October 31st, 2011
09:11 PM ET

Quake hits northwestern China

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rattled northwestern China on Tuesday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The quake struck at 8:21 a.m. (8:21 p.m. Monday ET), according to the USGS. It was centered in northern Xinjiang province at a depth of nearly 17 miles below the surface, the agency reported.

The epicenter was 96 km from the city of Yining and about 130 km from China's border with Kazakhstan, the USGS said. There was no immediate report of damage or injuries.

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Filed under: China • Earthquake
Overheard on CNN.com: We need a better grid
Early snows accumulate on leaves still on the trees in Armonk, New York. Photo by iReporter Amazingpics.
October 31st, 2011
04:56 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: We need a better grid

Comment of the Day:

"The British economy is so much more efficient than the U.S.: we get the same results from 1 inch of snow that you do from 2 feet!"–aleximor

Nearly 2 million without power as Northeast recovers from storm

An unusual October snowstorm buried parts of the Northeast United States under more than 2 feet of snow and left about 1.8 million people without power Monday. The early snow caused excessive damage because it accumulated on trees that had not yet lost their leaves, said CNN.com readers. Some pointed to climate change as the culprit and some called for an improved energy system.

Sparkster said, "Because the deciduous trees all still have their leaves and the snow was very heavy, we lost a ton of trees here in Pennsylvania. Never saw this many trees go down before due to a snowstorm, windstorm, or even ice storm. Every yard in my neighborhood either has one or more trees down or very large limbs hanging off their trees. Sad."

Surfstud31 said "Never seen or heard anything like it. I live about 30 miles north of NYC and we got more than a foot of snow with big tree limbs down everywhere. Could hear the limbs cracking and falling all over the place during the storm. Worse than Irene was."

FULL POST

Overheard on CNN.com: Let Cain's accusers come forward
GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain says he has been "falsely accused" of inappropriate behavior toward female employees.
October 31st, 2011
02:28 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Let Cain's accusers come forward

Comment of the morning:
"Don't blame the Dems for this one. The Republicans are starting to eat their young." – Nevis

Cain denies harassment allegations

GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain told Fox News he had "never sexually harassed anyone" in response to a Politico report alleging that two women employees settled with the National Restaurant Association after complaining about him when he led that group in the 1990s. The women's names were not released. John Avlon, a CNN political contributor, said Monday that while Cain needs to address the allegations, the story may "smack of opposition research" by another campaign.

Many CNN.com readers said Cain had a right to know his accusers and others said he should just come clean if the story's true. MotherLodeBeth said, "Unless the women come forward and can be grilled on the facts and why they settled, it's all hearsay to me."

Motley said, "Anyone can make allegations of any nature; it does not mean they are true, nor does it mean that if two women did receive separation packages that it was due to harassment. Sorry, I prefer facts to judge someone other than rumors and allegations."

Mr. America said, "He should just say, 'Yes I did it, let's move on.' Now they will get him on lying. Same problem Clinton had."

FULL POST

Scientists struggle to fight disease that could wipe out hibernating bats
A brown bat hanging at Greely Mine in Stockbridge, Vermont, shows symptoms of white-nose syndrome.
October 31st, 2011
02:19 PM ET

Scientists struggle to fight disease that could wipe out hibernating bats

A deadly disease is ravaging bat populations in the Eastern and Midwestern United States and several Canadian provinces and if scientists don't find a way to stop it some species could face extinction, experts said.

The disease has been spreading through bat colonies since 2006, after it was first discovered in a cave in Albany, New York. Now scientists and conservationists are trying to prevent it from spreading west and crossing the Mississippi River, as they search for a way to eradicate it altogether. And they may be closing in on how to do that.

Click the audio player to hear more about what scientists are doing:

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Filed under: Animals • U.S.
October 31st, 2011
02:00 PM ET

Boeing brings new jobs to Florida's Space Coast

A partnership between NASA's Kennedy Space Center and Boeing will bring more than 100 jobs to Florida's Space Coast, the governor announced on Monday.

"Florida has five decades of leadership in the space industry, which makes our state the logical place for the next phase of space travel and exploration," Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement.

Boeing's plans include manufacturing and testing its Crew Space Transportation-100 spacecraft and locating its Commercial Crew program headquarters at Cape Canaveral.

The move is expected to create 140 jobs in Florida by June 2013 and 550 by December 2015.

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Filed under: Economy • Jobs • Space
How do you measure success for Occupy Wall Street movement?
Occupy Wall Street protesters hold up signs showing their frustration with the current economic situation.
October 31st, 2011
01:05 PM ET

How do you measure success for Occupy Wall Street movement?

There's no easy way to define Occupy Wall Street. That's part of what's made it hard for the media and those involved in the protests to wrap their arms around the movement.

Many people have questioned the movement's legitimacy, since it has no clear leadership,  nor a clear list of demands or solutions to the economic inequalities it rails against.

It also raises endgame questions.

What would it actually take to say, yes, this movement of protest, spurred by a large group of people across the country and world, was a successful movement? Or is it too early to even assess what impact it may have had?

Would success need to come in the form of large reforms being passed regarding jobs, unemployment and economic policies that affect Wall Street  or even of President Obama losing re-election? Would it be adjustment of our current government model to one that more accurately reflects what protesters want?

Jeffrey D. Sachs, an expert in economics, visited the Occupy Wall Street crowd in New York's Zuccotti Park early in October and suggested that success could come in the form of a change in what groups politicians look to for influence (hint: not the 1% that can shell out money for dinners with the politicians). He also said the protesters needed to elect a government that will represent the 99%.

"What are we going to do when we get it? We are going to re-establish government for the people. The people need help and the government is there to help. So with all that income of the 1%, there's some pretty good things to do."

Sachs suggests that the 99% could make a lot of changes with the money of the 1% including spreading the wealth to close the financial equality gap, while taxing the rich in order to use the money to fix our struggling economy as well as bringing our troops home.

FULL POST


Filed under: Occupy Wall Street • Politics
October 31st, 2011
12:49 PM ET

Obama tackles drug shortages, prices

President Barack Obama will sign an executive order Monday designed to help reduce a growing number of prescription drug shortages while protecting patients from possible pharmaceutical industry price gouging.

Among other things, the order requires the Food and Drug Administration to increase its reporting of possible shortages of certain prescription drugs, while also speeding up regulatory reviews of new drug manufacturing sites, drug suppliers and manufacturing changes.

The Justice Department will be tasked with examining whether specific drug shortages are tied to an intentional stockpiling of medications designed to raise prices.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Health Care • Politics
Cardinals' La Russa retiring
October 31st, 2011
12:17 PM ET

Cardinals' La Russa retiring

Tony La Russa, the manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, announced Monday he is retiring after 33 seasons as a manager in professional baseball. The Cardinals capped an improbable comeback last week by defeating the Texas Rangers to win the World Series.

"It's just time to do something else," he told reporters at Busch Stadium. "I know if I came back, I'd come back for the wrong reasons, and I couldn't do that."

La Russa, 67, ranks third in baseball history in managerial victories with 2,728, behind Connie Mack (3,731) and John McGraw (2,763). He is the only manager in Major League Baseball history to win multiple pennants in both leagues and the second to win a World Series title in each.

After 16 years as manager of the Cardinals, he broke the news to the team Sunday night in the weight room. "I was encouraged that some grown men cried," he said. "I kinda liked that because they made me cry a few times."

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Filed under: Missouri • Sports
October 31st, 2011
12:05 PM ET

U.N. agency approves full Palestinian membership

The U.N. agency focusing on education and science voted Monday to accept a Palestinian bid for full membership, in the first vote on the matter by a part of the world body.

The vote, which required two-thirds approval by UNESCO members, passed with 107 votes in favor, 14 against, and 52 abstentions.

The vote is separate from the Palestinian bid for full membership in the United Nations. Representatives of several countries pointed out that currently that bid is being discussed by members of the U.N. Security Council.

Huge applause broke out at the meeting in Paris when the results of the vote were announced.

The vote risks the agency - the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization - losing its U.S. funding, which accounts for more than a fifth of its budget.

Some U.S. lawmakers have threatened to cut off the funding, which a spokeswoman for the U.S. Mission to UNESCO said totals $80 million a year.

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Filed under: Israel • Palestinians • United Nations
October 31st, 2011
11:36 AM ET

Arab League demands Syria end violence against citizens

The Arab League has called on Syria's government to end all violence against its people, remove tanks and military vehicles from the streets of the country and release political prisoners, an official with the Arab organization told CNN Monday.

Arab countries made the proposal to Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem on Sunday in a meeting which the prime minister of Qatar called "clear and frank," according to the Qatari national news agency.

Syria is due to respond Monday to the Arab League proposals, Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim said.

The Arab League also proposed a dialogue between Syrian officials and opposition members in Cairo starting on Wednesday.

The proposals include a time frame for compliance, the Arab League official said.

Also on Monday, Syrians aiming to write a new constitution for the strife-torn country will meet for the first time, Syria's state news agency reported Sunday after a weekend of intense violence.

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October 31st, 2011
07:41 AM ET

Monday's live events

Happy Halloween from your friends at CNN.com Live!  We hope you'll find more treats than tricks on this day.

Today's programming highlights...

9:30 am ET - 'A Discussion with Herman Cain' - GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain made headlines this weekend, but not the good kind of headlines.  See if Cain responds to allegations of "inappropriate" behavior when he addresses the American Enterprise Institute.

FULL POST


Filed under: Elections • Politics
October 31st, 2011
05:10 AM ET

More than 2.3 million without power as Northeast recovers from storm

More than 2.3 million people in at least five states were without power early Monday, a day after the storm moved offshore.

At least five deaths were blamed on the storm.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, or MBTA, warned riders that the storm could affect Monday morning commute. And with the chilly temperatures and piles of snow, Halloween plans were touch and go for many cities.

Worchester, Massachussets, asked residents to postpone celebrations until Thursday when temperatures are expected to climb to 60 degrees.

"Safety doesn't take a holiday. Halloween tomorrow night will put families and our youth in harm's way as they negotiate piles of snow and downed limbs," the city said Sunday night.

Early Monday morning, the state's largest utility - Connecticut Light and Power - reported nearly 763,000 customers were still without electricity. A total of about 773,000 households were in the dark in Connecticut.

Elsewhere, about 250,000 customers were without power early Monday in Pennsylvania; 556,000 in Massachusetts' 477,000 in New Jersey; and 288,000 in New York, according to figures from power companies in those states. Thousands also lost power in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.

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Filed under: Halloween • U.S. • Weather • Winter weather
October 31st, 2011
01:55 AM ET

Qantas resumes flights

Australia's Qantas Airways resumed flights Monday after a government labor board ordered it to end a dispute with its unions that grounded the airline over the weekend.

"Qantas can confirm that all domestic and international services have resumed from mid-afternoon on Monday 31 October," the airline's website said. "We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience and stress our customers have faced over the past days and months."

Labor relations tribunal Fair Work Australia ordered an end to the labor dispute "to avoid significant damage to the tourism industry" after Qantas grounded its jets Saturday afternoon.

The airline grounded 447 flights and, ahead of the order to end the dispute, had announced it would lock out its unionized pilots, engineers, ramp, baggage and catering crews effective Monday evening.

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Filed under: Air travel • Australia • Travel • World
October 31st, 2011
01:51 AM ET

NATO to officially end Libya mission

After seven months of an aerial bombing campaign that helped depose longtime ruler Moammar Gadhafi, NATO officially ends its mission in Libya on Monday.

NATO's move comes after the United Nations Security Council last week rescinded its March mandate for military intervention to protect civilians targeted during anti-regime protests.

"Libyans have now liberated their country. And they have transformed the region," said NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Friday. "This is their victory."

"Our operation for Libya will end on October 31. Until then, together with our partners, we will continue to monitor the situation. And if needed, we will continue to respond to threats to civilians," Rasmussen said.

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Filed under: Africa • Libya • World
October 30th, 2011
09:08 PM ET

Aid workers kidnapped in Somalia are alive and well

Two foreign aid workers kidnapped last week in Somalia are alive and well, a Danish aid group said Sunday.

Jessica Buchanan, 32, and Poul Hagen Thisted, 60, were abducted by gunmen Tuesday after visiting humanitarian projects in the northern Galkayo area, the Danish Refugee Council said.

"I have been told that contact was established today, and I am pleased to announce that both Poul and Jessica are doing well given the circumstances," said Ann Mary Olsen, head of the council's international department.

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Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days
October 30th, 2011
04:20 PM ET

Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days

Relief agencies fear disease in flooded Thailand

Charities working in Thailand have warned of the risk of water- and insect-borne diseases in the coming weeks in Thailand, which is battling what the government is calling the nation's worst flooding in half a century.

The floods, caused by monsoon rains that saturated rivers, have killed at least 373 people nationwide and affected more than 9.5 million of the country's roughly 66 million people.

Areas in Bangkok's outlying districts were covered with waist-deep water Sunday. Thais have questioned whether resources may be dwindling, including whether electricity and tap water will be available to residents, with a water utility saying algae is slowing down its tap-water processing.  But the prime minister assured residents Saturday that tap water and electricity would be available, though with disruptions.

The prime minister said the flood waters would likely reduce by this week if relevant agencies control the drainage.

NATO ending Libya military mission on Monday

After seven months of an aerial bombing campaign that helped depose longtime ruler Moammar Gadhafi, NATO is scheduled to end its mission in Libya on Monday.

NATO's move comes after the United Nations Security Council last week rescinded its March mandate for military intervention to protect civilians targeted during anti-regime protests.

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Filed under: Ahead of the curve
October 30th, 2011
04:18 PM ET

Transitional government prefers to try Gadhafi son in Libya

Libya's transitional government would prefer to try former leader Moammar Gadhafi's son Saif al-Islam in a Libyan court despite an arrest warrant issued for him by the International Criminal Court, a spokesman said Sunday.

The court's chief prosecutor said Friday it was having "informal conversations" about the surrender of Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, who is wanted for crimes against humanity. But Luis Moreno-Ocampo said the court did not know his whereabouts and would not reveal with whom the court is talking.

Saif al-Islam Gadhafi has realized there is no escape, and wants to negotiate a surrender to limit the damage, said Anees al-Sharif, spokesman for the National Transitional Council's Tripoli Military Council.

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Filed under: Libya
October 30th, 2011
04:17 PM ET

Blast near Yemeni airport diverts flights

Flames and thick black smoke filled the skies above Sanaa International Airport on Sunday after an explosion struck a nearby air base, senior officials said.

Two senior security officials at the airport said a mortar shell landed at Dailami air force base, two miles west of the airport, provoking a massive blast.

However, a senior official with the Interior Ministry said the explosion was caused by a bomb planted near the airport. He declined to speculate who might have planted the explosive device.

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Filed under: Yemen
October 30th, 2011
06:06 AM ET

Stranded Qantas passengers await decision on labor dispute

Australian airline Qantas remained grounded for a second day Sunday, leaving tens of thousands of stranded passengers worldwide awaiting an independent watchdog's decision in the labor dispute.

The cancellations affected more than 600 flights and 70,000 passengers, Qantas said.

At Sydney airport, columns of "canceled" illuminated the departure board. Throngs of weary passengers crowded the help desk to rebook with other airlines as suitcases lay scattered all over the floor.

"It makes me wonder whether I would book with Qantas again," said Isabelle Storer, who was stuck at the airport with her husband after a visit to the United States.

Their connection to Adelaide was canceled, leaving her frustrated because her husband needed medical treatment, she said.

Passenger Ron Fuller waited at the airport, albeit more optimistic.

"For a month or two, everyone will be anti-Qantas, there's no doubt about that," Fuller said. "But emotion probably gets in the way sometimes."

In a statement, Qantas pilots slammed the airline's chief executive for grounding the entire fleet, saying it is unfair to passengers, shareholders and workers.

"Alan Joyce obviously thinks Qantas is his personal plaything to use in his high-stakes game against pilots and other workers," said Richard Woodward, the president of the Australian and International Pilots Association.

The dispute has escalated, forcing government officials to ask watchdog Fair Work Australia to intervene.

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Filed under: Air travel • Australia • Travel • World
October 30th, 2011
06:03 AM ET

HRW: Militias terrorizing Libyans accused of working with pro-Gadhafi forces

Militias from the Libyan city of Misrata have beaten and killed displaced residents from the nearby town of Tawergha, accusing them of siding with pro-Gadhafi forces and committing violent crimes in Misrata, according to a report by Human Rights Watch.

The rights group said Sunday it interviewed dozens of Tawerghans across the country, including those detained or displaced.

"They gave credible accounts of some Misrata militias shooting unarmed Tawerghans, and of arbitrary arrests and beatings of Tawerghan detainees, in a few cases leading to death."

CNN could not immediately verify the claims.

Local authorities and Misrata residents widely accuse Tawerghans of having committed serious crimes - including murders and rapes - in Misrata with forces loyal to ousted Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, Human Rights Watch said.

The group said pro-Gadhafi forces used Tawergha as a base for attacks on Misrata and the surrounding area from March until August. Many Tawerghans supported the 42-year ruler, whose regime claimed that Libyan opposition fighters would enslave Tawerghans if they took power, Human Rights Watch said.

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Filed under: Africa • Libya • World
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