Overheard: Impending soap loss brings out uncommon civility in comments
Susan Lucci has been with the daytime drama "All My Children" since the show's inception in 1970.
July 3rd, 2011
10:17 PM ET

Overheard: Impending soap loss brings out uncommon civility in comments

Anyone who peruses the comments section of CNN.com or just about any news site quickly learns what a rough-n-tumble world of words that can be. Under the cloak of anonymity, the harshest of assessments employing the sharpest of words are unleashed on online opponents real and imagined.

So when the CNN.com weekend crew checked back over some of the comments of the past few days, the comments on one story really stood out.

As reported on Friday on the Marquee Blog, the residents of the fictional town of Pine Valley will officially say goodbye when "All My Children" airs its last episode on Friday, September 23.

News of when the final episode would be aired sparked an outpouring that stayed surprisingly on subject and brought some uncommonly kind interchanges. This one between Patsy Davis and bubba really stood out:

Patsy Davis: "My name is Patsy Davis and I live in Charlotte, N.C. I HATE the fact that "All My Children" will no longer be broadcast after Sept. 23rd. That is HORRENDOUS! I LOVE that soap. Why are you taking it off the air? I will miss the cast, but I want to wish everyone of them good luck in whatever endeavor they pursue. Maybe I will see one of them in a movie or another TV program. God bless to all of them!"

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Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days
July 3rd, 2011
06:54 PM ET

Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days

A weeks-old wildfire has burned well over half the 400,000-acre Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge that straddles the Georgia-Florida border. Here is a look at this and other stories that CNN plans to follow this week:

Wildfire in Okefenokee refuge

The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge will be closed to the public indefinitely  until authorities, likely with major help from the weather, get a raging wildfire under control.

But the weather has yet to cooperate, according to authorities on the ground.

"Mother Nature is in charge, with both the cause of the fire and the resolution to it," said Jason Curry, a spokesman for the federal Incident Management Team.

Lightning first sparked a fire on April 28 and it has been burning, in some form, ever since - consuming about 268,000 of the refuge's 402,000 acres.

"We are looking forward to dry conditions, with relative humidity near 30 to 35% (and) temperatures slightly above normal at 95 degrees," said meteorologist Coleen Decker, of the upcoming forecast for the region. "We are not expecting significant precipitation until Tuesday," she said.

Minnesota government shutdown might last days

The government shutdown in Minnesota could drag on for days after lawmakers failed to reach a budget agreement before a midnight Thursday deadline.

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As New Mexico fire continues, residents allowed back
July 3rd, 2011
06:38 PM ET

As New Mexico fire continues, residents allowed back

Residents of northern New Mexico got a reprieve Sunday from a wildfire that has burned more than 120,000 acres when authorities announced that evacuees could return home.

The move came after relatively favorable weather conditions - including fairly high humidity and weak winds - in recent days, said Brad Pitassi, an Incident Management Team spokesman for the Southwest.

He stressed that the fire remains "very active," noting it was only 11% contained by Sunday afternoon.

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Filed under: Fire • New Mexico
Swift water hinders oil spill cleanup at river
July 3rd, 2011
06:34 PM ET

Swift water hinders oil spill cleanup at river

High water and a swift current has helped break up an oil spill that dumped hundreds of barrels of crude into Montana's Yellowstone River over the weekend, local officials said Sunday.

ExxonMobil said between 750 to 1,000 barrels (32,000 to 42,000 gallons) of oil escaped late Friday when a pipeline ruptured beneath the river near Billings.

Yellowstone County Sheriff Mike Linder and Duane Winslow, the county's emergency services director, said flooding has made it harder to track and clean up the mess. The Yellowstone was running above flood stage over the weekend, sweeping brush and logs into the river, and had a 5- to 7-mph current Sunday.

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Filed under: Montana
July 3rd, 2011
11:54 AM ET

Casey Anthony weeps, shakes head during prosecution's closing argument

As Casey Anthony alternately cried, glared and shook her head, prosecutors in her capital murder trial told jurors Sunday that evidence in the case points to only one conclusion - that she murdered her 2-year-old daughter Caylee.

"When you have a child, that child becomes your life," prosecutor Jeff Ashton told the seven-woman, five-man jury. "This case is about the clash between that responsibility, and the expectations that go with it, and the life that Casey Anthony wanted to have."

Jurors are expected to begin deliberations later Sunday to decide if Anthony, 25, is guilty of killing her daughter. She is charged with seven counts, including first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and misleading police. If convicted of first-degree murder, Anthony could receive the death penalty. She has pleaded not guilty to all charges, and denies harming her daughter. Read the full story and review what defense attorneys have said during the trial.

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Filed under: Casey Anthony • Crime
Iran vows to prosecute in absentia Donald Rumsfeld, others, Iranian lawmaker says
July 3rd, 2011
10:04 AM ET

Iran vows to prosecute in absentia Donald Rumsfeld, others, Iranian lawmaker says

Iran says it plans to prosecute 26 current and former American officials, an Iranian lawmaker said Sunday, potentially escalating a tit-for-tat dispute between the two countries.

"The American officials will be tried in Iranian courts in abstentia before they are referred to the relevant international tribunals" if Iran's parliament approves the plan, Tehran member of parliament Esmaeel Kowsari said, according to Mashregh News.

He did not name them, but Iran's government-backed Press TV said in May that parliament planned sanctions on Americans including former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the current and former commanders of the Guantanamo Bay detention center.

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Filed under: Iran • U.S.
Thai PM concedes, congratulates first female premier
Yingluck Shinawatra, the opposition Puea Thai party candidate.
July 3rd, 2011
10:00 AM ET

Thai PM concedes, congratulates first female premier

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva conceded Sunday that Yingluck Shinawatra had won the nation's election.

"Congratulations to Thailand's first female prime minister," he said.

Early exit polling in Thailand showed Yingluck of the Pheu Thai party with a wide lead over Abhisit of the Democratic Party.

Polling also showed Yingluck's party may take more than 300 of the 500 seats in the House of Representatives up for grabs in the election, according to data collected by the Suan Dusit Poll. It would be one of the few times in recent decades that a party won a majority, allowing it to form its own administration without having to build a coalition.

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Filed under: Thailand