A college baseball player who was partially paralyzed in an outfield collision this year was selected Wednesday by the Texas Rangers on the third day of Major League Baseball’s draft.
Johnathan Taylor, a University of Georgia junior outfielder who is yet unable to walk since colliding with a teammate on March 6, was drafted in the 33rd round.
The Rangers also own the rights to the teammate who collided with him, Taylor's friend Zach Cone, whom the Rangers took Monday in the draft’s first round.
“We thought selecting Johnathan was the right thing to do,” Kip Flagg, the Rangers’ director of amateur scouting, said in a statement. “We would have drafted him either way, regardless of any other circumstances involving his injury or Zach’s draft status.
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Have you ever heard the saying you are what you eat? Well, if you like to sink your teeth into some of the foods in this Gotta Watch, we really hope that saying isn't true. Here are three of our favorite videos about foods that are not for people with a weak stomach. Bon Appetit!
Tacos a pest hazard - A California restaurant owner can no longer serve their most talked-about dish. That's because it's made out of grasshoppers and the health department isn't too thrilled with having bugs in your food. Supposedly they taste just like chicken.
[Updated at 8:55 p.m. ET] The eastern Pacific Ocean has its first hurricane of the year.
Hurricane Adrian, churning south of Mexico's Pacific coast, was upgraded from a tropical storm Wednesday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center said.
The hurricane's center was about 265 miles southwest of Acapulco, Mexico, at about 5 p.m. PT. It was moving northwest - roughly parallel to Mexico's coast - and had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.
"On the forecast track, the center of Adrian is expected to remain offshore of the coast of Mexico," the hurricane center said. "However, any deviation to the right of the forecast track could bring tropical storm conditions to the coast within the watch area (Thursday) and Friday."
A tropical storm watch is in effect for Mexico's coast from Acapulco westward to Punta San Telmo. Such a watch means tropical storm conditions are possible within the area.
Hurricane-force winds extend 25 miles from Adrian's center, and tropical storm force winds extend up to 85 miles from center. Adrian's winds are expected to strengthen, the hurricane center said.
A wild elephant trampled a man to death in Mysore, India, Wednesday, creating panic in the city.
Four elephants bore through the city around 6 a.m., straying from the town of Tirumakudalu Narsipura, about 35 kilometers (21 miles) from Mysore, according to The Times of India. One elephant was seen trampling to death a 55-year-old security guard at a bank ATM. The elephant also attacked a cow in the market and a moving bus in the street.
“The forest guards and officials from the Mysore zoo were alerted,” State Higher Education Minister S.A. Ramdas told the Times. “They rushed to the spot to control the jumbos by tranquilizing them.”
Two of the more destructive elephants were tranquilized, the Times reported, citing local officials. One barged into a women’s college compound and roamed the grounds while the other wreaked havoc in a residential area.
As a precaution, schools and colleges were closed for the day and extra police deployed.
Comment of the day:
"My daughter was just asking me if volunteering at the VA to satisfy her community service requirement for high school would be a good idea. I think not."–stevebonpch
Audit: Sexual assault incidents within VA system underreported
Of the nearly 300 sexual assaults within the Veteran's Affairs system that were reported to VA police from January 2007 through July 2010, many weren't properly reported to VA leadership officials and the VA Inspector General's Office, according to an investigation by the Government Accountability Office.
wimsy quoted Veteran's Affairs press secretary Josh Taylor: "'We take all allegations seriously and investigate them thoroughly.' Obviously not."
But lordbyron85 said, "Well, not to discredit every report, but any facility that treats people with mental issues is going to have people saying crazy things."
This story gave some CNN.com readers fodder for the private vs. public health care debate. msterling94 said, "Eliminate VA hospitals and clinics and issue qualified veterans insurance cards to use at any hospital of their choice. VA hospitals are a disgrace and show why a government-run health program will not work. They exist is for politicians to 'bring home the bacon' to their individual districts."
But others said they had experienced the same level of care in both types of facilities. jimraytn said, "I spent the first 27 years of my life under military medicine and the last five under VAHS. There is no difference between any form of GI health-care system and any other private hospital I have ever had the misfortune to utilize. I've had 30-45 day waits to see specialists in the civilian world, also, which is particularly disconcerting when you have kidney stones."
Some veterans said the quality of care was inconsistent throughout the system, while others spoke up to commend the hospitals they attend. josmith0110 said, "As a disabled vet, I have received care from many VA hospitals, and the quality of service is all over the place. For those who are making this a political issue, save your breath. This problem has spanned 40+ years. Polarizing the issue won't help."
USNNole said, "I have been using the VA clinic in Daytona Beach for over a year, since we dropped our ever-more expensive health insurance with the magical climbing deductible and co-pay. I have been seen about every 4 months and paid about $70 out of pocket. No one has tried to sexually assault me or my wife. (We are both Navy Vets from Operations Desert Shield/Storm). Don't over generalize. The Daytona Beach staff is polite and professional."
Dutch to ban foreigners from pot shops
Pretty soon, if you're not a Dutch citizen, you will not be allowed into Dutch coffee shops, best known for legally selling pot. "The Cabinet expects that closure of coffee shops to foreign drugs tourists will ensure that they no longer travel to the Netherlands to purchase and consume cannabis," the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice said in a recent statement.
justincase04 said, "I agree with the Dutch government. In fact, I'm pushing for the British government to deny ale in pubs to anyone not British." Clafong said, "Now this sounds like a good reason to send in the troops. Better use of our 2-billion dollars per week than Afghanistan."
raffreid asked, "Do people go to the Netherlands for anything else?" LL11 replied, "Beauty, history, architecture, good beer, seafood, tulips, yeah."
lordbyron85 said, " I figured it was only a matter of time before Americans helped ruin this. Ha." nietvoeren replied, "Nah, it's not the Americans. Most American tourists are nice. Never had any problems with any of them. But the so-called 'drugs-tourists' coming from France, Belgium and Germany are the problem. They only go to the Netherlands to buy weed. Drive way too fast, parking their cars illegally, cause a lot of trouble in peaceful Dutch neighborhoods. But I don't think this law will pass."
WarriorsMark said, "Where will my College Class of 1968 have our reunions now? Guess we will have to have it in California. Lord knows with all our aches and pains we should qualify medically."
Scientists warn of chemical-autism link
The soup of chemicals found in our environment, along with genetic predisposition, could be causing a higher incidence of autism, experts said in a conference call recently. Some components cited were chemicals found in plastic food packaging and water bottles and antimicrobials added to soaps, toothpaste and other products.
CNN.com readers agreed that autism was on the rise and offered their own ideas about the reasons. Elinor Kriegsmann said, "As a clinical instructor in speech pathology at the University of Washington in the 70's and early 80's, we rarely saw children with autistic features. This changed in the mid-80's with a major spike in the 90's to the present. The main difference in the past 35 years has also been the spike in environmental and food-related toxins."
deuce said, "It's funny how, before the prevalence of antibacterial everything and Clorox and other disinfectants around their house, there were far fewer incidents of autism, food allergies, and a host of other modern ills. Third World countries don't have these problems like we do. Why is that?"
Romey said, "We're going to find out that it's sunscreen that causes autism. I can just see it coming." May asked, "Could it be the ultra sound?"
Rocksor said, "South Korea has a higher autism rate than the United States. Their vaccine schedule is not as rigorous as our own. So what's the cause? Something in the environment affecting fetal development." mm replied, "Chinese-made goods and food."
Dr Neutrino said, "The cause of autism and other neurological disorders will be found to be demylination. Various chemicals in insecticides and herbicides are known to cause demylination. Next time you meet someone with MS, ask them if they ever spent any time near a golf course during puberty."
But Poppy disagreed, saying, "Did you grow up on a farm? I don't know any farm kids that have autism and we were almost bathing in herbicides and pesticides daily."
And some identifying themselves as scientists commented that the correlation was still a hypothesis, and perhaps false at that. EB said, "As a father of a 10-year old autistic boy and a career research scientist, this kind of reporting seriously annoys me. In the article Dr. Irva Hertz-Piccotto is quoted as saying that these chemicals 'could potentially play a role'. The key word is 'potentially.' "
David, a geneticist, said, "These results are based on correlations found in data, nothing more. Do you know there is a perfect correlation between the number of clergy in a community and the amount of crime? Do we see increased crime because of an increased number of clergy? No."
And Will said, "Numerous studies have shown that autism is almost certainly genetic and less tied to the environment than to the mother's age. With more people postponing having children, autism is highly likely to increase, and that's exactly what has happened, according to one UC at Davis study. Another showed the highest demographic concentration of autism in white, wealthy families - precisely those that postpone their fertility. While I am all for cleaning out the environment of those chemicals, we have to realize that our choices can effect our children, too. "
[Updated at 6:15 p.m.] A lightning strike Wednesday afternoon sent 77 Air Force ROTC cadets to hospitals in the Hattiesburg, Mississippi, area, where they were all responsive and in stable condition, according to spokeswoman Maj. Deidre Musgrave of Camp Shelby.
Two of the 77 were sent by ambulance, and the remaining 75 were sent to the hospital by Camp Shelby buses, Musgrave told CNN.
All 77 were college students enrolled in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps, which uses Camp Shelby as its summer training site, Musgrave said.
[Updated at 1:59 p.m] When you want to get your name out there - sometimes you've got to come up with clever ways to do it.
That's something Rotterdam tattoo artist Dex Moelker and his company clearly hoped for when they were named as the ones who inked the Facebook tattoo requested by a Dutch woman of 152 of her Facebook friends. And boy, did it work. The story spread like a wildfire online. After newspapers and major online outlets, including CNN.com, put the story out – it was a hot-button topic. Ironically, as of this moment more than 7,000 people recommended this story on Facebook – perhaps in part because they thought it was ridiculous. And it turns out, that's just what it was.
The tattoo that sparked the Web frenzy isn't real. First off, I think a few people can give a sigh of relief that it isn't real. And we haven't really gone that far off the social media deep end to where our Facebook walls are displayed "Matrix"-style on our arms. As we said before, it wouldn't have been the first time someone tried to capture fame by using a social network site to name their kid or to get a tattoo. In this case it was all about publicity.
Moelker just came clean to the Dutch newspaper the Telegraaf, saying it was in fact a publicity stunt. The woman in the video didn't have the tattoo inked during a 30-hour period as the video claimed.
"It is a try out tattoo, a transfer, that washes off in a couple of days," he told them.
Phew. It may take some scrubbing to get it off, but I guess on the bright side that's all it will take. When it comes to viral videos, you never know what you're going to get (I'm looking at you, Rebecca Black. I still don't get if that song is real). But ironically, in this case, the ink shop got just what it wanted – a lot of free press. Hats off for an international viral campaign. It's not great when media outlets worldwide are duped by viral videos or stories – but if you're looking at it from a marketing perspective – you've got to "like" how well they pulled it off.
[Original blog posted at 11:24 a.m.] There are some people who "like" Facebook. And then there are people who are so devoted to their social media circle that they'll find some pretty extravagant ways to show it.
Mark down one woman in the Netherlands in the latter category. She's literally armed herself with the power of Facebook – in the form of a tattoo sleeve of her friends on Facebook.
A bizarre auto accident involving two vehicles and a bear has left two people and the bear dead, Canadian authorities said.
Police in Quebec said a 300-pound male black bear wandered onto a road and was struck by an eastbound Pontiac Sunfire. The impact sent the animal hurtling through the air, where it smashed the windshield of a westbound Nissan Pathfinder sport utility vehicle and went out through the back window, regional police spokesman Officer Martin Fournel said.
"It was a 300-pound bullet," he said.
The SUV's 35-year-old female driver and a 40-year-old man sitting behind her were killed; a 28-year-old front-seat passenger suffered minor injuries, Fournel said. In the Pontiac, neither the driver, a 23-year-old man, nor his 19-year-old male passenger was hurt.
No alcohol or drugs were involved, and police are still trying to determine each vehicle's speed in the 90 kph (56 mph) zone, Fournel said, adding that charges are unlikely.
"It's a first, there's no doubt about that," he said. "We had similar accident several years ago with a deer going through the windshield and ending up in the back seat, where it injured a boy. He wasn't killed, he was hurt. But it was not like this."
It's bear mating season, and many male bears are out looking - sometimes recklessly - for females, so drivers on rural roads should be watchful, hunting guide Daniel Larocque told the Canadian television network CBC.
The accident occurred near the town of Luskville, about 25 miles northwest of Ottawa, Ontario.
Facebook has announced that it will begin scanning all users' pictures with facial recognition software, allowing the site to automatically recognize users' faces and identify them in photos. This service, like many of Facebook's previous changes, is automatically active for all users, so the only way to avoid it is to opt out. Thing is, it has the potential to make your face appear tagged in photos that you may not want to be associated with. This isn't the first time Facebook has been under fire for privacy issues. In today's Gotta Watch, we look back at some of Facebook’s past privacy snafus.
Mark Zuckerberg reacts to privacy concerns - Last year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded to a backlash from users after a change in privacy settings made user information public by default. After users complained about their information being distributed to third parties and developers, Zuckerberg implemented changes and simplified privacy settings.
Do you 'like' Facebook's features? - In 2010, Facebook implemented the then-controversial, now-ubiquitous, "Like" feature on various websites. The "Like" button, now replaced by a "Recommend" button (see it up there on the left hand corner of the screen), raised concerns over privacy issues and outraged many users over whether Facebook should be able to share their information with other websites. Like other Facebook features, it involved a complicated "opt out" process.
Facebook wants your digits – Earlier this year, Facebook requested users' mobile phone numbers. But why would Facebook need your number? Is it is safe to provide that info to app developers, games and other third-parties? CNN.com's John Sutter takes a look.
Facebook's growing influence – At more than half a billion users, Facebook has created a place for itself at the top of the social media heirarchy. The company is changing the way information is shared, and at the same time changing our expectations of privacy online. So that begs the question, does it even matter if they violate our privacy, or will we just come back to them no matter how much we feel violated?
The former MSNBC anchor has done interviews in anticipation of the relaunch of his news broadcast “Countdown,” which will premier June 20 on the Al Gore co-founded Current TV cable network. The program will broadcast at 8 p.m. ET from Olbermann’s new — and rather Spartan — offices near New York’s Chelsea district.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Olbermann said MSNBC did not decide until halfway through the now infamous, final January 21 broadcast that the anchor would be cut loose from his contract. His staff found out at that time as well.
On Tuesday, Olbermann told Terry Gross of NPR’s “Fresh Air” that he is an opinion journalist. As a result, he said, it was fine for him to make political contributions to three Democratic candidates in 2010. However, he said, he did not make the donations to support their politics, per se, because he doesn’t even vote.
Instead, the money was meant to help the three officials obtain personal security after they’d faced numerous death threats, Olbermann said. Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was one of the recipients. In January, she was shot in the head while making an appearance at a grocery store parking lot.
Newly released pictures from NASA are the first that show a shuttle docked to the International Space Station.
The decidedly risky photo session, which shows space shuttle Endeavour docking in its final days in orbit, was performed by Soyuz TMZ-20 crewmember Paolo Nespoli, who counts photography as a hobby, according to his NASA bio.
The photos were taken two weeks ago from the vantage point of the Soyuz, a manned spaceflight combining the resources of the European Space Agency, NASA and its Russian counterpart, Roscosmos.
In addition to Nespoli, aboard the Soyuz were members of Expedition 27, Russian cosmonaut Dmitry Kondratyev and NASA astronaut Cady Coleman, who made news last month when she sent an email from space for Mother's Day.
See more pictures of the International Space Station on NASA’s website.
Pressure continued to mount on Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-New York, to resign Wednesday - one day after Democratic leaders turned their backs on the embattled liberal congressman.
Weiner, who is married, admitted earlier this week to engaging in sexually tinged communications with multiple women and lying about it. The admission has led to a growing chorus of calls for him to step down. While most of the calls are coming from Republicans, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine said Tuesday that Weiner's attempted cover-up of the scandal makes him unfit for office.
"Lying is unforgivable," said Kaine, now a U.S. Senate candidate in Virginia. "Lying publicly about something like this is unforgivable and he should resign."
While other Democrats haven't explicitly called on Weiner to step down, they have done little to demonstrate any support for him.
"I wish there was some way I could defend him, but I can't," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, told reporters Tuesday. Asked what he would say if Weiner sought advice, Reid smiled and responded: "I'd tell him to call someone else."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, who called for an ethics investigation Monday, released a letter Tuesday detailing her formal request for the inquiry. Weiner publicly apologized Monday for sending flirtatious messages and images on Facebook and Twitter to six women over the past three years and then denying it for a week.
It is time to start planning for what to do in Libya after leader Moammar Gadhafi's departure "because Gadhafi's reign of terror is coming to an end," NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Wednesday.
Rasmussen, talking with reporters in Brussels, insisted that NATO bombing had saved lives in Libya.
Pressed by reporters on why airstrikes will be able to dislodge Gadhafi when "the history of the last 30 years" shows that air attacks alone do not win wars, Rasmussen offered no clear answer, saying only, "We have no intentions to put troops on the ground."
He said the alliance had agreed to extend its military mission for another 90 days past the end of June and had the resources it needed to keep up the campaign for that long. But he refused to predict how long it would take, saying: "We will keep up the pressure for as long as it takes to bring this crisis to an early conclusion."
Gadhafi vowed Tuesday that "we will not surrender," even as NATO airstrikes bombarded his compound in Tripoli.
"I am now speaking as planes and bombs fall around me," Gadhafi said in a live audio broadcast on state television. "But my soul is in God's hand. We will not think about death or life. We will think about the call of duty."
At least three explosions rocked Tripoli late Tuesday night; it was not immediately clear what they hit. Earlier in the day, NATO targeted a military base and Gadhafi's compound, state television reported. A spokesman for the Libyan government said that at least 31 people were killed, including a number of civilians, and dozens more were wounded after 60 missiles struck the capital city.
From a mountaintop in northern Chile, the largest visible-light telescope in the world has captured stunning images of the cosmos in never-before-seen detail.
The Paranal Observatory released initial images Wednesday from the powerful VLT Survey Telescope.
The images constitute a celestial breakthrough for the 15-nation European Southern Observatory, which runs the Paranal Observatory and has worked with astronomers to build telescopes that survey the sky in large segments.
“The VST project has overcome many difficulties but it is now repaying, with its excellent image quality, the expectations of the astronomical community and the efforts of the many people at INAF (Italian National Institute for Astrophysics) involved in its construction," Tommaso Maccacaro, head of the INAF, said in an ESO press release. "I am very pleased to see the VST in operation,” he said.
The VST image of the star-forming cluster Messier 17, so awesome it has at least three other descriptive names – Omega Nebula, Swan Nebula and Horseshoe Nebula – shows swaddling bands of light in astonishing clarity.
The ESO images are the fruits of the new VLT Survey Telescope and the "monster camera," OmegaCAM, which produces 268-megapixel images.
The new telescope sits among four other high-powered instruments on the summit of Cerro Paranal in Chile's Atacama Desert, an optimum location far enough from city lights to view celestial wonders.
Also released by the ESO was an image of the stellar cluster Omega Centauri, showing about 300,000 stars, according to the release.
The VST will make three public surveys over the next five years, the release said.
As the U.S. weighs the timeline to pull out troops from Afghanistan, President Barack Obama will meet by videoconference Wednesday with Afghan President Hamid Karzai (pictured above).
Also Wednesday, Obama will welcome visiting Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and Auburn University's national champion football team.
Democratic leaders in Congress have turned their backs on embattled Rep. Anthony Weiner after the New York Democrat admitted to improper sexually tinged communications and lying about it.
"I wish there was some way I could defend him, but I can't," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, told reporters. Asked what he would say if Weiner sought advice, Reid smiled and responded: "I'd tell him to call someone else."
Tuesday afternoon, two House Democrats from competitive districts announced they were donating campaign contributions from Weiner to charity.
U.S. ants defending against their invading Argentine counterparts may have found a deterrent to the fast-spreading colonies: weapons of mass destruction.
Stanford University sophomores conducted a research project that suggests that winter ants have been using a form of chemical warfare – manufacturing a poison in a gland in their abdomens – to stop Argentine ants in their tracks, according to ScienceDaily.
"This is the first well-documented case where a native species is successfully resisting the Argentine ant," Deborah M. Gordon, a biology professor, said in a ScienceDaily article based on a Stanford press release.
Argentine ants, native to – you guessed it – Argentina and other parts of South America, are pervasive in hot climates but have increasingly invaded colder climes.
In 2009 the BBC reported that supercolonies of the species in Europe, Japan and the United States actually had the same parentage, thus forming one intercontinental megacolony.
"If you live in a Mediterranean climate, the Argentine ant is the ant in your kitchen," Gordon said. "These ants, wherever they become established, wipe out all the native ants."
But they're being repelled by winter ants tired of running, the Stanford project has found.
The Stanford project began four years ago as students began observing ant mounds on campus. “One day it was just winter ants going about their business foraging for food and making trails – just typical ant behavior," said Leah Kuritzky, a Stanford student involved with the project. "The next day we came back and the ground was littered with Argentine ants. There were dead ants all around and there was a lot of fighting around the nest entrances."
"It turns out the winter ants use the secretion only when they are really overwhelmed, so it is probably energetically very expensive for the winter ant to manufacture and use this stuff," Gordon said.
Gordon said cooler weather in the region may also be contributing to the demise of the Argentine ants.
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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