Greek prime minister survives confidence vote
June 21st, 2011
06:34 PM ET

Greek prime minister survives confidence vote

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou's reshuffled Cabinet survived a vote of confidence early Wednesday despite widespread opposition to budget cuts he says are needed to prevent a government default.

International lenders have demanded Greece cut spending, lay off public workers, raise taxes and raise 50 billion euros ($71 billion) through selling off state-owned enterprises in exchange for a bailout of the cash-strapped nation. Vehement protests against the austerity measures spurred Papandreou (pictured) to shake up his government last week, leading to Wednesday's 155-143 vote.

Lawmakers are slated to vote on the privatization plan and further tax increases, pension cuts and layoffs on June 30. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told CNN on Tuesday that Greece risks being abandoned by both Europe and the International Monetary Fund if it fails to act.

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Flood risk prompts evacuations in Minot, North Dakota
Floodwater from a rising Souris River approaches a home in Minot, North Dakota.
June 21st, 2011
06:32 PM ET

Flood risk prompts evacuations in Minot, North Dakota

[Updated at 9:03 p.m. ET] Authorities have ordered the evacuation of some 12,000 people from the city of Minot, North Dakota, and surrounding areas because of expected record flooding, officials said Tuesday.

The swollen Souris River flows straight through the city and is expected to overwhelm area levees, said Cecily Fong, spokeswoman for the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services. Minot, located in the north central part of the state, is the fourth-largest city in North Dakota.

The evacuation order covers between a quarter and a third of the city's population, Fong said. Residents have until 6 p.m. CT Wednesday to leave their homes.

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June 21st, 2011
05:12 PM ET

Professor accused of running online prostitution ring

A New Jersey professor has been arrested in New Mexico for allegedly operating a prostitution website, police said.

David Flory, 68, who teaches physics at Fairleigh Dickinson University, was arrested on 40 counts of promoting prostitution.

Flory told police he did it as a hobby and did not make any money from it.

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Overheard on CNN.com: Sympathy and scorn for Dunn
"Jackass" star Ryan Dunn died in a car accident early Monday.
June 21st, 2011
05:11 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Sympathy and scorn for Dunn

Comment of the day:

“Congratulations to all the trash talkers! You are now officially...Jacka$$es! How does it feel?” –Vivalabetsy

More than a 'Jackass'

Ebert makes anti-drunk driving tweet

The death of Ryan Dunn, one of the stars of MTV's "Jackass" films and TV series, in a car crash on a Pennsylvania highway early Monday has ignited a public debate— thanks in part to film critic Roger Ebert, who tweeted, “Friends don’t let jackasses drink and drive.” So was Dunn a reckless stunt man who died in a fiery crash that could have been avoided or a man who simply and tragically died too young?

CNN.com readers were divided.

thekissinger said, “My, aren't we quick to condemn with so few facts. A person has died, his family and friends care right now, and anything else we type should be with those thoughts in mind.” parise said, “Fact: he posted pictures of himself drinking before he drove home. Fact: alcohol inhibits ability to drive.” M0reHuman said, “Fact: He posted a picture of himself with ONE drink. According to current state laws that is legal.” amcdonal86 said, “FACT! His car was completely mangled in a way that only a 100+ mph crash could cause!” Kayakker98 said, “Opinion: He looks hammered in the pic.” mmmikey responsed, “Parise.....pictures of him drinking WHAT? What was in the cup? Do you know? Of course you don't. Ignorant is as ignorant does.”

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June 21st, 2011
04:50 PM ET

U.N. OKs second term for Secretary-General Ban

The U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday formally approved the nomination of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to a second five-year term as the head of the world body.

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June 21st, 2011
04:49 PM ET

Senate OKs Panetta as defense secretary

The Senate on Tuesday gave final approval to CIA Director Leon Panetta's nomination to become defense secretary when Robert Gates steps down at the end of June.

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Walter Jones' war: Why lawmaker is challenging Obama on Libya
U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, R-North Carolina, regrets voting to authorize the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
June 21st, 2011
03:50 PM ET

Walter Jones' war: Why lawmaker is challenging Obama on Libya

U.S. lawmakers are split over President Barack Obama's decision to take military action in Libya without getting congressional approval. Some of them are threatening to cut off funding for America's participation in NATO's bombing campaign.

That prospect has lit a fire of its own.

"The president did a lousy job of communicating and managing our involvement in Libya, but I will be no part of an effort to defund Libya or to try to cut off our efforts to bring (Libyan leader Moammar) Gadhafi down," U.S. Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-South Carolina, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday.

You can question the motivation of some lawmakers who are attacking Obama for the U.S. bombing of Libya.

For instance, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in 1995 voted to repeal the 1973 War Powers Resolution, the law that requires the president to get congressional approval for sending U.S. forces to war.  In 1999, Boehner called the resolution "constitutionally suspect." Now, Boehner is arguing Obama violated it with his actions in Libya.

But it's not so easy to question the motivations of U.S. Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina.

Well, you can: It's a free country, and he'd probably welcome it. But you're better off spending your time some other way.

He's a Republican, yes. He's a conservative, yes. But mostly, he's driven - not to go after a Democratic president, but to pursue the beliefs that got burned into him with the war in Iraq.


Click the audio player to hear this story from CNN Radio's Libby Lewis:


CNN spoke with him at his office recently on Capitol Hill.

"I take war very seriously. I've not been to war," Jones said.

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Christie's expecting six-figure bid for Al Capone's revolver
The auction for gangster Al Capone's six-shot revolver is expected to draw bids in the neighborhood of $100,000.
June 21st, 2011
02:53 PM ET

Christie's expecting six-figure bid for Al Capone's revolver

Eliot Ness would probably be a little annoyed to see his nemesis's revolver drawing six-figure bids.

The Prohibition agent of "Untouchables" fame spent about two years trying to nail Al Capone and his murderous cabal, only to see the Chicago gangster dodge charges of smuggling, bootlegging, prostitution or, if we're pointing fingers in the 1929 St. Valentine's Day Massacre (we aren't), much worse.

Capone eventually went down on tax evasion charges stemming from a separate investigation. The seven years and change that the mobster spent in prison ultimately were his undoing; he died about seven years after his 1939 release.

Now, more than six decades following Capone's death, one of his belongings is drawing the cult fascination that so often accompanies the appurtenances of gangsters, psychos and other monumental miscreants.

Christie's, the world-famous auction house, is selling Capone's .38 special, a "police-positive" Colt nickel-plated, six-shot double-action revolver. It also has a handsome checkered walnut grip.

Christie's expects the winning bidder to cough up between $80,600 and $112,840. Hardly an offer you can't refuse. A similar firearm sans the Scarface pedigree would run you a few hundred dollars.

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Canadian cash to do away with paper
The new polymer Canadian $100 bill has security features that make it hard to counterfeit but easy to verify.
June 21st, 2011
02:51 PM ET

Canadian cash to do away with paper

"Paper or plastic?" That question isn't asked frequently at grocery stores anymore, but it may be poised for a comeback at Canadian banks.

The Bank of Canada will start issuing high-tech currency made of polymers instead of the traditional cotton paper and featuring transparent windows (one shaped like a maple leaf) to frustrate counterfeiters.

Security and verification features include raised ink in the numerals and the featured portrait, color-shifting images embedded in the large window, and a number hidden in the maple-leaf window.

Watch a video demonstrating the security features

"Our mandate at the Bank of Canada is to make sure Canadians can use these notes with confidence," bank spokeswoman Julie Girard said.

The first note to be issued will be the $100 bill, scheduled for November. Those will be followed by a $50 note in March and $20 note later in 2012. The $10 and $5 bills will come out by the end of 2013.

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Convictions and corrections: A look at the numbers behind wrongful imprisonment
Cornelius Dupree, seen with his lawyer, was imprisoned in Texas, which has the most exonerations based on DNA evidence.
June 21st, 2011
02:14 PM ET

Convictions and corrections: A look at the numbers behind wrongful imprisonment

Cornelius Dupree celebrated the beginning of 2011 by being released from a 30-year wrongful imprisonment.

The 51-year-old had been barely past his teenage years the last time he rang in the new year as a free man. The DNA evidence that led to his exoneration demonstrated that his imprisoned adulthood had been based upon a case of mistaken identity.

Witness misidentification is the largest contributor to wrongful convictions, said Paul Cates, communications director for the Innocence Project. Requiring police lineups to be double-blind can help combat it.

Lawmakers in Texas, where Dupree was convicted and the nation's leader in exonerations based on DNA evidence, approved a bill in April that will enact lineup regulations that include requiring that they be double-blind.

Though DNA evidence has demonstrated the prevalence of mistakes in the system and how to avoid them, it has also proven useful in retroactively correcting them.

In Florida, The Brevard County Sheriff’s department announced Monday that the DNA evidence clearing William Dillon of the murder conviction for which he served 27 years in prison has now led them to four possible suspects.

If the final four yields new answers to this 30-year-old question, Dillon’s case will join 122 others nationally in which DNA evidence has both exonerated the person initially convicted and has led to a different suspect, according to the Innocence Project’s website. That figure makes up a little less than half of 272 post-conviction exonerations DNA evidence has led to since 1989, the national organization based in New York reports. And still more people who have been convicted of crimes and their families feel that DNA evidence would prove their innocence.

“We have a huge back load of people writing to us to ask for assistance,” said Paul Cates, communications director for the Innocence Project.

According to the organization’s website, Florida, where Dillon was convicted, is tied with Virginia for third place in the number of DNA-based exonerations.

With thirteen exonerations, they rank behind New York (27), Illinois (31) and Texas, which has exonerated 43 prisoners.

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Mark Kelly retiring from Navy, NASA to be with Rep. Giffords
June 21st, 2011
11:53 AM ET

Mark Kelly retiring from Navy, NASA to be with Rep. Giffords

Capt. Mark Kelly announced his retirement from the United States Navy and NASA on his Facebook page Tuesday.

"Words cannot convey my deep gratitude for the opportunities I have been given to serve our great nation," he said in the post. "From the day I entered the United States Merchant Marine Academy in the summer of 1982 to the moment I landed the Space Shuttle Endeavour three weeks ago, it has been my privilege to advance the ideals that define the United States of America."

His retirement will take effect on October 1, the post said.

Kelly said that he wants to be with his wife Rep. Gabrielle Giffords on her "mission of recovery."

Giffords was shot in the head January 8 in a mass shooting in Tucson that left six people dead. She was sent to the Houston facility January 21 to undergo intense rehabilitation. She was released last week to go through outpatient therapy.

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June 21st, 2011
11:05 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

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad offered another general amnesty Tuesday for those accused of crimes, Syrian state TV reported. It's the second known amnesty overture from the embattled Syrian leader since protests erupted in the Middle Eastern country.

GPS: Another deeply disappointing speech by Bashar al-Assad

Ammar Qurabi, chairman of the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria, said Tuesday that dozens of protesters were arrested Monday during peaceful anti-government demonstrations in the city of Aleppo.

State TV showed images Tuesday of thousands joining pro-regime rallies in cities such as Daraa, Aleppo and Homs. Some in the crowds chanted, "With our blood, with our souls, we will sacrifice for you, Bashar" and "God, Syria and Bashar only."

At least 10,718 Syrian refugees, many of whom fled a military advance in and around the city of Jisr al-Shugur, have crossed the border into Turkey, the Turkish government said.

Diplomats, reporters and U.N. agencies visited northern Syria in a government-sponsored trip on Monday. The war-battered town of Jisr al-Shugur was virtually deserted.

The International Committee of the Red Cross says Syrian officials agreed to give the ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent wider access to areas of unrest and that the government has "expressed its readiness" to discuss ICRC visits to detainees.

Opinion: Obama can't 'lead from behind' on Syria

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.

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Tuesday's intriguing people
Proceeds from "Weird Al" Yankovic's Lady Gaga parody will go the the Human Rights Campaign.
June 21st, 2011
11:03 AM ET

Tuesday's intriguing people

"Weird Al" Yankovic

The man who is famous for his musical parodies has taken on one of the biggest names in music: Lady Gaga. Yankovic has redone Gaga's latest hit, "Born This Way," and the video for "Perform This Way" premiered on YouTube on Monday. The song was not without controversy, as Entertainment Weekly reported that Lady Gaga's manager initially told Yankovic that Gaga wasn't in support of the song. But after Yankovic took to the Internet to express his frustration, Gaga's manager admitted that the singer had never seen the video or heard the song.

On his blog, Yankovic wrote of the manager: "Even though we assumed that Gaga herself was the one making the decision (because, well, that’s what we were TOLD), he apparently made the decision completely on his own. He’s sorry." Proceeds from the single will go to the Human Rights Campaign.

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Gotta Watch: Judges get real
Judge Belvin Perry Jr. gets stern during Casey Anthony’s murder trial.
June 21st, 2011
10:30 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Judges get real

Some trials can be pretty wild. From jurors to defendants and even the prosecution, trying a case can become all too taxing and frustrating for some judges to manage. But some of them fight back. Be it with wit, emotion or a no-foolishness attitude, you’ve gotta watch how these judges tackle courtroom crazy.
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Filed under: Anna Nicole Smith • Casey Anthony • Celebrity • Courts • Crime • Gotta Watch • Judge • Justice • Showbiz
Hurricane Beatriz on Mexican coast
June 21st, 2011
10:08 AM ET

Hurricane Beatriz on Mexican coast

Hurricane Beatriz made contact Mexico's resort-laden Pacific coast Tuesday, setting off warnings for a 360-mile (575-kilometer) stretch of coastline.

The Category-1 storm, however, was moving away from the coast, heading northwest at 13 mph (20 kph), according to the National Hurricane Center. As of Tuesday morning, Beatriz was about 50 miles northwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, though its effects were felt up and down the coast, even outside of the hurricane warning area, where rough waves were a concern.

The hurricane was expected to create "storms, strong winds, high waves and intense to torrential rains in (the states) of Colima, Michoacan and Guerrero," Mexico's National Meteorology Service said.

Flooding and mudslides were possible, the service said.

Tourist hotspots including Acapulco and Zihuatanejo were among those seeing effects of the storm, where 6-12 inches of rain were predicted.

Beatriz had maximum sustained winds of 90 mph (150 kph) with higher gusts, the hurricane center reported.

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After 27 years with wrong man behind bars, cops have four new murder suspects
Officials say William Dillon, who was in jail for murder for 27 years, did not commit the crime. They now have four new suspects.
June 21st, 2011
09:22 AM ET

After 27 years with wrong man behind bars, cops have four new murder suspects

After an 18 month investigation the Brevard County Sheriff's Office in Florida announced it has solved a murder case in which a man was wrongly imprisoned for nearly three decades.

James Dvorak was found dead more than 30 years ago on Cordova Beach in Central Florida. For 27 of those years William Dillon maintained his innocence as he sat behind bars doing time for Dvorak's murder.

"Based on the information we have, the DNA evidence, some witness statements and some other information all appearances are [Dillon] was not involved in the beating death of Mr. Dvorak," Brevard County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Lt. Todd Goodyear said.

The DNA testing of evidence that helped gain Dillon's release from prison in 2008 also helped lead the sheriff's office to four new suspects. The suspects have not been charged but the case has been handed over to the prosecutor’s office.

"It's a little bit different to put your suspects out before you arrest them," Goodyear said.

He says with the focus off of Dillon the sheriff's office hopes to find more witnesses to "fill in some of the blanks."

Although Dillon says he is "extremely glad" that the sheriff's office found out who committed the crime, he still has a heavy heart.

"It hurts me down deep in my soul," Dillon said, "because I have been dealing with this for 30 years."

Man spends 27 years wrongly imprisoned writing songs

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U.S. 'surge' forces could leave Afghanistan by end of 2012, source says
About 30,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan could be coming home by the end of next year, an Obama administration official says.
June 21st, 2011
09:06 AM ET

U.S. 'surge' forces could leave Afghanistan by end of 2012, source says

[Updated at 9:06 a.m. ET] President Barack Obama is presently mulling how many troops to bring home this summer and how many to bring home late next year, a source says.

He is expected to discuss preserving flexibility in force levels on the ground so commanders can adjust as conditions warrant, an administration official said.

The drawdown will involve both bringing troops home without replacing them as well as canceling some proposed deployments.

Bringing the troops home by late 2012 would give U.S. forces another two fighting seasons before coming home, sources say.

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Read CNN's full coverage of the Afghanistan troop withdrawal announcement
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On the Radar: Afghanistan, Huntsman, Greece, summer
A U.S. soldier takes up a position near schoolchildren Tuesday in Afghanistan's Khost province.
June 21st, 2011
08:47 AM ET

On the Radar: Afghanistan, Huntsman, Greece, summer

Afghanistan drawdown President Barack Obama will announce Wednesday how many U.S. troops he'll bring home from Afghanistan when the drawdown begins next month. Obama is expected to announce the approval of a plan that would result in 30,000 U.S. "surge" forces being withdrawn by the end of 2012, an administration official told CNN. There are about 100,000 U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan, including the so-called surge ordered in 2009 in a bid to control violence there.

Huntsman as GOP candidate Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman is set to announce Tuesday his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination. He's a motorcycle-riding Mormon who speaks fluent Mandarin, a soft-spoken father of seven with eclectic political connections. He was ambassador to China for President Barack Obama, whom he once described as a remarkable leader. That could make the primary season difficult for him.

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Adviser: President Saleh to return to Yemen Friday
June 21st, 2011
08:42 AM ET

Adviser: President Saleh to return to Yemen Friday

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is being treated in Saudi Arabia after an attack on his compound, will return to Yemen on Friday, a senior adviser told CNN.

Saleh and other senior officials were injured June 3 in an attack on the mosque at the presidential palace and are being treated in Saudi Arabia.

Yemen has been consumed by unrest for months as protesters have demanded an end to Saleh's rule. In recent weeks, government troops have battled both anti-government tribal forces and Islamic militants, including al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

GPS: Yemen's battle of the sons

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