Gotta Watch: More celebrity falls
Shania Twain is back on her feet seconds after taking a tumble at the CMT awards.
June 10th, 2011
10:38 PM ET

Gotta Watch: More celebrity falls

Shania Twain's tumble at the Country Music Television Awards has given us an opportunity to review a few other celebrity falls from grace. Hers was minor compared to others taken by some of her fellow celebs. What are some favorite celebrity tumbles that come to your mind? Beyonce's wipeout during her concert in Orlando in 2007 is probably high on that list, but others come to mind.

Stumbling with the stars – "Dancing With The Stars" provided quite a few spills this season. Kirstie Alley had a couple on her own but she still made it all the way to the finals before losing to Hines Ward.

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Filed under: Music • Politics
Overheard on CNN.com: Treasure trove of emails?
June 10th, 2011
07:42 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Treasure trove of emails?

Comment of the Day:

“Sounds like a treasure trove of new material for Tina Fey.”–DO1812

E-mails: Palin moved to tie oil scandal to ousted rival

In response to a 2008 Freedom of Information request by CNN and other news agencies, Alaska officials released six boxes of former Gov. Sarah Palin's e-mails. Some messages, so far, show Palin trying to link her defeated predecessor, Frank Murkowski, to a key figure in a corruption case. The emails will be available over the weekend on CNNPolitics.com and readers are invited to examine them and contribute to the discussion.

gdouglaso said, “No, make it stop. As much as I deplore the thought of future things she has to say, how much time, energy and effort will now be completely obliterated ‘analyzing’ her previous comments. Wouldn't we all be better off ignoring her and helping the homeless, planting a garden, grabbing a beer?"

GAK62 said, "I'm definitely not a fan of Sarah Palin, but I think it's getting kind of tacky and insipid how the media wants to look into everything a politician writes in an e-mail or on twitter."

JJNOLA said, "But there may be illuminating emails that highlight her abilities. Are you suggesting that that's an impossibility?"

Meora said, "So according to this Freedom Act, even 'private email account' is something the media can view? That doesn't make sense. It's called private for a reason. I think that is as low as the media can go, nitpicking through old emails."
RedandWhite replied, "She lost her rights to privacy the second she stepped into public office and stored her emails on a publicly owned database. If Romney's emails were being released today, I'm pretty sure CNN would cover that too."

GSMITH4124 said, "When Sarah Palin becomes president you all are going to hear a lot from her, get used to it." Phattee said, "Sorry bro, she's not going to run. It would mean a huge increase in responsibilities and a huge decrease in income." blueduck13 said, "I agree, and as a conservative, I hope so."

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What a Babylonian laundry list says about you
Having trouble reading this ancient Babylonian tablet? Now you can look it up. It may be a grocery list. Or not.
June 10th, 2011
02:11 PM ET

What a Babylonian laundry list says about you

Scholars have completed a dictionary after 90 years of work. Considering the language they were working on is 4,500 years old, they made pretty good time.

The University of Chicago's Oriental Institute this week announced completion of the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary, a work begun by institute founder James Henry Breasted in 1921.

The 21-volume, 9,700-page opus identifies, explains and provides citations for the words written in cuneiform on clay tablets and carved in stone by Babylonians, Assyrians and others in Mesopotamia between 2500 B.C. and A.D. 100. The first 20 volumes were published as they were completed, but now the work is complete.

"I feel proud and privileged to have brought this project home," said Martha Roth, editor-in-charge of the dictionary, which has about 30,000 entries. She's a late arrival to the project, having only worked on it for 32 years.

"It is a language that is no longer alive, this is absolutely true, but it is a language that records a society and culture that impacts the Western world in a way that is not always clear to us," said Roth, who is dean of humanities at the University of Chicago.

Other than glimpses provided by Hebrew and Greek writings, the modern world knew little about ancient Mesopotamian cultures until 19th-century scholars started to decipher cuneiform inscriptions, Roth said.

"We began to see entire civilizations that had been thriving, flourishing for 3,000 years and more," she said. "This was 3,000 years of history that we've discovered."

Compiling and defining every word of the ancient language allows us to glimpse everyday life in that place and that time and draw connections to our own place and time, Roth said.

The writings gave us "the histories that went into forming who we are," Roth said. They told a creation story older than the Hebrew creation story, told a flood story that preceded the Noah story, and described a code of laws that predated Moses, she said.

Robert Biggs, professor emeritus at the Oriental Institute, worked on the dictionary and also as an archaeologist on digs where he recovered tablets.

"You'd brush away the dirt, and then there would emerge a letter from someone who might be talking about a new child in the family, or another tablet that might be about a loan until harvest time," he said. "You'd realize that this was a culture not just of kings and queens, but also of real people, much like ourselves, with similar concerns for safety, food and shelter for themselves and their families.

"They wrote these tablets thousands of years ago, never meaning for them to be read so much later, but they speak to us in a way that makes their experiences come alive," Biggs said.

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Filed under: Education • Illinois • Literature • Middle East • Science
How about some fighting dinosaurs for $2.8 million?
June 10th, 2011
01:59 PM ET

How about some fighting dinosaurs for $2.8 million?

If you've got a heap of extra cash waiting to be spent on something that will make your friends jealous, you might consider heading to Dallas on Sunday.

Heritage Auctions is offering four dinosaurs, including a "fighting pair" made up of an allosaurus and a stegosaurus, as well as 9-foot-tall shark jaws and more than 200 other curiosities of natural history. And while they may make excellent conversation pieces in an oversized living room, museums would hope that you'd donate them so that more people can see them and scientists can study them further.

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Filed under: Dinosaurs • Science • Texas
June 10th, 2011
01:01 PM ET

Record levels of deadly toxin found in Alaska shellfish

Public health officials in Alaska are warning residents not to eat non-commercial shellfish after finding record levels of a deadly toxin in baby mussels.

Levels of the toxin that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning were found at 375 times what is considered toxic, according to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. The measurement came from baby mussels taken on May 25 from a boat dock in Ketchikan.

“At those levels, a single mussel is enough to kill several people,” Kate Sullivan, of the University of Alaska Southeast, said in a state press release.

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Officials: Somalia interior minister killed in suicide bombing
Somali Interior Minister Abdishakur Sheikh Hassan is seen in this file photo from February 2011.
June 10th, 2011
12:51 PM ET

Officials: Somalia interior minister killed in suicide bombing

Somalia's interior minister was killed Friday in a suicide bomb attack carried out in his own home by a female bomber, Somali government officials said.

The death of Abdishakur Sheikh Hassan was announced on state run radio by Somalia's deputy information minister.

Hassan was briefly treated for wounds to the head and one leg at Mogadishu's Benedir Hospital before dying, according to a government security official who declined to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

The official confirmed that the suicide bomber had been staying at Hassan's house.

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Are we there yet? Mars rover nears crater
The yellow line in this image shows the path Opportunity has followed on the Martian surface.
June 10th, 2011
12:29 PM ET

Are we there yet? Mars rover nears crater

NASA's rover on Mars, Opportunity, is closing in on Endeavour crater. It has taken the rover nearly three years to travel 11 miles across the Martian terrain.

And you thought your grandpa drove slowly.

Opportunity will enter the crater at a spot named Spirit Point in honor of the rover's late partner. Spirit fell silent in March 2010, and its mission was terminated after one final attempt to communicate with it last month.

Both rovers completed their prime, three-month missions on Mars in April 2004, NASA said, but kept going (and going and going) with years of bonus work.

"Spirit achieved far more than we ever could have hoped when we designed her," said Steve Squyres of Cornell University, principal investigator for the rovers. "This name (Spirit Point) will be a reminder that we need to keep pushing as hard as we can to make new discoveries with Opportunity."

The crater is still 2 miles distant, so Opportunity better keep an eye out for rest areas.

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Obama's tout, auto bailout can't keep Ohio eatery cooking
President Obama has lunch at Rudy's Hot Dog in Toledo, Ohio, last week.
June 10th, 2011
11:33 AM ET

Obama's tout, auto bailout can't keep Ohio eatery cooking

A tout from President Obama wasn't enough to keep a Toledo, Ohio, restaurant in business.

New Chet's Restaurant, which has been serving home-cooked meals since 1973, will close Sunday, a little more than a week after the president mentioned the eatery during an appearance at a nearby Chrysler Jeep plant.

Obama was in Toledo to talk about the success of the auto industry bailouts, which helped keep Chrysler in business.

"This plant indirectly supports hundreds of other jobs right here in Toledo. After all, without you, who'd eat at Chet's, or Inky's, or Rudy's," the president said last Friday.

The current level of business from the Jeep plant doesn't measure up to what it once was Chet's owner, Richard Lawrence, told CNN affiliate WTVG.

"When they were going full blast, it was wonderful, but when they opened, closed, and closed the shifts, it never came back. We used to deliver $500 a week in food, now $100," he said.

But another piece of government legislation may have been the biggest hit on Chet's business - a 2006 state law banning smoking in public places.

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Filed under: Auto Industry • Barack Obama • Chrysler • Economy • Food • Ohio • Politics
Watchdog seeks bin Laden photo, says White House 'not above the law'
A Washington-based watchdog group is suing the CIA and Defense Department to release photos of Osama bin Laden.
June 10th, 2011
11:25 AM ET

Watchdog seeks bin Laden photo, says White House 'not above the law'

A conservative legal watchdog group says the deadline is up and is suing the CIA and Defense Department to release photos and videos of the May raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

"The American people by law have a right to know basic information about the killing of Osama bin Laden," Tom Fitton, president of Washington-based Judicial Watch, said in a statement. "President Obama's personal reluctance to release the documents is not a lawful basis for withholding them. The Obama administration will now need to justify its lack of compliance in federal court. This historic lawsuit should remind the administration that it is not above the law."

The al Qaeda mastermind was killed when U.S. Navy SEALs stormed his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on May 2. He was later buried at sea. Though some members of Congress have been allowed to see photos and CIA Director Leon Panetta initially said it was "important" that the photos be released, President Barack Obama said his administration would not release photos of the slain terrorist leader or his burial.

The photos - which have been described as gruesome and reportedly show brains hanging out of bin Laden's eye socket - could be used as a propaganda tool and could result in additional violence against American interests, Obama told "60 Minutes" last month, comparing the release of the photos to an unnecessary end-zone celebration.

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Filed under: Al Qaeda • Barack Obama • Courts • District of Columbia • Justice • Lawsuit • Military • Osama bin Laden • Pakistan • Politics • Terrorism • U.S. • U.S. Navy • World
June 10th, 2011
11:02 AM ET

Philadelphia residents speak out on politics, budget cuts, jobs

Editor's note: As part of its Listening Tour, CNN is reaching out to voters to hear what's on their mind as the 2012 presidential campaign season kicks off. GOP hopefuls begin to ramp up the race Monday, when they debate the issues in New Hampshire. It all happens June 13 on CNN, CNN.com/Live and our mobile apps.

Philadelphia is the nation's fifth-largest city, and just like most other places in the United States, it's struggling with budget cuts, layoffs and crime.

As the 2012 election nears, Philly residents say their top concerns include political nepotism, joblessness and a struggling public education system:

"With government, it's like you keep moving up, and you stay and you stay with your old ideas that don't make sense, and they don't work," said Ainé Ardron-Doley, 34, a Philadelphia marketing manager.

iReport: What's the top issue on your mind?

Through their grass-roots revitalization efforts, Ainé and her sister Emaleigh persuaded Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter to move up the demolition of dilapidated houses in their neighborhood that have been abandoned for nearly 20 years.

"It's the politician's job to work for us, but it's also the citizens' job to work for ourselves and with government," said Emaleigh, 27, a public relations and marketing manager.

Philadelphia resident Leroi Simmons, an associate pastor at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, wants elected officials to make good on their campaign promises and work diligently to assist the working poor.

"What would satisfy me would be folks who are who they say they are," he says. "We have a lot of folks who are poor folks, who really need help, who really could use the political strength that we worked hard 20 or 30 years ago to build."

Ebony Baylis, 21, is flexing her grass-roots muscle as a member of Youth United for Change, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of public education.

"Instead of cutting education and putting money into the police force and to military, they need to take the money from there and put in into out schools," she said. "Knowledge is power. We need knowledge. And without it, what are we gonna do?"

Gotta Watch: Real ... or clever fakeouts?
This football is headed on a collision course with a flying plate. But is this astounding trick shot real or fake?
June 10th, 2011
10:50 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Real ... or clever fakeouts?

It's Friday and we're hours away from the weekend. You need something fun and funny. We could give you more on Casey Anthony, Newt Gingrich's campaign implosion or airstrikes in Libya. But today, take a break. Our inspiration is a dating video where a woman goes crazy for cats. Is it real or fake? You decide and watch these videos that defy the imagination.
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Filed under: Basketball • College football • Football • Gotta Watch • Sports
Beauty and the geek: Russian femme fatale pushing investment in tech
The Russian technology investment business just heated up with the arrival of former spy Anna Chapman.
June 10th, 2011
10:34 AM ET

Beauty and the geek: Russian femme fatale pushing investment in tech

It seems that every couple of months, sexy Russian spy Anna Chapman comes up with a new gig. Well, here we go again:

Chapman, by far the most famous member of the 10 Russian "sleeper" spies discovered and booted out of the United States last year, this month became editor of Venture Business News magazine, according to Bloomberg News.

She said she hoped to use the position at the magazine - which has an English-language version - to connect investors with innovators.

"Hopefully we will contribute" to the growth of Russia's tech industry, she told Bloomberg.

According to Forbes' Julia Ioffe, Chapman "will seduce everyone into believing that the Russian investment climate ... is ideal for nurturing highly cost-intensive, risky technology start-ups that need serious nurturing."

Ioffe says Chapman should do well. After all, Ioffe writes, "she has worked [at an investment bank] for all of eight months at a job so intensive that she has had time to shoot a full season of a really strange show for Russian TV."

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Filed under: Business • Espionage • Media • Russia • Technology
After appearing ill, Casey Anthony to be back in court
June 10th, 2011
09:22 AM ET

After appearing ill, Casey Anthony to be back in court

Casey Anthony returned to the Orange County Courthouse on Friday, a day after she appeared to fall ill during testimony.

The Orlando woman, accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter in 2008, will attend Friday's session of the trial, court spokesman Allen Moore said.

Orange County Chief Judge Belvin Perry Jr. suspended the trial Thursday afternoon when Anthony, 25, appeared to fall ill during testimony that centered on the skeletal remains of her daughter.

Anthony received treatment from doctors at the Orange County jail, but Moore declined to discuss her condition, citing confidentiality laws.

 

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June 10th, 2011
09:20 AM ET

Syrian military advances towards rebellious border town

Syrian state television announced Friday that the military launched an operation to retake the rebellious northern border town of Jisr Al-Shugur.

Meanwhile, Syrian refugees and opposition activists who fled the town fearing a government attack said they heard tanks firing their cannons as they advanced through villages while approaching Jisr Al-Shugur.

"In response to the appeal from the families, units of the Syrian military began implementing its function to restore security in Jisr Al-Shugur and surrounding villages and arresting a number of militants," Syrian state TV announced in a banner Friday morning.

"They are attacking the village of Sirmaniya with tanks," said opposition activist Yusuf Mohamad Ali Hassan in a phone call to CNN.

This comes as anti-government demonstrators embark on protests across the country, engulfed in conflict between activists opposing the Bashar al-Assad regime and government forces working to clamp down on the outpourings.

Every Friday for weeks, anti-government marches have been organized after weekly Muslim prayers, and activists have given specific themes to the protests.

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June 10th, 2011
09:15 AM ET

Fighting rages in western Libyan city

At keast 17 people were killed Friday as fighting raged in the western Libyan city of Misrata where forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi attempted to enter from the west and south.

More than 60 others were injured, said Dr. Khaled Abu Falgha of Hekma hospital in Misrata. He said the casualties Friday were the heaviest suffered in the past month.

Rebel forces at a checkpoint near the western front line said at least seven of the dead were killed in fighting in the Dafniya area, where pro-Gadhafi forces pushed in with at least three tanks firing at rebel positions.

"It is horrible out there," said a rebel fighter as he sped by. "The revolutionaries are taking tank power in their chests."

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Friday's live video events
June 10th, 2011
07:48 AM ET

Friday's live video events

Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of the fallout over Rep. Anthony Weiner's confession.

Today's programming highlights...

9:00 am ET - Casey Anthony trial - Yesterday's proceedings came to an early end after Anthony appeared to fall ill.  The Florida woman stands accused of killing her young daughter.

10:20 am ET - NASA: Aquarius launch – NASA plans to launch a satellite that will survey the planet's oceans.  The launch takes place at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base.

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


Filed under: California • Casey Anthony • Courts • Crime • Florida • Justice • On CNN.com today • Science • Space • U.S.
On the Radar: Miracle plane to Charlotte, salt-seeking satellite, Arab-American meet
The plane's wings and tail were removed for the trip to North Carolina.
June 10th, 2011
06:46 AM ET

On the Radar: Miracle plane to Charlotte, salt-seeking satellite, Arab-American meet

Three things you need to know today.

"Miracle on the Hudson" plane: The US Airways Airbus 320 that Capt. Chesley Sullenberger safely put down in the Hudson River in January 2009 arrives at its new home in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Friday.

The jetliner, minus its wings and tail section, was at a weigh station in Surry County, North Carolina, overnight before beginning the final leg of its journey from a warehouse in Harrison, New Jersey. It is expected to reach its new home at the Carolinas Aviation Museum in Charlotte between 11 a.m. and noon Friday, according to a museum Twitter posting.

Among those who got a chance to see the aircraft Thursday were two of the 155 passengers and crew aboard when Sullenberger set the Airbus down in the Hudson after its struck birds and lost power upon departing LaGuardia Airport on January 15, 2009, on a flight to Charlotte.

"Seeing the plane, I think it's overwhelming. Full circle. You think about all the emotions. You think about how fortunate you are," survivor Denise Lockie told CNN affiliate WFMY.

"This airplane crashing in the river and staying afloat for 23 or 24 minutes, long enough for us all to get off, is an amazing miracle." survivor Beth McHugh told the Greensboro TV station.

Sea salt satellite: NASA is set to launch a satellite Friday, starting a three-year mission to help better understand climate change.

NASA says it will launch the Aquarius/SAC-D Sea Surface Salinity satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

For the next three years, the Aquarius satellite will look back at Earth and generate monthly maps of sea salt movement, data that are crucial to the understanding of global climate change and ocean currents.

The project will give scientists the information they need to better predict El Nino and La Nina tropical climate patterns in the Pacific. Until now, such research has been limited to ship and buoy instrumentation.

Arab-American conference: The Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, which bills itself as the largest Arab-American grassroots organization in the U.S., begins at three-day conference in Washington on Friday.

The conference, with the theme “Defining Our Role in a Changing World,” features speakers including consumer advocate Ralph Nader, comedians Dean Obeidallah and Ahmed Ahmed, political and academic figures and a performance by the New York Arab Orchestra.

Topics up for discussion include the current "Arab Spring" uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, U.S. foreign policy and Arab-American identity.

The organization says the conference is the country's largest gathering of Arab-Americans.

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Filed under: Air travel • Aviation • Civil Rights • Earth • New York • North Carolina • Space • World