Hispanics drive growth of U.S. white population
September 29th, 2011
10:13 PM ET

Hispanics drive growth of U.S. white population

The growth in the United States’ white population last decade is due largely to a rise in the number of the country’s Hispanics, the U.S. Census Bureau says.

And the number of people who reported their race as both black and white more than doubled, according to the bureau.

The data were part of two reports one on the U.S. white population, the other on the black population from the 2010 Census that the bureau released Thursday.

Hispanics account for 74% of white population’s growth

Though the number of whites in the United States rose last decade, and though they still were in the vast majority in 2010, their share of the total population dipped.

Because other races grew faster, whites’ percentage of the population including multiracial whites dropped from 77% to 74.8%. Nevertheless, the white population did grow by 14.1 million people, or 6.5% (to 231 million).

Of that growth, most of it came from people who identified as Hispanic. It is important to note that the bureau considers Hispanic to be a category of origin, not race.

Whites who said they were Hispanic accounted for 74 percent of the growth in the U.S. white population from 2000 to 2010, according to the bureau. This includes people who said they were multiracial white, such as white and black, or white and Asian.

Pew study: Largest U.S. group of poor kids is now Hispanic

The number of Hispanic whites both multiracial Hispanic whites and not rose from 18.8 million to 29.2 million, and now represent 9.4 percent of the U.S. population, up from 6.7 percent.

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Filed under: Census
September 29th, 2011
08:35 PM ET

Shark severely injures man near Cape Town

A British man was severely injured in an attack by a great white shark while swimming this week near Cape Town, South Africa.

Michael Cohen, 43, lost his right leg and suffered injuries to his left foot in Wednesday's incident near Fish Hoek Beach. He was in critical condition and under heavy sedation in an intensive care unit on Thursday.

According to city officials, the beach was closed when Cohen decided to go for a swim. Warning flags had been raised to alert beach goers that it was not safe to enter the water due to shark sightings.  Officials said it was not clear why Cohen ignored the warnings.

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Overheard on CNN.com: Cain is wrong about black Dems
GOP Presidential candidate Herman Cain says black people have been brain washed into not considering a conservative point of view.
September 29th, 2011
07:17 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Cain is wrong about black Dems

Comment of the day:

Let's see if Clarence Thomas and Cain can get a support group going. - The RNC (Righteous Neanderthal Circus)

Is the black community politically brainwashed?

Herman Cain, the only African-American running for the GOP presidential nomination said Wednesday the black community is "brainwashed" for traditionally siding with liberal politicians.

"African-Americans have been brainwashed into not being open minded, not even considering a conservative point of view," Herman Cain said on CNN's "The Situation Room.”

But most CNN.com readers who posted comments said Cain was way off base.

Moderate Sean said, “The ‘Black Community’ is not brain-washed into voting for Democrats, they vote in their best interest since the Republicans do absolutely nothing for this community, minorities in general, and the middle-class at large!”

Straight Shooter said, “Yah, brainwashed into thinking for themselves. If they would only just let Republicans make their decisions for them, life would be so much better...”

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Remembering some classic chokes
Distraught Atlanta Braves players sit in the dugout after the Philadelphia Phillies pulled ahead 4-3.
September 29th, 2011
04:31 PM ET

Remembering some classic chokes

The Tampa Bay Rays and St. Louis Cardinals won wild card berths in the playoffs after dramatic victories Wednesday thanks to some major-league choking.

Trailing 7-0 to the American League East champion New York Yankees in St. Petersburg, Florida, the Rays launched an astonishing comeback to win in the 12th inning. The Rays' victory capped a remarkable turnaround, with the Florida-based team having been nine games behind the Red Sox on September 3.

There was similar drama in the National League, as the Cardinals capitalized on the Atlanta Braves' 4-3 loss to the National League East champion Philadelphia Phillies. The Cardinals beat Houston 8-0 to earn the other wild card spot.

Naturally, the teams' massive letdowns led to a large discussion of the biggest chokes in history. It'd be easy to count down the biggest ones in sports history (ahem, Bill Buckner), so instead, we're taking a look at pop culture and business to bring you the products and companies that put a whole lot of hype behind something, only for it to massively fail.

Let us know what other cultural and business "chokes" we may have missed in the comments below.

New Coke

It has long been the epitome of a total marketing fail. On April 23, 1985, after some apparently insanely misleading taste tests, Coca-Cola trotted out a new formula for its tried-and-true flagship soft drink. It had been 99 years since Coca-Cola had tampered with the recipe, and the company quickly learned to appreciate the “if-it-ain’t-broke” adage.

By June, the soft drink king was receiving 1,500 outraged calls a day. Even Coca-Cola had trouble completely spinning it to its advantage, saying consumers “had a deep emotional attachment to the original, and they begged and pleaded to get it back.” The company relented on July 10 – that’s 78 days later, folks – and presented Coca-Cola Classic – i.e. the original formula – to the delight of millions. New Coke was left to the cult following of Max Headroom.

Watch Bill Cosby introduce the product:

And now, you can see Pepsi's brilliant commercial rebuttal.

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Pistons’ Wallace arraigned on five-year felony gun charge
Detroit Pistons center Ben Wallace was arrested on a felony gun charge over the weekend, police say.
September 29th, 2011
04:26 PM ET

Pistons’ Wallace arraigned on five-year felony gun charge

Detroit Pistons center Ben Wallace was charged with a felony concealed weapon count, which carries a penalty of up to five years in prison, after police pulled him over on suspicion of drunken driving over the weekend, police in Michigan said Thursday.

Wallace, a four-time NBA defensive player of the year, was driving erratically when a police officer stopped him about 3 a.m. Saturday in Bloomfield Township, police said. The officer arrested him on suspicion of operating the vehicle while intoxicated.

An unloaded pistol was found in a backpack in the vehicle, Bloomfield Township police said in a news release.

A breath test at the police station showed Wallace had a blood-alcohol content above .08%, the state’s legal limit for driving, police said. The police department declined Thursday to reveal the exact percentage.

Wallace, 37, was charged with unlawful carrying of a concealed weapon and a misdemeanor charge of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. The misdemeanor is punishable by a jail term of up to 93 days.

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Filed under: Basketball • Crime • NBA • Sports
September 29th, 2011
02:30 PM ET

Chavez: I asked Ahmadinejad for hikers' release, at actor's behest

[Updated at 3:53 p.m. ET] Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Thursday he called and sent a letter to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad asking for the release of detained American hikers at the behest of actor Sean Penn.

Americans Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal were released from an Iranian prison last week, after 781 days in captivity.

Chavez said he considers Penn a friend, and after the two spoke about the hikers, he agreed to add his voice directly with the Iranian president.

"If this call and message helped a little, I am glad. Even if it didn't," he said.

Fattal, Bauer and Bauer's now-fiancee, Sarah Shourd, were arrested in July 2009, with Iran saying they strayed across the unmarked border between Iraqi Kurdistan and Iran. Shourd was released in 2010.

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Filed under: Iran • Venezuela
Overheard on CNN.com: Turn off the TV and give your kid a book
Author James Patterson says it's up to parents, not schools, to find books to get kids reading.
September 29th, 2011
12:13 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Turn off the TV and give your kid a book

Comment of the day:

“Two words: HARRY POTTER - Unknown22222

A love of reading begins with the parents

Award-winning author James Patterson ("Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life," "Maximum Ride," "Daniel X" and the "Witch & Wizard" young adult series) is encouraging parents to instill a love of reading in their children. He says it’s up to parents, not schools, to find books kids like to get them motivated. Patterson is the 2010 Children's Choice Book Awards author of the year, and in 2008, he created http://www.ReadKiddoRead.com, a site dedicated to helping parents find books that will get their kids reading.

Most CNN.com readers agreed and shared their tips on how to get kids reading.

Melissa0307 said, “Here's a thought: shut off the TV and make your kids read instead. It's that simple.”

frogprof said, “Maybe if less emphasis were put on sports than on academics, reading would be more important to kids than it is. But every kid in America seems to think he's going to be the next Shaq or Kobe or Manning or whatever, and academic scholarships come second to people's minds AFTER athletic ones. I'm all for 'mens sana in corpore sano,' but NOT at the expense of actual LEARNING. Give the kids recess and PE, let them work off some steam, but don’t make sports the end-all and be-all. Make READING and LEARNING the aim of schools.”

Kathleen59 responded, “I agree with you as my son was 5'2" at the age of nine and the school kept insisting I ‘make’ him play football. In the same breath, they told me that at nine years of age that Stephen King was too advanced for him to read and I should not allow him to read above his age and/or grade level. How ridiculous is that? The teachers were telling me I should not allow him to expand his vocabulary and his knowledge based on his age.”

mary8711 said, “Also if we weren't so ready to buy that new video game, kids would read more. When the kids were growing up, they were read to until they learned to read, and then they read to us. And they observed their parents reading on a daily basis. As a result, they both read avidly. Reading is my primary source of relaxation, because it takes me away from daily worries and plops me down somewhere else. And I get to choose where.” FULL POST

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Filed under: Uncategorized
Gotta Watch: Flash mobs
Inmates in the Philippines pay tribute to Michael Jackson by recreating the "Thriller" dance.
September 29th, 2011
12:10 PM ET

Gotta Watch: Flash mobs

They are a spectacle of choreographed, spontaneous dancing involving masses of people. Flash mobs take precision and planning to pull off, but when successful, they are a sight to be seen. Inspired by a recent flash mob wedding proposal that puts lots of other proposals to shame, we decided to take a look back at some of our favorite flash mob dance routines.

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Filed under: Dance • Gotta Watch • Music • Philippines • Uncategorized
September 29th, 2011
11:16 AM ET

House OKs spending measure to avert shutdown for week

The U.S. House approved a short-term spending measure Thursday to fund the federal government into next week as part of a deal to avert a partial shutdown over increased disaster aid.

The measure, which the Senate previously approved, now goes to President Barack Obama to be signed into law before the end of the current fiscal year at midnight Friday.

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Filed under: Budget • Politics
Rapper T.I. released from halfway house
September 29th, 2011
09:01 AM ET

Rapper T.I. released from halfway house

Rapper T.I. was released from an Atlanta halfway house Thursday morning, his lawyer said.

The popular hip-hop artist, whose real name is Clifford Harris Jr., wass serving an 11-month sentence for violating his parole on a gun conviction.

The rapper served two stints in the Arkansas prison. He served seven months there in 2009 as part of an unusual sentence negotiated two years ago to resolve federal gun charges. Those charges followed his attempt to buy three machine guns in the parking lot of an Atlanta grocery store.

His latest time behind bars was triggered by his arrest, along with his wife, after a motorcycle officer stopped their car on Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills, California, a year ago.

A police report said suspected drugs were found in the couple's car and they were both arrested on drug charges. While the charge against the rapper was later dropped, he failed a drug test given by his parole officer.

When T.I. walked out of prison on August 31, he tweeted, "The storm is over & da sun back out."

T.I. had been released to a halfway house and briefly returned back to prison after confusion regarding how he got to the halfway house and who was with him.

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Filed under: Showbiz • TI
September 29th, 2011
08:37 AM ET

First-time unemployment tumbles to lowest level since April

The number of Americans filing for their first week of unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level in nearly six months, possibly signaling slight improvement in the job market.

There were 391,000 initial unemployment claims filed in the week ended Sept. 24, the Labor Department said Thursday, down 37,000 from the prior week's revised 428,000.

The drop was much better than expected, as economists forecast initial claims to fall to 419,000, according to Briefing.com.

New claims for unemployment benefits have stuck around or above 400,000 since early April, a level economists often say is too high to signal the unemployment rate will come down anytime soon.

The recent drop to 391,000 maked the lowest level since the week of April 2, when 385,000 new claims came in.

For the country overall, the unemployment rate is still at 9.1%

READ FULL CNNMONEY.COM STORY
September 29th, 2011
07:51 AM ET

Thursday's live video events

CNN.com Live is your home for gavel-to-gavel coverage of Dr. Conrad Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial.

Today's programming highlights...

9:00 am ET - Washington Monument damage briefing - What was the extent of the damage the Washington Monument suffered during a recent earthquake?  The National Park Service will update the current assessment.

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Filed under: Conrad Murray • Crime