brafman, who has successfully defended high-profile clients including hip-hop mogul Sean "Puffy" Combs and rapper Jay-Z.

Combs was acquitted of gun possession charges stemming from a 1999 shooting in a Manhattan nightclub.

"[Brafman] prepares like a boring sort of old-school lawyer, but he's got the flash and dash of a sort of a courtroom performer," Toobin said.

"Certainly, the evidence [against Strauss-Kahn] looks awful so far," the legal analyst said. "Why would a maid make this accusation against someone she apparently had never met before, didn't know who he was?"

But Toobin cautioned that the case has a long way to go.

"It's important to remember the Duke lacrosse case, because that sounded bad initially, too," Toobin said.

In that case, charges against three lacrosse players at Duke University were dropped in 2007 after the North Carolina attorney general found no credible evidence to support sexual assault allegations leveled by a stripper who performed at a team party.


Filed under: Crime
Levees along Mississippi River basin seem to be working
Workers use sandbags to try and stop floodwater from seeping through a levee gate in Vicksburg, Mississippi, last week.
May 17th, 2011
10:17 AM ET

Levees along Mississippi River basin seem to be working

In downtown Vicksburg, Mississippi, there are huge retaining walls designed to hold back waters when the Mississippi River floods.

The walls feature portraits of the city’s history, from Native Americans that lived on the high bluffs to scenes from the Civil War battle that helped the North capture the Mississippi.

But the gates that seal the walls are old, and leaks have sprung. Meanwhile, in other low-lying areas of the city, houses have flooded, electric lines are down and people are taking boats through neighborhoods to survey the damage.

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Town devastated, fires out of control in Alberta
Fires burn Sunday in Slave Lake, Alberta, northwest of Edmonton.
May 17th, 2011
09:49 AM ET

Town devastated, fires out of control in Alberta

Thousands of residents of Slave Lake, Alberta, were awaiting word Tuesday on when they could return to the town they fled two days earlier when wind-whipped wildfires tore through it, destroying hundreds of buildings.

At least 7,000 left the town, 155 miles northwest of Edmonton, when flames picked up Sunday afternoon, according to news reports.

No injuries have been reported. But more than a third of the town's residences had burned as well as the town hall, library and other government buildings, according to reports. Schools and the hospital survived, but essential services were damaged or knocked out. The provincial government said water in Slave Lake was not suitable for drinking or bathing until further notice.

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Tuesday's intriguing people
This year will be Jerry Lewis' last as host of the Muscular Dystrophy Association Labor Day Telethon.
May 17th, 2011
09:22 AM ET

Tuesday's intriguing people

Jerry Lewis

The comedian and entertainer will make his final appearance as the host of the Muscular Dystrophy Association Labor Day Telethon. In a statement released on mdausa.org, Lewis said, "It's time for an all new Telethon era. This year's six hour prime-time telethon on September 4 will be spectacular, and I'm thrilled to be part of it." He'll continue on as National Chairman of MDA, a role he's held since the 1950s.
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Tuesday's live video events
May 17th, 2011
07:42 AM ET

Tuesday's live video events

Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of space shuttle Endeavour's final mission.

Today's programming highlights...

8:30 am ET - Casey Anthony trial - Jury selection continues in the case of Casey Anthony, the Florida woman accused of killing her young daughter.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Casey Anthony • Crime • District of Columbia • Economy • Energy • Florida • Jordan • Offshore drilling • On CNN.com today • Pakistan • Politics • U.S. • World
On the Radar: China's top general visits; U.S.-Jordan talks; NBA playoffs
Gen. Chen Bingde is the highest-level Chinese military officer to visit Washington in seven years.
May 17th, 2011
06:41 AM ET

On the Radar: China's top general visits; U.S.-Jordan talks; NBA playoffs

Chinese general visits: China's top military officer, Gen. Chen Bingde, visits the Pentagon on Tuesday. Chen, chief of the general staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, is the highest ranking Chinese military officer to visit the U.S. in seven years.

Chinese state media has touted Chen's U.S. visit as a chance to build on goodwill established during Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to the U.S. earlier this year.

"It is worth noting that the military ties between the two countries lag far behind their relations in other fields partially because the Chinese and U.S. militaries still lack strategic mutual trust," By Yang Yi, a research fellow with China's National Defense University, wrote in the People's Daily Online.

Chen has meetings scheduled with Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, among others during his week-long visit.

On Monday night, Chen and Mullen watched a joint performance of Chinese and U.S. Army bands at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, Xinhua reported.

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Stranded man documented last days on calendar, police say
Jerry McDonald's last entry documenting the days he was stranded in Oregon's Cascade Range appears to have been made April 15.
May 17th, 2011
01:20 AM ET

Stranded man documented last days on calendar, police say

A man who was found dead in a remote mountain area in Oregon apparently was stranded there for more than 60 days by heavy snow - information gleaned from brief notes he made on a homemade calendar, authorities said.

Jerry William McDonald

A U.S. Forest Service crew found the body of Jerry William McDonald, 68, in his pickup truck Thursday in the Willamette National Forest and the Cascade Range roughly 70 miles southeast of Portland, Linn County Sheriff Tim Mueller said.

McDonald - who Mueller said was transient, estranged from his family and wasn't reported missing - arrived at the spot on February 7, according to a makeshift paper calendar that McDonald kept of his travels, the sheriff said.

He stayed there for the rest of the week, apparently to camp, with nothing noted on the calendar except his location - Horn Road - and a running count of the days he’d been there in corner of each day's box, as was his habit, Mueller said. But on the space for the 14th, McDonald wrote, "heavy snow," and "snowed in."

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