June 15th, 2011
11:47 PM ET

Boston Bruins win Stanley Cup; Vancouver fans trash street

The Boston Bruins won their first Stanley Cup in 39 years, defeating the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 Wednesday night in the seventh and deciding game of the National Hockey League's annual championship.

The loss didn't go over well with hundreds of mostly young Canuck fans, who took to the streets and set an overturned vehicle afire.

Some fans stopped to pose in front of the flames. Others danced on top of another overturned vehicle. A dull cloud of gray smoke choked some areas of downtown.

Aerial footage showed Vancouver police wading into the unruly crowd that continually taunted and threw things at the officers. Members of the crowd leaped over one street fire, and officers wrestled several fans to the ground.

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'Harrowing,' or 'disgraceful?' Assisted suicide documentary sparks debate
In the documentary Sir Terry Pratchett witnesses the death of a man who chose to die by assisted suicide.
June 15th, 2011
06:33 PM ET

'Harrowing,' or 'disgraceful?' Assisted suicide documentary sparks debate

A documentary about fantasy writer Sir Terry Pratchett's quest to examine whether assisted suicide is the right decision for him as he battles Alzheimer's has sparked widespread debate online about the controversial issue and how it was portrayed.

The documentary, called "Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die" has been described as "harrowing," "disgraceful" "powerful," a romanticizing of a "conveyor belt towards death," "heartbreaking" and a "slippery moral slope."

The words, of course, depend on what side of the issue you fall. Still, by most accounts, the documentary aired by the BBC  in the U.K. was raw, real and intense.

And so are the reactions to it - particularly regarding a scene towards the end of the film in which hotel owner and millionaire Peter Smedley, who suffers from motor neuron disease, ends his own life.

The film shows Smedley, after consulting with his family, making the decision that he will end his life. In a blue house in Switzerland, with his wife by his side and the help of the Swiss group Dignitas, he says his final goodbyes, drinks two drug concoctions, and quickly goes into a deep sleep, snoring, before he stops breathing.

Most who watched the show knew they were going to see a man die - it had been publicized.

"No one was going to be tuning in expecting a barrel of laughs," Metro U.K. staffer Keith Watson wrote. "We were about to watch a man die."

It is not the first time a documentary on assisted suicide showed someone being helped to take their own life. Sky, in the U.K. and HBO in the U.S. have aired or currently are airing similar documentaries. But the BBC documentary, whether because it features a prominent person in Pratchett, or because of its raw tone, has hit a nerve for many people.
The documentary's director, who traveled with Pratchett and has been documenting his journey, said he knew the topic was going to be controversial.

"We knew that if we wanted this film to be entirely honest about assisted dying then it was important to show the whole process, including the death itself," director Charlie Russell wrote in a blog on the BBC website.

"When Peter, the man who dies on-camera in the film, agreed to let us record his end, the challenge was to film it respectfully, sensitively, but most of all truthfully."

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Giffords released from hospital, will begin outpatient treatment
A photo of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords -- taken on May 17 and posted to her Facebook page -- shows her with short hair and wearing glasses.
June 15th, 2011
05:55 PM ET

Giffords released from hospital, will begin outpatient treatment

[Updated at 6:51 p.m. ET] U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has been released from a Texas hospital where she has been recovering from a January gunshot wound to the head, and she soon will start outpatient treatment at the same facility, the hospital said Wednesday.

Giffords, D-Arizona, will live with her husband in their home in League City, Texas, and will be assisted by a 24-hour home health provider, according to TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston.

"Congresswoman Giffords has shown clear, continuous improvement from the moment she arrived at TIRR five months ago," Dr. Gerard Francisco, the hospital’s chief medical officer, said in a news release. "We are very excited that she has reached the next phase of her rehabilitation and can begin outpatient treatment. We have no doubt that she will continue to make significant strides in her recovery."

Six people were killed and 13 others, including Giffords, were wounded when a gunman opened fire in front of a Safeway grocery store in Tucson, Arizona, on January 8.

Giffords has been at TIRR Memorial Hermann since January 26. Her husband, NASA astronaut and Navy Capt. Mark Kelly, eventually resumed training at nearby NASA facilities for a space shuttle mission that he was commanding, and Giffords flew to Florida to attend the May 16 launch.

"Gabby gives her all to everything she does and that's exactly what she's been doing at TIRR since January 26," Kelly said in the release. "The remarkable progress she has made since then is a testament to both her single-minded determination to get better and the team of medical professionals overseeing her care."

On Sunday, photos taken of Giffords on May 17, a day after the shuttle launch, were published to her Facebook page. The photos, taken a day before she underwent surgery to replace a portion of her skull that had been removed to relieve the pressure of swelling on her brain, show the congresswoman relaxed and smiling, with eyeglasses and short hair.

A spokesman told CNN after the photos were released that Giffords' verbal skills, physical strength and cognitive abilities were improving all the time, but he cautioned that the congresswoman still had many challenges ahead.

Jared Lee Loughner, 22, is charged in the shooting. A federal judge ruled last month that he is not competent to stand trial, based on the results of court-ordered medical evaluations. The U.S. attorney general will take custody of Loughner for a period not to exceed four months, during which he will be taken to a hospital for further evaluation to determine if he will become competent to stand trial.

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Overheard on CNN.com: Is U.S. action in Libya criminal?
President Obama will defend U.S. involvement in Libya.
June 15th, 2011
05:34 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Is U.S. action in Libya criminal?

Comment of the day:

“Regardless of your personal beliefs and political leanings, it is our solemn duty as American citizens to ensure that no elected official oversteps the bounds of their office as outlined in the constitution.” –Archyle

Suing the president

As President Obama got ready to defend U.S. military involvement in Libya to Congress, a bipartisan group of House members filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging U.S. participation in the Libya military mission. The lawsuit against Obama had many CNN.com readers recalling former President George W. Bush’s military decisions and his approach to having them approved by Congress:

Garyx24 said, “Sue George W. Bush for WAR CRIMES.” Pedro1234 said, “Bush got approval from Congress, so I guess they can sue themselves, including folks that sided with Bush, like Hillary.” jrm03063 said, “@Pedro1234 – you consider an approval based on fraud to be legitimate?” jaffa48 said, “We lost trillions on the Iraq war which was based on LIES by the GOP party (Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld). They are responsible for our debt.” pollopaefv said, “Bush lied to the UN via pumped up CIA intelligence and hid behind the congressional vote. Just because you have 10 accidents that were ruled ‘no fault’ on your license, doesn't mean you don't suck at driving.”

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June 15th, 2011
05:31 PM ET

Stocks finish sharply lower

Some highlights from the day's business news:

U.S. stocks finished sharply lower Wednesday after gloomy manufacturing data and renewed fears aboout Greece's debt problems sparked a sell-off.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 179 points, or 1.5%, to 11,897.27. All 30 of blue-chip index's stocks trading lower. Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase were among the biggest laggards. Other financial stocks followed suit, with shares of Wells Fargo and Citigroup down about 2%.

The S&P 500 slipped 22 points, or 1.7%, with a 13% drop in shares of Owens-Illinois leading the decline. The glass container maker cut its earnings guidance, citing rising manufacturing costs.

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Spectacular lunar eclipse Wednesday
The moon is expected to take on a deep orange-red glow as it passes through the center of Earth's shadow.
June 15th, 2011
01:57 PM ET

Spectacular lunar eclipse Wednesday

Sky gazers in much of the world will see a spectacular lunar eclipse Wednesday night. But if you're in North America, Greenland or Siberia, you'll have to view it virtually.

Lunar eclipses occur two to four times a year, when the sun, Earth and moon align. This one is special because the period of totality - when the moon is completely covered by Earth's shadow - will last for one hour, 40 minutes, considerably longer than usual, said David Dundee, astronomy program director at the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville, Georgia.

"All lunar eclipses are cool, but in a total lunar eclipse, the moon turns a kind of a red color," he said. The middle of Earth's shadow isn't black, it's red, Dundee explained, because the light waves from the sun that are on the red end of the spectrum bend around the planet at just the right angle to bathe the moon in red light.

Beginning at 17:24 UTC (2:24 p.m. ET), the moon will appear to dim slightly as it moves into Earth's penumbral shadow, then turn shades of orange and red as the planet's full (or umbral) shadow overtakes it. NASA explains it all in an animated diagram. Distortion from Earth's atmosphere may make the edges of the moon look fuzzy, Dundee noted.

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Minor-league baseball team to give fans rings like LeBron's
LeBron James has gone eight seasons without winning an NBA title.
June 15th, 2011
12:59 PM ET

Minor-league baseball team to give fans rings like LeBron's

The Peoria Chiefs, a Class A minor-league affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, will give every fan attending Thursday night's game a replica of LeBron James' NBA championship ring. That means as each fan passes through the turnstiles of O'Brien Field, he or she will be handed ... nothing.

James' Miami Heat team fell to the Dallas Mavericks four games to two in the NBA finals, which ended Sunday night. James, who promised Heat fans multiple championships when he bolted Cleveland for South Beach last summer, has now gone eight seasons without being able to wear a championship ring.

James' performance in the NBA Finals was widely panned. A two-time regular season Most Valuable Player, James scored only 21 points in the fourth quarters of all six finals games combined.

Which gave the Chiefs a chance to pile on the promotions Thursday, when they take on the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.

"The Chiefs are looking into whether or not the game can skip the fourth inning to honor King James who took off the fourth quarter of every finals game," the team said in a press release.

No word on whether the umpires will allow that, but these two promotions are beyond the league's control:

"One lucky fan will win a replica of James' 2011 Finals MVP Award which he earned with his clutch fourth quarter play. Fans will also have the opportunity to learn how to perform the Heimlich to prevent themselves or their colleagues from choking in a big situation," the Chiefs press release said.

But before they pile on James, the Chiefs may want to take a look at the Midwest League standings. The team is fifth place in the league's West Division.

Looks like the James replica rings are perfect for the Chiefs, too.

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House members to sue Obama over Libya
President Barack Obama plans to defend U.S. military involvement in Libya to Congress, the White House says.
June 15th, 2011
11:32 AM ET

House members to sue Obama over Libya

A bipartisan group of House members will file a lawsuit Wednesday challenging U.S. participation in the Libya military mission.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama is set to defend U.S. military involvement in Libya to Congress, according to the White House.

The administration will provide a report to address a June 3 House resolution that raised questions about the president's goal in Libya, how he hopes to achieve that goal, why he has not sought congressional authorization for involving U.S. troops abroad, and how much the conflict will ultimately cost, White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a letter to Obama on Tuesday that the administration could be in violation of the War Powers Resolution if it fails to get congressional authorization by Sunday, which he notes will be the 90th day since the mission began.

The lawsuit, which will be formally announced at a Washington news conference, will cite the War Powers Resolution as well as the role of Congress in protecting taxpayer's money, said Rep. Walter Jones, R-North Carolina, one of the 10 legislators filing it.

A statement by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, an anti-war liberal who is leading the lawsuit effort with Jones, said that the lawsuit will "challenge the executive branch's circumvention of Congress and its use of international organizations such as the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to authorize the use of military force abroad, in violation of the Constitution."

"With regard to the war in Libya, we believe that the law was violated. We have asked the courts to move to protect the American people from the results of these illegal policies," Kucinich said in his statement.

FULL STORY
Wednesday's intriguing people
Two men were arrested with swords and a body bag outside singer Joss Stone's home in England, police told BBC.
June 15th, 2011
11:32 AM ET

Wednesday's intriguing people

Joss Stone

Two men have been arrested on suspicion to conspiracy to murder and rob after being arrested near the singer's home in Devon, England, BBC reported. The men were arrested after residents reported a suspicious vehicle in the area, and police told BBC the men had swords, a body bag and plans of Stone's home in their Fiat Punto. It wasn't clear if the singer was home at the time, but Stone said she is "absolutely fine," according to BBC. The 24-year-old Stone is one of the country's wealthiest pop stars. Her first album, 2003's "The Soul Sessions," went multi-platinum when she was a teenager.

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Gotta Watch: May-December romances
Crystal Harris has called off her wedding to Playboy founder Hugh Hefner
June 15th, 2011
11:06 AM ET

Gotta Watch: May-December romances

Perhaps Crystal Harris didn't want bridesmaids wearing bunny ears. Or perhaps she got tired of people suggesting her fiance was the "old" in "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue." Whatever the reason, it's official: Harris has called off her wedding to Playboy founder Hugh Hefner. Since much of the fascination about Hef and the Playboy Playmate centers around their 60-year age difference, today's Gotta Watch looks as some of our favorite May-December romances.

Harris makes "The RidicuList" – CNN's Anderson Cooper says he just doesn't get why Hefner's ex-fiancee would call off their big day.  He managed to put her on "The RidicuList" with references to dogs and hydrants, orthopedic shoes and penicillin.

'Til death do us part – What's the secret to a successful marriage?  Selflessly sharing the mic at a press junket? Polishing your spouse's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame without being asked? Here, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore say it's as simple as a Post-It note.

Donald and Melania – Before Donald Trump flirted with the idea of running for president, he was flirting with now-wife Melania. Here, she tells HLN's Joy Behar that she initially didn't want to give Trump her number. No, it wasn't because he wanted to see her birth certificate.

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Report: Drug traffickers staging gladiatorlike fights with captives
Mexican authorities exhume bodies from a mass grave in Acapulco last week.
June 15th, 2011
10:41 AM ET

Report: Drug traffickers staging gladiatorlike fights with captives

Drug traffickers in Mexico have been abducting bus passengers and forcing them to fight each other like gladiators with the winners being ordered to become assassins, a drug trafficker tells the Houston Chronicle.

The fights, initiated by members of the Zetas cartel, are called "Who's going to be the next hitman?" said the trafficker, who agreed to talk to the Chronicle on condition of anonymity.

The gladiators use machetes, hammers and sticks. "They cut guys to pieces," the paper quotes the trafficker as saying.

The winners are sent by the Zetas on suicide missions to shoot up the territory of rivals, the trafficker told the Chronicle. The losers end up in mass graves.

The trafficker said he was not a witness to the fights but gang emembers told him about them.

Federal law enforcement officials told the Chronicle they did not know of any gladiator fights, but they said the trafficker's story was plausible given the escalating violence in Mexico.

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Arab Unrest: Middle East and North Africa, country by country
Syrian refugees make their way to the Turkish border. The U.N. said 10,000 Syrians have fled into neighboring countries.
June 15th, 2011
10:07 AM ET

Arab Unrest: Middle East and North Africa, country by country

Countries in the Middle East and North Africa have been swept up in protests against longtime rulers since the January revolt that ousted Tunisian strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. In many cases, these demonstrations and movements have been met with brute force and escalated into seemingly unending violence.

Here are the latest developments from each country and information on the roots of the unrest.

SYRIA

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan plans to huddle with a special Syrian envoy on Wednesday in an effort to help stem the growing tide of refugees racing into Turkey from conflict-wracked Syria. The number of Syrians who have crossed the border now stands at 8,421, according to Turkey's disaster and emergency management directorate.

CNN reporter, briefly in Syria, hears 'horror' stories

That flight has been spurred by violence and a military offensive in the conflict-scarred country, and Turkey is worried that the border crisis could deteriorate and destabilize the region.

Of the refugees, 4,368 are children and 73 Syrians are now being treated in Turkish hospitals, the emergency directorate said. More than 1,230 tents have been set up in a number of locations.

Actress Angelina Jolie, a longtime goodwill ambassador for the U.N. refugee agency, has submitted an application to visit the refugees in Turkey, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal confirmed to CNN by phone. He says the government is "evaluating" the request.

GPS: The consequences of Syrian refugees in Turkey

Roots of Unrest: More than 1,100 people may have died since the unrest began in mid-March after teens were arrested for writing anti-government graffiti in Daraa, according to Amnesty International. As the crackdown intensified, demonstrators changed their demands from calls for "freedom," "dignity" and an end to abuses by the security forces to calls for the regime's overthrow. On April 19, Syria's Cabinet lifted an emergency law, which had been in effect since 1963. But security forces then moved quickly to crack down. Government opponents allege massive human rights abuses.

Analysis: Why U.N. won't act against Syria

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Distress call a hoax, Coast Guard says
The Coast Guard says its search for a phantom sailboat Tuesday cost taxpayers nearly $88,000.
June 15th, 2011
08:37 AM ET

Distress call a hoax, Coast Guard says

A distress call that sparked a massive search for four people in the waters off New Jersey appears to have been a hoax, the Coast Guard says.

Shortly before 4 a.m. Tuesday, someone called the Coast Guard, saying a 33-foot sailboat was nearly submerged and the four people aboard were abandoning ship and boarding a small dinghy.

The caller told the Coast Guard they did not have a handheld radio, flares or a sound-producing device, and communications were lost.

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Boy's reaction to being Schwarzenegger's son: 'Cool!'
Arnold Schwarzenegger and wife Maria Shriver are now separated.
June 15th, 2011
07:40 AM ET

Boy's reaction to being Schwarzenegger's son: 'Cool!'

When the 13-year-old son of Arnold Schwarzenegger's former housekeeper found out the Terminator was his father, he answered with one word: "Cool!"

That's what the housekeeper, Mildred Baena, tells HELLO! magazine, in what the British publication says will be her first and only interview on the subject.

The housekeeper told the magazine she didn't realize at first that the boy, Joseph, was Schwarzenegger's son.

“It was as Joseph grew and I started to see the resemblance that I wondered – but It became more apparent as time went on,” HELLO! quotes Baena as saying.“I knew Arnold was the father, and maybe as Joseph got older and began to look like him, he (Arnold) wondered. But he never said anything to me.”

Baena also said Schwarzenegger's wife, Maria Shriver, had her suspicions.

“She would say things like, 'I’m here if you need to talk.' I sensed something was up," Baena is quoted as saying. “Finally, she asked point blank.”

Upon learning the truth, Shriver comforted Baena, the housekeeper told HELLO!

"She cried with me. ... We held each other and I told her it wasn’t Arnie’s fault, that it takes two,” Baena is quoted as saying.

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Wednesday's live video events
June 15th, 2011
07:34 AM ET

Wednesday's live video events

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

Today's programming highlights...

9:00 am ET - Casey Anthony trial - Prosecutors are expected to wrap up their case today in the trial of Casey Anthony, the Florida woman accused of killing her young daughter.

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Filed under: Anti-Islam • Arizona • Casey Anthony • Courts • Crime • District of Columbia • Florida • Islam • Justice • Libya • Military • On CNN.com today • Politics • Religion • Security • Syria • U.S. • World
On the Radar: Van der Sloot charges, Google notebooks, hockey final
Joran van der Sloot is suspected in the death of Stephany Flores in Peru.
June 15th, 2011
06:01 AM ET

On the Radar: Van der Sloot charges, Google notebooks, hockey final

Three things you need to know today.

Van der Sloot case: Formal charges against Joran Van der Sloot, who is suspected of killing a woman in a Peruvian hotel, could be filed on Wednesday.

Van der Sloot and his new private defense attorney were in court on Tuesday for a preliminary hearing. The hearing was held behind closed doors at the Castro Castro prison outside of Lima. No cameras were allowed.

The hearing was postponed last week because Van der Sloot did not have legal representation.

Van der Sloot was once the prime suspect in the disappearance in Aruba of American teenager Natalee Holloway, who vanished at age 18 while on a graduation trip. He was arrested twice but never charged in connection with her disappearance.

He was arrested in May 2010 following the death of Stephany Flores in Peru.

Once charges are filed against him, a three-judge panel will set the date for an oral trial to begin.

Google notebooks: Notebook computers running Google's new operating system, called Chrome OS, come out on Wednesday.

The new operating system is based on Google's Chrome Web browser but adds some extra features for connecting digital cameras and offline usage. Google says 160 million people actively browse the Web using Chrome, up from 70 million a year ago.

Because the laptop runs on a stripped-down system, first-time setup takes three minutes, and the computers boot up in 8 seconds, Sundar Pichai, an executive for the Chrome group, said during a presentation on the system last month.

The notebooks will run Web-based apps and store files in the cloud instead of on a hard drive. "Your apps, games, photos, music, movies and documents will be accessible wherever you are and you won't need to worry about losing your computer or forgetting to back up files," Google said in a blog post announcing the computers.

Samsung Electronics will sell a version with a 12.1-inch screen and Wi-Fi for $429, and another model with Verizon Wireless 3G connectivity for $499. Acer will also make a Chromebook with prices as low as $349.

Stanley Cup final: The Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins square off for the seventh and final game to determine the winner of the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup.

The home team has won each of the previous six games. Wednesday night's Game 7 is in Vancouver, British Columbia.

SI.com's Stu Hackel looks back at the series and what to expect tonight.

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Filed under: Crime • Google • Hockey • Joran van der Sloot • NHL • Peru • Sports • Technology