Bernanke kills Wall Street's buzz
June 7th, 2011
11:00 PM ET

Bernanke kills Wall Street's buzz

Some highlights from the day's business news:

U.S. stocks closed lower Monday after comments from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke dashed hopes that the central bank could provide additional economic stimulus.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 19 points, or 0.1%, to 12,070. The Dow had been up by 70 points earlier in the session. The S&P 500 eased 1 point to settle at 1,285. The Nasdaq lost 1 point to 2,701.

Speaking in Atlanta, Bernanke (pictured) acknowledged that economic growth this year has been slower than expected. But he said growth should pick up in the second half of the year if gas prices "moderate" and supply disruptions stemming from the disaster in Japan fade.

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Filed under: Business • Economy
June 7th, 2011
10:01 PM ET

North Korea reportedly test-fires missiles

North Korea test-fired a short-range missile off its western coast in the middle of last week, according to Yonhap News Agency.

Quoting an intelligence source, Yonhap says Pyongyang launched a KN-06 short-range missile in an attempt to improve it and increase its range.

This launch would be the North's first test of a short-range missile in 19 months. In July 2009, North Korea fired a series of short-range missiles off its east coast, a move criticized by the international community.

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Filed under: North Korea
June 7th, 2011
09:46 PM ET

Texas officials say no bodies found at home

[Updated at 9:46 p.m. ET] A tipster launched a search for bodies in Texas on Tuesday evening, but a search of property in a rural area turned up no evidence of any homicides, authorities said.

"We have no indication there are in fact any bodies in the residence or on the property," Liberty County Sheriff's Office Capt. Rex Evans told reporters.

Officials came with a search warrant to look at the property near the town of Hardin. Aerial footage showed officers standing outside a single-story residence in a rural area.

Evans said authorities now will try to locate and speak with the unidentified female caller.

Earlier, a federal official said at least 20 bodies had been found at a home in Hardin. A federal official later said officials were receiving conflicting information about that report.

Hardin is about 60 miles northeast of Houston.

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Overheard on CNN.com: Readers slam Weiner
June 7th, 2011
07:39 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Readers slam Weiner

Comment of the day:

"Don't pressure the Weiner. As soon as the story broke, with a last name like that, I would've resigned immediately."–DonQuijote33

Democrats turn up pressure on Weiner, rally behind ethics probe

Three main issues, along with many puns, have surfaced in comments on CNN.com stories about U.S.  Rep. Anthony Weiner's admission Monday that he had posted a lewd photo to Twitter, that he'd lied about it previously, and that he'd carried on inappropriate exchanges with several women he met online.

Readers took a stab at Weiner's seeming ignorance of social media's power to make anything public at a click of a mouse.

WebsterLong said, "Can someone tell me about any time in history where a man sending pictures of his most private of areas via the Internet has ever turned out well? Some people are so clueless it's frightening."

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Filed under: iReport • Overheard on CNN.com
Tiger Woods to miss U.S. Open
“My knee and Achilles tendon are not fully healed,” golf star Tiger Woods said on his website.
June 7th, 2011
02:54 PM ET

Tiger Woods to miss U.S. Open

Tiger Woods' knee and Achilles tendon injuries will keep him from participating in next week's U.S. Open tournament in Maryland, a post on the golf star's website said Tuesday.

"I am extremely disappointed that I won't be playing in the U.S. Open, but it's time for me to listen to my doctors and focus on the future," Woods said on his site. "I was hopeful that I could play, but if I did, I risk further damage to my left leg. My knee and Achilles tendon are not fully healed.

"I hope to be ready for AT&T National, the next two majors and the rest of the year."

Woods, 35, sprained his left knee and strained his left Achilles tendon while hitting a shot during the third round of the Masters in Augusta, Georgia, in April. Though he finished the tournament, tying for fourth, he sat out the Wells Fargo Championship and withdrew from the Players Championship in May after re-injuring his leg during the first round.

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Filed under: Golf • Sports • Tiger Woods
Study: Concrete jungle worsens pollution
Smog shrouds the Houston skyline on a hot Texas summer day.
June 7th, 2011
01:50 PM ET

Study: Concrete jungle worsens pollution

Proliferating pavement may be making urban air pollution worse, a U.S. study suggests.

Researchers led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, focused on the air in smoggy Houston.

The research team crunched atmospheric measurements with computer simulations to examine pavement's impact on breezes. The data showed, they said, that paved surfaces keep on-land temperatures artificially high, causing a reduction in cleansing nighttime sea breezes.

Furthermore, buildings and other structures block and redirect air movement, contributing to relatively stagnant afternoon weather conditions, the researchers said.

"The developed area of Houston has a major impact on local air pollution," said NCAR scientist Fei Chen, lead author of the new study. "If the city continues to expand, it's going to make the winds even weaker in the summertime, and that will make air pollution much worse."

The article will be published this month in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, a publication of the American Geophysical Union. The research was funded by the U.S. Air Force Weather Agency, the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the National Science Foundation.

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Filed under: Colorado • Environment • Science • Texas • U.S.
Japan college offers PhD in comics
Lovers of Japanese comics can now get a doctorate in the art form.
June 7th, 2011
01:29 PM ET

Japan college offers PhD in comics

Fans of vintage Japanese comics can now get a high degree in the art form.

Kyoto Seika University, a private college in western Japan, is launching the nation's first doctoral program in manga, according to Australia's The Age.

The institution reportedly began an online degree program in manga and anime last year, the newspaper says.

The on-campus program should prove to be popular. Kyoto Seika has already gotten requests from people overseas to do their cartoon research there.

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Filed under: Art • Education • Japan
'River snot' could damage pristine waterways, study finds
Didymo is present at many points along Rapid Creek, South Dakota.
June 7th, 2011
01:03 PM ET

'River snot' could damage pristine waterways, study finds

Some of the world's cleanest waterways may be in trouble for being so clean.

A species of fast-growing freshwater algae that lives in streams and rivers - sometimes called "river snot" - can alter food supplies to other aquatic life and hurt fisheries, according to a new report published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The study was funded by the National Science Foundation and the State of South Dakota Carbon Scientist fund.

Scientists such as P.V. Sundareshwar, associate professor of biogeochemistry, conducted their research in Rapid Creek, a clear mountain stream in the western part of South Dakota where the first strains of Didymo were found in 2002. Sundareshwar has been working on the project for the past four years.

"When you normally see a kind of green scum in a pond it's because there's runoff, or some pollutant causing that to happen from the outside of a body of water," he said. "But this is unusual because it's happening organically."

The formal name of the potentially damaging algae is Didymo for Didymosphenia geminata. It looks like thick mats of bacteria on the bottom of waterways and thrives in the Southern Hemisphere, from New Zealand to Chile.

"Didymo has become a major nuisance," he said. "It's so adaptable, it can dominate, virtually take over all other algae that (normally) provides a structure for the food chain in waterways. You're talking about affecting, or altering, an entire ecosystem."

He said that the problem has been especially bad in New Zealand where studies there have said that damages to fishery profits have run into the tens of millions.

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Filed under: Aquaculture • Earth • Environment
June 7th, 2011
12:40 PM ET

Arizona wildfire disrupts flights, threatens air quality in New Mexico

More than 2,500 fire fighters struggled Tuesday to gain the slimmest of advantages over a fast-moving wildfire that has already burned across 365 square miles of mountainous eastern Arizona.

As of Tuesday afternoon, only four structures had been lost in the fire, a point not lost on Brenda McCardle of Eager, Arizona, who got a visit from sheriff's deputies Monday night telling her to be ready to get out at a moment's notice should the fire race too close to her home at the base of Flat Top Mountain.

"They are doing a wonderful job of protecting property while fighting this fire," she said.

She said smoke from the fires comes and goes near her home, a reminder of the threat from one of the worst wildfires in Arizona history.

Yesterday, after the visit sheriff's deputies, McCardle said she was "crying and my brain felt dead."

"Today, I am preparing suitcases, and my mind is clearer," she said.

Critical fire weather continued Tuesday across much of the southwest, with low humidity and high winds raising the threat from fires in Arizona, New Mexico, southeastern Colorado and west Texas, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

The Arizona blaze, called the Wallow Fire, is beginning to threaten neighboring New Mexico, and spillover smoke pushed by high winds has disrupted flights and prompted an air quality alert on the other side of the border, authorities said Tuesday.

Wildfire smoke prompted scheduled flights from Oakland, California, Salt Lake City, Houston and Seattle into Albuquerque International Sunport to be diverted, according to a statement released by airport officials late Monday.

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Filed under: Arizona
Tuesday's intriguing people
Rep. Anthony Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, assists Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, right, during congressional testimony.
June 7th, 2011
11:51 AM ET

Tuesday's intriguing people

Huma Abedin

The wife of Rep. Anthony Weiner is a central, and silent, figure since her husband's sexting admission Monday. Many have asked: Will their 11-month-old marriage survive?

The Washington Post column The Reliable Source praised Abedin for not appearing alongside Weiner on Monday as the suffering wife.

Abedin, 34, was born in Michigan, grew up in Saudi Arabia and returned to the United States to attend college, according to the New York Daily News. Her late father, a college professor, was from India and her mother, also a professor, was born in Pakistan.

A headline Tuesday on the ethnic news site New America Media asked, "Will Huma Abedin Remain Weiner's Good South Asian Wife?"

Abedin is a longtime senior aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, starting out as an intern to the first lady in 1996, according to a 2007 Vogue magazine profile. Abedin and Weiner met during Clinton's 2008 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, the Daily News said.

Not only did Clinton throw Abedin and Weiner an engagement party, but former President Bill Clinton officiated at their wedding. Abedin is Muslim and Weiner is Jewish.

"Abedin has the energy of a woman in her 20s," Clinton said in the Vogue article, "the confidence of a woman in her 30s, the experience of a woman in her 40s and the grace of a woman in her 50s."

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Gadhafi: 'Dead, alive, victorious, it doesn't matter'
Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi made the comments to his country during a live audio broadcast.
June 7th, 2011
11:48 AM ET

Gadhafi: 'Dead, alive, victorious, it doesn't matter'

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi addressed his country in a live audio broadcast Tuesday, vowing, "We will not surrender, we will not give up."

"We have one option - our country. We will remain in it till the end. Dead, alive, victorious, it doesn't matter," he said on state television.

His comment come on a day where at least 29 loud explosions rocked Tripoli around midday Tuesday as NATO airstrikes hit a military base and, according to Libyan State TV, leader Moammar Gadhafi's compound.

The compound was under "intensive continuous bombardment," according to State TV, which reported buildings and infrastructure in the area were destroyed in the strikes.

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Filed under: Libya
June 7th, 2011
11:16 AM ET

Japan pushes estimates of initial nuclear leak upward

The amount of radiation released from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in the immediate aftermath of Japan's earthquake and tsunami were twice the level that the country's Nuclear and Industrial Safety originally admitted, Japan's Emergency Response Center said.

NISA, which previously held that the amount of radiation initially leaked was as low as 370,000 terabecquerels, has revised its estimate to 770,000 terabecquerels. A terabecquerel is equal to one trillion becquerels. A becquerel is a unit of radioactivity equal to one nuclear decay per second.

The new estimate does not alter the fact that the amount of radiation leaked at Fukushima is but a fraction compared to Russia's Chernobyl disaster, but it does put the amount closer in line to some outside estimates.

The new figure refers to the amount of radiation released from March 11, the day of the accident, to March 16.

It is the latest of a several revisions the Japanese agencies have made regarding the extent of the damage at the nuclear plant.

The Fukushima power plant experienced full meltdowns at three reactors in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami, the Emergency Response Center said.

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Filed under: 2011 tsunami • Japan
Puyehue volcano erupts in Chile
June 7th, 2011
10:15 AM ET

Ash from Chilean volcano grounds flights in Argentina

Ash from a volcanic eruption in Chile grounded flights in neighboring Argentina, officials said Tuesday.

Airlines canceled most flights Tuesday at the Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires, an official there said. Airports in several other cities are also affected, according to the state-run Telam news agency.

Smoke and ash shot more than six miles into the the sky when the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano complex in southern Chile first erupted Saturday afternoon. Authorities evacuated about 3,500 people from the area, the state emergency office said.

The Patagonia region in southern Argentina was the most affected by the volcanic ash.

Cities that draw tourists, like Bariloche, San Martin de los Andes and others in the area canceled school and public activities.

Ash piled as high as 30 centimeters (about 1 foot) on highways through Patagonia. Local governments used machinery to clear the roads.

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Breitbart on breaking Weiner story: I'm not the 'cruel person' some think I am
Andrew Breitbart, who runs BigGovernment.com, spoke with the media before Rep. Anthony Weiner's press conference.
June 7th, 2011
09:53 AM ET

Breitbart on breaking Weiner story: I'm not the 'cruel person' some think I am

This morning on "American Morning," Breitbart.com and BigGovernment.com publisher Andrew Breitbart speaks with Kiran Chetry about why he chose to jump on stage before Congressman Anthony Weiner's press conference yesterday.

The man who broke the Rep. Weiner sexting scandal says he used the podium because his voice was hoarse.

"I walked into the ballroom and people surrounded me, started asking me questions," Breitbart said. "They said 'We can't hear you, can you get on the stage." I said, am I allowed to do that? I walked over to the stage, thought I was just going to be using the microphone to protect my voice, because I had bronchitis last week. I had zero idea they would cut it live."

Breitbart, who has been targeted by some for his tactics, said there was a little bit of vindication after Rep. Weiner admitted he was lying.

Breitbart said he is "not the cruel person" some think he is - in fact he has restrained from releasing photos he felt were even more damaging.

"I dont want to be known as the person who releases that photo," he said.

Breitbart adds that he has heard that more photos from the girls who were interacting with Rep. Weiner may be released, and cautioned against any additional photo release, especially if any of them were sent in return to Weiner by the girls.

"If they start going after the girls...as a way to tell girls not to come forward, I have the photo," Breitbart says of some unreleased photos of Rep. Weiner that he allegedly has possession of. "I can't fathom he would be stupid enough to start going after the girls and start releasing photos of them that they've given. Let it lie," Breitbart adds.

See the rest of the interview here.


Filed under: Politics
Gotta Watch: Sex scandal U-turns
A photo of Rep. Anthony Weiner posted by biggovernment.org.
June 7th, 2011
09:13 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Sex scandal U-turns

Sex scandals seem to plague both Democrats and Republicans through tweets, text messages and, in Larry Craig's case, games of bathroom stall footsie. Rep. Anthony Weiner's recent admission of lying about tweeting out some embarrassing photos has landed him in the political sex scandal hall of fame. But let's not forget some other uncomfortable moments of politicians backpedaling their way to the truth. Wouldn't it be easier to admit it off the bat?

When your name is Weiner... - You'd think that having a name like his would be motivation enough to stay out of trouble, especially the kind where you expose your...well, you know.

Stand by your man – You may remember the prostitution ring bust involving Deborah Jeane Palfrey, also known as the "D.C. Madam."  Here's the confession of one of her more well-known clients, Sen. David Vitter.

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Filed under: Gotta Watch • Politics
June 7th, 2011
09:06 AM ET

Ford's CEO explains ambitious expansion plan

The Ford Motor Company was the only one of the big three auto makers that didn't take a government bailout in 2009. That decision proved wise, because they were able to bounce back on its own. The company's stock, which might be in your IRA or 401k, is up by about 780% since then.

Much of that success can be attributed to the fact that in 2006 the Ford founding family brought in a man named Alan Mulally, from Boeing, to run the company. Mulally, an engineer by training, took drastic steps. Ford has now been profitable for two years, and today it's unveiling a plan to increase sales by 50% in less than four years, mainly by growing in Asia and by selling more small cars than SUVs.

On American Morning this morning, Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford Motor Company, discussed the company's incredible turnaround and his bold plan for expansion.

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Filed under: Business • Economy
Official: Bombs hit near Gadhafi's compound
Libya's deputy foreign minister Khaled Kaim shows the damage to the General People's Congress -- Libya's parliament.
June 7th, 2011
08:24 AM ET

Official: Bombs hit near Gadhafi's compound

At least 25 loud explosions rocked Tripoli midday Tuesday, as NATO airstrikes hit a military base and near Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's compound.

Libya State TV reported that buildings and infrastructure near Gadhafi's compound were destroyed in the strike.

The blasts Tuesday and others Monday, that Libyan officials said hit state television buildings, elicited heated responses from a government spokesman.

"We believe NATO understands that its military campaign is failing miserably," said Musa Ibrahim, the government spokesman. "No one has the right to shape Libya's future except for Libyans."

Ibrahim said Tuesday's morning blasts hit the popular guard compound and revolution compound, which are military barracks near Gadhafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound.

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On the Radar: Weiner pics, Arizona wildfires, Merkel at White House
Rep. Anthony Weiner says he lied about sending a lewd photo of himself on Twitter.
June 7th, 2011
07:45 AM ET

On the Radar: Weiner pics, Arizona wildfires, Merkel at White House

Lawmaker did send pics of himself: New York Rep. Anthony Weiner has admitted that he lied repeatedly over the past week and a half when he told reporters, colleagues and his friends that a hacker posted lewd photos of him to his Twitter account. Weiner apologized during a press conference on Monday and said that he has engaged in several inappropriate relationships with women he's met online. Listen to one woman talk about her involvement with him. Democratic observer James Carville says Weiner doesn't have a lot of fans in his own party. But the lawmaker said he will not resign and said it's up to voters to determine whether he continues in his job. Many are debating whether he violated any official House ethics rules. CNN's Wolf Blitzer told Piers Morgan on Monday that before Weiner confessed to lying, Blitzer "sort of believed" Weiner during an earlier interview when the congressman told the journalist he had no idea who had sent  the image.

Obama economic adviser leaving - President Obama's top economic advisor Austan Goolsbee is leaving the White House. He is returning to his previous job at the University of Chicago. The president says Goolsbee helped steer the country out of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Arizona wildfires - Firefighters are still battling fires that have scorched more than 230,000 acres, mostly in the Apache National Forest along the state's eastern border. Smoke is traveling into New Mexico and affecting air travel.

German chancellor at White House - President Obama is meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel today to discuss several issues including the European economic crisis. During her stay, Merkel will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom when she attends a state dinner at the White House on Tuesday night.

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Filed under: Arizona • Germany • On the Radar • Politics
June 7th, 2011
07:43 AM ET

Tuesday's live video events

Watch CNN.com Live for the latest on the fallout over Rep. Anthony Weiner's confession.

Today's programming highlights...

9:00 am ET - Casey Anthony trial - Testimony resumes in the trial of Casey Anthony, the Florida woman accused of killing her young daughter.

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Filed under: Casey Anthony • Crime • District of Columbia • Economy • Elections • Florida • Germany • Illinois • On CNN.com today • Politics • Republican Party • Tim Pawlenty • U.S. • World