Rapper T.I.'s release from prison hits snag
September 1st, 2011
09:31 PM ET

Rapper T.I.'s release from prison hits snag

Rapper T.I. has been removed from a halfway house to a "different facility" because of prison officials' objection over his using a tour bus to move between facilities in Arkansas and Georgia, his attorney Steve Sadow said.

T.I., whose real name is Clifford Harris, had walked out of a federal prison in Arkansas on Wednesday morning, 10 months after he began serving a sentence for violating his parole on a gun conviction.

 CNN's Alan Duke contributed to this report

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Filed under: Celebrity • Crime • Showbiz • TI
Colleges ease financial burden through increased grants from endowments
Pomona College draws from its endowment to replace loans with grants for students like Seanna Leath.
September 1st, 2011
08:44 PM ET

Colleges ease financial burden through increased grants from endowments

Seanna Leath grew up poor in Little Rock, Arkansas, dodging evictions and urban violence.

Somehow, she tuned out the chaos well enough to earn outstanding grades in high school. Now the 20-year-old is thriving at California's Pomona College, the sixth-ranked liberal arts school in America, according U.S. News and World Report.

Pomona pays almost all of Leath's $50,000 annual tab for tuition, room and board. Now a junior, Leath still seems in awe of the stately campus of 1,560 students.

"Three years ago I just would not have believed that I would be here," said Leath, a junior who has a double major in psychology and African studies. "I never thought I could go to Pomona and not have huge loans."

While many universities are reporting tuition increases for the 2011-2012 year, prospective students may still be able to find some relief through increased scholarships at some institutions, especially elite private schools with large endowments.

While the cost of college continues to skyrocket, families reported paying 9% less for an education in 2010-2011 than a year ago, according to a Sallie Mae survey.

The savings come from cost-cutting measures such as attending lower-cost colleges, living at home or going to school part-time, according to Sallie Mae. But grants and scholarships played an increasingly important role, covering 33% of college costs in 2010-2011, up from 23% the previous year.

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Gulf Coast states prepare for tropical depression
This satellite image shows the system in the Gulf of Mexico at 3:15 p.m. ET Thursday.
September 1st, 2011
07:55 PM ET

Gulf Coast states prepare for tropical depression

[Updated at 7:55 p.m. ET] A tropical storm warning has been issued for parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast after a tropical depression formed over the central Gulf of Mexico on Thursday evening, the National Hurricane Center said in its 8 p.m. advisory.

The system could become a tropical storm by Friday and approach the Louisiana coast on Saturday, with the potential to deliver 10 to 15 inches of rain to southern Louisiana, southern Mississippi and southern Alabama through Sunday, the hurricane center said.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency on Thursday evening because of the storm.

Earlier Thursday, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said the city has begun preparations for possible flooding and heavy rain.

"What we do know is there's high wind, there is a lot of rain and it's going slow," Landrieu said of the storm in the Gulf. "That's not a good prescription for the city of New Orleans should it come this way."

Shortly before 8 p.m. ET, the storm's center was about 225 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River. It had maximum sustained winds of 35 mph and was moving northwest at 6 mph.

A tropical storm warning was issued for the Gulf Coast from Sabine Pass, Texas, to Pascagoula, Mississippi. Tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 24 hours, the hurricane center said.

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Filed under: Louisiana • Tropical weather • Weather
Overheard on CNN.com: Proper protocol or bullying?
President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner
September 1st, 2011
06:50 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Proper protocol or bullying?

Exchange of the Day:

" 'Obama accepts GOP request to push back speech to Congress'; Translation: 'President Obama obeys Boehner' "–Voltairine

"Translation: Yet again the president compromises, something the GOP has no idea how to do."–AGoodwin

Obama accepts GOP request to push back speech to Congress

Boehner disses presidency, and Obama takes it

President Obama intended to address Congress on September 7 on the urgency of creating jobs and growing the economy. House Speaker John Boehner recommended moving the address to September 8, and the president agreed. Arguments abound over whether the scheduling and rescheduling of the speech was simple logistics or a power play on one or both sides. CNN.com reader comments were similarly divided. Some wondered what all the fuss was about.

chapkom asked, "How in the nine hells is a reasonable request to accommodate security procedures 'a political showdown'? Seriously. Boehner made a request and Obama said 'OK.' How is that a showdown? The media need to grow up."

Others were upset with what they saw as Boehner's disrespectful attitude. egb1 said, "Grow up, Boehner. I hope the electorate lets officials know what they think of these stupid pissing matches by voting the officials out of office. The stalemate over the debt ceiling seriously damaged our country's precarious financial health, and now this kind of nonsense over even the most trivial issue - pushing the president's speech back a day just to show that you can."

lexgreen said, "Well, that didn't take long. A nice foreshadowing of the next coming political implosion this fall. I have to question the value of addressing a House of Representatives that has rendered itself nearly invisible as a functioning branch of government. A truly irrelevant bunch that will be unable to fashion any meaningful legislation."

Billwsu said, "He is the president of the United States. He doesn't, and shouldn't, have to get permission to address the nation. Would Eisenhower do this? Roosevelt? Kennedy? Hell no." AnotherSN said, "Way to be the bigger man, Barack. You know, I really do like the man. Both as a human and a president."

But others wanted to see President Obama fight back. LightSpeed1 said, "Good God, man. Is their ANYTHING you won't cave to? Even something as trivial as the timing of a speech? Come on now."

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SI.com: Slow going for NBA labor talks
NBA commissioner David Stern has said he's not ready to set any deadlines, but the preseason schedule isn't far.
September 1st, 2011
05:47 PM ET

SI.com: Slow going for NBA labor talks

If you had your fingers crossed that Wednesday's meeting between NBA players and owners would lead to a quick resolution of their labor dispute, you might be a little disappointed. While the two sides agreed to end the public relations assault they have unleashed on each other since the NBA lockout started, little progress was made on any other fronts.

“The days of negotiating through the media are over, declared (David) Stern, (Adam) Silver and (Derek) Fisher. Fine,” SI.com’s Chris Mannix writes, referring to the NBA's commissioner and deputy commissioner, and the players union president. “But on several occasions, three of the most influential men involved in the negotiations were given opportunities to portray Wednesday's meeting in a positive light, to offer millions of fans the slightest glimmer of hope. Each time, they passed.”

Mannix explains that while players and owners are really no closer to reaching a new collective bargaining agreement after Wednesday’s meeting, the pressure to hammer out a deal will certainly start to weigh on them.

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September 1st, 2011
04:47 PM ET

Katia downgraded to tropical storm

Katia weakened to a tropical storm in the open Atlantic Ocean on Thursday afternoon, but it could become a hurricane again in the next 12 hours, the National Hurricane Center said. Swells generated by the storm could affect the Lesser Antilles by late Friday.

The maximum sustained winds of Katia, whose center was 930 miles east of the Caribbean's northern Leeward Islands, had decreased to 70 mph shortly before 5 p.m. ET, the hurricane center said. The wind-speed threshold for a Category 1 hurricane is 74 mph.

"Some restrengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours," the hurricane center said in its 5 p.m. advisory.

Katia became a hurricane Wednesday night, with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.

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Gotta Watch: Rick Santorum
Rick Santorum talks about his stance on gay marriage.
September 1st, 2011
01:06 PM ET

Gotta Watch: Rick Santorum

He's the GOP presidential hopeful trying to make headway in field that's been dominated with talk of Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. This week, Rick Santorum is making headlines for slamming CNN's Piers Morgan for calling him a bigot. Get to know this Republican and check out the feisty response he gave to Penn State students here.
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Filed under: Elections • Politics • Republican Party • TV-Piers Morgan • U.S.
Van der Sloot charged with murder in Peru
Joran van der Sloot is escorted by Peruvian police in Lima on June 5, 2010.
September 1st, 2011
12:17 PM ET

Van der Sloot charged with murder in Peru

Peruvian authorities have charged Joran van der Sloot with murder in the case of the death of a Peruvian woman.

CNN partner InSession reports that prosecutors are asking for a 30-year jail sentence and a restitution payment to the victim’s family of about $73,100.

Prosecutors have also charged three Peruvian drivers who allegedly took Van der Sloot across the border to Chile as he was trying to flee the country. They are asking for a five-year jail sentence and a restitution payment to the state of about $ 1,800, InSession reports.

"This is what we were expecting from the prosecutor's office given the high profile nature of this trial. We think 30 years is too much for this crime since it was an isolated incident without any further acts of violence. We have had cases in Peru under similar circumstances that have gotten less than 25 years,” said van der Sloot's attorney, Luis Jimenez Navarro.

No date has been set for trial.

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.

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Still without power? Here's what you need to know
Irene damaged power lines in Hampton Bays, New York, and left millions of people without power across the East Coast.
September 1st, 2011
11:58 AM ET

Still without power? Here's what you need to know

More than 1.7 million customers remained without electricity Wednesday from North Carolina to Maine as a result of Irene's wrath, the U.S. Department of Energy said.

As residents who are battling flooding and power outages enter another day without power, concerns about how they can stay connected and what they can eat and drink are becoming more of an issue.

If you haven't prepared a kit or stocked up with the appropriate foods, this is the time when things can start to get a little tricky.

So, what do you need to keep in mind during the power outage?

The big three things to focus on, according to the Red Cross, are your food, any electrical equipment, generators and being aware of carbon monoxide. Here are some tips from the FDA, USDA, CDC and The Red Cross on what to do.

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Canadian floating feet mystery deepens
Police search the Vancouver inlet Tuesday where a severed foot was discovered.
September 1st, 2011
11:38 AM ET

Canadian floating feet mystery deepens

For the 11th time in the past four years, a human foot in a sport shoe was found on a Pacific Northwest shoreline.

Foot No. 11 was found Tuesday near a marina in an inlet called False Creek, police in Vancouver, British Columbia, said. Foul play was not suspected because there was no sign of trauma, coroner Stephen Fonseca said in a report from CNN affiliate CBC.

“These human remains did not show any evidence of trauma whatsoever,” CBC quoted Fonseca as saying.

DNA samples from foot No. 11 will be compared to DNA obtained from family members in missing persons cases to try to establish an identity, he said.

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September 1st, 2011
09:41 AM ET

Officials: Nuclear plant's fuel storage casks moved by Virginia quake

Twenty-five of 27 spent fuel storage casks at a Virginia nuclear plant were shifted between 1 and 4 inches during last week's 5.8-magnitude earthquake, officials said Thursday.

The cylinders, each 16 feet tall and weighing 115 tons, were not damaged, and no radiation was released, said Rich Zuercher, spokesman for Dominion Virginia Power, which owns the North Anna Power Station.

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September 1st, 2011
08:21 AM ET

Anger fills Bahrain streets ahead of boy's funeral

Bahrain's interior ministry is offering a reward for information leading to the killer of a 14-year-old boy whose death has fueled protests, the state news agency reported Thursday.

Witnesses said Wednesday they saw Ali Jawad al-Sheikh collapse after riot police fired a tear-gas round at him and other protesters in Sitra, southwest of the capital Manama.

But the Interior Ministry said no clashes were taking place at the time the boy was injured, saying that the last reported incident of unrest in the area was around 1:15 a.m. Wednesday.

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September 1st, 2011
08:05 AM ET

Report: Iran's parliament speaker to visit North Korea

Iran's Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani will visit North Korea on Sunday on a three-day trip, Iran's parliament news service said.

From Pyongyang, Larijani will travel to China, the news service said.

The trips are intended to "further promote parliamentary cooperation and relations," according to Hossein Sheikholeslam, the international affairs advisor to Larijani.

"He will also discuss the latest developments in the region with Chinese and DPRK officials," Sheikholeslam told the news agency.

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September 1st, 2011
07:36 AM ET

Thursday's live video events

Hurricane Irene may have come and gone, but the recovery process continues for many.  Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of Irene's aftermath.

Today's programming highlights...

8:00 am ET - Race to 2012: Huntsman in New Hampshire - GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman addresses a "politics and eggs" breakfast in Manchester, New Hampshire.

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Filed under: Elections • Hurricane Irene • Hurricanes • Tropical weather
September 1st, 2011
06:53 AM ET

3.4-magnitude quake hits Virginia

A 3.4-magnitude earthquake rattled Mineral, Virginia, early Thursday, nine days after a 5.8-magnitude temblor in the same area shook up much of the eastern United States.

Thursday's quake, which struck at 5:09 a.m., was centered four miles south-southeast of Mineral at a depth of about three miles, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

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On the Radar: Pacific surf, Oklahoma fires, Libya money
High surf and dangerous riptides are forecasts at Southern California beaches into the weekend.
September 1st, 2011
06:20 AM ET

On the Radar: Pacific surf, Oklahoma fires, Libya money

Three things you need to know today.

Pacific surf: While the National Hurricane Center watches Hurricane Katia in the Atlantic and a tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico, forecasters on the West Coast are warning of high waves and dangerous riptides on southwest facing beaches.

Waves of up to 11 feet could pound Southern California beaches from San Luis Obispo south to San Diego, the National Weather Service said.

"The surf may cause hazards for anyone entering the water," the weather service's forecast said.

The high waves are the result of a winter storm off the coast of New Zealand whose rough seas are now being felt across the Pacific.

Big waves have been pounding Hawaii since Tuesday, CNN affiliate KHNL reports, and forecasters say 8-to-12-foot waves can be expected in the islands today.

Oklahoma fires: One of two wildfires burning in Oklahoma City on Wednesday pushed north toward suburban Edmond, illuminating the windy night sky with spirals of flame and flying embers.

The fire broke out Tuesday in the less densely populated northeast Oklahoma City and was moving in a northerly direction toward more largely residential, Edmond Fire Chief Tim Wheeler said.

"The winds have shifted a bit," Wheeler said. "It's current path it's going to travel through a heavily wooded area, which will allow the fire to grow in intensity."

He said it is hoped the fire can be stopped before it crosses Interstate 44 to the southeast of Edmond, but the department had already initiated its Code Red system, which autodials residents' telephone numbers encouraging them to evacuate.

Money for Libya: The British government has started delivering money that it unfroze to a bank in Libya, the foreign secretary said in a statement Wednesday.

The Royal Air Force delivered 280 million dinars (about 140 million pounds) to the Central Bank of Libya in Benghazi, the statement said.

The money is among billions of dollars ordered frozen by the United Nations when the crisis began.

The money "will be used to pay the wages of Libyan public sector employees, including nurses, doctors, teachers and police officers," the statement said. It also will be used to pay for medicines and food.

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Filed under: California • Fire • Hawaii • Libya • Natural Disasters • Oklahoma • On the Radar • Weather