Amanda Knox arrives in Seattle
Amanda Knox said being with her family was the "most important thing to me right now."
October 4th, 2011
09:00 PM ET

Amanda Knox arrives in Seattle

[5:42 p.m. PT, 8:42 p.m. ET] Amanda Knox told cheering supporters Tuesday night, "What's important for me is just to say thank you to everyone who has believed in me, supported me and my family." Knox, who was released from an Italian prison Monday after being cleared of murder charges, made very brief remarks after her arrival at the Seattle airport.

[5:31 p.m. PT, 8:31 p.m. ET] Amanda Knox, released from an Italian prison Monday after being cleared of murder charges, has arrived in her hometown of Seattle.

Knox to be welcomed home with "open arms"

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Amanda Knox • Italy • Washington state
Clerk’s mistake led to $25M prize, Powerball winner says
Powerball winner Kathy Scruggs says she intended to buy only a Mega Millions ticket when she entered a store last month.
October 4th, 2011
06:50 PM ET

Clerk’s mistake led to $25M prize, Powerball winner says

The odds of winning a Powerball jackpot are 1 in 195,249,054. It appears Kathy Scruggs beat them without even trying.

Scruggs, 44, of Lithonia, Georgia, told lottery officials Monday that she won September 14’s $25 million Powerball jackpot only because a store clerk had misunderstood which lottery ticket she wanted to buy.

Scruggs said she had asked the clerk at a Shell Food Mart for a Mega Millions ticket, not a Powerball slip.

“But when she turned around, she had actually printed out a Powerball ticket also. So I actually bought (both),” Scruggs said Monday in a video recorded at Georgia Lottery headquarters in Atlanta, where Scruggs had come to claim the prize.

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Filed under: Georgia • Lotto
Overheard on CNN.com: Williams and ESPN got it wrong
Hank Williams Jr.'s recently said on a Fox news show that the pairing of President Obama with House Speaker John Boehner for a golf game against Vice President Joe Biden and Ohio Gov. John Kasich was "one of the biggest political mistakes ever."
October 4th, 2011
04:47 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Williams and ESPN got it wrong

Comment of the day:

"The analogy might have been a bit over the top, but hey, the man has an opinion; in my opinion ESPN overreacted." - Geckowise

ESPN drops Hank Williams Jr. from Monday Night Football

For the first time in years, "Monday Night Football" viewers did not hear Hank Williams Jr.'s intro "Are You Ready for Some Football?" after ESPN pulled the song from the broadcast following remarks Williams made about President Obama.

In an appearance on Fox News' "Fox and Friends" on Monday morning, Williams referred to a June golf game with Obama and House Speaker John Boehner playing against Vice President Joe Biden and Ohio Gov. John Kasich by saying the pairing was “like (Adolf) Hitler playing golf with (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu. Not hardly."

And while some CNN.com readers thought Williams comments went too far, many supported his right to freedom of speech and even said ESPN got it wrong.

shades1202 said, “Hank Williams didn’t call anybody Hitler, or compare anyone to Hitler. It's called an analogy, an analogy of a situation, situation being Boehner and Obama playing golf together.. ’it would be like Hitler and Netanyahu playing golf together.’ Why do liberals have to make up a story to feed an argument. When you make up a story, you BECOME the story.”

therational1 said, “It’s a bit of an overreaction by ESPN; it's fairly commonplace these days for people to immediately go to the ‘that's like Hitler...’ comparison for dramatic effect. The real stupidity is in his follow-up. It seems 1) that he doesn't want the speaker of the House and the president to try and resolve some of their differences and 2) he wants ‘policies to change,’ but he apparently has no idea exactly what that means.”

FULL POST

One dead, four hurt as helicopter crashes in New York's East River
Members of the Coast Guard attempt to rescue those in the East River after a helicopter crashed Tuesday afternoon.
October 4th, 2011
04:29 PM ET

One dead, four hurt as helicopter crashes in New York's East River

[Updated at 6:00 p.m. ET] New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told reporters that four out of the five people aboard the helicopter, including the pilot, got out by the time rescuers arrived.

"The fifth person was trapped," he said. That person, a woman, has died, he said. Her identification was pending as authorities sought to notify next of kin, Bloomberg said.

How the accident happened is still not clear, but "the helicopter was inverted, upside down" when rescuers arrived, he said.

Apprently the pilot was "having problems and tried to turn around, but that could change," he said, referring to preliminary reports.

He said the chopper wasn't equipped with flotation devices. "It’s optional whether you have flotation devices, but most helicopters do not have them. To the best of our knowledge it was a private helicopter," he said.

[Updated at 5:39 p.m. ET] New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to speak shortly about the helicopter crash, CNN's Wolf Blitzer reports. Four people pulled from the East River have been taken to the hospital, he said. One person has died.

FULL POST

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Filed under: New York
Overheard on CNN.com: Cheers and gripes for Apple’s latest iPhone
Apple introduced the iPhone 4S, a faster, more enhanced version of its best-selling smartphone.
October 4th, 2011
03:30 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Cheers and gripes for Apple’s latest iPhone

Comments of the day:

“At the risk of dating myself: ‘Where’s the beef?!?’” - DBAwhosaysNI

"’S’ for Savings.” – Newsunworthy

Apple unveils the iPhone 4S

Apple on Tuesday unveiled the iPhone 4S, a faster version of its best-selling smartphone that includes a virtual "personal assistant" you can talk to. And, for the first time, the iPhone will be available on the Sprint wireless network, as well as AT&T and Verizon.

Like with many Apple-related stories, news of the release drew comments from  Apple lovers and haters either singing the phone’s praises or pointing out what the phone lacks.

Mjj09 said, “You know, if they just put a Steve Jobs’ cutout holding an iPhone4S on stage... I bet Apple would sell 12 million phones tonight.”

Professorjaz said, “I am in. To all you nay-sayers, you don't have to buy one.”

Prle said, “What a joke. Well, at least I m not disappointed that just two weeks ago I bought the iPhone 4, but a friend of mine didn't want to buy; He was waiting for iPhone 5, oh well.”

madchadley responded, “At least he'll be able to buy the iPhone 4 cheaper than you though. Oh, well.” FULL POST

Who are the voices behind the protests, movement to #OccupyWallStreet?
Protesters dressed as corporate zombies march past the New York Stock Exchange on Monday.
October 4th, 2011
03:06 PM ET

Who are the voices behind the protests, movement to #OccupyWallStreet?

Protesters have been camping out at New York’s Zuccotti Park for more than two weeks.

What started as call to action by Adbusters, a Canadian anti-consumer organization, to protest greed and corruption in Manhattan's Financial District has grown into a catch-all movement of dissent and frustration with current norms.

Overheard on CNN.com: What do the protesters want?

Fueled by social media, the protests have persisted and have begun to attract mainstream attention. By now, the Occupy Wall Street event is attracting a lot of street musicians and tourists.

The atmosphere appears more festive than angry.

View a high-resolution gallery of the protests

Those assembled say there is no leadership, but there’s plenty of organization. Food continues to be donated, and protesters take shifts for things such as sanitation duty in which they sweep the park. There are no restrooms, but there are plenty of fast-food restaurants and coffee shops nearby for bathroom breaks.

“It’s the '60s without the drugs,” says Jennifer Jager, who lives near the park and has been watching and visiting the protesters.

“A lot of them who started it are younger than my son,” she says.

CNN’s Susanna Capelouto and Jonathan Binder spent an afternoon with the protesters and sent this audio postcard:


You can also listen to the CNN Radio Reports podcast on itunes or subscribe to the podcast here.

What’s next for Amanda Knox?
Amanda Knox was cleared Monday in the murder of her roommate in Italy, ending a four-year courtroom saga.
October 4th, 2011
02:24 PM ET

What’s next for Amanda Knox?

Amanda Knox is back on U.S. soil after four years in prison and a media-circus trial connected to a high-profile slaying. She returns to an uncertain life in America.

Instead of a buoyant college student growing in self-assurance, snippets and courtroom soundbites have shown a trembling, sobbing woman-child accused of unspeakable acts of wickedness.

On Monday, a five-woman, three-man Italian jury overturned Knox's conviction on the five most serious charges in Meredith Kercher's death. She was immediately released from prison.

Knox, 24, arrived back in Seattle, her hometown, Tuesday evening.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Crime • U.S. • Uncategorized • World
Superdome gets a new name
The Superdome has hosted six Super Bowls, four NCAA Final Four events and three BCS National Championship games.
October 4th, 2011
01:55 PM ET

Superdome gets a new name

The Louisiana Superdome long a holdout against a wave of deals that renamed stadiums across the country is being renamed the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in a 10-year agreement between the German vehicle manufacturer and the NFL’s New Orleans Saints.

The Saints, who gained the right to market the dome’s name in a 2009 lease extension with the state of Louisiana, announced the deal this week, and a news conference was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. Financial terms were not immediately released, but a portion of the proceeds is expected to reduce or eliminate state subsidies for the team, the Saints said in a news release.

The state had agreed in the 2009 lease deal to give the team financial incentives through 2025, according to WVUE. But the state let the Saints market the dome’s name with the understanding that much of the proceeds would replace the state’s direct obligation to the team, The Times-Picayune of New Orleans reported.

“This announcement today means we are gaining the partnership of a world-class company while generating savings for Louisiana taxpayers," Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said in the Saints’ news release. “This partnership agreement is estimated to significantly reduce or eliminate taxpayer funding currently spent to support the Saints.”

FULL POST

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Filed under: Hurricane Katrina • Louisiana
Gotta Watch: What $$$ can buy
Luxury yachts are on display in Miami, Florida.
October 4th, 2011
01:18 PM ET

Gotta Watch: What $$$ can buy

There may be things money can't buy, but there are a lot of things it can. You can shell out $100,000 on a fancy sports car or $1 million on a nice home, but that's not enough for one New Yorker. He bought an island. To stick with that theme, Gotta Watch looks at some videos showing examples of just what money can buy. Some of the price tags may surprise you.
FULL POST

October 4th, 2011
01:03 PM ET

As Syria violence persists, deserter army emerges

Another round of violence flared in turbulent Syria on Tuesday, as reports of more deaths surfaced amid the relentless government crackdown against protesters.

The nearly seven-month-long offensive has drawn world condemnation and calls to action against the government of Bashar al-Assad.

The U.N. Security Council could vote as soon as Tuesday on a resolution to immediately to halt the clampdown against opponents of al-Assad. And a newly formed group of army deserters has issued pleas for help from the international community.

"This regime will stay until the last drop of blood," said Col. Riad al-Assa'ad, head of a group of army deserters merged into a force called the Free Syria Army. "But there can't be more bloodshed than there already is."

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Syria
Overheard on CNN.com: Knox innocent, readers say
Amanda Knox's murder conviction and eventual exoneration on appeal have stirred strong opinions in the U.S. and abroad.
October 4th, 2011
12:35 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Knox innocent, readers say

Comment of the morning:

“Justice prevailed and Amanda Knox is free. Enough said.” – Guest

Knox free and coming home

After nearly four years, Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were dramatically cleared of the murder of Meredith Kercher on Monday in Italy. While Kercher’s family is still seeking the truth, Knox is already on her way back home to her native Seattle.

Thousands of CNN.com readers posted comments about the overturned convictions. Most say they believe Knox is innocent mainly pointing to evidence against Rudy Guede, who was convicted separately of involvement in the killing and already is serving 16 years in prison.

jimmy009 said, “The strange thing is this is actually a pretty straightforward case. Every sign points to a drifter with a violent past, who is now in jail for the crime.”

Plainlogik said, “The guilty person whose DNA was ALL over the BLOODY crime scene is already in prison. How do you conclude that if three people are involved, two people wipe down their bloody prints, DNA, hair fibers, semen and come out with no marks ... and perfectly leave the third person's DNA all over the room. Rudy Guede is CLEARLY the guilty person. How much more clear does it need to be?”

FULL POST

GOP source: Christie won't seek 2012 Republican presidential nomination
October 4th, 2011
10:47 AM ET

GOP source: Christie won't seek 2012 Republican presidential nomination

[Updated at 10:47 a.m. ET]  Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has decided not to seek the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, according to a GOP source in New Jersey.

[Posted at 10:02 a.m. ET] New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie plans to announce his decision about whether he will run for president at at a 1 p.m. news conference, two GOP sources tell CNN's John King.

This story is developing. We'll bring you the latest information as soon as we get it.

READ FULL POLITICAL TICKER POST
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Filed under: Politics • Republican Party
Japan vows to resume whale hunt; activists promise fight
The Japanese whaling research vessel Nisshin Maru is approached by a Sea Shepherd vessel in the Southern Ocean during last season's hunt.
October 4th, 2011
10:29 AM ET

Japan vows to resume whale hunt; activists promise fight

Japan says it will hunt whales in the Southern Ocean this winter and will send a Fisheries Agency ship to guard its whalers against promised intervention by a conservation group.

"The Fisheries Agency will send a patrol boat and take increased measures to strengthen the protection given to the research whaling ships," Fisheries Minister Michihiko Kano said at a news conference Tuesday.

At its annual meeting in July, the International Whaling Commission passed a resolution calling on its member countries "to cooperate to prevent and suppress actions that risk human life and property at sea."

Last winter, Japan cut its planned December-to-April hunt two months short after anti-whaling activists from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society repeatedly interfered with the whaling vessels.

Sea Shepherd claims it saved 800 whales by its actions during last season's hunt. Japanese whalers killed 171 minke whales and two fin whales during the Antarctic hunt, according to IWC figures.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Animals • Australia • Japan • Whales
October 4th, 2011
09:53 AM ET

7th Avenue in NYC reopened after suspicious package found to be harmless

[Updated 10:24 a.m.] 7th Avenue has been reopened in New York's Times Square.  Police have determined that an unattended backpack was harmless.

[Posted 9:53 a.m.] Police have shut down New York City's Times Square to traffic Tuesday as they investigate a suspicious package left aboard an MTA bus, authorities said.

The unattended backpack was discovered aboard the bus along a 7th Avenue between 49th Street and 50th Street, police said.

This story is developing. We'll bring you the latest information as soon as we get it.

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Filed under: New York • Times Square
October 4th, 2011
08:55 AM ET

State media: China mine accident kills 13

Thirteen miners were killed and five are still missing after a "gas outburst" Tuesday at a coal mine in China's southwestern Guizhou province, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Rescuers were continuing the search late Tuesday for the five missing miners at the Anping coal mine, the agency said. The bodies of 10 workers have been recovered.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: China • Coal mining • Mine accidents • Mining
More than 30 dead in Somalia bombing
A government fighter surveys the site where a car bomb ripped through a police base in Mogadishu on February 21, 2011.
October 4th, 2011
08:39 AM ET

More than 30 dead in Somalia bombing

A truck filled with explosives barreled into a government complex in the heart of Somalia's restive capital on Tuesday, a brazen strike killing students registering for an education program.

More than 30 people were killed, said Lt. Col. Paddy Nkunda, an African Union forces spokesman. Along with the students and parents, the casualties included several federal government soldiers, the AU forces said.

"This is a carnage," said Col. Abdullahi Barise, the spokesman of the Somali police. Barise blamed Al-Shabaab, the Islamist movement with links to al Qaeda. But there has been no immediate claim of responsibility.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Somalia
October 4th, 2011
07:52 AM ET

Tuesday's live events

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

Today's programming highlights...

10:00 am ET - Bernanke talks economic outlook - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies before the Joint Economic Committee on America's economic outlook.

FULL POST


Filed under: Conrad Murray • Crime • Economy
Electric plane wins $1.35 million prize
The Pipistrel USA Taurus G4, a four-seat, twin-fuselage aircraft, earned the $1.35 million first prize from NASA.
October 4th, 2011
07:38 AM ET

Electric plane wins $1.35 million prize

A Pennsylvania company has won a $1.35 million prize from NASA for developing a highly efficient airplane power by electricity.

Pipistrel-USA.com of State College earned the top prize in the CAFE Green Flight Challenge, sponsored by Google, NASA announced Monday.

The plane developed by Pipistrel doubled the fuel efficiency requirement for the competition flying 200 miles in less than two hours while using less than a gallon of fuel per occupant or the equivalent in electricity. The winning plane used a little more than a half-gallon of fuel per passenger for the 200-mile flight.

Team Pipistrel-USA.com was one of 14 entrants in the competition, which began two years ago. In total, the 14 teams invested $4 million in the competition, according to NASA.

"Two years ago the thought of flying 200 miles at 100 mph in an electric aircraft was pure science fiction," Jack W. Langelaan, team leader of Team Pipistrel-USA.com, said in statement. "Now, we are all looking forward to the future of electric aviation."

Second place, and a $120,000 prize, went to Team eGenius of Ramona, California, whose leader, Eric Raymond, congratulated Team Pipistrel.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Aviation • NASA
October 4th, 2011
07:01 AM ET

More than 30 killed in Somalia bomb attack

[Update 7:01 a.m. ET] More than 30 people were killed in Somalia's capital in a truck bombing on Tuesday, an African Union official said.

[Posted 6;24 a.m. ET] Many were killed Tuesday after a bomb attack outside the Ministry of Education in Mogadishu in Somalia's capital, Lt. Col. Paddy Nkunda, an African Union forces spokesman said.

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Filed under: Somalia
On the Radar: NBA labor talks, California weather, Hawaii surfing
Derek Fisher, president of the National Basketball Players Association, speaks at a press conference last week in New York.
October 4th, 2011
05:58 AM ET

On the Radar: NBA labor talks, California weather, Hawaii surfing

Three things you need to know today.

NBA lockout: The start of the NBA season could depend on what happens at a pivotal meeting Tuesday between the owners and the players in New York.

National Basketball Players Association President Derek Fisher put it like this Monday: "We are aware of the calendar. We know our backs are against the wall in terms of regular season games and what those consequences will be."

Added NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver: "We can only say we are running out of time so many times. We are getting close to the point where we are going to lose the rest of the preseason and have to start canceling regular season games."

The sometimes bitter NBA labor struggle and lockout has now stretched to three months.

Meanwhile, some of the league's top agents are urging players not to back down in the negotiations, SI.com's Sam Amick reports.

Tuesday's meeting starts at noon ET.

California weather: Temperatures in inland areas of California could be 15 to 30 degrees lower than normal over the next few days as two weather systems moving down the West Coast from the Gulf of Alaska hit the state.

The first on Tuesday will bring light rains and snow above 8,000 feet in the mountains, the National Weather Service says.

The second storm moving into the state Wednesday and Thursday will bring the big temperature drop as well as light to moderate rain west of the mountains, gusty winds and snow at elevations above 6,500 feet, forecasters said.

School surfing: Surfing, which is synonymous with the culture of Hawaii, is expected to get formal approval Tuesday as a sanctioned sport when the state board of education meets.

The proposal, if approved, would sanction surfing as a sport available in all 46 high schools in the island state.

"High schools have had surf clubs for years with informal competitions," explained Alex de Silva, a spokesman for the State Board and Department of Education.

The idea was originally proposed in 2004 but didn't go far "because we are in a tight budget situation like nearly every other school system," said de Silva. But now the plan is to seek outside corporate support for the program.

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Filed under: Basketball • California • Hawaii • NBA • On the Radar • Sports • Surfing • Weather • Winter weather
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